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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, is anyone experiencing their SQ5 gearbox struggling to go into 8th gear when cold. I've noticed when engine/ gearbox is cold(and in my area we haven't hit below zero degrees yet) it doesn't want to go into top gear until at least a couple of miles. It's like the gearbox oil needs to warm up a bit first, (drove a few trucks in my time and some of them can be difficult to get into gear until gearbox warms up)

Tried it in both auto and efficiency modes so far and it won't shift into top it stays in 7th. I used the paddles to move it to 8th it showed it was in 8th gear on the screen but I knew it wasn't, didn't feel the change and due to to rev counter being over 2000 RPM, it does go in eventually. Then once the engine as done two mile or so it goes in the problem.

Just wondered if anyone else as experienced this, or could it be a trip to the dealers.

Thanks.
 

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Well...
Mine did a funny thing the other morning RE 8th, I didn't think much of it but I think you saying it wasn't in 8th, it was, but the lockup clutch was not engaged.

Quick torque converter auto lesson...
There is a fluid coupling allowing the input/output to go at different speeds, hence why you can stay in gear when stationary, the engine is spinning an impeller which spins some oil, where there is another impeller attached to the drive shaft (that is held still by the brakes). This of course is massively inefficient and so modern autos have a lockup clutch which effectively makes this fluid coupling solid when engaged - the 8 speed ZF is NORMALLY very quick to engage this immediately after every gear shift and that is one of the reasons this box is so efficient despite being an auto.

When it is engaged, revs are directly proportional to wheel speed, so if you mash the throttle (and stay in the same gear) the revs build in proportion to road speed.
When it is disengaged you can blip the throttle and the revs will go up ~1500rpm but not a lot will happen to the roadspeed as all you are doing is spinning the oil and it hasn't transferred its torque to the drive shaft (this is why it is called a torque converter). This is how an older auto with no lockup clutch behaves all the time and is why they are so inefficient compared to manuals as you are losing a load of power in the fluid coupling.

Now what I experienced the other morning within the first 1/2 mile and the first time I reached 60mph, I noticed the revs were ~2k in 8th, whereas normally this gear/rev combo is 80mph. I lifted off and the revs dropped to almost idle, I immediately realised the lock up clutch was not engaged. I, as described above, could modulate the revs between 1-2.5k and nothing would really happen in terms of acceleration (if you kept your foot in it would of course go like stink still). After 10-15 seconds it suddenly decided to engage it and it fixed the revs at ~1.2k as you expect in 8th/60mph.

So as you say, maybe it has to warm up before using certain gears and indeed maybe the lockup clutch as well...

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply Jose and the lesson, must admit don't know a lot about engines or gearboxes. I'll keep monitoring it for the moment, but it def felt not right.

When it did go into 8th it went in with a bit of a lurch, and this isn't the first time, I'm wondering what it will be like when we really have some cold weather.
 

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I'm also keeping an eye for another similar issue. My car is in next week for a couple of other bits, if it does it again before then I'll mention it to them.

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That does not sound good. I was on the motorway on Friday and had no issues with changing up to 8th gear.
 

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I've not noticed any issues, but will keep a lookout. What else is your machine in for Jose - anything we should be aware of?
 

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Start/stop kicking in too early (when you crawl at 0.5 mph).
And a clunk with righthand hard down in reverse - probably heat shield or a duff shock as other have had.

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Start/stop kicking in too early (when you crawl at 0.5 mph).
And a clunk with righthand hard down in reverse - probably heat shield or a duff shock as other have had.

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Mine also has that clunk when reversing off the drive, righthand hard! It shudders through the car at least once and sometimes twice. Im not so sure its not something to do with the brake. What i do know is it only does it when the cars been standing i.e. Cold
 

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I also have noted that the car wont change up to 8th when its cold but dont think it unusual. It doesn't effect the drive or performance
 

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I also have noted that the car wont change up to 8th when its cold but dont think it unusual. It doesn't effect the drive or performance
Correction it changes into 8th on the first stretch of road that allows it to get into top gear (1.6 miles in fact)
 

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Tried this morning as it was freezing and my car slept outside and indeed, the first few miles he didn't even shifted beyond 6th gear.

