How does a Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) work?


Unlike traditional automatic transmissions, Kia’s Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) is derived from a manual transmission and gives you the convenience of smooth automatic gear changes whilst retaining the fuel economy benefits associated with a manual transmission.

DCT is Kia’s new generation of Automated Manual transmissions offering the driver the best of both worlds:

  • Incorporates a precision controlled twin clutch design resulting in seamlessly smooth gear shifts.
  • Replicates features of a traditional automatic transmission.

Brand New Cars

As Kia’s DCT is derived from a manual transmission there is an initial bedding in period before the transmission has reached its optimal performance. This bedding in occurs within the first few hundred kilometres of driving or may take a little longer if the vehicle is used primarily for highway driving where gear changes occur less regularly.

During this period you may experience the following:

  • A slight rattle noise typically when the transmission shifts up a gear. This is the normal sound of the clutch operating.
  • A slight shudder or vibration as you pull away at low speeds. This is normal and will lessen as the clutch beds in.
  • When the vehicle is started from cold, the DCT transmission may have a firmer shift until the vehicle reaches normal operating temperature.

DCT Driving Characteristics

Transmission Sound
A subtle double-clicking sound may be heard when the transmission is changing gears, particularly when driving on smooth roads at lower vehicle speeds.

A clicking noise may also be heard from the transmission when the engine is turned off which is the normal sound of the transmission cycling the clutch to the open position so that it is ready for a safe restart of the engine.

Vehicle "Creep"
Kia’s advanced DCT replicates the feeling of a traditional automatic. This is noticeable as the vehicle starts to creep forward as you start to release the brake pedal. This allows for a smoother take off. This feature also applies when the vehicle is in Reverse gear.

“Direct” Driving feel
When driving with the vehicle in gear, the transmission is directly connecting the engine to the driving wheels which provides for more responsive acceleration and a more dynamic driving feel. At very low speeds, such as driving in a car park,
this may feel like a slight shunting sensation, especially if the driver is depressing and releasing the accelerator pedal repeatedly. This can be avoided by using a gentler and more consistent accelerator pedal application.

Hill Launch Assist

DCT vehicles also feature an advanced Hill Launch Assist function that assists with taking off on an incline. Unlike manual transmissions where the vehicle may roll back during a hill start, the transmission works together with the vehicle’s
braking system to hold the vehicle stationary for a brief moment after the driver takes their foot off the brake pedal. This provides the driver time to move their foot to the accelerator pedal and smoothly launch the vehicle without the vehicle
rolling backwards.

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