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I am worried by this. I have a A4 Cab '04 plate, but I bought it brand new in July 2004. It is 2.4 V6 Sport one with Multi-tronic box. It has just had its 40K gear box oil change and has had all it services at Audi dealer near where I live.

Not wishing to tempt Madam Fate, I have not had a moments trouble or any of the symptoms I have seen on various Audi Forum sites <quickly touches some wood> with the gear box. I am not what you would call a Ms Daisy driver either. There is a busy junction near were I work that requires use of the Tipronic part of the box that I use 5 days a week to get out safely into the traffic! It has a sports mode which I also use fairly regularly. I do however follow the old rules with auto boxes. So when I am sitting at the lights, a busy junction, or in a traffic jam, I stick it in neutral.

It probably down to taste, but I test drove a number of auto box cabriolet cars back in 2004 (Saab, BMW, Volvo) and the Audi was far the best of the bunch.

Other than an strange fault that has developed with the radio today, and I have managed to break one of the hinges on the glove box door. The car as been faultless over the last four and half years.

Is there anyway I can check what Multi-tronic box has been fitted in the car? If I can confirm it is seven plate one then can sleep easier in my bed at night! :)
 

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There's a pretty well known problem with the Multitronics... here's a couple of quotes from the "HonestJohn" website....

"What to Watch Out For.....
If buying a Multitronic, be suspicious of any bangs or jerks. Reports of problems with Multitronic electronics causing bangs when drive or reverse were selected and a low rpm vibration in 5th/6th. Multitronics MUST HAVE regular ATF changes. By 2005 reports of Multitronic failures were increasing. By 2006 Audi was offering 50% of replacement cost as long as the ATF had been replaced at 40,000 miles. Replacement boxes fitted with 7-plate rather than 6-plate clutches. By 2007 Audi was more reluctant to offer this goodwill. However, if the problem is only the clutch, then a new 7 plate clutch is about £2,200 fitted."

"Recalls......
December 2005: Dealer TSB to replace current 6 pack clutch of 2.5V6TDI Multitronic with a new revised 7 part clutch as there is a known problem with the Multitronic being unable to cope with the torque of the 2.5TD. (Not confined to 2.5TDI. Multitronics with all engines failing regularly and 6 plate clutches being replaced by 7 plate clutches.)"
 

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Cheers. I'll keep me ears open! I tend only to use the numbered gears to pull away in heavy traffic, and I tend to knock back into Drive once I have changed to 2nd/3rd gear. So I may miss low rpm vibration in 5th/6th.

I do live in a dead end road so I use reverse every day. So I'll look out for bangs when then.

Thanks.
 

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It's the MUCH higher torque 2.5 diesel where this is a significant problem (they don't even offer multitronic on the top-spec TDi's)... the lower spec 2.5 TDi's where they offer Multitronic are the 155PS and 163PS, so the troublesome ones around the 320-340Nm territory and they don't offer it on the 180PS which is around over 370Nm.

According to the Wiki entry - this generation of Multitronic is now recognised not to support over 310Nm.

So the 1.9Tdi 130PS is just the wrong side of borderline with around 320Nm.... but the petrols are mostly WELL within spec: a 180PS 1.8 20V Turbo has 235Nm and your 2.4 V6 (approx 165bhp) has 230Nm.... and the 3.0 V6 gettting close with 300Nm....

But the workaround is the 7 plate clutch upgrade which should cope with all B6 engines (up to 400Nm apparently - certainly in the new gear boxes, the 7 plate clutch can handle that much)....
 

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When I used the CVT regularly (on my '05 A4 cabrio - B6), my transmission failed around 42000 miles (luckily, still under warranty, so it cost me nothing)...so I'm afraid to use it now!
 

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aragorn - not sure, but I was under the impressiont hat all CVT clutch replacements were being done as the 7-plate, not the 6-plate...
 

