Cars evolve in different ways. Sometimes innovations introduced by manufacturers explode the market, and sometimes cause bewilderment on the part of car enthusiasts. A prime example of such a ridiculous invention is the robotized gearbox.
What’s wrong with “robots”
Without a doubt, in terms of comfort, modern “robots” are almost no inferior to automatic and variator gearboxes, and in some moments even surpass them – for example, the ability to memorize and imitate the driving character of a particular driver.
But if we talk about the disadvantages, there are so many of them in the automatic transmission that drivers should think twice before buying a car with a “robot”.
The owners of cars with robots are at risk, transporting oversized cargo or heavy trailers, because it is impossible to overload the robotized gearbox. It is also undesirable to hitch, to try to pull your friend out of a snowdrift, to drive in low gears and to stop abruptly without any reason.
Boxes are afraid of sharp starts, idle times in traffic jams and any infringement of logic of gear shifting. Therefore, before you put your friend behind the wheel, think hard. What are the main reasons why it is better not to buy a car with robotized transmission?
Low speed of operation
Yes, the automatic transmission will not soon learn to change gears as quickly as the automatic transmission or variator. And if we talk about the first generations of “robots”, the delay time between gears is up to three seconds in normal mode and up to five if the driver’s driving style suddenly changes. But even if you take a modern two-disc “robot”, a small delay will still be present on it.
To minimize power lags, the driver will have to periodically use the manual gearshift mode so that the box understands what driving style to follow.
Problems arise when two or even three people operate the car at once. The drivers will never be able to enjoy driving the car, because the transmission will always behave differently during acceleration, hill starts, turns and emergency braking.
Both modern and older robot transmissions are susceptible to overheating.
Stopping for an unknown reason can happen even in highway conditions, and the electronics will not let the car start for a solid time – up to twenty minutes.
Manufacturers have even provided for the installation of an additional cooling radiator for the gearbox, so if you suddenly become the owner of the transmission, it is likely that you will have to shell out for tuning, which would never be in automatic or variator gearboxes.
From which owners of cars with any other gearboxes are also exempt. For example, oil replacement in robot gearboxes with hydraulic tractions may be required every 40-50 thousand kilometers, and with aggressive driving even more often.
The sensors, which are rather numerous in robots, may also create a lot of problems for the driver. Thus, if one of them will fail, the box control unit will make the only true decision – block the engine start until the problem is solved. That is, it will not be possible to reach the car-care center by oneself, and it is a big disadvantage.
Yes, the repair of automatic transmission or variators is also not cheap, but you should not forget about such a concept as resource. Automatic transmissions with normal use can easily reach 300-400 thousand kilometers without serious repair. There are real cases of million-strong boxes when it comes to classical automatics.
In our case, such trick will not work. The resource of “robots” is very, very small and repair is exorbitantly expensive. 150,000 km is the maximum service life of transmission, after which it needs urgent service. As a rule, it is the clutch basket and disk, all kinds of gaskets, plus complete oil replacement, and in cases of aggressive driving, or when different drivers adjust the electronics, the mileage before the overhaul of the box may be reduced to 100-120 thousand kilometers.
Lack of expertise
Servicing a robotized transmission today is much easier than, for example, ten years ago, when many services did not even know which side to approach this unusual unit.
Actually, this problem is still observed in small towns, because major service centers, specializing exclusively in repair of automatic transmissions, are usually located very far away, and taking the car for hundreds of kilometers is at least unreasonable.
The drivers have to be satisfied with what they have, and as a result they receive low-quality repair, and risk to become regular customers of car-care center, because even simple oil change requires the specialist to implement the clear algorithm of actions, not to mention the complicated repair.