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Push Button Transmission: A Must-Know Guide

Pros and cons come with push button transmission shifters. Drivers must learn how to use them properly as they become more common. Read on to learn more about how technology is transforming cars. 

What car has push button gears?

The push button transmission (PBT) replaces the three-speed manual. With PBT, there is no shift lever in the cab. Combining gears is quick, straightforward, and uncomplicated, freeing up cab space. 

First push button transmission invented by Chrysler. A push-button gearbox transfers power to the wheels easily. At first, automobiles had a two-speed transmission, but later had three speeds. Automobiles began using lever systems after 1965.

Packard also adopted push-button transmission. The series was also canceled due to fuses, electricity, and power faults.

Push-button gear selection became standard on all Chrysler brands in 1956, including Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto, and Chrysler, including small models. Push-button automatic transmissions were introduced in 1954 with the PowerFlite.

A three-speed model, the Torqueflite was introduced in 1956 and  after 1965, buttons were replaced by levers. 1956 was the year Packard introduced its electrically controlled Ultramatic gearbox. When moving out of park on a slope, it had problems with blown fuses and electrical power.

Edsel had Teletouch, a push-button electromechanical shifter, but it didn’t last long. Mercury also supplied push buttons in the late 1950s. In 1938, GM’s Hydramatic introduced clutchless shifting, but shifting with a push button had become less common.

How Pontiac Push Button Transmissions Work

You can activate various features by quickly pushing your push button start without holding it or putting your foot on the brake, as with traditional key ignition. Each push of the button turns the ignition key one position at a time. 

You can select the gear beforehand by pressing the shift control button, but the electrical connection will only be closed when you fully depress the clutch pedal. As a result, the transmission shifts into neutral and then into the desired gear.

There are different types of transmissions available

In today’s world, automobiles are constantly changing, developing, and improving in terms of their efficiency. There are three types of transmissions available: manual, automatic, and CVT.

Manual Transmissions

It’s a manual transmission. You’re more likely to recognize it as the conventional type. When needed, the driver shifts gears manually. In manual gearboxes, more things may go wrong, so they take longer than other types.

Manual transmissions are notoriously difficult to learn; they require more focus and maneuverability.

Automatic Transmissions

While manual transmissions are simpler mechanically, they are also more complicated. Those who don’t have time to change gears can opt for a car with a continuously variable gearbox. It is the Ford Windstar that uses automatic transmission. 

With this gearbox, the ratios change automatically as the car drives, allowing the driver to concentrate on the road instead of shifting gears. During drive, the transmission shifts gears when the car accelerates and slows down, handled by a computer.

As you speed up, your engine noise will increase, then decrease as your automobile shifts gears. A gearbox with five to ten gears will work better at different speeds. With more gears on the gearbox, a vehicle can operate at more speeds, improving fuel efficiency.

Automated gearboxes are more convenient and contain more complex elements, so they fail more often. It can be quite expensive to maintain or replace automatic gearboxes.

Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT)

Having more gears will improve performance across a wider speed range. Since it uses two pulleys (rubber or metal) to produce different speeds, it is also called the shiftless gearbox. Simulates engaging gears of different sizes with both pulleys. 

Due to the pulleys’ ability to enlarge and decrease their effective diameter, the CVT can move seamlessly between many useful gears. In the mid-2000s, European and Japanese automakers began to use the CVT gearbox. 

The BMW Ctransmission uses CVT. On most new cars, the gearbox type is listed on the bumper sticker. Researching online will help you figure out what type of transmission a used car has if you’re buying it.

Despite increased fuel economy and infinite ratios, CVT transmissions have significant limitations. This gearbox is not suitable for off-road use because of its low torque handling ability. 

CVT gearboxes cannot offer engine braking. The complexity of these transmissions requires regular repairs and maintenance. Over time, belts may break down due to excessive use. If you want to repair your gearbox, make sure the business can work with CVT transmissions; a dealer is also an option, but it will be very expensive.

Push Button Transmission Car Pros And Cons

Keyless push-button ignition is also known as push-button start. When you use the keyless ignition system, you can keep the key fob in your pocket. The car automatically locks and turns off when you exit.

You can only start the vehicle with the correct key fob if you have the antennas on your person. Keyless backup systems are also available.


Keyless systems offer convenience and security. Your car is far more difficult to steal if a burglar needs your key fob. Keeping the key fob in your pocket is also easier. Your keys won’t get lost in your pockets or handbag. 

In several systems, the vehicle’s computer looks for rolling codes sent by the key fob. The car will start only when the code is obtained. Several systems use computer-encrypted microchips. Further protection is provided by these features.


Keyless systems have some disadvantages. It is inevitable that parts wear out or fail in a car. The manual key will have to be used until the system is restored. 

A key fob might be easily misplaced. Before leaving the car, some drivers forget to switch to the “park” state. Carbon monoxide may leak into the house if this occurs in an enclosed garage. Make sure you keep an eye out for your key fob.

Disappearance of push button transmission

After the 1964 model year, Chrysler Corporation abruptly removed push button transmissions from its automobiles. Chrysler’s push button automatic transmission was not outlawed. 

The decision was instead based solely on the commercial judgment of a new management team, which tried to get as far away from The Forward Look as possible. 

If Chrysler had wanted to preserve the buttons after 1966, there would have been legal complications. On the other hand, a column shift lever was chosen long before the federal government became involved.

Push Button Transmission Cars: Are They Back?

World-class manufacturers are bringing back push-button transmissions, which haven’t been around for decades. In the next few decades, Toyota, Ford, and BMW will offer push-button gearboxes in their vehicles.

More features are coming to automobiles. Driving and comfort will be more reliable in the future.


Keyless systems offer increased security and convenience. Push button transmissions are fine if you know the dangers, carry the key fob when you leave, and know how to use the manual transmission if anything goes wrong. 

Push-button start systems are convenient, but they also have certain disadvantages. Before making any decision, consider carefully.



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