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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I have a '99 A8, 109K miles. I've only owned this car for four months but I fear I may have lost the game of transmission roulette. I'm looking for any hopeful words that might tell me I'm wrong.

This weekend I made a comfortable journey of 120 miles cruising at 75-80 mph with brief bursts to 95-100 to get around left-lane dawdlers. (LOVE this car!) Everything worked fine, as always. The next morning, I started the car, backed into the street and found that when I put the car in Drive I had no power to accelerate. On further experimentation it seems that I have only one forward gear (I'm guess 4th? since the car will drive fine at 65 mph turning about 2000 rpm.) I took a short drive, turned off the engine, and when I restarted the problem seemed gone for a few hundred feet and then with a solid "clunk" the tranny dropped into the single gear again and the problem resumed. When this is going on the entire PRND432 display lights up at once. Reverse works fine and the engine is running smooth and revs freely when not in gear. Tiptronic kept the same display, no manual gear control available.

The next time I started the car the "check engine" light came on. (Yellow picture of engine with lightning bolt going through it and the word "Check" underneath.) Same tranny issue.

Not wanting to spend untold days where I was (yes, I know I shouldn't have driven but I had no choice) I made the 120 mile trip back home on the interstate, in cruise control, at stated 65 mph. Smooth, uneventful drive. Until I got home to local traffic and once more, found I could not accelerate at anything but a crawl from a red light no matter how much gas I applied. Again, I'm guessing I'm in a high gear.

So, I think I'm dead but I guess my question is does this sound like a transmission demise or could it be a computer issue? It seems odd to me that the engine light would come on for a tranny issue. But that might be the OBD at work. My son has the limited VAG COM but I don't know what codes I should look for.

Any thoughts or info on similar experiences appreciated. Also, I read anything from $6K - $12K for a transmission job. Gulp! Can that be true?

Thanks,

Nigel
 

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has the transmission fluid been changed or flushed befor
it might be just that, and hopefully nuthing serious
 

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Thanks for the hopeful thought! I actually has the car in an Audi dealership a couple of months ago and asked them to change it (since I didn't know the car's history). But they talked me out of it saying "we don't recommend it". So, unfortunately the answer is 'no' it hasn't been changed. Be amazing if that did it!
 

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Any updates on that problem, please ...have the same issue , did it actually fix the problem ( changing a filter and fluid ).. hard to believe , but hopefully it did.
 

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Your tranny is in limp (safe) mode. The CEL (MIL) will light up for just about anything that can store an error in the ECU memory including transmission problems. I can't speculate on a reason for this. Better to take the car in to a pro for proper tests.
You should be able to find an indi transmission guy who can do the work much less than $10k. If all else fails, contact ZF (transmission mfgr.) and ask for a name locally. PS: AAMCO will not touch an Audi.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi All,

Thanks for all your thoughts. Interesting about the "limp" mode and also scary that AAMCO won't touch 'em. But it is amazing how there does seem to be no real substitute for this car - when it's working....

Actually the news was not quiet as bad as I'd feared. VAG-COM showed a defective tranny gear ratio and speed sensors. I was concerned at first since a knowledgeable poster in the forums said he was certain I had a cracked the clutch housing A in my tranny and that it would show on Vag-Com as the sensors. This was seconded by another member, which had me really down. But, I seem to have gotten lucky and the replacement of those sensors has it running fine. I've done about 450 miles since the work, almost all highway, and so far so good. Cost, $379 at an independent shop. I also changed the fluid and filter while I was at it for another $225. That really does make the tranny feel "tighter" for want of a better word.

I'm still keeping my fingers crossed but as of today, I think I dodged the bullet.

Nigel
 

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Absolutely! Thanks for the thought! It certainly would have created "shock and awe" for my bank account!
 
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