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      03-19-2011, 11:04 AM   #1
Voodooking
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How Reliable are M DCT Transmissions?

I'm coming from a Manual E46 M3, looking at DCT E90 M3's, and SMG E60 M5's.

One problem that I've noticed with the SMG III in the M5's is that the clutch wears out in a relatively short space of time. For example 30k to 40k miles seems to be average.

Replacement seems to cost an arm and a leg, and the flywheel, release bearings etc. must be replaced at the same time, which can cost approx £2000 which isn't covered by warranty.

My question is, is clutch replacement going to be necessary on an E90 M3 DCT also? I realise that they are a completely different transmission made from completely different technology, but will I need to budget for replacing the clutches in the DCT also, or is it not something I even need to think about?
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      03-19-2011, 11:19 AM   #2
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i'm curious about this too -- does it make sense to somehow try and get the DCT clutches replaced before the warranty expires??
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      03-19-2011, 11:40 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w00tw00t View Post
i'm curious about this too -- does it make sense to somehow try and get the DCT clutches replaced before the warranty expires??
There is a thread about DCT longevity. As far as I remember no one reported the need to replace the clutches so far. BUT how do you propose that we change the clutches before warranty is up? Just walk in to the dealer and demand replacement?
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      03-19-2011, 11:44 AM   #4
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Do a search, there are a number of posts on the subject.

They seemed to have ironed-out the LAG issue, so I’m convinced they are good. I currently have all Six Speed M cars, but I just order an E90 with a DCT.

I know one thing, when you order the car with a DCT, it is only a 3k option, but if it does ever crap-out, they can’t fix it (Porsche Included) they have to replace it, which is $13,000. Several have found the part number.
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      03-19-2011, 11:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakar92 View Post
Do a search, there are a number of posts on the subject.

They seemed to have ironed-out the LAG issue, so I’m convinced they are good. I currently have all Six Speed M cars, but I just order an E90 with a DCT.

I know one thing, when you order the car with a DCT, it is only a 3k option, but if it does ever crap-out, they can’t fix it (Porsche Included) they have to replace it, which is $13,000. Several have found the part number.
$13K ? are you sure!? that's expensive!
In that case 6MT should be way cheaper to fix, right?

(please don't start about 6MT vs DCT here again, just curious about repair price for 6MT and DCT)
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      03-19-2011, 11:57 AM   #6
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yes.
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      03-19-2011, 11:58 AM   #7
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I've been quoted 13k for a DCT transmission replacement and 8k for a 6mt replacement. But... with 6mt, they can repair/replace parts instead of having to replace the entire transmission. Or at least that's what I was told by a SA.
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      03-19-2011, 11:59 AM   #8
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The fact that there seems to be no reports of wear related failing of DCT clutches or the DCT itself is a good indication for long term reliability.
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      03-19-2011, 12:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince_of_Persia View Post
$13K ? are you sure!? that's expensive!
In that case 6MT should be way cheaper to fix, right?

(please don't start about 6MT vs DCT here again, just curious about repair price for 6MT and DCT)
Yes, after several people on here investigated, they found and posted that the DCT was not repairable, and the cost after warranty was $13,000. Also, I investigated on several Porsche sites, and found the same thing for their PDK. Hey, I hope it isn’t true, since I just ordered a DCT.
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      03-19-2011, 12:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajminn View Post
I've been quoted 13k for a DCT transmission replacement and 8k for a 6mt replacement. But... with 6mt, they can repair/replace parts instead of having to replace the entire transmission. Or at least that's what I was told by a SA.
See, there you go, confirmed!
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      03-19-2011, 12:45 PM   #11
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There is a reason I never use Launch! Regardless of suggestions to the contrary, any idiot who has ever done any car work (and we know there are lots of those!) knows it is very stressful to the parts. I have no supporting data, but I believe the clutches in a DCT transmission that is not abused will last longer than most folks will own the car, and longer than most clutches in a conventional MT.
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      03-19-2011, 01:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince_of_Persia View Post
$13K ? are you sure!? that's expensive!
In that case 6MT should be way cheaper to fix, right?

