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Old February 21st, 2013, 12:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Does anyone drive a dual clutch automatic?

Just wondering if anyone here has a vehicle with a dual clutch transmission. Frankly, I don't get it. I don't understand the thinking behind them and I don't understand why anyone would want them instead of a true manual transmission. Here's a bit of info from BMW:

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The M DKG setup uses two clutches with 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th (plus reverse) on one shaft and 2nd, 4th and 6th on the other. Both clutches are oil-cooled and, like the systems offered by other manufacturers, the dual-clutch setup offers both quicker shifts and better fuel economy.

In typical BMW fashion, you'll have the option to select several different drive settings both in automatic and manual mode. Five shift programs can be selected when running around in the standard work-a-day auto setting, while six shifting selections can be made in manual, including the always entertaining launch control setting.
I don't get it--why would I want TWO clutches? My manual transmission vehicle is perfectly capable of shifting through all of its gears with one clutch. And why, with not one but two clutches, would I drive in automatic mode?

If anyone here actually has a dual clutch vehicle, would you mind posting pics of its interior setup? And let me know if you like driving it. Everyone else feel free to toss in your thoughts, too!

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Old February 21st, 2013, 01:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm not really sure either, but it seems that most 7 speed manuals tends to come with these dual clutch systems. Seems like a nuisance on the surface to me.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 04:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MoodyBlues View Post
Just wondering if anyone here has a vehicle with a dual clutch transmission. Frankly, I don't get it. I don't understand the thinking behind them and I don't understand why anyone would want them instead of a true manual transmission. Here's a bit of info from BMW:



I don't get it--why would I want TWO clutches? My manual transmission vehicle is perfectly capable of shifting through all of its gears with one clutch. And why, with not one but two clutches, would I drive in automatic mode?

If anyone here actually has a dual clutch vehicle, would you mind posting pics of its interior setup? And let me know if you like driving it. Everyone else feel free to toss in your thoughts, too!
How do yo udefine interior setup? The gearshift lever? I like my dual-clutch automatic.

I've got a 2012 Jetta TDI Premium w/ Nav and the DSG transmission. the DSG supposedly shifts as fast as, if not faster than, a race car driver on manual. its a load of fun in 'manual' mode, but switches back to automatic easily for tedious city driving.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 04:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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How do yo udefine interior setup? The gearshift lever?
The controls themselves. Are there actual clutch pedals, like on a manual transmission vehicle? Or are the two clutches engaged by hand? Or what? And, yes, I'd like to see a closeup of the gearshift lever.

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I like my dual-clutch automatic.
Good to know.

Quote:
I've got a 2012 Jetta TDI Premium w/ Nav and the DSG transmission. the DSG supposedly shifts as fast as, if not faster than, a race car driver on manual. its a load of fun in 'manual' mode, but switches back to automatic easily for tedious city driving.
But as I understand it, it's not truly manual, right? From WikiPedia:

Quote:
A dual-clutch transmission, (DCT) (sometimes referred to as a twin-clutch gearbox or double-clutch transmission), is a type of semi-automatic or automated manual automotive transmission. It uses two separate clutches[1] for odd and even gear sets. It can fundamentally be described as two separate manual transmissions (with their respective clutches) contained within one housing, and working as one unit.[2][3] They are usually operated in a fully automatic mode, and many also have the ability to allow the driver to manually shift gears,[1] albeit still carried out by the transmission's electro-hydraulics.
Just wondering, too, if you've driven real stick shift vehicles or if you came to dual clutch directly from automatic.

FWIW, I learned to drive on an automatic, and drove those for the first few years. I had what can only be described as a traumatic initial experience driving a stick shift during that time, but later wanted to give it another try. When I did--and actually had a manual transmission that didn't have one of its gears missing--I fell in love. That was about 30 years ago and I've never looked back. So I'm basically just curious about this whole dual clutch automatic transmission thing--and not likely to buy one myself.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 06:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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First of all, there are major differences between dual clutch automatic transmissions and dual clutch manual transmissions. The automatics, like all automatics use torque converters and hydraulic controls. The manual ones are like normal manuals, but with two clutches.

The manual ones are easier to understand because a typical manual transmission has two gear shafts. Using two clutches allows each shaft to couple and decouple to/from the engine separately, which provides a number of benefits. Most of these are best realized when the transmission is under computer control. Because the typical arrangement has odd gears on one shaft and even gears on the other, being able to actuate the shafts independently allows for easier synchronization of gears and much faster shifting than is humanly possible. Since having two sticks to stir would be self-defeating, dual clutch manual transmissions rely on computers, electrical actuators and flappy-paddle shifters.

Because of all of the automation, it's not much of a stretch to get the computer to take over all of the shifting decisions, making a semi-automatic transmission. Because they can, that's why. Seriously, every true manual transmission driver has wished for an "instant automatic" at one time or another.

