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  1. #1
    Established Member Two Rings
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    DSG Gearbox Malfunction

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    My 2010 S4 has 9,500 miles on it. Over the weekend I started getting warning messages saying "Gearbox malfunction, you may continue driving. Limited functionality." and sometimes the car had trouble getting going from a stop. It's at the dealer now and they're diagnosing.

    Anyone else have experience with this? The searches I did showed some similar issues on A4's that turned out to be some kind of transmission filter that takes 4+ weeks to order. I hope that's not the case here.
    2010 S4 / Quartz Gray / Prestige / S - Tronic / Sport Diff / Driver Assist / Black Leather / Gray Birch Inlay
    2008 S6 / Phantom Black / Silver Leather (Sold)
    2000 S4 / Silver / GIAC X-Chip (Sold)

  2. #2
    Senior Member Three Rings Zed 2.0's Avatar
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    The only DSG malfunctions that have been written about on the S4 forums just have to do with a wrong version of software (though weird for that to happen at 9,500 miles). Keep us updated.

  3. #3
    Registered Member One Ring
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    The exact same thing happened to my S4 several month ago. My dealer was on day two of installating a new S-tronic transmission in it when they were notified that the original software had a fault that only appeared after several months and 5-10k+ kilometers. So the new gearbox was totally unecessary. This has evidently happened to a number of other NA owners. (Mine has been flawless since.) Your dealer should be well aware of this issue and can download the correct software build/release/version.

  4. #4
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Awaiting a new "Multi-tronic" to arrive at the dealer. Once it arrives, they will check if the new part has V1 or V2 of the circuit board and determine how to proceed.

    Missing my old manual transmission...
    2010 S4 / Quartz Gray / Prestige / S - Tronic / Sport Diff / Driver Assist / Black Leather / Gray Birch Inlay
    2008 S6 / Phantom Black / Silver Leather (Sold)
    2000 S4 / Silver / GIAC X-Chip (Sold)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Three Rings Zed 2.0's Avatar
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    What was the diagnosis?

  6. #6
    Veteran Member Four Rings NWS4Guy's Avatar
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    2008 Land Rover LR2 2010 Audi S4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SebGood View Post
    Awaiting a new "Multi-tronic" to arrive at the dealer. Once it arrives, they will check if the new part has V1 or V2 of the circuit board and determine how to proceed.

    Missing my old manual transmission...
    I think they meant to tell you "Mechatronic" - this is the brain that is comprised of small sets of hydrolic valves and actuators which are responsible for the movement of the gears and selection in the DSG.

    http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/dsg_faq.htm

    Scroll about 60% down the page, they talk about the mechatronics and removal/replacement.

    Zed - No real diagnosis, if they plug it in and the DSG says "bad mechatronics" they replace the entire module, sending the bad one back to be cleaned out and rebuilt. The valves and actuators in there are very sensitive, so any sliver of metal or dirt particle can really hose them. This is why pre-B8 S4, the maintenance interval was a very strict 40K miles to replace all the fuild and filter. With ours, it shouldn't need this (according to Audi) as they now have 2 oil loops - one ATF loop that lubes the gear meshes and cools the clutch plates, doing double duty in flitering the metal out of the fluid from mesh wear and tear - then a hypoid oil loop for the mechatronics ONLY to use - removing the chances of the gears shedding metal that the filter misses and hosing the mechatronics.
    Like a surgeon with a scalpel, my S4 is a precision instrument, with which I carve and dissect my way through traffic.

    2010 S4 Prem+, Quartz Gray, S-tronic, Sport Diff, B&O, Nav, Gray Birch
    StopTech ST-60 BBK - Stratmosphere intake - APR v2.2 Stage 2 w/pulley + exhaust, v2 Coolant System
    Alu-Kreuz, Apikol rear diff mount, 034 transmission mount

  7. #7
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWS4Guy View Post
    I think they meant to tell you "Mechatronic" - this is the brain that is comprised of small sets of hydrolic valves and actuators which are responsible for the movement of the gears and selection in the DSG.

    http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/dsg_faq.htm

    Scroll about 60% down the page, they talk about the mechatronics and removal/replacement.

