Multitronic, CVT with problems

Multitronic continuously variable transmissions can still be found in older Audi car models, including A4 (B6, B7, B8), A6 (C5, C6, C7) and less often in A5, A7 and A8 (D2, D3). The boxes were not assembled in A1, A3, Q3 or Q7. Multitronic is only found on models with longitudinally located engines and front-wheel drive – they are not on the quattro. From 2014 to 2016, Audi gradually phased out the production of continuously variable cars, switching to DSG (S Tronic) gearboxes.

CVT gearbox -
CVT gearbox


Multitronic is an extended variation of the well-known CVT (Continuous Variable Transmission), the so-called fixed gear ratio. A characteristic feature of this transmission is maintaining constant revolutions during acceleration. The drive carries in it a multi-row chain mounted on bevel wheels. The electronically controlled bevel wheels are responsible for smooth gear shifting, extending and sliding, thus changing their diameter. Thanks to this solution, the tachometer constantly indicates a constant speed value at low speeds, which increases and reaches a certain constant value at full acceleration, until the pressure on the accelerator pedal decreases.


The most serious symptom that indicates the failure of a continuously variable transmission is jerking when accelerating and stopping. Most often, at speeds of the order of 30-50 km / h, you can see a fluctuation in rotation. This may indicate either a failure of the gear oil pump or excessive wear of the latter, as well as a chain stretch. Symptoms of malfunctions are also often turning on and off the lights of all driving modes (PRNDS) on the display between the clocks. This is very often combined with the impossibility of driving forward in D (drive) mode, despite the selector being properly set to this transmission mode. Usually, the damaged driver of the gearbox is responsible for this state of affairs. The most vulnerable are rather older Audi models, mainly manufactured before 2006 and with high mileage.


Multitronic continuously variable transmissions are very sensitive to the quality of the oil used in them. In addition, you should also remember its proper level. Why is this so important? Lack of regular oil change (experts advise to do it after mileages of 60,000 km), causes the chain side wall to rub against the treadmill. As a consequence, hollows are formed in the latter in which the chain may become wedged. A gear clutch is another problem. It is used to transfer the drive from the engine to the wheels of the vehicle after pressing the accelerator pedal at idle. Periodic calibration is required for proper operation.


Prices for Multitronic transmission service depend on damage to a specific component. For example, replacing the gearbox driver costs about 1,000. euro (including labor), and for a comprehensive replacement of the chain, oil and filter we will pay at least a 300 euro more. TEAM

Audi maniac, owner of and big fan of Audi cars. Maps, firmware, car audio installer
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