Dual clutch transmissions are best known for being in racing and exotic cars, but have been used in economy cars (like dibblebill's Diesel VW), heavy trucks and even trains. The bottom line is that they're just more efficient.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 06:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MoodyBlues View Post
The controls themselves. Are there actual clutch pedals, like on a manual transmission vehicle? Or are the two clutches engaged by hand? Or what? And, yes, I'd like to see a closeup of the gearshift lever.
Nope, no clutch pedals, no shift levers. Two clutches means twice as many controls if try to you do it all the traditional way. I'm sure someone has actually built a two-shifter and two-clutch pedal transmission just for the fun of it. But since most of us don't have the extra limbs, computers are needed to make it practical.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 06:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'll take a picture tomorrow or this weekend for you. I don't have flappy paddles (though they can be fun. Test drove a few cars with them). My 'Manumatic' mode consists of pushing the gearshift forward or backwards. I've driven a Focus Manual and a Mustang Manual, and that's it. Old roommate never let me near his Miata (or the subsequent Corvette, or his final Golf R he settled on... All manual)
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Old February 21st, 2013, 06:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Dual clutch transmission usually comes with pedal shifters. It's faster gear changing than automatic or manual, it has almost no delay in shifting.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 06:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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FWIW, I learned to drive on an automatic, and drove those for the first few years. I had what can only be described as a traumatic initial experience driving a stick shift during that time, but later wanted to give it another try. When I did--and actually had a manual transmission that didn't have one of its gears missing--I fell in love. That was about 30 years ago and I've never looked back. So I'm basically just curious about this whole dual clutch automatic transmission thing--and not likely to buy one myself.
I learned to drive a manual shifter on the farm, and didn't immediately come to appreciate how fun they are in high performance applications until much later on. I did prefer their simplicity though. I can replace a manual clutch easily. Not so easy for an auto trans clutch band! With my Mustangs I became addicted to "point and shoot" driving, where I squeeze the throttle in direct proportion to how far down the road I want the car to be at any given time. No lag, no wild kick-downs, no problem. So much more feedback from the road too!

My truck has a computer controlled 6-speed automatic transmission that, even though it has twice the number of gears as its ancestors, can never find the right one at any given time. I got pulled over for the first time in a very long time while I was being buzzed by a bunch of ricers. One was tailgating me, and as it disappeared from view, hidden behind the tailgate, I ever so gently added throttle. On a manual, I would have seen instant and linear results. In this slug I got nothing until, right as I was passing a parked police cruiser, it downshifted into a very low gear and gave me the scare of my life! Why the cop failed to see four brightly colored buzz-bombs driving recklessly and singled me out is still a mystery. At least it was only a warning that I got.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 07:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I actually don't have any lag issues from my Jetta. THe kickdowns are very predictable and timely, and its almost always in the right gear. Unlike my old automatic Oldsmobile and Plymouth Voyager...
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Old February 21st, 2013, 07:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'll take a picture tomorrow or this weekend for you. I don't have flappy paddles (though they can be fun. Test drove a few cars with them). My 'Manumatic' mode consists of pushing the gearshift forward or backwards. I've driven a Focus Manual and a Mustang Manual, and that's it. Old roommate never let me near his Miata (or the subsequent Corvette, or his final Golf R he settled on... All manual)
You have a copy of the Porsche Tiptronic® shifter. But your transmission is a red white and blue BorgWarner design. It's also an automatic transmission, not a manual. The shifter makes it shift like a motorcycle in "manual mode", for those who aren't familiar with the design.

Trick shifters that convert automatic transmissions to shift manually are old hat for American aftermarket manufacturers. Porsche just copied what a lot of drag racers have been doing for decades.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 07:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Dual clutch transmission usually comes with pedal shifters. It's faster gear changing than automatic or manual, it has almost no delay in shifting.
Pedal shifters? That's a new one! I gotta see a video of that in action!
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Old February 21st, 2013, 07:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I actually don't have any lag issues from my Jetta. THe kickdowns are very predictable and timely, and its almost always in the right gear. Unlike my old automatic Oldsmobile and Plymouth Voyager...
Be thankful that you have an American BorgWarner, not my German ZF transmission! I'm no fan of automatic transmissions from the American "big three", but this ZF is definitely worse. Custom computer programming has helped a little, but I'd prefer a Richmond or Tremec 6-speed manual in its place.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 08:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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First of all, there are major differences between dual clutch automatic transmissions and dual clutch manual transmissions.
Okay, now I'm thoroughly confused. I thought dual clutch was strictly an automatic thing.

Quote:
The automatics, like all automatics use torque converters and hydraulic controls. The manual ones are like normal manuals, but with two clutches.
See above.

Quote:
The manual ones are easier to understand because a typical manual transmission has two gear shafts. Using two clutches allows each shaft to couple and decouple to/from the engine separately, which provides a number of benefits. Most of these are best realized when the transmission is under computer control. Because the typical arrangement has odd gears on one shaft and even gears on the other, being able to actuate the shafts independently allows for easier synchronization of gears and much faster shifting than is humanly possible. Since having two sticks to stir would be self-defeating, dual clutch manual transmissions rely on computers, electrical actuators and flappy-paddle shifters.
That all makes perfectly good sense...but I'm still confused. I still thought/think that dual clutch is unique to automatic transmissions.

