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The gearbox is one of the building blocks of the modern car. Not surprisingly, it’s also one of the most complex bits of hardware inside any vehicle.

A car’s engine connects to its crankshaft, which  rotates thousands of times per minute, according to the book Tribological Processes in the Valve Train Systems with Lightweight Valves. This is too fast for the wheels, so gears convert the power to speeds the wheels can handle. Gears use interlocking teeth, connecting small, fast-moving cogs to a larger gears with more teeth, and that larger cog rotates at a reduced speed. 

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