How to Determine the Type of Transmission You Have
Any vehicle has one of two kinds of transmission: manual or automatic. While there are only to kinds of transmission available, the types of transmission are numerous; you would probably see over two hundred different types of transmission on the road. They type of transmission is determined by the manufacturer and you will want to match to the original the parts whenever you can. To do this, you will need to be able to identify what type of transmission you have, so here are some ways you can determine that information.
Check the owner’s manual
More often than not, the easiest place to look for the type of transmission you have will be in the owner’s manual. The owner’s manual is famous for being overlooked when it comes down to it, but it contains all of the necessary information, including part information, that you will need as you drive and maintain your vehicle. If by chance the owner’s manual is not helpful, fortunately, there are other methods of learning the information you need.
Look under the hood
When you look under the hood of most vehicles, you will see a sticker that lists various components and types of parts that are in the car. You should be able to see what type of transmission is inside simply by looking at this sticker. Some of the standard ones you will see will include the 4, 6, or HEMI transmissions.
Check the label on the driver’s door
Another place to look for the type of transmission is going to be on the driver’s door. There is typically a white label on the door that provides some basic information about the car and what it needs to function properly. On this list, you will see a TR symbol with a number code next to it. A dealership service department or any car service shop can help you identify what transmission is related to that number code.
Identify the oil pan manufacturer
When you are really down to your last ditch effort, you can always try to identify the manufacturer of the oil pan that works with the transmission. The oil pans that are made for automatics are typically in odd shapes; for example, some of them have been known to look like the state of New Mexico. This will not give you a very specific answer in what type you have, but it could give you a starting point if all else fails.
Look up the VIN
If you are really struggling to find what type of transmission you have or you do not know what you are looking for, you can always call and have the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) looked up in a system. Armed with the VIN, the shop you call can look up the type of transmission and help you figure out what parts are needed for its repair or replacement.
You should be able to tell what kind of transmission you have simply by how you change gears, but knowing what type of transmission can be a little more complicated unless you know where to look. Fortunately, there are many different places you can look and many service shops willing to help you find out the information you need. If you find yourself in need of help with your transmission, contact a specialist to see how they can help you.