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Because of all of the automation, it's not much of a stretch to get the computer to take over all of the shifting decisions, making a semi-automatic transmission. Because they can, that's why.
Ugh! Not for me. *I* like making my own decisions. Therefore, as much as I would love to drive a race car, I would HATE having the sequential manual transmission it may very well have nowadays. Trust me, if I need to go from 5th to 2nd, there's a damn good reason for it! (Like traffic suddenly stopping on a freeway for an accident.) Or from 1st to 3rd. (Like coasting down a mountain.) I don't want any computer doing the thinking for me.

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Seriously, every true manual transmission driver has wished for an "instant automatic" at one time or another.
No. Yes. No. Unequivocally no. Maybe. Yes. Okay!! Once every 10 years or so I'm in a situation where my clutch foot hurts like hell (creeping up to Griffith Observatory, in bumper to bumper traffic, to see the Space Shuttle Endeavour fly over the Hollywood sign comes to mind), and I find myself thinking--momentarily--gee, an automatic sure would be nice!

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Dual clutch transmissions are best known for being in racing
I thought these were different--I know they use paddles, but I thought they were sequential manual transmissions, meaning that you can only up- or downshift one gear at a time, in order, but it's still a manual transmission.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 11:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Okay, now I'm thoroughly confused. I thought dual clutch was strictly an automatic thing.
Oh no, not at all! Although automatic transmissions have varying numbers of internal clutch bands and packs to shift gears, that's a completely different thing from the clutch (or clutches) in a manual transmission.

With the manual transmission, the clutch connects or removes the flywheel from the input shaft, so the motor doesn't stall when you're stopped and to make it easier when you shuffle the gears around. This clutch is traditionally controlled by your left foot.

In an automatic transmission, the clutches apply pressure to one or more planetary gear sets, causing them to rotate differently and change the gear ratio. These clutches are traditionally controlled by a valve body (essentially an analog computer) which is in turn controlled by the gear selector lever, or in the case of old Chrysler cars, buttons.


Oh, joy.

Quote:
See above.
See above. The torque converter in an automatic goes where the clutch would be on a manual transmission. Like the manual clutch, it keeps the motor from stalling when you're stopped, and aids in shifting gears. But it's not a clutch.

Now the really confusing part: Later model automatic transmissions have clutches where the clutch would be on a manual transmission, and it looks and even works like the clutch on a manual transmission. But it's there for a completely different reason. So your average automatic transmission is full of all sorts of clutches of varying shapes, sizes and functions!

Quote:
That all makes perfectly good sense...but I'm still confused. I still thought/think that dual clutch is unique to automatic transmissions.
No. At least not the kind of clutch that is traditionally operated by your left foot. That kind of clutch is native to the manual transmission. They can take an automatic transmission complete with all those internal clutches that make shifts feel like chewing rubber bands, and graft a double clutch onto the front of it. But it's still like chewing rubber bands! No thanks!

Like I said above, automatic transmissions, by design use all sorts of clutches to do pretty much everything. The single clutch in a traditional manual transmission has only one function: to couple/decouple the engine's crankshaft (via the flywheel) to/from the transmission's input shaft. Poetry in motion.

As we already learned, manual transmissions use two or more parallel shafts to hold its gears, and the gears move up and down the shafts to enable different pairs of gears to mesh, thus giving you different gear ratios. No internal clutch packs or bands, no planetary gears.

Here's the tricky part. You have two shafts with gears on them, and one is the input shaft. Why is that one shaft the input shaft? Why not the other shaft? The answer is that you can have more than one input shaft if you want to. That is, in a nutshell the whole basis for double clutch transmissions: You can apply engine power to either of the two shafts if you want to. You can apply power to more than two shafts, in fact. It's entirely possible that one day we'll see a 6 shaft, 6 clutch transmission with God-knows-how-many gear ratios on it.

The next logical question is "why?" I covered that in a previous post, but in essence it's for faster-than-human shifting and better efficiency.

Quote:
Ugh! Not for me. *I* like making my own decisions. Therefore, as much as I would love to drive a race car, I would HATE having the sequential manual transmission it may very well have nowadays. Trust me, if I need to go from 5th to 2nd, there's a damn good reason for it! (Like traffic suddenly stopping on a freeway for an accident.) Or from 1st to 3rd. (Like coasting down a mountain.) I don't want any computer doing the thinking for me.
The good news is that you can tell the computer to get out of your way. And while flappy paddles may not lend themselves to the kind of gear-stirring that we both know and love, the transmission itself is not a sequential gearbox. If you slow the computer down so it waits until you have the chance to do at least a double-tap [sic], you can use multiple "taps" on the flappy paddles to go straight to the gear that you want. Inside the transmission it works exactly like it would with a stick shift, except that the computer is juggling what would be two sticks and the two clutches. But the important thing to know is that if you go from 5 to 2, you actually go from 5 to 2, with no stops in between. In fact, because of the second clutch you can go from 5 to 2 a lot faster than you ever could with a single clutch and a single stick shifter.

Granted, it's not as visceral as having your hand on the shifter, and feeling things like the slight eccentricity in the pilot bearing, the thrust from the rear end and other tactile feedback that you'll never get with flappy paddles. That's why quite a few people absolutely hate flappy paddles, and the major supercar makers offer a standard shifter on their cars.

