How Gear Ratios Work

A lot of the technological equipment that we use today contains gears. Furthermore their use has been noticed a long time ago as they are the foundation of various mechanical systems. In order to understand how gear ratios work the best thing to do is analyze the internal mechanisms of a car. The most important gears in a vehicle are the ones in the transmission and the ones used in the rear axle in order to reduce the gear power.

A gear system works by connecting a drive gear to a driven one. The drive gear is the one that supplies the power and inflicts the rotation motion to the other gear. The power is transmitted through direct contact as the gears are connected by their teeth. This is the easiest way to understand how gear ratios work. Connect a gear to another one that is twice as big. As the big gear makes a full rotation the smaller one will make two. This means that the small gear turns twice as fast as the big one and the gear ratio is 2 to 1. This process is used in order to amplify torque, which is the rotation force.

The gear ratio is used in a car’s transmission in order to increase acceleration. As the car’s speed increases, it requires less torque meaning that the first gear suffers a gear reduction which gets smaller as the car accelerates. The smaller the ratio is the greater the top speed is. On the other hand a small ratio also comes with a low speed acceleration.

In order to understand how gear ratios work within a transmission you should construct a basic sketch of the gears. You have a big gear with inside teeth. Withing it you have a smaller gear which inflicts the spinning power. Between the large outer gear and the small inner get you also have three medium sized gears. All the gears are connected with each other and move at various speeds depending on their size. This system is called a planetary gear and it is used for reverse.

Depending on the kind of transmission that the car uses, the gears are arranged in certain designs that also contain conical gears, pinion gears, ring gears and so on. In order to determine a car’s gear ratio you count the number of teeth of both the smaller pinion and the larger ring gear. You divide the large gear’s number of teeth by the small pinion’s number of teeth. The result represents the number of times that a driver gear rotates while the large gear makes a single rotation. It is believed that the perfect ratio is 3.73. This ratio offers optimal top speed acceleration without having the car struggle with a low speed acceleration.