Facelift New to me 2017 S3 Sportback - DSG woes

jamesfoley

New Member
Picked up an approved used 2017 S3 Sportback last week from Audi. Great car overall but I am suffering from constant traction light flickering / front wheel spin / tramping which I suspect has something to do with the haldex not doing its thing. Car is due to go back to them next week to have it looked at so not overly worried right now.

My main reason for posting is to ask whether the DSG is supposed to be clunky / jerky when driving around town, or if its meant to be smooth?

Admittedly I wasn't able to get it to become noticeably jerky on the test drive I had, nor was another S3 I test drove, but I'm guessing that was down to not encountering usual traffic. After having the car for a week now and driving it around town the DSG comes across as very indecisive about gears. Sometimes it holds onto gears forever for no reason, other times it changes up the gears quite quickly. When pulling away it also randomly decides if it's going to suddenly engage a gear all the way giving you that neck jerk sensation. It just feels like it doesn't really know what gear it is supposed to be in and fumbles at the last second.

Is something wrong here? I've heard about potentially resetting the DSG, is that something I should have done?
 

AlS3BE

Registered User
sounds like both the haldex and dsg needs a service. I would say dsg boxes isn’t the smoothest out there and can be jerky at slow speeds but what you are describing isn’t normal.
a reset can be done by dealer. This calibrates the clutch plates and should make things better.
 

JohnM100

Registered User
VCDS Map User
Gold Supporter
For the front wheel drive tramping - likely Haldex failure so a trip back to the dealer for that one.

As to your gear changes, are you changing drive mode or engaging S mode? Each mode has different gear change characteristics. If you bury the accelerator pedal into the carpet, you’ll have gone past the 1st pressure point and it will switch to dynamic mode and S for gearbox in addition to kick down the gears which could describe the abrupt acceleration. S mode does hold the revs high before changing up. Otherwise, gear changes should be pretty smooth. What’s the mileage as may be due a DSG Service or diagnostic.
 

jamesfoley

New Member
sounds like both the haldex and dsg needs a service. I would say dsg boxes isn’t the smoothest out there and can be jerky at slow speeds but what you are describing isn’t normal.
a reset can be done by dealer. This calibrates the clutch plates and should make things better.
Thats fair. As mentioned it's booked in for the Haldex to be inspected. I also provided them with videos of the car wheel spinning pulling away from junctions so I've got that to cover my **** if needed. I've mentioned the DSG issues to the salesman who sold me the car so hopefully he gets back to me with something.

For the front wheel drive tramping - likely Haldex failure so a trip back to the dealer for that one.

As to your gear changes, are you changing drive mode or engaging S mode? Each mode has different gear change characteristics. If you bury the accelerator pedal into the carpet, you’ll have gone past the 1st pressure point and it will switch to dynamic mode and S for gearbox call as kick down the gears which could describe the abrupt acceleration. S mode does hold the revs high before changing up. Otherwise, gear changes should be pretty smooth. What’s the mileage as may be due a DSG Service or diagnostic.
I've been driving it about in a mixture of modes just to get a feel for the car, but totally aware the different modes change how the car behaves. Most of my issues though have been trying to just cruise around in Comfort with the gearbox in D, with the primary issue being the snappy gears when pulling away from a junction. In S mode with my foot planted it seems to cruise through the gears just fine (apart from the traction issues of course). Car is at 18,000 miles currently.
 

Harvey

VAG Convert
What you have mentioned isn't normal at all for a 2017 S3. Haldex will have a blocked pump gauze at best and/or dead pump, just make sure the dealer remove the pump to inspect and clean the gauze and change the fluid along with a Basic Setting to allow the Haldex to relearn. Further interesting Haldex Gen 5 details here.

As for the DSG it shouldn't be doing what yours is, my MY17 S3 Sportback is on 17K miles and silky smooth with no jerking at all. I'd suggest you get the dealers to change the oil and push to have the filter changed as well, they will try and fob you off regarding the filter saying its for life but it can and in my opinion must be changed when servicing the DSG. Also get them to perform a Basic Setting so it relearns and possibly worth asking the dealer if there are any later software/firmware releases for the DSG as this can also help.

