What is a DSG gearbox tune-up and is it worth it?

Automotive technology has progressed by leaps and bounds in a few decades and the same can be said for the driver experience. Every component, including the engine and transmission, has become more powerful, efficient and, at the same time, even more complex.

Gone are the days when there were only two transmission options available i.e. manual transmission and a simple torque converter automatic transmission. Nowadays, there are several types of automatic transmissions available, but, today we are going to talk about the DSG (direct exchange gearbox) transmission and some of the tuning information related to it that will surely be useful to you one day.

What is a DSG gearbox?

The DSG transmission (direct shift gearbox) is Volkswagen and some of its subsidiary companies’ version of a dual-clutch transmission. Basically there are two clutches, dry or wet involved in this transmission.

Both clutches handle pre-assigned gears, usually, one clutch handles odd gears (1,3,5,7) and the other handles even gears (2,4,6). This combination allows for a smoother and more seamless gear transition without any springy effect, which in turn provides a much better driving experience.

Despite the noticeable advantages of a DSG transmission, there are also some disadvantages. Many people have complained that the Direct shift gearbox selects the next gear too early or too late depending on the situation – this is usually due to the gearbox’s software programming.

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Tuning homes/garages do a DSG tune (sometimes also called a DSG remap) to correct their deficiencies.

DSG tuning

What is a DSG Gearbox Tuning/Remapping?

A typical DSG remap essentially changes the gear shift pattern up or down, meaning the car will drive in a specific gear for a longer or shorter time depending on the driving style and conditions. In addition, a DSG tuning also significantly reduces the time required to downshift and upshift, both mods allow you to enjoy instant throttle response the moment you press the gas.

Preventing unnecessary gear changes reduces clutch slippage, which in turn also increases clutch life.

DSG tuning

Another big advantage of a DSG remap is that it allows you to get the most out of your car. Automakers, in most cases, have tuned the transmission to provide maximum fuel economy, which in turn means that gear changes will occur at lower revs.

In some cases, the gearbox automatically switches to the next gear, even if you are driving the car in manual mode. This behavior is extremely frustrating, which is why most people decide to have their car’s DSG transmission tuned by a professional.

What are the benefits of a DSG tune?

A good DSG remap adjusts the launch control to provide optimal traction that provides good overall balance. The ability to adjust the launch RPM to your liking makes a remapped DSG transmission a very attractive option for a variety of users, especially younger users who don’t want their car to be a dog every time they start up. A good launch means you will reach the 60 mph mark in significantly less time and at the same time your quarter mile time will also be reduced.

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dsg remap

Should you get a DSG remapping if you tune your car’s engine?

A DSG tuning is a must if you’ve ever tuned your car’s engine. Undoubtedly, an improved engine is capable of delivering more power; however, the transmission is the final component that delivers all the power to the wheels. A DSG transmission has its built-in torque limiter which remains untouched even if you have remapped the ECU and tuned the engine. To unlock the full potential of your car, you need to remap the DSG control unit, which will be able to put all the additional torque on the wheels without overloading the transmission itself.

Tuning pros know what limit to set for the limiter so it is perfectly in sync with your car’s tuned engine power. So it’s safe to say that to reap the full benefits of the money you’ve already spent on the engine, you should also remap the DSG transmission installed in your car’s engine.

DSG tuning

How much does a DSG fit cost?

After reading all the benefits of a DSG remap, you are certainly wondering about the total cost of this modification. Well, it’s hard to give a specific number, but it usually depends on the tuning stage and where you’re doing this remapping in your car. Another minor factor involved in the price is regional taxes which can also add a bit of weight to the overall bill.

The most basic DSG tune can usually cost upwards of $350 (£250) and can go as high as almost $1170 (£850), you can add the taxes together according to the area you live in. you consider all the benefits compared to the total price.

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A DSG remapping is totally safe for a transmission if you’re wondering if a performance boost means a shorter engine and transmission life. In most cases the modifications actually lead to a shorter lifespan, however this is not the case with a DSG remap; actually increases clutch and transmission life by providing a smoother transition between gears and increased clutch cooling

Longer gear ratios don’t mean gears will be stuck beyond the red line for extended periods. Rather, what this means is that the tuning will instruct the gear changes only when the optimal power of a specific gear has already been delivered.

car tuning

Is a DSG tune worth it?

The million dollar question is is a DSG song worth it or not? The answer should be obvious by now since a long list of benefits has already been mentioned above.

However, to summarise, a properly tuned Direct shift (DSG) gearbox is worth it as it brings out the real character of your car, especially if it already has sporty DNA. You can enjoy the real features of the car you paid a considerable amount of money for, maintaining or in many cases extending the life of the transmission and clutch.

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