How does a manual transmission work?


There will be series of questions on your mind if you own a stick shift transmission car. For example how does a manual transmission work? When the shifter is moving, what is moving inside the manual transmission? will satisfy your curiosity. Check out now!

There will be series of questions on your mind if you own a stick shift transmission car. For example how does a manual transmission work? When the shifter is moving, what is moving inside the manual transmission? will satisfy your curiosity by answering different questions about manual transmission.  So just sit down and read on!

Watch the video below to have a better knowledge about “How does a manual transmission work

What is manual transmission?

First and foremost, before you know how does a manual transmission work? You should know what a manual transmission is. You can call it a manual transmission, or manual gearbox, or standard transmission, or stick shift is what a driver or a vehicle owner uses to switch gears while driving. In modern cars nowadays, the shift stick is vertically mounted and connected to the console.

What is manual transmission?

The clutch disc is essential to the changing of gear which is situated between the engine and the transmission. And it is the 3rd pedal by your left directly beside the brake pedal. When you want to engage, you step on the clutch, choose the gear you want to choose then engage the gear again. If the clutch is engaged too fast it will stall the engine and if you engage the clutch slowly it will wear out. Studying how to drive an automatic car is relatively easier than studying how to drive a manual car. It is said that there is always this connection between you and your vehicle when it is a manual car but you don’t feel the same with an automatic car. Another important fact is that if you can drive a manual transmission car, you will be able to drive any other type of car.

In most expensive cars, you get to have a 6 speed manual transmission, while in normal cars, you get to have a 5 speed manual transmission.

Parts of a manual transmission

This hardware diagram of the gear box will make you understand the complexity and how this works.


Various components of a manual gearbox

1. Clutch pedal and clutch

The clutch pedal is what disengages the clutch when it is depressed, and what transmits torque to the transmission is the clutch.

2. Collar and selector fork

It is something that looks like an arm and also helps to move the collars along the shaft at the output. You can as well select different gears you want with the collar by placing it to a particular gear that you want.

3. Flywheel

Sends torque engine to the clutch disc which makes interactions with the smooth surface of the wheel.

4. Synchronizers

This helps the collar and gear engage with each other and also match each others speed in case there is a difference.

5. Lay shaft and output shaft

The gear of the layshaft merges with the gear of the output shaft when the layshaft receives the engines power.

6. Gears


The working mechanism of a manual transmission.

You will find different types of gears in various sizes inside the gear box. The smaller cars produce less torque so that your car can run at a higher speed but the larger cars have various teeth and to curtail the speed of the car, they produce more torque.

How manual transmission works

So now let’s find out what happens when you shift gears and also how you shift gears in manual transmission cars

  • You will need to push down the clutch pedal for it to disengage the clutch before you switch the car key on. This will cut the power between the engines input shaft and the transmission. This will make the engine be alive without you giving power to the whole car.
  • Put the gearshift in first gear. The layshaft gear is connected to the first gear. The input shaft of the engine has a connection to the layshaft through another gear.
  • A shifting fork is attached to a synchronizer collar. This assists the driving gear transfer power to the output shaft and synchronizes their speed if there is a difference. Then later you put the car in gear when the first gear locks with the collar.
  • Press the gas pedal gently then release your foot from the clutch gently. The gearbox will connect with the engine, and then the engine starts moving.
  • Then to go faster, press on the clutch to shift to second gear. The power between the transmission gearbox and the engine will disconnect. So to slow down or speed up the car you just need to repeat this process again and that’s all.


Now we hope that has satisfied you about the question how does manual transmission work. Now we hope if you are asked anything about manual transmission, you should be able to say what you know.

Meanwhile, you can check out for more tips and answers on our car maintenance section for more juicy tips.

Bello Hammed