Basic Components of an Automatic Transmission
If you are like many car owners, chances are that you may be slightly baffled by your car’s transmission systems. In fact, the automatic transmission is one of the most complex and sophisticated parts of any vehicle. By learning a bit about how your transmission works, you will be able to identify transmission problems before they become serious. A transmission shop that offers rebuilt transmissions and auto transmission service near Bethesda will be able to answer any questions that you may have about your car’s transmission. Read on for an overview of some of the basic components of your car’s transmission.
Planetary Gear Set
At the heart of any automatic transmission lies the planetary gear set. The planetary gear set gets its name due to its striking similarity to the way that our plants orbit around the sun in the solar system. Each planetary gear set is composed of a sun gear and planet gear. These gears arrange themselves in different combinations as you travel down the road and change speeds.
Unlike a manual transmission, which contains a clutch, the automatic transmission is equipped with a component that is called a torque converter. The job of the torque converter is to deliver power from a car’s engine to its transmission system. When the engine is idling and the car is not in motion, the torque converter absorbs the engine’s energy and prevents it from stalling. If your car experiences torque converter issues, you may find that your vehicle drives erratically.
Every automatic transmission requires transmission fluid in order to operate. The transmission fluid is controlled by a component that is known as the valve body. In order to push transmission fluid through the system, the valve body opens and closes as needed. Modern transmissions have computerized systems that control the valve body functions, as well as many other essential operations of the transmission system.