Drivers who are used to a car with a manual transmission are usually very reluctant to use a car with an automatic transmission. Sometimes it’s essential to change the pace to break the routine. To help convince you, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about automatic transmission.
The Components of an Automatic Transmission
Since BVA cars do not have a clutch pedal, they have a hydrodynamic torque converter instead (internal clutch). It consists of a turbine, a stator, and a pump to keep the engine running. This gearbox also has planetary gear sets comprised of the sun gear, planet gears, and ring gear, each associated with a drive shaft. It is also equipped with a hydraulic control that controls gear engagement by acting on the speed and the location of the gas pedal.
The Use of the Gearshift and Pedals
Generally, the indicators on the gearshift lever have been standardized in Europe and the rest of the world since the 1970s. The letter :
– P or Parking, the alternative of a handbrake;
– N or Neutral, the equivalent of neutral;
– D or Drive, the equivalent of forward gear;
– R or Reverse, the reverse gear.
For French cars sold in France, the letter D is replaced by A (Automatic). You can also opt for sequential automatic transmissions. The letter S is added to the lever, corresponding to the Sport mode. The latter is very practical if you equip your car with a caravan or a trailer to support heavy loads. There is less wear and tear on the internal clutches. This type of automatic transmission also has a gear selector if you want to keep your old habit of changing gears manually but without being stalled.
There are a few techniques to adopt when using the pedals to reduce wear and tear. For example, when starting off on a hill, make the converter stick faster by pressing a little harder on the throttle. This will hold first gear a little longer to preserve your torque converter. If you want to try it first before buying one, renting a BVA car is a good idea.
The Advantages and Disadvantages
BVA cars are easier to drive than BVM cars because you no longer have to listen to engine revs to know if you need to shift gears. You also have the advantage of reducing your fuel consumption if you drive outside the city, thanks to the optimization of the engine speed. On the other hand, over-consumption can be observed when driving in the city, as the first gear may be engaged for several hours, especially during traffic jams.
It is essential to change the oil in the transmission every 60,000 to 80,000 km to extend its life and maintain the efficiency of the oil. Indeed, the oil helps lubricate the gear trains, synchronizers, and bearings. In addition, it allows the gearbox to resist pressure and shear and clean it of metal particles caused by wear. ATF Dexron, developed by General Motors, is the dedicated oil for automatic transmissions. It contains several additives such as anti-oxidation, pressure, anti-wear, etc. It is recommended that qualified technicians in general mechanics do this, as a car with automatic transmission is more complicated to maintain.