What Is A DSG Gearbox?

DSG gearboxes are incredibly controversial; a quick google search will pull up fairly negative results, with “DSG gearbox problems” and “DSG gearbox repairs” being at the very top of the list. Luckily, at Automatic Man, we are experts in DSG repairs and consequently, we are experts in identifying DSG gearbox problems.

In this blog post we want to answer all of your burning questions, to determine whether this is the right gearbox for you. From “what does DSG stand for?” to “what are the advantages of a DSG gearbox?”, we want you to make a fully informed decision, so that you have a better understanding of the vehicle you are purchasing, or even currently driving.

What Does DSG Stand For?

DSG stands for Direct Shift Gearbox. It’s also sometimes known as a Dual Clutch Gearbox, and you’ll find out why in the next section. Whether you refer to it in full, or by its acronym, most people will understand what you are talking about. Fun fact: the DSG gearbox was first used in cars manufactured by the Volkswagen Group; Volskwagen is based in Wolfsburg, Germany, and the German translation uses the same initials: DSG, or, Direkt Schalt Getriebe! 

What Is A DSG Gearbox?

A Direct Shift Gearbox is a kind of automatic gearbox – but it’s also quite different. This is because it has two gearboxes within one unit! It is made up of two clutches, two gearshafts and an electronic control unit, which is also known as a mechatronic unit. The mechatronic unit combines mechanics and electronics, and is made up of sensors and valves. 

They’re used by several car manufacturers, including Mitsubishi, Nissan, Volvo and Peugeot. If you don’t know much about cars, you may not even know that your current vehicle uses one. This is because, for the most part, they are very similar to a traditional automatic gearbox

What Is The Difference Between A DSG Gearbox And An Automatic Gearbox?

The main difference between a DSG gearbox and an automatic gearbox resides in the two clutches. Automatic gearboxes typically have a single clutch transmission. The second in the DSG allows for more efficient shifting between gears – the transitions are often faster and more fluid. This is a huge advantage of this kind of gearbox, and one which is often the deciding factor for people interested in purchasing a car which uses it.

DSG Gearbox Problems

A lot of the problems with DSG gearboxes can be traced back to the older models. Most modern DSGs no longer face these same problems, however they’re still important to know about – even if they affect a miniscule amount of the vehicles that are currently on the road. After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. 

Some common DSG gearbox problems include: 

  • Noisy Bearings: A bearing is a vital component of the engine, as it prevents friction between the different moving parts. While the DSG gearbox bearings still perform, they are incredibly loud – and for many people, this is off putting. 
  • Default Mode: This is also known as “limp mode” or “fail safe mode”. This is the transmissions failure state, wherein it limits itself to one gear to prevent further possible damage. The system is an electro-hydraulic control unit, or, mechatronic unit. While this isn’t a bad system in itself, it is prone to register faults that repair companies are unable to find. 
  • Juddering: The dual clutch is subject to much wear and tear, and this can create a noticeable juddering sensation. It is most often felt when operating in lower gears. The only solution is for the specific faulty component to be replaced – unless it is one of the non-replaceable components, in which case you will need to purchase a new dual clutch system. 
  • Fuel Economy: These gearboxes are typically heavier than manual gearboxes, which means they are not as fuel efficient. In short, this means that you may get fewer miles per gallon when driving a car with a DSG, thus paying more in fuel in the long run.

DSG Gearbox Advantages

We would be remiss if we didn’t provide you with some of the benefits of DSGs. After all, if they didn’t have their good qualities, they wouldn’t still be in use.

Some DSG gearbox advantages include:

  • Smooth Transitions: As we touched on earlier, the presence of two clutches means that this gearbox offers fast and fluid movement between gears. This is a huge benefit, and one of the reasons that people want a vehicle with this kind of gearbox. It has an up-shift time of approximately 8 milliseconds, which is why it was initially used for racing.
  • 7-Speed Gearbox: There are multiple versions of this gearbox, and it typically has 6 or 7 gears. The 7-speed DSG gearbox is rapidly gaining popularity, and is also much lighter than its 6-speed counterpart. The higher number of gears means that it has even better acceleration, and that it is marginally better for the environment as it offers lower fuel combustion.

DSG Mechatronic Repairs With Automatic Man

If you are in need of a DSG mechatronic repair, then look no further than Automatic Man. No matter what kind of trouble codes your dashboard is displaying, we are confident that our experienced mechanics will be able to diagnose the problem promptly, and provide a long-lasting solution. We use the leading diagnostic tools to maximise efficiency, accuracy and to get you back on the road safely, as soon as we can.

DSG Gearbox Repairs With Automatic Man

At Automatic Man we specialise in conducting high quality and cost-effective repairs. Our dedicated technicians have a wealth of experience in making DSG gearbox repairs on all makes and models, from the Porsche 911 to the Citroen C-Crossover. No matter what car you drive, or how much you know about cars, we promise to provide an honest and transparent service that will make you think twice before taking your repairs elsewhere. 

If you’re interested in our DSG gearbox repair services, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. A member of our support team will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have, and provide any advice you may need. Contact us today by completing our online form, phoning 020 8740 1020 or emailing [email protected]

And if you’re interested in learning more about different gearboxes, be sure to take a look at our blog. You may find our previous post interesting, “How Do You Know If Your Gearbox Needs Replacing?”.