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S3 S-tronic issues / advice

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by 6audi6, May 22, 2014.

  1. 6audi6
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    6audi6 Member

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    [May 22, 2014]
    Hi.

    Been lurking around in the background quite a while and have found some of the posts invaluable. I am on my sixth Audi now, having just gone from an S3 8P Sportback to an 8V Sportback. I have had a couple of S3 8Ps previously. However all my previous Audis have been manual. On the 8V I have chosen to go down the S-tronic route (figuring it would seem more of a change). So far I am finding it hugely frustrating and a big mistake. The changes whilst moving are pretty seamless and fairly impressive - even in dynamic. But the S-tronic was chosen due to a fair amount of town work I get through. So specifically I went for the S-tronic for that reason.

    This is where the issue lies. When setting off from stationary, in any mode, the car cannot release the handbrake smoothly. It jerks to various degrees from a minor thud to (at worst) checking the mirror to make sure I haven't been rear ended! This occurs regardless of whether I have the hill hold on or off (if I don't use hill hold I will manually activate the handbrake rather than sit on the footbrake for minutes on end). It also occurs whether or not the stop start is activated. Even with the slightest amount of pressure the thump will occur (I also find the accelerator has too much travel when setting off initially before engaging any amount of usable power - I can live with this as its an auto box).

    I did test drive the S-tronic prior to ordering and I can't honestly remember it being anywhere remotely like mine. It was fluid and moved off without hesitation. I have access to a couple of friends 5 series (520d and 530d). I know the BMW gearbox is a different set up but the difference in setting off smoothly is night and day. Is mine an isolated problem? If so I will get it back to the showroom ASAP. I certainly feel that for a 35k+ motor it is unacceptable. To be honest its taking the shine from the car and leaving me seriously underwhelmed. I am regretting not sticking with a manual and (but for the huge financial hit) would happily get rid tomorrow if this is the norm?

    Thanks in advance.
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  3. Pulp84
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    Pulp84 Well-Known Member

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    [May 22, 2014]
    Mine doesn't do this. Super smooth and I actually find the throttle very easy to modulate when doing slow maneuvering. In fact I have been very impressed with how the auto feature releases the brakes with minimal fuss. Would get it looked at if I were you.
    #2
  4. ivicyrusivi
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    ivicyrusivi Active Member

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    [May 22, 2014]
    I do get a slight jerk with the hill hold on... And it drives me mad when parallel parking (fine reverse corrections cause break to keep on engaging).

    On the other hand.... When hill hold is off, and with no start stop active, releasing the break slowly can make it set of as gently as I want.

    Your best bet maybe to go take a test drive and see how it is in the dealers car
    #3
  5. andywil13
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    andywil13 Active Member

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    [May 22, 2014]
    Unless you are really going for it, I find handbrake release smooth. If you're at the lights wanting to race a chav then release it manually
    #4
  6. 6audi6
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    6audi6 Member

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    [May 22, 2014]
    Cheers Pulp, that's what I was hoping to hear.

    Ivicyrusivi, if you're right, it would appear mine isn't alone (albeit to a greater degree). I especially find the lunge when the handbrake releases in reverse makes you look like a 'learner' (wouldn't mind looking 17 again though!). It does make trying to reverse into a tight space more difficult than it should be.

    Having paid the (minimal) extra for the hill hold I want to be able to use it in town for the convenience. I don't want to keep my foot on the brake for a couple of minutes to avoid using the handbrake. The whole point of the S-tronic was as much for the convenience and ease in town. It really has taken the shine from the car.

    Thanks guys, I will get it booked into the dealers soonest and hope that it can be alleviated.
    #5
  7. ivicyrusivi
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    ivicyrusivi Active Member

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    [May 22, 2014]
    My hill hold jerk isn't too bad... But yes reverse drives me mad!

    Let me know what you find out from dealer!
    #6
  8. danilotto
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    danilotto Member

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    [May 22, 2014]
    Personally I cannot fully understand why engaging the handbrake and then moving without releasing it manually before. On mine S3, S-tronic too, I have no problem. When standstill I hold the car only with the brake pedal and the engine switches off. Then I release it, the engine comes alive and the car moves, sometimes with a slight thud because when you release the pedal, sometimes, the brakes releases after some seconds. No fault in this.

