RS3 Transmission – issue or unique to the RS3?

Powerenhancer

Registered User
OK, the traction control is suffering from ADHD and exhaust sounds like a bag of spanners but these are minor issues and I can live with them. However, what on earth have Audi done with the programming of the DQ500 trans in these cars?

It is, by far, the worst performing DQ500 I have ever driven and that includes countless S4’s, S5’s, S6’s stretching all the way back to 2009, when the first iteration was released to 2016 before they switched to the ZF 8sp.

Auto mode is fine but there is a significant delay when upshifting manually. To be clear there are 2 measurements here – the first is the time it takes the trans to execute the request and second, the actual time to complete the gear change. I have no issue with the latter, which incidentally governs the smoothness or harshness of change but the former; every other DQ500 equipped car I have driven upshifts instantly and on demand. The only variable is that at lower revs and throttle the shifts are softer and become more aggressive as revs/acceleration increases, which is how it should be.

Under normal driving conditions my car refuses to upshift on command. I may gently accelerate away from a roundabout, pull the paddle and it will rev out 2K past before changing. In fact I have already pulled the paddle again to change to the next gear before it has completed the previous request!

This is not how the DQ250 or DQ500 should work. On other cars the gear change is executed almost as quickly as it takes to release the paddle. The only variable is the speed of the change itself.

Auto mode is good but manual mode useless except for full dynamic mode. I have no idea why Audi would introduce a significant delay in upshifts and I assume it is the same for everyone?
 

AudiNutta

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The manual mode definitely isn’t good around town driving in traffic etc, it’s there to be used when the car is being ‘driven’.

Not sure if you know but the car won’t go into second gear until you are above 8mph? Any paddle pull before that will be disgrearded. The S3 didn’t change until over 10mph. This explains your lack of change when first pulling off.

I’ve found in general the gearbox doesn’t like traffic, auto or manual. When you are pretty much coasting in second gear it is very lumpy and jerky. A couple of weeks ago in slow traffic, first gear.. I applied some more accelerator to pull back off out of a crawl and the engine just revved up past 3000rpm because the gearbox just couldn’t get it’s head around when to engage the gear.
 

Jonny B

Registered User
OK, the traction control is suffering from ADHD and exhaust sounds like a bag of spanners but these are minor issues and I can live with them. However, what on earth have Audi done with the programming of the DQ500 trans in these cars?

It is, by far, the worst performing DQ500 I have ever driven and that includes countless S4’s, S5’s, S6’s stretching all the way back to 2009, when the first iteration was released to 2016 before they switched to the ZF 8sp.

Auto mode is fine but there is a significant delay when upshifting manually. To be clear there are 2 measurements here – the first is the time it takes the trans to execute the request and second, the actual time to complete the gear change. I have no issue with the latter, which incidentally governs the smoothness or harshness of change but the former; every other DQ500 equipped car I have driven upshifts instantly and on demand. The only variable is that at lower revs and throttle the shifts are softer and become more aggressive as revs/acceleration increases, which is how it should be.

Under normal driving conditions my car refuses to upshift on command. I may gently accelerate away from a roundabout, pull the paddle and it will rev out 2K past before changing. In fact I have already pulled the paddle again to change to the next gear before it has completed the previous request!

This is not how the DQ250 or DQ500 should work. On other cars the gear change is executed almost as quickly as it takes to release the paddle. The only variable is the speed of the change itself.

Auto mode is good but manual mode useless except for full dynamic mode. I have no idea why Audi would introduce a significant delay in upshifts and I assume it is the same for everyone?

I find the manual mode in normal road driving unusable for the reasons that you have mentioned . In fact with this transmission I’ve always considered it an auto with the manual mode thrown in as an afterthought . Of course that may just be my driving style , or lack of it !!
At full chat I find the auto overall very good , again around town somewhat lumpy but I’m happy with that compromise.
So in answer to your question , yes I have had a similar experience.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Powerenhancer

Registered User
The manual mode definitely isn’t good around town driving in traffic etc, it’s there to be used when the car is being ‘driven’.

Not sure if you know but the car won’t go into second gear until you are above 8mph? Any paddle pull before that will be disgrearded. The S3 didn’t change until over 10mph. This explains your lack of change when first pulling off.

