So, just to give you all an update...after posting this message, I did quite a bit of research and found that MANY people have experienced problems with the CVT transmission on the Audi. I was prepared then, when the Audi service dept. called to say that my "friction plates" were gone, and I was faced with a repair for $2450, and that this was not covered under the warranty. (Just as an aside, I found that many other car companies warrant the transmission to 100K miles.) When I confronted them with the fact that this is a known problem to Audi, and what did they intend to do about it, the service manager called offering to use his "good will funds" to cover the part ($800), leaving me with $1650 out of my pocket. I said that I appreciated his offer, but that I would call Audi directly. After speaking with the Audi rep, the Audi service dept. called back to say that they (collectively - the local Audi service dept. and Audi corporate) would cover $1450, leaving me with $1000. I also voiced concern that I would be faced with another part of the transmission failing in a few months. They say that they will warrant this part for 12 mos./12K miles, but that any other problem would not be covered. For now, I've decided to leave it at this...but to be sure, I will pursue this in the event that "other" parts of my transmission fail in the near future. I suspect that this is Audi's response to the crisis - rather than tell me the entire transmission needs to be replaced (to the tune of $6-8K), they have decided to "minimize" the impact by only fixing pieces and parts. I read about one person who apparently successfully sued Audi under lemon laws related to this problem. I suspect that will not be out of the question for me if this continues to be a problem. Of course, I could just go ahead and sell the car once this repair is done...but I love my cabriolet...and it's paid for. Anyway, stay tuned for more as this saga continues.
I too have own a few CVT Audi's, and have worries on the troubles, people are posting. Had taken care of the cvt well by changing the Oil every 20,000 miles, expensive oil(have not found alternative). Even with such care the TCU transmission control unit still need to be changed sometimes depend on your luck 50,000k miles or 80,000km.
I did some research, and basically this CVT is a wonderful transmission if it works well. I had an opportunity to strip the gearbox as my friends car was having some problem after changing the TCU. gears hunts on auto mode between 2nd and 3rd gear. I manage to convinced my mechanic to strip the gear box and also found out cost of parts and parts available from Audi parts shop. the Gearbox basically works on pressure oil pumps to control the CVT gear ratios, there is a valve body, a pump, CVT pulleys mechnism, and front input shaft with clutches, and a Oil filter inside the gearbox! (most people are not aware. Most problem, arises when the gearbox is contaminated with metal swarf, worn fine metals from the gearbox, most new gearboxes will have more. also there a some seals whic degrades due to heat. If you take care of your gearbox and it not burnt. Your gearbox can live beyond contemporary gearboxes. and there is a cost to maintain it.
We found the front input shaft and discs are in order, you can replace the disc, but cost of labour and time, its better to buy the complete ready to fit input shaft which cost about US$2k on exchange basis. We change out the oil filter in the CVT pulley section on the cover and replace all round seals in valve body and put back together the gearbox. Test run, te gear box performs better than new and we can wheelspin the front tyres now.
These are the maintenance program, if you believe me.
(I am not responsible if these information does not works for you)
Basic 20-30,000 miles - Changing gear oil regularly
Periodically 60,000 miles - change all internal seals, valve body and TCU and also internal oil filter, clean out the gearbox internally.
These parts does not cost very much , but the labour cost to replace them plus oil is the main issue.
Older models -have 6 clutch disc, if worn, Audi parts shop has an exchange program for a new type with 7 discs (only) cost approx US$2k excl labour)
You need to change this if your gearbox slips during acceleration or if you can be sure that the clutch disc is worn and slipping.
The pulley and chain never breaks, unless very extreme, never come across or heard of, but guess it needs replacement at very high mileage like 300,000 miles, which by then a replacement gearbox or car would be more economical.
I dont know why the audi dealership require to change out the external pipe(so called filter) at 60,000km or 37,000 miles
Even i suspect the TCU can be saved if it can be cleaned of the swarf metal dust.
Most of the erratic gearbox problem can be due to worn seals in valve body/TCU, since it will loose pump pressure and cause erratic gearbox functions. If your instrument panel PRNDS flashes, you TCU has problems.
Most gearbox fails is due to metal swarf or worn metal dust floating within the gearbox oil and cause electirc short circuit and oil pressure.
Hope above info helpful