How Are The DSG Trannies Working Out?

TerribleTDI

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Location
Troutdale, OR
TDI
06 VW Jetta TDi, DSG, PKG 1, North Sea Green
I'm absolutely loving mine, but only have about 2800 miles thus far. No way could you pry the DSG from my hands now...no stick for me thanks. Might want to consider making this a survey.
 

Tin Man

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2001
Location
Coastal Empire
TDI
Daughter's: 2004 NB TDI PD GLS DSG (gone to pasture)
Excellent transmission. A derivative of an Audi racing transmission, I hear. Latest article on Audi A3 with DSG in Autoweek has nothing but praise.

Is it enough to part with $1000? Only if you need an automatic. The manual version is also excellent and still gets about 2 mpg better than the DSG in some tests. Our 2002 TDI still has the original brake pads and clutch after 120,000 miles.

TM
 

jdboone

Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2005
Location
Rockford, Illinois
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI - Blue Graphite/Anthracite - Pkg II - DSG; 2006 NB TDI - Gecko Green/Anthracite - Pkg I - DSG; 2014 Passat TDI SEL - Black/Titan Black - DSG
Two new DSGs - err, make that three....

I have two DSGs in '06 vehicles. Sad to say they have not been problem free... :(

My wife brought her NB home on Friday, January 27th. Started a new job on the following Monday with a 55 mile commute on I-90. Got about2 miles on the tolway and the car made a lot of noise near the front wheels and ground to a halt. She was able to just get in to the left lane and off on the shoulder. Had put a little over a hundred miles on the car -- most of them on the trip home from the dealer in Madison, WI.

My wife was late to her new job, the car was hauled to the local VW dealer and - long story short - some 10 days later, had a new transmission and a new left front axle. I was told the bolts on the tripod (was told this is the axle or a part thereof) were not torqued correctly and the whole thing came apart, apparently resulting in failure of the transmission.

This was costly for VW -- I was told the repair (at warranty rates) was over $5,000.00. Almost one-quarter the cost of the car!

My wife was lucky. I can imagine any number of senarios where this failure could have ended in a serious accident. As it was, I was not happy with her being stranded on the side of one of the busiest highways around here.

Maybe the worst of it is that I had been hyping this transmission to her in the three months I had the Jetta before she got the NB. This would have to be the thing to fail... And now, she is rather distrustful of the whole car. Can't really blame her although I try to reassure her this was a fluke. She is not too hot on VW right now (I had unrelated problems with my Jetta from the day it was picked up at the same dealer -- ultimately fixed after a couple trips to the shop and replacement of the engine control module. The kicker was that VW sent me a Starbucks card, then a voucher for a domestic flight, then a voucher for a European flight. She got just the Starbucks card... felt kind of insulted considering the discrepancies in the problems with our two cars.:mad: )

Anyway, back to the DSG -- I have had the chance to compare the performance of the two transmissions now for about three weeks. Can't put my finger on exactly what is different about the transmission in the Jetta, but it simply is not as sharp/crisp when shifting, especially from 1st to 2nd, and to a lesser degree, 2nd to 3rd. It also seems to have slipped the clutch a couple times in my parking lot after backing out of the stall and shifting into drive. I probably would not suspect that anything iss amiss if I couldn't get into another new car with the same engine and transmission and actuall feel the difference myself.

I asked the service technician who handled the transmission replacement in the NB about adjustments to the Jetta transmission to "crisp-up" the shifting and he told me there were no adjustments -- the car would learn my driving style and self-adjust and that VW designed the transmission to eliminate such dealer adjustments. Although he started to tell me nothing was wron, I think he thought about what we had just gone through with the NB and instead told me to stop by when the transmission mechanic was in the shop and he go for a drive with me. Haven't had a chance to do so yet, but I will try to find the time in the next couple of weeks.

All this really makes me wonder what is in store for these transmissions for the next hundred to hundred-fifty thousand miles, especially after the VW warranty is up (which will come pretty quickly on the NB with a 115 mile daily commute
).

Sorry for the long post. Interested to hear what other DSG owners are experiencing.

