How Does A Manuel Transmission Work? Let Me tell you, The Manuel transmission is still to this day the most popular form, taking up 52% of the global market share. Basically, The Back Wheels, or the drive wheels, are the ones that are actually controlled by your speed, and the engine works through the transmission to make them work in different driving conditions. Different shafts inter connect when the gear is changed and thats how it’s able to put the power behind it so you can drive up steep hills. This video will show you just what it looks like going from 1st to 4th gear in an amazing animation.