Are Transmissions Made Up of Metal and Plastic Parts?

Are Transmissions Made Up of Metal and Plastic Parts?

The transmission is a complex and highly engineered component consisting of an array of interlocking metal gears, bearings, and shafts. While it might seem like transmissions only contain metal parts, it’s quite common to find plastic components in them. Continue reading more about transmissions and why they’re made up of metal and plastic parts.

Why Choose Plastic Over Metal Parts?

Plastic components are increasingly common in transmissions. They’re an efficient substitute for traditional metal parts for various reasons.

Simplifying the Powertrain Design and Production

Plastic components in transmissions are advantageous and versatile. Their precise molding capabilities make them ideal materials for components with intricate designs or complex shapes. The lightweight nature of plastic simplifies the assembly process and contributes to a simpler powertrain design overall.

Plastic parts can perform multiple functions, eliminating the need for separate metal components. Using them streamlines the manufacturing process and simplifies the powertrain’s composition.

Manufacturing plastic components is generally more cost-effective compared to metal as well. This is due to lower material costs, less demanding production techniques, and the ability to mass-produce components with high precision.

Accommodating the Weather With Plastic Parts

Weather affects transmission performance, so manufacturers must keep this in mind when choosing metal or plastic parts. Metal is susceptible to corrosion due to moisture and at risk of damage or misalignment due to fluctuating temperatures.

Plastic components, on the other hand, exhibit great resistance to environmental factors. They won’t rust, corrode, contract, or expand. Plastic will stay sturdily in place and function properly even in adverse weather conditions.

Which Transmission Components Will Always Be Metal?

Although plastic is often a great substitute, it doesn’t work for all transmission components. Metal is the sole material that will ensure transmissions operate safely and efficiently.


The gears are responsible for supplying power from the engine to the wheels. These transmission parts endure immense stress. Due to the need for impeccable precision, metal is the best material for the job.


The transmission relies on sturdy metal shafts to transfer power from the engine to the wheels through the gears. They endure both rotational and torsional stress, demanding material with exceptional strength and durability. This ensures efficient power transfer, even in challenging conditions.

Creating these shafts involves precise engineering and manufacturing. The metal undergoes treatment for additional resilience that plastic cannot replicate.

Metal Casing

The casing or housing encompasses the transmission. One of the most important roles the metal casing plays is establishing a thermal barrier that shields the internal components and withstands extremely high temperatures.

It provides a secure enclosure for the transmission fluid as well. To fulfill its duty as a protective shell, the casing must be a robust and heat-resistant material like metal.

So there’s a blend of metal and plastic parts in transmissions. Each component seamlessly works together to produce a fully functional modern vehicle.

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Article Author Details

Shea Rumoro