Basic Terminology for Auto Transmission Repair

2020 mustang gt500 dual-clutch transmission

When comes time to repair your auto transmission, you need to know some basic terminology. A transmission is not easy to fix and is done best by professionals. However, knowing the terminology will help you to know what is wrong with your car and what repairs you need.


The transmission in your car is a gearbox that transmits powers from the engine to the live axle. The power is transferred as the gears rotate. As the engine turns one gear, that gear in turn moves another gear. This continues until the power has been transferred to the axle.

Manual and Automatic Transmission

If your car has manual transmission, you put the car into a specific gear. This gives the driver more control, but also allows for more mistakes. In an automatic transmission, the gears are changed for you. This type of transmission has become very popular. Drivers have one less thing to worry about on the road.

Planetary Gearset

The planetary gearseat is found in the center of your transmission. This component creates different gear ratios. These ratios control how much power is transferred and the transmissions output. A planetary gearset is not easy to find, and can be one of the more expensive components if you need to repair your transmission.


A clutch allows the engine to disengage from the wheels without stopping. If the clutch is engaged, the engine and transmission gears rotate at the same speed. The flywheel is connected to the engine, while the clutch plate is connected to the transmission. When these two pieces connect, the gears in the transmission begin turning.


The gearshift tells the transmission what to do, how much power should be transferred into the axle. The axle will then rotate the wheels of the car. The gearshift will tell the transmission to go into first, second or third gear. It will also tell the transmission if you need to reverse. All this communication is done through the driveshaft.


The drivetrain is made of several components. It tells the drive wheels which direction to go and how fast to turn. It also supplies the wheels with extra power for those difficult hills. The drive wheels are the wheels that are powered by the engine. Cars may have the drive wheels in the front or back of the car. Cars with 4-wheel drive have drive wheels in the front and back of the vehicle.

Soft and Hard Parts

If you take your car in to be repaired the technician may tell you that they have to order hard parts. These parts are not found in transmission repair kits. They can be hard to find and expensive. Soft parts are found in transmission repair kits. These parts are cheaper than hard parts but are only for the most basic repairs.