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      01-15-2014, 08:04 PM   #1
BMW_Boy7
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M3...DCT "Feeling"

So I'll try to keep this simple. I finally found a M3 that I'm very close to buying as a first time BMW owner(Crazy Excited). Ok straight to the point! As I took it for a test drive I felt the DCT was dragging kinda like the feeling when you drive too fast in 1st or 2nd gear and don't shift.The car didn't "sound" funny but was more of a "feeling' and I'm coming from a 4-speed auto that's years old and feels like normal cars when they shift.(Chargers,Nissans,Dodge Avengers) The M3 did shift quickly as I don't know the car mechanically much at all and felt normal. Only reason why I didn't try other modes were because I didn't wanna switch to manual accidentally or something.(Quick Test Drive) My question is do BMW's have this "heavy" trans feeling? DCT only because it's a RACE F1 style tranny? I've never driven a SMG so basically no M car or BMW experience at that..

Specs:2010.DCT.18xxx miles, VERY clean carfax,regular maintenance, 1 owner that barely drove!


*I've searched the internet for hours at a time and only found DCT vs 6speed info unfortunately.
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      01-15-2014, 08:36 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW_Boy7 View Post
So I'll try to keep this simple. I finally found a M3 that I'm very close to buying as a first time BMW owner(Crazy Excited). Ok straight to the point! As I took it for a test drive I felt the DCT was dragging kinda like the feeling when you drive too fast in 1st or 2nd gear and don't shift.
Your description of the DCT behavior is a little vague, unclear and hard to diagnose. I will mention that the transmission has a wide variety of settings which include being able to set how long the DCT holds gears, how sensitive it is to downshifting when the throttle is pressed, what gear it starts out in (1st or 2nd) etc. So assuming the car is well maintained, I'd guess it was set to behave the way you felt it behaving. If I were you, I'd go for a longer test drive and ask the owner to show you how to adjust the DCT shift settings.
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      01-15-2014, 08:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW_Boy7 View Post
So I'll try to keep this simple. I finally found a M3 that I'm very close to buying as a first time BMW owner(Crazy Excited). Ok straight to the point! As I took it for a test drive I felt the DCT was dragging kinda like the feeling when you drive too fast in 1st or 2nd gear and don't shift.
As in the shift was delayed? Stayed in gear too long and there was an engine braking effect?

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*I've searched the internet for hours at a time and only found DCT vs 6speed info unfortunately.
Lulz. Way to go M3post. Obscuring good content with endless debate that dominates the serps.
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      01-15-2014, 08:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catpat8000 View Post
Your description of the DCT behavior is a little vague, unclear and hard to diagnose. I will mention that the transmission has a wide variety of settings which include being able to set how long the DCT holds gears, how sensitive it is to downshifting when the throttle is pressed, what gear it starts out in (1st or 2nd) etc. So assuming the car is well maintained, I'd guess it was set to behave the way you felt it behaving. If I were you, I'd go for a longer test drive and ask the owner to show you how to adjust the DCT shift settings.
Well I will go for another test drive and play with the settings more and get instructions. Well let me ask this, if we compare the DCT to a regular 5speed/4speed..what will be noticeable differences beside the extremely quick shifting. I know driving a dodge charger vs a m3, transmission wise what could I perceive different other than what I stated? Maybe you could give me a better example to help me understand the answers im seeking.
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      01-15-2014, 09:10 PM   #5
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"As in the shift was delayed? Stayed in gear too long and there was an engine braking effect?"

Well no there wasn't any signs that improper shifting occurred based off the tach reading and the sound of the engine was normal, BUT the effect of engine breaking was what I thought I felt. Like how someone would downshift to slow a car down if the brakes went out. This "drag" feeling just felt odd, idk if it's normal and I don't understand how M cars feel or a BMW. I know when I rented a nissan maxima for a day during acceleration the car's transmission had a engine braking sound/strain but I was told is normal for their transmissions.
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      01-15-2014, 09:11 PM   #6
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I don't really understand what you're asking. When you drive too fast in first or second gear and don't shift then you hit the rev limiter. I'm not sure what you mean by "dragging." If the car is warmed up in manual mode, you put it in 2nd gear and mash the throttle, it's going to accelerate hard until it hits the limiter. Is this car not doing that?

When the DCT is in manual mode and you're not in the middle of a shift it feels exactly like a traditional manual transmission. If you go too fast without shifting it will bounce off the rev-limiter. The engine is mechanically linked to the rear tires, so if you lift you'll feel significant engine braking.
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      01-15-2014, 09:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW_Boy7 View Post
"As in the shift was delayed? Stayed in gear too long and there was an engine braking effect?"

