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Old 08-04-2009, 10:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Yea. My A4 04 has 77,000 miles on it and my transmission just blew out.
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:45 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Audi CVT

Originally Posted by jjohnston View Post
I have heard that the CVT in the Audi A4 has problems. I've heard it tends to burn out early. Does anyone know this is a known issue, and about how many miles they actually last?
Just to share, I have been using Audi CVT for a couple of cars with the same fear. recently my friend's car ran into similar problem, Its 2005 model A4 B6, happens to all Audi CVT from 2002-2006 I think. First as foremost depends on your luck the TCU will goes, symptom Flashing PRNDS on the instrument panel, sometimes gear dont shift and cant move car. This is a US$2k fix, the gearbox need to be flushed to change the TCU in the gearbox, it will sure need one time change between 30k to 50k miles, depends how you drive your car.

After 10k miles the gearbox hunts/slip between 2nd and 3rd gear at light driving.

After persuading a close friend mechanic to explore the gearbox. the grear box was strip with ELSA WIN guide. The front input shaft with 6 Disc/ newer models will have 7 discs, Audi replacement part comes only with 7 disc, this cost US$2k to replace on exchange basis,(you send back your defective core for credit) the disc seldom goes worn if you drive sedately and engine is not upgraded in power/torque, tiptronic driving will wear the disc faster also, so far, no hardcore driving will cause the disc failure. Checked the disc were in good condition.

Remove rear cover and second rear cover till the section where the CVT chain and pulleys were exposed, replace OIL filter in this casing, car was 60k miles. filter was soak with metal dust, new oil filter cost $50.00 was replaced.
On the rear the valve body and pumps. the CVT runs on pressure oils from the valve body to control gearing. there is 5 seals were replace, which will inprove oil flow within the valve body(this can be fixed when changing TCU). does not cost much.
Fixed back the gearbox, 7 litres of Audi CVT, which is expensive about $20/litre. After fixing above, the CVT performs better than its was new, When driven it can wheelspin the front tyres, engine is on stage 3 MTM, 315cc inj + K03 turbo.

Thus if you enjoy your audi CVT, do change gearbox oil at 20,000 miles, semi overhual at 60,000miles. The Gearbox does not burnt out unless the oil is never change and punish with harsh driving. If you upgrade to 7 disc, I am sure the torque limit will be increase say 350nm.for newer CVT understand it can take upto 450nm. A replacement Gearbox on exchange basis is onout US$7k I think at most?

After above information and confirm test results, I no longer fear of owning an Audi CVT. I like the rubberband effect, and fast seamless gearchange once the car is underway. There is no rocket science in the gearbox, just need more tender car and awareness. Though I must agree, Audi is milking back $$ for the development until 2007 model which has less of the TCU failure.
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Old 10-08-2009, 03:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Audi A4 transmission problem too...

Ok I got one more horror story about Audi's CVT transmissions. I'm the single owner of an Audi A4 2002 with a CVT transmission. Love the car, nevertheless at about 75K miles I was experiencing the infamous shifting hesitations in my transmission. I took in the car to Audi for a check up, Audi couldn't determine what the problem was. They tried different things, sort of guessing and hoping they could fix the problem by luck. They cleaned the throttle body, fuel pump was checked, etc... yet the root cause of the problem was never found, so I was told to keep driving my car for a while and to return to Audi if the problem persisted (but of course i had to pay $280 for the diagnostics and the stuff they did while trying to guess what the problem was). Car did not feel any different than when I took it in, yet I decided to drive for a while. Eventually, took it back and Audi finally told me it was my transmission. They gave me 2 choices, 1) To drive the car as it was, until it completely failed and then replace the transmission and 2) Replace some of the soft goods and other replaceable tranny parts. They recommended me to drive the car until it broke. I didn't like that idea, so I decided to overhaul the tranny for $1,300 bucks. 3 months later my tranny completely broke in the middle of the street. While driving at about 40 MPH the tranny suddenly locked up and the car came to a sudden and complete stop. Locking up the transmission was alarming and very dangerous. So I took the car back to Audi and they told me that a new transmission was going to cost me between $7K to $8K. They didn't want to honor that I had just paid them to fix it 3 months ago. After a lot of calls, confrontations with the service advisors and a lot of frustration, between the local dealership and Audi North America decided to give me a new transmission and all I had to pay was only $1000. Well after 18,000 miles after the new transmission was installed, I am experiencing the same hesitation problems again. Yes again, I can't believe it. I will be taking my A4 back to Audi and the whole ordeal will start all over again. I will post in the near future what comes out of this mess again.
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:01 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I've just had the oil changed in my CVT gearbox at TC garage in Crawley (1.8T s-line cabriolet, 05 plate, 40,000 miles) and although the transmission runs as smooth as anything I decided to get it done given all the comments on this forum.

