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Thread: Stronic woes

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    Stronic woes

    Hi guys,

    First real post on this forum but been lurking for a while. I've been having some terrible Stronic issues with my car. I have an A3 S/B Sport 1.6 Stronic which I've owned since new from Sept 2009.

    The first 12 months I had the car it was great, silky changes and really nice to drive. However coming up to around 18k and it's first service I noticed some issues with the car, when accelerating from a standstill the revs would shoot all over the place almost like the clutch wasn't fully engaging. I mentioned this to the dealer who instantly dismissed me and said a DSG box is jerky. I didn't really know how to respond so I left it.

    Another 18k passes and the car gets worse and worse, when slowing down and the car going from 3>2 and going back on the power the revs shoot up but nothing happens, then suddenly it jerks into gear and gives a horrible jolt. Also the problem of setting off got worse and left me with no faith in pulling out in gaps at roundabouts. I waited for a while until I knew I had a lot of time should it play up.

    So coming up to my second service I went in to the dealer the day the car was booked (booked over the phone 3 weeks ago and confirmed a loan car would be ready for me) lo and behold no loan car so sent away. Also at the time of booking mentioned box getting worse. Service guy phones me later in the day and as a 'gesture of goodwill' he said they will book in the gearbox as a separate job to my service. What a joke I thought!! Anyway turns out the car needed a new clutch pack, but this was delayed so they had my car for about 4 weeks.

    Problem was still present, and now I was sick of being dismissed by the dealers. I understand that the DSG box will never as smooth as a normal auto box but jerking me about is a joke. I became truly sick of the car, the problems had gotten worse, and now 1,2,3 all feel horrible. Also when accelerating and changing from 1>2 there is a half second delay for the power to kick in, I thought the whole point of the DSG was millisecond changes. The car now feels like what I can only think to describe as a slipping clutch as certain changes cause the whole car to feel like it's bouncing along.

    I've contacted Audi UK and tbh they aren't much use either. The car has had an adaption drive done on it twice and if anything each time it's made things worse. Audi UK have now arranged for the car to be seen by a dealer that has never seen the car before to see what they feel the problem could be.

    I'm at a total loss because my original dealer is just saying that's what the box is like, and apparently sometimes the torque can cause problems like this. My car has a 1.6 engine which is seriously underpowered! I just don't get that.

    I'm really after some advice guys as to how to proceed, I'm worried that the other dealer will say it's 'within spec' but I know for a fact that it's not. I've driven the car from brand new and there was a time when it was flawless but now it's not and if anything is getting worse. I'm now out of warranty, but Audi UK have said they will extend goodwill on the car.

    I know this will be a huge cost if anything goes wrong, and right now I'm not in a position to change car. Any advice would really be appreciated on how I can get this resolved.

    Looking at other threads it seems quite a number of people have had gearboxes replaced, but Audi does not want to budge for me.

    I haven't mentioned any dealer names but if anyone want's to know who I don't mind PMing to name them.

    Also forgot to add, a couple of days ago I reversed out of my house (totally flat road) came to a complete stop then engaged drive and accelerated and the car jerked so hard I thought it was going to stall.

    So any advice would really be appreciated. Thanks to anyone that's read the whole thing, it's a bit of an essay I know!

    EDIT: Just to make myself clear although Audi will place some goodwill on any fault they find, I'm worried that if they say it's within spec and close my file and anything happen in future then I'll be faced with a huge bill!

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  3. #2
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    You should have contacted Audi UK before the warranty was up really.
    You could get the gearbox checked with VCDS to see if it shows up any problems in it.

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    My DSG box is smooth with no jerks at all, the only issue is when changing down from 3-2 but that seams to have faded after a service

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    Audi UK were involved during the last 2 weeks of warranty and have been involved since.

    Would a VCDS scan be any different to the scan a dealer does?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikemc View Post
    My DSG box is smooth with no jerks at all, the only issue is when changing down from 3-2 but that seams to have faded after a service
    Very different experience with me. Box has been getting worse over time!

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    Any ideas on how I can get this sorted please guys?

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    If this was brought up under warranty, then its for them to resolve the issue fully even if warranty has finished, if you have records on the dealers systems complaining about the stronic, then you can use this to prove it was brought up during warranty & never resolved satisfactory, you need to challenge the dealer saying you were made aware of the fault during the warranty so they need to honour fixing it.

