The powershift transmission is one of a growing number of dual-clutch transmissions that are expected to be fitted in more than half of cars in Europe by 2020. These transmissions are favoured for their improved efficiency and quicker, smoother shifting than more traditional automatic transmissions. It’s because of this popularity that it’s increasingly useful to know what kind of faults you’re likely to see in these transmissions, and the symptoms they produce. After all, there’s a growing chance you might have one in your car.
A typical automatic transmission has a series of “wet clutches” that are activated in particular combinations to achieve the desired ratios. Conversely, a manual transmission has one dry clutch and a bunch of actual metal gears. Dual clutch transmissions like the powershift are a combination of the two.
A pair of clutches are used together, with one clutch being responsible for the odd-numbered gears and the other one for the even-numbered gears. These clutches are controlled by the transmission control unit, rather than a foot-powered clutch pedal.
This hybrid of transmission designs allows for the increased efficiency of a manual transmission, the ease of use and driving comfort of an automatic transmission, as well as quicker, smoother shifting over a regular automatic transmission.