DCT issues in a brand new 2021 Hyundai Creta 1.4L

I have read everything about DCT. It is a complicated mechanism, especially when you want to put it on a car for common people in a country like India. It is something like running the Rolls Royce RB211 or Trent gas turbine as a drive for your domestic water pump or washing machine in an area plagued with poor quality power supply and water.

BHPian Senpran recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

New Creta 1.4 GDI turbo DCT comes home, again, again and again!!!!! And I am not upset about it.

My 2014 110PS Duster adventure edition was sold in December 2020. It was mixed experience with the car. The car was great. I was looking for replacement due to the following reasons:

  • I wanted to shift to an automatic transmission.
  • I am not comfortable my wife driving her eleven years old Santro beyond very short city runs though it is a benchmark in our family in terms of reliability. Duster’s clutch was too hard for her and as wells as to me.
  • My daughter was getting increasingly uncomfortable with diesel smell.
  • I am also an environmental hypocrite. I can’t switch off the AC. I can’t travel in a public transport which is non-AC. But I worry a lot about pollution. I also work in sin industry - oil and gas. I really want to display my social responsibility by showing off something like owning an electric car as soon as possible.

I am already convinced to buy an electric car which is properly engineered and manufactured as an electric car. An electric car with 400 km to 500 km real world range and decent number of charging stations spread across my territory will be my time to jump in. As an interim measure, I have decided to go with a petrol automatic from Duster's segment. Even though the car will not have to take more than four passengers often, I preferred the car to be able to take the fifth passenger very occasionally. It will be driven either by me or wife. I also don’t see any big mile munching for the next few years due to the current academic status of my son, pandemic etc. Even my Duster was running about 7,000 km per year only. No sedans. I had started looking for the car in the super dry 19.999L to 29.999L price spectrum. When you eliminate diesel from this price range, what do we have?

Considered, Tested and dropped

It is easy process if you read this forum for long time. Almost all the questions about all the cars in the Indian market have already been answered in Team-BHP.

  • I have not considered/tested the Indians - (Now I realise that it was a stupid decision and regret it). I was under a very wrong notion that cars from them come with more niggles.
  • Deliberately avoided Chinese due to the current geopolitical mood despite the VFM cars MG is offering. Petrol IVT Hector would have been my pick after a test drive.
  • Ford EcoSport petrol AT- Test driven. Great car but too small compared to Duster.
  • Seltos DCT- liked the looks, features list and how it drives. Rejected only because we had the new Creta also to compare. Then the disappointing crash test results came. Not that new Creta is five stars but it is still unknown. There is room for hope. My wife was seriously biased towards a Hyundai as her eleven years old Santro has never stopped for any reason other than to get parked.
  • I felt that the Tucson Petrol was lame. I found Creta 1.4L DCT and Creta IVT drive much better than petrol Tucson. Diesel Tucson AT 2WD was excellent. Though the car looks dated, but I liked it. I wish Hyundai stayed with the design language for some more time. Family felt that the Tucson interior is not looking modern. Features like super cool ventilated seats to simple sun window screen for the rear windows are easily letting down a great car like Tucson. Lower rear seat was another downer. I was really surprised when family raised the lower seating issue. I wanted a petrol car only. My car will not be driven a lot thanks to the nature of my job. My wife was not mentally prepared to drive something bigger than a Duster. Tucson was the only car I was prepared to break my 25 lakhs mental price barrier.
  • Jeep Compass- Dropped due to second row, petrol engine performance, confusing variants and long waiting periods. The waiting period for a test drive car with the proper engine and transmission combo (not a specific variant) was also more. Say one month in my case. I liked the variants priced above 30 lakhs only. Still regret for not being patient.
  • Taigun and Kushaq were far away at that time. Nothing was ever certain from their manufacturers. I am comfortable with mass car manufacturers in India or cars selling large numbers.

Why Creta?

  • I have not discussed anything about the exterior design of the Creta with my family before going to showroom. I have not received any negative comments from my family. I kept quiet. I really don’t hate the design as much as some of our members do. I am neutral on the Creta’s exterior looks.
  • Panoramic sunroof for the kids. I don’t want it as much as my daughter wants it.
  • Paddle shifters, 1.4L turbo petrol engine with usable drive modes impressed me. I don’t really miss the Duster’s diesel punch.

