I own a 2006 Audi A3 2.0T with the DSG dual clutch gearbox. I really like the car, and my plan had been to keep it for a long time. As the original owner I’ve racked up nearly 125,000 miles. I’ve scrupulously kept up with the maintenance, and service on the car, though those 125,000 miles haven’t been exactly trouble-free.
While the car has generally been running well, there are storm clouds looming: The transmission is starting to misbehave a bit, and has slipped a couple of times in the past thousand miles. I’ve read that this could be symptomatic of issues with the mechatronic unit on the early Audi DSG transmissions, and that I should expect to pay anywhere from $3K-$5K to address this.
Given that the car is probably only worth $5K or so, should I ditch the car now before I have to do the transmission work? I’d rather not buy another car at the moment, as I don’t see any really interesting replacement for the A3 today (including the new A3).
Unlike last week’s Hybrid Lexus battery pack issue, there’s a good case to dump an 8-year-old DSG Audi for newer metal. And while this ride is one of the most well-rounded, thoughtfully designed vehicles on the market…it’ll need copious amounts of cash infused into the ownership experience. Relative to other sub-10 grand machines, that is!
Considering your fourth sentence, you already know this is coming. So here’s the rest of your justification, son.
Your ride is fodder for someone able to dedicate hours/days to fix Audis on the cheap, either for personal use or for resale. Think of a Steve Lang type with more interest in self torture. He/she can repair or replace DSG units for less than $3-5 large. Odds are they have a VAG-COM, too.
My advice? Get something (anything) else from Japan or the USA, as their parts/labor/quality is far more cost effective for a long term owner such as yourself. Or perhaps South Korea, as Mr. Schreyer has done quite the fantastic job adding teutonic flair to practical and fun(ish) Korean iron.
Quite frankly, I see you test driving a new KIA Soul and kinda totally loving it. And it’s gonna love you back for the next 10+ years.
Or start leasing Audis for short term pleasure. That’ll work too.
Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.