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S4 S-Tronic Gearbox Oil change intervals

Rossimac Dec 4, 2020

  1. Rossimac

    Rossimac Registered User

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    Hi there,

    I bought my Audi S4 2013 at 72k miles and according the previous history, the gearbox oil was changed at 60k, so 22k later than the 38k that Audi suggest.

    As my car is now approaching 76k, i.e. the second interval, would you suggest having the gearbox oil done again to fall in line with the original service schedule or should I restart the 38k counter and get it done at 96k?

    I'm inclined to get it done sooner than 96k, as I would think one oil change in that period is not enough. But what do you think?

    Thanks,
    Ross.
     
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  3. jdp1962

    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Man

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  4. HertS3

    HertS3 Registered User

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    Yeah I'd say sooner too; got my car with 49k on and no proof it had ever been done so I made the dealer change it, I'll still change it at 76k so my extended warranty doesn't have any issues
     
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  5. Dippy

    Dippy Registered User

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    Ross, in case you are not aware, the OB5 s-tronic gearbox has had a mixed history. There have been reports of problems with mostly the earlier cars and in too many cases the whole gearbox needed to be replaced. Audi revised the design sometime in 2011 and again in 2013. I'm not sure how Audi came up with 38K but I think there is reason to believe that there was a reliability calculation in it somewhere. Since the reliability has not been what it should then we may be right to question if 38K is frequent enough.

    Please also note that there is more than one aspect to an 0B5 oil change. There is an external cartridge filter which needs to be changed along with the ATF in the standard "dealer" service. However there is another in the sump where any loose metal is collected by a magnet. A full service would deal with these. But that's just the ATF. There is also the hypoid gear oil. Audi say it doesn't need changing on the S4. But the RS4 which has fundamentally the same gearbox needs its changed every 19K. How did they work that out?

    Since I do very low mileage in my 2015 S5, which is also tuned, I pay more attention to time than mileage. My 1st gearbox service (ATF & filter) was done at 3 years even though the car has only done just under 13K miles. I think I'll have the 2nd service be a full one to include the gear oil as well as ATF at 6 years, even though I don't think the car will have crossed the 22K line! I already have my sports diff ATF & gear oil service done at 5 years.
     
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  6. Rossimac

    Rossimac Registered User

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    Cool, I'm thinking the same. Would rather air on the side of caution.
     
  7. Rossimac

    Rossimac Registered User

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    @Dippy Thanks for the very detailed response. I think you're correct to be cautious with this gearbox. Even though they made it a bit more resilient with the update around 2012/13, I'm still prepared to do as much as I can to help it last.

    Very strange that the gearbox would have a different service in the RS4 vs the S4. Perhaps with normal tuning, it would be expected to not degrade as much or have unexpected failures as much and so require a lesser service? No idea.

    Cheers for info and it's confirmed my thoughts to be over cautious.

    First to fix the waterpump as I found during my first oil change over the weekend that's it's clearly spewing out some coolant just below the supercharger :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2020
  8. HertS3

    HertS3 Registered User

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    Oops, had the same problem on mine too, water pump just been replaced.
    And you mean err ;)
     
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  9. Rossimac

    Rossimac Registered User

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    https://www.reconditionedgearboxeslowestoft.co.uk/audi-0b5-7-speed-dsg/

    Although, this line has got me thinking: "Clutches and mechatronics can fail from 40 K miles and upwards , oil service schedule need to be observed although in reality it just maintains the dealer warranty and wont really cause the problems you are likely to encounter"

    Looks like they suggest oil is rarely the cause of the big faults. I'll still likely be overcautious, but it's interesting to hear from those "on the ground" so to speak.
     
  10. HertS3

    HertS3 Registered User

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    All you can do is service the car (at the very least at the Audi dictated intervals) and perhaps take out an extended warranty to protect you against such events.
    Having said this, my previous S3 had the rear differential go on it, dealer blamed independent mechanic of accidentally draining the differential oil when changing the Haldex oil, refused under warranty as considered to be caused by unauthorised work and got a quote north of £4000 for replacement with a new part. Ended up replacing with a used part from a breaker for under £400.
    And this differential oil is considered sealed for life and non-serviceable item, though TPS sell the oil on its own and the system has vents at the top (so is by no means sealed).
    For peace of mind, change the oil at the specified interval even if it was changed late the first time round. If the unit is fine then you'll be OK, if it's doomed then it'll probably go either way.
     