    My disappointment on the S-Tronic is just that it changes gear too soon in "normal" mode and too late in dynamic mode, it lacks a 7th gear and the 6th gear is too short.

    Coming from an old 6-gear torque converter (second generation with improved mechatronics and torque converter lock) by BMW I can assure that this S-Tronic thing is amazing.
    #7
  9. ivicyrusivi
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    ivicyrusivi Active Member

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    [May 22, 2014]
    I mean with the hill hold option that applies the brake for you when stopped - it disengages when you press the accelerator and not by just lifting off the brake like normal

    Basically it's as if the clutch engages and then the brake is let off causing it to jump very slightly. It's very minor in my case, and I'm used to it now so don't really notice it anymore... Just when backing up slowly, if you come to a stop even for a split second it applies the brake - not a biggy as I just disable it when parking now. Just interesting to hear others don't have this issue and some do
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  10. snakehips
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    snakehips Active Member

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    [May 22, 2014]
    Is it S-tronic you are disappointed with or the handbrake? In other words, is the sticking handbrake only a phenomenon with S-tronic and can't happen with manual?
    #9
  11. 6audi6
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    6audi6 Member

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    [May 22, 2014]
    I appreciate what's been said about holding the car on the foot brake. It's just personally I don't want to do that for any great length of time. Occasionally, with a couple of kids in the car and associated distractions, securing the handbrake is a definite must when stationary for longer periods.

    The hill hold is purely for convenience. It works well. It's just the jerky nature when either the hill hold or handbrake is auto released that's the issue.
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  12. 6audi6
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    6audi6 Member

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    [May 22, 2014]
    The problem is, I hope, the handbrake not releasing and causing the car to jerk when moving from a stationary position. I had an A4 with an electronic handbrake and had no issues in two years with it. Just wondering (and hoping) that it isn't a peculiarity of the s tronic. The rest of the time it's pretty smooth once moving.
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  13. snakehips
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    snakehips Active Member

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    [May 22, 2014]
    There must be something faulty. Mine clunks off occasionally and I've taken to releasing it manually as I would a manual brake. But it's not something so bad that I regret buying the car. I'm happy to be corrected but didn't think this issue was anything at all to do with the gearbox itself. Surely a sticking electronic brake affects auto and manual boxes.
    #12
  14. Lock & Load
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    Lock & Load Member

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    [May 22, 2014]
    Get your Ecu reset , may cause problem to go away .
    #13
  15. Pasper2
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    Pasper2 New Member

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    [Jul 15, 2014]
    Mine had this issue on 2 occasions but once turned on and off it seemed to fix itself. However gearbox has just failed with warning lights on the dashboard and seems like the auto clutch has gone? I limped it home in 3rd gear and its with the dealer now waiting for results. Basically it would go into 1st gear and 3rd gear and missed all of the 2nd gearbox shaft gears 2,4,6 etc. I had to re-start it twice to enable reverse gear to get it off the road when I got home. Not great on a car with less than 4000 miles on the clock, Audi were extremely apologetic and are now looking in to it.
    #14
  16. RobH_S3
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    RobH_S3 Active Member

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    [Jul 15, 2014]
    No thumps or judders here all smooth. What I don't understand is why people have hill hold assist on an s-tronic?!?!
    #15
  17. 6audi6
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    6audi6 Member

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    [Jul 15, 2014]
    Not good. Hope it's a quick fix. Mine still thumps when released the majority of the time - whether it's on hold assist or handbrake fully applied. It's not great, around town it's a total pain. Apparently it's within tolerance! It does occasionally release smoothly which makes it even more frustrating. I have now taken to manually releasing when in reverse, just to avoid it all.

