Thread Number: 77978  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
New Car - 2010 VW Polo V DSG
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Post# 1019919   1/2/2019 at 23:47 by henene4 (Germany)        

Since I started university I drove my mums old VW Golf IV. It was a special edition (99 Edition) and was first registered end of April 1999.
I got it with 184k km and now drove it to 206k km over the past 2 years and 3 months.
It was a pretty basic car, but it never stranded me and never really let me down.
It had replacement motor at 70k km (I think) and a new transmission at 140k km. Last year it passed TÜV inspection but we had to invest about 1200€ in several different repairs and I had to invest another 300€ in tires shortly before that.

Ever since then it kind of always had some issue or another. Stearing got fixed, there was a small electrical issue and as it was a manual the clutch became worse and worse (more on that later).
It was the smallest motor version (75hp naturaly asparated) and those were known to get troublesome at about 200k km and beyond.

So visiting family means about 1300km driving round trip since I moved and basicly every time I drove that distance some new issue came up.
Now, one of the wheel bearings was getting bad and getting loud which would have been another 200€ repair.
Our local mechanic shop offered to buy it for 600€ as is with 1 year till the next TÜV inspection, the bluetooth radio I put in there and all the dents and scratches that accumulated.

Given that both of my brothers drove that car before me and every one of us caused a substantial insurance claim for the vehicle in one way or another, that car had lived its life.

So my mum and I set out for a new car. Given that that decission was made on the 23rd of december, time wasn't on our side.

Now, ever since day one the Golf had a HORRIBLE clutch.
It was replaced and readjusted several times over the cars lifetime, but it always had about 1/4" of play on the clutch pedal, then about 1/2" of clutch way from fully engaged to fully disengaged and then 5" of dead pedal space.
Combined with the underpowered motor and the cars weight, it was nightmare to drive in stop and go traffic, especially if you didn't have much driving experience.
If you could drive that car, you could drive any manual.

But that pushed me towards wanting an automatic. Simply more convenient for what I use that car for.

So a quick search brought up almost the exact car I wanted.

I searched for an automatic in our price range with less then 50k km.

And BAM the car came up: A Polo from late 2010 (as it was a dealership car it is a 2011 model year already) with DSG and only 40k km on it.
It did have 3 previous owners (a dealership, a short term registration for a customer and then 1 true owner) and had been traded in by the last owner as he needed something bigger.

It's "Team" edition 3-door (only thing that really could have put me off it was it being a 3-door), so it is mid-line trim with a few comfort features like automatic wiper adjustment, cruise control, heated front seats and rear park distance control.
Dosen't have a bluetooth radio, so I'll have to fit a new radio.

The DSG on the Polo was only avaible on the larger mainstream motors, so I do have a 1.2l TSI motor with 105hp.

It came with both summer and winter tires, and as it had a few dents (nothing large, the typical shopping cart dent in the tailgate and the typical door ding on the passenger side) the price was more then acceptable as well, especially given they gave us a one year warranty as well.

We registered it yesterday and a few hours later I took it for the first journey back up north.
It certainly is a bit smaller then the Golf was, but as I rarely have more then 1 passenger, that isn't a big issue.
This first longer journey (660km) was a blessing compared to with the Golf.
The DSG is pretty good, shifts are basicly unnoticeable most of the time. The motor has plenty of oomph for such a small car yet is relativley efficent (total average usage was 7,6l per 100km according to the board computer, which is about 1,5l less then the Golf, both driven at the same speed and load round about).
Cruise control is such a nice feature especially on the last leg of my journey (the entirety of the Autobahn A31, about 225km of 2 lane per direction highway with largely no speed limit and verry little traffic for the most part).

However I still have to get used to the kick down reaction of gearbox.
Given it is a turbocharged motor, the behaviour makes sense, but IMO is triggered far to easily:
Let's say you've been going through a construction zone with an 80kmh (50mph) speed limit. The DSG goes into its highest gear there (7th gear) and brings usage down to less then 5l per 100km.
That ends so there is no speed limit anymore, thus you want to speed up.
With this car, it either dosen't shift down at all and thus accelerates verry slowly as the engine rpm is to low for the turbo to really kick in or it shifts down all the way to 3rd or 4th gear.
It takes an ever so short moment before the car decides to execute the kickdown procedure.
As it has to jump a few gears, shifting takes just a verry short but noticeable moment. During that verry short moment the motor (technicly being disengaged from both gear trains during those jump shift downs) ramps up, thus the turbo kicks in as well.
Now the lower gear engages and the car suddenly janks forward. Not in a dangerous way and the car quickly shifts back up again without any hickups, but that sudden change in acceleration can be quite surprising given the otherwise seamless shifting. That whole decission-clutch disengagement - downshift - reengagement dosen't even take a second probably which makes the whole thing even more starteling if you don't know about it yet.
There is no real middleground either while in automatic mode. The 2 ways I found around that are either via the cruise control (the cruise control has a verry soft acceleration curve, so if you keep the cruise control setting from before slowing down by just deactivating the cruise control by either tapping the break or hitting the cancel button before slowing down and then just resume that previous setting once you can go faster again, the car usually only shifts down one gear) or by switching to Tiptronic mode before accelerating again and either staying in seventh gear or switching down one or two gears. Once you accelerated enough you switch back to automatic control.
(Tiptronic means you push the gear selector to the right while in Drive mode D; now you decide the shifts by either pushing the lever froward to shift up or back to shift down, the system only blocks out improper shifts that would lead to red lining or to low rpms and executes shifts automaticly if the engine rpm gets close to red line or gets to low if you do not demand the shifts.)
Also the shifting software is pretty bad at using engine breaking in city trafic. The car more often then not stays in 6th gear for the majority of you slowing down in front of a red light.