I’ve found in general the gearbox doesn’t like traffic, auto or manual. When you are pretty much coasting in second gear it is very lumpy and jerky. A couple of weeks ago in slow traffic, first gear.. I applied some more accelerator to pull back off out of a crawl and the engine just revved up past 3000rpm because the gearbox just couldn’t get it’s head around when to engage the gear.

Definitely above 8mph when attempting to change, Also the same from 2nd to 3rd and so on. Significant delay before changing. The last car I had with this box (3rd gen) was a B8.5 S5 and it was sublime. Silky smooth in virtually all driving conditions and lightning fast shifts on demand. It was smoother than the ZF in my RS6! Maybe it is characteristic of the 5 pot engine with this particular unit.
 

Powerenhancer

Registered User
I find the manual mode in normal road driving unusable for the reasons that you have mentioned . In fact with this transmission I’ve always considered it an auto with the manual mode thrown in as an afterthought . Of course that may just be my driving style , or lack of it !!
At full chat I find the auto overall very good , again around town somewhat lumpy but I’m happy with that compromise.
So in answer to your question , yes I have had a similar experience.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I too would go as far as to describe it unusable in those conditions. Shame as the same unit was flawless when mated to other engines in the Audi lineup.
 

AudiNutta

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Definitely above 8mph when attempting to change, Also the same from 2nd to 3rd and so on. Significant delay before changing. The last car I had with this box (3rd gen) was a B8.5 S5 and it was sublime. Silky smooth in virtually all driving conditions and lightning fast shifts on demand. It was smoother than the ZF in my RS6! Maybe it is characteristic of the 5 pot engine with this particular unit.

Yes true I’ve had that, but never been an issue while I’ve been driving because I don’t change up so soon but it’s got to be there to protect the engine from excess load.
 

Powerenhancer

Registered User
The lumpy/jerky sensation particularly when on/off throttle is almost certainly down to the nature of the engine, how it comes on/off power and mates to the transmission. I don't have an issue with this. Only a torque convertor auto would help smooth that out but would then ruin the character of the car.
 

Seanix

Registered User
The manual mode definitely isn’t good around town driving in traffic etc, it’s there to be used when the car is being ‘driven’.

Not sure if you know but the car won’t go into second gear until you are above 8mph? Any paddle pull before that will be disgrearded. The S3 didn’t change until over 10mph. This explains your lack of change when first pulling off.

I’ve found in general the gearbox doesn’t like traffic, auto or manual. When you are pretty much coasting in second gear it is very lumpy and jerky. A couple of weeks ago in slow traffic, first gear.. I applied some more accelerator to pull back off out of a crawl and the engine just revved up past 3000rpm because the gearbox just couldn’t get it’s head around when to engage the gear.
Yep agree. It's lousy in traffic conditions. Feels like it sometimes doesn't know when to change to 2nd.

Unless Ur in its sweet spot the manual changes are slow.


Current - 2018 RS3 Sedan
Past - 2016 RS3 SB
 

Terminator x

Registered User
The PFL gearbox was ******* amazing, strange that Audi thought to change it and make it worse by the sounds of things!

TX.
 

D0C

Registered User
The PFL gearbox was ******* amazing, strange that Audi thought to change it and make it worse by the sounds of things!

TX.
Gearbox definitely not as good as my PFL was. I had Audi check the gearbox as there's a huge delay with it kicking down. Also, for example when kicking down from 7th to 3rd at 60mph, I get a significant delay before it letting out two odd farts out of the exhaust, almost like it has second thoughts about changing gear.

Audi insisted this was normal. I'd need to drive another car to be sure, but it doesn't seem right to me.
 

AudiNutta

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Gearbox definitely not as good as my PFL was. I had Audi check the gearbox as there's a huge delay with it kicking down. Also, for example when kicking down from 7th to 3rd at 60mph, I get a significant delay before it letting out two odd farts out of the exhaust, almost like it has second thoughts about changing gear.

Audi insisted this was normal. I'd need to drive another car to be sure, but it doesn't seem right to me.

Mine does that, to me it sounds like a launch. The engine revs to the correct level while the gearbox is still changing gear, hence the enginenis ready first and you end up with a bouncing off of a rev limiter sound... I quite like it!
 

Powerenhancer

Registered User
The PFL gearbox was ******* amazing, strange that Audi thought to change it and make it worse by the sounds of things!

TX.

Interesting. Does the PFL deliver torque earlier in the rev range than the FL? If so it would make perfect sense. The larger turbo has left a torque void in the lower end that the transmission doesn't like.
 