    Not sure if the stronic gearbox is wet or dry, so if wet did they change oil & filter, for me sounds like a mechatronics issue, ideally it has been calibrated properly?
    MadA3 likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NHN View Post
    If this was brought up under warranty, then its for them to resolve the issue fully even if warranty has finished, if you have records on the dealers systems complaining about the stronic, then you can use this to prove it was brought up during warranty & never resolved satisfactory, you need to challenge the dealer saying you were made aware of the fault during the warranty so they need to honour fixing it.

    Not sure if the stronic gearbox is wet or dry, so if wet did they change oil & filter, for me sounds like a mechatronics issue, ideally it has been calibrated properly?
    Thanks for the great advice NHN it's really appreciated. I've been complaining to the dealer since the first service and it is noted on their system. They even replaced the clutch pack on the car to no avail. I believe it is the 7 speed dry clutch set up. But then saying that they did say they also did an oil change when they replaced the clutches. I know that it is a 7 speed box. The dealers just don't want to play ball and keep fobbing me off saying DSG boxes are jerky. I get that but this is beyond a joke. I'm not sure how to proceed. What would now be the best course of action?

    Thanks again.

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    Just to add they have done some sort of TPI on the car after sending data to Germany, well that's what they told me anyway. They've also done 2 adaption drives and each time it comes back worse. I hate driving the car now and I have no confidence in it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NHN View Post
    If this was brought up under warranty, then its for them to resolve the issue fully even if warranty has finished, if you have records on the dealers systems complaining about the stronic, then you can use this to prove it was brought up during warranty & never resolved satisfactory, you need to challenge the dealer saying you were made aware of the fault during the warranty so they need to honour fixing it.

    Not sure if the stronic gearbox is wet or dry, so if wet did they change oil & filter, for me sounds like a mechatronics issue, ideally it has been calibrated properly?
    hi NHN! Have you heard of audis premier repair center in Milton Keynes? Apparantly audi uk refused to take mada3's car there. I find that somewhat audacious considering the problem and its extensive history. I think letting the MK boys have a look may be a good idea. Any thoughts on how to get the car booked there? I wonder if u need to be referred by audi uk or if you can contact them off your own back?
    "Its not so much that I set out to make an S3, its just I think the S3 is the best body kit for an A3."

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    My advice? Get rid of it unless you are happy to make a contribution and accept their goodwill. The 7 speed box is a nightmare with serious design flaws. The warranty has been extended to 10 years/100,000 miles in China! I brought a brand new VW Polo 6R in 2009. I had problems a few months in. It dragged on for over a year, a head tech flew in from Germany, at one point the car was going to be sent to Germany too... I lodged a complaint using an independent engineer recommened by Honest John and they eventually agreed to buy the car back off me. Audi must take us for a nation of mugs! Other countries get extended warranties but Britain seems to have become somewhat of a dumping ground for poor quality technology like the 7 speed box.

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    I would honestly love to change car but right now financially I'm not in a position to do that. I see you faced similar problems with the box, it's absolutely horrendous isn't it! Can I just ask what independent engineer you used to get a report from? Could this be some sort of indy VAG specialist? Who did you make the complaint to? Right now Audi UK are being completely unhelpful.

    Looks like we are getting screwed with the warranty, we must be a huge cash cow here in Britain!

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    My dad had an issue with his A4 avant (different to yours) and that was sent to Milton Keynes HQ. He didn't see it for 6 months and when It came back it still had the same issue so they agreed a compensation package where he got free servicing and some other things.... He wasn't to bothered as his car wasn't clocking up the miles..

    The problem he had on the car was that the auto closure of the windows wasn't working...

  15. #14
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    I e-mailed Honest John who sent me this reply: "Follow this link and find an engineer in your area:
    IAEA-ONLINE.ORG
    Get a report and see what it says. It will cost about £250 but you need it if you are going to win."

    I hope the link still works. I then put this all forward to BBC Watchdog who offered me a prime time slot! VW acted like they did not care. I wrote to some local papers who were interested too. After a call from Trading Standards, VW finally gave in but it dragged! Goodluck.
    Last edited by _G_; 19th April 2013 at 07:35.

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    Ps. If you have purchased using finance then you can contact the financial services ombudsman (FSO) with said engineers report.

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    Guys thank you so much for the wonderful advice. I will definitely go down the trading standards / watchdog / ombudsman route if needs be.

    Just an update the car is going to a dealer who has never seen the car before tomorrow. Any advice on how I should handle it? Go in all gung ho or play it cool?

