TRANSMISSION, DIFFERENTIAL & FOUR WHEEL DRIVE
The transmission is the link between the engine and the wheels of your vehicle. Whether you drive a manual, automatic, or semi-automatic vehicle, the transmission plays a crucial role in the performance and reliability of your vehicle. The transmission keeps engine output matched with speed and load conditions. Because engines operate at high rotational speeds, the transmission reduces engine output speed and transmits torque through the differential, driveshaft, and wheels. As engine speed varies, the transmission switches between the gears that influence the amount of torque applied to the wheels. Transmission fluid performs a variety of duties, depending on the type of transmission. Transmission fluid acts as a cooling agent and protects the transmission by lubricating the internal gears and preventing corrosion and rust. In a manual transmission, clutches and gear shifts provide pressure and force—like engagement and disengagement—while in an automatic transmission, transmission fluid provides these same operational functions of force and pressure.
AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION REPAIR
A transmission is responsible for transferring power from the engine to the drive wheels and helping the engine accommodate a range of speeds. An automatic transmission routes power from the engine to the drive wheels while shifting between gears automatically so you can concentrate on regulating power and speed. Automatic transmissions contain the following major components: a planetary gear unit, a hydraulic pump, and a torque converter. The primary difference between an automatic transmission and a manual transmission is the torque converter, which operates similarly to the clutch. The torque converter automatically adjusts to engine speed and supplies power to the wheels of the vehicle. Torque converters rely on transmission fluid to help lubricate internal gears and components, though transmission fluid also helps with the force and pressure needed for switching gears. Throughout an automatic transmission’s life, various maintenance services can help prevent major repairs and unexpected breakdowns while extending the life of your transmission.
CLUTCH ADJUSTMENT AND INSPECTION
In a manual transmission, the responsibility of the clutch is to engage and disengage the transmission from the engine. A clutch in a manual transmission allows the engine to continue turning even when the vehicle is stopped. In an automatic transmission, this process is regulated by the torque converter and transmission fluid. The clutch operates two shafts, one in the transmission and the other in the engine, and uses friction to keep the transmission connected to the engine. If the clutch is engaged, the pressure plate pushes against a flywheel and joins the transmission to the engine. If the clutch is disengaged, the pressure plate pulls away from the flywheel, separating the transmission from the engine. The clutch makes switching gears possible. Some transmissions use hydraulic clutches while others use cable clutches. In both cases, routine clutch maintenance is required to keep all moving components operating efficiently. If you are concerned about the functionality of your clutch, be sure to contact us about a service.
When a vehicle is running, the engine is always turning. The transmission connects to the engine and supplies power to the wheels, but this linkage cannot be constant, since a vehicle is not always moving. In a manual transmission, the clutch is used to engage and disengage the transmission and the engine. The clutch operates two shafts: one shaft connects to the transmission and the other connects to the engine. Clutches use friction to keep the transmission connected to the engine. When the clutch is disengaged, the pressure plate pulls away from the flywheel and separates the transmission from the engine. When the clutch is engaged, a pressure plate pushes against a flywheel and joins the transmission to the engine. In a manual transmission, a clutch allows your engine to continue spinning even when the vehicle is stopped. Switching between gears in a vehicle with a manual transmission is made possible by operating the clutch.
MANUAL TRANSMISSION REPAIR
Manual transmissions allow drivers to shift between gears manually while simultaneously regulating power and speed. Manual transmissions have a clutch, flywheel, gear selector fork, collars, gears, and shafts. A shaft supplies power from the engine to the transmission. The clutch is responsible for connecting and disconnecting the shaft from the transmission. The stick shift controls the gear selector fork by choosing gears. These gears and shafts are responsible for routing power from the engine to the transmission and to the drive wheels. Manual transmission fluid cleans the internal gears, shafts, bearings, and other components. Transmission fluid also helps to regulate the internal temperatures of the transmission. A manual transmission service will ensure that your transmission fluid is clean and the rest of the components are fit for operation.
