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DSG slow downshift

16764 Views 35 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  thermorex
I have had my new MkV GTI DSG for 3 weeks now and am generally happy with it except for one thing. Most times when I manually downshift from one gear to the next the shift takes about 1 sec which is much longer than the very fast upshifts. It's as if the gearbox is optimised for upshifts by preselecting the next highest gear and, when I tell it to downshift, it has to go to the shop, buy the required gear and fit it before changing down (OK, it's not that bad but 1 sec feels long when you are freewheeling into a corner and are waiting for the downshift to occur). This is most noticeable when downshifting from 4th to 3rd since I mostly drive around town in 4th. I have recorded the engine sound on my PPC and analysed the file with audio editing software and can confirm the 1 sec delay before the downshift is complete. Anybody else noticed this problem? Barry
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Yep, same "problem" here. I've learned that the DSG is a different beast than manual. It's not that it's not ready for the shift, but that dang, or good, RPM matching. It's good for the clutch, in that it will pull off, accelerate to match spped and then re-engage with little slip, but that takes about a second on a downshift if you're not giving it gas. The main mental change that will speed up down shifting:

Wait until you're ready to accelerate. If you're in 4, and know you're going to shift to 3, wait until you're starting to gas it, in 4, _then_ hit it down to 3. MUCH faster. It accelerates the RPM match way faster because you're telling it to go fast with the gas.

Give that a shot, and let us know if you feel a difference.
jgo said:
You should always doenshift when you are ready to accelerate. Downshifting to slow down is bad news. You are using an expensive engine and tranny to do the job that cheap brakes were designed to do. I am talking about normal driveing, not holding back on a grade.
Probably a good point, but that's not exactly what I meant:
Manual: In 4th, push in clutch, shift to 3rd, accelerate, let out clutch at RPM match
DSG: Leave in 4th, accelerate, shift to 3rd, [computer] push in clutch, clutch at RPM match

see the switch? You'd probably even accelerate while shifting in a manual, but with the DSG if you want a quick shift, you have to accelerate before shifting.
yeah, I'm with you. I had exactly the same issue, and also bitched up a storm about it when I got it. It's different, but I love it in the end. Again, it's just an adjustment to get used to. That freewheeling moment was _really_ disconcerting for me at first. Now, when I see the corner coming, I tend to downshift before I get there (a second earlier than in a manual...), or wait 'til I'm floring it out of the corner and get the super quick shift into power range.

Try it on a straight first to get used to it. Get in 4th at 2000 rpm. Give it lots of gas. Shift to 3rd. You'll feel it.

Once you get used to it, it's good for many things, not just a straight line.

Do purists still eat raw meat because that's what man did before fire? By all means, then, be a purist, but I'll take progress. Ohh, that'll make a good sig. ;)
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Now that you mention it, does anyone know if the vagcom can program the DSG not to auto downshift at redline? That would, admittedly, be nice to have.
Totally agree with the traffic situation, IF you're in D. I rarely drive in D, mostly manual. Unfortunately, there's a spot in my commute where I have to cross 5 lanes of busy, congested freeway traffic in about 1/2 a mile. I usually throw it in S for that. Gives me quick pickup for sudden slow to faster moving lane changes.

As to the engine braking, it's identical to a manual, IF you use manual mode. Same mechanics. Engine is physically locked to wheels, and it works perfect. If you're in D, it's like an auto, no engine braking.
davet210 said:
nitroburn said:
Isn't that partly why we have paddle shifts? As deviltailedfast pointed out, what you say is partly valid in D, but also only if you don't bother to hit the - paddle to change gear. I don't see the need to goto 6-speed based on that situation as its only change is going to be slower shifting and need to control the clutch.
I was referring to the paddles. Downshifting is too slow. Waiting for the trans to engage a lower gear. It's ready to engage the next higher gear, and takes too much time to engage a lower gear. God forbid you need to downshift 2 gears quickly.

Having a manual clutch allows you to select the gear you want (which you can actually tell without taking your eyes off the road to look at those little dash indicators), raise the revs with your right foot (which also gets past the turbo lag) and slip the clutch as needed depending on your speed and the gear selected, to move when you need to.

Don't even get me going about the automatic modes . . . D, 6th gear at 40mph. S, scream out every gear.
:) I'm enjoying this thread! People who want to have a real discussion on the DSG. I can't tell you how many times I've posted the shameful difference between D and S. Granny and Andretti. I want a "normal" mode for city driving, perhaps 1.8k to 3k generally.

And I totally agree with the "little dash indicators". That's the most difficult thing with the DSG and sudden speed changes. I can't reach down and tell where I'm at. I'm looking forward to a DSG that has an H pattern. You move it to the position you want, and that's the gear you get. Barring that, there should be a huge ass number in the dash when in manual mode so I can quickly get to where I need to be.

I still love it. The technology is fantastic. It just needs some fine-tuning for people who want a little more.

P.S. A friend told me BMW's SMG has several shift modes to allow for many different driving situations. I'd think the VW computer could easily be programmed to allow for all types of driving styles and situations. Hopefully one day we'll have access to these types of settings.
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After a lot of time with my DSG, here's my thought on the programming: If I downshift and then hit the gas, it should go ahead and accelerate the matching faster. It seems pretty commited to downshifting slowly if you let off the gas just prior to the shift. On the road, a whole second is a long time to not be able to change your mind...

I found myself thinking the other day, if VW went out of business, would I be able to keep my car running with the DSG for the next 40 years? I hope they keep at it, because this is a great transmission!
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