Yes, I can read your mind thinking about DCT. I have read everything about DCT. It is a complicated mechanism, especially when you want to put it on a car for common people in a country like India. It is something like running the Rolls Royce RB211 or Trent gas turbine as a drive for your domestic water pump or washing machine in an area plagued with poor quality power supply and water. If you keep tuning the DCT transmission control too much to suit Indian conditions, then you will end up with something like petrol Hector DCT. We all know how much Indian car manufacturers train their service personnel too. I have opted for the five years wonder warranty, bought shield of trust. I have also included the future repair cost into my financial goals list. DCT is the risk I have taken willingly for the driving pleasure. I have test driven the IVT too and it was good, especially in city. But DCT touched my heart. As soon as I booked the car, I have started reading the online owner’s manual knowing that the car has more gizmos to my taste. I have even translated the DCT driving instructions section into “Tamil” just in case if the car is driven by some driver other than me.

Man prepares for DCT, and God laughs at it - The problem part which is not from DCT

  • I have taken delivery of the car on 26th March 2021, Friday, evening from Hyundai motor plaza, Chennai.
  • Busy for couple of days on daughter’s birthday.
  • I got busy with the car and set up Blue Link, etc.
  • I have started noticing that the ODO stays at 25 km every time I start the car. The ODO was at 25Km when I took delivery of the car from the dealership. When I start driving the car, the ODO starts going up from 25Km. When you return back and park the car the ODO will read (25Km+ whatever distance driven). The ODO gets reset to 25 km after five minutes. I did couple of short drives to re-confirm this. I have recognised this is an issue. I called the SA to get clarifications on this. We have exchanged some photos. He advised me to get it checked during first service. I have asked him on what basis the service will be done if you don’t have your ODO working properly. I have decided to take car to service centre. Naturally the car had several starts and stops during this period
  • 2nd April, Friday: Decided to take the car to service center. Started the car in the morning about 0900 AM. Noticed the Auto Hold and ESC alarm indications on. Car was driven to HMP service center. The owner’s manual says that you must get the car checked when you receive the alarm. They have carried out some checks. Car was given back to me after few hours with same 25KM ODO reading. I don’t think any meaningful investigation was done. I also did not want to believe that my brand-new car is having some serious issue. They just connected the laptop and checked something and handed over the car to me. Issue not resolved. ODO was not updating.
  • 3rd April, Saturday: Morning started the car. In addition to "Auto hold & ESC" alarms “EPB" alarm was also received. I have noticed the gear was not engaging when all these 3 alarms exist together. I was not sure whether it was a safety interlock or the transmission system not getting the brake pressure interlock for shifting gear. I think, if we have all these alarms together, then the brake system is not in healthy condition. So the interlock system should be prohibiting the car to engage any gear. I have switched off the engine and started back in consultation with service advisor. It settled in “MIL+Auto Hold+ESC" alarm condition. This condition allows us to drive but to be checked by a Hyundai dealer service as per owner’s manual. I have driven the car to HMP, Chennai. At this stage I was not able to pin point when the brake related alarms appear. I was fixated with ODO issue only.

Here's the video link.

  • The car was in the service station until 10th April, Saturday. I was told by the service personnel that extensive troubleshooting was carried out and instrument cluster was replaced. I have taken car home after short test drive on the same evening.
  • The ODO started updating properly. I have noticed when the car was started in the morning (after a day or more of parking) the warning light saga repeats as it happened on 2nd and 3rd April. So, I was back to square one. It took some time to recognise that this happens when we start the car after it was parked for more time, say a day or more. I have communicated the same to them. I think this information should have helped the technical personnel.
  • Car was handed over to Hyundai service (HMP Chennai) on 15th April. I have personally briefed the people about the issue. Suggested to check the brake related components, priming the system etc. Several photos and videos handed over to them.
  • Car was delivered back to me on 21st April evening. The service centre customer care manager personally managed the repair process. I was totally impressed with him. He was the only hope for me to live with this car. We will talk about him at end of this write up. He changed my life forever now. In the entire repair saga, Hyundai technical team had visited twice as per the service centre. Suggested replacement of parts as required. As per the service invoice provided to me, only instrument cluster was replaced during the first visit.
  • Car was started back on 24th April Morning (the previous start was 22nd April Morning). Same lights and warnings received. I have also noticed one thing that if you switch off the car once this occurs and start back again, everything becomes normal. I have clearly explained the issue to them during earlier visits, shared ample photographs and videos. I have advised them to park the car minimum 24 hours and then start it to witness the occurrence by themselves which they did not do. They start the car everyday to check. So far, I have driven the car either to check whether the car runs properly or to service centre. I had to cancel all my planned trips due to this issue.
  • I have sent an email stating my woes to all possible e-mails I have from Hyundai. The service centre personnel called me. They were the same people I was already talking to. I pity them too as much as regret my bad luck. They were trying everything they can. They have their limitations too. They have sent the personnel with laptop to pick up the car. I have kept the car not started from 25th April morning until they arrived on 27th April evening to show them the issue. As usual, irrespective of how much we love our cars, they let us down. No loyalty to the owner at all. It started normally. However, they acknowledged that the alarms were there in the history. The car was taken further investigation. They have replaced the “Front wiring assembly”. The car was delivered back to us on 7th May. The car is running fine since the delivery. But I always have a constant fear. We just keep the mobile camera ready before every start.
  • Where was the car since I bought it?