Let us all know how you get on and don't let the dealer brush you off as your S3 is definitely not right. It should grip and go with no wheels spin and be silky smooth from the DSG side.
 

jamesfoley

New Member
What you have mentioned isn't normal at all for a 2017 S3. Haldex will have a blocked pump gauze at best and/or dead pump, just make sure the dealer remove the pump to inspect and clean the gauze and change the fluid along with a Basic Setting to allow the Haldex to relearn. Further interesting Haldex Gen 5 details here.

As for the DSG it shouldn't be doing what yours is, my MY17 S3 Sportback is on 17K miles and silky smooth with no jerking at all. I'd suggest you get the dealers to change the oil and push to have the filter changed as well, they will try and fob you off regarding the filter saying its for life but it can and in my opinion must be changed when servicing the DSG. Also get them to perform a Basic Setting so it relearns and possibly worth asking the dealer if there are any later software/firmware releases for the DSG as this can also help.

Let us all know how you get on and don't let the dealer brush you off as your S3 is definitely not right. It should grip and go with no wheels spin and be silky smooth from the DSG side.
Yea I've been through all of the Haldex bits and bobs so I sort of know the issues and whats involved in a repair. Car is booked in with the dealership with videos provided of the front wheel spin so they should have a rough idea of whats going on. Not sure if I can persuade them to clean / replace the pump, figured it would be easier to let them look at it and take it from there. I should be pretty safe seeing as the issue was reported within my 30 day window of repairs, plus I have approved used warranty.

As I only reported the DSG issues today I'll wait to see what they say about it. Possible that they take a look at the DSG at the same time as the haldex, but again just going with the flow for now. Also unsure how much of it might be related to the haldex not being too happy.

Will of course update the thread on anything I get back from Audi :)
 

AlS3BE

Registered User
Pretty much what Harvey said.
mines an 18plate and when I first got it I had traction control issues. Started throttling power when I’m cornering which was annoying as the car detected slip when there wasn’t any. got software updates for haldex and dsg and it’s been good for almost 3 years now. So maybe it could be a simple software thing. Audis policy is not apply software updates to cars unless it shows certain symptoms. It’s that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it attitude which I can understand as some fixes can cause other issues.
keep us posted.
 

alpesh26

Registered User
Picked up an approved used 2017 S3 Sportback last week from Audi. Great car overall but I am suffering from constant traction light flickering / front wheel spin / tramping which I suspect has something to do with the haldex not doing its thing. Car is due to go back to them next week to have it looked at so not overly worried right now.

My main reason for posting is to ask whether the DSG is supposed to be clunky / jerky when driving around town, or if its meant to be smooth?

Admittedly I wasn't able to get it to become noticeably jerky on the test drive I had, nor was another S3 I test drove, but I'm guessing that was down to not encountering usual traffic. After having the car for a week now and driving it around town the DSG comes across as very indecisive about gears. Sometimes it holds onto gears forever for no reason, other times it changes up the gears quite quickly. When pulling away it also randomly decides if it's going to suddenly engage a gear all the way giving you that neck jerk sensation. It just feels like it doesn't really know what gear it is supposed to be in and fumbles at the last second.

Is something wrong here? I've heard about potentially resetting the DSG, is that something I should have done?
Agree with the others in that your gearbox doesn't seem right. I'm on 40k on my 67 plate S3 and gear changes are smooth. S mode does hold the gears for longer. The only time ive noticed mine holding gears in D is when hitting a dual carriageway from cold start, it will hold 6th for a while, I presume to warm up. I sometimes have a clunky upshift or downshift into 3rd but its been doing that since I've got it (when it had done 5k). It's only me that notices the clunky shift into 3rd so it's not as bad as what you are describing. Hopefully yours can be fixed with a gearbox oil change.

I don't get why Audi are so averse to cleaning the Haldex pump, takes 10 mins if the car is on a ramp!
 

JohnM100

Registered User
VCDS Map User
Gold Supporter
Pretty much what Harvey said.
mines an 18plate and when I first got it I had traction control issues. Started throttling power when I’m cornering which was annoying as the car detected slip when there wasn’t any. got software updates for haldex and dsg and it’s been good for almost 3 years now. So maybe it could be a simple software thing. Audis policy is not apply software updates to cars unless it shows certain symptoms. It’s that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it attitude which I can understand as some fixes can cause other issues.
keep us posted.

@AlS3BE - what are your gearbox and Haldex software versions after the update?
 