Quote:
No. Yes. No. Unequivocally no. Maybe. Yes. Okay!! Once every 10 years or so I'm in a situation where my clutch foot hurts like hell (creeping up to Griffith Observatory, in bumper to bumper traffic, to see the Space Shuttle Endeavour fly over the Hollywood sign comes to mind), and I find myself thinking--momentarily--gee, an automatic sure would be nice!
Told you so! But you want it just for the moment, right? You're not going to give up that solid connection between the flywheel and the pinion shaft that only a manual transmission provides. No "slushbox" torque converter! And when you want it gone, it's gone. Poof! Can I get an Amen?!?!?

Well, that's the beauty of the computer-shifted manual transmission. It gives you that direct connection, and the same random access gear changes that a manual transmission gives you. But it can do automatic once in 10 years, and go away the instant you want it gone.

The bad news is that you have to find something else to do with your left foot and shifting hand.

Quote:
I thought these were different--I know they use paddles, but I thought they were sequential manual transmissions, meaning that you can only up- or downshift one gear at a time, in order, but it's still a manual transmission.
It's all about the interface. Flappy paddles are biased towards sequential shifting. A bad interface. But as long as the transmission itself has the same random access capabilities as every other manual transmission, love will find a way.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 12:27 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks for the excellent reply, Speed.

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The good news is that you can tell the computer to get out of your way. And while flappy paddles may not lend themselves to the kind of gear-stirring that we both know and love
--and I'm not willing to part with!

After living in Dallas for so long, and then returning home to Southern California, I've rediscovered the joy of mountain driving. I LOVE, love, love the control I have in my 5-speed stick, 4WD vehicle going up and down winding, often steep, mountain roads.

Quote:
if you go from 5 to 2, you actually go from 5 to 2, with no stops in between. In fact, because of the second clutch you can go from 5 to 2 a lot faster than you ever could with a single clutch and a single stick shifter.
Shifting is so natural for me, so much a reflexive action, that it's hard for me to think in terms of something being SO MUCH faster that it would be noticeable--or desirable. You know what I mean? Like if it takes me 15 milliseconds to shift from 5th to 2nd, but a computerized setup could do it in 10 milliseconds...who cares?!

Quote:
Told you so! But you want it just for the moment, right? You're not going to give up that solid connection between the flywheel and the pinion shaft that only a manual transmission provides. No "slushbox" torque converter! And when you want it gone, it's gone. Poof! Can I get an Amen?!?!?


Quote:
The bad news is that you have to find something else to do with your left foot and shifting hand.
On the very rare occasions when I've driven an automatic since switching to manuals, my poor left foot has felt so lost. I had to consciously, continually remind myself to keep my foot on the floor. And my right hand constantly found itself reaching for the gear shift...
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 02:32 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Thanks for the excellent reply, Speed.
You're quite welcome!

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--and I'm not willing to part with!
Me neither. Computers are fine for making the suck, squish, bang and blow part of driving more clean and efficient, and for helping with panic stops. But that's far enough for my tastes.

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After living in Dallas for so long, and then returning home to Southern California, I've rediscovered the joy of mountain driving. I LOVE, love, love the control I have in my 5-speed stick, 4WD vehicle going up and down winding, often steep, mountain roads.
When I returned to my homeland of Northern California, I made the mistake of allowing myself to get upgraded to a SUV. Big mistake! When I was driving to a party in Mountain View, I was on roads that were ideal for a little car like my Mustang. After that I rented Mustangs, but there's no place that rents manual transmission cars, so...

Here in Wisconsin the rolling hills are great fun with a 5-speed!

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Shifting is so natural for me, so much a reflexive action, that it's hard for me to think in terms of something being SO MUCH faster that it would be noticeable--or desirable. You know what I mean? Like if it takes me 15 milliseconds to shift from 5th to 2nd, but a computerized setup could do it in 10 milliseconds...who cares?!
Who cares? WHO CARES?!?!? I'll you who cares! Wealthy old men, that's who cares! That's riiiiiight! Shriveled-up old farts who can barely see the road, who take their half-million dollar cars out exactly one day a year, and spend the other 364.25 days bragging about how they can shift faster than Aryton Senna ever could ('cuz he died in 1994 mainly). Them and race car drivers, and other wannabes. That's about it.

To be fair, it's more like 500ms+ for the average driver. You can cut that in half if you're a young and fit race driver with lightning reflexes and a hand-made gearbox and shifter that costs as much as a nice house. So the 8ms that the latest dual clutch gearboxes can do is a significant improvement when you're drag racing...or road racing...or racing racing... If you're not racing, then not so much.

Quote:
On the very rare occasions when I've driven an automatic since switching to manuals, my poor left foot has felt so lost. I had to consciously, continually remind myself to keep my foot on the floor. And my right hand constantly found itself reaching for the gear shift...
I remember a fellow gearhead getting tickled when I told a driving story because my posture and hands and feet unconsciously did what I was talking about. Like a dog dreaming.

