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What is a Dual Clutch Transmission

What is a Dual Clutch Transmission?

Like everybody, you learned on either a manual or an automatic transmission. You still may prefer one over the other. But you can have the best of both with a dual clutch transmission (DCT), also referred to as a “twin-clutch” or “automated manual” transmission.

Why “Dual”?

Like its name suggests, a DCT vehicle literally has two transmissions. When one is engaged, the other is pre-loading or “prepping” for the next gear. One transmission usually handles the odd-numbered gears, while the other is responsible for the even-numbered ones; reverse gear is controlled by one or the other.

The purpose behind DCTs is to change gears without interrupting the power flow from engine to transmission. By having the next gear on “standby,” when the active one disengages, gears switch more smoothly and the car is less likely to lurch. DCTs are particularly suited for high-speed driving, and in fact, that’s where the concept originated—in the racing industry.

However, DCTs didn’t generally become available for passenger vehicles until the turn of the century. Now they’re commonly available in various models of sports and luxury vehicles, including Audi, Nisson, Volkswagen, Porsche, and Mercedes. They’re also used in heavy-duty commercial vehicles, such as trucks and large farm equipment, and recently are becoming more popular in lower-priced vehicles.

Dual clutch transmission (DCT) pros and cons

It’s a tough call: DCTs have advantages and disadvantages. You might like DCTs because:

  • There’s no manual shifting or clutch pedal to manage
  • They offer better fuel economy than other transmission types, as there is no torque converter
  • Shifting between gears is smoother, thanks to the dual gearboxes
  • They’re really good for higher-speed and highway driving

On the other hand, you might not like DCTs because:

  • They don’t always shift smoothly at very low speeds
  • They’re more expensive than standards or automatics and they cost more to repair or replace
  • Two transmissions take up additional space under the hood

Having said all of that, choosing your transmission type is just one of many choices you have when you’re shopping for a vehicle nowadays. It all boils down to your preferences, your budget, and what you intend to use the vehicle for.

Have Transmission Needs?

Look no further than Sun Transmissions of Miami! We have every conceivable part and accessory for automatic transmissions, including overhaul and re-build kits as well as power steering parts, like power steering gear seal kit, solenoid parts or TSS parts and more. We carry only the best equipment brands and will ship to you wherever you are in the U.S. Let us help you today!

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