What is tiptronic in a car and how it works

What is Tiptronic and how does this feature work Source: avtoaziya.ru/avtotekhnologii/378-tiptronic.html

“Many people think that there are only two types of transmission – manual and automatic. But in fact, this opinion is mistaken, there are other types, just these two types of transmissions occur more often. The manual transmission as well as the automatic has its advantages and disadvantages. There is an opinion that cars with an automatic most often choose women, as it is much easier to drive. Men have their own opinion on the matter, they believe that the car feels better with a manual than with an automatic.

During the history of the automatic, there were a lot of attempts to combine the automatic with a manual. As a result of these efforts, it became a semi-automatic. But this is not the end of the experiments, which resulted in the appearance of another type – a mixed automatic box – Tiptronic, which allows manual gearshifting in automatic transmissions of various designs. Tiptronic function is implemented as follows, the driver makes the necessary manipulation of the selector, giving a signal to a special unit, which determines whether in this situation it is possible to perform the given command without damage to the gearbox. As a result, a forced gear shift can only take place if the program determines that the gear you are engaging corresponds to the desired speed range.

Another important detail of the tiptronic, it is a function which automatically switches the car from manual to automatic control, taking into account that the manual control will not be used for some time. Also for safety purposes, the automatic transmission automatically shifts up when revs are too high, and down when revs are too low.

To enable the tiptronic function, there should be another rocker along which the transmission lever moves, that is, in addition to the main slot for automatic transmission with positions (P, R, N, D), there is another additional slot connected to it. This slot is usually located in the center, in which the selector can be moved forward and backward, in plus (+) or minus (-) position, i.e. to raise or lower gear. It is also possible to control the tiptronic with paddles or with buttons (in modern models of cars).

Automatic transmission with tiptronic – its pros and cons. Automatic transmission with tiptronic, it is, in fact, an automatic transmission with all the advantages of a manual, and the driver himself chooses which control mode is more convenient for him. Another advantage of the tiptronic is the ability to quickly switch from automatic to manual mode, and vice versa. Moreover, in this situation interaction with the transmission goes directly bypassing the onboard computer. Often on the road there are situations when it is necessary to make the engine brake, automatic transmission in this case is powerless, but with tiptronic it is possible.

In addition, the transmission with tiptronic is equipped with a clever protection system, which monitors the work of manual control box, so you can not harm the engine. The tiptronic is often found on cars with the prefix Sport, and all because this mechanism allows you to engage the next gear at high revs.

Of course, the advantage of tiptronic in comparison with other gearboxes is on the face. But this system is also not an exception and has its weaknesses. Firstly, such automatic transmission is rather bulky and massive. Secondly, shifting between gears occurs with some delay, especially at speeds less than 100 km/hour. The delay on different cars can range from 0.1 to 0.7 seconds. Of course, in modern transmissions this defect is almost eliminated, the pause was reduced to a minimum.

The first car (then Tiptronic was still considered a novelty) was a German Porsche 911 released in 1990. Porsche AG immediately registered the trademark Tiptronic, as this principle of automatic transmission operation immediately began to be adopted by other car brands Chrysler and BMW, but they already had to think up another name for their inventions.

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On Audi cars, the Tiptronic system was first installed on the A6 model with a 2.5-liter V6 engine. Then in 2001, cars with a 5-speed Tiptronic transmission came on sale, and a non-standard addition for this system was Sport mode. Also new steering wheel with tiptronic function was installed on Audi A6, and shift buttons were located directly on the steering wheel, so the driver was not distracted by gearshifting with the rocker.

It is now possible to change gears with the touch of a finger, without having to take your hands off the steering wheel. This convenient addition significantly saves time, especially when overtaking. In a word, it is very convenient to use the tiptronic in city conditions, both for men to feel the car, and for women who do not like to manipulate the gear stick. And if it is the only car in your family, it is the best option at all. But perhaps the main advantage of this system is the fuel economy, compared to the manual box with a tiptronic is much more economical.

Tiptronic automatic transmission – what is it and why is it needed?

The main purpose of any transmission is to provide the necessary range of torque variation in different driving modes of the car. One type of automatic transmission with the function of manual shift mode is Tiptronic. In the article we will consider what is Tiptronic, how it differs from the usual automatic transmission, determine its main pros and cons. We will not leave without attention and the device, as well as the principle of operation Tiptronic.

What is a Tiptronic in a car and how did it appear?

