DSG gearbox - Buy a used car with a DSG gearbox

DSG gearbox
DSG gearbox

DSG gearbox - Is it possible to buy a used car with a DSG gearbox and avoid the high costs of gearbox repairs? Yes, provided it has been repaired earlier

Can you buy a used car with a DSG gearbox and not lose property on its service? Yes, provided it has been repaired earlier

Introducing DSG Gearboxes in Volkswagen 2003 was a change in the field of automatic transmissions. In the end, it turns out that an automatic transmission car can be as dynamic as a manual transmission car and can even win in fuel economy. No wonder DSG has become the object of desire of many drivers. Today, the oldest used DSG gearboxes are 16 years old, so defects or costs of use can be clearly identified.

Manual transmission - DSG transmission

In the case of a manual transmission, its durability is greatly influenced by driving techniques, and is hardly affected by service. By working the clutch slightly and avoiding sudden changes in speed, failures of hundreds of thousands of kilometers are avoided. However, the need for regular oil change is already debatable here. In principle, this can have a negligible impact on the durability of the manual transmission, as manufacturers have not envisioned oil changes in many models.

The durability of a dual-clutch transmission looks completely different. Here, the gear shift is automatic, which basically makes the same speed, regardless of driving style. Only the number of changes can be different. The clutch is actuated by a computer controlled drive. In this case, maintenance has a significant impact on durability: regular oil and filter replacements are even a prerequisite for smooth operation of the DSG gearbox.

DSG gearbox
DSG gearbox

In the case of a manual transmission, the faults can be stretched over a long period of time. Much of it depends on the driving style of the previous owner, who is however unknown. Meanwhile, in the case of a DSG gearbox, the fault list is pretty clearly defined and roughly occurs at a similar moment, regardless of the driving technique.

In the order of 200-220 thousand km, it can withstand floating flywheel, wet clutches in DSG can last longer, but usually around 250-300,000 km and can then wear out. From 210-250 thousand. The so-called mechatronics or electro-hydraulic control unit starts to cause problems. This is rarely repaired, usually the smartest solution is to replace it with a new one.

The optimal solution

The probability of failure in the case of DSG gearboxes is quite high and based on experience it can be assumed that some defects will occur, but the question is only when. Usually in the range of about 50.000 km.

The worst possible situation is to buy a car with a DSG gearbox, and nothing has been repaired on the gearbox and everything causes damage to happen soon. So all the half-kilometers with a mileage of about 180-220 000 km are highly suspect.

The way to avoid a mistake is to simply choose a car with a documented repair. Once the transmission mechatronics have been corrected, at least the next 200 km should be used, so that the occurrence of an error is again considered unlikely. The same goes for a floating flywheel or clutch.

A dangerous moment in any car with a DSG transmission is a mileage of about 180 km to replace key components (floating flywheel, dual clutch, mechatronics). Then again, a period of relatively less expensive work begins (only oil changes every 000 km). Therefore, instead of looking for a low-mileage car, it is worth choosing one that already has a documented replacement for these elements.

Floating flywheel

Floating flywheel
Floating flywheel

Floating flywheel the first shows signs of wear and tear and this occurs after about 200 km.

Mechatronics (electro-hydraulic control module)

Mechatronics (electro-hydraulic control module) cancels in the range of about 210-250 thousand km, without fault of the driver. Theoretically, you can sometimes try to fix it, but in practice replacing it with new ones has produced better results.

Double clutch

A double clutch can withstand up to 250.000. km or slightly longer in wet DSG transmissions. While in the dry it can take less than 200.000 km.

Used cars with a documented DSG transmission repair should be selected. Since the problem in the case of DSG gearboxes is almost certain, it is worth focusing on looking for a used car with an already repaired gearbox, and not on the one with the lowest mileage. Choosing a car after the "big" repair of the DSG gearbox, we are sure that for the next 200 thousand. km This floor assembly should not require expensive repairs.

  • has the car documented that the oil changes from the DSG gearbox every 60.000 km to?
  • are there any invoices to replace the flywheel and clutch and mechatronics
  • check that the engine has not been chipped (increase in torque loading gearbox)
  • does the DSG transmission move smoothly and jerk when shifting (clutch and mechatronics)
  • no vibration when driving slowly

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