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ERWIN released "Servicing Multitronic Manual" for A8, A6, A4 2001-2007 models. I'm not sure if this was just released recently. I checked out the table of contents, it seemed pretty detailed. Hopefully with this manual, more shops other than the dealership will be able to do overhauls at lower prices. The dealership usually recomends a whole transmission assembly replacement (which is very expensive) if something goes wrong with it. Here's the link:

https://erwin.audi.com/erwin/performSearchArticle.do
https://erwin.audi.com/erwin/A005AI00220.info?articleId=48496
 

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addition to the styling, the other big news with the new A4 is the availability of a continuously variable transmission (CVT) instead of a conventional automatic with the front-wheel-drive models. (The A6 also gets this transmission.) This is somewhat odd, since in most parts of the country Audi sells mostly all-wheel-drive “quattros,” but I suppose they haven’t gotten the CVT to work with the all-wheel-drive system yet. What they have done that no one else has is gotten the CVT to work with a powerful engine, a 220 horsepower 3.0 liter six. (For my review of the A4 with that engine and all-wheel-drive, click here.) Until now, CVTs have only been available with much weaker engines, because there ability to handle torque has been limited. The CVT also takes the place of a conventional automatic in front-wheel-drive models with the junior A4 engine, a 170 horsepower 1.8 liter turbo four.

I’ll take a shot at explaining how a CVT works. Basically, it involves a pair of beveled pulleys linked by a chain. Each pulley has two separate halves, the distance between which can be varied. When the halves are brought together, the chain is forced higher up the bevels of the pulley, effectively increasing the pulley’s diameter. And vice versa. The transmission is “continuously variable” because the distance between the pulley halves is infinitely variable between their extreme positions. The problem has been designing a chain that does not slip (since it is held in place entirely by pressure) and does not break. Audi seems to have gone well beyond previous limits, in part by having the chain pulled rather than pushed. Since this is how a bicycle chain works, I have no idea why other CVT manufacturers bother with the push method.

The CVT works, but be sure to avoid the four with it - 2002 Audi A4 - Epinions.com

Why is “continuously variable” an advantage? It should be smoother than a conventional automatic, because it can slide smoothly from one gear ratio to another rather than jumping. It should get better fuel economy, because it does without a conventional automatic’s torque converter (“slush box”) and enables taller gearing. And it should enable faster acceleration. Theoretically, a CVT should be able to let an engine quickly jump to the RPM where it makes the most power, and then hold it there as the car accelerates. With other transmission designs, the engine is always starting well below the point at which it makes the most power, accelerating to a point where it is beyond this point to the redline, and then moving back below this point when the transmission shifts. Peak horsepower does not totally determine acceleration. Horsepower across the entire RPM range the engine uses while accelerating does. With a CVT, the engine can theoretically be kept right at the RPM where peak power is made for much of the time it is accelerating, which off the top of my head I’d guess could easily be equivalent to 15% more effective horsepower. It also helps that a CVT can cover a broader range of ratios, so that it can start lower and finish higher than a conventional transmission, improving both performance and economy.

The problem with actually doing this is it feels weird, at least to people used to conventional transmissions. Whether you know it or not, an engine sounds right when it is continuously gaining RPM, then shifting, then gaining RPM again. When the engine stays at a set RPM while the car is accelerating, it just sounds wrong, as if the transmission were slipping or something. Which it is, but then with a CVT that’s how it works.

To provide the option of a more “natural” driving experience, Audi's CVT acts like a manually shiftable six-speed automatic when the shifter is in the “tiptronic” position (located in a short slot to the right of "D"). In this mode the driver is able to move among six predefined ratios using either buttons on the steering wheel or the shifter
 

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My A4 3.0 Multitronic '04 model (non quattro) had its gear box changed at 86, 416km. At 110,040km I started having problems but I am not sure if it's the gearbox or something else. When the car is cold everything is fine but after 100kms or so (or even 20km if driving fast) it feels like the gears are slipping when changing. When changed to triptronic one can overcome the problem for a while but the problem would become more pronounced with the distance (even on triptronic). Ultimately the car loses power and it struggles to change gears. At it's worst (with more distance travelled) it crawls but ultimately cant move and the engine cuts itself off. The engine can be started and the crawling continues. If however the car is left to cool off until the next day, the story starts all over again; you can drive fast for 20kms (or so) and the problem sets in. Been to the dealer but nothing shows on the diagnostic machine. Anyone with a similar experience or solution? The gear box oil was changed and the problem still persists.