The differential is responsible for transferring engine power to the wheels. It also compensates for and adjusts to the differences in wheel speed as your vehicle moves through turns. When your vehicle navigates a turn, the inside wheel turns slower than the outside wheel, which has to turn faster in order to keep pace with the inside wheel. The differential allows the wheels to turn at different speeds while maintaining control. A vehicle without a differential would hop and bump along the pavement for an unstable, shaky ride. Four wheel drive vehicles are equipped with a differential in front and back, while rear wheel drive vehicles are equipped with a differential in back. A front wheel drive’s differential, called the transaxle because of the functional combination of the front axle and transmission, is located between the front wheels. All-wheel drive vehicles are equipped with a differential between both the front and rear wheels with a transfer case between them. The case adjusts for speed differences between the front and rear wheels. In all vehicle applications, the differential is primarily responsible for routing and regulating power between wheels.
Many vehicles need a properly working differential system for the smoothest ride possible. While all vehicles have some variation of a differential system, the location of the differential depends on the drive type of the vehicle. The differential system delivers power to the wheels while allowing the wheels to turn at different speeds. As your vehicle maneuvers through a turn, each wheel on the car travels a different distance. The two wheels on the outside of the turn travel a farther distance than the two wheels on the inside, and the back wheels cover a different distance than the front wheels. The differential permits the vehicle to complete turns easily despite these differences. Differential fluid keeps the differential system running smoothly by reducing heat and resistance caused by moving parts.
FOUR WHEEL DRIVE INSPECTION
Four wheel drive allows a vehicle to supply power to all four of its wheels. Drivers depend on four wheel drive systems to give them better traction on snow, ice, and off-road terrain. Vehicles with 4WD can be full-time or part-time. A part time 4WD system can be engaged and disengaged as desired by the driver and is designed to be used under conditions where poor traction is an issue. Standard full-time 4WD systems consistently deliver power to all four wheels, and can be operated while driving on any type of surface. The goal of a 4WD system is to send torque to the wheels to prevent slippage. A four wheel drive system is composed of various parts. These include the differentials, hubs, and the transfer case. A transfer case is responsible for delivering power to both the front and rear axles, while hubs help secure the wheels. To keep a 4WD vehicle performing as intended, drivers should watch over the different parts of the system and have them routinely inspected during a 4WD service.
Locking hubs, also known as free wheeling hubs, play an important role in four wheel drive systems. Usually located on the front wheels of part-time 4WD vehicles, locking hubs are used to engage the front wheels and transform them into drive wheels as needed. Without locking hubs, a vehicle will not be able to enter into four wheel drive mode. In addition, locking hubs are responsible for disengaging a vehicle from four wheel drive. Working hubs on a part-time 4WD vehicle are important if a driver wants the benefits of each drive mode. Four wheel drive allows a motorist to maintain a high level of control when driving on rough terrain and in harsh environmental conditions, while two wheel drive provides better fuel economy and prevents excessive tire wear. Locking hubs are useful because they make switching between these modes possible.
TRANSFER CASE REPAIR
Four wheel drive systems operate with the help of a transfer case, a type of gearbox that is usually located behind the transmission. The purpose of the transfer case is to help the vehicle apply the correct amount of torque required by the driver. In 4WD and all wheel drive vehicles, the transfer case uses gears (and often a chain if the vehicle is a modern make or model) to help the vehicle enter into or maintain four wheel drive. All transfer cases also use a lubricant to keep the gears operating correctly. Because transfer cases play a key role in the performance of a 4WD vehicle, we advise our customers to watch over and repair their respective transfer cases when needed. Depending on the vehicle, recommended transfer case inspection intervals will vary. As such, drivers should look to their owner’s manuals and vehicle manufacturers for recommendations.
TRANSFER CASE SERVICE
A transfer case is one of the serviceable components in a four wheel drive system. Present in both full-time and part-time 4WD vehicles, the transfer case operates with the help of gears and, in many modern cars, a chain. Usually, a transfer case indirectly connects to the transmission’s rear. The transmission sends power to the transfer case which in turn sends the power, or torque, to the front and rear drive shafts. Because of the transfer case, the wheels can spin at the same speed, and the vehicle is able to enter or maintain its four wheel drive. Often, part-time 4WD vehicles use a transfer case with an extra set of gears that allows for the creation of extra torque through the selection of a high or low gear range. This can make it easier to climb steep hills and mountains. Transfer cases also contain a lubricant that keeps gears running correctly. Because they are a significant part of the 4WD system, it is important that drivers maintain them.