Here’s how you care for your DCT-equipped Proton X50

Eric · Jul 4, 2021 12:00 PM

Here’s how you care for your DCT-equipped Proton X50 01

Dual-clutch transmissions (DCTs) may be new to Proton, but such transmissions have been fitted to various German marques since the early 2000s.

At the moment, only two Proton models are fitted with a DCT: the Proton X50 and the Proton X70.

Here’s how you care for your DCT-equipped Proton X50 02

Naturally, for many folks who are upgrading from an older model, either the X50 and X70 is their first encounter with a DCT. It doesn’t help the fact that there are a lot of misinformation when it comes to driving a DCT-equipped car.

If you are stuck in a traffic jam, should you leave the car in Drive, or shift to Neutral?

Here’s how you care for your DCT-equipped Proton X50 01

Proton advises owners of DCT-equipped cars to shift to Neutral and utilize the Auto Hold function.

Here’s how you care for your DCT-equipped Proton X50 02

The Proton X50's Auto Hold button is located below the electric parking brake button, with the (A) icon

“During prolonged standstill, it is recommended to shift to ‘Neutral’ position for safety (accidental release of the brake pedal) as well as to prolong the lifespan of engine and transmission roll mountings. Furthermore, there is a safety function whereby the engagement of Auto Brake Hold will be automatically shifted to Electric Parking Brake after 10 minutes of standstill. This is to prevent the brake system from overheating,” explained Proton.

Here’s how you care for your DCT-equipped Proton X50 03

Left: Saga's 4-speed torque converter auto, Right: Iriz's CVT auto

According the Proton, this advice also applies to its torque converter- and CVT-equipped models.

Here’s how you care for your DCT-equipped Proton X50 04

That said, other manufacturer who have DCT-equipped models, like BMW, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen shared a different sentiment: it is fine to leave the car in Drive when you are waiting at a regular traffic light waiting time, which is usually about 3 minutes. Any longer, it is advisable to shift to N and engage the parking brake. 

Here’s how you care for your DCT-equipped Proton X50 05

Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) said, “The system is designed to work in this way. When the Auto Hold is activated or the brake pedal held in a stop position, the clutch is disengaged. No need to shift the Neutral.” This tip is regardless whether the clutch is a wet- or dry-type.

Here’s how you care for your DCT-equipped Proton X50 06

BMW Group Malaysia echoes that advice, as they stated that independent clutch cooling and lubrication would be taking place through the pump motor of the clutch cooling system at this time, preventing any stress to the transmission.

Here’s how you care for your DCT-equipped Proton X50 07

As for Mercedes-Benz Malaysia, the company mentioned that there is very little stress to a DCT’s driveline as the amount of torque generated when the engine idling is minimal. However, the Stuttgart-based company gave one scenario when drivers should shift to Park: 

Here’s how you care for your DCT-equipped Proton X50 08

“However, when the vehicle is on a steep incline such as a hill for a long duration, it is best to put the vehicle into Park as the clutch friction will increase to keep the vehicle stationary. When the vehicle is stationary in traffic, the pressure to both clutch packs is decreased to the minimum amount required to prevent any excess wear to the clutches but to keep the vehicle stationery and power transmitted to the driveline.”

Here’s how you care for your DCT-equipped Proton X50 09

For owners of Honda’s previous-generation i-DCD Sport Hybrid models like the City Hybrid, Jazz Hybrid, and HR-V Hybrid (these models use a dry-type seven-speed dual-clutch automatic), this discussion is not relevant as the hybrid engine turns off when the car is not moving.

How long can a DCT clutch last?

Here’s how you care for your DCT-equipped Proton X50 10

When Proton launched the DCT-equipped Proton X70 slightly more than a year ago, the emphasized that the X70’s DCT has been reliably tested to a 350,000 km mileage. In fact, in an effort to adapt to Malaysian driving behaviour, road conditions, and our hot and humid climate, Proton has managed to clock well over 2,000,000 km in development mileage for its DCT calibration.

Also Read: 2020 Proton X70 CKD 7-speed wet DCT is tested in Malaysia, lifespan of 350k km

Proton also does not expect an average customer to require a clutch pack replacement.

Here’s how you care for your DCT-equipped Proton X50 11

Photo credit: Engineering Insider

It is also the same for the other German marques. BMW Group Malaysia and Mercedes-Benz Malaysia added that the clutch packs are designed to last the entire life-cycle of the vehicle, which typically means 15 years or 300,000 km.

Here’s how you care for your DCT-equipped Proton X50 12

The crucial part is actually the DCT fluid. Prices vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but the ballpark price is between RM 250 (Proton) to RM 800 (BMW). Proton says that the X50 and X70's DCT fluid should be replaced at every 90,000-km interval. 

Conclusion – Adapt to the car you have

If you already have a DCT-equipped car prior to reading this article, it would be advisable to adapt to your car; not the other way around.

Follow the steps provided by the respective manufacturer who knows best and you should have a relatively trouble-free ownership experience.

Eric

Editor

Started from the IT industry but somehow managed to find his way into the automotive industry. If he’s not gaming, he’s constantly tinkering with his daily/weekend car.

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