Hyundai Santa Cruz Owners & Service Manuals

Hyundai Santa Cruz: Dual Clutch Transmission / Dual Clutch Transmission Operation

The dual clutch transmission has eight forward speeds and one reverse speed. The individual speeds are selected automatically when the shift lever is in the D (Drive) position.

  • The advanced wet-clutch dual clutch transmission in your vehicle can be thought of as an automatically shifting manual transmission. It gives the driving feel of a manual transmission, yet provides the ease of a fully automatic transmission.
  • When D (Drive) is selected, the transmission will automatically shift through the gears similar to a conventional automatic transmission. With a wet-type dual clutch transmission, however, the engine torque that is transmitted directly from the engine to the transmission is transferred by a clutch pack that is lubricated in oil. The oil's primary purpose is to cool the clutch, and because of lubricating properties of the oil and this cooling effect, gear shifts are smooth as well as direct.
  • The wet-type dual clutch transmission allows for better acceleration performance and increased fuel efficiency while driving. But it differs from a conventional automatic transmission because it does not incorporate a torque converter. Instead, the transition from one gear to the next is managed by clutch slip, especially at lower speeds. As a result, shifts are sometimes more noticeable, and a light vibration can be felt as the transmission shaft speed is matched with the engine shaft speed. This is a normal condition of the dual clutch transmission.
  • The wet-type clutch transfers torque more directly and provides a direct drive feeling which may feel different from a conventional automatic transmission. This may be more noticeable when launching the vehicle from a stop or when traveling at low, stop-and-go vehicle speeds.
  • When rapidly accelerating from a lower vehicle speed, the engine rpm may increase dramatically as a result of clutch slip as the dual clutch transmission selects the correct gear. This is a normal condition.
  • When accelerating from a stop on an incline, press the accelerator smoothly and gradually to avoid any shudder feeling or jerkiness.
  • When traveling at a lower vehicle speed, if you release the accelerator pedal quickly, you may feel engine braking before the transmission changes gears. This engine braking feeling is similar to operating a manual transmission at low speed.
  • When driving downhill, you may wish to move the gear shift lever to Manual Shift mode and downshift to a lower gear in order to control your speed without using the brake pedal excessively.
  • When you turn the engine on and off, you may hear clicking sounds as the system goes through a self-test. This is a normal sound for the dual clutch transmission.
  • During the first 1000 miles (1,500km), you may feel that the vehicle may not be smooth when accelerating at low speed. During this break-in period, the shift quality and performance of your new vehicle is continuously optimized.


To reduce the risk of serious injury or death:

  • ALWAYS check the surrounding areas near your vehicle for people, especially children, before shifting a vehicle into D (Drive) or R (Reverse).
  • Before leaving the driver’s seat, always make sure the shift lever is in the P (Park) position, then set the parking brake, and place the ignition switch in the LOCK/OFF position. Unexpected and sudden vehicle movement can occur if these precautions are not followed.
  • Do not use aggressive engine braking (shifting from a higher gear to a lower gear) on slippery roads. This could cause the tires to slip and may result in an accident.


  • Always come to a complete stop before shifting into D (Drive) or R (Reverse).
  • Do not put the shift lever in N (Neutral) while driving.


Due to transmission failure, you may not continue to drive and the position indicator and the position indicator (D, P) on the instrument cluster will blink. Contact authorized HYUNDAI dealer and have the system checked.

DCT warning messages

This warning message is displayed when vehicle is driven slowly on a grade and the vehicle detects that the brake pedal is not applied.

Steep grade! Press brake pedal

Driving up hills or on steep grades:

  • To hold the vehicle on an incline use the foot brake or the parking brake.
  • When in stop-and-go traffic on an incline, allow a gap to form ahead of you before moving the vehicle forward. Then hold the vehicle on the incline with the foot brake.
  • If the vehicle is held or creeping forward on an incline by applying the accelerator pedal, the clutch and transmission may overheat which can result in damage. At this time, a warning message will appear on the LCD display.
  • If the LCD warning is active, the foot brake must be applied.
  • Ignoring the warnings can lead to damage to the transmission.

Transmission high temperature

  • Under certain conditions, such as repeated stop-and-go launches on steep grades, sudden take off or acceleration, or other harsh driving conditions, the transmission clutch temperatures will increase excessively.
  • When the clutch temperatures are too high, the “Transmission temp. is high! Stop safely” warning message will appear on the LCD display, a chime will sound, and the transmission shifting may not be smooth.
  • If this occurs, pull over to a safe location, stop the vehicle with the engine running, apply the brakes and shift the vehicle to P (Park), and allow the transmission to cool.
  • If you ignore this warning, the driving condition may become worse. You may experience abrupt shifts, frequent shifts, or jerkiness. To return to the normal driving condition, stop the vehicle and shift into P (Park). Then allow the transmission to cool for a few minutes with engine on before driving off.
  • When possible, drive the vehicle smoothly.

