Sometimes you need to identify the type of car transmission quickly. You definitely won't recognize it by the shift lever. The easiest way would be to look at the vehicle documents or simply ask a dealer about your model. The complicated variant would be to take a closer look at the gearbox or a VIN (vehicle identification number).
VIN can tell you the different transmission numbers with a year of manufacture and cylinder for the respective engine. If there is a match with another make of car, this will be indicated in the overview.
What is VIN?
Until 1981, the VIN was the usual "ID" of a car. Since it was usually attached to a plaque in the engine compartment, tampering was easy. Since then, it has become standard that a vehicle identification number is also embossed into the sheet metal. This procedure is more forgery-proof and makes it more difficult to resell stolen vehicles. And the new designation is more precise because since the 1930s many cars have not had a separate chassis, but rather self-supporting bodies.
The 17-digit VIN consists of three blocks. The first three digits are the world manufacturer code and indicate, for example, that the vehicle was built in the USA by Ford. The digits four to nine stand for the vehicle description and are a key to the model, series, engine, and vehicle type.
You will find the VIN in the vehicle registration document, while an authorized dealer can easily find the number on the installed gearbox. In some cases, the number can be difficult to read when the transmission is installed because part of the bridge to the chainstay obscures this area.
Where you can find transmission type?
The gearbox code can be found directly on the gearbox, on the service sticker, or via the chassis number. The transmission identification plate is usually located on the bottom of the transmission housing.
Sometimes the sticker can also be found in the spare wheel well and on the T3 and T4 on the left A-pillar next to the fuse box. On the stickers, you can find the equipment level of the car, the
paint number, the engine code, and the gearbox code. In modern vehicles, the gearbox code is a three-digit combination of letters. In older vehicles, it can be a two-digit combination of numbers and letters.
Why is the gearbox code so important?
The gearbox code defines the transmission ratio in the gearbox. If a gearbox with the wrong number is installed, the car may not reach its top speed or the acceleration values may not be correct. It can also lead to increased fuel consumption when the gearbox was not designed for the engine combination.
How can I find how many gears my vehicle has?
The vehicle registration document contains a lot of technical data. The new vehicle registration document, Part I of the registration certificate, contains a total of 56 individually printed pieces of information about the registered vehicle, 6 of which relate to the axle loads alone.