VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - NARU
I notice that the first VAG DSG gearboxes are now out of warranty, so people are starting to run them on their own budgets.

Now that the Volkswagen/Audi DSG gearbox has been out a few years, does anyone have an informed opinion on reliability?

What about owners - how many of you have had problems?

I'm interested in a Passat 3.2 DSG and trying to guage my level of risk!
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - daveyjp
12 pages of forum threads to go at here!

I'm on my second Audi with a DSG box and not had any problems.

Edited by daveyjp on 04/12/2007 at 13:40

VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - colinh
Now that Ford, Mitsubishi, Bugatti, BMW(?) and Porsche(?) are offering, or about to offer DSG boxes, I wonder if these queries will continue?
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - ijws15
We have two on our fleet, one in a Passat, one in an Octavia.

One has failed so far (at just over 2 years old). The one in the Passat.
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - Aprilia
I would not want to own one out of warranty. They are a very complex system and everything has to be 'spot on' for them to work. A friend of mine who has run an auto transmission rebuilding business for about 25 years is getting people turning up with out of warranty Multitronic and DSG transmissions that have failed and the dealers quote stupid prices to repair. He cannot repair these transmissions. At the moment there is no option but for an Audi rebuild. IIRC a DSG exchange transmission is c.£3k, the ECU is c.£1.5k. The transmission oil is special stuff, around £150 to drain and refill. A 3+ year old would be a very dodgy buy IMHO.
I'd rather have a standard clutch and stick.
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - DP
I was talking to a work colleague last week who has an Audi A3 2.0 TDI DSG. Apart from its control logic being completely incapable of handling a slow reverse off his 1 in 3 driveway, he has no complaints about it at all, and it has proven totally reliable. However, he was surprised to find a DSG fluid change "added on" to the last service, and the bill. Surely this should be at a fixed mileage, and quoted for beforehand? Or is there some test done on the fluid at the time to establish its condition?

04 Grand Scenic 1.9 dCi Dynamique
00 Mondeo 1.8TD LX
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - Bagpuss
I would try one first. My experience of DSG in an Audi A3 2.0TDI was there was no real difference in the driving experience to a good 5 or 6 speed torque converter automatic.
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - daveyjp
"there was no real difference in the driving experience to a good 5 or 6 speed torque converter automatic."

Probably not in the driving experience, but there is a big difference in mpg - DSG being similar to manual.

Clutch fluid change is due every 40,000 miles.

Edited by daveyjp on 05/12/2007 at 15:33

VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - Martin Devon
Probably not in the driving experience but there is a big difference in mpg -
DSG being similar to manual.

The savings are of little use if you end up with a 3k re-build!!!

VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - jag
are these gearboxes a series of clutch packs (hydraulic operation) and planetary gears. if so lorries and agricultual tractors have had them for years, computer controlled.
ag tractors hold about 65lts of oil at a cost of £75 a fill. so is the motorist being ripped off again. i stand to be corrected. jag.
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - Dulwich Estate
" At the moment there is no option but for an Audi rebuild. "

Not quite. There is an oufit in Milton Keynes that's staffed by ex-VAG people who claim to know everything there is to know about multitronic boxes.

I have a 3+ year old 1.9TDi multitronic, don't yet have a need for a repair, but will give these guys (unknown to me - only seen on the web) a call if and when the worst should happen. When I queried the cost of a new / exchange unit in my local Audi dealer I think I was quoted somewhere around £5k. I have posted this region of cost a bit more accurately sometime before on here so you can do a search if necessary.
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - Aprilia
The DSG is nothing like a conventional auto. Its basically a two-shaft "manual" transmission with two WET clutches, configured concentrically. A selector mechanism pre-selects the gears on each shaft, according to whether the driver is accelerating or decelerating.

They give you a fast change and slightly better fuel economy, but other than that they are big, heavy, complicated and expensive.
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - MichaelR
Purely out of interest, is there any form of technology in the motor industry you don't dislike, Aprilia?
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - Aprilia
Purely out of interest is there any form of technology in the motor industry you
don't dislike Aprilia?

Yes, lots. But I don't like stuff which is complicated, expensive to fix and offers little or no advantage to the customer. There have been numerous attempts over the years to offer various types of automatic and semi-automatic tranmission (think Ford CTX, Easydrive, Sensotronic/sensodrive etc etc) in ALL cases the consumer has been burned. None of these systems has proven reliable.
I would like to see a manufacturer market a DSG- or CVT-type system and back it with, say, a 100k/6 year warranty. I think that would give the market some confidence in the technology.

