Push Button Transmission: Everything You NEED to Know

Like most automotive technology and developments, push button transmission shifters have pros and cons.

However, as they grow more common, all drivers must understand how to utilize them appropriately.

This article will provide you with more about the technological advancements in automobiles that alter the way people drive.

You can also read more about types of transmission to get more suggestions for your future vehicle.

What Is The Push Button Transmission System?

push button transmission

The push button transmission (PBT) is an improvement to the three-speed manual gearbox. There is no shift lever in the cab when the vehicle is fitted with PBT.

This frees up more cab space and gives combined operators a quick, straightforward, and uncomplicated method to change gears.

Chrysler invented the first push button transmission. He created the push-button gearbox as a handy way to transfer power from the source to the wheels.

The automobiles were first presented with a two-speed transmission, which was later expanded to three speeds. These types were phased out after 1965, and automobiles began to use lever systems.

Packard was also one of the first companies to adopt push-button transmission. They also discovered faults in the fuses, electricity, and power, causing the series to be canceled.

Cars That Had Push Button Transmission

Beginning with the 1956 model year, the push-button gear selection mechanism was utilized on all Chrysler brands, namely Plymouth push button transmission, Dodge push button transmission, DeSoto, and Chrysler, including its small versions.

The two-speed PowerFlite, launched in 1954 and available until 1965, is recognized as the first push-button automatic transmission.

The Torqueflite, like the Powerflite, was a three-speed model from 1956. After 1965, buttons were ruled out in favor of lever control.

Packard introduced an electrically controlled Ultramatic gearbox with a push-button shift in 1956. It had issues with insufficient blown fuses and electrical power, particularly while on a slope, moving out of park.

The unfortunate Edsel had Teletouch, a push-button electromechanical shifter, but the car didn’t live a long time. And in the late 1950s, Mercury also supplied push buttons.

Still, as we often say, nothing is new beneath the sun, and while GM’s Hydramatic introduced completely automated, clutchless shifting in 1938, shifting with a push button was no longer the norm.

How Does The Pontiac Push Button Transmission System Work?

Push button start works similarly to traditional key ignition; you may turn on various features by swiftly pushing your push button start without holding it and without putting your foot on the brake.

It is like turning the ignition key one position at a time with each push of the button.

The desired gear will be selected beforehand by pressing one button on the shift control, yet the electrical connection will only be closed when you depressed the clutch pedal completely.

The necessary transmission solenoids will be activated, causing the transmission to shift into neutral and subsequently into the desired gear.

Types Of Transmission

Automobiles are always developing, changing, and improving efficiency. This is also true in terms of transmission.

Manual, automatic, and CVT transmissions are the three types of gearboxes available, each tailored to unique purposes and driving styles.

Manual Transmissions

The original transmission is the manual transmission. It’s also known as the conventional type, although you’re more likely to recognize it shifts the stick.

The driver controls the transmission’s torque transfer, with manual gear shifting when needed.

The most basic sort of gearbox is the manual mechanically, and they take a longer time than other types since there is fewer things may go wrong

The manual transmission’s main major downside is the curve of learning; these cars demand more focus and maneuvering than other gearboxes.

Automatic Transmissions

Manual transmissions are less complicated mechanically, but they are also more difficult to carry out.

If a driver doesn’t have time to put in the extra effort required to drive a gear shift, a car with a continuously variable gearbox is an ideal option.

A prime example of a car model using automatic transmission is the Ford Windstar.

This mode of gearbox changes ratios automatically as the car drives, allowing the chauffeur to concentrate on the highway rather than moving gears.

When a vehicle is in drive, the transmission is handled by a computer and shifts gears as needed when the vehicle accelerates and slows down.

You have undoubtedly noticed engine noise increasing, then decreasing as you speed; this is your automobile shifting from one gear to the next.

Automatic gearboxes typically have five to ten gears, and the better your gearbox will work at various speeds.

More gears on the gearbox allows a vehicle to operate at a broader variety of speeds, resulting in fuel economy in general.

Automatic gearboxes are more convenient to use and contain more complicated elements, thus more likely to fail. Furthermore, automatic gearbox maintenance or replacement might be quite costly.

