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Audi A8 Transmission Problems

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Old 07-05-2011, 12:23 PM   #1
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Default Audi A8 Transmission Problems

I have a 1997 Audi a8 Quattro that is slipping up a hill downshifting under 2k RPM. It does not slip above 2k RPM. It also hunts sometimes. There are no codes for the TCM. The dealer recommends a fluid and filter change and see if that improves the problems.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Aidan
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:25 PM   #2
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Aidan, welcome aboard! Do you know how many miles are on the car? When was the transmission last serviced?
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:29 PM   #3
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It has 135,000 miles. The fluid was changed recently from the previous owner but the filter was not changed.
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:31 PM   #4
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Do you know if he used OEM fluid when it was changed?

Can you verify the fill level is correct?
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:33 PM   #5
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I had the level checked, it is full.

The maintinence record shows it was $16 Dollars a quart for the fluid so i'm pretty sure it was the Audi fluid. And it was done at an import auto shop that is reliable.
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:52 PM   #6
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I dunno, having the dealer change the fluid just for the heck of it is kind of an expensive proposition. OTOH, I'm not sure where else to start if there are no codes.

How much does the dealer charge for fluid/filter change?
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:54 PM   #7
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The dealer wants $545, I am going to call an independent shop in town and see how much they want. Not nearly as much i'm sure.
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aidan Joseph View Post
The dealer wants $545,

Therein lies the rub. Some of these auto trans hold vast amounts of fluids and the fluid is expensive. I suspect that a good chunk of the cost quoted by the dealer is made up by OE ATF. There's no getting around that issue unless you don't do a complete change (common) or you use the wrong fluid
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:54 PM   #9
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What do you mean by not doing a complete change?
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Old 07-05-2011, 02:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aidan Joseph View Post
It has 135,000 miles. The fluid was changed recently from the previous owner but the filter was not changed.
Changing fluid (and only a fraction of it probably) was a complete waste of time and $$, without changing the filter...infinitely more important than the fluid. When new fluid is introduced, it will only further clog an old filter when new detergents break loose even more debris. Plus, if filter wasn't changed, then the pan was not dropped and sludge removed...refilling could have also broken loose settled sludge, further clogging a filter that should have been changed.

I would want the filter changed, before making any other decisions about possible repairs. That dealer price is beyond outrageous....here's any example of a DIY kit (needs more atf though):
http://www.blauparts.com/proddetail.asp?prod=F2A1005-A
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Last edited by silverd2; 07-05-2011 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 07-05-2011, 04:01 PM   #11
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Alright well thanks for the information, i will have that done as soon as I can.
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:43 PM   #12
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Changing the fluid will not make it better. I would change the filter and re-use the old fluid.
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:00 PM   #13
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Changing the fluid will not make it better. I would change the filter and re-use the old fluid.
My sentiments exactly...and ^^ this guy ^^ has forgotten more than I'll ever know about transmissions.
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:00 PM   #14
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So you think that it is the filter clogged up that is causing all of my problems? Or could there be another underlying problem?
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:40 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aidan Joseph View Post
So you think that it is the filter clogged up that is causing all of my problems? Or could there be another underlying problem?
NOT guaranteed, but is the cheapest first step you can take...AND needs to be done anyway, since someone screwed up by adding lots of new atf without changing it....couldn't hurt and if you're lucky, it might help or cure the problem(?).
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:32 AM   #16
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ALright Thats what I will do then.
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Old 07-08-2011, 08:32 AM   #17
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Try to find the correct problem, as I read about all the fluid changes up here, most of fluid changes are desperate hope to fix your problems and many will help you to ruin your transmission faster. Think with a logic, all the oil go through these little passages controlled by electronic valves, dirty oil will not stop the oil from going through these "veins". The procedure of changing the oil is complex, not really documented well, do it blindly will definitely kill the transmissions like many up here did.

Cheers and good luck,

Louis
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Old 07-08-2011, 08:46 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by silverd2 View Post
Changing fluid (and only a fraction of it probably) was a complete waste of time and $$, without changing the filter...
My feeling is that changing some of the fluid refreshes the additive package in the fluid and is beneficial up to a point. If the filter is clogged or clogs, yes that's a huge problem but if not I do not feel it's a big deal to leave it in place. Granted there is no way of telling how close to clogged it might be.

At any rate I feel draining and adding some new ATF at some point in the trans' life is better than leaving the old fluid in by it's lonesome.

I also agree that it is possible that a complete fluid change might speed the trans' demise as the fresh fluid cleans out the crud that is holding things together (or more likely the crud has altered the viscosity and slipperyness of the fluid and allows the trans to work in a degraded state.)
The dirty fluid is full of metal and clutch material and is going to act differently from new fluid.


One of the keys to long oil life is keeping the additives working so they can react to chemical changes. IMO people who run engine oil for a long, long time get the additives refreshed by top-ups and filter changes (taking some oil out with the old filter.) My uninformed inclination would be to add at least a couple quarts of fresh fluid if the filter is changed in this case. I would not suggest a full drain of the TC.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:28 PM   #19
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My feeling is that changing some of the fluid refreshes the additive package in the fluid and is beneficial up to a point. If the filter is clogged or clogs, yes that's a huge problem but if not I do not feel it's a big deal to leave it in place. Granted there is no way of telling how close to clogged it might be.

