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Beyond engine oils: Automatic transmissions are taking over

Automatic transmissions are changing our roads and your workshop! Smooth gear shifting and quick acceleration, these energising applications are part of the journey towards modern mobility. Let us show you how these transmissions are slowly conquering the market.

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Making a vehicle move is just a matter of enough power output from the engine— right? Wrong! Without a transmission system to convert the output of the engine to a workable level, it is impossible to get the wheels rolling. Engines are designed to operate at high rotations per minute, or RPM. Wheels just can’t rotate at the same speed as the crankshaft, because if they would than you would drive over 700km/h, impossible! This is why the transmission system balances the engine output by reducing the RPM whilst boosting the torque of the vehicle. 

Throughout the years, different types of transmission systems where designed to make shifting gears more efficient, silent or powerful. The result is a broad range of different transmissions, including a collection of fully automatic systems. The biggest advantage of these systems is the obvious fact that they are… Automatic! The driver doesn’t need to clutch or indicate gears at all. The automatic transmission system needs no intervention from the driver to convert the raw engine output to a workable level, making it a true driving experience game changer.

Slowly conquering

Let us take a look at the importance of automatic transmission systems in today’s mobility before we delve deeper into the different types of transmission systems. Automatic transmission systems offer a range of different benefits compared to manual transmissions. The pursuit of noise and vibration free gear shifting found a great sparring partner in  automatic transmission systems. Combine this with environmental drivers like increased fuel economy and reduced emissions and you get a market conquering combination. 
 
The benefits of automatic transmissions are ground breaking, but are they convincing enough to conquer the market? The latest market studies reveal that automatic transmission types are slowly gaining ground on manual transmission systems. By 2020, around 50-60% of all vehicles sold will be equipped with automatic transmissions. In 2010, this was just 30-40%, meaning that big changes are coming to the road and to your workshop routine! Mainly the North American, Japanese and Korean equipment manufacturers are responsible for these high numbers, but other regions like Europe also see a stable growth of automatic transmission market share.

Types of automatic transmission systems

The growth within the automatic transmission market is divided between different system designs. All of these designs offer different benefits, covering the desires and needs of almost each and every driver. Let us show you the benefits of three of the most common automatic transmission systems. 

• Stepped automatic transmission 
This type of automatic transmission system is similar to a manual transmission but it does the clutching and shifting completely autonomous. It offers a powerful driving experience, allowing the driver to get the most out of his engine. More moderate drivers can benefit from the stepped automatic transmission’s excellent fuel efficiency. This system is not to be confused with the automatic manual transmission, as it has comparable features but it requires the driver to indicate the desired gear.  

• Continuously variable transmission
This automatic transmission system is unique of its kind. Thanks to the drive belt system it has no real gear shifts, resulting in an incredibly smooth driving experience. On the other hand, this transmission system has low torque capacity, leaving drivers looking for quick acceleration and raw power output unsatisfied. Thanks to the compact design it is efficient and light, resulting in an additional increase in fuel economy.

• Dual-clutch transmission
Quick and sharp gear shifting are the trade mark properties of the dual-clutch transmission. It balances raw torque with smooth driving, placing it almost in-between the stepped automatic transmission and continuously variable transmission. Just like the continuously variable transmission it is a compact design, allowing the driver to cut down on fuel cost. 

This brief overview of automatic transmission systems has prepared you for our next blog. Find out how Champion can improve your daily driving and workshop experience by giving you the tools to get a head start during these exciting times.

Summary

• Transmission systems convert the energy coming from the engine into workable output. 
• Automatic transmissions are gaining market share at a steady pace.
• More and more vehicles with automatic transmission will enter workshops.
• Different automatic transmission types offer different advantages.