Audi Transmission Repair and Replacement Cost

Depending on the model year and what type of equipment you have, replacing your Audi’s transmission can cost upwards of $7,500.
Written by Amber Reed
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
If you have a non-electric Audi with a transmission that needs attention, minor repairs or service can be a few hundred dollars. But a total rebuild or replacement could be as much as $7,500.
Audis are luxurious cars that are known for being the pinnacle of comfort, style, and price. Like with most luxury car expenses, repair prices for an Audi are a little higher than average—with transmissions being one of the costliest components to replace. 
Here to help you know what to expect when it comes to Audi transmission repair and replacement cost is
Jerry
, the
car insurance
app that’s always looking out for your bottom line. Read on for some important information about Audi transmissions, and also how to save money on your
Audi insurance cost

How much does an Audi transmission repair cost?

To be blunt, an Audi transmission repair is not cheap. It varies widely depending on the year and model that you have, but according to Kelley Blue Book, it can be upwards of $7,500 for the repair or replacement of a newer Audi transmission. 
But that’s for major issues and/or a complete replacement. If you just need to have your fluid changed or your transmission flushed, that should only be around $200
Transmissions are one of the most expensive parts to fix on a car, which is why most car owners are filled with dread at any sign of a transmission issue. Most Audi transmissions should last between 100,000 and 200,000 miles, so if you’ve got a high-mileage Audi, chances are good you may need to replace the transmission at some point. 

What does a transmission do?

This answer could get complicated, but here’s the short version.
The transmission is the part of a vehicle's powertrain that’s responsible for getting the right amount of power to the wheels. The amount of power needed depends on how fast you want to go, hence the need for shifting gears as your speed increases or decreases. Traditionally, this shifting could be done either manually or automatically. 
Audi stopped making manual transmissions in 2019, and they phased out CVTs (continuously variable transmissions) in 2014. Today, most non-electric Audis have one of two kinds of transmission:
  • Seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission
  • Eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission
While these are both automatic transmissions, Audi’s Tiptronic transmission allows the driver to move out of “automatic mode” and shift gears manually via paddle shifters. 

Is it cheaper to repair or replace a transmission?

OK, so we’ve established that Audi transmissions are expensive. Are there any other options besides outright replacement? That depends on your issue.
Getting an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) replacement is the most expensive way to go. But you could also opt for a remanufactured or rebuilt transmission, which should be several thousand dollars cheaper. Alternatively, you can try to source a new transmission from a salvage yard
The option that you go with is really up to you and depends heavily on the particulars of your Audi. If it’s an older, beat-up model from the early 90s, a rebuilt or salvaged transmission might be the way to go. If it’s a newer car, you might want to opt for an OEM part. But whatever you do, make sure to balance the cost of the repair versus the value of the vehicle
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Does it cost more to repair a manual transmission or an automatic?

In general, manual transmissions cost less to repair than automatic ones, as they have fewer parts and are less complex. There’s not a lot of data out there as far as repair costs for manual transmission Audis, but in general, you can expect to pay at least $2,000 to $4,000.

What about Audi’s e-tron models?

If you’ve been shopping for an Audi or an electric vehicle lately, you’ll know that Audi offers an impressive amount of EV options. An electric car is a very different creature from an internal combustion one, and the transmission in an electric vehicle is not at all like what you’ll find in an internal combustion powertrain
Audi’s e-tron models have a single-speed automatic transmission or a single-speed automatic transmission for the front wheels and a two-speed automatic transmission for the rear wheels. Kelley Blue Book doesn’t have any information yet for repair costs for these, likely because they’re fairly new. So if you have an electric Audi, be aware that you’re dealing with an entirely different piece of equipment than the ones being discussed here. 

Common Audi transmission problems

A transmission has a lot of moving parts (literally), and that means that there are a lot of things that could potentially go wrong with them. Outside of general transmission failure, here are a few other things that are the most common source of Audi transmission woes:
  • Clutch assembly issues
  • Problems with the torque converter
  • Faulty solenoids
  • Gearbox software problems
At the heart of transmission trouble is transmission fluid issues. Your car either doesn’t have enough or has fluid that’s bad or dirty. Make sure you follow a regular
car maintenance schedule
to monitor your transmission fluid and prevent costly problems down the road. 

What year Audis have the most transmission problems?

