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Audi A6, Sedan, Wagon
#1090 of 1402 1998 Audi A6 Quatro - tranmission problem
Jan 03, 2009 (4:15 pm)
We have a 1998 Audi A6 Quatro, it has 160,000 miles on it.
Problem: When the car is started and put into drive - it seems like it goes into gear, but doesn't. The car will free-wheel, but not kick into gear. It can be forced into "default" mode, and the transmission will go into 4th and then take off, but only in 4th.
Reverse is no problem.
Cannot find information to help troubleshoot this problem.
Question: Is the shifting of gears electronic, mechanical or both?
Could a bad wiring connection cause this problem?
#1091 of 1402 Re: Audi MMI failure [lisabrit]
Jan 07, 2009 (6:22 pm)
did you get a answer for the mmi system?
took my car to the dailer and he told me that it wasn't from coffee or anything else that spilled in the car,he said it was the (main control modgeul) in the back of the radio>!!!????
#1092 of 1402 Re: 1998 Audi A6 Quatro - tranmission problem [Brooksman]
Jan 10, 2009 (8:41 am)
Hi. read your post. My 1999 (160,000 miles) audi a6 quattro has similar problem. backs up no problem, no go in forward. I found a site indicating audi trans need fluid and filter changes 30,000 to 60,000 miles. (so I am 2 to 5 changes behind - was originally told trans fluid change was unnessary since there is no dipstick.) But there are drain / fill holes and screen in the auto trans pan. VW may have similar screen as audi. Please let me know what you have found. Thanks.
#1093 of 1402 Re: 1998 Audi A6 Quatro - tranmission problem [homeshop]
Jan 10, 2009 (1:13 pm)
We have been doing an is / is not process on the car. We haven't quite figured out what the problem is but we feel we are getting close. We do not feel it is an oil change issues as everyone seems to suggest. We believe it is an electronic issue with the transmission control module, solonoid or relay.
The thought behind this is, when we can get the car up to 5 miles an hour (rolling it down a hill), in tiptronic mode, the car will smoothly shift into first gear, and from there we can drive the car and shift from 1st - 5th and back without incident. When in 1st - it will stay locked in even when stopped. BUT, if we stop the car in 2nd, we are back to square one and the car will not shift into 1st.
Also, with the same start of rolling it down the hill, we can get it into "D" drive mode, and it is fine while in motion, but will go back to doing nothing when we come to a complete stop.
See if this works for you. If you find the same results let us know, maybe between the two of us we can get these cars to work.
#1094 of 1402 Re: transmission? [biglio]
Jan 14, 2009 (9:20 am)
I was driving my son to school this morning when the car just stopped going in forward. No gear would work. It would allow me reverse, and I drove back home in reverse. It will go forward at a snails pace, like it is straining.
Was this what happened to you?
Was it your transmission?
Did you have to have it replaced? Was it your fluid? Or I'm wondering if it will do this if the fluid is low or out? I have an 98 Audi A6 Quatro. It has over 200k miles. The engine was rebuilt at 100k.
3K to fix? Wow. I bought it for 3K from a dealer, it was a deal. I was very happy.
Any info is greatly appreciated!
#1095 of 1402 Re: Help! A6 transmission/power steering pump tale of woe [clueless3]
Jan 14, 2009 (9:41 am)
Same thing here with the door lock. I just use the trunk to open the car now. One turn to the left to lock and set the alarm, two turns to the right to unlock.
Windows have issues too, The passenger window won't roll up in humid weather or rain anymore without great physical assistance.
Not sure about my transmission now though. Today, it only goes in reverse. Just quit moving forward, except ultra slow. Bought the car for 3K. Totally can't afford a 3K fix!
#1096 of 1402 Re: transmission? [98AudiA6]
Jan 14, 2009 (11:20 am)
We may have the same transmission type. Mine is 5 speed auto 'tiptronic' - Audi installed over several years. There are two versions identified by a tag on the bell housing immediately behind the engine - hard to find and read. My story is similar, my spouse backed out of parking area, but needed a push to move forward. Parked the car in the garage and was able to back out but unable to drive away. The availability of reverse is probably know as 'fail safe mode'. The problem could be electrical sensors/switches, but probably an internal mechanical problem. If you are able to slide below the car and loosen a 'fill hole' nut and sample the fluid, you may do some investigative work. If you find fluid dark and smelly - internal problem, if fluid is light colored and low smell - something else - possibly electrical and external and lower cost.
