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6 Things You Should Never do in a DSG Automatic Transmission

Cars are really fun to drive, Period. This fun enhances when we bring a manual transmission in the mix. The sense of changing the gears, the mechanical feel when operating the clutch, all are part of the amusement. But it’s hard to believe, with the changing rhythm automatic transmission have come into force.

These automatics range from DSG or DCT, CVT and Torque Converters. FYI, DSG and DCT both are dual-clutch transmissions with the similar basic principle of shifting gears. Today, the topic of discussion is DSG automatic transmission. Typically, Volkswagens came equipped with DSG automatic transmission, even the Polo GT TSI had one.

Hyundais DCT
Hyundais DCT

Well, sadly for the BS6 models, Volkswagen does not offer a DSG box with their exiting 1.0-litre TSI motor. Instead, this gem motor now comes with a torque converter that is definitely not as slick or as fast as a DSG but still does a really good job.

Talking about its rivals, Hyundai also offers its version of the DCT automatic transmission. This quick-shifting gearbox comes mated to the company’s two GDI engines in India. Talking about which, this range has a 1.0-litre 3 cylinder and 1.4-litre 4 cylinder turbo petrol engines.

Now, DSG automatic transmission is easy to use and offers some really quick and precise shifts, it sure is maintenance thirsty. Alongside that, it does require some changes in our driving style so that we don’t hurt this transmission.

Worry not, here are the things you should never do in a DSG or a Dual Clutch automatic transmission. Before we get started let’s have some entertaining lessons.

Working on a DSG Box

Volkswagen DSG
Volkswagen DSG

Long story short, a DCT or DSG has two shafts, one for the odd gears and the other for even gears. 2 Separate clutches for both the shafts, hence dual-clutch. As the first gear is engaged, the second gear on the other shaft is selected and is ready to be engaged. As the vehicle gains speed, the second gear is needed, the clutch is engaged.

The same happens when we or the transmission downshifts. Besides, they too need some changes in our driving style so that we don’t hurt this quick transmission. Worry not, here are the things you should never do in a DSG or a Dual Clutch automatic transmission.

  1. Avoid Using the Accelerator to Keep the Car on Slopes

    Up Slope
    Up Slope | Image Source (1)

    This is one of the common mistakes people do when driving a DCT or a Direct Shift Gearbox. Were using the accelerator paddle to keep the car steady on slopes is fine, doing the same with a DSG will have a huge toll on the gearbox. The clutch will be engaged and will be slipping, producing excessive heat and will wear more than usual. So using the brake pedal to stop the car from rolling back on slopes is the way to go if you want to extract more life from both clutches.

  2. Don’t Launch The Car Improperly

    Launch Control Button
    Launch Control Button | Image Source: (1)

    I bet, launching the vehicle at its full potential is fun and with a gem engine and transmission combo, it’s even finer. DCT is what I’m after here, where they are really slick and lightning-fast to shift, they are prone to more wear than usual automatic transmission. More so will happen with an improper vehicle launch. Most of the cars (budget cars is what I’m talking about here) here in India having a DCT or DSG box face problems with a launch, as they do not come equipped with launch control. Taking the launch under your control, that is revving the motor with the brakes engaged. The engine will try to spin the clutch whereas the brakes will try to do what they do the best. In between, the clutch and the brakes both will be suffering. Hence it is recommended not to aggressively launch the vehicle.

  3. Avoid Putting the Car in Neutral

    AMT vs DCT vs CVT
    An automatic car transmission

    One thing is super prominent, that the engineers are clever and they do a really great job in designing and manufacturing everything. That said, when standing at a traffic light, one should avoid putting the car in neutral. It’s not that it’ll harm the transmission or the engine. So it is perfectly normal to keep the car in Drive with the brake pressed, remember not to give throttle when doing so. This will engage back the clutch and voila, the clutch rubs with the flywheel producing heat.

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  4. Don’t let the Foot of the Brake

    Car damaging habits
    Never let the foot of the brake

    This is somewhat similar to keeping the car on hold on a slope by balancing the acceleration and car rolling back. But the catch here is that the transmission does it for you. If you drive an automatic transmission, you’d be knowing the creep function the car comes with. Where the torque converter does it with ease, it’ll be really tough for a DSG box. And not hesitate to say it the n-th time, yes this will burn the clutch early.

