Hi all have justed bought a 2013 powershift and have a question about when to use the handbrake.
If you apply the handbrake at a junction or on a hill in traffic should you knock it into neutral or is it ok to leave it in drive?
I leave it in drive and cannot feel any 'pull' from the transmission until I release the footbrake.My last car was a VW Golf, with a slightly similar auto box and you could definitely feel it pulling against the brake.
I tend to drive it like any other automatic I've had ie footbrake and accelerator - hand brake only when I'm definitely parked. I wouldn't leave it in drive at a junction but knock it into neutral ie like a manual gearbox.
DSG gearboxes like the Powershift are completely different to traditional automatic gearboxes.
The traditional design had a torque converter which was basically just an oil bath with two sets of paddles in it, one connected to the gearbox and the other to the engine so that even with the engine idling some power would get to the wheels.
DSG boxes are basically have two manual type gear trains with electronic actuators to shift gear. In the powershift design gear train1 handles first third and fifth gear while gear train 2 handles second, fourth and sixth gear. Each gear train has its own clutch again essentially the same as a manual clutch but actuated electronically.
This means that they are capable of much smoother acceleration by having faster gear changes than any manual box while being just as efficient. The downside is that the system is very complex and there have been enough problems that Ford have had to extend the warranty.
To return to the original question I am very loath to leave ANY gearbox manual or automatic in gear at the lights for any but the shortest period. The reason is that many years ago I was witness to a very nasty accident at a crossroads in Fleetwood when a mini which had halted suddenly lurched through a red light into the path of a truck. The driver was killed instantly and her passenger was badly injured. At the inquest it turned out the driver had been sitting in gear with her foot on the clutch. Her foot must have slipped off and the car moved into the intersection.
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