  11. Rossimac

    Rossimac Registered User

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    I did enquire about and bought a warranty through insurewithaudi.co.uk at £650 for the first year, but cancelled after confirming with a claims assessor who said the missed service would impact a claim on the gearbox (sales people said it would be fine but I didn't think so, so glad I confirmed).

    Pretty much my thoughts as well. I'd be happier when using things like launch control with a bit more peace of mind behind me. If it goes, at least I couldn't say to myself I didn't try!

    With 75k miles, only 3 launch controls had been done in the car, quite surprisingly. I've done 3 in two months and I bet that's low compared to others as well!
     
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  13. HertS3

    HertS3 Registered User

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    Mine's had zero launches and I've not done it yet. Sad to say I hadn't done it on my previous S3 either! Will definitely do it in the S4 though
     
  14. HertS3

    HertS3 Registered User

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    And I'd be arguing about the missed service point, I've got the Audi extended warranty and I made the dealer change the DSG oil at 47k prior to buying so beyond the required point, if I have any issues you bet I'm arguing that it was beyond my control.
    Already got a potential issue with warranty as the car was showing a PCV valve fault shortly after buying so that's not going to be covered should it go (been fine since the independent mechanic connected an unplugged N80 valve which is one of the first things you see when the engine cover is lifted, he showed me!).
    All fun and games :)
     
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  15. Rossimac

    Rossimac Registered User

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    I saw your post and thought you had bought it from the dealer, so I think you would have a leg to stand on there, which is why I didn't mention it. As mine was a private purchase and it's out of warranty, I think I'd be on the back foot with any warranty claims.

    I've changed a PCV and N80 purge valve on my old GTI, so not too hard to replace thankfully!
     
  16. Rossimac

    Rossimac Registered User

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    Go have some fun with the launch control! I don't do it with any traffic about, as I don't want to appear like a bellend, but it certainly feels abrupt as it pulls the clutch in aggressively and then into 2nd. Despite my cautious nature and mechanical sympathy, I did buy an S4 at the end of the day so I'm going to enjoy it! I know it's no RS model, but it's damn sight quicker than anything I've driven before!
     
  17. HertS3

    HertS3 Registered User

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    I bought from a non Audi dealer and got a 3 months AA warranty, after fighting with them for a bit (as the claim would be after the period expired but the fault originated within the policy period), the work was not required as it seems OK for now, though it might still come back to bite me in the bum. Audi warranty have refused it already as it occurred within the first 30 days of the policy, so any problem with the PCV valve in the future will be traced back to that date and subsequently refused. Fingers crossed it will last.
    The problem on the S4 that the PCV valve itself is £500 plus it's a pain to get to so 3-5 hours labour on top.
     
  18. Rossimac

    Rossimac Registered User

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    Oh wow, so a LOT more expensive than a GTI's £50 part and 15mins fitting. Jesus!
     
  19. HertS3

    HertS3 Registered User

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    Indeed. The mechanic showed me a PCV for another Audi which was £50ish as you say, not fair ours is so ****** expensive and hard to reach!
    And I do enjoy it, just not launched it (yet) ;)
     
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  20. Rossimac

    Rossimac Registered User

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    Ahh sorry, I meant enjoyed that specific part! :grimacing: Shocking the price of that!
     
  21. Dippy

    Dippy Registered User

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    Whilst they are professionals I can't really agree on that point. Whilst doing its job of lubrication and heat transfer, ATF begins to accumulate oxides and become acidic. Eventually this can cause damage. The question is when and how much. I had a UOA done on my ATF and the TAN was 2.34. But I have no idea what the TAN of the new ATF would have been. I have read that an increase of 3.0 is reason to change.
     
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