At any rate I feel draining and adding some new ATF at some point in the trans' life is better than leaving the old fluid in by it's lonesome.

I also agree that it is possible that a complete fluid change might speed the trans' demise as the fresh fluid cleans out the crud that is holding things together (or more likely the crud has altered the viscosity and slipperyness of the fluid and allows the trans to work in a degraded state.)
The dirty fluid is full of metal and clutch material and is going to act differently from new fluid.


One of the keys to long oil life is keeping the additives working so they can react to chemical changes. IMO people who run engine oil for a long, long time get the additives refreshed by top-ups and filter changes (taking some oil out with the old filter.) My uninformed inclination would be to add at least a couple quarts of fresh fluid if the filter is changed in this case. I would not suggest a full drain of the TC.
Through research and personal experience, I must disagree with most of that.

The additives of which you speak are mostly the detergents of which I speak (those that break loose more debris which has NOWHERE to go but the filter...it ALL passes through the filter)..the rest is mostly just oil, which in a correctly working transmission does not alter significantly in viscosity or lubing ability (NOT it's most significant job) ...not the same type oil as in an engine and nowhere close to the same duties performed. The energy of a transmission is provided by the engine...most of the power transfer (85%) is through the TC by fluid pressure/resistance and centrifugal force...small changes in viscosity do not change this operation significantly. The other purpose of the oil (MUCH more significant than lubing)is producing hydraulic pressure to feed the TC, shift gears and allowing clutches to engage. The only things that would hinder this pressure from being produced is a clogged filter, low atf, a pump failing (maybe due to being overworked by a clogged filter) or bubbles in the fluid (NOT a symptom or product of old oil)...bubbles would only be caused by another problem such as overfill, etc..

I agree that there all 2 schools (maybe 3?) of thought, both with merit: NO maintenance at at all, so long as no symptoms arise...and logical limited maintenance, esp if any symptom arises.

My main point is that introducing a significant amount of new atf alters things, which ABSOLUTELY requires a new filter. It is not just a complete flush that breaks loose long term debris build up (some of which can be beneficial on worn trans parts)...it is new atf, chocked full of detergents ("additives"). It is terrible practice and illogical to do one without the other.

Topping off with a small amount is one thing. Changing all that drains out without a filter change does NOT improve anything...it complicates it and is guaranteed to continue and increase the restriction of much needed hydraulic pressure. Adequate lubrication (job # 3)is not provided by a precise viscosity or additive balance, but ALL operations are totally dependent on an unrestricted filter, which not only allows full pressure but also continues to clean the atf for free movement of the valves which distribute that pressure.
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Last edited by silverd2; 07-08-2011 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:35 AM   #20
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All good points. I will say that in 30 plus years as an auto tech I've never ever seen an automatic transmission that benefited from no preventative maintenance. If you do a full flush and the tranmission dies it was going to die shortly anyway. Past experience shows that without proper maintenance you WILL get less life out of your automatic. Full flushes are important even with high miles. I've flushed many high mileage autos including my own and have never had a problem related to the flush. And certainly changing part of the fluid without changing the filter is a exercise in futility. Anything that comes loose due to the detergent in the new fluid is going to end up in your already plugged filter. Then you've almost certainly doomed your transmission.
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Through research and personal experience, I must disagree with most of that.

The additives of which you speak are mostly the detergents of which I speak (those that break loose more debris which has NOWHERE to go but the filter...it ALL passes through the filter)..the rest is mostly just oil, which in a correctly working transmission does not alter significantly in viscosity or lubing ability (NOT it's most significant job) ...not the same type oil as in an engine and nowhere close to the same duties performed. The energy of a transmission is provided by the engine...most of the power transfer (85%) is through the TC by fluid pressure/resistance and centrifugal force...small changes in viscosity do not change this operation significantly. The other purpose of the oil (MUCH more significant than lubing)is producing hydraulic pressure to feed the TC, shift gears and allowing clutches to engage. The only things that would hinder this pressure from being produced is a clogged filter, low atf, a pump failing (maybe due to being overworked by a clogged filter) or bubbles in the fluid (NOT a symptom or product of old oil)...bubbles would only be caused by another problem such as overfill, etc..

I agree that there all 2 schools (maybe 3?) of thought, both with merit: NO maintenance at at all, so long as no symptoms arise...and logical limited maintenance, esp if any symptom arises.

My main point is that introducing a significant amount of new atf alters things, which ABSOLUTELY requires a new filter. It is not just a complete flush that breaks loose long term debris build up (some of which can be beneficial on worn trans parts)...it is new atf, chocked full of detergents ("additives"). It is terrible practice and illogical to do one without the other.

Topping off with a small amount is one thing. Changing all that drains out without a filter change does NOT improve anything...it complicates it and is guaranteed to continue and increase the restriction of much needed hydraulic pressure. Adequate lubrication (job # 3)is not provided by a precise viscosity or additive balance, but ALL operations are totally dependent on an unrestricted filter, which not only allows full pressure but also continues to clean the atf for free movement of the valves which distribute that pressure.
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:35 AM
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