Dan
 

Pelican18TQA4

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2002
Location
Philadelphia, PA
TDI
'13 Jetta Hybrid
Just about 20,000 miles on my DSG (about 18,000 miles with Rocketchip Stage 1) and I've never had any problems and shifts are just a quick and smooth as when new. Definitely recommended in my book!
 

jasonTDI

TDI GURU Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Apr 26, 2001
Location
Oregon, WI
TDI
04', 05', 06' TDI's. Audi SQ5, RAM Rebel
Dan if you need anything in the future please feel free to contact me. You have a ton of warranty left but if the car throws a light in Mad town on your wife feel free to contact me and I can pull the code for you N/C. Don't get me going on Zimbrick service.....Lee sell you the cars?
 

jdboone

Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2005
Location
Rockford, Illinois
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI - Blue Graphite/Anthracite - Pkg II - DSG; 2006 NB TDI - Gecko Green/Anthracite - Pkg I - DSG; 2014 Passat TDI SEL - Black/Titan Black - DSG
Hi jason. Nice to finally talk to you. There are a lot of people in these forums who think highly of you and your work. Your kind offer to help my wife is in keeping with your reputation and I appreciate it. Probably won't have to trouble you as her commute takes her the other direction(Schaumburg), but I'll rest easier knowing you are there if needed. And after the warranty is up on the NB, I'm sure well have a chance to get together....

Lee did sell me both cars. I can't say anything about the service department at Zimbrick yet since everything done to both cars so far was done at Bachrodt in Rockford (except the 5,000 mi oil change on the Jetta which was on Zimbrick's dime).

I'm going to guess the DSGs are out of the scope of your involvement with these cars? What do you know/think of them?

Dan
 

DeafBug

Gone but Never Forgotten: Requiescat In Pace
Joined
Sep 22, 2000
Location
Twin Cities in MN
TDI
2001 NB
Dan,

Sorry about your problems. Since you haven't been on this forum for a long time, let me tell you something. I learned from the old farts here (if you go back several years and read the posts) that VW trannys are rock solid and will live for quite a long time. If not, they become short lived. My TDI had the tranny fluid changed two years ago by me and I found no metal shavings in the pan when I pulled it out to change the filter. I have abused the tranny so much when the car was low mileage. I did this intentionally as I wanted to see if my tranny is short or long life. So with almost 120K miles, I say it has to be long life. If my tranny happens to be short life, it would have been replaced under warranty. Now I don't quite abuse it the same way anymore. I still drive hard only on highway speeds.

Now that you have a new tranny and all, enjoy it. BTW, it makes me wonder how you got that loose bolt. If Beetles were assembled in Mexico, no wonder.
 

jasonTDI

TDI GURU Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Apr 26, 2001
Location
Oregon, WI
TDI
04', 05', 06' TDI's. Audi SQ5, RAM Rebel
Brad that's a pretty poor statement about the Mexican plant. They have a very good build quality compared to the rest of VW. They worked hard to get that and they are keeping it. Also the DSG is completely different than your automatic. Not even the same animal so no comparison.

Dan, The trans is out of my scope a bit yet as I have not worked on one but I do have the full technical schematics for it. I'd stay with service in your area as Z service isn't too hot. Most of their techs are students yet. Great sales and parts dept though. I'd highly recommend fluid changes on the transmission at least every 50K miles and 30K would be better especially for the first one since there is a quite a bit of break-in junk.
 

DeafBug

Gone but Never Forgotten: Requiescat In Pace
Joined
Sep 22, 2000
Location
Twin Cities in MN
TDI
2001 NB
I know my tranny is different but still it shows what VW engineering can do. As for the mexican plant, I did recall that people here a few years ago, were trying to get TDIs that were assembled in Germany as they don't want the ones in Mexico. Now that I read it again, yeah pretty poor comment. (Blaming myself for having 4 hours of sleep last night.)
 

Pelican18TQA4

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2002
Location
Philadelphia, PA
TDI
'13 Jetta Hybrid
jasonTDI said:
Brad that's a pretty poor statement about the Mexican plant. They have a very good build quality compared to the rest of VW. They worked hard to get that and they are keeping it. Also the DSG is completely different than your automatic. Not even the same animal so no comparison.

