The Dying Art of The Manual Transmission in Your Car
Not that long ago, it was not uncommon to have a manual transmission in your car. Today, the manual is becoming increasingly rare. Technology and cars today work hand in hand in order to make the user driving experience optimal. When it comes to racing and exotic cars, the paddle shifter, which is like a hybrid between manual and automatic, consistently records faster times shifting. The manual transmission to those who love cars and driving, is more about the experience of driving, rather than simply getting to a destination. Manual transmission has adopted a slew of names: the standard transmission, the manual gearbox, and the stick shift. Generally in America, the manual transmission goes by the name stick shift or even shorter, stick. So if you hear anyone say their car is a stick, you know that means it has a manual transmission.
The first transmission for a vehicle had 3 gears, and was invented in 1893 by the French engineers, Louis-Rene Panhard and Emile Levassor. Soon after, their design was improved upon by Louis Renault, who put a drive shaft in the gearbox instead of a chain drive. After this, the United States made a non-synchronized manual transmission based on the combined design of the inventors. In 1928, Cadillac improved it even more with a synchronized manual transmission, making shifting smoother. Nearly every car that rolled of the production lot in the 1940’s and 1950’s had a three gear transmission box. The original Ford Mustang had a three gear box even. As time continues, cars are more and more efficient, powerful and fast. This calls for having more gears. Today, cars generally have 4, 5,6, or even 7 gears on the high end.
How it Works
The inner workings of a manual transmission are actually relatively simple. The shifter is the vertically mounted in the center of the car. By moving it into the correct position, you put the transmission into the correct gear to move as you desire. Different gearboxes have slightly different “maps” of where each gear is.
Follow these simple steps to get your car to move, and learn more about how it works. I found this description in an article from carfromjapan.
● You have to press down the clutch pedal to disengage the clutch before switching the vehicle’s key on. It will cut the power between the transmission and the input shaft of the engine. As a result, the engine will be alive without powering up the entire vehicle.
● Move the gearshift into first gear, which is located in the output shaft, so that the shifting fork advance towards the latter one. The first gear is connected to a layshaft gear. The layshaft, on the other hand, has a connection to the input shaft of the engine through another gear.
● There’s a synchronizer collar attached to the shifting fork. It helps the driving gear to transport power to the output shaft and sync up their speeds if there’s a difference. You put the vehicle in gear when this collar locks with the first gear, which is in a secure attachment to the output shaft.
Now, put a slight pressure on the gas pedal and take the foot off the clutch. It will reconnect the engine with the gearbox. Then, the vehicle will start moving forward.
● Shift to the second gear after pushing the clutch to go faster. It will disconnect the power between the engine and the transmission gearbox. You just need to repeat this process to change the gear so that you can slow down or speed up the car.
That is the most basic way to describe how the manual transmission works, and how to get the vehicle to work properly using one.
Why Drive Manual?
There are definitely pros and cons to driving a manual transmission. As a con, they can most definitely be less efficient than automatic or CVT transmissions. Gas mileage usually favors the automatic. When it comes to performance, the manual is usually better, unless of course you compare to the paddle shifters that have no clutch. A clutch-less shifter changes gears faster than a human, and therefore can give better results racing. The advantage of a manual in racing is being able to control exactly when the transmission shifts, and optimize engine RPMs. I can attest to the increased enjoyment of driving a manual. You also have to focus on the road and cannot text or distract yourself while driving. It is an important skill to be able to drive a manual for travel as well. Most European countries’ vehicles have a manual transmission and it can be difficult to find an automatic to rent while on your trip.