Audi RS4

The Symptoms of CVT Problems in an Audi


By Bavarian Performance Specialists June 23, 2018

Transmission problems are the source of great stress for many drivers. However, if you drive an Audi with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), then your transmission problems might be a little different from those of other cars. In this article, we’ll go over how the CVT works, what the signs of issues are, and what you can do to address the problem adequately.

What is a Continuously Variable Transmission and How Does it Work?

Over the past few decades, regulatory standards for vehicle emissions and fuel economy have been getting stricter and stricter. With these more intense regulations, vehicle engineering and production for most manufacturers has focused on implementing different techniques to better enhance fuel economy and emissions in their vehicles. The continuously variable transmission, or CVT, is one solution that manufacturers, including Audi, have used as the standard transmission in many of their vehicles. So, how does it work?

In the Audi A4, A5 and A6, CVTs have afforded drivers better fuel efficiency and lower emissions through their efficient design. A CVT isn’t like a regular automatic transmission; though designs differ among manufacturers, it works by utilizing a system of two pulleys that are joined by a belt. One pulley is stationary while the other moves with the help of the hydraulic cylinder, which ultimately shifts the gear ratio eliminating the clunky steps between normal gear shifting. This is a more seamless transmission option that simultaneously maximizes engine power and fuel efficiency.

Symptoms of Malfunction to Look Out For

Though Audi cars are generally reliable and consistent across time, as you can imagine, like any other transmission if the CVT begins acting up it can cause serious performance problems in your Audi. It is critical to pay attention to how your car is behaving so that you can communicate the exact symptoms to your trusted Audi specialist for a more accurate diagnosis. Furthermore, the symptoms of CVT problems can look like those of other origin issues in your car; it is important to have your Audi specialist perform a differential diagnosis to rule-out other possible sources of the troubling symptoms.

Rough Running Conditions

Normally Audi vehicles are known for their smooth rides and luxurious comfort; when the CVT encounters issues, it is common to experience rough running conditions such as intense vibration, overall vehicle shaking, or even bucking when traveling at higher speeds. This is concerning and dangerous and should be checked out right away.

Slipping Transmission

It is a common symptom of transmission issues to experience slipping. Transmission slipping occurs when the RPMs go way up, but the car doesn’t exert the power it’s generating.

Fluid Leaks

Fluid leaks can occur in any transmission variation, and the transmission fluid is critical for optimal running. There are over a dozen different seals and valves in the CVT that can potentially leak transmission fluid, and it’s important that leaks get taken care of right away.

Hesitation Upon Gear Shifting

Depending on where in the transmission the problem is originating, it is also common for drivers to experience delayed gear shifting in their Audi vehicles with CVTs. The problem is usually related to a fluid leak or loose connecting belt.

Burnt Odor Coming from Engine

Another common CVT issue in Audi cars is overheating and fluid leaks, both of which can cause a burning smell to emanate from the car. When the transmission fluid leaks into the exhaust, it can cause serious issues and should be repaired immediately to avoid further damage.

Why Hiring an Audi Specialist is Important

While CVT issues aren’t unique to Audi cars, several Audi models are equipped with continuously variable transmissions; this means that any automotive shop that performs maintenance or repairs on your car should have extensive knowledge of Audi vehicles as well as CVTs, including their common issues and how to fix them. Hiring an Audi specialist to handle your maintenance and repair work is the first step toward ensuring your vehicle’s longevity and reliability.

What We Can Do to Help You

Audi A6 Front The Audi experts here at Bavarian Performance Specialists serve a range of clients and Audi vehicles from the areas of Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills, Westlake, Malibu, and Newbury Park, CA. Since 1983, we’ve been Conejo Valley’s leading independent German auto repair shop; our honesty, integrity, and quality of work are what make us stand out from other shops and dealerships nearby. If you’ve experienced transmission problems in your Audi recently, please call us to schedule a diagnostic appointment or to learn more about our qualifications working with Audi vehicles.

* Audi RS4 image credit goes to: supergenijalac.

* Audi A6 Front image credit goes to: imranahmedsg.

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