The gearbox is also referred to as a transmission box or torque converter. The latter might be a new term for you but it means that the gearbox is used to maintain the correct torque as you drive on different kinds of road surfaces. As you drive on smooth, rough, inclined or flat roads during any weather condition with a particular vehicle load, you need to change the torque and speed of your vehicle accordingly. This is achieved by the gearbox.
Different Types of Transmission
Transmissions most commonly come in manual and automatic. You might also find semi-automatic, constantly variable and dual-clutch transmission. The semi-automatic transmission has the efficiency of a manual vehicle but works like an automatic transmission. The vehicle uses actuators instead of the gear level that manual cars use. It also uses a hydraulic motor in place of a clutch pedal.
Constant or continuous variable transmission looks like an automatic transmission but offers a better fuel economy, more useable power and smoother driving. Instead of using a fixed number of gear ratios, a CVT changes effortlessly through a continuous range of gear ratios. You don't feel the gears changing, what you feel is the speed reducing and increasing as you step on and off the gas pedal.
A dual-clutch transmission has two clutches, but you won't find a clutch pedal. Instead, it uses hydraulics and electronics to control the clutches. One clutch controls the odd gear while the other controls the even gear.
How to Tell If Your Gearbox Has Problems
Your vehicle may start grinding or shaking, you may notice a sluggish response when shifting gears, your gear level may make noises when changing gears, you might hear some noises coming from under your car (usually humming, whining or buzzing) and you may notice some fluid leaking from under your vehicle.
At times, your vehicle can fail to move after starting. You may also notice that the engine speed increases but your vehicle remains constant.
Always confirm the engine light is not on as this is an indication of many problems, one of them being your gearbox.
How Do You Prevent Gearbox Problems?
Always have your gearbox maintained or checked regularly. This helps the mechanic catch minor faults before they become major. Major gearbox problems cost a lot in repair and you might be forced to buy the entire gearbox system.
If you do need gearbox repairs, don't hesitate to contact professional.