I have just taken delivery of a new car with double-clutch transmission (DCT). Is there anything about this transmission which I should be mindful of?
Although the double-clutch system changes gears automatically and actually feels like any conventional automatic, its internals are quite unique.
The clutches in a DCT are meant solely for transmitting power. But in a conventional automatic, they serve to select the appropriate gear, while the torque converter transmits power to the engine.
Your driving style need not change. But to preserve the longevity of the clutch pack, remember that when stationary, the foot brake is the gearbox controller’s main source of information to de-couple the clutch, not the manual parking brake.
Hence, never activate the parking brake and release the brake pedal whenever the gear is in D or R.
Doing so would cause the clutch to engage but since the car does not move, the clutch will be in a slipping condition.
Similarly, holding the car on a slope without the brake pedal also results in clutch slip.
Both these situations are not detrimental to a conventional auto-trans, but in a DCT, premature clutch wear could happen.
Also, you should select the manual mode when driving slowly – such as in a parking lot – instead of allowing the transmission to automatically shift up to second. Keeping it in first ensures that the system does not allow clutch slip, which may occur in second gear at low speeds.
Always try to select a lower gear manually when creeping up a slope, such as on a carpark ramp.
As for maintenance, even if the owner’s manual does not mention any oil change routine, it would be wise to do so every 40,000km.
The DCT is a robust, smooth and efficient transmission. If used properly, it should last 10 years without a problem, even with hard driving.