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Engine vs. Transmission: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on February 28, 2024
The engine is the power source of a vehicle, converting fuel into motion, while the transmission is a system that transmits the engine's power to the wheels, controlling speed and torque.
Engine vs. Transmission

Key Differences

The engine is the heart of a vehicle, generating power by burning fuel. The transmission, however, is a complex system that takes the engine's power and transmits it to the wheels, allowing the vehicle to move at different speeds.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024
Engines operate through internal combustion (in most vehicles), converting fuel into mechanical power. Transmissions work by varying the gear ratios, effectively controlling the power output to the wheels for efficient driving at varying speeds.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024
Engines come in various types, such as gasoline, diesel, electric, and hybrid. Transmissions also vary, including manual, automatic, continuously variable (CVT), and semi-automatic.
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Feb 28, 2024
The engine's size and type determine a vehicle’s power output and fuel efficiency. The transmission plays a crucial role in managing how that power is delivered, affecting the vehicle's responsiveness and fuel economy.
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Feb 28, 2024
Engine maintenance is vital for optimal performance and longevity, requiring regular checks on oil, coolant, and filters. Transmission maintenance, though less frequent, is crucial for smooth gear shifts and overall vehicle health.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Function

Generates power by burning fuel
Transmits engine power to the wheels
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Feb 28, 2024

Mechanism

Operates through internal combustion
Varies gear ratios for speed control
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Feb 28, 2024

Variations

Gasoline, diesel, electric, hybrid
Manual, automatic, CVT, semi-automatic
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Impact on Vehicle

Determines power output and fuel efficiency
Controls power delivery, affects responsiveness
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Feb 28, 2024

Maintenance

Regular checks on oil, coolant, filters
Requires maintenance for smooth gear shifts
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Feb 28, 2024
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Engine and Transmission Definitions

Engine

Converts fuel into mechanical power.
The car's engine roared to life as I turned the key.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Transmission

Controls vehicle speed through gear shifts.
Manual transmission allows the driver to control gear ratios directly.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Engine

Made up of pistons, valves, and cylinders.
The engine's pistons are crucial for its smooth operation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Transmission

Helps optimize fuel consumption and performance.
A good transmission can significantly improve fuel economy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Engine

A machine that converts energy into mechanical force or motion.
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Jan 18, 2024
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Transmission

Transmits engine power to the vehicle's wheels.
The transmission ensures the right amount of power reaches the wheels.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Engine

Such a machine distinguished from an electric, spring-driven, or hydraulic motor by its use of a fuel.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Transmission

The act or process of transmitting.
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Jan 18, 2024

Engine

A mechanical appliance, instrument, or tool
Engines of war.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Transmission

The fact of being transmitted.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Engine

An agent, instrument, or means of accomplishment.
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Jan 18, 2024

Transmission

Something, such as a message, that is transmitted.
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Jan 18, 2024

Engine

A locomotive.
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Jan 18, 2024

Transmission

An assembly, as in a motor vehicle, that transmits power from an engine to a driving axle, usually having a manually or automatically adjustable mechanism to control the balance of power and speed. Also called gearbox.
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Jan 18, 2024

Engine

A fire engine.
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Jan 18, 2024

Transmission

The sending of a signal, picture, or other information from a transmitter.
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Jan 18, 2024

Engine

(Computers) A search engine.
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Jan 18, 2024

Transmission

The act of transmitting, e.g. data or electric power.
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Jan 18, 2024

Engine

To equip with an engine or engines.
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Jan 18, 2024

Transmission

The fact of being transmitted.
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Jan 18, 2024

Engine

A large construction used in warfare, such as a battering ram, catapult etc.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Transmission

Something that is transmitted, such as a message, picture, or a disease; the sending of such a thing.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Engine

A tool; a utensil or implement.
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Jan 18, 2024

Transmission

(biology) The passage of a nerve impulse across synapses.
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Jan 18, 2024

Engine

A complex mechanical device which converts energy into useful motion or physical effects.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Transmission

(automotive) An assembly of gears through which power is transmitted from the engine to the driveshaft in a motor car / automobile; a gearbox.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Engine

A person or group of people which influence a larger group; a driving force.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Transmission

(legal) The right possessed by an heir or legatee of transmitting to his successor(s) any inheritance, legacy, right, or privilege, to which he is entitled, even if he should die without enjoying or exercising it.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Engine

The part of a car or other vehicle which provides the force for motion, now especially one powered by internal combustion.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Transmission

(medicine, biology) The passing of a communicable disease from an infected host individual or group to a conspecific individual or group.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Engine

A self-powered vehicle, especially a locomotive, used for pulling cars along a track.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Transmission

The act of transmitting, or the state of being transmitted; as, the transmission of letters, writings, papers, news, and the like, from one country to another; the transmission of rights, titles, or privileges, from father to son, or from one generation to another.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Engine

