November 4

2003 Audi A4 – Transmission Control Unit

Auto Repair, Audi


Today’s featured repair is replacement of the Transmission Control Unit on a 2003 Audi A4 Convertible, brought to us by a client from Killarney, Vancouver.

Audi A4
2003 Audi A4 Convertible


Hot on the heels of our last post where we featured an Audi that was inexpensive to repair we encountered the exact opposite: an Audi with an expensive repair.

Our featured vehicle was towed to our shop as it was pretty much undriveable. During our diagnostic we retrieved several trouble codes that were associated with a communication error to the transmission control unit. We proceeded to thoroughly test all related circuits and components where we found the control unit to be faulty.

Control units for any vehicle are generally expensive but this one was very pricey at over $2200.00! Adding to the repair cost was diagnostic labour, remove and install labour along with expensive transmission fluid, several gaskets, seals and bolts (and taxes as well). Its the sort of repair where you wish that you weren’t driving an Audi.

After the work was completed the car ran great and functioned as it was meant to. In defense of the repair this vehicle is 11 years old and the replaced part should last equally as long, or hopefully longer if  some updates were made to the part.

In criticism of Audi, and other European cars, failures of these very expensive electronic components are more frequent than in Japanese and American cars.

This vehicle is equipped with a CVT or Continuously Variable Transmission. This type of transmission has become increasingly popular in the past decade. Unfortunately many manufacturers have had problems with them. Nissan certainly comes to mind; and they have extended their warranty to 10 years for most CVT failures. Audi has had a great number of failures with their CVT units as well and has dealt with a class action law suit in the US.

So while we previously busted the myth that Audi’s are expensive to fix in our last post we now find that many times Audi’s (and German cars) live up to their reputation as being very expensive to fix.

For more about CVT transmissions click this link

For move about the class action lawsuit against Audi regarding their CVT transmissions click here

Audi A4
Transmission Control Unit ready to install in 2003 Audi A4 with CVT transmission. It’s hard to believe that this part costs over $2200. just by looking at it.


About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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