There are other new technologies which seem of dubious benefit - electonic handbrakes come to mind.

On the other hand ESP/ESC seems to offer real safety advantages at minimal extra cost on an ABS-equipped car. ABS and airbags are also good examples of life-saving technology that offers big benefits at relatively modest cost.
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - nortones2
Thanks for the link daveyjp! Audi, and DSG in all its forms, are now off my wish-list! Until they give a 100,000 mile warranty as Aprilia remarks. Bet they have to for the US market.
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - Aprilia
I am sure that one of the reasons that petrol-engined vehicles are fairly reliable is the mandatory 8year/80k 'emissions warranty' introduced in the US from 1995.

The manufacturer, by law, has to cover ALL emissions-related components for 8y/80k on petrol engine cars. The owner cannot be charged for any diagnosis or repair work, or any consequential work (e.g. if exhaust breaks while cat is being replaced, then exhaust must be replaced for free).
Since the law covers ANYTHING emissions-related it also covers turbochargers and parts like plug leads, ECU's, intake pipes and clips etc etc.
I am sure this concentrated minds greatly and petrol engine designs, and the components used, tend to be reliable. Of course there are some brands that are not sold in the US (think French and Italian).....

Warranty is the key. Manufacturers should warrant these transmissions for a 'reasonable lifetime' - 6 year/100k is probably reasonable. Any failure prior to that point I would say is evidence that the part is not fit for purpose.
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - nortones2
So, we wait with anticipation, the introduction of CR diesel engines on more than a token scale to the US market, before the UK gets redress for profiteering under the guise of misfuelling?
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - jbean

I have had extensive discussion with VW about DSG reliabilty and asked them why they do not offer the 10 year guarantee that they have in the US, Russia, China and I believe Mexico.

There only answer was that these are different companies to VW UK. I thought that this was a poor excuse and not actually an answer or justification.

My own decision is to sell the 2011 Passat I own before it goes out of guarantee.

I was sorry to see that Ford are now using the multitronic or similar. I owned a Mondeo with a standard auto box and it was excellent. I dorve a Peugeot with the electronic box and it was seriously lump. In fairness the DSG is as smooth as silk but I still don't want a 5k repair bill.

This site below is useful if you want to take these issues up with someone in the company.

CEO e-mail addresses - Email address for Chief Executive Officers ...
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - jag
aprilla, pretty similar to the tractor tranny as above. no reason for the dsg box to be unreliable apart from the electrics. jag.
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - runboy
I notice, reading magazine reviews of late, that the likes of Ford and Subaru are bringing out variations on VW's DSG box.

Are they following a "fashion" or are the dual clutch auto boxes the way to go?
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - daveyjp
You need a family sized car, you need an automatic, you want decent performance, you want something which does 40 mpg, you want something with a sensible level of road tax (i.e. not in top band as this will be escalated in every budget).

Which cars tick this box?

At the moment VAG DSG equipped vehicles do.

Ford and others have probably seen this gap in the market.
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - Aprilia
I notice reading magazine reviews of late that the likes of Ford and Subaru are
bringing out variations on VW's DSG box.
Are they following a "fashion" or are the dual clutch auto boxes the way to

Twin shaft, twin clutch transmissions are not a new idea. There have been many prototypes over the last four decades. A few years back ZF got as far as a pre-production transmission very similar to the DSG, but abandoned it on cost and weight considerations.

'DSG' is just a brand name used by VAG, the transmissions were actually developed by Borg Warner and are known in the industry as 'Dualtronic' transmissions. Borg Warner develop transmission technology for all the big VM's and supply transmission parts to Jatco, GM, AW etc etc. Lots of VM's have been looking at Dualtronic and other similar systems. The big attraction in better emissions and higher fuel economy, so I'm sure many more will appear on the market soon. The DSG as fitted at the moment has been superceded by Dualtronic Mk2, which uses a different clutch arrangement which is more compact and lighter.

Its all marvellous technology, and I would probably be inclined to buy one if (a) I knew I would be selling the car before warranty expires, or (b) someone else was paying for repairs.

European customers are very conservative when it comes to transmissions; despite many predictions of success, most novel transmission systems (CVT's, automated-manual transmissions etc) have not done well in the EU market. There is mistrust of even the very reliable conventional automatics.
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - Aprilia
aprilla pretty similar to the tractor tranny as above. no reason for the dsg box
to be unreliable apart from the electrics. jag.