    Zed - No real diagnosis, if they plug it in and the DSG says "bad mechatronics" they replace the entire module, sending the bad one back to be cleaned out and rebuilt. The valves and actuators in there are very sensitive, so any sliver of metal or dirt particle can really hose them. This is why pre-B8 S4, the maintenance interval was a very strict 40K miles to replace all the fuild and filter. With ours, it shouldn't need this (according to Audi) as they now have 2 oil loops - one ATF loop that lubes the gear meshes and cools the clutch plates, doing double duty in flitering the metal out of the fluid from mesh wear and tear - then a hypoid oil loop for the mechatronics ONLY to use - removing the chances of the gears shedding metal that the filter misses and hosing the mechatronics.
    Indeed, I know I read of another S4 owner in this forum who had the mechatronics replaced, so I thought that's what he meant.
    2010 S4 / Quartz Gray / Prestige / S - Tronic / Sport Diff / Driver Assist / Black Leather / Gray Birch Inlay
    2008 S6 / Phantom Black / Silver Leather (Sold)
    2000 S4 / Silver / GIAC X-Chip (Sold)

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Four Rings NWS4Guy's Avatar
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    2008 Land Rover LR2 2010 Audi S4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SebGood View Post
    Indeed, I know I read of another S4 owner in this forum who had the mechatronics replaced, so I thought that's what he meant.
    Yes, your's is the 3rd I have knowledge of being replace, in addition to 2 which just needed a software reflash.
    Like a surgeon with a scalpel, my S4 is a precision instrument, with which I carve and dissect my way through traffic.

    2010 S4 Prem+, Quartz Gray, S-tronic, Sport Diff, B&O, Nav, Gray Birch
    StopTech ST-60 BBK - Stratmosphere intake - APR v2.2 Stage 2 w/pulley + exhaust, v2 Coolant System
    Alu-Kreuz, Apikol rear diff mount, 034 transmission mount

  9. #9
    Established Member Two Rings Leo's Avatar
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    2010 S4, 2005 997 Cabriolet, 2008 A6 Avant, 2011 Yamaha Apex SE
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    Quote Originally Posted by SebGood View Post
    Indeed, I know I read of another S4 owner in this forum who had the mechatronics replaced, so I thought that's what he meant.
    Mine was replaced last year at approximately 4500km's. Haven't had a problem since. Might have been a bad batch.

  10. #10
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Update: New mechatronic has arrived at the dealer. Apparently it's a newly improved version, and it can come with one of two circuit boards (V1 or V2). It arrived with the V1 circuit board, so now we have to wait a week to get a V2 circuit board from Germany.
    2010 S4 / Quartz Gray / Prestige / S - Tronic / Sport Diff / Driver Assist / Black Leather / Gray Birch Inlay
    2008 S6 / Phantom Black / Silver Leather (Sold)
    2000 S4 / Silver / GIAC X-Chip (Sold)

  11. #11
    Veteran Member Four Rings NWS4Guy's Avatar
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    2008 Land Rover LR2 2010 Audi S4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SebGood View Post
    Update: New mechatronic has arrived at the dealer. Apparently it's a newly improved version, and it can come with one of two circuit boards (V1 or V2). It arrived with the V1 circuit board, so now we have to wait a week to get a V2 circuit board from Germany.
    DOH!! but good news that you will have the newest rev which should (one would think) work better and correct issues with V1.

    What did they give you to drive in the interim?
    Like a surgeon with a scalpel, my S4 is a precision instrument, with which I carve and dissect my way through traffic.

    2010 S4 Prem+, Quartz Gray, S-tronic, Sport Diff, B&O, Nav, Gray Birch
    StopTech ST-60 BBK - Stratmosphere intake - APR v2.2 Stage 2 w/pulley + exhaust, v2 Coolant System
    Alu-Kreuz, Apikol rear diff mount, 034 transmission mount

  12. #12
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWS4Guy View Post
    DOH!! but good news that you will have the newest rev which should (one would think) work better and correct issues with V1.

    What did they give you to drive in the interim?
    Well, I started with a Pontiac G5... then "upgraded" to a Hyundai, and the next day the dealer held one of their loaner cars that got returned so I have a new (4k miles) A3 now. Decent car, but hard to get used to the front wheel drive. I think it'll need two new front tires when I'm done with it! :)
    2010 S4 / Quartz Gray / Prestige / S - Tronic / Sport Diff / Driver Assist / Black Leather / Gray Birch Inlay
    2008 S6 / Phantom Black / Silver Leather (Sold)
    2000 S4 / Silver / GIAC X-Chip (Sold)

  13. #13
    Senior Member Two Rings
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    S4 B8 SprintBlue S-tronic
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    Russia

    Quote Originally Posted by NWS4Guy View Post
    With ours, it shouldn't need this (according to Audi) as they now have 2 oil loops - one ATF loop that lubes the gear meshes and cools the clutch plates, doing double duty in flitering the metal out of the fluid from mesh wear and tear - then a hypoid oil loop for the mechatronics ONLY to use - removing the chances of the gears shedding metal that the filter misses and hosing the mechatronics.
    Are you sure about that?
    My opinion is that common hypoid oil lubes the gears and Torsen diff, just like ordinary MT, and special ATF oil (not Dexron, some kind of an original VAG oil) is for lubricating of clutches and all of the hydraulic cirquits inside S-tronic.

