While many modern-day vehicles are fitted with a conventional transmission system, some cars may have dual-clutch mechanisms that are somewhat different and may need additional attention from time to time. If you have one of these systems, what do you need to know about it?
Understanding the System
A dual-clutch transmission is often fitted to high-performance vehicles and features two distinct clutches, as the name implies. One will handle the first, third and fifth gears, while the other deals with the even-numbered set.
In many respects, this type of system is like having two separate manual transmissions, and unlike a conventional automatic transmission, it does not rely on a central torque converter. Instead, the system will use a process known as "electro-hydraulics" and features certain techniques that are also found in the vehicle's power steering.
Electro-hydraulic activation sends a signal to a computer whenever it is time to initiate a certain gear or when you pull on a paddle in an automated paddle shift system. This electrical signal will then engage or disengage the clutch using hydraulic fluid. This is generally felt to be the most efficient way of changing gear and is particularly successful when dealing with a powerful engine. You can also find this system on certain heavy-duty trucks.
Pointing to Problems
As with anything else mechanical, issues can arise. For example, you may encounter shuddering when you start the vehicle or when the car is idling. This may be due to the flywheel that sits in between the transmission and the engine. But if you notice the juddering sensation when the vehicle is attempting to change gear, then part of the dual-clutch assembly may have worn down, and you will need to replace it.
Dealing with Complexity
Unfortunately, the more complex the device is, the more significant a potential repair might be. This is the case with dual-clutch transmissions and electro-hydraulic systems in general. Much of the magic is in the software, and if you encounter specific fault codes that mention gear ratios, activations or sensors, you may need to replace the central control unit.
Clearly, these systems are complex and are well beyond the skills of the average weekend mechanic when it comes to maintenance or repair. So, if you have unexplained fault codes or have encountered juddering or shuddering this could be signs of a much bigger issue, and you should take the vehicle to an experienced technician.
For more information on auto transmission repair, contact a professional near you.Share
13 July 2022
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