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I have had my 2018 Kona Ultimate (USA) for several months. Love it. However, I noticed a few issues that are annoyances. Hasn't really been a problem, just odd to me. More annoyances than anything. But perhaps it is just my driving, or the DCT transmission.

Issue #1 - On several occasions when I am on a slight incline, when I start to go forward from a stop, the car will buck and sputter and almost stall. It reminds me of the days when I was driving a clutch and not giving it enough power. Today I actually had to stop the car and give it a chance to catch its breath, it just couldn't get going. I have tried giving it little gas or a lot. It just doesn't seems to like hills (minor inclines). It doesn't always do this, but seems to do it a lot. Is it the car, or am I just driving it wrong?

Issue #2 - Similar to issue #1, this is on a slight incline. I can come to a stop sign and then when clear I start to go, giving it really not much gas, but the engine will race and I am barely moving, and then half way into the turn it is like the clutch finally engages and the car wants to take off like a race car. It wants to take off with way more power than I was giving it (I was turning in a parking lot). I don't give it much power.

Over all, it just feels like it doesn't handles inclines very well. Almost like it doesn't know what gear it should be in. I am assuming it is my driving style, but these places that it does this, I drive every day, and don't drive any different and it doesn't always do this.

It is just odd. It is either over powering or under powering. Once I am moving it is generally fine. Other than when coming down a hill sometimes the engine is racing (high revs) and I am slowing down, but it is not shifting, just continues to race. Then eventually will shift.

Just some weirdness, but still love the car. Anyone else notice this? Is it just he way the DCT transmission works, or is it just my style of driving?

-Scott-
 

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It's your style of driving.

Your analogy to driving a manual transmission with a foot operated clutch, is appropriate. You'll recall that in circumstance like you describe with a clutch, you need to over rev the engine a bit as you feather the clutch, to get moving smoothly. If you don't feather the clutch and throttle to start smoothly, you'll end up with the bucking you describe on a manual transmission. The same logic applies with the DCT.

The DCT is designed as more of a performance transmission, and as such, doesn't do particularly well with low throttle input from a stop, particularly on an incline.

Try driving a bit more aggressively with the throttle from a stop, incline or not, and see if it doesn't smooth things out for you. My wife has had the same issue and has learned to drive a bit more aggressively and now has no issues with the DCT.
 

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What Dklanecky1 said. I will also add- I too had the same issues with in-town\city driving my 2019 Ultimate and there was a learning curve to matching the throttle with the DCT, took a few weeks to get the hang of it. For me...I drive it in "sport mode" 80% of the time, on open highway with the cruise control set (flat roads), 20% "Normal Mode". What also helped remove some of the engine lag, was to put in a K&N air filter and swap out the hot-side intercooler resonator with a delete tube. $100 in upgrades and pretty easy install. It also gave the engine a nice intimidating growl when you put your foot down.

K&N drop-in air filter- https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MU394WL/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00
Intercooler resonator delete pipe- https://www.sxthelement.com/Intercooler-Resonator-Delete-Pipe-p/00-01-102.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the input. I figured it was probably me. I will have to try to pay more attention to my driving and see if I can make it work better.
 

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What Dklanecky1 said. I will also add- I too had the same issues with in-town\city driving my 2019 Ultimate and there was a learning curve to matching the throttle with the DCT, took a few weeks to get the hang of it. For me...I drive it in "sport mode" 80% of the time, on open highway with the cruise control set (flat roads), 20% "Normal Mode". What also helped remove some of the engine lag, was to put in a K&N air filter and swap out the hot-side intercooler resonator with a delete tube. $100 in upgrades and pretty easy install. It also gave the engine a nice intimidating growl when you put your foot down.

K&N drop-in air filter- https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MU394WL/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00
Intercooler resonator delete pipe- https://www.sxthelement.com/Intercooler-Resonator-Delete-Pipe-p/00-01-102.htm
Thanks for the info! I will take a look at those. You can't go wrong with more growl!
 

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For the vast majority of people on this forum, we're here to help each other and discuss actual issues and try and find common solutions. There are an occasional few who have other agendas and like to argue.

I neglected to mention that the Kona's computer learns your driving style to some degree, by keeping track of your inputs and can to some degree, make small adjustments based on how you've been driving it. My point is that if driving a bit more aggressively doesn't fix things for you, you might want / need to disconnect the Kona's battery for a few minutes in order to reset the computer back to it's original as new state. This of course will reset everything, so I'd wait for a while before I'd do that step.