  5. Don’t Upshift During Braking or Vice Versa

    2020 Hyundai Verna Turbo DCT Paddle Shifters
    2020 Hyundai Verna Turbo DCT Paddle Shifters

    A DSG automatic transmission has several entries to measure which gear to engage. Well, you can also take the situation under control but still, the clutch will be electronically actuated. That said, the throttle position, brake position and speed are the main factors with which it determines when to shift the gears. Keeping that aside, upshifting when braking will give a mixed signal to the ECU and it might hamper the circuits. The same is the case when we downshift while accelerating. Moreover, when doing so the engine and transmission run at slightly different speeds. This will result in a little slip between the clutch and the flywheel shortening its life span.

  6. Engaging Neutral When Going Downhill is a Bad Idea.

    Kia Sonet's GT Line 7-speed DCT Transmission
    Kia Sonet’s GT Line 7-speed DCT Transmission

    Yes! for sure engaging a neutral when coasting downhill will save fuel, as the car restricts fuel flow in the engine. This is exactly what we do not want. That said, putting the gear lever on Drive is more sensible as you’ll be having more control of the vehicle. Wondering why? well, for one, you’ll not be able to use the engine brake to slow down, which is a must in the hilly areas. This will ease off some harmful loads on the braking system, which if not taken care of can cause brake fade. Second, you’ll not able to increase the speed with lighting fast reflexes.

Also, Read 10 Global Car Features that we want in Indian Cars

These were the 6 things one should avoid doing in a DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) or a DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox). This is one of the automatic transmission petrolheads that would absolutely love to drive. Though it comes with some shortcomings such as more clutch wear and high maintenance. But if it is fun, it’s worth it right?. What do you think about this really quick transmission? Do let us know in the comment section below.

Recommended Read: 8 Car Damaging Habits that are Unintentionally Ruining Your Car!

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Utkarsh Bhardwajhttps://gomechanic.in/blog
Technical Content Strategist at GoMechanic | Big Time Petrolhead with the passion for building cars and driving those beauties.

23 COMMENTS

  1. the English (grammar) is really poor. it’s hard to read. please work on this. the topic and research seems well done but the way it is written doesn’t reflect it.

  2. Engaging neutral when coasting hasn’t saved fuel since injection replaced carburettors. In neutral, the injectors continue to fire to keep the engine running. Leaving the car in gear whilst coasting means the motion of the car keeps the engine turning, and the injectors will stop activating, as to do so would allow unburned fuel to reach and poison the catalytic converters whilst there is no need for combustion to keep the engine running.

    • Hi Daniel,
      In neutral the injectors do inject fuel in the combustion chamber, but the fuel-injected is to just keep the engine running that is it. Talking about the leaving the car in Drive mode will not harm the engine at all. Neither there will be excessive unburnt fuel reaching the catalytic converter. More on the costing, going downhill will keep the engine running. In fact, the engine and the transmission both in sync will help to keep the car under control without using the brakes (engine braking). Sure the catalytic convert gets poisoned with unburnt fuel but the process is really slow and will take years to rupture the catcan.
      Stay Pinned!

      • During idling my car consumes some fuel ( for 1.5 petrol engine 0.7 l/h if ac is off ). when car is going downhill and gear is kept in neutral then car will consume same energy as during idling. If engine is kept in gear then it ll not consume any fuel. Wheel will rotate the engine. In this case car will stop earlier then in neutral.

        • Letting the potential energy keep the engine rolling w/o petrol you are wasting potential energy not letting the car speed up. For economic driving, it is irrelevant are you wasting fuel or potential energy, unless you are about to stop at the bottom.

          Shifting neutral is most likely to produce best fuel economy, but engineers do not design the cars to be operated this way; engaging the gearbox after reaching the hill bottom can really confuse the car to shift in weird gears, burning clutches.

          I try to drive downhill on a power level where the speed accelerates, but very modestly. The other car I have will automagically switch to motor braking after a couple of seconds if I release the accelerator pedal, reducing speed.

    • “Fuel cut ” happens on injection engines when no throttle is sensed
      You are correct
      Then no fuel is used downhill

  3. Need your advise guys. On my passat b7 the automatic gear shift lever is hard to operate. Have changed transmission oil recently. Is there a solution?
    Thanks for your help.

  4. Can dsg gear box clutches for automatic transmission be replaced because it’s having a problem when u have just selected d

    • Yes, it can be done technically, but be ready to shell out a huge sum of money when dealing with DSG automatic gearboxes.

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