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      09-23-2012, 05:27 PM   #1
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Anyone with DCT overheating at the track

I have searched the threads and haven't gotten a clear answer to this. I have just ordered a 135is and have really been torn on the DCT vs 6 speed manual. I track my car a few times a year. I am tempted to get a DCT because I have heard much good about them. On the other hand I am unwilling to take any chance of overheating and getting into limp mode.

If there is any chance of overheating I'll stick with the tried and true manual transmission.

Anyone with experiences on this? I am in the midwest and have been to the track on some pretty hot days. I'm less concerned about the coolant since the 135is has an auxiliary cooler in addition to the oil cooler.

Last edited by HeelToe; 09-23-2012 at 08:02 PM.
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      09-24-2012, 07:39 AM   #2
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I haven't heard of anyone with an N55 goign into limp mode yet on a track day. I didn't think the DCT tranny would make a difference. Generally it's the engine heat that causes the issue and not the tranny. I've tracked mine on several 100 degree days with no limp mode issues.
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      09-24-2012, 09:53 AM   #3
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Maybe PM user Groundpilot. He has DCT. Over at e90post there's a huge thread documenting overheating problems with the regular AT, but I don't know about DCT.
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      09-24-2012, 06:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Focusedintntions View Post
I haven't heard of anyone with an N55 goign into limp mode yet on a track day. I didn't think the DCT tranny would make a difference. Generally it's the engine heat that causes the issue and not the tranny. I've tracked mine on several 100 degree days with no limp mode issues.
Good information. Just so I'm clear your car has DCT and has never had an issue at the track. Correct?
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      09-25-2012, 12:44 PM   #5
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I have the 6MT...just saying guys with the MT have over heating issues too...just only seen that with the N54 motors...not the n55.
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      09-25-2012, 01:04 PM   #6
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Here are some posts that might have some info for you. But except for the post by scm6079 (quoted in the first one), I don't know how accurate the info is. In particular, I don't know where Killerfish2012 got his info about the 335is shutting down.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showpo...&postcount=822
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showpo...&postcount=106
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      09-25-2012, 09:17 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for the input. I'm at the point of no return. I settled on the DCT. I did some research with the service manager at my local dealer. I trust him since I've been going there for years and he and the other service advisors regularly go to the same track events as I do. In any event he said he has had zero reports of dct overheating in the 135. He has also been to the BMW performance school several times where the cars get pretty well abused and again no overheating. The clutch pack is very sturdy so that has never been a question. Btw it's the same clutch pack, but not the same trans, as in the new m5. He has seen some slipping on the clutch in supercharged m3s but other than that no red flags on the DCTs (smg he said is a different story).

In any event I did my homework and am comfortable with my decision. The DCT in my A3 Audi is quite addictive because of the seamless power delivery which is important to me when at the track with a turbocharged car. I hope that the bmw's is just as good and from what I've gathered it is.

Regarding changing my name from HeelToe to something else. I hadn't thought about that. No urgency on that though because my 323ci and my 330i are both manuals. Anyone interested in the 323. My driveway will be full pretty soon.
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      09-27-2012, 01:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeelToe View Post
I have searched the threads and haven't gotten a clear answer to this. I have just ordered a 135is and have really been torn on the DCT vs 6 speed manual. I track my car a few times a year. I am tempted to get a DCT because I have heard much good about them. On the other hand I am unwilling to take any chance of overheating and getting into limp mode.

If there is any chance of overheating I'll stick with the tried and true manual transmission.

Anyone with experiences on this? I am in the midwest and have been to the track on some pretty hot days. I'm less concerned about the coolant since the 135is has an auxiliary cooler in addition to the oil cooler.
It happens and did it time and time again with our 135i at Laguna Seca. Down shifting going into 2 didn't yield a lower gear or any gear at all, the vehicle would coast in neutral until corner exit, then it figured out a gear should have been selected. The DCT behaves fine the first few laps and during cool down so it had to been temperature related.
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      09-27-2012, 02:30 PM   #9
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DCT is a great trans. but it malfanctions sometimes.
Agree with Harold, its temp. related.
There is the reason why racers dont use it.
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      01-31-2013, 06:50 PM   #10
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How common is this? I don't see many post about it?
I just picked up an 11 DCT, while I have a race car, I was planning to track this Car at regular DE style trackdays.
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      01-31-2013, 07:42 PM   #11
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With my n55 dct I've never got it into limp mode. Got it close to 260 though but no limp
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      02-01-2013, 09:18 PM   #12
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I have a friend he tracks the crap out of his 135 with DCT, I have never heard anything from him about this. He has N54.
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      02-01-2013, 09:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I have a friend he tracks the crap out of his 135 with DCT, I have never heard anything from him about this. He has N54.
The N54 never came with the dct...only the regular auto. DCT's came on the n55. If he has 7 gears he has the dct with the n55...if he has 6 gears it's the auto with the n54...
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      02-01-2013, 09:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I have a friend he tracks the crap out of his 135 with DCT, I have never heard anything from him about this. He has N54.
It had to be a 335iS or an Euro model?
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      02-02-2013, 06:28 AM   #15
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It had to be a 335iS or an Euro model?
Nope he is here from Ohio....He bitches more about rotors than anything but I didn't hear of DCT problem...He has been to VIR, WGI, Barber, MidOhio etc. recently.

