Pros And Cons Of A Dual-Clutch Transmission

Dual-clutch transmissions have been used in racing for a long time. Recently, this type of transmission has been used in regular cars because it combines the convenience of an automatic with the speed of a stick shift, just without the clutch pedal.  There are several advantages and disadvantages to having a dual-clutch transmission in your vehicle.

What is a Dual-Clutch Transmission?

A dual-clutch transmission is different than a manual because it has two clutches instead of one. This makes shifting gears faster and more efficient because each clutch is assigned to a specific set of gears. Unlike a manual, where there is a slight interruption of power to the engine while the gears shift, the dual-clutch is instant and smooth.


Because it uses two clutches, it switches gears faster than a manual or automatic transmission, so there is no lag because of an interruption of power to the engine. This makes it possible to speed up and slow down faster than with the other two transmissions. Dual-clutch transmissions are also excellent on gas. Less fuel is used because there is not a powering down while gears are being shifted. The powering down of the other two transmissions uses more gas.

Also, the dual-clutch does not use a clutch pad, so there is not an extra pedal at your feet. An added bonus is that, even though there is not a clutch pedal, the driver can still control the shifting by use of paddles or buttons.  


While some manufacturers have started using the dual-clutch transmission in their higher end cars, others have been more hesitant about adding them because of how much it would cost to change the production lines to accommodate the new transmissions. This means your choice of car may be limited to a select few, and it may be more expensive since it is such a new technology in the regular car world.

Drivers of cars sporting dual-clutch transmission with turbocharged engines may feel a lag when their car is being put into turbo. This is called turbo lag. Another complaint has been that it seems to take a moment for the gears to really engage when moving from a stopped position to actual motion. Also, there seems to be a little bit of jerkiness when the car is in lower gears. This may be one reason this type of transmission seem to work best in high-performance cars.

A dual-clutch transmission could be the best of both worlds if you are looking for something a little different for your car. For more information on your vehicle's transmission, contact an auto shop like Alberta Transmission Service.