Powerenhancer

Registered User
It's as though Audi have attempted to mitigate turbo lag by programming much higher minimum rev thresholds for each gear into the DQ500 software, thus rendering manual mode useless in most normal driving conditions. Idiots.
 

Seanix

Registered User
Interesting. Does the PFL deliver torque earlier in the rev range than the FL? If so it would make perfect sense. The larger turbo has left a torque void in the lower end that the transmission doesn't like.
Pfl sure does. Comes on early then tapers off. The FL though is a lot more liner and keeps building.


Current - 2018 RS3 Sedan
Past - 2016 RS3 SB
 
T

T-800

Guest
What


I must be doing it all "wrong" then :tearsofjoy:

My PFL was horrible going up any incline when it shifted down from 3>2 the car would act like it hadn't got the correct gear or it was hesitating in selection, so much so the entire car would lurch forward then when it selected the gear it would be off like a scolded rabbit.

Audi checked it over and even had a MK master tech call in (so i was told at the time) to test and confirm.......they reset the box back to a 'Factory' state, which seemed to improve things for a short while, but after that it was just the same.
I know another owner of a Sepang PFL sold his because he had a lot of gearbox issues on his car.

New FL car is fine though.
 

TurboBen

Registered User
Have to agree with OP. Manual upshifting under normal driving conditions is very poor in the RS3 at times. Think I started a thread a while back about it and had Audi check it over. Had a go in a TTRS which was exactly the same. Number of times I've pulled away and asked for second at 2500 rpm and it's not given me it until 4500rpm. I also think it's really slow if you ask for more than 1 upshift, say 5th to 7th. I know it's on the same shaft and takes time to swap the cogs, but it'll go from 7th directly to 5th almost instantly, so why it should take several seconds to go the other way I don't know.

On the subject of the DQ500, what tuning options are available and do they improve the lag that people are seeing?
 

Powerenhancer

Registered User
Have to agree with OP. Manual upshifting under normal driving conditions is very poor in the RS3 at times. Think I started a thread a while back about it and had Audi check it over. Had a go in a TTRS which was exactly the same. Number of times I've pulled away and asked for second at 2500 rpm and it's not given me it until 4500rpm. I also think it's really slow if you ask for more than 1 upshift, say 5th to 7th. I know it's on the same shaft and takes time to swap the cogs, but it'll go from 7th directly to 5th almost instantly, so why it should take several seconds to go the other way I don't know.

On the subject of the DQ500, what tuning options are available and do they improve the lag that people are seeing?

Exactly this. Sounds like the issue is unique to the 5 pot engine. Mated to other engines it upshifts quickly, smoothly and on demand. On the s4/5/6 you could really fly through the gears even at lower speeds.

I too would be interested if any aftermarket software will fix this.
 
M

monopole

Guest
i may be wrong but.... the S4,5,6 don't use S-tronic gearbox do they
 

Powerenhancer

Registered User
i may be wrong but.... the S4,5,6 don't use S-tronic gearbox do they

Yes, DQ500 from 2009 to 2016 before moving to the ZF 8 speed. As did many other petrol and diesel variants. I have owned 3 of them.
 
T

T-800

Guest
Yes, DQ500 from 2009 to 2016 before moving to the ZF 8 speed. As did many other petrol and diesel variants. I have owned 3 of them.

S4 used DL501 if I'm not mistaken.

Also used In S5 S6 S7 variants that didn't use the tip tronic variant

605e152702c11b7bd6759ba599bf7653.png



DQ 500 used in RS3 /Q3/ Tiguan / Passat / some T5's I believe.
 
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JamesCrs3

Registered User
Maybe this gearbox isn't the best in traffic, but seriously who cares? M provides instant up/down shifts when you are giving it some, S works perfectly if you don't want to use the paddles, D is for normal driving and never found it to be a problem.
 

Powerenhancer

Registered User
DL5O1, it is different. I stand corrected.
 

S3 OGS

Registered User
Gearbox definitely not as good as my PFL was. I had Audi check the gearbox as there's a huge delay with it kicking down. Also, for example when kicking down from 7th to 3rd at 60mph, I get a significant delay before it letting out two odd farts out of the exhaust, almost like it has second thoughts about changing gear.

Audi insisted this was normal. I'd need to drive another car to be sure, but it doesn't seem right to me.