Continuous Variable Transmission

A gearbox with more gears will perform better across a wider speed variation.

However, how many gears can a gearbox have? There is a constant or endless amount thanks to continuous variable transmission (CVT).

It is also known as the shiftless gearbox since, unlike other types, it is powered by a belt with two pulleys (rubber or metal) to create different speeds.

Both pulleys function in tandem, simulating the effect of engaging gears of various sizes.

The CVT may travel seamlessly across an infinite a diverse array of useful gears due to the pulleys’ capacity to enlarge and decrease their effective diameters.

The CVT gearbox isn’t new; it has been in existence and gained popularity in the mid-2000s among European and Japanese automakers.

You will need to do some research if you are shopping for a CVT automobile. BMW Ctransmission is a case in point that uses CVT.

The kind of gearbox in most new automobiles is listed on a bumper sticker. Provided that you are looking to buy a used automobile, doing some research online will help you figure out what sort of transmission it has.

CVT transmissions have significant limitations, despite providing an infinite number of ratios and improved fuel economy. Due to its low torque-handling ability, this gearbox is not suitable for off-road situations.

Another disadvantage of CVT gearboxes is that they are unable to offer engine braking. These transmissions require further repairs and upkeep on a regular basis due to their complexity.

Excessive use and strain might cause the belts to break down over time.

When looking for a business to repair your gearbox, be sure they have the ability to function with CVT transmissions; visiting a dealer is also an option, but it will cost a lot of money.

Pros And Cons Of Push Button Transmission Car

The push-button start is also known as the keyless push-button ignition.

You may keep the key fob in your pocket when you unlock and start the car using the keyless ignition system. When you exit the car, it automatically turns off and locks.

The vehicle’s antennas detect when the key fob is on your person, which will only start if you have the correct fob. A typical keyed backup system is also available with keyless functionality.


Security and convenience are advantages of a keyless system. Since a prospective burglar would require your key fob, it is far more difficult to take the car.

This feature is also handier because the key fob merely has to be kept in your pocket. You won’t have to fumble around in your pockets or handbag looking for your keys.

Rolling codes are used by several of the systems, so the vehicle’s computer looks for the code sent by the key fob. As a result, the car will start only when the code is obtained.

Computer-encrypted microchips are used in several systems. These features still add another degree of protection.


There are certain disadvantages to keyless systems. Anyone who has driven a car for any length of time knows that parts ultimately fail or wear out.

When this happens, you will have to start the car using the manual key until the system is restored.

Another drawback is that the key fob might be easily misplaced. Some drivers might forget to shift to the “park” state or shut off the car before leaving.

If this occurs in an enclosed and attached garage, carbon monoxide may leak into the house, potentially resulting in a fatal situation. Keep an eye out for your key fob to keep yourself safe.

Why Does Push Button Transmission Disappear?

The abrupt removal of the push button transmission from Chrysler Corporation automobiles at the conclusion of the 1964 model year has sparked much discussion over the years.

The federal government did not outlaw Chrysler’s push button automatic transmission.

Instead, the decision was made solely on the basis of a new management team’s commercial judgment, which was attempting to go as far away from The Forward Look as possible.

There would have been legal complications if Chrysler push button transmission had wished to preserve the buttons, but only after the spring of 1966.

The choice to use a column shift lever, on the other hand, was made long before the federal government became engaged in vehicle gear selection devices.

Will The Push Button Transmission Cars Come Back?

Despite the fact that push-button transmissions haven’t been around on the market for decades, world-class manufacturers are planning to bring them back.

Toyota, Ford, and BMW are all conducting extensive testing and development on the push-button gearbox, which will be available in their vehicles in the next several decades.

Automobile aficionados will soon see knobs, push buttons, and many more features. It implies that in the future, driving and comfort will be more reliable than they are now.


Manual Transmissions

Suppose you want the increased security and convenience of a keyless system.

In that case, the push button transmission system is OK as long as you realize the dangers, have the key fob with you when you leave, and know how to utilize the manual system in the event of a problem.

While push-button start systems are convenient, they do have certain disadvantages to consider when purchasing your next vehicle. So consider carefully before making any decision.

Leave a Comment