The dual-clutch gearbox changes gears automatically and actually feels like a conventional automatic transmission. But its internals are quite unique.
The clutches in a dual-clutch gearbox are meant solely for transmitting power.
In a conventional automatic, they serve to select the appropriate gear, while the torque converter transmits power to the engine.
You don’t have to change your driving style just because your car has a dual-clutch gearbox. But clutch slip, which can prematurely wear out the clutches, is a risk.
So remember these tips to preserve the longevity of the clutch pack.
USE THE BRAKE PEDAL
The brake pedal or foot brake is the gearbox controller’s main source of information to de-couple the clutch. It is not the manual parking brake.
Never activate the parking brake and release the brake pedal whenever the gear is in D or R. It does not matter if the parking brake is a manual or electronic one.
Doing this will cause the clutch to engage but since the car does not move, the clutch will be in a slipping condition.
DO NOT USE THE GEARBOX TO HOLD THE CAR
When your car is on a slope, use the brake pedal to keep it stationary. Holding it in position using the dual-clutch gearbox causes clutch slip.
Doing the same thing in a manual car will also wear out its clutch.
The same manoeuvre is not detrimental to a conventional automatic gearbox.
USE MANUAL MODE
The gearbox’s manual mode isn’t just for fun. In a dual-clutch transmission, you should select it when you need to drive slowly.
For instance, use manual mode when you’re in a carpark. By selecting first gear, you prevent the gearbox from automatically choosing second gear. At low speeds, staying in second gear may cause clutch slip.
Also, always try to select a lower gear manually when creeping up a slope, such as on a carpark ramp.
Even if the manual does not mention any gearbox oil/fluid change routine, it’s best to do so every 40,000km.
The dual-clutch system is a robust, smooth and efficient transmission. If used properly, it should last 10 years without a problem, even with hard driving.
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