    As a reminder - my mechatronic was replaced at 7500 km. 19000 km it is now, no more transmission issues.
    Sorry for my English - I'm an ignorant Russian bear... just love Audis.

  14. #14
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Update: It's been at the dealer for 2 weeks now. New mechatronic w/ new circuit board was installed today. They test drove it and got the same fault code as before. Back to the drawing board...

    I must say though that Audi of America is quite good about customer service. They called and want to do whatever they can to take care of me. I'm really bummed about my bad luck with new Audis though. My 2000 S4 was the best car ever and I wish I still had it. 2008 S6 lived at the dealer, replacement 2008 S6 spent it's first 2 weeks at the dealer and still was never right... and now this.
    2010 S4 / Quartz Gray / Prestige / S - Tronic / Sport Diff / Driver Assist / Black Leather / Gray Birch Inlay
    2008 S6 / Phantom Black / Silver Leather (Sold)
    2000 S4 / Silver / GIAC X-Chip (Sold)

  15. #15
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Entirely new transmission on its way!
    2010 S4 / Quartz Gray / Prestige / S - Tronic / Sport Diff / Driver Assist / Black Leather / Gray Birch Inlay
    2008 S6 / Phantom Black / Silver Leather (Sold)
    2000 S4 / Silver / GIAC X-Chip (Sold)

  16. #16
    Forum Moderator Four Rings Blake P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SebGood View Post
    Entirely new transmission on its way!
    Oh wow... so sorry to hear about your bad luck, Seb. Has the new transmission been installed? Hopefully you're back on the road again by now... otherwise the A3 should be on it's 3rd set of front tires?! :-D
    2012 Q7 3.0T: graphite, prestige, S Line Plus, adaptive air suspension

  17. #17
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Yes, the new transmission is in. I've put about 400 miles on it and it seems to be working fine. I must say that it does perform differently. They say this is a new revision of the S-Tronic. It seems to me that it's been toned down a bit. Before, if I had both transmission and rear diff set to Dynamic, I had tons of fun accelerating into corners and feeling that rear diff whip it around the corner. Now, it seems that the shift program is more conservative and the transmission seems to opt for higher gears more often even in "S" mode. So I no longer get that feeling on the cornering because the transmission is shifting up so much. I know, the solution is to shift it manually... but I do miss the old "S" mode in the original transmission.
    2010 S4 / Quartz Gray / Prestige / S - Tronic / Sport Diff / Driver Assist / Black Leather / Gray Birch Inlay
    2008 S6 / Phantom Black / Silver Leather (Sold)
    2000 S4 / Silver / GIAC X-Chip (Sold)

  18. #18
    Veteran Member Four Rings NWS4Guy's Avatar
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    Don't forget that with a new transmission the ECU will likey have to relearn your driving style all over again. It may get better over time and be back to where it was.
    Like a surgeon with a scalpel, my S4 is a precision instrument, with which I carve and dissect my way through traffic.

    2010 S4 Prem+, Quartz Gray, S-tronic, Sport Diff, B&O, Nav, Gray Birch
    StopTech ST-60 BBK - Stratmosphere intake - APR v2.2 Stage 2 w/pulley + exhaust, v2 Coolant System
    Alu-Kreuz, Apikol rear diff mount, 034 transmission mount

  19. #19
    Registered Member One Ring
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    2010 Audi A4 Avant, '71 Bronco, & '68 Stang
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    I got the same issue at 21K miles. Its at the dealer right now, except they went straight to replace the Tranny. I also got some errors about Parking Brake Failure. DId you have that error? How is the car now?

  20. #20
    Veteran Member Four Rings Kay15's Avatar
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    It just had happen to me today. Before the RPM would shoot up like the car was in N in the middle of a gear or the car would hold or lag the gear before shifting. Then today it happen again where I usually let off the gas and problem fixes it self in seconds I continued to give it throttle and the message came up. Will be going in Tuesday sharp to get it looked at.

