View Full Version : Help deciphering the MMI engineering software screens / power gain questions

03-03-2016, 12:55 PM
I bought a 2011 A6 C6 3.0T from a co-worker last November. 60K miles. I've searched the forums and know there are software updates for this car but also know that I'm out of warranty. The pictures of the software update screen confirms this; the car hasn't been updated since May 2011.

The only thing that annoys me with this car (possibly due to the current engine/transmission software?) is the non-smooth shift between gears 1-3. This is my first car with a torque converter and I still haven't gotten used to it. But, its a fun car to drive and when I use the tiptronic shifter the shifts are smooth. Within this year or next, I'm thinking about getting a bit more power out of the engine with a ROC Euro intake and possibly either a APR Stage 1 OR a Chipwerke Pro.

Questions I have:
1) Is it worth taking the car to the dealership to have updates done? In doing so, will I notice any difference in the smoothness of the shift between gears 1-3? I'd pay a couple hundred bucks for that!
2) Are there any recalls for the 2011 A6 where I may be able to squeeze in a free software update? I don't care about MMI/NAV map software updates.
3) The Chipwerke Pro is a cheap way to gain a bit of torque and horsepower. It's also something I can install--unlike the APR upgrade. How *safe* is the Chipwerke when used long term for this engine?
4) With the Chipwerke Pro, I already don't like the non-smooth shift feeling in the lower gears. Will this mod make it worse?
5) Should I save my cash by skipping the dealership software update cost altogether because the APR Stage 1 tune overwrites it? This avoids me having to address questions 1 & 2 above and eliminates the Chipwerke mod.
6) A couple of the screens say BOSE but I don't see BOSE emblems on the speaker covers. Should I? There is also a subwoofer (albeit a puny one) in the trunk.
7) Anything else you can gather from these screens that I should know about?

MMI Pictures:

03-03-2016, 01:42 PM
Ok, so you are kinda all over the place with the questions but let's try to break it down.

There are 3 components that use "software", MMI, ECU and TCU.

The TCU (transmission control unit) is what controls the shifting. It may be worth visiting a dealer and seeing if there is a software upgrade for the TCU. I have not heard of one but that does not mean it exists. I would start with that and then look into a transmission service to try and reduce or eliminate the shifting issue as this is not a common concern that has arisen.

The ECU (Engine Control Unit) is where the APR/GIAC tune come into play. These do not interact with or change the TCU programming and therefore will have no effect on the shifting. The Chipwerke device is a piggy back unit that changes the information that the ECU is receiving and basically tricks the ECU into making more power. This is an inexpensive way to do it and people have been reporting good results but I am not a fan. Still no improvement in shifting. Could these make it feel worse? Possibly so as the car is now making more power/torque.

The MMI software controls the functions/settings of the various components of the audio system etc. So any update to those will only make minor changes. There are ways to get the disks needed to update the MMI without a trip to a dealer. Do a little searching in this forum and you will find a way.

Depending on the trim level of the car, you very possibly could have a Bose stereo system. In IIRC, 2011 A6s would come standard with the Bose Symphany audio system and the Bang and Olefson system was an additional option.

03-05-2016, 10:22 AM
I have the 2010 A6 C6 3.0T With the same transmission issues as you. From what I have found from hrs of searching is that it is the nature of the transmission unfortunately. Even with a software update the hard shifting will still be there. On my transmission I have some days it shifts smooth and other days it shifts hard when in dynamic mode. But in sports or manual it shifts smooth as butter. As for the MMI - Nav update I found it a waste of money. There was no real gain and I could of used the money else where for the car. I think that's why the original owner never updated the software. Anyway I mainly use my phone for the nav part since its update to date. The Nav update is almost 2 years behind and I have the 2015 - 2016 update.

I hope this helps

03-07-2016, 01:34 PM
Thanks to the both of you for your feedback. It will help me focus on where (and when) I want to spend money on my car if I choose to mod it.

BlackR1ce described exactly what I experience with the transmission. Dynamic, which provides the most comfort for passengers, is unfortunately where the most noticeable shifts seem to occur; the Sport mode coming in close second. When I'm alone, I always use tiptronic--I guess I'll use it more often! The MMI Nav, especially the UI to add waypoints or new routes is cumbersome. I have waning interest in spending money or time to update it. My solution now, which works fine, is to use my Android phone with Google Maps + AMI bluetooth dongle via A2DP.

