Best mileage: Automatic or manual?

Best Mileage: Automatic or Manual? When shopping for a vehicle that will return the best gas mileage, an old maxim was that a vehicle equipped with a manual transmission -- one with a clutch that must be shifted by the driver -- would be more economical than the same vehicle using an automatic transmission. Is that still true today? It was back when the average automatic transmission had only three gears and was a lot less efficient in transferring power to the rear wheels. But today's automatic transmissions sort through as many as eight forward speeds under all types of driving conditions to deliver optimum performance. And the new Continuously Variable Transmissions, or CVT, use a series of belts to...

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What is a Transmission?

What is a transmission? Your car’s transmission is the most complicated and least understood major component in your car or truck. In today’s cars, the transmission is a combination of sophisticated hydraulics and computer-controlled electronic components. The transmission is a mechanical component designed to transmit power from a vehicle’s engine to the drive axle, which makes the wheels drive the vehicle. By varying the gear ratio, the transmission alters the levels of power and speed to the wheels. For example, in low ranges, the transmission provides more power and less speed; in high ranges, just the opposite is true. This reduces the load on the engine, while increasing the vehicle’s speed and fuel economy. Some vehicles use a clutch to...

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How driving Conditions and Habits affect Your Automatic Transmission

How Driving Conditions and Habits Affect Your Automatic Transmission If you were in the market for a used car, this ad might sound pretty good. But it may not be as good a deal as it first appears. Vehicles driven occasionally or for short distances are often subjected to unusual wear and strain. For example, cars that are consistently driven short distances never have the opportunity for the engine to warm up to normal operating temperature. This can cause excessive engine wear. Low mileage transmissions subjected to city or stop-and-go miles usually experience far more wear than transmissions with the same number of highway miles. The mileage doesn’t create as much wear as the number of times the transmission shifts...

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