Another reason why we should be careful driving the car the first few miles
 

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Sometimes in cold temperature and after a stop of many hours, my second gear it's a little stuck in the first km's. It's a manual gearbox.
 

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Quick update...

My car is at the dealers now, they have checked it over and confirmed the lockup clutch not engaging is normal until the gearbox oil has heated up (as I suspected).
 

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Hi

I had a similar problem with my SQ5 gearbox and have sent the car back to the dealers twice now as I wouldn't accept that this was just a trait of the car the first time. I've just got my car back tonight after three days at the dealer and Audi have given them some advice on how to fix the problem. They have remapped the gearbox software and my initial impressions are that there's been a massive improvement in the responsiveness of the gearbox which also seems to be much smoother. It no longer seems to slip and rev excessively between gears so I am hopeful that the issue is now fixed. I'll only know for sure whether the fix has completely resolved the issue with the gears slipping when the gearbox is really cold but I'm still impressed with the improvements from the latest software anyway.

Regards
Jimbo
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That's good to hear Jimbo. Mine still likes to lurch sometimes into the next gear especially in the lower ones and still doesnt like 8th until its warm. Once it's warmed up it's fine.
Can't comment on a really cold morning - not had one yet, but still think its not right, so when I get some free time will let the dealer have a look.
 

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Jimbo, can you try to get the Audi code for this software update please; that helps a lot when presenting to the dealer

I still witness the reluctant gearbox when cold during 2-3 miles, after that it works fine

Also, when I have preheated the car with the optional webasto, the gearbox seems to be heated a little and works fine from the first second
 

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I have another quick update regarding the gearbox on my SQ5. Although on my last post I reported that the gearbox was much improved after the software update, I can confirm the issues with slipping when cold haven't changed. The only improvements are in the overall smoothness of changes and speed of changes.

I am still pushing the dealer and Audi UK who both believe the slipping issue is a trait of the car. I am sure that at some point Audi will finally acknowledge that this is an issue and come up with a fix. I have also had a problem with a creaking passenger seat which has been into the dealers twice for a new seat frame and runners but Audi have now confirmed that a new design of runner is available which should fix the problem. Hopefully I will soon have similar news on the gearbox and either another software update or new designed part will become available to sort the problem once and for all.

Does anyone know what the optional webasto is which is referred to earlier?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Jimbo but I think a webasto is a pre heating system that you can set to warm the car up prior to getting into it.
Not an option available to cars here in the UK. Robin T has it on he's SQ but he's in Belgium where it can be ordered as an optional extra.

Keep us posted on the gearbox please.
 

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I decided to bypass the dealer and Audi UK and speak to the manufacturer of the gearbox directly. Initially I contacted ZF in Germany but then found out there's a technical support team in the UK. As the car is still Audi's responsibility ZF couldn't really get too involved, however, they were able to provide some useful feedback. After checking with a colleague the person I spoke to emailed me to confirm the following...

"Following our conversation earlier I have spoken with a colleague of mine regarding the warm up phase of the 8 speed automatic transmission. The lock up clutch in the converter isn't activated until the gearbox oil reaches a certain temperature. This can give the impression of slip when the transmission when cold. It is normal and doesn't affect the function."

Although I would obviously prefer that the transmission didn't behave like this when cold, I am at least now reassured that nothing is faulty. I just wish the car could have been supplied with a dual clutch transmission like on the new Porsche Macan or regular Q5's.

Regards
Jimbo
 

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Quick update...

My car is at the dealers now, they have checked it over and confirmed the lockup clutch not engaging is normal until the gearbox oil has heated up (as I suspected).
To answer the dual clutch question - good luck finding one at than take 650nm of torque and doesn't add £10k to the price of the car at the same time...
The 8ZF is actually a better box than the stronic in many ways anyway...
 
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