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Most gearheads know how a transmission works. Or at least, kind of. They know how to operate it and that each flick of the gearshift selects a different ratio to connect the engine to the wheels. But the nitty gritty of just exactly how each gear is selected might be able to be explained, but picturing how each cog fits into place and how the gear stick gets involved often gets confusing quickly.


And that’s where this animation found by Reddit user GoDuke4382 comes in:

An explanation from the original post clears it up even further:

“The red, green, and blue parts are all connected together all the time and are always spinning. What you’re doing is moving the purple collars (which are all always connected to the teal shaft) to engage them with one of the many blue gears and make the teal shaft spin. Unless we’re talking about reverse, in which case another gear is added in which makes the teal shaft spin the opposite way.”

Now you know exactly how the different gears are selected and engaged. But don’t get too cocky, manual transmissions are simple compared to the rest of today’s transmissions.

Related: This program is the best way to save the manual transmission from extinction

Let this nifty animation demystify the magic of transmissions @AutoGuide / Twitter
Anthony Brown About the author:
Anthony Brown's crowning achievements are rebuilding a $500 Honda VFR and getting rid of his wife's beige Camry. He has owned nine cars in the last ten years, none of them automatic.
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