  21. #21
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kavan View Post
    It just had happen to me today. Before the RPM would shoot up like the car was in N in the middle of a gear or the car would hold or lag the gear before shifting. Then today it happen again where I usually let off the gas and problem fixes it self in seconds I continued to give it throttle and the message came up. Will be going in Tuesday sharp to get it looked at.
    How many miles???

  22. #22
    Veteran Member Four Rings Kay15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jscaf View Post
    How many miles???
    It happen at about 20k (kms) and im at about 22 and change now. They said it is most likely the Mechatronics.

  23. #23
    Veteran Member Four Rings NWS4Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kavan View Post
    It happen at about 20k (kms) and im at about 22 and change now. They said it is most likely the Mechatronics.
    I'd agree, not a big deal to change out, but still a pain on a new car.
    Like a surgeon with a scalpel, my S4 is a precision instrument, with which I carve and dissect my way through traffic.

    2010 S4 Prem+, Quartz Gray, S-tronic, Sport Diff, B&O, Nav, Gray Birch
    StopTech ST-60 BBK - Stratmosphere intake - APR v2.2 Stage 2 w/pulley + exhaust, v2 Coolant System
    Alu-Kreuz, Apikol rear diff mount, 034 transmission mount

  24. #24
    Senior Member Two Rings MANNYS4's Avatar
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    Old thread but this just happen to me yesterday : (
    Dealer said the mechatronic had to be replaced. The car is also giving a parking brake error message.
    I found it odd they handed me the car back and tOld me it was safe to drive until the new unit arrives.
    Can anyone chime in?
    Hope everything works out!
    First the water pump then thermostat now this...
    2010 S4 Phantom Black /APR ECU 93 OCT / KW V2 / Black Optic Grill / Miltek Exhuast NON RES QUAD TIPS/Forgestar F14

  25. #25
    Senior Member Three Rings motionneon's Avatar
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    Are all of these malfunctioning gearboxes on 2010s?

  26. #26
    Veteran Member Four Rings Kay15's Avatar
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    Mines was a 2011, my parking brake was acting up the other day it wouldnt apply but it didnt give me an error on it. I aside from the error got dead throttle a few times as well but no error message or anything came up. I would step on it and no response from the car once it was making a left but it only lasted few second.

  27. #27
    Senior Member Two Rings S4Tokyo's Avatar
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    Mine, a 2010 MY, had same happen last week - which after stopping engine and restarting with no recurrence of problem, I thought it was a once off - but then again twice this weekend.
    Dealer wasn't able to conclude initially what needed correction or replacement (just had time to run a scan on ECU, which did throw up error). As problem is not critical - precautionary limp mode warning which reverts to normal mode after clutch temp cools a little - I was likewise also given ok to drive home until they take car in later in the week.

    Some other thread detail I picked up on, towards end of the article, explains a little why it's potential for damage is avoided once sent into limp mode. Just hassle of car being away for couple days ; http://www.audizine.com/forum/showth...tronic-(DL501)

    11/4 : Follow up Prognosis - Mechatronic being replaced. Only 12K Km on meter (ref).

    Quote Originally Posted by MANNYS4 View Post
    Old thread but this just happen to me yesterday : (
    Dealer said the mechatronic had to be replaced. The car is also giving a parking brake error message.
    I found it odd they handed me the car back and tOld me it was safe to drive until the new unit arrives.
    Can anyone chime in?
    Hope everything works out!
    First the water pump then thermostat now this...
    Last edited by S4Tokyo; 01-05-2012 at 03:25 AM. Reason: Update 11/4~

  28. #28
    Active Member One Ring
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    Well... it happened to me today. :(

    I'm out driving and I get the transmission malfunction safe to drive warning... then it happens five minutes later... and five minutes later the warning comes again and the car goes out of gear and into neutral, it then "catches" and I get home. I have a 2010 S4, with the DSG, 36K miles.

    From the collective experience of the community, does it sound like I'm going to need a new transmission? In advance, thanks!

  29. #29
    Active Member One Ring
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    I have a S4 2009, I had this issue yesterday and today. I have 35.000km on it... Is this covered by the extended warranty? Tnx!

