8 Parts of a Manual Transmission (and Their Functions)

A manual transmission system is the original type of transmission system for automobiles. It requires the driver to do more work because they must shift a gear stick and operate a clutch pedal as they’re driving. You’re essentially switching gears manually while the vehicle is in motion.

There is a stick shifter that is mounted in the central console area, and it sticks out vertically, making it easy to grab and move. The gear stick is connected to the transmission system. That is how you’re able to change gears with it.

In between the internal combustion engine and transmission, there is a clutch disc. To the left of the brake pedal is the clutch pedal. The driver presses down on the clutch pedal to release the clutch disc and remove the power connection between the engine input shaft and transmission.

By doing this, the engine will still be running, but it won’t be powering the vehicle. This is important for when you want to make stops with your vehicle without the engine stalling.

The manual transmission system is also called the manual gearbox. Most manual transmissions have 5 or 6 speeds that operate via a series of gears. You need to switch gears at the appropriate times while driving, according to how fast you need to go or how much power you need.

Related: 8 Parts of an Automatic Transmission

Manual Transmission Components

There are several components which make up the manual transmission system. Each one of them is crucial for the gearing shifting and clutch releasing abilities to take place. If one of these components malfunction, then you won’t be able to drive smoothly.

Below is a list of the components of a manual transmission system.

See Also: 140+ Parts of a Vehicle (Reference Guide)

1) Clutch Disc


The clutch disc is what assists in transferring torque from the engine to the manual transmission system. The disc is controlled by the driver stepping on the clutch pedal.

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2) Clutch Pedal

clutch pedal adjustment

The clutch pedal is actually a separate gear which is controlled by hydraulics. It allows for the clutch to be disengaged by pressing on the clutch pedal with your foot.

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3) Synchronizers

synchro ring damage

The synchronizers stimulate the engagement between the collar and the gear so that their speeds can be synchronized. Sometimes the speeds could end up being different, so you need the synchronizers to prevent that from happening.

4) Flywheel

bad flywheel symptoms

The flywheel is a circular component which sends torque from the engine to the clutch disc.

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5) Gears

manual transmission gears damaged

The transmission has gears of all different sizes. There are big gears with lots of teeth and small gears with fewer teeth. Big gears generate extra torque to slow down the speed of the vehicle. Smaller gears generate less torque, which allows the vehicle to travel faster.

Related: 9 Causes of a Transmission That Won’t Engage

6) Selector Fork

This is a gear which looks like a mechanical arm. It allows the collars to move on the output shaft.

7) Stick Shift

manual gear shift

This is the component which you control with your hand. It is the vertical stick which protrudes out of the central console. It is connected to the gearbox for you to switch gears with it.

8) Collar

When you select a gear, the collar locks the selection in place and allows the torque to past to the output shaft.


If you have never driven a manual car before, it’ll take some time to get used to. You need to practice the best times to engage and disengage the clutch. It is not like driving an automatic where all of this is done for you.

Although manual cars take more work to drive, they are easier to maintain, get better fuel economy (in many cases), and make driving more fun (for many). Unfortunately, more and more car manufacturers are no longer offering manual transmissions as an option due to low interest.


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