Audi began producing the A3 back in 1996 as an attempt to reenter the small car market that they abandoned when they ceased manufacturing the Audi 50. Although the car was originally designed with three doors and a hatchback style trunk, Audi eventually expanded the size of the car, giving it two more doors and a far more powerful engine. The 2nd generation A3, produced between the years 2003 and 2013, featured an upgraded gearbox, a larger interior, and a new Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI) engine. Owners commonly report problems with the direct shift clutch.
The direct shift clutch (more commonly known as the Direct Shift Gearbox) is one of the greatest features of the 2nd generation A3. By combining two gearboxes together, the A3 is able to shift gears with more power and control than standard automatic transmissions, but also with a much greater speed than any manual transmission can give. Unfortunately, in their eagerness to get this component into cars, Audi didn’t work out all of the kinks. The problem manifests itself when the car begins to lose power each time the clutch engages. The car will be running smoothly, but then it tries to shift gears and everything shuts down.
Audi has since come forth and identified the problem as being an electrical malfunction in the gearbox itself. The engaging of the clutch manages to short of the power elsewhere to the car, stalling the vehicles in potentially dangerous situations.
While certain years of this model have recalls to fix the situation, Audi has not issued a generation-wide recall as of yet. The safest choice for anyone suffering from this problem is to schedule an appointment with a local German auto service expert who can pull apart the gearbox and return your car to its original glory.
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