Doctor Diesel, Features

Keith has another dig at EGS!

Dear Doctor, you were kind enough to answer a few niggles/concerns that I had with my 2009 Citroën C4 EGS gearbox over clutch slip when stationary.

I note that a few editions later you were flattering with your praise of this type of gearbox! In last month’s Diesel Car there were a few tests with cars having DIG type gearboxes, and I was wondering if in one of your ‘Back to Basics’ articles you could explain the differences between a single clutch dry plate, CUT, EGG, DIG and traditional automatic transmissions?

The feeling that I get is that the more advanced and complicated that clutches become, the higher becomes the cost to replace them, along with an ever-increasing reliance on electronics to the run systems and therefore, to get around, they will be soon become impractical for DIY replacement.

Keith of Keynsham

I know that I’m losing the plot these days Keith, but not so much as to have started praising the EGS transmission!

It must have been Editor Ian, who seems to have tamed the beast somehow, or at least come to terms with its quirkiness! Yes, I think it would be good to cover the fundamentals of the different transmission types in Back to Basics and I think that we can make that happen!

My thoughts on transmissions are that with the latest torque converter automatics becoming as economical as manual transmissions (see the BMW 8-speed automatic economy figures) then they become more and more attractive.

They last a long time with minimal maintenance (lifetime transmission fluid) and avoid any likelihood of clutch replacement costs, and DMF problems. They also give you virtually as much freedom as manual ‘boxes now, and the only drawback is the initial cost.

It would be really interesting to know, although I doubt if we ever will, what the added cost actually is! Are they a nice little earner for the manufacturers, or are they charged out at a fair cost?

As for DIY clutch replacement, it’s a pretty brave man who confidently sets out to do such a job these days, without a hydraulic lift and lots of semi-professional tools and gear. Whatever happened to those Halfords DIY bays that you used to be able to hire out by the hour, along with special tools and so on?

I think that I’m going back to the mid-1990s, and I guess it would not be surprising if good old “Elf and safety” killed off the whole principle.

I think there’s less and less car DIY every year, and it’s ages since I saw anyone doing a roadside job, with their legs sticking dangerously out into the roadway, and it’s even longer (thank goodness!) since I saw a car perched on a pile of bricks – outside of Liverpool, that is, and that wasn’t down to DIY!

Cue joke involving a journalist interviewing Nigel Mansell a good few years back: “Why does your team seem to only hire Scouse pit crew?” “Well” our Nige replied, “Have you ever seen anyone else get a set of wheels off a car any faster?”

Doctor Diesel

Two-penn’orth from a lovely lady

Letter 3 (2)02Hi Doc, can I offer Jim Nolan my two-pennyworth as well?

I have a six-year-old Golf diesel DSG, current mileage 27,000, owned from new, that does much the same duty cycle as Jim describes.

I drive it normally and use Millers additive with just about any fuel that’s handy. It’s still working fine, and the emissions at MOT are low. At the garage services there’s never been any comment that the diagnostics have found anything of concern, so it seems the Golf, at least, can withstand the possibly DPF unfriendly usage.

I really like my diesel and don’t hesitate getting involved in the maintenance, though being a woman I always wear rubber gloves (ooohh!) to do the mucky bits.

I enjoy your pages, thanks.

Love, Isolde.

Very many thanks Isolde! It’s good to hear from the fairer sex occasionally! Rubber gloves…ooo-err, you’ve got me going now! Are you quite sure that your 2007 Golf has got a DPF though? I’m not!

Well, pardon me for questioning the word of a lady! Now I have checked it out, Isolde, and it seems that a DPF was indeed fitted to Golf TDIs back in 2007. It’s just that I know that there was one year somewhere around that time, possibly a year or two earlier, when 2.0 TDI Passats needed a DPF, but Golfs with the same engine managed to meet the then current Euro emissions regulations without one.

Many thanks, and I’m glad that you enjoy my ramblings. How about a question or two from the fairer sex though? I don’t get many questions from the ladies! Best regards,

Doctor D

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