How Do Automatic Cars Work?

There are many different types of cars these days, but the most common types are manual and automatic cars. As technology has gotten more advanced, more types of cars have been created like hybrid and electric cars, but manual and automatic cars seem to be the most popular ones in today’s time. Manual and automatic cars both have their own advantages and based on popular demand, these cars are the ones that mostly run on the streets.

These days, the demand for people wanting to take driving lessons has increased immensely. For teenagers, driving a car on their own is a very big rite of passage. For others, it is a sign of freedom and independence. In the Dublin area, most people who want to learn how to drive flock to National Driving School as it has many great reviews and has produced a large number of responsible and great drivers. At National Driving School, each student gets the option of learning how to drive a manual car or an automatic car. This choice is often based on what car the student has back home, but most drivers also choose what to learn to drive based on ease and accessibility. National Driving School has a professional and well-trained team of driving instructors who aim to bring out the best of driving abilities of the students. If students want to learn how to drive an automatic car, it is a good idea to thoroughly understand all the intricate details of the car so that in case anything goes wrong, they can take certain steps to correct the situation. This is why this article aims to explain the working of an automatic transmission gearbox.

How does automatic car work?

Most people who drive manual cars are stunned by the fact that in an automatic car, you no longer have to switch gears while driving. This really simplifies the process of driving as most people struggle with the changing gears bit when they are driving. When this tricky part is removed, driving on a whole becomes easier and more enjoyable. But how does the car even do it? This is all due to the incredible design and planning of the automatic transmission gearbox.

So let’s break down the functioning of an automatic gearbox, shall we?

In basic terms, the engine of your car is connected to the automatic transmission gearbox at the bell housing. Now you may ask, what is bell housing? The bell housing is basically where the torque converter is for automatic vehicles. For manual vehicles, the bell housing is in the clutch. This is why automatic cars do not have a clutch pedal because, for the automatic transmission gearbox, it is completely redundant.

What is a torque converter? It firstly connects the engine to the automatic (or manual) transmission and gets the wheels of the car going. An automatic transmission consists of planetary gearsets which are responsible for regulating the gears while driving. They provide different gear ratios for different speeds of the car. If there are no gear ratios, then the car will only be able to run at one constant speed, something which isn’t desirable and is also highly dangerous.

The torque converter

The torque converter usually consists of 4 parts – the impeller, the turbine, the stator, and the lock-up clutch. Now let’s describe each of these 4 parts of the torque converter. The impeller is the part of the torque converter which is connected to the engine. The turbine is something which runs on viscous force. It also is the part which is connected to the input shaft. Fluid forces are what drive the engine and ultimately rotate the turbine. This whole process is how the torque gets received by the automatic transmission. The fluids which generate torque are constantly being circulated between the impeller and the turbine. The stator is the part of the torque converter which is between the turbine and the impeller. Its purpose is to reduce as much churning losses as possible. It also helps in the redirection of the fluid forces to the turbine and the impeller. The stator in no way increases or multiplies the torque, but it does provide with some additional torque when you are pressing on the brakes of the car or when you are accelerating the car. The lock-up clutch is something which ensures that the turbine and the impeller are connected mechanically. This mechanical connection is very important as it makes sure that the torque of the engine is being sent to the input shaft at all times.

The planetary gearset

Now that we have an understanding of how the transmission receives power from the engine, let’s try and understand the concept of planetary gearsets. The reason why it is referred to as the planetary gearset is that it consists of one big wheel in the center and several small wheels around it, like the planets in our solar system. The whole concept of this gear set is that by using the brakes and accelerator,you can control how the movement of certain parts of the gearset. This way you can limit the movement of some wheels, resulting in changing gears. This is how different gear ratios are controlled. This is a unique gear system which is exclusive to the automatic transmission.

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