Hi, Glad you have wrote this. Mine does exactly the same. Cruising in a higher gear, kick down 3 gears and it has a delay and some strange noises like the gearbox has a brain fart and then it’s all good. Very strange.

Are you remapped?

Paul
 

D0C

Registered User
Hi, Glad you have wrote this. Mine does exactly the same. Cruising in a higher gear, kick down 3 gears and it has a delay and some strange noises like the gearbox has a brain fart and then it’s all good. Very strange.

Are you remapped?

Paul
Yes, did it pre and post map.
 

Javbomb

Registered User
The gearbox in the FL RS3 is awesome. I had the DQ250 in my A3 Sedan previously, this is miles better.

Regarding some things. I drive permanently in Manual mode so this is all only relating to that.

The gear changes under very light throttle load are slower. Easy, adapt by slightly pushing down on the throttle just a moment before you want to change gears and the car will instantly snap change the gear. I have adapted to this and the process does not make the car any more jerky ore anything if the throttle input is careful. The car WILL change gears instantly any time I want it to, and if I want it to, it will take a moment, all dependant on throttle position, so YOU might need to adapt to the gearbox rather than the other way around.

I used to have issues (again this is ME not the GB) down-changing a few gears, but if its done at the right RPM I can go from 5th to 2nd like a formula 1 car if I time the down-shifts properly, this is another thing you need to adapt to.

There is also a trick, if you are in a high gear like 5th for eg, and you want to downshift a few gears, if you HOLD the left paddle the car will INSTANTLY change down to 3rd or 2nd right at an optimal powerband RPM, and likewise if you are in 2nd or so and you want to cruise and you HOLD the right paddle it will shift up to something like 5th gear for cruising. Its a really good trick, go and try it.
 

S3 OGS

Registered User
The gearbox in the FL RS3 is awesome. I had the DQ250 in my A3 Sedan previously, this is miles better.

Regarding some things. I drive permanently in Manual mode so this is all only relating to that.

The gear changes under very light throttle load are slower. Easy, adapt by slightly pushing down on the throttle just a moment before you want to change gears and the car will instantly snap change the gear. I have adapted to this and the process does not make the car any more jerky ore anything if the throttle input is careful. The car WILL change gears instantly any time I want it to, and if I want it to, it will take a moment, all dependant on throttle position, so YOU might need to adapt to the gearbox rather than the other way around.

I used to have issues (again this is ME not the GB) down-changing a few gears, but if its done at the right RPM I can go from 5th to 2nd like a formula 1 car if I time the down-shifts properly, this is another thing you need to adapt to.

There is also a trick, if you are in a high gear like 5th for eg, and you want to downshift a few gears, if you HOLD the left paddle the car will INSTANTLY change down to 3rd or 2nd right at an optimal powerband RPM, and likewise if you are in 2nd or so and you want to cruise and you HOLD the right paddle it will shift up to something like 5th gear for cruising. Its a really good trick, go and try it.

Hi, Gonna give that a go with the left paddle! I do love the gearbox and the way it changes gear. It’s only the above I mention that really peas me off. Gonna give that a go.

Thanks
 

billymc92

2022 Kemora grey LE Sportback
Yes that’s correct, if your in manual, holding the up gear put it In the highest possible gear and holding the down shift will put it in the lowest possible gear.

It’s good if your cruising in 7th on bypass in manual and someone tries to pass you. Rather than flicking back to sport just hold the downshift and after 2 seconds it will jump you straight to say (3rd)
 

Seanix

Registered User
On another question but still related to the transmission, if U hit the rev limiter does the ecu block gear shifts until the revs drop to a certain point and then it lets U engage the relative gear?






Current - 2018 RS3 Sedan
Past - 2016 RS3 SB
 
T

T-800

Guest
Interesting how USA owners are seeing a difference between Manual in D and S........

A quote........

"Coming from 10 years of driving double clutch transmissions in my M3 and M4 and 20 years of manual cars before that, I prefer selecting my own gears when driving. I recently noticed that there are two distinct engine and transmission tunes when using the transmission in manual on my wife's RS3. I looked in the owner's manual but found nothing to that effect. There is also nothing on the dashboard that highlights this, as only "M" shows in front of the selected gear in both modes as opposed to "D" or "S" when in automatic. I wonder if other have noticed this.