  • While I am comforted by the service personnel's eagerness to help me, I am totally disappointed with the Hyundai as a manufacturer. What is the QC process they follow? This is a top end version of their top selling model. I could not believe that they can deliver a product with such issues. How can someone miss the ODO stuck at 25 km?
  • The car was with the service centre for 26 days and 16 days with me after delivery. I don't think manufacturers like Hyundai hold any credit as niggles free quality cars.
  • There was no call from customer care for a feedback even after receiving my regret mails. They take a feedback on “how the car was delivered”. They don’t bother to check “How is the car?” Hyundai India is cunningly careful not to acknowledge the manufacturing issues with the car. Hyundai’s twitter handle is very intolerant. They have taken my contact detail via DM but never called back. They block you immediately. I generally don’t bash people right away on social media. I don’t think they should have blocked me too soon. I only wanted to talk to somebody about the heartache I have with the car. I have gone to twitter to reach my banks and other manufacturers. I have always communicated politely and got my issues resolved. I have never got blocked by anyone in any of the SM platforms. Why is Hyundai’s twitter handle very arrogant?
  • Why do the feedback mechanism treat a brand-new car with strange issues and a routine service the same? How do they expect me to enjoy the service quality for the work done on a brand-new car with questionable reliability? They should also have offered me a loaner car during this period.
  • It is scary to think such issues will crop up when you put your hard-earned money to buy a car and suffer with an inexplicable issue. As I try to get more information from internet about this issue, I am getting more and more of horror stories with Hyundai’s quality issues in India. The scariest one is the first gen Creta’s brake issue. I think Hyundai’s engineers work more on gizmos instead of designing and manufacturing a good break system or steering system. I have also felt that the brakes in the Tucson was hard as rock during my test drive.

The forum can try to help me with your inputs

  • What could be the issue?
  • Have you/ New Creta owners ever faced any issue like this?
  • Is it possible to obtain the manufacturing manual with electrical & mechanical drawings of this car for further troubleshooting by ourselves? I am not going to DIY repair on a brand-new car. As a minimum, we can be clearer about the issue and assess the risks associated with the failure. As per owner’s manual, these alarms are expected (of course not all the alarms at same time). It asks us to have the vehicle checked in an authorized Hyundai service centre if we receive any of these alarms. An alarm can be activated by the actual condition or by faulty sensors installed to detect the condition or the related wiring. How come the repair team cannot pinpoint the faulty condition or the sensor right away? I am not able to convince myself that my car had some unknown issue and got resolved by luck.
  • And finally, when do you really conclude that the car we have bought is a “lemon”? I have decided to call it a lemon if I face the same issue next time.

Lessons learnt

It does not matter how much time you spend on Team-BHP. It is not important that you read a lot. It is very important that you learn from the reading and practice it. So, read these articles (1, 2) again and again before buying the car. If you want better experience wait for it, and pay for it. Do not seek cheap pleasure.

Delivery experience

Hyundai Motor Plaza, Chennai works like a well-oiled engine. The sales adviser was great - polite and to the point. The sales and delivery process were very good. It really works as good as Hyundai’s assembly line. Pandemic related safety precautions have been followed up sincerely. Time lines have been met very well. Transparent communication flow. I was having my travel commitments. They have tried their best to expedite the delivery to meet my requirements. There was one issue though. They too have failed my “tyre pressure” test. Tyres were over inflated. It is high time that the dealers are educated to adjust the tyre pressure to lame customers, say at least for the ones who never gone through the Team-BHP PDI check list. I have noticed one guy from a Creta Facebook group asking about whether his new car’s TPMS reading of 70PSI is normal. I think the dealers should keep such customers in mind. I was also surprised to know that they did not have a Creta DCT for test drive. I had to work around it.

Hypothetically removing the trouble I had with my car, how is the car?

Engine, transmission & Drive modes - I have not driven a VW DSG except for some short test drives. So I don’t know what the benchmark here is. I found Tucson diesel's 8 gear AT exceptional, Tucson petrol slow and Ford EcoSport AT was average. The 7 gear DCT in the new Creta is good. I am really happy. I find the engine very refined and smooth for the power delivery it makes. I am not an aggressive driver. But I prefer a car which should be quick enough when I want it to be. I am happy with it. I prefer ECO mode for drives, even if it is about 25 km traffic free routes. Eco mode is not dull at all and you also get a decent mileage too. Comfort mode is suitable for the city drive. This mode can cater to most of the situations. Sports mode is sports mode.

