Automatic Second/Lower Gear and Wheel Cylinders?

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I have two questions i would like answered. I drive a '94 Toyota Corolla, it is an automatic, and i was wondering what is the purpose of second gear and low gear?

also i had the car serviced recenetly, and they told me i needed new wheel cylinders, i've heard of brake cylinders, what are wheel cylinders and what is there purpose?

posted by  triggerman

Having different gear ratios in a transmission, manual or automatic, allows for increased torque multiplication for acceleration or decreased torque multiplication for cruising. Simply explained, think of how happy your engine would be going down the road at 70mph in low gear, not very. The reverse of that is it also wouldn't be very happy trying to accelerate away from a stop in high gear.

As for wheel cylinders they are probably what you incorrectly term brake cylinders. A wheel cylinder is the device used in drum brakes that turns hydraulic pressure into mechanical force and pushes the brake shoes against the brake drum.

posted by  vwhobo

thanks a bunch, one more question, when these cylinders need to be replaced, will they make any kind of a sound or anything?

posted by  triggerman

No! I was wondering how they determined the wheel cylinders were bad. Essentially you can only have two problems with them.

1. Due to lack of proper maintenance, or the car has been parked for an extended period, they freeze solid and you no longer have braking action on the affected wheel. In your case no rear brakes.

2. The seals go bad and they leak. In this case you would be using brake fluid at a noticable rate, you would see leakage under the car at the rear wheels and you would experience a low brake pedal. If they're leaking you'll also need to replace the rear brake shoes because they'll be contaminated with brake fluid.

My advice is if you're having none of these problems, get a second opinion.

posted by  vwhobo

You are just to easy. The guy doesn't understand 1st-2nd gear, but will accept theory of hydraulic pressure wit no questions ? NAH :rolleyes: But again you are right on all points 8)

posted by  lectroid

I must have a special way of transferring my superior intellect across the internet. 8O Or maybe not. ;)

posted by  vwhobo

Could be, and it's a good thing that you will take the time to help all of us :D

posted by  lectroid

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