S4 purchase- but does this gearbox trait spell trouble?

Ticking over

Registered User
H All

As per the title, I have just provisionally bought a 2012 S4 avant but when I test drove it I noticed one slightly odd thing:

Having started the car from cold (and it was approx -3/4 degrees outside temp at the time) and let it idle for a few mins and drove it forward 50 ft, I then had to reverse it. I would have gone from park to reverse and then I tried to very slowly reverse. The car initially did not want to move, either with zero accelerator pedal prodding and then even with a slight brush of the pedal. I had to apply approx 2k revs before it started moving backwards. It was as if there was a rock behind one of the wheels (except there wasn't!). Thereafter It seemed fine and on the rest of the test drive the gearbox was faultless with no clunks etc.
This was the first time Id driven an auto Audi so could I have done something incorrect that made the car initially refuse to budge? I am pretty sure I first ensured that the park button was off and the car does not have hildholdassist.

Has anyone noticed behaviour like this? I have posted a similar question on Pistonheads and some think this spells a problem with the mechatronic element (apologies for those who read that forum too). If so I assume this is going to cost me £1500-2000 to sort (if I were to get the existing unit repaired via someone like ecutesting.com)? If thats the case I will walk away which would be a shame as but for this, the car ticks all of the boxes

Thanks very much for any thoughts
 

vaf888

Registered User
My does this sometimes too. I almost broke my wife's neck from the jolt. Only 33k miles on my car.

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Lavis89

Well-Known Member
Regional Rep
Mine does it occasionally, other times it's flawless, put 7000 miles on the car since i got it and it hasn't got any better or worse. Just shy of 90k miles
 

DowneS4

Registered User
Yep. My warranty was void because of a late service. Later, gearbox failed catastrophically. Even the newest boxes are a little dimwitted going from forward to reverse, especially the sports models.

Check if your box had a change at 38k, if it was more than a month late or over 1000k consider your warranty (if you have one) void
 

vaf888

Registered User
I just got my gearbox oil done a few weeks ago. Haven't experienced it as yet again

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Dippy

Registered User
I would agree that the DL501 does seem to take a longer time than expected to actually engage reverse, but the OP's description does not seem the same issue. I have never had to rev to 2K to get mine moving. In fact as @vaf888 states, reverse can be a bit faster than expected.

If there's one think that worries any B8 owner, its the reliability of the DL501. There have simply been one too many reports of expensive problems. So it is reasonable for the OP to be concerned. As well as checking that the oil was changed on or before 38K I'd advise getting proof that there are no DTCs.
 
S

Simonb1975

Guest
I remember reading a long term review (Parkers perhaps) for an stronic A6. The reverse gear took some prodding when started on a cold morning and the car eventually lurched backward. This was 2-4 years ago. Just seemed one of those occasional traits.
 

Ticking over

Registered User
Thanks very much for replies guys. I may go back and test drive it again before making up my mind finally (6 hr round trip up to Cheshire!). If I do that can anyone recommend the different ways in which they would test the health of the gearbox apart from reversing the car and driving it normally?

Also I forgot to mention but do all post 2012 cars have stop/start? This cars engine stopped once or twice (cant remember exactly) when it was idling and I got out to walk around it, listen to the engine etc.

Also are there any tips or non obvious elements re using the gearbox that someone coming from a manual should know i.e does it recognise that you have not got your seatbelt on and stop the car, when should your foot always be on the brake before doing x,y, is releasing the elc handbrake just a simple case of flicking it off with no need to have foot on foot brake etc (I have always owned manuals to date)??

Thanks chaps
 

vaf888

Registered User
My has the start stop which cuts the engine, but only usually when your brake is applied or when in park. It can be over ridden as there is a button on the centre console.

As with all autos foot needs to be on the brake before engaging gear, but the e brake is as annoying as fuq.

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spartacus68

Registered User
Could just be condensation in transmission fluid. Meant to be changed every 40k including filter.
 
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ianv5

Registered User
If the car has keyless option, car will stop when you open the door and get out unless the keys are in the ignition.
 

Ticking over

Registered User
Suspect it's absolutely nothing to do with the autobox. Probably the electric parking brake. Slightest bit if condensation and then sharp frost and it seizes onto the rear rotors.
Thanks for the response spartacus. I had driven it forward a few feet first without incident before then sticking it in neutral, applying the elec brake before releasing and then trying to reverse. Does your theory still hold in light of that?
 

GeoffDunk

Registered User
If the car has keyless option, car will stop when you open the door and get out unless the keys are in the ignition.
This is not the case, mine has comfort key and car stays running when you open door and/or get out.
 

GeoffDunk

Registered User
S-tronic trasnmission service is 38k, it includes a filter and if under warranty a number of software updates. I just had mine done at 38k. If you miss the 38k interval you void the warranty.

My box is currently on 44k and its flawless and I never see this trait.
 

Pricy

Registered User
Also are there any tips or non obvious elements re using the gearbox that someone coming from a manual should know i.e does it recognise that you have not got your seatbelt on and stop the car, when should your foot always be on the brake before doing x,y, is releasing the elc handbrake just a simple case of flicking it off with no need to have foot on foot brake etc (I have always owned manuals to date)??
The handbrake likes you to have your seatbelt on and foot on brake before you can release it. You can turn this off with VCDS, that was one of the first things I did when I got my A4.

This is not the case, mine has comfort key and car stays running when you open door and/or get out.
I'd been doing this with mine when I'd open up the gates at work assuming if someone came and tried to drive off and I had the key in my pocket the car would cut out. Just a warning to anyone else that this isn't the case and the car will let someone drive off out of range of the key, all it does is flash up a warning on the DIS to say there's no key. Obviously if they stopped the engine it wouldn't allow them to start it again but they'd be long gone by then.
 

GeoffDunk

Registered User
My bad comes up with a key symbol on the dash when I get back in so don't know what that is?
That means he car has lost contact with the key.
 

spartacus68

Registered User
Thanks for the response spartacus. I had driven it forward a few feet first without incident before then sticking it in neutral, applying the elec brake before releasing and then trying to reverse. Does your theory still hold in light of that?

Re-read your original post. Get the car scanned on VCDS to see if it throws up any error codes. Mechatronic error documented state-side here: http://www.audizine.com/forum/showt...a-Bad-mechatronic-or-transmission-Please-post

Depends where you're buying this car from, and if it's coming with a robust warranty. S4 transmission errors are going to be expensive.
 
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