Leo_

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2014
Messages
253
Hi all,

I'm planning on buying a car for my dad and the A3 1.4 TFSI Sedan (Automatic) checks all the boxes for him.

We've driven it, and its really amazing and engaging to drive. There's really nothing we find wrong with it. Apart from one thing, and that's the DQ200 gearbox :(

Reliability is a big concern, and plan on keeping the car for 8-10 years.
There are plenty of websites, forums, and communities of people describing problems with their DSG gearbox (which really is terrifying to read).
I don't want to saddle my dad with headaches of sorting out these problem later on. That's the only thing off-putting about a wonderful car.

Anyone with long term experience with those gearboxes? A VW/Audi mechanic perhaps?

Would love your thoughts on this.
Thanks
 

DominionZA

Executive Member
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
8,304
My S-Tronic in my A5 bombed out a few months ago. Audi sorted it out though.

They told me that once out of motor plan, Audi SA carry the majority of the cost if something goes wrong. I don't have that in writing though.
 

Louis72

Expert Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
1,340
Hi all,

I'm planning on buying a car for my dad and the A3 1.4 TFSI Sedan (Automatic) checks all the boxes for him.

We've driven it, and its really amazing and engaging to drive. There's really nothing we find wrong with it. Apart from one thing, and that's the DQ200 gearbox :(

Reliability is a big concern, and plan on keeping the car for 8-10 years.
There are plenty of websites, forums, and communities of people describing problems with their DSG gearbox (which really is terrifying to read).
I don't want to saddle my dad with headaches of sorting out these problem later on. That's the only thing off-putting about a wonderful car.

Anyone with long term experience with those gearboxes? A VW/Audi mechanic perhaps?

Would love your thoughts on this.
Thanks
8-10 Years? Then go Japanese ;)
A nice Lexus or Subaru if you are into a bit of performance but with good reliability.
Or your run of the mill Toyota or Honda.
Also keep in mind that anything smaller than a 1.4 that is turbo charged is under heavy stress during its lifetime.

My S-Tronic in my A5 bombed out a few months ago. Audi sorted it out though.

They told me that once out of motor plan, Audi SA carry the majority of the cost if something goes wrong. I don't have that in writing though.

Yes they normally call it a "good will" repair in the industry and most manufacturers have no problem especially if you can show them a Service Bulletin or multiple people that have had same problem.

So i assume Audi SA had to start doing so especially since they had a bunch of Double clutch boxes DSG or whatever they call it on VW vs Audi blow up on them because they filled the boxes with the incorrect oil from the factory. They all use the same tech and are the same boxes.
 

Debeer165

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2013
Messages
1,901
Can't comment on long term reliability since it has not been out for very long. However, I might throw in the suggestion to wait for the next gen A4 and see how it compares before buying the A3.
 

RandomGeek

Expert Member
Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
2,097
Hi Guys.

This post is of interest to me, since I am looking at getting either the A3 Sedan or the A4 in the near future.
Leo_, are you aware of the big discounts the dealers are giving now on the A4 since the new model will be coming out in late 2015/early 2016?

With a ~R50k discount, you can get a 1.8 A4 for less than the 1.4 A3...
 

SauRoNZA

Honorary Master
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
40,112
The vast majority of problems that comes with cars is because people drive like muppets and are then surprised when it blows up.

If you old man treats it with respect, then it will return the favour.


I say vast majority instead of every, just so nobody jumps down my throat saying their car failed and they drove perfectly. Yes, bad luck does happen too but in most cases it's fairly obvious why a particular something happened.

Like my mechanic the other day telling me I should consider getting a warranty for my GTI because he's had a couple in lately with high cost repairs. I asked him how many of those cars were stock standard....none. Then I asked him how many of those people drive them into the ground...he said all of them. So there you have your answer.

DSG's can also be repaired, it's very rarely a full replacement unless of course you go to the dealership where swopping the part is the name of the game.

156 000km on my DSG with no problem in sight...I say go for it. Yes it's not the exact same one I know, but still.
 

PostmanPot

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Joined
Jul 16, 2005
Messages
34,944
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ahmedomar

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Joined
Oct 14, 2013
Messages
493
SauronZA please share your do's and don'ts on the dsg gearbox,

I'm a new first time owner and will keep it stock standard
 

FiestaST

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
84,286
Friend test drove (1.4 TFSI S-tronic), I had a turn in the 1.6 TDI Sportback MAN).

He ended up with the 1.8 TFSI Sportback MAN.

Audi SA should be giving you a referral bonus with all the business you send them that way
 

Leo_

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2014
Messages
253
Thanks for all the replies guys.

I've done a bit more digging about this problem, and found out that the actual gearbox (dry-clutch 7-speed, DQ200) is meant to be very reliable and should easily do 250,000kms.

The problem lies with the mechatronic, which is the computer box that controls the DSG. These units are very unreliable and prone to failure. I've found three used 2011-2012 A3 hatches with S-tronics, looked at the service books and two of them had the mechatronics replaced at around 40,000km. The cost was around R20,000 (back then). This was all done under warranty, and probably without even the owner of the car knowing...

Does anyone know the symptoms I should look for when faced with a faulty mechatronic? Or know anything whether these mechatronic problems are solved?

I don't want to be saddled with a car that's going to cost me R20k - R30k every 40,000kms.
 

StrontiumDog

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Joined
Sep 2, 2006
Messages
10,545
Gonna ask my service contact to check the history on my A3 1.8T s-tronic but if I recall correctly it was a clutch kit (or pack) that was replaced on mine around 33,000km. I started noticing that the clutch was slipping between 1st and 2nd probably around 30,000km.

Google seems to indicate this is different to the mechatronic though the two may be related? I'm out of maintenance plan end of the year so this kind of thing is going to worry me too!
 

Leo_

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2014
Messages
253
Gonna ask my service contact to check the history on my A3 1.8T s-tronic but if I recall correctly it was a clutch kit (or pack) that was replaced on mine around 33,000km. I started noticing that the clutch was slipping between 1st and 2nd probably around 30,000km.

Google seems to indicate this is different to the mechatronic though the two may be related? I'm out of maintenance plan end of the year so this kind of thing is going to worry me too!

I guess they are great cars for the first 5 years.
 

silent_wolf

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2014
Messages
180
I guess they are great cars for the first 5 years.

If they are manual they last forever, also they become more reliable when you dont take them to the dealership for servicing in particular Audi Cape Town.
 

ahoudet

Expert Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2013
Messages
4,503
If they are manual they last forever, also they become more reliable when you dont take them to the dealership for servicing in particular Audi Cape Town.
Sounds about right. But in my experience, Audi Sandton
 
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