Things You Should Know About Automated Manual Transmission

by Harish Kumar | 21/01/2019
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If you are interested in buying an AMT-mounted two-pedal vehicle, here're all things that you should keep up on.

As we know, the dominance of conventional manual transmission is on the slippery. Carmakers and buyers as well, tend to be in favour of using auto-manual transmission rather than the traditional ones. For the last several decades, the automated manual transmission, since its onset, has held an inevitable role in four-wheelers manufacture. The skyrocketing advancement of automatic gearboxes has gradually nullified the popularity of manual transmissions which normally use clutch-pedal or gear lever. With the rapidly increasing demand for paddle-shift gearboxes, there are some things left unknown. In this article, we will give you more details about an AMT for the most intelligent choice before each purchase.

Tata Nexon AMTs transmision

AMT-equipped models bring in a lot of advantages in adherence to price and performance

How does an AMT work?

There are currently three popular types of automatic gearbox existing in the automotive world: the Constantly Variable Transmission (CVT), Dual-clutch transmission (DCT)  as well as Simple Automatic Transmission. These types differ from the traditional manual transmission with more complex operation in gear and clutch. Despite using exactly the identical setup of gear and clutch as in the manual one, the difference sits on how they are operated. If the manual gearbox manually operates the clutch pedal and gear lever inside, auto-manual generation offers a hydraulic actuator system fitted inside the engine that enables both automatic and manual combination. These actuators are linked to the Engine Control Unit that helps deliver the input and output to the clutch and gear lever.

>>> Also Read: Myths About Automatic Vs Manual Transmission Decoded

Preprogrammed by the manufacturers, the gearshift pattern is conducted thanks to the data stored in the ECU, and the actuators are, thereupon, automatically controlled once the RPM (revolution per min) rises to a certain level in order to command the gear and clutch simultaneously. Now that in some particular cases, there is no clutch pedal or even a gear lever inside the car (like in the recent Renault Kwid), the AMT’s functions seem to be the same as the automatic gearbox. However, there is, in most cases, a gear lever engaged with three drive modes: Reverse (R), Neutral (N) and Drive (D) (which is paralleled to the manual mode as an option). Overall, the reduction of manual operation of the clutch leads to a much more hassle-free driving experience.

Don’t be obsessed with the dual-clutch transmission-like performance

If you have ever owned a dual-clutch transmission-equipped vehicle, just try not to get depressed by the AMT-mounted car. The AMTs are inferior to the performance of dual-clutch transmission regarding shift quality. It will come to perform much differently, much slower and less precise than the high-end dual-clutch auto box-equipped vehicles that thereby could disappoint the AMTs enthusiasts.

Dual-clutch gearbox

Dual-clutch units appear to offer the better shift quality than the AMTs version

No engine braking system

In an AMT car, you cannot be able to rely on engine braking due to no link to the clutch. Unlike in some other types that could enable drivers to opt to engine braking to slow down on the slope or to cast off the speed without much effort, AMTs users just adopt manual mode to keep the car in lower gear in some situations like on a slope or downhill. Keep in mind that different cars perform differently in the same conditions, so people need to understand their AMTs-equipped vehicle with its operating mechanism intensively for the safest driving.

Offering similar fuel efficiency as a manual transmission

Fuel economy is another pride of clutch-less manual transmission. As a combination of manual and automatic counterparts, the trigger shift gearbox prioritises the maximum fuel efficiency as the standard units. While virtually all automatic torque-converter takes its toll on the economy, the automated manual gears do precisely on the way it has been programmed and shares as efficient as of the manual counterparts.

In-built creep function

It is common that most four-wheelers mounted with automated manual gearboxes in India are added with in-built creep function like in the AT unit. This feature allows the car to move at a slow pace without any accelerator by releasing the brake pedal input and turning on the Drive mode. It is very a useful function assisting the car to handle on congested roads with slowing-moving pace.

Hills and inclines with handbrake

As a derivative of the manual transmission, the AMTs do not occupy any features like hill descent assist, hill hold assist or parking mode. Therefore, using handbrake while parking an AMT-mounted automobile is required. The handbrake is also applied when drivers are tackling with the hills and inclines. Handling these terrains might be tricky they ask for the constant utilisation of manual mode and a bit skilful handbrake that could somehow nullify the driving convenience that the AMT cars offer.

More advanced AMTs

To the drastic changes of the automotive world, AMT units are mated to a great number of modern cars like the Renault Kwid, Ford Ecosport, VW Polo GT and more. Even the automated manual transmissions on the Tata Nexon and Renault Duster comes up with a hill-hold assist as well. The latest iteration of the AMTs is available with faster shifts as compared to its predecessors which lock horns with the ATs to some extent in the automotive industry.

Tata Nexon AMT, Orange, Front View

Tata Nexon AMT was launched in India at the ex-showroom price of Rs 9.41 Lakh

Easy maintenance

Dual-clutch gearbox-equipped cars owners often have to pay much on maintaining these units. If you don’t want to put your hand in your pocket, the AMT options might be perfect. This types of transmission get a simple construction with less complicated components compared to the manual units. It is, hence, advantageously easy to keep maintain its long-lasting life span.

>>> Also Read: Helpful maintenance tips for manual and automatic transmission

Easy price

If the conventional automatic gearbox cost a considerable fraction higher than the manual version owing to its complex technology, an AMT (or paddle-shift units) costs by a half of a pure automatic transmission. Also, it takes about ¼ of the price when it comes to comparing with the dual-clutch transmission.

Careful with unplanned overtaking

Manufacturers have made the AMTs quicker and quicker than ever before. That’s it, can be so good but also cause some problems during the unplanned overtaking procedure. Overtaking high-speed moving must be kept in check. Accordingly, drivers should plan its process manually, especially on the highways.

All in all, the arrival of Automated Manual Transmission is much-received by the major gearheads fraternity. While the domestic traffic is aggravated these days, the extent to which the convenience that AMTs units offer is lucrative. Despite remaining some marginal negativities, its affordable price with heavily impressive performance seems to be the pay-off. With the incredible development of modern technology, just wait to see how the AMTs units would get better in the futuristic vehicles.

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