Audi-Sport-Driver

Active Member
Looks like this is normal behaviour on all audi quattro cars.. I have jerkines when I am braking from slow speed for example on red lights.. But when I am braking from high speed it is fine.. The quattro cars seems to be designed to do performance (racing) not driving around the town slow ‍♂️
When I had 2011 front wheel drive a3 never had jerkines.
Hope this helps
 

Harvey

VAG Convert
My S3 FL Sportback MY17 is the DQ381 box & VCDS states DSG s/w version 0403 (s/w no. 0GC 300 011) with my Haldex s/w version 7755 (s/w no. 0CQ 907 554 C).

@AlS3BE has yours got the DQ381? Don't mean to thread hi-jack just curious. Further digging and I found the software number will determine the software version as indicated here so answered my own question.

Software number and software version for VCDS & ODB11 explained here for completeness.
 
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Damo S

Registered User
Seems very unlikely that the haldex pump would have failed by 18k, but not impossible. So hopefully a software update will fix it, if not, the haldex pump is likely knackered and needs replacing (under warranty).
 

JohnM100

Registered User
VCDS Map User
Gold Supporter
Dsg software 1402 according to obd11 there’s 1425

Haldex software 7762

Thx. Same as mine, but I do get TC activating very early even in good roundabouts so was wondering if I was on an earlier version..
 

AlS3BE

Registered User
Thx. Same as mine, but I do get TC activating very early even in good roundabouts so was wondering if I was on an earlier version..

maybe they updated the abs module on mine too as that’s where traction control resides.
will have a look at the software version later.
 

AlS3BE

Registered User
My S3 FL Sportback MY17 is the DQ381 box & VCDS states DSG s/w version 0403 (s/w no. 0GC 300 011) with my Haldex s/w version 7755 (s/w no. 0CQ 907 554 C).

@AlS3BE has yours got the DQ381? Don't mean to thread hi-jack just curious. Further digging and I found the software number will determine the software version as indicated here so answered my own question.

Software number and software version for VCDS & ODB11 explained here for completeness.
Just had another look
Dsg h/w 0gc927711g
Hw version h06
Sw 0gc300012a
sw version 1402

haldex
Hw number 0cq525130
Hw version h52
Sw number 0cq907554k
Sw version 7762

@JohnM100
Abs
Hardware version h25
Software version 0640
 

The Cardinal

For the love of cars
I've had manual, DSG / S-Tronic and Haldex equipped VAG cars over the years, ranging from Gen 2 to Gen 5 Haldex.

Without doubt, the traction control on my 2018 S3 S-Tronic has been the most keen to intervene of them all. I've read that this is to some extent just a feature of the post-facelift 7-speed models, but I've also read about Haldex woes.

I remapped my S3 straight after getting it. I found that the TC light seemed to flicker even when accelerating in a straight line at high speed, holding back power pretty frequently in full throttle situations - although it was never a problem at low speeds. I subsequently had the Haldex oil changed and gauze cleaned (its condition seemed fine). I'm happy to report that things seem a lot better now and that the TC light rarely comes on. Maybe it's the oil change, me changing my driving style, or the car adapting... but whatever it is seems to have done the trick.

Low-speed DSG jerkiness is a thing, but seems far less pronounced on the more recent VAGs I've had. Again, the ECU may need to adapt to your style and so I'd recommend a few days of spirited driving in your own style to see if that helps with the DSG issue. The 7-speed units seem to be optimised around economy and so that may also be an adaptation you / the car needs to learn.

Given that yours is under warranty, OP, the best thing to do after that is hand over the problem to the supplying dealer and take it from there.
 
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nothingness

Registered User
I don't have an S3 yet but the car in my sig. I found it to be jerky at low speeds and in comfort mode it constantly tried to hold 7th making overtaking on dual carriageways an either all on or off thing.
I fixed this by setting Drive Select to Individual, and then in Individual setting, selecting Comfort for everything.
For some reason this makes it drive like a normal car whereas Comfort acts like Eco and Eco acts like driving a 1.0 like a granny. Might be worth a try?
When I serviced my car, Audi (Cheshire Oaks) told me they would update all the software for me anyway, Ironically one of them was an EU emissions update and the car felt like it lost ~20hp ever since.
 

jamesfoley

New Member
Appreciate all the responses. Fed all the information back to the salesman I dealt with at my dealership and he has confirmed everything has been passed over to their technical team for my appointment next week. Fingers crossed that it's all resolved fairly quickly.

