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A Guide to Your Car Gearbox
Mar 8, 2024

A Guide to Your Car Gearbox: Definition, Types, and Functions

If you have ever driven a car, you would know how important the gear is. By switching gears, you can have better control of the car’s speed. The gear is an essential component of an overall system called the gearbox, also commonly referred to as transmission. Understanding the gearbox, its functioning, and its types can help you get a better awareness of your car and ultimately, become a better driver.

Understanding Gearbox and its Functioning 

You may know that the gearbox helps you control the speed of the car. But how does it do that? Here’s how:
  1. The gearbox is located between the engine and the wheels and consists of several gears, shafts, and bearings.
  2. The gearbox uses the power from the engine to drive the wheels forward. This is done by engaging a set of gears that shift as per the speed and torque required.
  3. The gears are organised in a way that one can enjoy different speeds by shifting them while maintaining the engine performance.
  4. As you might know, the car gearbox is primarily controlled by the driver through a lever present beside the driver’s seat. In manual transmission, the driver must physically move the lever to switch gears and change speeds. In automatic transmission, however, the gearbox uses electronic sensors to switch gears as per the car’s speed and load.

Functions of the Gearbox

Here are some important functions a car’s gearbox is responsible for:

Changing the gear ratio 

As explained earlier, the gearbox changes the gear ratio/allows the driver to change the gears within the car to match the driving speed and torque.

Transferring power to the wheels

The gearbox transfers the required amount of energy from the car’s engine to its wheels. By ensuring only the required power is transferred, the gearbox helps enhance fuel efficiency and the car’s overall performance.

Controlling the speed

One of the most commonly known uses of a gearbox is that it allows the driver to control the speed, whether it is to slow down or pick up.

Providing torque 

The gearbox also enables a car to drive more easily through steep routes by utilising the engine’s torque effectively.

Types of Gearbox 

Whether you are a frequent driver or are learning to drive, chances are you have heard the terms ‘manual’ and ‘automatic’. These are essentially the main two types of gearboxes or transmissions, explained in detail below:

1. Manual gearbox 

With a manual transmission, the driver has the power to shift gears manually. They can move the lever or the gearstick of the gearbox with their hands. This allows them to have absolute control over the gear changes. This type of transmission is popular in India due to its affordability and easy-to-maintain aspect.

2. Automatic gearbox

As its name suggests, an automatic gearbox is designed to take care of shifting gears with no need for human intervention. This type of transmission is equipped with an Electronic Control Unit, which aids in shifting gears once the electronic sensors sense the need to do so. While automatic transmission can make the driver’s riding experience more comfortable, its maintenance and repairs can be costly. Automatic gearboxes can come in different types, such as: a. Automated manual transmission b. Torque converter c. Continuously variable transmission d. Dual clutch transmission As the above points state, the gearbox is a crucial part of any car. In case of an unfortunate situation where it suffers damage, the repair costs can be quite high. Moreover, dealing with the repairs can be stressful as well. This is where comprehensive car insurance can come to the rescue.

How Car Insurance Can Financially Protect Your Gearbox 

Firstly, it is important to note that there are two main types of car insurance: mandatory third-party insurance and comprehensive insurance. As per the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, it is mandatory to have third-party insurance for a vehicle. However, only comprehensive car insurance plan can cover damages to the gearbox.* 1. You can opt for specific add-ons, such as engine protector cover with your comprehensive car insurance plan to get coverage for the gearbox. If you do not have it with your current plan, you can opt for it during your upcoming car insurance renewal.* 2. If your gearbox suffers involuntary damage due to certain events, the costs for repairing the same can be covered when you raise a claim on your car insurance.* 3. Since repairing the gearbox can be an expensive affair, opting for an add-on that covers damages to it can be financially beneficial in the long run. Claims are subject to terms and conditions set forth under motor insurance policy. Whether you are buying a new plan or are carrying out your car insurance renewal, remember to choose covers that include the gearbox. With the gearbox in good condition, the car can function smoothly and ensure a peaceful driving experience.   *Standard T&C apply. Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.

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