Dan, The trans is out of my scope a bit yet as I have not worked on one but I do have the full technical schematics for it. I'd stay with service in your area as Z service isn't too hot. Most of their techs are students yet. Great sales and parts dept though. I'd highly recommend fluid changes on the transmission at least every 50K miles and 30K would be better especially for the first one since there is a quite a bit of break-in junk.
The factory service interval on the DSG is every 40,000 miles. It's comprised of a fluid/filter change.
 

jasonTDI

TDI GURU Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Apr 26, 2001
Location
Oregon, WI
TDI
04', 05', 06' TDI's. Audi SQ5, RAM Rebel
Pelican18TQA4 said:
The factory service interval on the DSG is every 40,000 miles. It's comprised of a fluid/filter change.

Good to know.

Brad. I know you didn't mena it that way, just came out that way. We're cool.
 

Rodinal220

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 1, 2006
Location
USA
TDI
2006 NB TDI-PD Dsg,Option #1,Harvest Moon Beige/Cream Leatherette
New TDI owner,2006 NB Dsg.I have 753 miles on the Dsg tranny and so far I like it.The shifts have been smooth and responsive,cant say that for the fuel guage(stopped working after two days):( .Ill report more as I put more miles on,as this is my sales car it shouldnt take long.
 

Dunno513

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Location
Mirror Lake, NH
TDI
2006 NB PD-TDI DSG
I love the DSG for the fact that it's an auto that is almost as fuel efficient as a manual

It's smooth, but has some drawbacks from an Auto with a TC.
For one, It can be jerky since in essence it's a manual with a computer controlled clutch. Especially at slow speeds. Shifts between gears is smooth, but stop go traffic can get tiresome.

Secondly, it would seem that the maintenance on these "NEW" toys is a bit steeper than on the ol auto trannys. 3-4 X as much. :(

I will definately be doing some manual hunting to see if I can tackle it myself with little effort.

I really hope someone posts some pictures of the oil change procedure soon. I have been patiently waiting, but no one seems to be camera happy yet. Good thing I'm only at 7k.

So far, no problems and no complaints about it's operation. It did take some getting used to like on starts, and using the tiptronic feature on downshifts. (Almost seems like it goes into freewheel for a second when you downshift on a steep hill w/out being on the brake) Kind of a wierd feeling, thinking you will slow, but actually speed up for a sec..:eek:
 
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Capture1

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2004
Location
Ocoee TN, USA
TDI
2004 Beetle Yellow
I have 65,500 on the dial of my 04 PD Beetle that has the 6 speed DSG transmission. So far, it has been great other than the noted slow speed shifting.

I will also say that the maintenance, as noted at every 40,000 miles, is rather HIGH. I did not change it myself since I needed it done in a hurry. The price tag was $393.00 and some change. Parts alone was $225 and some change. The fluid is PRICEY.

I had a local shop change it instead of the dealer but the dealer price was this amount or more. The dealer gave me ballpark pricing while the local shop gave me written estimate.
 

Rodinal220

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 1, 2006
Location
USA
TDI
2006 NB TDI-PD Dsg,Option #1,Harvest Moon Beige/Cream Leatherette
Follow up:Im at 10k today and the DSG is going strong.No issues so far and I love this tranny so far.:)
 

Tin Man

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2001
Location
Coastal Empire
TDI
Daughter's: 2004 NB TDI PD GLS DSG (gone to pasture)
The 2004 NB PD came with the first DSG to the US market. So far so good at around 78,000 miles w/factory spec maintenance..
 

SyncroHead

Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2013
Location
Southern California
TDI
2004 Beetle GLS TDI, 2015 Golf SportWagen S TDI, 2015 Passat SE TDI
Any long-term updates on the reliability of the early DSG transmissions?

I'm considering purchase of a 2004 - 2005-ish New Beetle for my daughter who's definitely opposed to manual transmission. I've heard the horror stories about the earlier auto transmissions in MK4's but know the DSG is no relation to them. But, having no relation doesn't necessarily make it better.

So, how are your 2004 - 2006 DSGs doing after 100,000 - 200,000 miles?

Jim
(Love my 2013 Passat TDI with DSG at 25K miles)
 

Pelican18TQA4

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2002
Location
Philadelphia, PA
TDI
'13 Jetta Hybrid
Any long-term updates on the reliability of the early DSG transmissions?

