what transmission do i have

What Transmission Do I Have: A Comprehensive Guide for Vehicle Owners 2023

There are several transmission types in operation in different vehicles that ply the road. These various types of transmission are designed with unique operations; hence, understanding what type of transmission you have will help you maximize the unique operations.

If you’re asking, “What transmission do I have?” Various approaches that will help you unravel the details of your car’s transmission have been exposed in this article.

Types of Transmission

The automotive industry is characterized by various kinds of innovations from different vehicle manufacturers.

Just like the types of vehicles and models improve from one dispensation/year to another, car manufacturers design different types of vehicle transmission in virtually all models or series.

As a result, some vehicle models come with a different transmission type almost every year.

Understanding the types of transmission will help you decide on the most suitable vehicle for you. Also, it will give you an overview of your dream car if it’s your first time buying one.

Some of the common types of transmission systems include the following.

Manual Transmission

The manual transmission is operated with a gear selector or lever and a clutch, controlled by a pedal close to the accelerator and brake pedals. The driver engages the lever and the clutch for each gear shift.

Automatic Transmission

Automatic transmission is the most common type of transmission system. It is designed with a series of numbers and alphabets such as P, D, R, N, and L.

The gear is also manually selected with the lever; however, the gear-shifting works automatically and does not require switching the gears back and forth.

Continuously Variable Transmission

As the name implies, the continuously variable transmission has a variable drive ratio that is continuous. It is designed to use pulleys, belts, and sensors to engage a steady acceleration without pausing to change gears.

Automated Manual Transmission

Automated manual transmission is more or less a combination of manual and automatic transmission systems. It has a mechanical clutch that is engaged by electronic, hydraulic, or pneumatic control.

This transmission system allows the driver to either engage a completely manual gear shift using the gear selector or an automatic forward gear-shifting. It can also be controlled by paddles or buttons on the vehicle’s steering wheel.

How Do I Find Out What Transmission I Have?

You can find out the type of transmission in your vehicle by seeing details from the manufacturer’s manual, checking the white card on the car driver’s door, inspecting under the hood, and deciphering the VIN number. Kindly follow the procedure below to simplify the process.

Check your car manufacturer’s manual

The vehicle manufacturer’s manual is the first place to check for most details about your car. For example, most owners’ manuals contain information about the model, body type, engine specifications, transmission type, etc.

Inspect your car’s underhood

The vehicle’s underhood inspection is another approach to help figure out the transmission type. So, you may want to open and lift this component. 

Then, check for any sticker around the engine compartment containing details about the transmission, such as 4–speed, 5–speed, or 6–speed transmission.

Check the driver’s door white card.

Most vehicles have a small white card attached to the driver’s door. The card contains some tiny black lettering that reveals details about the vehicle. Some of the details include the car manufacturing year, engine specifications, transmission type, etc.

You will also find a “TR” sign with a few numbers close to it. The numbers reveal the type of transmission. However, you may need an expert auto technician to explain the transmission type.

Decode the car’s VIN number

Lastly, your car’s VIN number can also reveal details about the manufacturing year, engine code, transmission type, etc. Simply check for the VIN on the small white placard around the driver’s door or on the dashboard.

You may have to contact a professional auto mechanic to read the VIN and identify the transmission type. You can also use an OBD 2 scanner to read the Vehicle Identification Number and decipher which number reveals the transmission type.


How do I identify a Ford automatic transmission?

The pan is the main source of identifying a Ford automatic transmission. This part is located beneath the transmission.

So, the following procedure will help you identify your Ford’s automatic transmission:

  • Check the pan at the bottom area of the transmission.
  • Carefully count the total number of bolts on the pan.

The C3, C4, and C6 have 13, 11, and 14 bolts, respectively. In contrast, the Ford-O-Matic has 15 bolts. Furthermore, the 4R55E, A4LD, and 4R44E transmissions have a total of 18 bolts.

Meanwhile, 4R70W, AOD, and AODE transmissions have a total of 14 bolts. Lastly, the large 4R100 and E4OD transmissions have 20 bolts each.

What vehicles have a 4r75e transmission?

Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury are some of the vehicle brands with the 4R75E transmission.

This transmission is found in the Ford Explorer, Ford Thunderbird, Ford E150 vans, Ford F150 pickup trucks, Ford Expedition, Ford Mustang, and Ford Crown Victoria.

The Lincoln Mark Vills and Town cars, as well as the Mercury Grand Marquis, Cougars, Marauders, and Mountaineers, are some other vehicles with the 4R75E transmission.

This transmission is quite popular in the line of vehicles with the Automatic Overdrive designed by Ford Motors. The Ford AOD vehicles are designed with a 4–speed automatic transmission system, where the 4th gear is uniquely designed as the overdrive.

What do the numbers on a transmission mean?

The numbers on a transmission represent the highest gear that the car’s automatic transmission would attain as you drive with the gear selector positioned on that particular number. They are basically the gear levels, as in the case of a manual transmission.

Meanwhile, the number 1 represents gear 1, which is the best gear position for driving down hilly or steep terrain. Number 2 represents gear 2, while number 3 represents gear 3. These gears are best for climbing hilly areas and driving on rough terrains.

Therefore, if you engage a particular gear, your car will operate within that particular gear lever and below. For instance, gear 2 will combine the operations of gear 2 and 1. While gear 3 will combine 3, 2, and 1.

What do the letters on an automatic transmission mean?

The letters on an automatic transmission define the specific operation that the letter controls. For instance, most automatic transmission vehicles have the following letters: P – R – N – D – L.

The letters signify the following: P means Park, R means Reverse, N means Neutral, D means regular Drive mode, and L means Low gear. These operations are unique to the purpose for which they are designed in the automatic transmission system.

Will my VIN number tell me what transmission I have?

Of course, the 17 digits VIN are not only figures. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) tells a lot about your car, including the transmission system.

The 4th to 9th digits in the VIN number are the VDS – Vehicle Description Section. Meanwhile, the 4th – 8th digits reveal the vehicle’s model, restraint system, body type, engine code, and transmission type.

Final thoughts

Have you been contemplating, “What transmission type do I have?” I’m pretty sure that your contemplations have been resolved in this article.

Although there are numerous types of vehicle transmissions in the automotive industry, identifying your car’s transmission only takes a moment when you know where or what to inspect.

If you’re still not sure what transmission type you have, kindly go over the recommendations above in this article one more time.

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