Would be grateful for your suggestions......
 

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Try changing the Transmission fluid. That's the first step. When I complained of gear slipping and judder, the Audi Dealership recommended replacing the whole transmission assembly because no error codes appeared in the diagnostic tools. I consulted a Euro car expert and he insisted on renewing the transmission fluid. I went to the former audi dealer and made sure they changed the trans fluid. After a test drive, the judder and gear slip were totally eliminated.
 

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Just an update that the transmission fluid change did not yield any result. Acutally my first posting indicated that the dealer had changed the gearbox oil without any result (but from aragorn65's response I thought the transmission fluid was different to the gearbox oil but I was told it's one thing).
 

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I live in Australia and the horror of my CVT started last year when I drove my 2004 model A4 (2.0L, CVT multitronic) to the Snowy. The car was fully laden (4 people and skiing gear). The weather was nice and it went on very very well until we stopped briefly at a small town. When I tried to pull my car out of the car park, actually reversing, all segments (PRNDS) on the dash started to flash. It still drove ok but I was quite frightened because the manual says that indicates a serious malfunction in the transmission. I phoned up Audi centre but it was at weekend and the service department had nobody available to give me any advice. I drove the car back after spending half day at the Snowy, pretty worried. On Monday, I took it the the stealership and they told me the transmission computer needs to be replaced. The quote was about $4000 including labour. $4000 for a transmission computer? A 17 inch MacBook Pro costs less money than that and it comes with a nicer screen...

Since the car is still drivable so I asked them if there's a second approach. They reset the computer and the flashing thingy on the dash looked fine.

Since the car has past warranty, I sort of felt I was quite lucky as a simpe $100 computer reset "fixed" the problem.

The car went pretty smoothly even after that incident and 2 months ago I took it to Audi to have the 90K major service. As I heard many people do replace the transmission fluid to fix the jolting problem when you stop the car, I paid $400 extra to get the tranny oil flushed and renewed. It was quite amazing that the oil replacement remarkably eased up the jolt.

But that didn't last long.

Last month, I drove to Sydney with my wife and two other friends, the car was again fully loaded when we were returning home. Two days after that, in a cold evening, the transmission started to shudder. It felt like the clutch slips link with manual cars, especially at low speed. I could only accelerate it slowly by keeping the engine revs below 2000RMP to reduce the shuddering.

Booked an inspection at Audi centre the second Wednesday. Their mechanic did a quick test drive and told me it's the clutch pack that needs to be replaced and it's basically because the transmission oil has been replaced and that's too clean to hold the clutch together when high torque is applied. ? Did I hear this wrong? Does that mean Audi recommend dirt oil with mental particles just for the sake of theclutch pack...

More I was told was they have recently fixed (I dunno how many) this kind of problems, and they can only ship the transmission box to either Sydney or Melbourne to have it rebuilt. That costs $6K to $10K plus labour and I can also order a new tranny, $10K+ is the minimum I can expect on the bill...

Well, I'm a male professional and I love my cars. Never abused that A4, well I'm pretty sure it wont beat a Corolla in a drag race and how can I abuse it if I so wish... Only 98,000km on the clock and the car just looks like a new one. Do you believe something you once paid $50K for will break and sit in the garage in less than 5 years? My first car was a Subaru Libery and it lasted 15+ years without a single fault. What is wrong with Audi. I feel myself like a guinea pig VW/Audi uses to test their new technology and I'm left stranded just when their fancy machine past its warranty time...

Wrapping up my stopy. My advice to the fellow onwers of the B6 CVT is, don't have your car fully loaded for highway driving. If you feel anything weird with the car, get rid of it before it breaks. If you are planning to buy a secondhand A4, AVIOD the CVT like a PLAGUE. Don't even bother asking if it's 6 or 7-cluth version, stay away from it as adding the money to fix the tranny if it breaks, you can buy a new one under warranty or a Quottro with hydrolic auto. I now have no faith in Audi and have no idea about the other models with CVT. Maybe it's too soon to tell.

