How does a manual transmission work

How does a manual transmission actually work?

Of axles and gears

Inside a manual transmission is like an old car: hot, tight and oily. Mechanical components are moving everywhere and it looks like there is no system in the chaos. The first impression is of course wrong. The main components are two shafts on which gears are mounted. One is the drive shaft. This is connected to the engine on one side and the wheels on the other. Important: This axis has a gap, so this connection is not direct. On the other side is the so-called pre-document wave. Gears of various sizes are mounted on both shafts and are in constant contact with one another. It is important that these gears are not permanently welded to the drive shaft, but can rotate freely.

The switching process: a complicated undertaking

But how should the power from the engine be passed on to the wheels if the gears on the drive shaft are not even stuck? This is exactly where the sophistication of the system lies. Because instead of connecting individual gears, the gears are connected to the shaft instead. And where do the different turning speeds come from now? From the depths of physics. The principle is simple: if a small gear drives a large one, the speed is reduced, but the force (= torque) increases dramatically. Again, if a large gear drives a smaller one, the speed will increase but the force will decrease. This means that a lot of power can be used in first gear at low speed for driving uphill or for acceleration. In fifth gear, when the speed only needs to be maintained, less power is required. The engine can run at its ideal speed, saving fuel and delivering maximum performance.

Why does reverse gear sound so strange

By the way: Do you know why reverse gear often makes a high-pitched, whirring noise? This is due to the grinding of the gears: the forward gears are usually ground round. This ensures smoother running. Only reverse gear usually runs on straight gears. So every single tooth creates a crack. At high speeds it sounds like a buzz.

Without manual transmission: cars with only one gear

Speaking of buzzing: why don't electric cars actually have a gear shift? This is due to the different types of engines. Electric motors deliver the same power at every speed. In theory, this means that you can accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h as quickly as from 100 to 200 km / h. In practice, many other factors such as air resistance and battery performance also play a role.