DSG gearbox common faults and repairs at CCM garages
DSG gearbox common faults and repairs at CCM garages

DSG Gearbox Problems & Common Faults

The DSG gearbox brings together the ease of an automatic gearbox with the simplicity of a manual gearbox BUT like all things mechanical they do have some problems and will need service and or repair sooner or later. Common issues you can expect to see include:

  • Bad gear selection/stuck in gear/no gear selection
  • Error messages on the dash
  • Vibration and knocking sensations
  • Worrying noises

All of these DSG issues are common or known faults to us here at CCM and sadly, will all lead to the eventual failure of the DSG gearbox or its functions. Don’t worry though, as everything is repairable.

Let’s break down the most common issues into two headlines groups and we’ll expand on each issue further down the page:

DSG Gearbox Issue 1 – Car Still Drives

If your car is still driveable then give us a call and book in for a diagnostic report. This will allow us to advise on the precise fault and provide you with a detailed repair cost. You can then leave your car with us and use a free courtesy car, or schedule a repair for the future.

DSG Gearbox Issue 2 – The Car Won’t Drive

Your car won’t move when put into gear or commonly won’t even select a gear so your car is stuck.

Get a recovery plan sorted to bring the car to us and if you need a loan car then grab a lift with the lorry and we will reserve a car for you. Once your car is with us, we can get stuck into the diagnosis and provide you with a quote for the work needed.

Give us a call to book an appraisal, or complete an online enquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we possibly can.

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Main Causes of DSG Issues

Major Cause No.1 –  DSG Clutch Issue

Your DSG gearbox has two clutch packs, one for the odd-numbered gears and one for the even-numbered gears. If either clutch pack fails or is worn you will have issues. Basically, just like a normal gearbox, you need a new clutch.

The problem is that these clutches are not quite as simple as a standard gearbox and require specialist equipment and knowledge to fit them. Plus specialist equipment to program and adapt the new clutch.

On smaller engine cars these DSG clutches are dry clutches with an estimated range of 60 – 70,000 miles. On larger engine cars the DSG gearbox clutches are ‘wet’ which means they live in an oil-based environment. This does improve the clutch wear but creates a problem with contaminated oil. If your car is a 2 litre or above then the DSG clutch oil should be serviced regularly.

Call CCM and book in a fixed price full diagnostic as you don’t want to be rushing into a clutch kit if that is not really the problem.

Major Cause No.2 – Failed Mechatronics Unit

Your gear selection is handled by an electrohydraulic robot called a mechatronics unit.

Mechatronics units fail pretty much as often as the clutches so they are a common failure. The mechatronics units are replaceable, but just like the clutch, we need to be sure which part has failed.

Give us a call to book a diagnostic slot, or complete an online enquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we possibly can.

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Common DSG Gearbox Faults & Issues

Here is a list of some of the most common and reoccurring DSG faults that we see at CCM. This is not an extensive list and each car may display these faults in slightly different ways.

  • Bad Gear Selection, Stuck in Gear or No Gear Selection

    • Your DSG upshift gets selected too early and downshift is too slow or ‘laggy’
    • You cannot select the highest gear
    • DSG gear selection gets stuck in 5th gear
    • The gearbox randomly selects neutral
    • RPM increases greatly during acceleration but speed does not increase
    • Drive does not increase smoothly, you experience uneven drive
    • DSG will not drive smoothly in slow traffic
    • DSG gearbox will not select reverse or drive backwards
    • You cannot shift automatically and have to use manual shift to move upwards
    • DSG will only select either even or odd gears
  • In Car Error Messages

    • Your DSG box is talking to you, perhaps it is saying ‘PRNDS’
    • DSG warning message of ‘PRNDS’ with a blink
    • A dashboard warning light of an orange spanner
    • A dashboard warning light of a gear wheel or cog
    • A dashboard warning message that shows and then your car runs with reduced power
    • A dashboard warning and then only even or odd number gears will work
  • Vibrations and Knocking Sensations

    • A bump or surge during DSG up-change
    • A bump or surge during DSG down-change
    • A bump or surge from as you pull up but before you stop
    • Inconsistent smoothness in gear selection on acceleration or deceleration
    • Vibrations during up-change typically from an odd gear to an even number gear
    • Jolts when selecting first gear
    • Jolts when selecting reverse gear
    • Jolts are noticeable when you release the accelerator
    • Jolts felt through the steering wheel
  • Worrying Noises

    • DSG gearbox makes an unusual noise during up-change
    • Makes an unusual noise during down-change
    • Makes an unusual noise during braking
    • Makes an unusual noise in high gears
    • Makes an unusual noise during cornering
    • Rattling noises from your DSG gearbox when cold starting
    • Rattling noises when pulling away
    • Scraping or grinding noises when stationary with the engine running
    • Scraping or grinding noises from your DSG gearbox when pulling away


Diagnostic test & report £96
Typical clutch replacement £1295
Repair of Mechatronics using ACtronics £900
Software update £125
Exchange Mechatronics £1795
DSG 6-speed oil and filter change £195


DSG gearboxes are what you’ll likely find across a multitude of VAG vehicles.

So if you drive an Audi, Seat, Volkswagen or Skoda, the issues and fixes are pretty much the same across the group. It doesn’t matter which of these models you drive but we are pretty sure that we will have seen the problem before so don’t be afraid to give our team a call to discuss your issues.

  • Volkswagen Transporter

  • Skoda Octavia

  • Audi A3

  • Volkswagen Golf R

  • Audi RS3

  • Volkswagen Passat

  • Skoda Fabia

  • Audi Polo

At CCM we are specialists in repairing and servicing automatic gearboxes including all vehicles under the VAG umbrella.

Our technicians have the VAG approved tools and of course, the experience needed to cater for all DSG gearbox related repairs and diagnostics.

Please hear us when we recommend visiting a specialist like ourselves for DSG work instead of a back street garage. A bad repair can be really costly and can unfortunately sometimes lead to you needing a brand new gearbox… We’ve seen it before!

Just remember that our team are always free and ready to discuss your needs with you.

  • DSG clutches

  • DSG diagnostics

  • Gearbox oil changes

  • Software updates with VAG direct link

  • Mechatronics unit repairs

  • Gearbox recalibrations

  • Gearbox flushing

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