How Does a Diesel Transmission Work?

Diesel Performance Parts


Most of my articles centering around writing and the art of writing, but my husband is really into cars and I wanted to know a little bit more about it, so I decided to learn how his diesel pickup truck works.

A diesel transmission doesn’t differ that drastically from a manual transmission. In fact, ‘Diesel Transmission’ isn’t technically an accurate term. Diesel vehicles have engines that have been built to work specifically with diesel fuel.

The transmission that works within that engine mirrors the transmission found in a petrol vehicle. However, it is stronger because it has to contend with the considerable power diesel engines generate at lower RPMs.

how a transmission works

What a Transmission Does

It is easier to understand the minute differences between the workings of a diesel and gas transmission if you know what a transmission does in the first place. A car’s transmission is critical to the operations of the vehicle.

This is because it is responsible for the movement of power between the engine and the wheels. It will adjust the amount of power moving between these two components depending on the state of the car.

For instance, when it comes to a halt, the transmission stops the flow of power to the wheels. During this period, the engine is idling. A car’s transmission can affect its acceleration. The component performs, more or less, the same functions in both diesel and petrol vehicles.

Types of Transmissions

In both diesel and petrol cars, you have manual and automatic transmissions:

1). Manual

Manual transmissions constitute gears along input and output shafts. They work with pressure plates, flywheels, and clutches. Drivers can engage and disengage the clutch. The manual configuration of the vehicle allows the driver to select the right gear for each situation.

Manual transmissions are available in various types, including dual-clutch, unsynchronized, automated, single-clutch, and preselector.

2). Automatic

Automatic transmissions are found in vehicles in which gears are changed via a torque converter. Automatic transmissions are nothing new. They first entered the picture in the early 1900s.

diesel car transmission

Transmissions in Diesel Vehicles

What makes a transmission in a diesel car so special? As was mentioned above, diesel and gas transmissions are not that different. Most of the differences emanate from the fact that diesel engines will provide more torque at a lower speed than a gas engine.

With petrol engines, you get quieter operations and high speeds. Their transmission is lighter in many ways. Diesel engines have to make do with heavier parts, including gears, cogs, universal joints, and propeller shafts. They are also thicker.

On the one hand, diesel engines (with their transmissions) are more efficient than their petrol counterparts because they generate a lot of usable torque at a low RPM.

On the other hand, it is sometimes necessary to pair diesel vehicles with special transmissions. A stock transmission is likely to suffer considerable wear and tear in light diesel trucks that do a lot of heavy-duty towing and hauling.  For example my husband has a suncoast transmission.  According to him it is the best diesel transmission money can buy.

It is more than possible to find experts that will build a transmission capable of meeting the unique requirements of your vehicle. People flock to diesel vehicles because they promise enhanced power and performance. But there is little point in investing in a powerful diesel engine if you intend to pair it with a lackluster transmission.