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What Transmission Do I Have?

Published Fri December 1, 2017

what kind of transmission do i have


Your vehicle’s transmission is the most complicated system in the entire car—and arguably the most important. As such, if you ever need to have repairs made or a rebuilt, you’ll need to know exactly which type your vehicle uses.

We don’t just mean manual versus automatic. Hopefully, you know the answer to that one! No, actually, there are many different types on the market today—upwards of 200—and even a single vehicle model may have three or four different types, just depending on the size of the engine. Many vehicle owners frankly have little idea which specific type they are driving.


Discovering Your Transmission Type


Your transmission type is just a good thing to know, and worth sleuthing out. The question is, how do you determine which type you’re working with?


  • A good place to start is to check your owner’s manual. The manual won’t always specify which type is being used, but it often will. If you find the information here, well, your job is done!
  • If you can’t find the information in the owner’s manual, you can always check under the hood. Look for a sticker denoting a 6, 8, or HEMI transmission (the three most common varieties among newer vehicles). Again, not all vehicle manufacturers include these stickers under the hood, but many do.
  • A third place to look is on the driver-side door. Open it up and take a peek at the white sticker with tiny black lettering on it—lettering that provides some basic information about the vehicle. What you’re looking for here is the abbreviation TR, followed by a numeric code. Get the code, call your local dealership, and ask them to decipher it. This should tell you the type.

Doing Some Further Digging – Transmission VIN Number


Hopefully, one of these three avenues will provide you with the information you need about your vehicle transmission—but what if you look in all three places and still come up short? Are these still options for figuring out your transmission type?


That’s when you may need to enlist the help of some professionals. Make sure you have your VIN handy, and call up a dealer or a mechanic who can input that vehicle identification number into the computer system. Usually, this will help you uncover the type. And if all else fails, you can always schedule an inspection. It never hurts to get this important automotive system looked at, and preventative maintenance attended to—and while the technicians work on it, they can let you know exactly what you’re working with.


Knowing this information will make things easier on you the next time you need to have the car serviced; you can skip over all this detective work and simply request the servicing that is needed for your vehicle type. Ultimately, the more knowledge you have about your vehicle, the better you can take care of it.