Since I have to switch between my Mustang with its summer tires and my truck with its 4WD and pickup bed frequently, I find myself trying to press a clutch pedal that isn't there, and as I pull up to stop lights I'll try to move the automatic shifter side to side like I do with my manual to make sure it's in neutral before I release the clutch. It's embarrassing. Not really.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 07:07 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I appreciate the explanations. Didn't know that about the transmission. Its still expensive to get swapped. Just glad I didn't get that German one, then. I wouldn't trade the DSG in my Jetta for a manual any day of the week, but a sports car, I'd have a manual for sure.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 07:23 AM   #19 (permalink)
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On the very rare occasions when I've driven an automatic since switching to manuals, my poor left foot has felt so lost. I had to consciously, continually remind myself to keep my foot on the floor. And my right hand constantly found itself reaching for the gear shift...
The last time I drove an automatic, my left foot got confused while hunting for the clutch, and it found the break . Good thing I was on a deserted country road.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 09:09 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Alright, here's my gearshift lever.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 12:26 PM   #21 (permalink)
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dibblebill, the + and - next to D, which I assume means up/down a gear, how do you activate those? They kind of look like pushable buttons, but kind of not.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 12:54 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I appreciate the explanations. Didn't know that about the transmission. Its still expensive to get swapped. Just glad I didn't get that German one, then. I wouldn't trade the DSG in my Jetta for a manual any day of the week, but a sports car, I'd have a manual for sure.
Just to be clear, I'm not saying that German stuff is crap or anything like that. I was highlighting the irony of the situation, because German engineering tends to be top notch as a rule. In this case BorgWarner (two good German-American names, BTW) seems to have the better product. Although my transmission is a ZF design, BorgWarner designed the transfer case in my truck, which is so cool that it was a deciding factor for me buying it.

You have a very nice package going on, for what it's designed to do. The turbo-Diesel and the extra-efficient transmission must give you excellent mileage without having to be obsessive about your driving style. When I'm on the road in my 4x4 and see my dismal MPG numbers, I wish I had something like that!
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 01:17 PM   #23 (permalink)
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dibblebill, the + and - next to D, which I assume means up/down a gear, how do you activate those? They kind of look like pushable buttons, but kind of not.
If it works like the Tiptronic, you just move the lever forward to go up a gear, and back to go down a gear. It's a lever action, just like the B&M shifter I showed earlier. Unlike the B&M, which uses a ratchet mechanism to move an old-school shifter cable, dibblebill's shifter has electrical contacts at the other end of the lever that make it an input device for the drivetrain computer that controls the double-clutch transmission.

Dibblebil, when you're in manual mode, if you give it two or more bumps, will it skip a gear or two? I don't see any reason why your transmission itself can't go directly from one gear to any other gear without any intermediate stops. The question is whether or not the shifter (and computer) supports it too.
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 09:33 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I bump the lever to the right to activate it. It will let me skip gears so long as it doesn't think I'll damage the transmission or engine.
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 01:48 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I bump the lever to the right to activate it. It will let me skip gears so long as it doesn't think I'll damage the transmission or engine.
That's a real handy thing! I've inadvertently downshifted into first gear at speed, thinking it was third, confidently let out the clutch and heard that horrible sound of an engine over-revving and breaking valvetrain components before, and never want to go through that again. That's another nice thing about computer controls: they will stop you from doing something that you'd never want to do. Doubleplusgood!
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 05:01 PM   #26 (permalink)
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That's a real handy thing! I've inadvertently downshifted into first gear at speed, thinking it was third, confidently let out the clutch and heard that horrible sound of an engine over-revving and breaking valvetrain components before, and never want to go through that again. That's another nice thing about computer controls: they will stop you from doing something that you'd never want to do. Doubleplusgood!
Yeah. My roommate wished he had the DSG in the Golf R vs the manual he got, he did that a few tiems to. Though my only performance driving experience is Forza 4 and Shift 2, I've blwon engines in both games (yes, games, not RL) enough times to surmise that downshifting too much can cause RL damage as well.
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 05:59 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I've inadvertently downshifted into first gear at speed, thinking it was third, confidently let out the clutch and heard that horrible sound of an engine over-revving and breaking valvetrain components before, and never want to go through that again.
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Yeah. My roommate wished he had the DSG in the Golf R vs the manual he got, he did that a few tiems to. Though my only performance driving experience is Forza 4 and Shift 2, I've blwon engines in both games (yes, games, not RL) enough times to surmise that downshifting too much can cause RL damage as well.
I seriously must be some kind of freak of nature (no need for affirmative comments to that effect, thank you very much. ). Other than maybe ONCE, in my early days of driving a stick shift, I just never have inadvertently downshifted to the wrong gear. Yes, I'm compulsive about being a perfectionist, so that probably plays a part in this, but, really, it just doesn't happen to me.

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That's another nice thing about computer controls: they will stop you from doing something that you'd never want to do.
I like to rely on that gray computer in my skull for stuff like that.
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 06:02 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Okay, now I'm thoroughly confused. I thought dual clutch was strictly an automatic thing.


See above.


That all makes perfectly good sense...but I'm still confused. I still thought/think that dual clutch is unique to automatic transmissions.


Ugh! Not for me. *I* like making my own decisions. Therefore, as much as I would love to drive a race car, I would HATE having the sequential manual transmission it may very well have nowadays. Trust me, if I need to go from 5th to 2nd, there's a damn good reason for it! (Like traffic suddenly stopping on a freeway for an accident.) Or from 1st to 3rd. (Like coasting down a mountain.) I don't want any computer doing the thinking for me.


