If you've recently purchased one of the late model vehicles that offers a dual drive transmission, you're likely already enjoying the smooth shifting and improved fuel economy compared to your previous manual or automatic transmission. However, other than the enhancements you've noticed to your driving experience, you may not know much about the operation, maintenance, or repair of your dual drive transmission. Read on to learn more about what makes your vehicle different from others on the road.
What are the differences between a dual drive transmission and an automatic transmission?
The primary difference between these transmission types lies in the way the gears are intertwined. If you've ever noticed an automatic transmission jerk or accelerate slightly each time it shifts into a higher gear, this is due to the way the gears transmit kinetic energy to one another when the electronic clutch shifts from odd to even gears.
Dual drive transmissions have separate clutches for both types of gears (hence the name "dual drive"). This allows these vehicles to transition between gears seamlessly, without the jerking or revving you may have experienced in a manual transmission.
What should you do to maintain your dual drive transmission?
Like all transmissions, dual drive transmissions require periodic inspections and fluid changes. Transmission fluid is one of the key components of your vehicle, and helps lubricate the complex components of your shifting system. If your transmission fluid becomes contaminated (such as forming residue after getting too hot) or has simply been circulating for tens of thousands of miles, it's a good idea to drain and flush this fluid and replace it with fresh. Check your owner's manual for the manufacturer's specifications regarding the number of years or miles after which you should have your transmission serviced. Click here for more information about transmissions repair.
Just as important as fluid flushes is proper everyday care. Don't rev your vehicle at stoplights or press the accelerator to the mat to take off from a dead stop -- because the dual drive transmission shifts more smoothly than the traditional transmission, it can be easy to overshift if you floor it, and over time this type of rough driving can take its toll. If young or inexperienced drivers will be borrowing your dual drive car, ensure that they've been notified that this car shifts a bit differently from other types of vehicles and not to overdo it.