    If I'm bring lazy, sat at a junction, and it's in normal drive I flick it into dynamic as it seems to make the release a little, a little, smoother. Whether it's the slightly extra revs at idle I'm not sure. But I shouldn't really have to. And try explaining it to the missus when she's driving!!
    #16
  18. snakehips
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    snakehips Active Member

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    [Jul 15, 2014]
    Because apparently it is a match made in heaven. The one thing I wish I specced.
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  19. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Jul 15, 2014]
    Because if you are talking about Hill Hold Assist and not Hold Assist then Hill Hold Assist comes as standard, certainly on all s-tronic models. Hold Assist has different functions and cost an extra £90 but at least it comes with a switch next to the Parking Brake so you can switch if off if (like me) you don't like the way it behaves.
    #18
  20. j0nny2013
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    j0nny2013 Active Member

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    [Jul 16, 2014]
    I'm looking to get an S-tronic S3 for my next car but reading these issues sometimes makes me worry a little.

    What is causing the jerking? is it when you are sitting with handbrake on at traffic lights and it jerks when you are trying to pull off as handbrake releases?
    #19
  21. TheFiftheElement
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    TheFiftheElement Member

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    [Jul 16, 2014]
    I've an S3 S-Tronic with the £90 Hold Assist option. I spec'd it as it was about the only thing I liked on my X5.

    I've not experienced any instance (as yet) with jerky behaviour, or felt it was slow to take off, even with the engine stopped and in efficiency mode. I made a small gap this morning across oncoming traffic without any sort of panic.

    When I'm reverse parking, all I do beforehand, is switch it off, hardly a chore. If I'm sitting in a queue, that does the usual stop-start-creep, again I turn it off.

    I can understand the frustration of the op, but it sounds like a genuine issue :ermm: rather than the normal behaviour.
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  22. Longy
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    Longy Active Member

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    [Jul 16, 2014]
    Just go take a few s-tronic cars for a test drive, and see if it's the car for you.

    All my test drive, I didn't experience any jerkiness, but I never applied hand brake at traffic lights, I use the brakes, maybe I will go give that a try this weekend.
    #21
  23. j0nny2013
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    j0nny2013 Active Member

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    [Jul 16, 2014]
    Good Idea, I am going to make sure on my test drive to use handbrake and see how the car works when reversing etc. Moving from a manual I want to make sure this is the right thing!
    #22
  24. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Jul 16, 2014]
    I've had an s-tonic on five different A3 up to know but this is the first one with the electronic parking brake. I find no problems of jerky take-off after being stopped. It just as smooth as it used to be with a manual hand-brake even though the manual versionhad to be released before moving. The set-up on the current A3 is so much easier than on the previous models.

    The only problem I do find is with Hold Assist, particularly when trying to drive slowly into my garage. In order to get the car to move you have to tap the accelerator and this means the car moves forward quicker than I would like so I switch off the Hold Assist and just use the 'creep' of the s-tronic and the normal brake pedal.

    When you test drive a car with an s-tronic make sure you do some slow movements as well as quicker driving as this will tell you more about the way it works at slow speeds.
    #23
  25. j0nny2013
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    j0nny2013 Active Member

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    [Jul 16, 2014]
    How do you creep with S-tronic? is it the use of the brake rather than gas pedal?

    Thanks for advice I will make sure to try parking etc at slow speeds
    #24
  26. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Jul 16, 2014]
    I just release the Parking Brake manually and then the car will just creep forward or backwards very slowly without the need to apply any pressure on the throttle pedal. As the car then moves in to the garage, or a parking space, I just use the brake to stop and start as necessary. If the Hold Assist is switched on the creep will not happen.

    Also I checked when I went out a while ago and if I put my seat-belt on in the garage, the parking brake does automatically release in reverse as soon as I touch the throttle.
    #25
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  27. Pasper2
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    Pasper2 New Member

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    [Jul 21, 2014]
    S Tronic Gearbox failure - new box back ordered from Germany - missing the S3 already - just unlucky I guess!
    #26
  28. j0nny2013
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    j0nny2013 Active Member

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    [Jul 21, 2014]
    Sorry to hear that mate, that is really bad luck!

    I wpuld have have thought this would have been picked up on the PDI.

    Hope you get it fixed soon!
    #27
  29. 6audi6
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    6audi6 Member

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    [Jul 21, 2014]
    Not great. Hope they get their finger out and fix it soonest - and give you something half decent to run around in in the interim.
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