Dual-clutch transmissions are nothing new, they’ve been out since around 2003 in an attempt to improve fuel economy and technology but most people are not aware that they are being used in their cars.
Car manufacturers are constantly on the hunt to improve fuel-efficiency, especially recently, to meet the new-ish standards under President Obama and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to attain a 15% reduction in fuel usage by 2018 for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.
A DCT helps a bit with fuel efficiency but isn’t quite there yet.
What Makes it a Dual-Clutch Transmission?
A DCT has one clutch for odd-numbered gears and another clutch for even-numbered gears. This allows it to preselect the next shift without using a pedal with the ability to shift in 60 milliseconds consistently. A normal manual transmission can take 0.5-1 second to shift. Transmissions are the workhorse of a vehicle and people depend on them to keep them going.
However, people argue nowadays that transmissions aren’t dependable anymore despite improvements in technology. On the same note, there is some difficulty for car manufacturers to calibrate new transmissions they build and DCT’s tend to hesitate when driving at low speeds.
Improving Fuel Economy
Currently, dual-clutch transmissions improved fuel economy by 6-10% with quick gear shifts, and they tend to be used on high-end sports cars since they are smoother to operate than single clutch units. Ferrari, Lamborghini, and BMW are fans of the DCT.
Sometimes they are referred to as “twin-clutch” or “double-clutch” and can be operated in fully automatic mode or manual mode without the need to use a pedal to shift. DCT’s are still a little buggy and take away from the full experience of driving a manual transmission so if you like to have more control over your drive, a DCT may not be the choice for you unless you are interested in the convenience of driving automatic sometimes.
Automatic, dual-clutch, and manual transmissions all require regular maintenance inspections to make sure everything is in its proper place and not worn to the point where it’s negatively affecting the quality of your drive. The first thing to stay on top of us making sure everything is properly lubricated.
The lubrication enables all the gears to move smoothly with the least amount of friction. If you see a puddle building up under your car, get it checked out immediately because there is likely a leak somewhere and that will damage your car quickly if it’s not properly lubricated.
If your transmission fluid is overdue for a change, it will be dark, viscous, and likely have metal debris in there. Filters and gaskets also need a look over by a transmission repair mechanic, preferably every 30,000 miles or every couple of years. A transmission mechanic will remove any buildup of grime on all of the parts. The pan gasket and transmission filter are replaced too if you get the fluid changed. Refer to your owner’s manual for when they recommend your car get a transmission fluid flush.
Trust in AAMCO Transmissions & Total Car Care for transmission repairs, transmission fluid changes, and auto repair. Schedule an Appointment with us today at one of your local AAMCO Minnesota locations.