I checked with local transmission repair and depending on problem cost between $100 (doubt it) to replace a small component/adjust controlling computer, to around $3,000 to repair or pull/replace with used or remanufactured transmission. Both have limited warrantys. I called an Audi dealership. $6,800 to pull and replace with a new transmission. Good warranty, but no on sight repairs or lesser costs. At our Audi's ages, I can not see that money being well spent. Hope your problem is electrical - heck for that matter I hope our problem is electrical!
#1097 of 1402 Re: transmission? [homeshop]
Jan 14, 2009 (1:02 pm)
"The availability of reverse is probably know as 'fail safe mode'. The problem could be electrical sensors/switches, but probably an internal mechanical problem....if fluid is light colored and low smell - something else - possibly electrical and external and lower cost."
Wow! Thank you for all the info! I can only hope!!
I love the car but... There's no way I can do 3-6K fix. Esp when the car was 3K when I bought it last year.
I was told to tow it to a mechanic, have them check and maybe fill the tranny fluid to see if that was it. ? Then see if it'll drive. Then, I'll know more... When I asked, They said these do not have dipsticks for an under the hood layman checking. They have to be checked with some device at a certain temp.
I'm not sure I'm equipped to do the small check you mentioned.-? I'm an unmechanically inclined single mom, with nothing but a tire jack and screwdrivers, parked in 0º temp and more than a foot of snow! I tried to take the snow guard off once before, unsuccessfully. I think that may be in the way of this tranny fluid check too.
#1098 of 1402 Re: transmission? [98AudiA6]
Jan 14, 2009 (11:58 pm)
Well, after these posts, I sure hope it's electrical, since we surrendered to the "change the oil" gods, which were fickle and replied - go fish.
We've changed the transmission fluid, and still didn't correct the problem. We had issues with the "check engine" light, and among all of our tests, we found the battery needed to be replaced. We swapped it out with another one, and found the small wire on the plus side of the battery was corroded badly. We replaced the end, and reattached it. The check engine light hasn't come back on.
We found if you remove one of the wires on the air cleaner intake, it will make the transmission (in our case) go into fail safe mode. You can drive the car in 4th gear only - without having to making the trip in reverse.
This has become a major source of frustration, but we're still in the search and destroy mission to see if we can get this fixed without the major $$$ a new transmission would require or taking it into a shop to have someone say "it's only a loose wire".
We were able to do the transmission oil check and fluid change ourselves, but realize not everyone has the ability or the tools required to do so. We will continue to post our findings to assist others if this information is helpful as we have looked long and hard to find some sort of solution with little help and few results.
It seems shops have never heard of our problem, though through this site we realize it seems to occur and not an isolated issue.
Best of luck to everyone, and we will keep you posted on our results - hoping an answer will soon appear.
#1099 of 1402 Re: transmission? [Brooksman]
Jan 15, 2009 (12:28 am)
Just reread the previous post to ours. Something in common. During warm, or wet and rainy, or even cold weather this wasn't a problem. The transmission problems arose during a time of heavy snow and an inch of freezing rain. There was about a foot of snow on the ground, with a layer of ice halfway in between. The roads hadn't been plowed, sanded or salted - in other words - really rough. There were some areas where it seemed we needed 4-wheel drive to traverse where tire chains had made the road really rough (driving on bolders).
It would seem if the problem was the transmission, and 1st gear was gone, we shouldn't be able to get the car into 1st gear at all - regardless of what we do to the car or under any condition. We can get the car into 1st gear by pushing or rolling the car to reach a minimum speed of about 5 to 6 mph, at engine idle speed. In tiptronic mode we can run it up and down from 1st to 5th, no problem. If we stop with it locked into 1st gear, we are good to continue on, but if we stop with it in 2nd through 5th or in drive, it's back to no-go.
For as rough as the roads were, we are leaning towards thinking it is electrical, as if a wire or connection has come loose. Again, we will continue to post our findings, and hope it is helpful to others or maybe someone out there someplace has gone through the same situation and has a suggestion or two before we part the car out, spend $$$, or the guys with the white coats come and take us away.