Just regarding the DSG, I went out a couple of times solely to experiment with its jerkyness. I think the main issue I have with it is just when pulling away. Sometimes letting off the brake and pressing the accelerator you are left in a one second limbo where the car will coast as if the clutch is depressed, and then jerk forward as the clutch is quickly engaged. Apart from this one issue it does seem to be fairly smooth between gears when driving around.
 

The Cardinal

For the love of cars
In that last situation, a gentle tap of the accelerator to disengage the brake and allow creep is how I get the smoothest take off. That's not really a DSG thing, more of an auto handbrake thing (with me at least).

To be clear, the process is:

Drive, brake and come to a stop. If you have it, Auto Hold allows you at this point to take your foot off the brake. When you want to go, tap the accelerator gently to disengage the brake and allow a tiny moment of creep. Then accelerate normally.
 

JohnM100

Registered User
VCDS Map User
Gold Supporter
In that last situation, a gentle tap of the accelerator to disengage the brake and allow creep is how I get the smoothest take off. That's not really a DSG thing, more of an auto handbrake thing (with me at least).

To be clear, the process is:

Drive, brake and come to a stop. If you have it, Auto Hold allows you at this point to take your foot off the brake. When you want to go, tap the accelerator gently to disengage the brake and allow a tiny moment of creep. Then accelerate normally.

^ This. Been doing it for years.
 

jamesfoley

New Member
In that last situation, a gentle tap of the accelerator to disengage the brake and allow creep is how I get the smoothest take off. That's not really a DSG thing, more of an auto handbrake thing (with me at least).

To be clear, the process is:

Drive, brake and come to a stop. If you have it, Auto Hold allows you at this point to take your foot off the brake. When you want to go, tap the accelerator gently to disengage the brake and allow a tiny moment of creep. Then accelerate normally.
If I stop at a junction (no auto hold here) and slowly press the accelerator to continue out of the junction, the RPMs will creep up and the clutch with suddenly grab jolting the car forward. It doesn't happen every time, but does happen more often when I'm stopped at a junction for a long period of time. Also happens no matter how gentle I am with the accelerator. Gear shifts from 1 to 2, and 2 to 3 are also sometimes jerky with the same clutch grab symptom, basically exactly the same as lifting the clutch too quickly in a manual car.
 

JohnM100

Registered User
VCDS Map User
Gold Supporter
Holding the car on the brake pedal without Hold Assist is bad for your clutch pack as it will keep biting - the jerkiness may be due to a hot clutch or uneven clutch wear. Hold Assist disengages the clutch as well as keeps the EPB on.

However, in your situation, release the brake pedal to start the car creeping and wait a second or two before pressing the accelerator - should be smoother. Better to apply the EPB instead of holding on the brake pedal.

VCDS can tell the gearbox to relearn clutch biting points. I have also seen some steps posted online with accelerator pedal but never tried that so don’t know if it is genuine.
 
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jamesfoley

New Member
Holding the car on the brake pedal without Hold Assist is bad for your clutch pack as it will keep biting. Hold Assist disengages the clutch as well as keeps the EPB on.

However, in your situation, release the brake pedal to start the car creeping and wait a second or two before pressing the accelerator - should be smoother.
Wait, I'm confused. Are you saying I shouldn't just hold the brake pedal at a T junction / roundabout, as that doesn't seem to make much sense?

The car doesn't always creep and will occasionally roll backwards. Does this mean I have no real way of pulling out of a junction "quickly", and to engage the handbrake all the time?

At the moment it just feels like I have a manual car and I've forgotten how to use a clutch which is pretty embarrassing with passengers. Hopefully the visit to the dealer resolves my issues.
 

JohnM100

Registered User
VCDS Map User
Gold Supporter
Wait, I'm confused. Are you saying I shouldn't just hold the brake pedal at a T junction / roundabout, as that doesn't seem to make much sense?

The car doesn't always creep and will occasionally roll backwards. Does this mean I have no real way of pulling out of a junction "quickly", and to engage the handbrake all the time?
...snip....

For short holds, the footbrake is fine - it’s the longer holds where the EPB should be used to protect the clutch. I was referring to your comment of ‘hold for a long period of time’.