In order to drive a car in different modes, the transmission was created. It is thanks to it that the torque is transmitted to the wheel group. Modern cars are equipped with manual and automatic transmissions. Drivers who want to fully control the process of driving – choose a manual transmission MKPP, while others prefer an automatic transmission (automatic transmission).

The tiptronic function was added to control the dynamics of the car with automatic transmission during braking, when turning, accelerating, downshifting. Most car enthusiasts think that this is a separate device, which is represented by a new transmission. But this is an erroneous opinion.

The system was originally used for sports cars. The name was patented by Porsche, which in 1990 produced the first car with an automatic transmission and the ability to manually control the gears. In the future, other companies began to use this innovation, calling it touch-tronic, espatic, steptronic. The name tiptronic became the final variant, which is used up to now. The system became actively used in robotized boxes as well as variators. Today, the name more implies any automatic transmission, which is provided with the function of adjusting the gear shift manually.

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Why do you need it in a car?

The purpose of these designs (originally) was practically the same – to make the car more sportive and to untwist the engine to higher revolutions, which gives better dynamics, automatic transmission in a usual mode “D” – drive will not let you do it, and here – please. And under the steering paddles (gearshift paddles), give you more comfort, no need to break away from the lever (that is an imitation sequential gearbox).

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Later on, this manual mode was expanded, and now many use it to improve off-road performance, to combat the snow in the yards, for traffic jams (you can put the second gear and push it fine, and the automatic transmission will not jump from gear to gear), even to save fuel

How to use the tiptronic gearbox

To start the manual shift function, you need to do the following: Normally, the tiprotronic is operated using the automatic transmission lever. But, some models may be equipped with paddle shifters or buttons on the steering wheel.

  • Move the transmission lever to the right or left side, then, the same lever can be moved back and forth, switching up and down gears.
  • If the car is equipped with paddle shifters or buttons with the designation “+” and “-“. Then it is necessary to perform manual shifting with their help.

If the driver will not use the tiptronic, the system will operate in automatic mode, as well as a conventional automatic transmission.

Tiptronic operation principle

The principle of operation of the tiptronic mode is as follows:

  1. The driver puts the selector lever in manual or tiptronic mode. Presses the release button. This protects the lever from moving into automatic mode without disengaging it.
  2. Selects overdrive. The torque increases gradually, as in a manual transmission. At the same time, all gear numbers are strictly fixed in the automatic transmission ECU. The box will not be able to shift from second to third gear at once, as in automatic transmission. The driver then shifts down to a lower gear with the range selector lever in the tiptronic department.
  3. All tiptronic shifts are conditional on the driver’s command. If you can select downshift and upshift in your car with the help of paddles, then you need to switch the selector lever to manual control. It is already possible to switch speeds on tiptronic with paddles.

Warning! According to the statements of manufacturers, automatics with tiptronic has a sparing mode to the engine.

Boxes with tiptronic have a rigid connection between wheels and automatic transmission. Without it it is impossible to have this mode. The planetary gears are additionally reinforced. All this is done with the help of functioning planetary gears connected in series. They help to increase torque and carry high loads with ease.

The electric tuning, thanks to which the manufacturers upgraded the usual automatic, allows the electronic control unit to conduct a whole algorithm of gear shifting programs. And also, if the computer thinks that the gear shift is not the best choice at the moment, the command will be ignored.

What is the difference between automatic and tiptronic

The automatic transmission is a type of car transmission, which does not involve direct participation of the driver in the process of shifting gears: they are switched autonomously. The lever, which is in place of the usual gear shift lever in cars with manual transmission, is called a selector and does not switch the gears themselves, and the modes of box: it has positions P, R, N, D and L (respectively for parking, reverse, neutral, driving and forced “silent running”, which is used for driving on difficult terrain);

The automatic tiptronic is a more advanced and “advanced” version of the automatic transmission. Tiptronic, featuring a more advanced design, implies that the driver can intervene in the process of shifting gears, in addition to the aforementioned modes of operation, typical for the “automatic”, the selector has an area with markings (+) and (-). If you move the selector to this area, the gears can be shifted manually. In addition, tiptronic is more forgiving with respect to the engine – numerous sensors, the information from which is sent to the control unit tiptronic, make it possible to adjust the process of shifting gears depending on working conditions and load on the engine. It is easy to see that the tiptronic is significantly different from the automatic, although it is, in fact

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Pros and cons of the automatic transmission Tiptronic

Essentially, the Tiptronic transmission is an automatic transmission with manual override function. But it is not an ordinary automatic transmission, it is still a fundamentally new box, which, for example, unlike an automatic, can brake the engine.

