The VW and Audi DSG Transmission- Reliability, Longevity and more.
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The VW and Audi DSG Transmission has been around since 2004 when it was first rolled out in the 04 Beetle TDI Model. At first the transmission was only in a few models, and more recently it has become more widely used. As these transmission are becoming common place, more people shopping for used cars are stumbling upon them. This leads people to wondering "What concerns should I have with the DSG Transmission?"
It is very important to note that the DSG transmissions require regular fluid and filter changes. VW and Audi DSG transmission have a service interval of 40k miles (you can verify this in your owners manual). Performing this service is imperative to the life as well as the warranty on your DSG transmission
So lets first tackle reliability, the DSG transmission had a couple of issues during the first few years. They were almost all exclusively the same problem. The symptoms with the early DSG transmissions were delayed power then a bang causing the car to lurch forward. Generally this would happen when happen when starting from a stop. This issue was almost always fixed by the mechatronics unit. The issues with the early DSG transmissions has given many people pause, and understandably so. However most of the DSG Transmissions starting around 2008 had almost no issues at all. The early DSGs have mostly gotten a new Mechatronics unit, and the issues have been resolved. Once the bad ones are replaced they no longer seem to have issues.
Now on to longevity, the longevity of the DSG transmission is yet to be seen. Currently it appears as though the DSG transmissions have solid longevity. Since the transmission is built like a manual, it is mechanically strong. The weak points that will be likely to fail will be the DSG Clutch Packs or the mechatronics unit. These are both replaceable (but expensive) parts. Neither of these parts have shown to be an common issue. From what a few experts in the VW field have told us, they have not been seeing any DSG failures these days. This leads us to believe that the DSG transmission has and will continue to have strong reliability.
Here is a video from Jason at Engineering Explained. He paired with a great friend of ours Charles from HumbleMechanic.com to deliver this great video. The video is a little technical and it would be best to have a decent understanding of how a transmission works before watching. This video will show you how a DSG transmission works, why it shifts so fast, how it shifts so fast, and why people say the DSG is like a manual but an automatic
Here we have a DIY video that shows you how to perform a DSG service on your VW or Audi model. This DSG service should be performed at an interval of every 40k miles. Making sure you regularly service your DSG is important to retain any warranty or extended warranty on the transmission. If you ever have to file a claim with VW or a 3rd party warranty company they will almost certainly ask for records of the DSG Services. Be sure to note all the information about servicing your DSG Trans even if you are doing it yourself. If you decide to do this yourself you should keep a record of date the service was done, mileage, and a copy of the parts purchased. Making sure you purchase fluid that meets the spec required for your vehicle (all the DSG kits we offer meet this spec).
The last question you might have is, What does this DSG service cost? The answer to that question will vary depending on labor rates, parts prices, and labor times charged. As a general rule you should expect to pay $300-400 for this service. If you do it yourself you should be able to save a significant amount of money. Here are a few of our DSG Kits starting at $94.06 that fit most VW and Audi Models, (Contact us if you don't see your vehicle in the application info and we can get you the right parts for your car).
DSG Service Kits to be performed every 40k Miles