How Automatic Transmissions Work

Most vehicle owners in the US own a vehicle with an automatic transmission system. However, if you were to ask those people how exactly their automatic transmission system works, odds are most of them wouldn’t be able to give you an answer. After all, automatic transmissions are one of the most complex components of a vehicle. That being said, gaining a general understanding of how automatic transmissions work can help you better care for your vehicle and identify potential issues. To learn more about automatic transmissions and how they operate, continue reading.

Automatic transmission systems: How do they work?

Automatic transmissions automatically change the gear ratio of a vehicle as it moves so that the driver can change speeds without the hassle of having to manually shift the gears. To shift gears, most automatic transmission systems use hydraulic power.

For vehicles with hydraulic planetary automatic transmission, the engine will transmit power to the torque converter pump, which transmits the power into the transmission fluid. The transmission fluid is then used to power the torque converter turbine, which sends transmission fluid back up to the torque converter pump through the stator.

To allow the pump to send more power back to the torque converter’s turbine, the stator multiplies the power of the transmission fluid. As a result, a vortex power rotation is created inside the torque converter causing the turbine—and the central shaft that connects it to the transmission—to spin and send power to the transmission’s first planetary gearset.

Sensors in the automatic transmission system will then cause either the multiple disc clutch or the brake band to engage. Depending on which of these components is engaged, the torque converter will either send power to part of the planetary gear system, such as the sun gear, the planetary carrier, or the ring gear. Such components will then either move or stay stationary to determine the gear ratio of the vehicle. Based on the gear ratio that is created, the appropriate amount of power will be sent from the transmission to the rest of the drive train to allow the vehicle to change speeds accordingly.

If you own a vehicle with an automatic transmission and need replacement parts, shop Transparts Warehouse. Purchasing a completely new transmission is expensive. To avoid the high costs of replacing your entire transmission, you can find a wide variety of well-priced replacement parts in our extensive inventory. Our wide variety of replacement parts include automatic transmission overdrive units, transmission coolers, and transmission rebuild kits from top-quality brands you can trust. To learn more about our new and used automatic transmission replacement parts, contact us today.