DSG stands for: Direkt-Schalt-Getriebe or as we know it, Direct Shift Gearbox. We can treat it as two manual gearboxes working alternatively but packed inside one housing and therefore it uses two clutches and two gear shafts (one for each box) to deliver power to the wheels.
There are five major components to this gearbox- two clutches, two gear shafts and an electronic control unit (ECU) that controls the gear shifts by analysing throttle position, engine load conditions and road speed among others.
The clutches are mounted concentric to each other and so are the two gear shafts. Unlike a regular gearbox which carries all the gears on one shaft , the DSG has the even numbered gears- 2nd, 4th and 6th -on the first shaft- with a dedicated clutch, and the remaining- 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th as well as the reverse gear on the second shaft, with a dedicated clutch.
How does the DSG function?
When the driver puts the vehicle into D, the first clutch selects the reverse gear while the other clutch selects the second gear and engages just short of the bite point. This happens because when the vehicle stand still, the ECU does not know if the driver is going to park or drive away.
A sensible compromise is to preselect the second gear and reverse gear. In case there is a need for aggressive acceleration, the driver just has to give more gas and the ECU instantly tells the first clutch to drop the reverse gear and pick up and engage the first gear.
In normal driving conditions, when the ECU senses that throttle input is constant and that the car is accelerating steadily, the next higher gear is preselected and when the shift point arrives, one clutch disengages and the other engages. This happens within 8 milliseconds making it one of the fastest gearboxes. When the ECU senses that the driver has lifted off the throttle, the inactive clutch preselects the next lower gear and down shifts as soon as the shift point arrives.
What are the advantages of a DSG gearbox?
The biggest advantage of the DSG is obviously the speed of shifting. For a regular gearbox, the clutch has to disengage from one gear then move to the next gear and then engage again. In a DSG, when the first clutch is engaged with one gear, the second clutch has already preselected the next gear and is primed to engage making the transition between gear instant. The gearshifts are also smoother.
What are the disadvantages of a DSG?
Firstly, the DSG gearboxes are very expensive. Also, there is no part repair or part replacement, because the DSG gearbox is a sealed unit and is there is any problem with the box, the complete unit needs to be replaced.
The gearbox is one of the hardest working parts in your vehicle and it is our job to take care of it. As time goes by, the fluid tends to become dirty, losing its ability to do its job effectively. The dirty fluid can cause friction and greater heat.
The Dsg gearbox service needs to take place every 60 000 km and it includes the following: the draining of the old gearbox oil/fluid and replacing it, (the fluid and the filter are replaced in order to remove any impurities in the oil that may develop over time and keep the transmission in running order), fitment of a new drain plug, replacement of a gearbox oil filter, check for leaks and wear of seals, check clutch operation and finally test to check the working of the serviced gearbox.
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