Once good thing about the CVT though is it's just amazingly smooth. I have a Lexus IS250 in the meantime, althouth that's 6 speed auto, its smoothness is nothing close to the CVT, but only when the CVT works.

I have created thie Google group hoping to get all people having CVT issues to consolidate their story and bring it to Audi's attention:

Audi CVT Issues on Google Groups

A few key points from my story:
(1) Don't buy an (old) Audi with CVT (late models? I don't know, at least I won't touch them)
(2) If you happen to own an Audi with CVT, do not have it fully laden
(3) Chanaing the transmission fluid may make things worse
(4) CVT sux
 

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I own a A4 July 2004 2.4 V6 Multitronic which has had the 40K oil change. The last couple of years I have been holidaying in the in my home country the UK. This includes visits to the Lake District which contains a number of steep mountain passes. To date the my CVT box (touch wood) has been as good today as it was when I drove it out of Audi 5 years ago. I actually love CVT gear boxes (I find planetary gear autos horrible). I have been eyeing up the new A5 Cab recently. I would, if possible, stick a Multitronic box in it. Though if I cannot get the engine I want to auto gear box, I'll go manual...

I also love the V6 engine, but Audi dropped the 2.4 :( and, with hindsight, they are bloody expensive to run.

I concede that Audi's do seem to be hard on their components. I owned a Pug 206 GTi for seven years before the Audi (which also has long service interval). Oil changes, and brake pads that all that I paid out on it in seven years (all at Pug main dealers too).
 

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nightmare

i have just been told that i need a new gearbox on my audi a4 cabriolet 2.5 tdi bought in 2003. it has done only 37500 miles (it is a second car) and has a full service record from audi garage where it was purchased. I also raised the question of the shuddering gearbox everytime I took the car in for a service and was previously told by audi that they 'could not find a fault'.

audi tell me there is no goodwill available, despite the very low mileage, because the car is out of warranty. does anybody have any contacts with media names, i.e. Top Gear's jeremy clarkson, high profile motoring correspondents or consumer watchdog correspondents because I think audi should be exposed publicly over this issue and I believe these cars, expensive, prestige cars, should have been recalled when the problem first became known.
 

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this is a well known issue, on the 2.5TDI in particular.... as the issue is with the torque and the 2.5TDI is the highest torque engine to have been fitted with them, so it's most heavilly affected.

You can try the media, but I'm pretty sure it was on Watchdog about 2 yrs ago already... along with the Pug406 boot locking issues, etc?

I always take HonestJohn with a pinch of salt, but I still read it ;)

"What to watch out for....
If buying a Multitronic, be suspicious of any bangs or jerks. Reports of problems with Multitronic electronics causing bangs when drive or reverse were selected and a low rpm vibration in 5th/6th. Multitronics MUST HAVE regular ATF changes. By 2005 reports of Multitronic failures were increasing. By 2006 Audi was offering 50% of replacement cost as long as the ATF had been replaced at 40,000 miles. Replacement boxes fitted with 7-plate rather than 6-plate clutches. By 2007 Audi was more reluctant to offer this goodwill. However, if the problem is only the clutch, then a new 7 plate clutch is about £2,200 fitted."

"Recalls...
December 2005: Dealer TSB to replace current 6 pack clutch of 2.5V6TDI Multitronic with a new revised 7 part clutch as there is a known problem with the Multitronic being unable to cope with the torque of the 2.5TD. (Not confined to 2.5TDI. Multitronics with all engines failing regularly and 6 plate clutches being replaced by 7 plate clutches.)"
 

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I own a 2002 A4 1.8t with CVT.. It is on 75k and no problems. Shifts like a dream.. Compaired to Bimmers and Benzes, it still out-drives all the ones I tested. The only bad thing is the stupid little electrical bug that keeps taking my battery juice
 

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CVT failure?