Good luck!
 

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You've had it several months so it's learned your driving habits.

This is my 2nd dct car, never any uphill or downhill takeoff problems.
Although my grandson, he's 13, noticed we rolled backwards a few inches when leaving a uphill redlight.
I just smiled and tried to explain about a manual transmission, he knows about them just never been in one.

Yours doesn't sound normal, have you taken it to your dealer?
You could be doing permanent damage to the clutches.
 

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Not just you/driver style

Thanks for the input. I figured it was probably me. I will have to try to pay more attention to my driving and see if I can make it work better.
I don't think it is you at all. I live in a hilly residential area with lots of speed humps as well to keep traffic at a residential pace (40kmh speed limit). You are often slowing to a speed hump while going up a hill then accelerating again on the hill. My wife has an i30 with a conventional automatic transmission as a point of comparison.

I'm convinced the shifting on the DCT is optimised for flat road driving, where it accelerates and decelerates in predictable curves. When driving my wife's car if you are on a flat road that then turns into a hill it smoothly downshifts when the load on the engine increases. In the Kona with DCT it will do that sometimes, but other times it seems to interpret the increased load as a request for rapid acceleration, kicking down late and then lurching with excessive power.

I'd love the Hyundai team to do some test driving around areas that are not flat and/or give us the ability to alter the patter to better suit our driving environment.
 

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Have you tried it in sport mode as well ? I dont use anything but sport mode.. It keeps the revs up and doesnt upshift constantly so you remain in the power band and dont need to downshift for more power..
The only time the DCT trips up for me is when I climb a steep hill, my driveway and when I let up on the throttle and turn, it becomes jerky like someone who is driving a manual for the first time.. otherwise I dont have any issues with mine in daily use..
Downshifting the DCT more than one cog causes it to jerk and take off.. occurs less often in sport mode..

I don't think it is you at all. I live in a hilly residential area with lots of speed humps as well to keep traffic at a residential pace (40kmh speed limit). You are often slowing to a speed hump while going up a hill then accelerating again on the hill. My wife has an i30 with a conventional automatic transmission as a point of comparison.

I'm convinced the shifting on the DCT is optimised for flat road driving, where it accelerates and decelerates in predictable curves. When driving my wife's car if you are on a flat road that then turns into a hill it smoothly downshifts when the load on the engine increases. In the Kona with DCT it will do that sometimes, but other times it seems to interpret the increased load as a request for rapid acceleration, kicking down late and then lurching with excessive power.

I'd love the Hyundai team to do some test driving around areas that are not flat and/or give us the ability to alter the patter to better suit our driving environment.
 

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Lowspeeds weirdness.

Gotta say I agree. My garage is on a hill and I have just as much trouble getting into it as I did with my manual Mini Cooper S.The lag on startup is downright dangerous, especially in reverse.I've backed into the street a couple of times and going from reverse to drive seems like an eternity. I've tried keeping it in soort mode and that seems to help. Overall, I still like the Kona a lot. You just have to get used to the quirks. Like with my MiniCooper. I had to adjust to. the fact that every time I hit a bump with my run flats it was like being hit by a sledgehammer.I'm convinced all my turbo feed leakage was due to all those impacts.BMW BreakMyWallet. I finally got rid of the run flats and put a flat inflator kit in in the boot. Hopefully this Kona tranny lag won't ba a major concern. Hope it's covered as part of the power train warrantee.
 

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Gotta say I agree. My garage is on a hill and I have just as much trouble getting into it as I did with my manual Mini Cooper S.The lag on startup is downright dangerous, especially in reverse.I've backed into the street a couple of times and going from reverse to drive seems like an eternity. I've tried keeping it in soort mode and that seems to help. Overall, I still like the Kona a lot. You just have to get used to the quirks. Like with my MiniCooper. I had to adjust to. the fact that every time I hit a bump with my run flats it was like being hit by a sledgehammer.I'm convinced all my turbo feed leakage was due to all those impacts.BMW BreakMyWallet. I finally got rid of the run flats and put a flat inflator kit in in the boot. Hopefully this Kona tranny lag won't ba a major concern. Hope it's covered as part of the power train warrantee.
I had a 2005 MCS with those **** runflats .. The shock towers would actually distort and bend from the bumps in the road.
I replaced the Runcraps and it helped... but the car was too uncomfortable on any drive over an hour.. Installed a pulley for more boost.. was fun for a couple of years.. but too harsh riding for me..
 

