Did You Know That the Most Important Part in Your Automatic Gearbox Is Actually a Fluid?
If you own a car that is fitted with an automatic transmission, then you may often wonder what type of magic happens within this gearbox, in order to adjust the speed of the vehicle in accordance with road conditions. In truth, the 'box is a very complex mechanical feature that relies on planetary gears, torque converters and clutch packs to operate in harmony and keep the vehicle moving, but one of the most important components is actually a liquid. In fact, the hydraulic fluid is way more than just a lubricant, so what should you know about this critical part?
As mentioned, there are some very "trick" mechanical parts within an automatic transmission and the way that they operate can be quite difficult to understand. Yet as complicated as they are, they would all fail quite quickly if it were not for the hydraulic fluid.
Every single component within the automatic transmission relies on a constant supply of this fluid and it has to be delivered under the right pressure as well. If it were to fluctuate for even a few seconds, catastrophic damage could be caused to the 'box and the car would go no further.
Within the gearbox is a maze of individual tubes and channels that are designed to deliver the fluid under pressure to the torque converter and the other components. Some of this action is computer-controlled by the internal brain to keep everything in order.
The fluid must also be kept at the correct operating temperature if it is to remain fully functional and retain its critical properties. For this to happen, the fluid must be sent through a special chamber that is similar to a radiator, before being sent back into the transmission through a separate tube.
Many components within the transmission are soaked in fluid on a constant basis in order to deal with the high levels of friction and elevated temperature that would otherwise lead to failure. The clutch packs, in particular, rely on friction to operate and this means that they must be constantly coated in oil to do their job.
With so much at stake, it is very important to ensure that the fluid is kept in good condition and replaced at recommended intervals. If it's been some time since you did so, take your vehicle in for car servicing as soon as possible.