Transmission overheated

  • If the vehicle continues to be driven and the clutch temperatures reach the maximum temperature limit, the “Transmission Hot! Park with engine on” warning will be displayed. When this occurs the clutch is disabled until the clutch cools to normal temperatures.
  • The warning will display a time to wait for the transmission to cool.
  • If this occurs, pull over to a safe location, stop the vehicle with the engine running, apply the brakes and shift the vehicle to P (Park), and allow the transmission to cool.
  • When the message “Trans cooled. Resume driving” appears you can continue to drive your vehicle.
  • When possible, drive the vehicle smoothly.

If any of the warning messages in the LCD display continue to blink, for your safety, contact an authorized HYUNDAI dealer and have the system checked.

Transmission ranges

The indicator in the instrument cluster displays the shift lever position when the ignition switch is in the ON position.

P (Park)

Always come to a complete stop before shifting into P (Park).

To shift from P (Park), you must depress firmly on the brake pedal and make sure your foot is off the accelerator pedal.

If you have done all of the above and still cannot shift the lever out of P (Park), see “Shift-Lock Release” in this chapter.

The shift lever must be in P (Park) before turning the engine off.


  • Shifting into P (Park) while the vehicle is in motion may cause you to lose control of the vehicle.
  • After the vehicle has stopped, always make sure the shift lever is in P (Park), apply the parking brake, and turn the engine off.
  • When parking on an incline, place the shift lever in P (Park) and apply the parking brake to prevent the vehicle from rolling downhill.
  • For safety, always engage the parking brake with the shift lever in the P (Park) position except for the case of emergency parking.

R (Reverse)

Use this position to drive the vehicle backward.


Always come to a complete stop before shifting into or out of R (Reverse); you may damage the transmission if you shift into R (Reverse) while the vehicle is in motion.

N (Neutral)

The wheels and transmission are not engaged.

Use N (Neutral) if you need to restart a stalled engine, or if it is necessary to stop with the engine ON. Shift into P (Park) if you need to leave your vehicle for any reason.

Always depress the brake pedal when you are shifting from N (Neutral) to another gear.


Do not shift into gear unless your foot is firmly on the brake pedal. Shifting into gear when the engine is running at high speed can cause the vehicle to move very rapidly. You could lose control of the vehicle and hit people or objects.

D (Drive)

This is the normal driving position. The transmission will automatically shift through a 8-gear sequence, providing the best fuel economy and power.

For extra power when passing another vehicle or driving uphill, depress the accelerator fully. The transmission will automatically downshift to the next lower gear (or gears, as appropriate).

The DRIVE MODE switch, located on the shift lever console, allows the driver to switch from NORMAL mode to SPORT mode.

Manual shift mode

Whether the vehicle is stationary or in motion, manual shift mode is selected by pushing the shift lever from the D (Drive) position into the manual gate. To return to D (Drive) range operation, push the shift lever back into the main gate.

In Manual Shift mode, moving the shift lever backwards (B) and forwards (A) will allow you to select the desired range of gears for the current driving conditions.

+ (Up) : Push the lever forward (A) once to shift up one gear.
- (Down) : Pull the lever backwards (B) once to shift down one gear.


  • Only the eight forward gears can be selected in Manual Shift Mode. To reverse or park the vehicle, move the shift lever to the R (Reverse) or P (Park) position as required.
  • Downshifts are made automatically when the vehicle slows down. When the vehicle stops, 1st gear is automatically selected.
  • When the engine rpm approaches the red zone the transmission will upshift automatically.
  • If the driver presses the lever to + (Up) or - (Down) position, the transmission may not make the requested gear change if the next gear is outside of the allowable engine rpm range. The driver must execute upshifts in accordance with road conditions, taking care to keep the engine rpms below the red zone.

Shift-lock system

For your safety, the dual clutch transmission has a shift-lock system which prevents shifting the transmission from P (Park) to R (Reverse) unless the brake pedal is depressed.

To shift the transmission from P (Park) into R (Reverse):

1. Depress and hold the brake pedal.

2. Start the engine or place the ignition switch in the ON position.

3. Move the shift lever to R (Reverse).

Shift-lock release

If the shift lever cannot be moved from the P (Park) position into R (Reverse) position with the brake pedal depressed, continue depressing the brake, and then do the following:

1. Place the ignition switch in the LOCK/ OFF position.

2. Apply the parking brake.

3. Carefully remove the shift lever boots.

4. Move the Shift lever while holding the release button (1) with a tool (for example, flathead screw-driver).

If you need to use the shift-lock release, we recommend that the system be inspected by an authorized HYUNDAI dealer immediately.

    Dual Clutch Transmission

    Always come to a complete stop and continue to depress the brake pedal. Move the shift lever into the P (Park) position, apply the parking brake, and place the ignition switch in the LOCK/ OFF po ...

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