With all due respect the DSG is on a different planet to agricultural machinery. The DSG is a transmission with twin concentric clutches (not many tractors have those), about 10 internal sensors, six hydraulic governors and numerous solenoids.
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - jag
aprilla, with all due respect i suggest you get hold of a modern tractor technical specification. semi powershift, full powershift and cvt transmissions abound.
computer controlled,sensors for torque loadings, engine speed, forward speed, pto loads, optimum fuel consumption, constant power settings, hydraulic loads and a lot more . fendt, case ih, john deere and most of the other manufacturers have these trannys. and you wonder why a 200hp tractor costs 70-100,000 pounds.
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - Aprilia
aprilla with all due respect

Yes, I'm aware that agricultural machinery has got very sophisticated these days. In fact I watched a programme on Discovery Channel about the design of a John Deere powertrain, which was very impressive. I still stand by the statement that there is nothing like a DSG (or Dualtronic) used. CVT's have big benefits for farming vehicles which travel at low and relatively constant speed and I know that Deere have CVT-equipped vehicles, but I am not sure you can compare these to anything in the automotive market. For a start the weight, volume and cost constraints are from another dimension. A DSG wouldn't last 5 minutes on a tractor.

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 07/12/2007 at 10:33

VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - jag
aprilia, apologies for the incorrect spelling of your name. i never suggested a dsg box from a vw would be suitable for a tractor, as you say it wouldn't cope with the power, but there are similarities in design. jag.
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - Avant
Marlot - in view of all the above, from informed, not prejudiced, sources, I suggest you might have a look at an Audi A4 or A6 with a conventional automatic. There are almost certainly more of them around to choose from than a Passat 3.2, and one of these with a 6-cylinder engine will give you all that the Passat would have, and more.
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - rtj70
There's a comment higher up about power trains and the US.... And why all emission related parts covered.

Probably why cars have big lazy v8s and remember diesel cars became illegal until recently in California.
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - Pendlebury
Nothing to do with this thread so apologies - but I am totally in agreement with Aprilia's view on this subject and many others that he posts on this forum. I personally learn alot from him - just as a matter of interest what car do you drive aprilia - or anyone else that knows - is it a Subaru (I am genuinely interested - that's all)
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - Aprilia
I personally learn alot from him - just as a matter of interest what car
do you drive aprilia - or anyone else that knows - is it a Subaru
(I am genuinely interested - that's all)

LOL! Yes, it should be a Subaru, shouldn't it! In fact I have never actually owned one, althoughI have driven lots. Bit like my mate who fixes Diesels - never owned a Diesel car - he's got a Subaru!

Currently I have an old Nissan QX auto for running the kids around in - still going strong and never needed fixing.
I also have a 2001 Merc 220CDI coupe that I picked up for very little money back in August - tootling around in it at present, waiting to sell it in the new year. Also got an old Fiat Punto 60S ('98) waiting to be sold (paid £300 and after a valet and basic service it should make £995 new year week in Autotrader) and a 200SX on which I put a new clutch and turbo - these still have quite a following.
For business travel I used rental cars (have a contract with Enterprise and very low rates) - get all sorts, Zafira's, BMW's, Merc, Vectra etc etc. Had a Focus Ghia last Wednesday.
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - sweetsusan
Hi there, just reading all messages concerning DSG gearboxes. I have a new VW eos with a DSG gearbox. I was concerned that when on a hill even a slight one I need to use the handbrake to stop rolling back when in Drive. I have never had this with previous automatic cars. Spoke to VW and they said this is an aspect of DSG and you just have do get used to it.
Is this true or are they just fobbing me off.
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - daveyjp
It's true, but it's a good feature as it makes you use the handbrake, DSG is not the same as a conventional automatic.

Holding it in D on hills without using the handbrake wrecks the clutch. It's also good practice with DSG to use the handbrake and put it in neutral when sat at lights etc.

Also regarding your EOS only operate the roof when the car is on a level surface. Open or close it on a slope and you may cause a bad fit and end up with water getting in the car.

