What is a Four-Speed Transmission?

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A manual four-speed transmission for a car is basically the count of the speeds minus the reverse gear. Look in the owner's manual of a car to determine what speed the transmission is with information from a certified master mechanic in this free video on car maintenance and auto parts.

Part of the Video Series: Auto Parts & Adjustments
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Video Transcript

Good afternoon, my name is Tom Brintzenhofe, certified master mechanic from Redding, Pennsylvania and today we're going talk about what is a four speed transmission. Now you have two different kinds of transmissions. You have automatics, you have manuals. A manual four speed is if count the gears that are on your gearshift knob not including reverse, you would have reverse, which doesn't constitute a gear, you'd have first gear, second gear, third gear and fourth gear. Obviously fourth gear is a four speed transmissions. You have five speeds, three speeds, six speeds in manual transmissions, but it's basically count the amount of speeds you have minus your reverse. Your reverse does not count. When you come to an automatic, it's basically the same principle. Usually you can look on the gear shift column. Usually you'll see one, two, three and a drive with an overdrive with a circle around it. That's your fourth speed, you have first gear, second gear, third gear and your overdrive would be your fourth gear. Sometimes they're not marked. The easiest way to tell is if you look in your owner's manual it usually does tell you if you have a three or four speed or a five speed. But the difference is basically just the amount of speeds you have in your transmission. A lot of vehicles are made out there with different transmissions in them. But the biggest thing is to look on your gearshift knob, they're all marked 3 speed, 4 speed, 5 speed and like I said, don't count the reverse and that will pretty much tell you whether you have a 3 speed, 4 speed or 5 speed.


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