No. Yes. No. Unequivocally no. Maybe. Yes. Okay!! Once every 10 years or so I'm in a situation where my clutch foot hurts like hell (creeping up to Griffith Observatory, in bumper to bumper traffic, to see the Space Shuttle Endeavour fly over the Hollywood sign comes to mind), and I find myself thinking--momentarily--gee, an automatic sure would be nice!


I thought these were different--I know they use paddles, but I thought they were sequential manual transmissions, meaning that you can only up- or downshift one gear at a time, in order, but it's still a manual transmission.

understandably confused. speed threw you off with the whole manual/automatic thing.


i wont use individual automaker names to help avoid confusion.


a dual clutch transmission is ALWAYS an automated manual transmission. it is 100% computer controlled with driver interface (shift paddles). many of the high performance ones will do EXACTLY what you want it to (downshift into 2nd at 130mph? sure. youll blow the engine and the command will be stored in the computer so kiss warranty goodbye....but itll do it)

as previously explained in an earlier post...it is a transmission with one set of gears connected to one clutch disc and another set of gears connected to the second disc. this is done so the trans can pre-select the next gear to aid in shift speed (its faster to disengage one clutch and engage the second than it is to disengage, shift, engage). it also helps lessen wear to a small extent since you dont need to rely on the synchro to make the speed match that much quicker.

the dual clutch automatic does not use a torque converter though it may use an internal pump to provide for shift action.


the "dual clutch" manual that threw you off isnt a dual clutch. its a dual DISC clutch. is still one single clutch assy but instead of being arranged in the usual way (flywheel, disc, pressue plate) it goes flywheel, friction disc, unsplined floater disc, friction disc, pressure plate. these are used to provide very high horsepower capability with reduced rotating mass. there are also triple disc options (though i have yet to see one from an OE)
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 06:46 PM   #29 (permalink)
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a dual clutch transmission is ALWAYS an automated manual transmission.
That's how I understood it to begin with.

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it is 100% computer controlled with driver interface (shift paddles). many of the high performance ones will do EXACTLY what you want it to (downshift into 2nd at 130mph? sure. youll blow the engine and the command will be stored in the computer so kiss warranty goodbye....but itll do it)
Yet another reason to stay away from computerized engines!

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as previously explained in an earlier post...it is a transmission with one set of gears connected to one clutch disc and another set of gears connected to the second disc. this is done so the trans can pre-select the next gear to aid in shift speed (its faster to disengage one clutch and engage the second than it is to disengage, shift, engage). it also helps lessen wear to a small extent since you dont need to rely on the synchro to make the speed match that much quicker.

the dual clutch automatic does not use a torque converter though it may use an internal pump to provide for shift action.


the "dual clutch" manual that threw you off isnt a dual clutch. its a dual DISC clutch. is still one single clutch assy but instead of being arranged in the usual way (flywheel, disc, pressue plate) it goes flywheel, friction disc, unsplined floater disc, friction disc, pressure plate. these are used to provide very high horsepower capability with reduced rotating mass. there are also triple disc options (though i have yet to see one from an OE)
Thanks for the input.

And I still plan on sticking with REAL manual transmissions. I just prefer making my own decisions, in everything from what operating system I use to when I shift gears while driving. (And I've never blown an engine/transmission, because as I said, when *I* shift from 5th to 2nd there's a damn good reason for it, like slowing down quickly. I did not/do not mean I downshift from 90 to 25 AND let out the clutch. )
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Old February 24th, 2013, 12:26 AM   #30 (permalink)
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I seriously must be some kind of freak of nature (no need for affirmative comments to that effect, thank you very much. ). Other than maybe ONCE, in my early days of driving a stick shift, I just never have inadvertently downshifted to the wrong gear. Yes, I'm compulsive about being a perfectionist, so that probably plays a part in this, but, really, it just doesn't happen to me.
That perfectionism, coupled with a comfortable income probably means that you've had the good fortune to be able to choose and drive M/T cars that have decent shifters. Unfortunately I haven't been able to pick and choose what I drove. Working at a service station and having a side business of "horse trading" old cars has its pitfalls.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 02:29 AM   #31 (permalink)
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That perfectionism, coupled with a comfortable income probably means that you've had the good fortune to be able to choose and drive M/T cars that have decent shifters.
Before becoming disabled, I did indeed have quite a comfortable income (in the six figures). I feel very blessed to have had that kind of career, but at the same time it's extremely sad for me to think that it's all in the past. I would trade my SSDI for going back to work in a heartbeat. And the $1 million dollar house, that never had a mortgage, I'm about to inherit [when my mom dies...which I keep hoping won't be soon...but she's under end-of-life hospice care, so...] will be nice, and I feel blessed about that, too, but I'd still prefer being able to work again. Selling the house I bought in Dallas, and paid the mortgage on every month for 18 years, was really difficult and sad for me. It was MINE. This house isn't.