Edited by daveyjp on 12/12/2007 at 13:44

VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - runboy
My Octavia with DSG has hill hold - when on a hill you keep the car in D and your foot on the brake. When you take your foot off the brake the car still holds and releases when you press the accelerator or after a 2 or 3 seconds. I think you neep a fairly high spec car to get it, possibly as part of the ESP package - not sure how this works with the VW model specs.
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - carbike
Ace stuff Aprillia - thanks
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - sweetsusan
thanks for your help. I won't rant and rave at dealers now.
I have ESP and I did not seem to roll back while this was on.
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - Mick H
Think very carefully about buying a car with this gearbox!!
My company A3 20TDi had just reached 102k when the gearbox decided to explode internally blowing a hole out of the side of it.
Audi are denieing any liabilty and are refusing to offer any monies (not even discount on parts!!!)
Problem was reported with acceleration at 91k but nothing was found which I have explained to Audi but still they will not make any offer.
My company is now left with a bill of £3600 to replace the gearbox.
Very disapointed with Audi
Purchase at your peril!!!
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - Statistical outlier
102k is well outside the warranty period. It's a bit disappointing that they won't help at all, but it's not like it failed just after it expired..
VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - Dougall
The only problems I have encountered are wrong gear selection on crawl, thus an abrupt jerk when accelerating away.

Another fault is the lag at junctions & rounderbouts. I have overcome this by braking with
my left foot & slightly keeping up the revs

Edited by DOUGALL on 31/10/2009 at 15:16

VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - dieseldogg

(i) Per the comment somewhere above the only issue I/we have with the dry 7 speed DSG is low speed manouvering on a slope.

If attempting to squeeze out of a tight parking space at low revs, the car starts to creep, just enough to disengage the hill-holder function, then quite without warning runs back (or forward, depending)

This whilst one keeps the throttle depressed.

One can then try again (having pulled on the hanbrake) for this behavouir to repeat.

And ditto again.

If on say the third "run back" one keeps ones foot absolutly stationary on the throttle and stops the car with the hand-brake. Then still keeping ones foot steady on the throttle, with the car holding steady unlaboured tick-over revs only.

Slip from drive into neutral and the revs will rise to 2250/2500...................all without ever moving ones throttle foot.

Ergo the transmission software is over-riding the throttle input.

I reckon this to be a software "glitch" but have failed to convince Skoda UK of this.

This after they replaced 2 No mechatronic units, a clutch pack, then in desperation the complete gearbox unit.

To cure this, in their words, this "dangerous fault", the first time around.

I had however rationalized, prior to purchase btw, that by the time our car was out of warrenty, there would be sufficient independant's with sufficient acquired DSG knowledge to effect an affordable repair.

btw the comment re tractor transmissions was spot on

tractor transmissions ARE much more complex and with far heavier and varing demands that car transmissions.

this could be why tractors cost from 30K up to 125K

also btw £1,000.00 service bills are not uncommon for modern tractors.

Edited by dieseldogg on 28/12/2012 at 08:49

VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - dieseldogg

Hi, again,

I have picked up a few mentions on the internet about DSG problems in China and indeed Europe.

Can or would anyone like to enlighten me furthur?

Since yesterday at lunchtime I had the same old/same old = running back in neutral, when attempting to drive forward as I manouvered out of a tight parking space.

I required to use the handbrake and more revs than needed to complete the manouver as I could not trust the hillholder function in conjunction with this operating anomoly.



VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - TeeCee

>> DSG problems in China

IIRC, VW have recalled a load and extended DSG warranty there, which is why it's a hot topic.

But then, in that part of the world, they are still building the brand and cannot rely on idiot sheep buying a VW "because it's reliable".

Interesting that they show no sign of following suit in Europe. If you are European and considering buying a Volkswagen, just remember that they care far more about their Chinese customers than they do about you.

VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - daveyK_UK


The DSG is a time-bomb.

How do VW have a reputation for reliability?

Edited by daveyK_UK on 11/05/2013 at 21:41

VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - madf

How do VW have a reputation for reliability?

Past glories, journalists and advertising to people who are credulous and do no research and therefore deserve all they get.

VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - xmasbread

Perhaps I could make "... an informed opinion on reliability" of the DSG Gearbox.

My 2004 1.9 litre diesel Golf SE had covered 91,000 miles in 9 years, had been meticulously maintained by the dealership from which it was purchased, and so carefully driven that it was still on its original brake pads.

Yet, two months ago the DSG gearbox failed and I was presented with a quote of £4,500 for repair/replacement. After research I discovered that there were no other options, the gearbox being so complex there are no "independent" sources.

As the car had a market value, assuming it to be fully functional, of only £3-3,500 it was written off for £1,000 (spares for a friends identical car), and replaced with a small Ford - manual gearbox.

VAG DSG Gearbox reliability - Avant

I'm a VAG fan and have just ordered another Octavia vRS estate - my third. The current one has DSG and it's been faultless.

BUT - I've had it from new (March 2011), and my next car I may need to keep for longer as I'm about to retire. So it's going to be a manual.


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