Ride quality and handling - Duster seems to be have spoiled me unknowingly. I sorely miss the Duster here. Stock JK tyres are not justified at this price point. Better rubbers can improve the things. Car is just average in this department. But I can trade off this for the Creta’s easy to drive set up - smooth automatic, low speed steering tune and auto hold function. I am not a corner carving driver or moose testing the cars. Handling is OK.

Steering- Not bad at all. I was having low expectations. It is not very precise. But I am satisfied with it.

Build quality - The fit and finish is good. I find the doors and bonnet are heavy. It feels solid in comparison to Duster.

NVH levels- Very good. I need to see how it ages. I found the IVT was even better during my test drive.

Infotainment system - It is decent. Phones connect instantly. 15 year old son feels it is very nice to set up and use. I also feel the same. Voice controls work well although I never wanted to talk to my car. I prefer to communicate with my car with pedals and steering.

Access & egress - Getting in and out of the car is very good. Seating position can be quickly attained with the electric seat adjustment control. I must spend some time on it after my wife uses it. A seat memory function would have been a great addition to the features list. Still much better than the Duster. Finding the seat position used to be a pain point with the Duster.

Brakes - Braking is good when it works. So far it works when the car runs. Car stops as you want it to.

AC - AC performance is good. Much better than Duster.

Wireless charger - Wireless charger works fine with all the phones we have at home without any issues.

Blue Link - Blue Link works very well. Very useful to keep an eye on the car. No issues faced until now. It really helped to monitor the car when at service. It is possible to cross check the service update they give you. I noticed an anomaly in the fuel gauge reading and range. Alerted the service centre before the car was delivered during one of the service trips, otherwise I would have taken the car again to them to fix it.

Rear parking camera and sensors - Good and usable.

TPMS - works fine. In general, I would call this a great feature to have. It is a key safety related parameter that we are unaware of when the car is in use.

The start stop button - I miss the gratification of inserting the key and cranking. I feel things are going out of my control when the engine starts on a single press of a button.

What do I miss? Or Do I ask for too much?

I never like to spend anything on a new car other than fuel until tyres are due for replacement. I always prefer to buy car which already has all the features. My essential features list not that long too. I could have paid even a little more to have the following features in the car:

  • Seat position memory function since you have given me an electrical adjustment feature.
  • Powered tail gate. I am really looking for ways to do it. My friend’s Endeavour spoilt me here.
  • Vanity mirrors with lights -not even for passenger, Hyundai-seriously? I am not disappointed with them. I am familiar with their notorious cost cutting by the exclusion of “rear wash wiper”.

What I really want now

Peace of mind. Not that I am very impatient. I am ok with a normal failure rate. I lived with the injector failures on my `duster happily. In general, I don’t regret choosing the new Creta as a car. But what I want now is a car which just starts, runs, stops when I want it to and cools the cabin normally. Nothing more. Looking for such a car will be my next project after my wife takes over this car completely. The irony is the Duster which I just sold ticks all the above boxes.

All the above has been written over couple of months as and when the issues were happening. I kept editing it for some time. I was busy with my job to try posting it. The repair job also kept going on and on. The car was delivered to me after the last repair on 7th May in a hurry as the lock down was coming soon. Tamil Nadu went on lock down from 10th May. My wife is working with a PSU insurance company. She was able to drive the car to her office regularly with special permission as insurance is classified as essential service. I am still on a business trip. I have decided to acknowledge that the issue are fixed after two weeks of use. I sent a WhatsApp message to the customer care manager of HMP, Chennai on 25th May. The cool guy I spoke about earlier helping me on this, he never replied. That’s not him. Assumed he switched off the mobile phone due to lock down. My wife tried to call him, but the mobile phone was switched off. We managed to contact another person from the service center after the partial re-opening of the city. We were informed that the customer care manager, in his early forties, passed away on 14th May due to Covid. He was talking to us till 7th May. We are still in shock. I don’t care about anything now. I remember him appreciating me for my patience and cooperation during the service saga. Thank you, man. RIP. You have shown me that my car problem is not a big deal. My anger, disappointment, dejection and ego are gone now. I am not upset. God laughs louder than we think. And cruelly at times.

Here's what GTO had to say on the matter:

Read through your complaint and some thoughts:

- Because the issue is showing up after the car was parked overnight or two nights, I think it is either battery drain or a defective battery. More likely, something is draining the battery. These modern cars have way too many electronics, controllers, boards, sensors etc. and they absolutely detest weak batteries / low voltage.

- It's bad enough that Hyundai sold you a problematic car, but I find the company's response absolutely appalling. Why on earth has this not been escalated to the topmost levels? How dare the morons handling their Twitter account block you - a customer who has paid them 20 lakh rupees!

Will be sending a link of this thread to some people I know at Hyundai.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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