Tiptronic is effective in any conditions. For example, you can quickly switch to a lower gear and thus increase the dynamics of the car. The automatic transmission cannot afford it. In addition, in adverse road conditions, you can choose a lower gear in advance, and therefore feel more confident on the road.

Modern Tiptronic in section

Tiptronic mode in the automatic transmission provides the driver with more opportunities when driving the vehicle.

In the Tiptronic gearbox switching to manual mode is absolutely safe, the electronic system will block all unacceptable conditions for the car. At the same time, when braking, the computer will automatically lower the gear, and the vehicle will move from first gear.

What other positive aspects can be found in Tiptronic?

  1. Fuel savings.
  2. Improved vehicle dynamics.

And what about the disadvantages? Not much, but they are there!

  1. Complexity of the construction.
  2. The Tiptronic system increases the cost of the automatic transmission.

Varieties of Transmissions

Nowadays, the concept of automatic transmission has become somewhat broader, as there are many types of it. Let’s focus on two of them: classic and Tiptronic.

Classic automatic transmission

Classic automatic gearbox

If not to go into detail, the automatic transmission is called such a gearbox, in which the speeds are switched automatically without the participation of the driver. But according to conventional engineering terminology, an automatic transmission is just the planetary part of the system that does the shifting.


The Tiptronic is the same automatic transmission that has the ability to shift gears like a manual transmission. The Tiptronic transmission was first installed on the Porsche 911 in 1990, and a few years later they began to equip BMW, Volkswagen, Audi and others. In normal mode, the box works like the most common automatic transmission, but if necessary, it can be switched to manual mode at any time. This feature makes it possible to bypass the computer and switch to direct manual control of the transmission.

Many drivers believe that this is not an independent type of transmission, but only an additional function of the automatic.

Tiptronic is the best option for those motorists who want to combine the comfort of driving in automatic mode with a sporty driving style.

Tiptronic transmission

The Tiptronic has 4 or 6 gears and functions very smoothly, any jerks are excluded. At speeds above the 1st hydraulic transformer is blocked which ensures virtually loss-free transmission of torque. A special program can analyze the road, the temperature overboard, the engine and the box, adapting to your personal driving style, thus calculating the best time to shift.

If you prefer manual gearshifting, all you need to do is touch the lever with one finger to shift forwards to a higher gear or backwards to a lower one. You don’t have to depress the clutch pedal and there’s no loss of traction. Manual gear shifting is safe because any wrong shifts are blocked. In the event of braking, there is no need to shift the lever – the box itself will shift to a low gear and then start from 1st speed.

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The option of sport or winter driving is provided. In case the sport mode is selected, the electronics gives an opportunity to raise the engine revolutions to the upper range, while the car becomes more responsive during overtaking or in case of acceleration.

In winter mode there is so-called anti-skid on a slippery road, starting up will take place from the 2nd gear, and gear shifting will be not only earlier but also smoother.

We compare the tiptronic in automatic and manual gearboxes

The manual transmission is known to many motorists with extensive driving experience. This type of gearbox offers the driver direct participation in gear shifting, thereby fully controlling the driving process, which is a plus. The obvious advantage over the automatic transmission is that there is no need for a torque converter, which was created due to the impossibility of air cooling. The minus of mechanics is that in city conditions the necessity of its usage is small: there is no place to accelerate – there are either signs with traffic lights and GAI posts around or traffic jams: it is hard to stand in them for a long time, any movement requires changing gear. For some drivers the manual transmission does not give unlimited opportunities, but on the contrary – it makes them distracted and prevents them from concentrating on the road.

It is worth mentioning another type, which combines a manual transmission with an automatic one, but is developed on the basis of a manual transmission. We are talking about a robotized gearbox or “robot”. Perhaps the best example is the development of Opel called Easytronic (Isitronic). From the transmission was actually taken, the mechanical part, the automatic is represented by an electronic unit, which is responsible for the clutch and independently decides when to shift gears.

Unfortunately, the good idea turned out to be badly realized. The jerks under load became much more noticeable, sometimes it takes a lot of time to shift a new gear, even with the gas pedal pressed all the way down. This box can not change gears instantly (as in the mechanics), smooth shifting (as an automatic gearbox) is also absent. Use a car with a robot can only be in the city, for a quiet, careful ride.