Now re-thinking what engine.....His car is MY2011...He must have N55, not N54...
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      02-02-2013, 11:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCC4321 View Post
How common is this? I don't see many post about it?
I just picked up an 11 DCT, while I have a race car, I was planning to track this Car at regular DE style trackdays.
Out of about 20 track days, it happened twice with my DCT.
Once at WGI, second time at LRP. Both times at over 90F ambient temp.
DCT refused to downshift from 5th gear to 4th at the end of the backstraight at WGI, and from 4th to 3rd at LRP. I was driving at 10/10th.
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      02-03-2013, 12:34 PM   #17
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I just spent the day at Button Willow config 13 and had the car out for 5, 25 minutes sessions.
I don't think I had any issues with the DCT, there were a few times that it didn't down shift when I wanted, but I attributed that to the RPMs were to high. I don't believe it was due to heat. My issues were that the car would not turn! but its stock, on run flats.
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      02-14-2013, 03:45 PM   #18
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I had overheating-related problems with my DCT on the Sebring club course last year. About 15 minutes into a session the DCT would begin short-shifting at about 5k, and shifts would become sluggish. Ambient temperature was in the 90s (does the car's thermometer top out at 86?), and my oil temp reached 280.

A couple months later on the Sebring full course (this includes the back and home straights) I didn't have as much of an issue. Those straights were long enough to give my engine and DCT a chance to breathe, though the car sometimes acted up around turns 14-16. I still hit around 270 oil, but I had no immediate problems (just nasty oil next time I went to change it, of course).

I had the BMS Stage 1 for both sessions, so the increased boost no doubt exacerbated the problem.

Neither time did I get any engine or DCT heat warnings, so the upshot is the car won't tell you it's starting to limp from heat. It'll recover once it cools down though. I've already ordered an ETS intercooler and installed the BMS oil not-a-thermostat, so we'll see if those help out. The not-a-thermostat, btw, dropped my temps to 210-220 daily from 230-240 (the factory thermostat is set to 110C/230F if someone doesn't already know, which is etched on the thermostat).
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      02-14-2013, 04:04 PM   #19
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Well I don't think limp mode is limited to just DCT's I have an N55 with the 6mt and I've had limp mode numerous times on the track. Limp mode can be caused by any number of things heat is just one of them. Without checking the code when you go into limp mode it's hard to say what is causing the issue. Mine have been for both oil temps and the MAF sensor reading errors, so unless there is data to say DCT's in particular are causing the error then who's to say it isn't one of the many other things that can cause it.
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      02-14-2013, 06:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCC4321 View Post
I just spent the day at Button Willow config 13 and had the car out for 5, 25 minutes sessions.
I don't think I had any issues with the DCT, there were a few times that it didn't down shift when I wanted, but I attributed that to the RPMs were to high. I don't believe it was due to heat. My issues were that the car would not turn! but its stock, on run flats.
My experiences were very different at Laguna Seca. Most of the time not only the transmission wouldn't down shift at all, but often it will be in neutral(between gears). I would have no drive at all and had to simply coast through the turn until the transmission kick in the gear I selected(way after the track out point).
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      02-14-2013, 10:32 PM   #21
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I tracked mine on a 45c day and had no issues, oil temp didn't go above 120c either.
It was stock and I was running the heater to help keep it cool though.
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      02-15-2013, 01:51 AM   #22
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I tracked mine on a 45c day and had no issues, oil temp didn't go above 120c either.
It was stock and I was running the heater to help keep it cool though.
Our 135i was making ~360 wheel hp if I remember correctly along with full M3 suspension conversion, DA coilovers, LSD and BBK. Lapping Laguna Seca at low 1:40s isn't exactly going out for a Sunday drive, especially for a 135i. Although oil and water temps never gave us issues, the DCT transmission sure did.

We never did try to auto mode, perhaps it will automatically down shift when asked to do so.
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