EPB release can also be with a quick dab of the accelerator before it starts creeping but as you say, it’s a dab and reapply to stop the car rolling back.
 

jamesfoley

New Member
Just got the car back. The haldex pump was completely dead, so had a new one fitted under warranty, and the DSG had a software update.

Feels like a completely different car, no more front wheel spin and the gearbox feels a lot less clumsy. Also had a new rear window fitted due to broken demister lines under warranty which is a bonus.
 

jamesfoley

New Member
Had the car back for almost a week now and been trying to get a few miles on it around town. Although the gearbox is better, it still stumbles on the 2 to 3 shift.

The A3 e-tron I had as a loaner was amazingly smooth compared to mine, though it was a newer car so I'd imagine that has something to do with it.

They said the gearbox software was updated, is it possible this was done without having it relearn clutch biting points etc?

Also, getting some dash vibration in Dynamic which I'm 99% sure its the soundaktor, had exactly the same thing in my VW Polo GTI I had a long time ago. Is this technically fixable or am I better off just disabling it?
 

jamesfoley

New Member
Been a while, but after taking the car to Audi a couple of times with it coming back as "unable to replicate", I managed to take the car there and take a technician out with me to physically show him the issue. They agreed that something was wrong and now I'm just waiting for a replacement mechatronic to arrive.

Fingers crossed this actually solves my issues...
 

jamesfoley

New Member
Update just incase anyone find this thread with the same issues.

New mechatronic is in now and things are better. It feels a lot less sluggish than before and is a little faster to react to throttle changes.

The 2nd to 3rd shift will still lurch occasionally though and I have no idea what causes it. I can’t even come up with steps to reproduce it consistently, almost like it just rolls a dice.

It only ever does it in Drive, it’s fine in both Sport and Manual, and it’s almost like it’s letting off the throttle and putting it back on within a second. Figured if it was gearbox related I’d have the issues in all driving modes.

Anyone have any ideas what it could be?
 

Harvey

VAG Convert
My MY2017 is silky smooth with no lurching in any gear change in any mode. Could be the software/firmware that's currently on there assuming Audi installed the latest version. If it's otherwise fixed try speaking with a decent company who offer box remapping, they should easily be able to sort it. Did the dealer confirm they performed a basic setting for the clutch pack after the Mechatronic was installed? I'd like to hope the dealer knows their stuff but I wouldn't trust them so might be worth going to a specialist indy who really know their stuff, plenty out there so Google/research.

I'd get the sound actuator disabled as it's more annoying than useful on an S3, can easily be coded off.
 
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jamesfoley

New Member
It's an approved used car from an Audi dealer, so it'll just have the latest software available assuming they updated everything when sorting the mechatronic. They have actually wiped the spare key (which Audi provided and coded), and my folding mirrors (again which I paid Audi to fit), so some software / firmware somewhere was re-flashed.

Need to take the car back to Audi to have the above fixed so I could re-mention the gearbox issues, but it took them three weeks to change the mech and I'm not sure what other things there actually are that could be causing the issue. Even if I said could it be software they're just going to flash the latest version they have available and be done with it.

It is certainly a weird one as if it was the gearbox I figured every shift would have issues, but thats not the case. I started to think that as it feels like it's dropping power it could be the throttle pedal or the throttle body having issues, but if that was the case it'd be every shift. I really have no idea what makes the 2nd to 3rd shift unique.

Apart from the shift issues the car runs great. I'd love to take it to someone that has some decent DSG knowledge, but I can't find anybody local to me. I'm also slightly put off having someone else touch the car as it is currently covered by Audi, and as soon as someone messes with it I figured that gives Audi a way out of future warranty repairs :expressionless:
 

Harvey

VAG Convert
See post #3 over on the other side AKA Golf R which uses the exact same box in the mk7.5 being the DQ381 click me.
 

jamesfoley

New Member
Interesting, I hadn't really thought about checking same generation Golf R's for the issue. That 3rd post describes exactly what I feel, a weird notchy early shift from 2nd to 3rd, and I agree its not terrible, just annoying for what the car cost. It's more embarrassing when I have passengers as it just feels like I can't change gears properly.

Does seem to suggest its software though which also probably means it was never the mech to begin with, and will probably never be fixed unless I search for a TCU remap :disappointed:

I had a smart idea of logging a few OBD PIDs while on a journey to see if anything drops that isn't supposed to, but it basically reveals nothing other than the car is doing car things...
 
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