What is a Dual-Clutch Transmission?

A dual-clutch transmission is a type of Automated Manual Transmission which uses two clutches in order to provide superior performance. Although many vehicles with dual-clutch transmissions lack a manual mode, and therefore engage all gear changes automatically, other models with dual-clutch transmissions allow you to take full control. Lynch Truck Center is always happy to answer the frequently asked questions of drivers from Milwaukee to Northern Chicago. Find the answers you’re searching for below!


How Does a Dual-Clutch Transmission Work?

Before we can fully answer the question, “What is a dual-clutch transmission?” you’ll need to have an idea of what’s out there:

  • With a manual transmission, the driver engages the clutch to momentarily separate the engine from the transmission, making space for a larger gear to come into play.
  • An automatic transmission carries out shifts automatically, making these models easier to drive, but often less engaging and historically less efficient.
  • Automated Manual Transmissions were initially designed to combine the performance benefits of manual transmissions with the easy drivability provided by automatic setups. However, the fusion was far from perfect, and AMT-equipped models have tended to lurch around at low speeds.

So, how does a dual-clutch transmission differ, and how does a dual-clutch transmission work? This specialized type of AMT controls the even and odd-numbered gears on separate clutches, allowing the next gear to preload before shifting. The result is ultra-smooth shifting, especially even at low speeds, and ‘best-of-all-worlds’ performance.

Although today’s automatic transmissions are catching up, dual-clutch transmissions still tend to provide superior fuel economy, too. However, they usually take up more space under the hood than their automatic counterparts.


How to Drive a Dual-Clutch Transmission

There are many different kinds of AMTs, but where the practical matter of how to drive a dual-clutch transmission is concerned, the most important distinction is between fully-automated setups and models which offer a built-in manual mode:

  • A fully-automated dual-clutch transmission drives more or less just like an automatic. Although there’s more going on under the hood, you won’t need to worry about watching RPMs or engaging the clutch.
  • Many models with dual-clutch transmissions offer a manual mode–and it’s especially common on performance-focused models. You won’t have to worry about a clutch pedal, since the next gear up will be engaged automatically before you trigger the shift. However, the experience of triggering your shifts by hand is guaranteed to excite.

Many fleet owners utilize fully-automated dual-clutch transmissions because they provide fuel economy advantages that quickly add up to major savings. However, if you want to enjoy those benefits for years to come, you’ll need to make regular transmission care a part of your commercial truck maintenance checklist.

AS69RC Aisin Transmission

Learn More About Components and Commercial Vehicles with the Lynch Truck Center

Eager to learn more? Start exploring our commercial truck inventory today, or learn a little bit about the Aisin brand–an important manufacturer of automatic, manual, and automated manual transmissions in the commercial world. Whether you’re near Waterford or out by Racine, the Lynch Truck Center is your source for all things related to commercial vehicles.


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