What Does the DSG Transmission Too Hot Light Mean?

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Since sports cars can be ruined by a slow shifting transmission, manual transmissions have been the norm for fast cars for a long time. These days, there are other options available, such as the direct-shift gearbox, or DSG for short. The DSG is a dual-clutch, manual gearbox that is electronically controlled so you can switch between semi-manual and automatic modes whenever you want. Many automatic transmissions have this feature as well, but the DSG can shift much, much faster because of two clutches. While driving, one clutch is used to transfer torque to the wheels while the other is disengaged with the next gear selected. As you speed up and prepare to upshift, the computer already has the next gear prepared for you. In a matter of milliseconds, the other clutch is engaged and your vehicle is in the next gear.

What the DSG transmission too hot light means

One of the biggest causes of premature transmission failure is excessive heat. To try and prevent transmissions from getting too hot for extended periods, most vehicles with a DSG will have a separate warning light just for the transmission. A temperature sensor in the transmission is monitored by the computer and it will illuminate if the temperature gets too high.

If this warning light turns on, pull over as soon as possible to let the transmission cool off before any serious damage can occur. Once everything has cooled off, make sure that the transmission has the correct amount of fluid in it. DSG’s are cooled by the engine coolant so make sure there’s nothing wrong with your cooling system as well. It is possible for the temperature sensors to fail occasionally so it would be a good idea to have the sensor tested if this light comes on frequently.

Is it safe to drive with the DSG transmission too hot light on?

As mentioned earlier, heat causes an excessive amount of wear on transmissions so you should not use the vehicle if the warning light is illuminated. Pull over safely as soon as possible if this light comes on while you are driving. Shut off the engine and wait for at least ten minutes before trying to restart the engine. If the light is no longer on once you have restarted the engine, you can keep driving, but don’t work the car too hard until you have investigated a little more.

Replacing transmissions is never cheap, so do yourself a favor and change the fluid out at the specified intervals and make sure the correct fluid is being used. If the transmission temperature warning keeps coming on, our certified technicians are always available to help you diagnose any issues you may be experiencing.


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Matthew

32 years of experience
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Matthew
32 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala - Warning Light is on - Norfolk, Virginia
First off he was on time....actually 30 mins early which was great. Everything he described was what I was going through and he knew exactly what I needed before he even looked at the car. Other mechanics i feel were trying to take advantage because I am a woman but he made me feel comfortable. Still have to get work done on it but at least I know exactly what the problem was.
Chevrolet Tahoe - Warning Light is on - Norfolk, Virginia
Very detailed and takes the time to explain what is being done. Willing to answer any questions you may have. I would definitely use his services again and have already been telling my coworkers about this site. I have a unique electrical situation going on with my truck that none of the dealers could assess. Just by Matt doing some general maintenance , my truck is already driving smoother. Matt asked that I monitor things to make sure we don't need to troubleshoot anything else. I feel quite confident.

Quentin

18 years of experience
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Quentin
18 years of experience
Volkswagen Tiguan - Warning Light is on - Nottingham, Maryland
Quentin was very professional and meticulous with locating the issues with my car. Great spirit and explained and answered all of my questions.

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12 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz C230 - Warning Light is on - Charlotte, North Carolina
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8 years of experience
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Juan
8 years of experience
Suzuki Grand Vitara - Warning Light is on - Durham, North Carolina
I won't go into details about the actual work performed - the result was completely satisfactory. Juan is knowledgeable about how these computerized engines work . He's very personable, polite, patient with my questions, and when I need service again, I'll request Juan. He put in more time than originally scheduled and seems to want to see things through and honest enough to tell you if the job is beyond his expertise and suggests taking car to dealer for more extensive diagnostic tests. I am well pleased.

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