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Inclines are different in a DCT transmission

I've had my Ultimate now for 6 months and like it overall. Gas mileage is terrific. To add to all the inputs here, I've learned to give a little "help" when on slight inclines. My problem is I am very used to it, and when driving my wife's 2013 Sonata, I find I'm chirping the tires from a stop! Never did that before. The wifey says to take it easy on the "old" girl! LOL Otherwise, it is very responsive for a 1.6 Turbo. :wink:
 

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Well said! and worth repeating..
The trickiest part of driving a manual is starting off from a stop. No different for the DCT especially on inclines.
The final drive for the Kona with DCT is a very low 4.29 ! That and a granny 1st gear of 3.93:1 allows the DCT to engage the clutch quickly With minimal slippage.. The programming for the DCT performs really well... but it’s still a manual and as such requires a bit of attention in certain situations to drive it smoothly.. The overall feel and benefits of the DCT are worth the occasional anomalies..

It's your style of driving.

Your analogy to driving a manual transmission with a foot operated clutch, is appropriate. You'll recall that in circumstance like you describe with a clutch, you need to over rev the engine a bit as you feather the clutch, to get moving smoothly. If you don't feather the clutch and throttle to start smoothly, you'll end up with the bucking you describe on a manual transmission. The same logic applies with the DCT.

The DCT is designed as more of a performance transmission, and as such, doesn't do particularly well with low throttle input from a stop, particularly on an incline.

Try driving a bit more aggressively with the throttle from a stop, incline or not, and see if it doesn't smooth things out for you. My wife has had the same issue and has learned to drive a bit more aggressively and now has no issues with the DCT.
 

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Recently posted this in a different thread and it may be relevant here.

"For those of you with the 1.6t dct putting it in sport mode helps a lot with the take off and shifting.
However if you don't want to drive in sport mode try this. When you are taking off from a stop immediately push the pedal to a fixed position and leave your foot there while in first gear. This will give the engine consistent throttle and allow the clutches to do there thing much smoother.

At the end of the day they are manuals so its just like when you are riding the clutch you want constant throttle and its going to be touchy once the clutches are fully engaged in first.
Trying to be super smooth with the throttle inputs doesn't seem to work that well for me. You kind of have to experiment and drive it with your right foot finding the amount of throttle inputs in certain scenarios."
 

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You've had it several months so it's learned your driving habits.

This is my 2nd dct car, never any uphill or downhill takeoff problems.
Although my grandson, he's 13, noticed we rolled backwards a few inches when leaving a uphill redlight.
I just smiled and tried to explain about a manual transmission, he knows about them just never been in one.
You shouldn’t be rolling back too far or at all with the hill start assist feature..
 

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Roll back

You shouldn’t be rolling back too far or at all with the hill start assist feature..
My Mini Cooper manual had like a 2 second roll back assist which was pretty helpful when somebody's on your butt on a steep hill. I t feels like the Kona has a similar set up - doesn't roll back right away but lags a little on the forward motion.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Just wanted to give an update. I brought the car in for its 12K service. I mentioned to the dealer about my shifting issues and the car bucking or stalling when starting (mostly from hills, but not always). It had been seeming to get worse since I started this thread. I figured it was worth having them look.

Well, turns out when the technician even went to bring the car in the shop, it stalled for him when trying to start from a stop (it is a completely flat parking lot). Usually my luck is they can never experience what I do. So they looked deeper, and it appears that one of the clutches is warn down. I believe he said down to 6% left. They even talked with Hyundai Engineering. I had asked what could I have done to cause this (the car only has 12K miles on it). They said they didn't know and even engineering didn't know how it could wear down that much that fast.

So anyway, they are putting in a new clutch package. They will have it a few days since they have to take the transmission completely out to perform the repairs.

I hope this fixes my weird shifting issues.

-Scott-
 

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My Kona Ultimate was acting similarly when starting, especially on hills. They had to replace the transmission. The car would not go into 1st or 5th gears. Anyone with this issue should get their transmissions checked.
Since the fix, the car never hesitates in 1st gear. Acceleration from stop is always smooth with no hesitation. I never feel the need to use sport mode. It's a totally different car than before.
 
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