Driver Shift Control: features, advantages & disadvantages

Driver Shift Control: features, advantages & disadvantages

Driver Shift Control (DSC) is the manual shift function in automatic transmissions of Pontiac, Chevrolet, Cadillac, and Buick cars. It allows maximum driving smoothness and helps to save fuel. This system allows engine braking and improves the vehicle’s dynamics and manoeuvrability.

How it works

The Driver Shift Control (DSC) function is found in classic automatic gearboxes with a hydraulic torque converter, a planetary gear set, and electronic control. Manual control is possible thanks to specialised firmware. The driver changes gear using the gear lever. In order to switch to manual mode, the driver slides the lever from the “D” position to the right (for left-hand-drive cars) or to the left (for right-hand-drive cars) and then moves it to the “+” or “-” position to shift gear up or down.

Popular transmissions with the Driver Shift Control (DSC) function

Gearbox codeManufacturerNumber of gearsMax engine torque, N·mMax engine capacity, LCar layoutProduction startModel applications
4T65EGM43803.8FWD, AWD1996Pontiac Grand Prix; Chevrolet Impala; Pontiac Montana; Buick LeSabre; Pontiac Aztek; Buick Rendezvous; Chevrolet Malibu; Pontiac Bonneville
4L65EGM45156.2RWD2001Chevrolet Silverado; Pontiac GTO; Cadillac Escalade; Chevrolet Corvette.
5L50EGM54504.6RWD, AWD2000Cadillac STS; Pontiac Solstice; Buick Park Avenue; Cadillac SRX; Cadillac XLR
5L40EGM53603.6RWD, AWD1999Pontiac Solstice; Cadillac SRX; Cadillac CTS; Cadillac STS
6L80GM68006.2RWD, AWD2006Cadillac Escalade; Chevrolet Corvette; Pontiac G8; Cadillac XLR
8L90GM810006.2RWD, AWD2015Cadillac Escalade; Cadillac CT6; Chevrolet  Silverado; Cadillac CTS-V; Chevrolet Corvette; Chevrolet Camaro; Cadillac ATS-V

Common malfunctions of transmissions with Driver Shift Control (DSC)

Malfunctions Transmissions
The friction plates of the torque converter have a short lifespan. 4L65E
The channels and solenoids of the hydraulic valve body get clogged due to contaminated oil. 4Т65Е; 8L90; 5L50E; 6L80; 5L40E; 4L65E
The clutch pack wears out prematurely. 4L65E; 4Т65Е
The transmission brake band gets stretched due to frequent high-speed driving. 4L65E
The separator plate of the hydraulic valve body wears out over time. 4L65E
The transmission pump often breaks down. It is prone to jamming at high RPMs. 5L40E; 5L50E; 6L80; 4L65E
The bearings are prone to damage. 4Т65Е
The moulded rubber pistons melt due to overheating. 5L40E
The clutch pack starts to burn quickly in case of insufficient oil pressure. 5L50E
The hub and bushes of the hydraulic torque converter break down fast. 6L80
The transmission pump starts to leak due to slipping of the seal rings. 6L80

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