TC were absolutely brilliant and pretty cheap (103.00 inc VAT) but the said that the CVT boxes can suffer from lag if the oil levels aren't absolutely right.
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Old 10-21-2009, 01:57 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default CVT Issues

Originally Posted by llogique View Post
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
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Old 04-13-2010, 05:14 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I bought a new 2010 A4T with the CVT trans in Dec 09. I drove the car once before buying it and felt the delay but thought it's been sitting at the lot for a while so it's not warmed up yet. Since the lease on my other car ended at the end of Jan I did not drive the Audi till early Feb and after a day I knew there was definitely something wrong with the way this car drives - felt like my 68 El Camino with a bad transmission when I was in college). Took it in and was surprised to hear this is the way it's supposed to work - you must be joking me, right?

Unfortunately they were not joking. This transmission is clearly not designed correctly, how can you have a delay when you want to get going from stop or when you've slowed down, it's actually unsafe in my opinion since you never know when the car responds to your command. Can not believe people have been driving these for years and a class action has not been filed yet.

As a first time Audi owner I am very disappointed in Audi as they have said the same thing. I am recommending to everyone I know and all my online followers and business associates to think twice (or more) before buying an Audi. I should have stuck with BMW...

Last edited by dv2010; 04-13-2010 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 04-14-2010, 12:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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hi folks i have a 2002 a4 1.8 t cvt
i live in georgia but not in the american state.
so that means limited service for an audi.
my problem is that when i drive my car for 2 hours its starts to do this...

from a stop when its in D its doesnt move for a couple of seconds if i rev it it suddenly bumps in and the front wheels spin.
its like its neutrel and when i rev it its hits into gear.
thats horrible when im uphill.the car rolls back .
but it has no problems in R so in reverse.
it like it slips. but just from a stop.
i have 65 miles on it. i donts think its the oil. cuz the reverse works good only problems in D.
is it the tcu that could maybe overheat and not giving the the right information if it should be in gear or not? ?
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Old 06-20-2010, 08:13 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Cvt

2005.5 owner here, under CPO warranty thank goodness....
At about 60k miles had problems with the TCU and they changed it out and drained oil cleaned trans etc. Devids problem sounds exactly how mine was right before the TCU went completely and I had to tow to audi.
Re dv2010 post about the engine working "that way" It is not the problem with the trans in my experience, I think that is the massive turbo lag that you are feeling. I had that sensation and they told me the same thing when I first bought mine, then I chipped mine (APR program) and that lag all but disappeared and I can chirp the front wheels (could probably spin but I like to save my tires and I keep the traction control on).
If anything else goes wrong I hope it's before next year when warranty runs out.
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Old 10-17-2010, 12:15 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Hey MR. dv2010, clearly you dont know what you looking for when purchasing a car. This technology is from 1930 and it fade away due to performance and lack of need to save gas. Thats why is back. A CVT tranny is designed now days to save gas. There are no gears to jump therefore the engine is not in neutral for that split sec. while changing gears and thus giving you better gas miliage. The lag that you feel is the exact same thing you feel when you drive a golf cart or a 50cc motorscooter. Is a centrifugal clutch, exept for in a car it has a metal chain and dampers and is hydraulikly driven to open and close the dampers due to the weight of the car, unlike the golfcart that has a rubber belt for lighter vehicles. Also this transmission is known to last over 500,000 miles (mecanic parts) technology will always have its flaws, glitches, worms, and viruses. I have abuse this transmission, have race it (boost up the turbo) and at 98,000 miles never have change tranny oil (is a sealed gearbox with one bolt to fill up). Simple mechanics, this transmissions are used in cars that are worth $500,000+. I can do 100mph on the highway at 2000rpm. that transmission is that good and it gives me an awesome 39mpg at that speed. My friend if you dont want your CVT audi ill have it.
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Old 10-19-2010, 01:56 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default TCM bad

My 06 1.8T A4 Cabrio with CVT just gave up it's TCM at 61k. It was working fine and shifted smooth before this. The expected "Check engine" and Red lite up gear indicator so I had it towed to the dealer ASAP. $1,500 for the repair as it was not under my extended warranty. Audi claims transmission is OK no metal chips in the fluid. Hope the trans will last after this or quit before the extended drive tran warranty expires.
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