Since owning the car, I have not had to *ahem* pay a visit to the dealership. But next time I'm in Iowa City, I just might stop by and talk to a service rep. to find out about any ECU or TCU updates.

03-07-2016, 04:58 PM
Keep me updated on what the service rep says. The last time I talked to my local dealer they were bunch of AH.

03-10-2016, 05:53 PM
+1 on the transmissions just being that way. My 2009 does the same thing, drove a 2010 and it does the exact same stuff. ZF does spec a transmission fluid/filter change at 60,000 miles, and I do know atleast for 2009 MY Audi has changed the spec of the fluid they call for. 2011 probably came with the new fluid already. I was able to track down a friend who had OE software, and was able to check for a TCU software update- my software was already updated. I had him clear the 'learned values' and it's re-learned how I drive, and it's gotten better. The next step for me is to change the trans fluid/filter. at that point you can do a hard reset on the transmission adaptations, and go for an 'adaptation drive' what the dealer does is drive the car in a very specific way so that the different mechanisms adapt to wear, etc inside the transmission. Hopefully that's shed some light on your situation!
EDIT: bought my 2009 with 54k, has 62k on it currently.

04-11-2016, 08:34 AM
I finally got around to calling the dealership in Iowa City. The Audi service rep I spoke to was nice and took the time to answer my questions but all answers pretty much led to "...we'd have to hook it up to our computer...".

History: I haven't taken my car to the Audi dealership (40 minutes away) since buying it last November. There is a Indy shop 2 minutes from my house that did my oil changes and thermostat repair. The car's service history shows the last reported computer update was performed at 5K miles from what I can see.

After providing my VIN to him, these are the questions I asked with summarized responses starting with ">>"
1) Are there any active TSBs for which I should bring my car?
>> "No, nothing reported for the 2011 A6 C6."

2) Are there ECU/TCU updates for my car?
>> "More than likely, yes. But we won't know unless we hook it up to our computer. If there are updates, the computer automatically pulls them down and installs them." (My translation: You're charged regardless of the availability of any updates. I don't have a VAG-COM (yet) so I could not pull the TCU/ECU versions to report to the service guy to get a more definitive answer).

3) If there were updates, could this be done for free even though the car is only about 3K miles out of warranty?
>> Answered to the effect of, "No, Audi's computer system knows you are out of warranty."

4) The reason I'm asking about a TCU update is that my transmission seems to have noticeable/sometimes abrupt up and down shifts in gears 1 thru 3. What can be done about that?
>> "If there are ECU/TCU updates, the updates will probably take care of that." (My translation: Of course it will. The TCU/ECU settings are likely wiped by the update).

Common sense stuff, I know, but worth a follow up post. After searching the forums, I decided to do two things myself in an attempt to save a couple hundred bucks and a trip to the dealer:
1) Did a non-VAG-COM reset myself. I did this by removing the negative battery lead for 2 hours while I installed my aftermarket intake.
2) I checked the transmission fluid and it looked to be about the "right color" for a car with 63K miles on it (after viewing other forum posts, pictures, etc).

When I reconnected the battery and started the car, I noticed that the TPMS notifications and warning was active. I reset the TPMS through the MMI and then went for a drive. The ECU/TCU reset worked***. I noticed that the car was shifting nicely through all gears in "D" mode. I drove quite a while in "D" hoping that the car was re-learning how I drive. Even after 15-20 minutes, I did not notice a single abrupt shift in this mode. Then, I switched to "S" mode. The shifts were a bit more noticeable in this mode given that the car holds each gear longer but still much, much smoother than they were before. I drove around in this mode for 10 minutes. Finally, I decided to have some fun in "M" (manual shift) and made lots of supercharger sounds with my new intake.

*** I've driven the car twice since the reset and the smooth shifting has remained. I don't know how the ECU/TCU got into its prior shift behavior but I hope it's gone for good!

04-11-2016, 10:48 AM
I'm almost positive disconnected the battery doesn't reset the adaptations...

Glad it worked though, it must of reset something!

Regardless of how the trans fluid looked I'd suggest changing it at 60k.