(computing) A software or hardware system responsible for a specific technical task (usually with qualifying word).
A graphics engine
A physics engine
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Transmission

The right possessed by an heir or legatee of transmitting to his successor or successors any inheritance, legacy, right, or privilege, to which he is entitled, even if he should die without enjoying or exercising it.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Engine

(obsolete) Ingenuity; cunning, trickery, guile.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Transmission

The mechanism within a vehicle which transmits rotational power from the engine to the axle of the wheel propelling the vehicle; it includes the gears and gear-changing mechanism as well as the propeller shaft.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Engine

(obsolete) The result of cunning; something ingenious, a contrivance; (in negative senses) a plot, a scheme.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Transmission

The process or event of sending signals by means of a radio-frequency wave from an electronic transmitter to a receiving device.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Engine

(obsolete) Natural talent; genius.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Transmission

The act of sending a message; causing a message to be transmitted
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Engine

Anything used to effect a purpose; any device or contrivance; an agent.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Transmission

Communication by means of transmitted signals
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Engine

To equip with an engine; said especially of steam vessels.
Vessels are often built by one firm and engined by another.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Transmission

The fraction of radiant energy that passes through a substance
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Jan 18, 2024

Engine

To assault with an engine.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Transmission

An incident in which an infectious disease is transmitted
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Engine

To contrive; to put into action.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Transmission

The gears that transmit power from an automobile engine via the driveshaft to the live axle
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Engine

To rack; to torture.
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Jan 18, 2024

Transmission

Determines whether a vehicle is FWD, RWD, or AWD.
The car's AWD transmission improves traction in slippery conditions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Engine

Natural capacity; ability; skill.
A man hath sapiences three,Memory, engine, and intellect also.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Transmission

Crucial for smooth and responsive driving.
The automatic transmission makes driving easier and more comfortable.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Engine

Anything used to effect a purpose; any device or contrivance; a machine; an agent.
You see the ways the fisherman doth takeTo catch the fish; what engines doth he make?
Their promises, enticements, oaths, tokens, and all these engines of lust.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Engine

Any instrument by which any effect is produced; especially, an instrument or machine of war or torture.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Engine

A compound machine by which any physical power is applied to produce a given physical effect.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Engine

To assault with an engine.
To engine and batter our walls.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Engine

To equip with an engine; - said especially of steam vessels; as, vessels are often built by one firm and engined by another.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Engine

Pronounced, in this sense, .) To rack; to torture.
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Jan 18, 2024

Engine

Motor that converts thermal energy to mechanical work
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Jan 18, 2024

Engine

Something used to achieve a purpose;
An engine of change
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Jan 18, 2024

Engine

A wheeled vehicle consisting of a self-propelled engine that is used to draw trains along railway tracks
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Jan 18, 2024

Engine

Central component that drives a vehicle.
The new model has a more powerful engine for better performance.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Engine

Burns gasoline, diesel, or uses electricity.
The diesel engine is known for its fuel efficiency.
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Jan 20, 2024

Engine

Size and type affect vehicle's power and efficiency.
Sports cars often have engines designed for high speed.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Is transmission necessary for all cars?

Yes, to manage the power delivery to wheels.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

Can a car run without an engine?

No, it's the primary source of power.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

What’s the role of transmission in a car?

Transmits engine power to the wheels, controlling speed.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

What types of transmissions are there?

Manual, automatic, CVT, and semi-automatic.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

How do engines use fuel?

They burn fuel to create motion.
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Feb 28, 2024

Can engines be electric?

Yes, electric motors are used in EVs.
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Feb 28, 2024

What does an engine do in a car?

Generates power to drive the vehicle.
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Feb 28, 2024

What’s better, diesel or gasoline engines?

Depends on the need for power and fuel efficiency.
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Feb 28, 2024

Can transmission affect fuel economy?

Yes, efficient transmission improves fuel economy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

How often should engines be serviced?

Regularly, as per the manufacturer's recommendation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

What happens if the engine fails?

The car won’t be able to generate power.
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Feb 28, 2024

Can I switch transmission types in a car?

It’s possible but complex and costly.
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Feb 28, 2024

What's a turbocharged engine?

An engine with a turbocharger to boost power.
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Feb 28, 2024

Why do engines need oil?

For lubrication and cooling.
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Feb 28, 2024

Do transmissions need regular maintenance?

Yes, for longevity and smooth operation.
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Feb 28, 2024

Are manual transmissions more efficient?

They can be more efficient and give more control.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

Do electric cars have transmissions?

Some do, but many have single-speed gearboxes.
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Feb 28, 2024

How does a CVT transmission work?

It uses a pulley system for seamless gear ratio changes.
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Feb 28, 2024

Is it hard to learn manual transmission?

It can be challenging but offers more driving control.
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Feb 28, 2024

What's a hybrid engine?

Combines a gasoline engine with an electric motor.
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Feb 28, 2024

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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