Anyway, back to cars... I've only owned Toyotas, all with manual transmissions, since 1985, and every one shifted like a dream. I cannot recall ever accidentally downshifting to the wrong gear in any of them. The only remotely--and I really mean REMOTELY!--related problem I've ever had in all that time was needing to replace the pad on the clutch pedal.

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Unfortunately I haven't been able to pick and choose what I drove. Working at a service station and having a side business of "horse trading" old cars has its pitfalls.
I don't know what your life situation is, but there's always time to make changes. Because of pregnancies and a near-fatal illness culminating in a hysterectomy @ 22, I wasn't able to go to college at the 'normal' time. I was 26 when I started college--and fully intended to be a physician. I spent 5 years killing myself to make the best grades, with honors, in pre-med, only to decide to totally switch career paths...and that's how I got into the UNIX, then Linux, programming and system administration career that was so good to me. So you never know. You may be working at a gas station now, but what about tomorrow? next week? next month? next year? You're clearly a smart guy, so the sky's the limit.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 02:49 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Before becoming disabled, I did indeed have quite a comfortable income (in the six figures). I feel very blessed to have had that kind of career, but at the same time it's extremely sad for me to think that it's all in the past. I would trade my SSDI for going back to work in a heartbeat. And the $1 million dollar house, that never had a mortgage, I'm about to inherit [when my mom dies...which I keep hoping won't be soon...but she's under end-of-life hospice care, so...] will be nice, and I feel blessed about that, too, but I'd still prefer being able to work again. Selling the house I bought in Dallas, and paid the mortgage on every month for 18 years, was really difficult and sad for me. It was MINE. This house isn't.

Anyway, back to cars... I've only owned Toyotas, all with manual transmissions, since 1985, and every one shifted like a dream. I cannot recall ever accidentally downshifting to the wrong gear in any of them. The only remotely--and I really mean REMOTELY!--related problem I've ever had in all that time was needing to replace the pad on the clutch pedal.


I don't know what your life situation is, but there's always time to make changes. Because of pregnancies and a near-fatal illness culminating in a hysterectomy @ 22, I wasn't able to go to college at the 'normal' time. I was 26 when I started college--and fully intended to be a physician. I spent 5 years killing myself to make the best grades, with honors, in pre-med, only to decide to totally switch career paths...and that's how I got into the UNIX, then Linux, programming and system administration career that was so good to me. So you never know. You may be working at a gas station now, but what about tomorrow? next week? next month? next year? You're clearly a smart guy, so the sky's the limit.

Very well said. While I'm in the same field doing the same thing i was 10 years ago my income has tripled and I'm actually happy doing what i do. It doesn't just feel like a job.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 09:39 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Before becoming disabled...

I don't know what your life situation is, but there's always time to make changes. ... You may be working at a gas station now, but what about tomorrow? next week? next month? next year? You're clearly a smart guy, so the sky's the limit.
LOL...You think I work in a gas station?

No, I'm disabled...like you. My working days are also a fond memory. I may end up working at a gas station like I did between high school and college. But I'll be doing it as the station's owner, after my mom dies and I can move to be closer to my family. Until then my full-time job is dealing with my own health issues and taking care of my mom. And at my age and rate of recovery, I'll be able-bodied right about the time the actuarial tables say I'll be dead. So...

If you haven't already guessed, I'm a Ford guy.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 12:58 PM   #34 (permalink)
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LOL...You think I work in a gas station?
Hey, if you hadn't slept in days, you could inadvertently type 'gas station' instead of 'service station,' too!

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No, I'm disabled...like you. My working days are also a fond memory.
Between the broken bones that caused my initial break [pun fully intended] from my job and the brain tumor that definitively ended working a real job again, I started various web sites. We live in the digital age, my friend! My web sites have been a great success (well, nowhere CLOSE to my old income, but enough to make most people who try selling designs at places like CafePress and Zazzle envious). They're making money while I'm doing nothing. They made money while I was out of commission for six months following brain surgery. Don't forget, they've even made me famous. Why not try something online?

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I may end up working at a gas station like I did between high school and college. But I'll be doing it as the station's owner, after my mom dies and I can move to be closer to my family. Until then my full-time job is dealing with my own health issues and taking care of my mom. And at my age and rate of recovery, I'll be able-bodied right about the time the actuarial tables say I'll be dead. So...
I hear you.

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If you haven't already guessed, I'm a Ford guy.
Now I get the shifting problems.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 01:35 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Hey, if you hadn't slept in days, you could inadvertently type 'gas station' instead of 'service station,' too!
No matter what the name, it's been 30 years since I've done that for a living.

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Between the broken bones that caused my initial break [pun fully intended] from my job and the brain tumor that definitively ended working a real job again, I started various web sites. We live in the digital age, my friend! My web sites have been a great success (well, nowhere CLOSE to my old income, but enough to make most people who try selling designs at places like CafePress and Zazzle envious). They're making money while I'm doing nothing. They made money while I was out of commission for six months following brain surgery. Don't forget, they've even made me famous. Why not try something online?
I didn't get any clean breaks. My disease progressed so subtly that by the time I realized that I had a big problem, the problem was bad enough to preclude me doing much of anything. One day I woke up and realized that I had let all of my clients go, and I was more relieved than anything. I had a business. I simply couldn't keep it going any more. And since I'm neither in sales or web development, doing what you did wasn't feasible for me.