Hi all. I own a 2004 1.8T multi which I bought in 2006. It had 60 000km on the odo, meaning that there were still 40 000km of the ‘ Freeway’ maintenance plan remaining. This proved useful as both the control unit and the CVT required replacement after a short period. I have the suspicion that the control unit may have contributed to the CVT failure, as this was (unknowingly) due for replacement under warranty at the time I purchased it (probably the reason the 1st owner traded), but there was a delay due to an administrative stuff-up. This meant me using the car for a period of nearly a month with a faulty control unit before it was replaced.

The CVT failed about 6 months later, at low speed, without prior warning – it lost drive and made a grinding noise until I selected neutral. This was fortunately also replaced under warranty. I did ask at the time if there were any known issues with these transmissions, but was advised that it was an unusual occurrence. I decided not to extend the warranty at the time it expired, due to the cost (assuming that the CVT was unlikely to fail again), although I still take my car to the official agents for servicing.

It now has around 125 000km on it, and has remained largely trouble-free (I had to replace an ignition coil pack once). I should point out that I have always treated it gently and have seldom used the manual over-ride (usually when demonstrating how it works), and it is now driven almost exclusively by my wife who is probably more gentle than me.

My previous Audi was a B5 1.8 auto that I sold at 200 000km, and is still going strong at 250 000km in the hands of my brother’s wife (who is not very gentle). Assuming that I could do the same distance on my current one, this would give me another 10 years use at its current rate. I would love to keep it, as a modern replacement would be only marginally better (if at all) at a huge cost.

After reading this and other posts, my assumptions regarding the longevity of the CVT are:
• The CVT is probably least likely to fail in the model with the lowest torque output.
• Failure is less likely if serviced regularly in accordance with the manufacturer’s specs.
• The replacement CVT fitted in late 2006 was probably the newer (7-plate?) model.
• Gentle treatment would be beneficial (duh!)

I would appreciate any relevant comments, as I may need to make a decision regarding keeping it in two months time. If there is a real likelihood of the CVT requiring replacement again, the obvious choice is to trade it now.
 

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I have had transmission issues with my 2003 A4 1.8T Cab Multitronic for 2 years now. The first indication of trouble was the delay in disengagement when coming to a stop - the car felt like it still wanted to go forward. Just a slight surge. Naturally the car was out of warranty when the problem revealed itself. My independent shop suggested cleaning and resetting the air intake system to remove any crud that might be gumming things up. Tried it, no joy. So I took it to my local Audi dealer. They ran an Audi procedure: backing up, moving forward while watching the VAG values. The Audi factory "solution" was to flush the transmission with three changes of transmission oil. While this service was being performed, I went back through my records and discovered that the transmission oil was not changed by the dealer at the recommended service interval. I brought this to the attention of the service department, and they agreed to cover the cost of one of the 3 oil flushes. Needless to say that this procedure didn't work, although it seemed to improve the situation to some degree. Since the car was otherwise running fine, I decided to live with this idiosyncrasy.

About a month ago, the transmission started to flash the PRND indicator, and went into "limp" mode. This usually happened after the first cycle of the day when the car was still warm. Starting up first thing in the morning was no problem, and driving any distance was fine. Restarting an hour later after stopping somewhere is when the problem showed up - but not alway - just randomly. In the US, the car was recalled for faulty ignition coil packs. On the day that I took the car in for the coil pack issue, I stopped at the Post Office just prior to dropping the car off at Audi. Bang, the PRND indicator starts flashing again, so I ask Audi to check it out.

It seems that the Hydraulic Control Unit (valve body) has failed. The dealer claims that they can operate the valve body via their test equipment, and verified that it was defective. So, yesterday, after $1,701.33, I have an A4 with new HCU installed, and it seems to be running fine, maybe faster off the line - even the surge seems to be gone. I'm going to monitor the car closely for the next few days to see if it is not just my imagination, but my question is: do I have a case with Audi that the failure of the HCU can be traced to the failure of the Audi dealer to change the transmission oil at the proper interval? Would a slowly failing HCU cause the surging issue?
 
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