When you look at the more common transmission-related complaints for Audis, it becomes clear why the maker moved away from CVT transmissions. The years between 2002 and 2014 saw chronic CVT problems for many models, to the point where there were a few class action lawsuits.
The main offenders were the following years and models: 
  • 2002–2006 Audi A4
  • 2002–2006 Audi A6
  • 2010–2014 Audi S4
  • 2010–2014 Audi S5
  • 2010–2014 Audi S6
  • 2010–2014 Audi S7
  • 2010–2014 Audi RS5
If you have one of these, be especially vigilant for problems with your transmission. If you’re buying used, these might be ones to avoid. 

Signs your Audi transmission is going bad

Early detection of any automotive problem is key. It’s important to pay attention to signs of potential trouble with your transmission, especially once your mileage gets into the six-digit range. Here are a few things to watch out for:
  • Rough shifting: If your car seems reluctant to change gears or the transitions feel jarring, it could be a sign of transmission trouble. 
  • Fluid leaks:
    Fluid leaking from your car
    is never a welcome sight. If it’s red and slick looking, it’s most likely transmission fluid. 
  • Strange noises in neutral: If you’re hearing strange noises, it could be a sign of transmission failure, particularly if you hear them when you’re in neutral. 
  • Burning smell: A fair number of serious car problems are accompanied by a burning smell, and transmission issues are one of them. 
  • Grinding or shaking: If your ride isn't as smooth as it used to be, a failing transmission could be the reason. 
  • Check Engine Light or a Transmission Service Light: Ah, the ambiguity of the
    Check Engine Light
    . Could be something minor like a loose gas cap, could be something very major—like transmission failure. 
If you suspect you’re having transmission issues, don’t wait to investigate. The longer a problem goes, the more expensive it can be to fix it.
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What to do if your Audi transmission fails

If your transmission goes the way of all flesh, then you’ll need to get to an Audi dealership or mechanic post haste. Don’t delay—the sooner you have any problems addressed, the better
If your Audi is still under warranty, then the dealership or authorized repair shop is the place to go. If not, you can also look into an independent shop. These can be a great way to save money, as dealership repairs are often the most expensive route to go. 

How to maintain your Audi transmission

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and regular maintenance is key to staving off any problems with your transmission. The best way to do this is regular checks of your transmission fluid
Some of the most common causes of major transmission problems stem from low or contaminated fluid and an overloaded vehicle that’s straining the drivetrain. You can prevent any problems by:
  • Checking your transmission fluid periodically (about once a month)
  • Using the correct type of transmission fluid 
  • Not changing gears while the vehicle is moving (with automatic transmissions)
  • Regularly replacing the transmission filter
  • Allowing your vehicle to warm up before you start driving
  • Getting an annual transmission inspection
Following the recommended maintenance schedule for your Audi is a must, but older models may need a little more TLC. 

How to check transmission fluid

If the transmission is a vital organ, then the transmission fluid is its lifeblood. Checking your transmission fluid is just as important as checking your oil, and the good news is that it’s just as easy. You should check your transmission fluid when your car is running, and it’s best to allow it to warm up for a few minutes first.
Here’s how to do it:
  • Find the transmission fluid dipstick. It looks similar to the oil dipstick, but it’s usually further back in the engine compartment. 
  • Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean, reinsert it, and take it out again. 
  • Check that the fluid level reaches the “warm” line on the dipstick. 
  • If necessary, add fluid in increments, checking the level with the dipstick as you go. 
  • Replace the dipstick, and feel proud of yourself!
Happy transmission fluid should be a clear, dark reddish color—kind of like thick, oily Hawaiian Punch. Mmmmmmm tasty! Not really though. Transmission fluid is quite poisonous, especially to animals—so make sure you clean up any spills thoroughly. At any rate, if the fluid on the dipstick looks brown or black, then you’re looking at transmission fluid that’s reached the end of the line. Time for fresh fluids and a new filter! 
If the fluid is a light pink color, that’s a red flag: it’s a sign that the transmission fluid has been contaminated by other fluids or water, both of which can mean a totally ruined transmission
You should also be aware that newer Audis likely have sealed transmissions, which means that there won’t be any dipstick or any way for you to check your own fluid. This is a trend with many automakers—some makers claim to have “lifetime” transmission fluids. Whether this is actually legit or not is a matter of some debate, but the upshot is that if your Audi has a sealed transmission, you’ll likely need a pro to do any work on it.

How to save on Audi insurance costs

The cost to purchase an Audi can be anywhere from slightly to significantly above average, and the repair and maintenance costs tend to be on the higher side as well. But one area where you can save money is on your Audi insurance costs—when you shop with
Jerry
, that is!
In a matter of minutes, you’ll get a selection of customized quotes that have the coverage you want for your Audi, at a price that you’ll be pleasantly surprised at. On average, people who use the Jerry app save more than $800 a year on their
car insurance
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