If I flick the transmission in Manual when it is in "D", I get a more sedate less aggressive engine and transmission behaviour. However, if I first pull the lever down to get in "S" mode before I flick it to manual, the engine and transmission have a much more aggressive behaviour. The transmission has more pronounced rev matched downshifts and is more prime on upshifts and the engine idles at a higher RPM. I am quite happy to have discovered this as I found the "normal" manual mode too sedate for my taste. The car is so much more enjoyable and alive with the more aggressive Manual mode.

I just wanted to share in case some are not aware of this."

A reply to the above.......

"Yes, I have found not many are aware of this. Manual mode simply just deactivates the automatic shifts in whatever mode the transmission/engine is currently in, so the mode carries over to the manual. Going from D -> M keeps the engine/transmission in Auto mode with a relaxed throttle response and slower shifts. S -> M leaves the engine/transmission in Dynamic mode with the corresponding crisper throttle response and faster shift speeds. It's puzzling that Audi doesn't make this clear in either the owner's manual or in the dash, except for the R8. In the R8 it shows M1...7 and M1...7S to distinguish between the two manual modes."

Along with an R8 VC showing what Manual mode the car is in....

2018-Audi-R8-Spyder-Virtual-cockpit-1920x810.jpg
 

Javbomb

Registered User
Yes there is a massive difference in manual mode between S and D.

My routine, start the car, reverse out, pull down to S and right to M mode...
 

billymc92

2022 Kemora grey LE Sportback
Yes I’ve always done this too as it’s completely louder and you get a lot more pops and bangs if you go from sport to manual I’ve noticed.

I have always not thought the gear box has been lazy and slow like everyone says also so maybe this is the reason. I thought it was just because this is my first auto car so thought it was normal.
 

AudiNutta

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Yes that’s correct, if your in manual, holding the up gear put it In the highest possible gear and holding the down shift will put it in the lowest possible gear.

It’s good if your cruising in 7th on bypass in manual and someone tries to pass you. Rather than flicking back to sport just hold the downshift and after 2 seconds it will jump you straight to say (3rd)

I’ve only ever done this once in a loaner never in mine, seems so violent just because of how fast it changes.
 

AudiNutta

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Yes I’ve always done this too as it’s completely louder and you get a lot more pops and bangs if you go from sport to manual I’ve noticed.

I have always not thought the gear box has been lazy and slow like everyone says also so maybe this is the reason. I thought it was just because this is my first auto car so thought it was normal.

Oh, something I didn’t know?.. I usually drive in D > Manual as I don’t like how for example I’m in 6th in Manual and if I want to come out, moving the lever back into S will drop it down into 3rd and then when I change back to D for a sedate drive it changes again, seemed like needless changes to me.... will have to try Manual S when I get home.
 
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monopole

Guest
Oh, something I didn’t know?.. I usually drive in D > Manual as I don’t like how for example I’m in 6th in Manual and if I want to come out, moving the lever back into sport will drop it down into 3rd and then when I change back to D for a sedate drive it changes again, seemed like needless changes to me.... will have to try Manual S when I get home.

You makes no sense, you must have been in S-Manual in the first place, for it go back into S Auto. So S-Manual 6th back to S Auto will every time immediately drop gears.
 

AudiNutta

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You makes no sense, you must have been in S-Manual in the first place, for it go back into S Auto. So S-Manual 6th back to S Auto will every time immediately drop gears.

Apologies if it wasn’t clear, I mean if I go into Manual S and then back into Auto S... it drops gears unnecessarily.

If I go into Manual D and then back into Auto D, the gears won’t drop when I don’t want them to.
 
M

monopole

Guest
Yes, as is the design of Auto S, it pre-empts acceleration by selecting a lower gear.

So you would rather Auto S be like Auto D as it drops gears "unnecessarily" .. Am I being a bit dumb here??
 

D0C

Registered User
In the PFL you could be in sport (S) mode and the revs would idle higher. As soon as you clicked it over to manual the revs would die back down as if back in normal. However, one of the first things I noticed with this FL engine is that if in S mode and moving over to manual, the revs remain higher.
 
T

T-800

Guest
In the PFL you could be in sport (S) mode and the revs would idle higher. As soon as you clicked it over to manual the revs would die back down as if back in normal. However, one of the first things I noticed with this FL engine is that if in S mode and moving over to manual, the revs remain higher.

Yes that’s a change I noticed

FL Golf R I had also did the same and was a superb gearbox (dq381).
 
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