(please don't start about 6MT vs DCT here again, just curious about repair price for 6MT and DCT)
Thank you for reminding every body not to make this a 6MT Vs DCT thread, there is a ton of them already, plus we all know DCT is better
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      03-19-2011, 01:23 PM   #13
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Thumbs up

Sounds expensive either way.......Just lease it and give it back before warranty is up
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      03-19-2011, 01:33 PM   #14
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Little bit of a random question. But I love my m3, however at 13k KMs I had to get my transmission replaced. They replaced it under warranty and the car still didn't feel right so I gave it back to them and they replaced it yet again. Now what if this happens to me when my car is out if warranty? Is it possible to tell them to convert my DCT m3 into a Manual? I wouldn't think it would be to hard, I mean they are literally taking out my whole transmission.
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      03-19-2011, 02:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sameh View Post
Thank you for reminding every body not to make this a 6MT Vs DCT thread, there is a ton of them already, plus we all know 6MT is better
Corrected
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      03-19-2011, 02:20 PM   #16
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Keep in mind that with the DCT you also have an electronics module that controls the hydraulics that essentially allow the DCT to complete its gear shifts. That ECU can also have problems of its own, and can be replaced if necessary. If you're that concerned, research what the cost of replacement is, and see if any of BMW's extended warranties cover it, as certain electronic components are not covered (i.e. ask if it's legally considered a part of the car's drivetrain by BMW or whomever the warrantor is).

For reference, on VW's DSG, there were a few instances where the Mechatronic unit (aka the DSG's ECU) malfunctioned and had to be replaced. If I recall correctly, that unit cost around $1500 USD, but took from 4-8 weeks for delivery, so if it's your only car, and BMW's leadtimes are similar, and assuming the unit does in fact fail, that might be something to consider.

Taking all of that into consideration, if you're planning on buying the car used or new and keeping it for a long time, assume that anything can go wrong and in some case it can cost a good chunk of money to fix. You might be expecting the DCT to be problematic, but it could just as easily be a problem with the S65 engine, central electronics, or M differential, and all of them will cost a good amount of money to repair or replace.
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      03-19-2011, 02:30 PM   #17
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You are covered if anything goes wrong in the first 4yr/48,000 miles, but for anyone wanting to insure the risk beyond that, wouldn't the extended warranty cover it?
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      03-19-2011, 04:43 PM   #18
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Quote:
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You are covered if anything goes wrong in the first 4yr/48,000 miles, but for anyone wanting to insure the risk beyond that, wouldn't the extended warranty cover it?
The BMW extended warranty would for sure. I'm certainly planning to get the BMW extended warranty if I still have the car at the time.

Sticky is blazing the "rebuild your M-DCT" trail. There's lots of information in his M3 DCT Build Journal thread in the S65 forum on another site. It's definitely worth looking at. There's lots of pictures of the transmission's insides there.
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      03-19-2011, 06:06 PM   #19
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As far as I know you cannot separately purchase DCT internals. You'd have to send your transmission to an authorized rebuilder or purchase a new one.

And based on my understanding of the M-DCT, aka GETRAG Powershift® 7DCI600, it is designed for up to 9000 RPM with torque up to 600 N-m (443 lb-ft).

The reason why BMW/GETRAG chose a seemingly over designed transmission is because it is the first of its kind on a BMW car. Therefore, additional design margin/safety factor is added to mitigate any unforeseen stresses/loads/fatigue.

In sum, the M-DCT does appear to be a beefy design.

I guess only time will tell if these Powershift® 7DCI600 really hold up in a few years when more total miles are accumulated through all the M3s, new M5s, etc.
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      03-19-2011, 06:12 PM   #20
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Some basics on the DCT transmission:

1) Cannot be opened, if it breaks the entire tranny needs to be replaced. It's a BMW/Getrag thing - they don't let anyone open them. Computer diagnostics is where it ends.

2) Transmission itself (part) costs $12,000 - with labor you're looking at $14-$16k for a replacement.

3) It's a pretty solid transmission from what I've read/experienced/heard, if you plan on purchasing your car I would certainly invest in the extended warranty to avoid a potentially very expensive repair on the tranny.
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      03-19-2011, 07:07 PM   #21
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Real OEM lists it as $9,749. So does that mean the price of the unit has gone down in recent years?

Not as if thats chump change either way.

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...00&hg=28&fg=05
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      03-21-2011, 05:11 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaykay View Post
Some basics on the DCT transmission:

1) Cannot be opened, if it breaks the entire tranny needs to be replaced. It's a BMW/Getrag thing - they don't let anyone open them. Computer diagnostics is where it ends.

2) Transmission itself (part) costs $12,000 - with labor you're looking at $14-$16k for a replacement.

3) It's a pretty solid transmission from what I've read/experienced/heard, if you plan on purchasing your car I would certainly invest in the extended warranty to avoid a potentially very expensive repair on the tranny.
The transmission can and already has been upgraded: DCT upgrades
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