What to choose

When choosing between an automatic and an automatic transmission equipped with a tiptronic, it is better to give preference to the latter. This device has a lot of advantages and little disadvantages. In terms of functionality is far ahead of the classic automatic transmission. Moreover, on Russian roads joint management of mechanics and automatics is more acceptable. It is more modern and more economical. Creates more convenience and comfort for the driver.

Classic automatic transmission is more suitable for beginners without driving experience. Thanks to full automatics, one can concentrate on the road and not be distracted by switching modes. Especially driving on city roads in automatic mode is convenient and comfortable. When driving in hard-to-reach places, it does not hold up and breaks down.

Breakdowns and repairs

Nothing is perfect and the tiptronic transmission is no exception. The device of this gearbox does not differ much from a standard automatic transmission. Tiptronic needs proper operation and proper care. Sometimes even the correct use is not able to keep the box from problems. The most common failures of tiptronic are the following:

  • Malfunction of the electronic control unit;
  • Problems with oil;
  • Mechanical breakdowns, wear and tear of parts (e.g. oil seal, oil pump).

Employees of car service center help to cope with the majority of these problems.

Self-repair is not recommended – even pouring oil into the tiptronic sometimes is not so easy, what to say about replacing parts. At best, the attempt to repair the box will not be successful, at worst, it will lead a car to a non-working condition.

What oil is used to fill the Tiptronic

If the car owner can’t find the manual for the transmission, he can find out from the experienced mechanics at the service center. It is also possible to contact the dealer center. There they will tell you what oil will be needed to replace the waste fluid in the automatic transmission with tiptronic.

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If there is no original, then it is recommended to buy analogues of viscosity, not inferior to the oil from the manufacturer. And also all the technical parameters must be the same.

How many times should I change the oil?

Experts recommend changing the oil in automatic transmission with tiptronic in extreme conditions after 60 thousand km, and a partial replacement after 30 thousand km of run. Severe conditions for the automatic transmission include:

  • Cold or hot seasons with extremely low or high temperatures;
  • traffic jams for up to two to three hours a day;
  • Driving on dirt or country roads;
  • towing other vehicles or loads.

It is especially important to keep an eye on the oil while towing and to avoid overheating. After towing a heavy load for a long time, experts advise making a complete change of the lubricant.

Differences between automatic transmission tiptronic and variator

The need for automatic gearboxes appeared when in urban traffic conditions it was necessary to increase the level of comfort for drivers. They no longer had to be distracted by gearshift control, the ECU did everything for them. But there were still situations when it was necessary to change gear manually. So for some motorists, the automatic was more of a hindrance.

The variator is a kind of automatic transmission. But there is a big difference between it and the tiptronic, since the variator is a continuously variable gearbox. It allows the car to accelerate smoothly, and there are no jerks, twitches and dips.

Compared to the tiptronic, the variator has a big disadvantage, which is the load linkage. Most variator boxes have belts, which are responsible for selecting the optimal driving mode. They wear out quickly if drivers don’t follow the automakers’ recommendations. Variators require careful driving and limiting loads. It is forbidden to allow strong slipping, carry heavy loads, use trailers.

Reviews of owners of cars with Tiptronic

Vasily, 46 years old, driver of Audi A4.

For the third year, as I drive an Audi with the type of transmission Tiptronic. No complaints, I like acceleration dynamics very much, smoothness and comfort. Since I drive carefully, I learned how to save fuel, even in urban areas and metropolitan areas. Compared with my first trip and the current one, it is 7% of consumption savings. A lot or a little, but the fact remains. If I need to overtake instantly, I put in second gear at 80 km/h and feel the full force of a two-liter monster;

Peter, 36, owner of Skoda Kodiak.

At the beginning of this year I bought myself a long-awaited SUV from the company Skoda. The car is good, practical and comfortable. Additional conditions for quality driving creates a modified automatic Tiptronic transmission. I live in an area that needs to constantly overcome a steep hill, thanks to the mechanism of manual control any hill we can manage. I am satisfied with the purchase, I recommend it;

Karina, 33, owner of a Mercedes-Benz.

My husband gave it to me as a present on a special day. I’m satisfied with the car, have no complaints about quality, because it’s a German. At first I had difficulties with getting used to the new type of transmission – Tiptronic. Nothing, after a few weeks of driving in the active state, now I’ll give anyone a head start. I save fuel by about 5%, though I like active driving style.

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