What Is Semi-Automatic Transmission? 3 Things for Students in Automotive Technology Training to Know

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Semi-automatic transmissions are manual transmissions without a clutch

Otherwise known as an automatic manual transmission or a clutchless manual transmission, the semi-automatic transmission provides an alternative to its automatic or manual counterparts. Although semi-automatics do have things in common with your more typical transmissions, they are also very different with their own set of quirks, benefits, and drawbacks.

Keep reading to discover three things you should know about semi-automatic transmissions.

1. Semi-Automatic Transmissions Are Most Similar to Manual Transmissions

Semi-automatic transmissions are much more like manuals than they are like automatics. In fact, the transmission is practically identical to a manual one. As car enthusiasts and students in an auto mechanic training program may know, in a typical manual vehicle the driver steps down on the clutch pedal when they want to change gears. The clutch pedal is connected to the transmission through cables and pipes.

In a semi-automatic there is no clutch pedal. Instead, there is a computer that uses processors and sensors to automatically depress the clutch when the driver signals by shifting the gear stick. Driving a semi-automatic would feel very similar to a manual drive, except that you don’t have to press on the clutch pedal to change gears. Instead, you just shift the stick and the car does the rest.

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Semi-automatic vehicles use computers to detect when to depress the clutch

2. Pros with Careers in the Auto Industry Know They Create an Easy Driving Experience

Semi-automatics facilitate a smooth driving experience, which is why they are typically offered in high performance vehicles and race cars. However, some cars in the mid-range market do offer semi-automatic transmissions, such as the Ford Fiesta and Ford Fusion.

Semi-automatics provide a smooth ride, because instead of a human operating the clutch, a computer is in control. A computer can react much more quickly than a driver’s reaction time can, so the process eliminates the delay between pressing down on the clutch and shifting. This helps reduce jolts that may be experienced during gear shifts while driving a manual.

Many drivers love the idea of semi-automatic transmission, because they get to experience the best of both worlds. While still maintaining control of the gear shifting, drivers don’t have to deal with the pesky clutch pedal. This is especially appealing for car owners who commonly drive in stop and go city traffic.

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Semi-automatic transmissions are useful when driving in crowded city traffic

3. Pros with Careers in the Auto Industry Know They Are Prone to Malfunctioning

Semi-automatic transmissions are considered more complex than traditional automatic and manual transmissions. Consequently, professionals with careers in the auto industry might know that semi-automatics are prone to failures and malfunctions. The repairs can be pricy, so replacing the entire part is sometimes the best course of action when working on vehicles with semi-automatic transmissions.

A lot of vehicles with a semi-automatic transmission will offer an automatic driving setting as well. Unfortunately, while operating the vehicle on the automatic setting, gear changes can be extremely clunky—the opposite of what semi-automatic transmissions want to achieve. Despite these drawbacks, many feel that the semi-automatic transmission and its perks are well worth the sacrifice.

Do you love cars? Consider enrolling in an automotive technology training program!

Contact Automotive Training Centres today to learn more.

Categories: ATC News, Toronto
Tags: auto mechanic training program, automotive technology training, careers in the auto industry

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