    Also any ideas on what I should say apart from explaining the problem? I was thinking something along the lines of I won't take the car back until something concrete is sorted on it?

    Can't thank you guys enough for the help so far though.

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    _G_
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    I think speak in neutral tones without getting personal. Attack the problem rather than the brand/person you are speaking to. Be as detailed as you can with the facts so they can take notes. Best of British.

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    JPK
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    Had a little issue with my DSG the last few days. On two occasions it has held in 2nd gear (in drive) and need to either slow down (back into 1st, then back to 2nd) which fixes the issue. Or simply use the paddle shifters to shift up.

    Have no idea why it is doing this.. :/
    2005 A3 2.0T DSG Oettinger Body Styling, 19" RS5 Reps, APR Stage 1, Forge Twintake, Remus catback, BSH PCV Fix, 034 Motorsport Mounts, WALK, Whiteline bushings (F&R), Whiteline RSB, Whiteline BSK, Whiteline adjustable end links, H&R Sport Cup Kit, Stoptech Drilled Rotors, Hawk Pads, Tyrolsport stainless lines, Tyrolsport Calliper bushings, Tyrolsport DeadSet Subframe kit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JPK View Post
    Had a little issue with my DSG the last few days. On two occasions it has held in 2nd gear (in drive) and need to either slow down (back into 1st, then back to 2nd) which fixes the issue. Or simply use the paddle shifters to shift up.

    Have no idea why it is doing this.. :/
    First stage of diagnosing this is to check for any hard fault codes... if there are no codes then you can try and change the dsg oil and filter... but if this was already done at 40k miles or so which it should have been done and your mileage was for example at 50k then forget the oil and filter and try reset the box... I reset using VCDS and it cured things for a short while... NHN put up a link to this and you can search for it on the forum. It depends on your box though because the instructions for reset may not work for your dsg box. I think the dsg "learns" a lot of driving conditions/habits... when I lived in Warwick, I never had a problem with the dsg... having moved to London, most of my town driving involves gears 1+2...

    For me... I had hard shifting from 1-2 and 2-1 but what I did to cope was it was as you said... either let off the pedal, use the paddles or sometimes if I gave it a slight kick down it would force into 1 and then when I let off it would go smoothly from 1, 2, 3 but kick down was not the best idea for a cold engine either... eventually my mechatronic unit went. I have read up a lot about these and State side the VAG dealers are having the units repaired professionally.

    It's funny how VAG is different in the USA... able to and agreeing to repair the mechatronic. Where as here they want to charge you and replace the whole thing. There are ways of repairing it... my philosophy is that most things can be repaired so they are like new. I had a crack at removing the mech. What a nonsense name... could they not come up with a better name like hydra-electric gearbox or something? Anyhow... there is one part I could not get hold of... and the guy on flee bay in Hong Kong who I have brought various parts from before for repairing vintage sony walkmans... he can only get the part in 10 weeks time and I would need to buy a large quantity... as I need to keep the car on the road/its our only car right now... I have to bite the bullet and get a new mech. I'm going to be ordering one soon and I will fit it myself to save labour but I need my mechanic friend to do the oil and filter change for me.

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    Not sure, but perhaps these guys may be able to help.

    VW & Audi DSG Gearbox ECU - DSG Fault

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    Guys just am update for you. I did what you guys said and kept a cool head but kept firm with the problem. I went out for a very very short drive with the technician, and so far I'm quite happy with the service I've got. The technician really empathized with my issues and assured me he would sort this for me. He agreed the car isn't behaving as it should and has asked to keep the car for a minimum of 2 days to thoroughly check it and diagnose the fault.

    If I have any updates I'll post them on here, but I feel positive so far. Never gotten such a nice reaction from an Audi tech, usually they just want to fob me off and get rid of me as soon as possible.

    Fingers crossed!

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    G, be very careful when removing/refitting the mech unit as it has a long sender arm, that if broken will render the unit useless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NHN View Post
    G, be very careful when removing/refitting the mech unit as it has a long sender arm, that if broken will render the unit useless.
    Agreed and thank you. I still need to get back to you about the cruise control fitting. I'm hunting for an A4 B8 so may need it on that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MadA3 View Post
    Guys just am update for you. I did what you guys said and kept a cool head but kept firm with the problem. I went out for a very very short drive with the technician, and so far I'm quite happy with the service I've got. The technician really empathized with my issues and assured me he would sort this for me. He agreed the car isn't behaving as it should and has asked to keep the car for a minimum of 2 days to thoroughly check it and diagnose the fault.

