Automatic/DSG gearboxes

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T Roo
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Automatic/DSG gearboxes

Post by T Roo » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:14 pm

Having never owned an automatic, I’ve just been reading how owners use their DSG boxes. There seems to be a bit of variance with some choosing to put the car into Park at traffic lights, others choosing Neutral and others again leaving the box in Drive.

There were comments too about using the ‘engine brake’ when going down hill instead of just using (wearing out) your wheel brakes. There was other stuff which all you DSG drivers will be familiar with. Someone also referred to a DSG fart?

So my question is, what is your preferred DSG technique? Do you use the paddles if you have them, do you ‘go manual’ on hills or are there DSG driving techniques that just have to be learned when you’re behind the wheel?

What, in your view, is the best DSG driving technique? 8-)

twist
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Re: Automatic/DSG gearboxes

Post by twist » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:55 pm

Never put it in park at lights. If you get rammed from behind, your parking pawl will snap. Either handbrake + neutral or foot on brake in D/S.

I use Tiptronic a reasonable amount and is definitely great for steep hills to reduce brakes overheating.

You won’t get many DSG farts on a 1.5! 2.0 petrol maybe but it’s mainly high power engines (think R) and it’s a deliberate thing these days. The piston has excess gas upon exploding just as you let off the throttle. I think it creates a larger explosion on the next fire rather than evacuating the excess gas. Don’t think the smaller engines do it.
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Re: Automatic/DSG gearboxes

Post by Jasonob1 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:21 pm

The T-Roc has auto hold for hills and you only need to leave the car in D when you stop. Engine will stop as long as it's warm enough or not deactivated. This is the most stress free way of driving in my opinion.
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Re: Automatic/DSG gearboxes

Post by Impala » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:24 pm

My DSG selector is usually in one of three positions;

P - I'm parked with the engine off 8-)
R - when I want to reverse :idea:
D - when I want to go forward :idea:

But seriously, I stick it in D and leave it there except when parked or reversing. I don't bother moving to P or N at traffic lights. Also, VW say not to use N for coasting (eg downhill) as that can result in the box overheating.

I use the paddles to engage a lower gear going down long/steep hills (as you say, to save the brakes) and I sometimes do the same to slow down when approaching a roundabout on a fast dual carriageway or on an exit slip lane. The dash indicator will show M when you use the paddles, but the DSG will return to D and resume auto shifting after a couple of minutes if the car's systems believe you have resumed a steady speed without acceleration/braking or no longer going downhill. If you want to return to D sooner, you cancel Manual mode by pulling and holding the left (minus) paddle for a second or so and the dash indicator reverts to D.

While in M, if the engine speed drops too low for the gear you have selected (eg applying the brakes), the DSG will automatically drop the gear further by itself. Likewise, if you accelerate and reach too high an engine speed, the DSG automatically shifts up. The only thing you have to remember is that if you come to a stop while in M (from using the paddles), the DSG will select first gear and you can find the engine screaming when you move off if you forget to manually shift up or to cancel Manual mode .

I don't use the tiptronic, and I tend to flick the DSG selector in D/S to use Sport mode for overtaking (if I need extra oomph) rather than using the paddles. BTW, when in Sport with the throttle hard down and revs around 3500+ then flick the selector to revert to D, you will produce a noticable fart even with the 1.5 engine.

The DSG is superb in conjunction with Adaptive Cruise Control, engine Stop/Start and Auto-Hold brake.
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Re: Automatic/DSG gearboxes

Post by T Roo » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:39 pm

Thanks all. I’m tempted to go DSG before el Gov bans the whole shebang. Have to think about others who will drive the car too so simplicity (for me and them!) is the watchword. Sounds a breeze :)

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Re: Automatic/DSG gearboxes

Post by twist » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:32 pm

T Roo wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:39 pm
Thanks all. I’m tempted to go DSG before el Gov bans the whole shebang. Have to think about others who will drive the car too so simplicity (for me and them!) is the watchword. Sounds a breeze :)
Something worth taking note of before you jump into a DSG: it is noticeably more jerky than a torque converter automatic. As I’m sure you’re at least acutely aware, it’s not really an automatic; it’s an automated manual.

The box tries to predict your next move and pre-selects the next gear it thinks you will need so to get the best experience out of one, you have to be clear by means of your footwork. If you’re one of these people who is constantly on/off the pedals, you’re going to have a bad time in the lower gears and hate the DSG because it will constantly be confused and shift all over the place. I drove like that at first in my Golf but after realizing that you need to kind of get in sync with it a bit (some people seem to be more natural at this) it was like a pendulum swing from “this thing is weird” to “I love this thing.”