It's hard for people who haven't been through what I have to understand. I've been trying "mind over matter" for a decade now, and matter has won. If I had had 20/20 foresight, things would be different now. But that's not how it's playing out.

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Now I get the shifting problems.
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I didn't get any clean breaks. My disease progressed so subtly that by the time I realized that I had a big problem, the problem was bad enough to preclude me doing much of anything. One day I woke up and realized that I had let all of my clients go, and I was more relieved than anything. I had a business. I simply couldn't keep it going any more.
That must have been really hard. I'm sorry.

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And since I'm neither in sales or web development, doing what you did wasn't feasible for me.
I didn't mean, necessarily, that you should do the same thing I did, just in general that you could try something online. By the way, I had *ZERO* experience or knowledge when it came to either sales or web development or graphic design. I was a programmer and sysadmin. And when I started my first site/shop, I did it left-handed. I'm right-handed, but I'd broken my right wrist; I had skewers sticking out of my arm; my right hand was basically unusable for 8 months. I broke my wrist three months after breaking my ankle; I had hardware in there, too. I was bored out of my head, and just plunged in and started working on a concept I'd been toying with for years, but never had the time to pursue. And I did it left-handed!

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It's hard for people who haven't been through what I have to understand.
Trust me, I understand. I don't mean I understand your specific issues, but I understand what you're saying. My life has been like a soap opera, so much so that I realize it can sound completely unbelievable, or at least greatly exaggerated, so I rarely share most of its details.

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I've been trying "mind over matter" for a decade now, and matter has won.
Are you depressed? If so, and if you haven't sought help for that, I highly recommend doing so.

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If I had had 20/20 foresight, things would be different now. But that's not how it's playing out.
Although I couldn't have known the specifics of what would happen, I DID have foresight that caused me to sock away a ton of money. I knew, based on history, that the odds were great I'd have more health problems down the road, and I prepared for that. But what I never anticipated was that I would become permanently unable to work in my 40s, and what the fallout would be. Never saw that coming...
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Old February 25th, 2013, 04:59 PM   #37 (permalink)
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That must have been really hard. I'm sorry.
It was really easy getting to where I'm at. The hard part only started recently, over the last two or three years.

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Are you depressed? If so, and if you haven't sought help for that, I highly recommend doing so.
Clinical depression isn't the issue for me. Frankly, from what I've seen, depression is right up there with ADHD in the most casually diagnosed (and then prescribed, no coincidence there) condition in all of medicine. I know that getting treatment is a godsend for those with depression. But for those of who don't fit neatly in any box, it's a frustrating misdiagnosis.

I think we're going too far O/T here. It would be ideal if a Guide or Mod could snip out the O/T part and put it in a topic named "When Your Mind Makes a Promise That Your Body Can't Fill" or something like that, I'd love to carry on. I just don't think this is the right location.
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 12:01 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Not daily but I have driven a dual clutch auto that didn't belong to me. Shifted incredibly smooth and quickly, the only indication it had shifted was the revmeter dropping and the slightly higher engine noise.

Literally didn't know it was shifting unless you were looking for it. It's amazing technology. I think the Nissan GT-R has a dual clutch transmission these days? If they're putting dual clutches on them you know it's something good.

EDIT: Are we talking of Automatic or Semi-Automatic dual clutch?
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 07:30 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Some companies aren't. Lamborghini and Pagani don't because the clutch for the Huayra would've weighed like 800KG more if it were a dual-clutch.
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Old March 5th, 2013, 08:26 AM   #40 (permalink)
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A few years ago I trained as a driving instructor in the UK, and current teaching for automatics is to use the left foot for braking and the right for the gas. two feet, two pedals, makes sense to me.

I currently drive an automatic using theat approach, and when I rent a Manual trans car there's no problem going back to the 'normal' Clutch with left foot, gas & brake with the right. OK, I've been driving sonve '71, mailly manuals with a fair sprinkling of Automatics in between.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 03:12 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Davdi View Post
A few years ago I trained as a driving instructor in the UK, and current teaching for automatics is to use the left foot for braking and the right for the gas. two feet, two pedals, makes sense to me.
The reason why it's a dangerous habit (and why your driving instructor should be sacked) is because in a panic situation, like when a crash is imminent, it's a natural reflex to shove both feet to the floor. If one foot is on the gas, that means you're applying full power when you should be applying no power!

A good driver will shift the right foot from the gas pedal to the brake naturally when there's any sign of trouble. This leads naturally to brakes-on, power-off, which is the best default setting. Many cars can easily overpower their brakes (the right side is the dominant side for 90% of people), and cause a near-crash to become a real crash. This can be easily prevented!

Training the driver to use one and only one foot to control all acceleration functions (braking is "negative acceleration") helps eliminate human errors like unintended acceleration, which is still a major problem. It may be fun to pretend that you're a rally driver, but it is not safe.

It has nothing to do with a clutch (or lack thereof), BTW. It's all about learned behavior.
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Old March 8th, 2013, 12:50 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Love twin clutch. It pulls the whole time with no drop off during shifting.
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