    If I have any updates I'll post them on here, but I feel positive so far. Never gotten such a nice reaction from an Audi tech, usually they just want to fob me off and get rid of me as soon as possible.

    Fingers crossed!
    That's good to hear mate. I've often found that the techs are more polite than the sales staff! Don't give up if they say there were no fault codes etc. My German tech identified the problem on the VW but as there were no hard codes and it was allegedly not replicated in the measuring blocks the brand manager declined to hear more of the matter. That is where the independent report came in useful. Good luck again and hope they help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by _G_ View Post
    That's good to hear mate. I've often found that the techs are more polite than the sales staff! Don't give up if they say there were no fault codes etc. My German tech identified the problem on the VW but as there were no hard codes and it was allegedly not replicated in the measuring blocks the brand manager declined to hear more of the matter. That is where the independent report came in useful. Good luck again and hope they help.
    Thanks mate. Appreciate all your advice throughout this.

    Another update for you guys it turns out the mecatronic needs to be replaced! Finally after a couple of years of complaining and being shot down they find a problem!

    The part is on back order so Audi UK are giving me a car so hopefully it will be something fun. I'm so relieved!

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    Are they covering this under the "goodwill banner" or official warranty route as audi uk wont admit any issues with mechatronic units, only offer as goodwill.

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    It's being covered under goodwill not warranty. Speaking to the dealer today they've said the part won't carry any warranty. It's not ideal.

    Audi UK have given me a an A4

    My only gripe now is that I've been driving in a faulty car for over 2 years. Would it be advisable to still go to trading standards still? I'm just really not happy with the way that I've been treated.

    I'm thankful for finally getting a solution, and this new dealer that is dealing with me is fantastic, but I don't think this excuses the awful service I've received as a whole.

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    NHN
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    That's ridiculous, fitting a new part of this importance, then not giving you warranty on the work, that definitely isn't acceptable, you could drive down the road the next day, week & it could go wrong, then what, charge you to repair it, ridiculous attitude.

    I would press audi uk more about this, if they wont budge, then start dropping trading standards into the equation & also mention how come you are giving the US buyers 5 years/100k miles warranty & even extending existing owners even some years after purchase but not the UK, just don't back down IMHO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NHN View Post
    That's ridiculous, fitting a new part of this importance, then not giving you warranty on the work, that definitely isn't acceptable, you could drive down the road the next day, week & it could go wrong, then what, charge you to repair it, ridiculous attitude.

    I would press audi uk more about this, if they wont budge, then start dropping trading standards into the equation & also mention how come you are giving the US buyers 5 years/100k miles warranty & even extending existing owners even some years after purchase but not the UK, just don't back down IMHO.

    Yeah this is exactly what I thought, it's a bit of a half assed solution! I can't imagine this work is coming cheap either? I'll give Audi UK a call tomorrow and see how I get on. I'm tempted to even contact trading standards before this. The customer really means nothing to them. It's absolute BS.

    Even a one year warranty would have sufficed!

    Apparently because I'm not paying for the cost I don't get a warranty. I damn well shouldn't pay for the cost when it's a faulty product, and over 2 years of being fobbed off is such a joke.

    I sometimes wonder what dealers mean when they say customers get 'the Audi experience'.....

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    My saga continues:

    The A4 provided by Audi UK has now developed an ESC fault and the power steering now no longer works. Audi assist have been out and deemed the car unsafe to drive and it is being recovered. They arrange another vehicle and it turns out there are no Audis available so I'm left with a manual Golf for at least 48 hours until they can find me another Audi.

    It's so frustrating!! I know Audi probably don't have loads of cars lying around but I mean could the dealership not lend me a car until they source a proper hire car!

    And how can a 6 month old A4 get such a serious fault?!

    What is going on in the World!

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    Guys, I finally have the car back. Just picked it up and touch wood it seems to be driving so much better. I drove it for quite a while and I can't get it to fault at the moment.

    It seems as if they have fixed the car! Words can't describe how happy I am. After 2.5 years I finally am happy with my car.

    The dealer that fixed the car were faultless, far far better than any others in the group.

    Just goes to show that there really is no consistency between dealers, even in the same group. The way I was treated was shocking. But in the end it seems the car is finally ok.

    Thanks again for the great advice, what a wonderful forum!

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    Glad to hear it is sorted, what was the problem in the end?

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    They replaced the mecatronic in the gearbox, seems to have made the world of difference.

 

 

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