Take a few test drives first and see how it vibes with you. It’s wonderful fun flying through the gears in manual mode up a slip road. That’s when you really see how fast it shifts.
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Re: Automatic/DSG gearboxes

Post by Hawkeye » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:41 pm

Having had DSG boxes in my last 4 cars - and now in the T-ROC, I have to say I absolutely love it, Soooooooooooo much better than manual. Having said that, it takes a while to get used to them to get the best out of a DSG box; initial impressions if you haven't driven one before are probably hmmmmm.

For just general driving then leaving it in "D" and letting it do it's own thing is fine. In this mode it works well and makes driving pretty effortless, however, it can be that you use the brakes more to slow down, or keep your speed going down hills if you don't "use the box", as the whole idea of DSG when being driven normally is to select as high a gear as possible for economy. If that's how you want to use the DSG box (basically as an old style auto box) then that's fine and you won't be disappointed. But you will miss out on the fun bits.

For some reason it does take a while to understand the boxes to get the best out of them. Take the above example, if I leave mine in drive and come to go down a hill it will speed up. But tap on the LH paddle to change down a few gears - typically the gear I would be in if I was driving a manual - and the torque from using the lower gear kicks in. One you get back on the gas, either return it to normal mode yourself (hold the RH paddle for a few seconds) or, let the DSG box itself return it automatically for you a few seconds after getting back on the gas.
Likewise for overtakes, click the LH paddle to overtake (if you want a bit of speed to overtake) to the gear you would normally use, and the car will react accordingly, returning to normal drive mode as above after a short period. Alternately, just quickly pull the DSG gear box lever back to get it into Sport mode and press down on the accelerator and let the box do its thing, returning to Drive mode when YOU decide by pulling back on the DSG gear lever again when you are ready. I often click into Sport mode on the box when joining roundabouts.
But for real fun put it into Manual mode (when in Drive, push the DSG lever to the left). This then means you can either use the DSG lever for changing up or down, or the paddles on the steering wheel. Great fun for using a few revs through the twisties and getting the rev counter spinning - I use Manual mode a lot down country lanes when I want a bit of fun and use a few revs. All you need to remember is to use the manual DSG box and select the gears in the same way as using a manual. But with the DSG box, the change is smoother and more instant. No matter what you do in any of the modes, you can't over-rev as the box will auto change up if you red-line it, or will stop you changing down too many gears if you are likely to over-rev.

On the 2.0 of course you can use launch control, which is where it will take off a heck of a lot quicker (you don't have that on the 1.5). No doubt the R has launch also.

A I said above, mots fail to realise the potential of a DSG box and how it can be used - not sure why but many seem to think there is some mystery about them and what they do. In reality it's quite simple. In D mode they will act like a normal gear box, but will need a little "assistance" for going down hills by briefly engaging manual mode by flicking the LH paddle. For a bit of fun, flick it into manual mode and then drive it and select gears in the same way you would if you were driving a manual. And that's about it. Just that the DSG box does it sooooo much better than if you were driving a manual box.

For me its a no-brainer. Given the option, it's the first on the list.
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Re: Automatic/DSG gearboxes

Post by Jasonob1 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:56 pm

twist wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:32 pm
T Roo wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:39 pm
Thanks all. I’m tempted to go DSG before el Gov bans the whole shebang. Have to think about others who will drive the car too so simplicity (for me and them!) is the watchword. Sounds a breeze :)
Something worth taking note of before you jump into a DSG: it is noticeably more jerky than a torque converter automatic. As I’m sure you’re at least acutely aware, it’s not really an automatic; it’s an automated manual.

The box tries to predict your next move and pre-selects the next gear it thinks you will need so to get the best experience out of one, you have to be clear by means of your footwork. If you’re one of these people who is constantly on/off the pedals, you’re going to have a bad time in the lower gears and hate the DSG because it will constantly be confused and shift all over the place. I drove like that at first in my Golf but after realizing that you need to kind of get in sync with it a bit (some people seem to be more natural at this) it was like a pendulum swing from “this thing is weird” to “I love this thing.”

Take a few test drives first and see how it vibes with you. It’s wonderful fun flying through the gears in manual mode up a slip road. That’s when you really see how fast it shifts.

We have the 1.5 DSG and it couldn’t be smoother. No issues low, mid or high gears. All changes without drama.
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Keyless entry and go.

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Re: Automatic/DSG gearboxes

Post by twist » Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:05 am

Jasonob1 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:56 pm

We have the 1.5 DSG and it couldn’t be smoother. No issues low, mid or high gears. All changes without drama.
Most owners agree a DSG can feel a bit jerky compared to a TC auto. Some people say they don’t notice. I guess it’s subjective.
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Re: Automatic/DSG gearboxes

Post by webb1e » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:36 am

Maybe I just have the knack but I also only use 3 positions and find the whole experience incredibly smooth without having to think what you are doing. This is my 3rd VAG DSG gearbox and I prefer it to my Merc's auto. I had flappy paddles in my Audi Q3 previously but rarely used them.
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