  30. #30
    Senior Member Two Rings S4Tokyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BartJanssen View Post
    I have a S4 2009, I had this issue yesterday and today. I have 35.000km on it... Is this covered by the extended warranty? Tnx!
    3 year warranty is normal I think - so if you're inside that (just?) then you should be covered.

    Since my mechatronic module was replaced no problems have recurred.

  31. #31
    Active Member One Ring
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    It's from oct 2009 so I should be in the "safe zone". I read somewhere(cannot find the url atm) that the extended warranty for stronic is 6years or 100.000km... Can someone acknowledge this?

    BTW tnx S4Tokyo!

  32. #32
    Veteran Member Four Rings NWS4Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BartJanssen View Post
    It's from oct 2009 so I should be in the "safe zone". I read somewhere(cannot find the url atm) that the extended warranty for stronic is 6years or 100.000km... Can someone acknowledge this?

    BTW tnx S4Tokyo!
    As I said on Audiworld on your thread on this, if you got a letter from Audi like the US owners did who were hit by both the thermostat and water pump recalls, they sent a letter stating a 100K miles, 6 year warranty on the power train.
    Like a surgeon with a scalpel, my S4 is a precision instrument, with which I carve and dissect my way through traffic.

    2010 S4 Prem+, Quartz Gray, S-tronic, Sport Diff, B&O, Nav, Gray Birch
    StopTech ST-60 BBK - Stratmosphere intake - APR v2.2 Stage 2 w/pulley + exhaust, v2 Coolant System
    Alu-Kreuz, Apikol rear diff mount, 034 transmission mount

  33. #33
    Active Member One Ring
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    @ NWS4Guy, I'm the second owner of the car so maybe the previous owner got the letter, maybe not. I think it is not a bad idea if the dealer also checks thermostat and water pump status.

    Anyway it is good to know that this occurred in the US! If the dealer is giving me a hard time I will most likely need a copy from such a letter. I hope you guys can help me out, if needed...

    Thanks!

  34. #34
    Active Member One Ring
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    Mechatronics issue...dealer confirmed and and also confirmed replacement under warranty...they will even pickup the car @ my place!

  35. #35
    Established Member Two Rings S-FIZZOR's Avatar
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    Mechatronics failure just happened to me as well 2010 with 36k mi. this is starting to look like a trend. Anyways in the mean time dealer, gave me a Brand new 2012 S4 loaner car, only 44 miles on it !!! Gotta love Rector Audi !!!
    H&R Sport Springs |Stratmosphere intake | Hoen endurance yellow fogs | Vag'd |ECS Tuning led license plate lights | Hardwired 9500ix | Supercharged Badges| 19" Rotiform MIA Gunmetal

  36. #36
    Active Member Two Rings
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    I had a similar issue before when I was about 10k miles; I was on the highway about 80 mph, and the car just slowed down with no acceleration. I pulled over and restarted the car then it was fine. But the dealership replaced ATF gasket and ATF filter, as this could happened from lack of ATF oil circulation.

  37. #37
    Veteran Member Three Rings
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    2011 delivered April 1 2011 checking in with the Problem that showed up yesterday less than 10000km... Reminds me of my mk5 the way it's acting

    Should be interested to see what it is by mechatronics is what I'm gessing
    2007 VW GLI - AWD Conversion, a diet and 600+HP coming soon - Racing @ 2014 Pikes Peak Hill-Climb
    2011 Audi S4

  38. #38
    Veteran Member Three Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by theKB View Post
    2011 delivered April 1 2011 checking in with the Problem that showed up yesterday less than 10000km... Reminds me of my mk5 the way it's acting

    Should be interested to see what it is by mechatronics is what I'm gessing
    Geez the car is a death trap when the tcu goes into a hard limp... Power completely drops off between 2-3k rpm and it takes forever to shift
    2007 VW GLI - AWD Conversion, a diet and 600+HP coming soon - Racing @ 2014 Pikes Peak Hill-Climb
    2011 Audi S4

  39. #39
    Active Member Two Rings
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    Santa Monica, CA

    my 2010 S4 with 48k miles is getting the Mechatronic replaced right now. The SA said they will do a 100 mile road test to determine if the entire transmission will need to be replaced.

  40. #40
    Veteran Member Three Rings
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    Well the official word came down today, will be out for two weeks because the mechatronics has failed. He claimed it was one of the first 2011's to present this problem. Oh well...
    2007 VW GLI - AWD Conversion, a diet and 600+HP coming soon - Racing @ 2014 Pikes Peak Hill-Climb
    2011 Audi S4

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