Dual-clutch vs Regular automatic transmission Pros & Cons


Posted by: Okenwa Emeka

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There are different types of car transmission. Here, we will be focusing on two important ones, the dual-clutch transmission and the regular automatic transmission. Check details below!

Transmission is the mechanical process of propelling a vehicle in any given direction making use of parts like the gearbox and clutch. Transmission in automobiles simply implies that power generated by the automobile engines has to be transmitted to the wheels of a vehicle and it needs a system to do this.

The role of the transmission system is to transfer the power generated by the engine to the wheels either to move the vehicle forward, backwards or to change its speed. It is a very important component of every vehicle hence; they need for you to have a knowledge of them before you can talk of driving.

1. Types of transmission system

There are different types of transmission system. They are four major types, which include:

  • The manual transmission
  • The regular or conventional automatic transmission
  • The dual-clutch transmission
  • The continuous variable transmission

The last two are sometimes both classified as types of automatic transmission. Here, we will be focusing on two important ones from the four listed, the dual- clutch and the regular automatic transmission.

>>> If you are not too familiar with your automatic transmission, read this: P-R-I-N-D-L on automatic gear shift, what does it mean?

2. Basics of the dual-clutch transmission

The dual-automatic transmission can be said to be a hybrid of the manual and the automatic. It is a semi-automatic transmission system. In a world where most people know that cars have two basic types of transmission: the manual and the automatic, one may be lost when the phrase ‘dual-clutch transmission’ is used.

The dual-clutch transmission is sort of in between the manual and the automatic and has a lot more to offer that makes it different from the other two. It is also known by different names such as the ‘semi-automatic transmission, the ‘automated manual transmission’ and the ‘clutchless manual transmission. It is relatively a recent technology in the production of automobiles, one known with a specific feature known as the dual-clutch (direct-shift) gearbox.


The dual-clutch is also called a semi-automatic transmission

How does the dual-clutch transmission work?

The name ‘dual-clutch’ comes from the fact that this transmission system makes use of two clutches to harmonize the gear change. To better appreciate how the dual-clutch works, perhaps it is expedient to first understand how the manual transmission works.

When a driver using a manual gearbox wants to change from one gear to another, he needs to first depress the clutch pedal. Its single clutch system disengages the engine’s drive from the gearbox. This interrupts the flow of power to the transmission thus allowing a smooth change of gear. In the dual- clutch system however, two clutches are used instead of one. Both clutches are automatically controlled by computer hence no need for the driver to depress a clutch- pedal.

Since the dual-clutch operates through a computerized system with an automated response, one could say it is automatic but it is not.


The new Toyota Supra sports car features a dual-clutch transmission

>>> Get the expert opinion on these two dual-clutch transmission cars. [Expert car compare] Mazda 3 vs Mazda 6 in Nigerian used car market

3. Basics of the automatic transmission

The traditional or regular automatic transmission is also known as the ‘torque converter automatic’ and is the standard automatic system found in most cars. Just like the dual-clutch transmission, it does not require the driver to depress clutch pedals to change gears but unlike it, it makes use of the torque converter.

How does the automatic transmission work?

For the automatic transmission, there is no clutch-pedal and there is also no shifting of gears. Once you start driving, everything is activated automatically. How is this? A torque converter or a hydraulic fluid does the job of the clutch. It automatically connects to the electronic control system of the car engine thus precisely controlling the vehicle.

The torque converter used by the automatic transmission is the major feature that differentiates it from the dual-clutch transmission.


Regular automatic transmissions don't come with the manual shift option

>>> If you are still caught in the mix: Manual vs automatic - which is more reliable and boasts higher performance?

4. Dual-clutch vs Regular automatic transmission: Pros & cons

If you need some reviews to decide which transmission you should go for, here you are!

Dual-clutch Automatic transmission 

- Facilitate faster shifts

- Provide the freedom to shift or relax

- Support to improved fuel economy

 - Allow you come to an abrupt stop without wearing out the engine

- Absorbs the mechanical shock, resulting in a smooth ride


- Prone to jerkiness

- Limited car models equipped with this

- Expensive replacement

 - Hard to service

- Do not support fuel efficiency

>>> Do come back Naijauto.com for more handy car maintenance tips!

Okenwa Emeka
Okenwa Emeka

Okenwa Emeka


Okenwa Emeka is a prolific writer who combines his content creation skills with a strong passion for automobiles to make engaging articles for Naija car lovers. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing CAM with a diploma in digital marketing. 

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