Well no there wasn't any signs that improper shifting occurred based off the tach reading and the sound of the engine was normal, BUT the effect of engine breaking was what I thought I felt. Like how someone would downshift to slow a car down if the brakes went out. This "drag" feeling just felt odd, idk if it's normal and I don't understand how M cars feel or a BMW. I know when I rented a nissan maxima for a day during acceleration the car's transmission had a engine braking sound/strain but I was told is normal for their transmissions.
Do you know how to drive a traditional manual transmission? If you've never driven anything that didn't have a torque converter engine braking could be a new sensation to you. If that's the case, it's perfectly normal (and a feature!).
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      01-15-2014, 09:20 PM   #8
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Put it in manual mode, set the shift to the fastest setting (5 bars) and start driving the car, you'll see what everyone is talking about with the crisp, quick shifting dct.

Leaving it in auto or the default manual setting (3 bars) sucks IMO and has a "heavier/sluggish" feeling as your describing.
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      01-15-2014, 09:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parkanzky View Post
Do you know how to drive a traditional manual transmission? If you've never driven anything that didn't have a torque converter engine braking could be a new sensation to you. If that's the case, it's perfectly normal (and a feature!).
You know what, I believe you could be right. No I haven't driven a manual nor do I know how and a torque converter sensation could be what it is.
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      01-15-2014, 09:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobS View Post
Put it in manual mode, set the shift to the fastest setting (5 bars) and start driving the car, you'll see what everyone is talking about with the crisp, quick shifting dct.

Leaving it in auto or the default manual setting (3 bars) sucks IMO and has a "heavier/sluggish" feeling as your describing.
I will try this next time to see if it helps, might be something advanced to get used to.

Question: Do all BMW's feel like this or is this a DCT "xclusive" feeling,lol?

Last edited by BMW_Boy7; 01-15-2014 at 09:43 PM.
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      01-15-2014, 09:40 PM   #11
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hit the m button
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      01-15-2014, 09:41 PM   #12
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Leave feedback sir, not strange faces!!
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      01-15-2014, 09:48 PM   #13
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hit the m button
I hit the power button, and the dealer looked at me like...

Last edited by BMW_Boy7; 01-15-2014 at 09:58 PM.
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      01-15-2014, 09:53 PM   #14
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Ah I see, you never had that lovin feelin to begin with.
He clearly wasn't loved as a child
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      01-15-2014, 10:07 PM   #15
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He clearly wasn't loved as a child
Maybe not lol,Just didn't have the proper enthusiast in my life. I remember as a kid my uncle always stayed in NJ and once owned a porche turbo and to this day still owns his Red Convert E46(SMG) that sits in his garage. I'll never forget the time we went to the mall in it, man he floored it I COULD NOT stop laughing nor smiling. Felt like I was OD'd off adrenaline!!!
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      01-15-2014, 10:18 PM   #16
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Dct in the. M is one of the best transmissions out there, go for and you won't look back. I'm not sure but maybe any "sluggish" feeling could possible be how the car was driven before you? I think the car will adapt over time to your driving style
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      01-15-2014, 10:27 PM   #17
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Ah I see, you never had that lovin feelin to begin with.
He's trying hard not to show it...
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      01-15-2014, 10:55 PM   #18
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What state are you in?
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      01-16-2014, 06:17 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW_Boy7 View Post
You know what, I believe you could be right. No I haven't driven a manual nor do I know how and a torque converter sensation could be what it is.
A "normal" automatic transmission has a torque converter in the drivetrain between the engine and transmission.

A manual transmission has a clutch there instead.

The torque converter 'softens' the link between the motor and the tires in certain situations. Coasting is one of them. It disengages the motor from the wheels when you let off the throttle and the car coasts freely.

With a clutch, the solid connection between the motor and tires is always there unless the clutch is engaged. So, if you let off the throttle the compression from the engine will cause a drag called "engine braking."

DCT is an automated manual transmission. Mechanically, it works like a manual transmission. It has clutches and not a torque converter. But instead of a pedal to engage the clutch, the computer does it when you shift gears. That means you'll still have engine braking.

It's not a bad thing. It makes your car more responsive to sudden changes in throttle input. But if you don't like it, you need a car with a conventional automatic transmission.
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      01-16-2014, 07:47 AM   #20
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What state are you in?
MI
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      01-16-2014, 07:49 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parkanzky
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW_Boy7 View Post
You know what, I believe you could be right. No I haven't driven a manual nor do I know how and a torque converter sensation could be what it is.
A "normal" automatic transmission has a torque converter in the drivetrain between the engine and transmission.

A manual transmission has a clutch there instead.

The torque converter 'softens' the link between the motor and the tires in certain situations. Coasting is one of them. It disengages the motor from the wheels when you let off the throttle and the car coasts freely.

With a clutch, the solid connection between the motor and tires is always there unless the clutch is engaged. So, if you let off the throttle the compression from the engine will cause a drag called "engine braking."

DCT is an automated manual transmission. Mechanically, it works like a manual transmission. It has clutches and not a torque converter. But instead of a pedal to engage the clutch, the computer does it when you shift gears. That means you'll still have engine braking.

It's not a bad thing. It makes your car more responsive to sudden changes in throttle input. But if you don't like it, you need a car with a conventional automatic transmission.
Thanks for the info, I'll be visiting the dealer this evening and will keep all this knowledge in mind.
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