I'm considering purchase of a 2004 - 2005-ish New Beetle for my daughter who's definitely opposed to manual transmission. I've heard the horror stories about the earlier auto transmissions in MK4's but know the DSG is no relation to them. But, having no relation doesn't necessarily make it better.

So, how are your 2004 - 2006 DSGs doing after 100,000 - 200,000 miles?

Jim
(Love my 2013 Passat TDI with DSG at 25K miles)
Just FYI the first U.S. VWs to get the DSG were the '05 New Beetle TDIs. Then the Jetta followed when the MkV cars were introduced as '05.5 cars. If you're looking at a 2004, it's got the older torque converter auto.
 

SyncroHead

Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2013
Location
Southern California
TDI
2004 Beetle GLS TDI, 2015 Golf SportWagen S TDI, 2015 Passat SE TDI
Thanks for the correction! I thought I'd read that 2004 Beetles had the DSG, but must be mistaken. I'll need to refocus to considering 2005-2006 New Beetles, knowing the 2004 were in the earlier transmission type.

So... long-term experience with 2005-2006 DSGs?

Jim
 

puntmeister

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2013
Location
Arizona
TDI
2004 Jetta BEW
Since the DSG is essentially a manual transmission, which is mechanically shifted, what's the deal with it needing such expensive oil, and frequent changes?

The manuals can go for 200,000+ miles, with no change in oil.....if one is a notch anal, like me, they change the oil - at a cost of about $18.

I mean - I do get that the DSG, due to mechanical shifitng, is much more complex - but still, the gears themselves should be relatively similar.
 

SyncroHead

Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2013
Location
Southern California
TDI
2004 Beetle GLS TDI, 2015 Golf SportWagen S TDI, 2015 Passat SE TDI
From what I understand, the dual, coaxial clutches are not much like a typical clutch, but pretty specialized units. At lease in this generation of DSGs, they operate in a fluid environment, not air like a traditional manual. I think it's this difference that requires the oh-so-special DSG fluid.

Also, I read that New Beetle TDIs were available in the USA in 2004, so my request for feedback on the DSG reliability might start in 2004 or 2005, depending on which vehicle model & engine one has.

Jim
 

Pelican18TQA4

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2002
Location
Philadelphia, PA
TDI
'13 Jetta Hybrid
Since the DSG is essentially a manual transmission, which is mechanically shifted, what's the deal with it needing such expensive oil, and frequent changes?

The manuals can go for 200,000+ miles, with no change in oil.....if one is a notch anal, like me, they change the oil - at a cost of about $18.

I mean - I do get that the DSG, due to mechanical shifitng, is much more complex - but still, the gears themselves should be relatively similar.
Unlike a typical manual transmission, the clutches in the DSG are wet clutches. Meaning, they are bathed in oil and the oil is designed to wear rather than the clutches. Also, the same fluid lubricates and cools the entire transmission.

From what I understand, the dual, coaxial clutches are not much like a typical clutch, but pretty specialized units. At lease in this generation of DSGs, they operate in a fluid environment, not air like a traditional manual. I think it's this difference that requires the oh-so-special DSG fluid.

Also, I read that New Beetle TDIs were available in the USA in 2004, so my request for feedback on the DSG reliability might start in 2004 or 2005, depending on which vehicle model & engine one has.

Jim
The New Beetle TDI was available just about since the beginning in the late-90s with the ALH engine and either a 5-speed manual or the old 4-speed slushbox. 2004 introduced the BEW engine (Pumpe-Duse [PD]). And I think you're right, when the PD100 came onboard, so did the DSG, which means the 2004 did have the DSG. The New Beetle moved to its second generation in 2006 with carryover PD100 and DSG through the end of that model year when the TDI was discontinued (for emissions reasons) until it was reintroduced with the third (and current) generation car.
 

joep1234

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Location
NC
TDI
former '04 Beetle TDI, now 2x '15 Audi Q5 TDI's, 2007 Dodge Ram 4x4 6.7
I have an '04 Beetle with the BEW engine and a DSG trans. I bought it with a bad trans last year not knowing what a DSG was. The mechtronic unit was bad and no one could get me a new one. I ended up putting a new DSG trans in with new axles for $4800. I have put 12k miles on it this year and love it. The shifts are sometimes quirky but it really shifts fast and solid.
 
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