Most people could not tell you the difference between the starter and the transmission in a car. That is fine because that is the job of your auto mechanic anyway. However, if you wanted to know the difference between this part and that, and know what your mechanic is talking about when he or she discusses transmission repair, here are a couple of the main components to an automatic transmission, their descriptions, where to find them on your car, and what typically goes wrong with them when they need to be fixed:
The Planetary Gearset
It is an odd name for the largest part a car's transmission, but when you see it outside of the vehicle, it makes sense. You see something that looks like a planet; it is nearly round and appears to spin. Inserted in one end of the planet gearbox that you have the sun gear, or gears, as some cars have two "suns." on the opposite end, you have a ring gear that cups the end of the planet gearbox and spins around that end of the planet gear. Altogether, it looks like a rod that is fat in the middle and stretched on both ends.
This part of the transmission is located under the car, almost right in the middle between the front tires and plugged into the back part of the engine block. Typically, the gears, or very large screw-type components, wear down after a while and finally lock in place never to turn again. The transmission can also burn out if driven without fluid for a long time. Either way, you will need more than just replacement parts; you will need an entirely brand new planetary gearset.
The Transmission's Hydraulic System
The hydraulic system of a transmission is the subset of the planetary system. This is a set of pressurized bands that keeps the gearset bands, and the clutch system locked together while also keeping it moving and lubricated. When the bands or clutches fail, there is neither enough pressure nor enough transmission fluid to keep it all moving.
The hydraulic system needs to be checked for leaks periodically, but at least that can be done during an oil change and inspection. If leaks are noticed, your mechanic or oil change specialist will notify you. That gives you some time to have them checked by a mechanic and tightened or repaired so that you do not have any surprises later. Contact a company like AC Transmission Centers North for more information and assistance.