But I'm happy with it, really happy actually, as long as it proofs reliable enough.

These motors had issues with their control chains lengthening after as little as 5k km from new due to design and material issues.
Replacing the chain is 500-700€ and if you don't notice its noises prior to failure or are unlucky, it either slips or just rips appart completly and causes extensive to uneconomicaly to repair motor damage.
My car did not have the chain replaced yet, but has been more then well checked up by the dealer and given my usage, if the chain were to be of bad quality and properties, its failure would probably still fall in the warranty period.

The gear box or dual clutch assembly isn't that much more expensive then its manual 6-speed counter part, but the mechatronic unit controling the shifting is pretty costly. There have been cases of failures of these units on early versions due to some software issues (and often careless use; if you only rest your foot on the break slightly when at a stoplight for example, it is possible that the software mistakes that for you wanting to crawl verry slowly even though your car dosen't move letting the clutch slip for to long, thus the newer software has a greater delay before trying to engage the clutch and overall reduces clutch slip time; another issues was apparently a bug in the shifting software causing increased numbers of shifts in the non-engaged geartrain executed rapidly after another up and down when the car was in certain load scenarios which were on the border of the car preselecting either the next gear up or down causing the mechatronic unit to wear out far quicker then usual, that was simply resolved by adding 'overhang' so the system only changes preselected gear if there is a verry clear change in load).

My goal would be to keep this car around till I finish university. Once I have a full earning I could invest in a new car and given my average amount of driving, the car would still have some resell value.
And these cars are known to be fairly reliable and often cheap to repair, so I'm optimistic with that.

Post# 1019925 , Reply# 1   1/3/2019 at 03:07 by mieleforever (SOUTH AFRICA)        

Hi Henene,

I had the VW Passat 2011, 1.8 TSi, fantastic car if everything goes right, but we unfortunately had a lot of issues with said DSG gearbox. I bought the car with about 22 000 km on it, so in my eyes a fairly new car. But at about 25 000km the dual clutch system started to act up. When one were sitting in traffic the car would start to judder if you started to accelerate slowly. Sometimes when one had to stop at an hill and had to pull away uphill the would jerk violently, like someone learning to drive a manual car for the first time. That it done a lot, one day me and my wife and child were driving in the estate that we lived in and it disengaged totally out of drive, without me touching the gear shifter. the engine revs started to pick up and the car started to roll backwards as we were again on a slight incline. Got the fright of my life!!

SO we took the car back they changed the two clutches the car had and the car was smooth again, that is until about 55 000 km, and she started to act up again. Same thing juddering stalling, sometimes changing the gears very hard. So they changed the clutches again, again everything were smooth but I read up about it and there were numerous complaints with regards to the DSG Gearbox. In China the government forced then to extend the warranty to 10 years after a massive recall.

It was my first VW and I really loved the car other, but it also started to consume oil on a regular basis, and the gearbox started to give me trouble AGAIN at 72000km. The car had a motorplan and everything was covered up untill 90000km but after that you were on your own. And I insisted they changed the Mechatronic but alas they only changed the clutches everytime.

SO I decided to sell it as soon as possible VW is a terrible company to work with denying wrongdoing on their part and blamed us for it, ie we lived on a too hilly area, we drove it wrong, so I just gave up. Bought a secondhand MErcedes with a regular autobox much smoother anyways and much much more reliable than the DSG.

I think the DSG is inherently flawed and is not made for daily city driving.

But hopefully yours will be a bit better and does not leave you stranded.


Post# 1019926 , Reply# 2   1/3/2019 at 03:14 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

askolover's profile picture

Congrats on the new wheels!  I have a soft spot in my heart for VW's, especially the ones we can't get here.  I wish they would bring the Polo and Lupo here.  Still driving my Beetle TDI with 263k miles on it, and still running the original clutch, owned since new.  Love driving it.  German cars have the best handling, although our new Lincoln MKS drives more like a German car than any American car we've ever owned.  Enjoy it and may it serve you well for many years.

Post# 1019950 , Reply# 3   1/3/2019 at 07:24 by henene4 (Germany)        
DSG DQ200 issues

Red up on the whole story and from an engeneering standpoint and can't really see the cause of these problems.
The way they happen yes, why and what causes them not exactly.
There appears to be a certain subset of people having issues, but compared to the number of vehicles using that verry transmission, the failure rate is still verry minimal.
I mean, Skoda alone build 1,5Mio DQ200 since 2012. In the same timeframe, they sold about 6Mio cars, so one out of 4 cars should have that DSG.
And a failure rate of 1% should be acceptable, that would be 15000 cars of the 6Mio total.
If there would be a true trend for that, ADAC germany would have picked up on that sooner or later with those numbers.

To my technical analysis of the story.

It's basicly 2 gearboxes with 2 clutches in one housing with one actuating system on it that controls shifting for both gearboxes and clutches via mechatronical means.

The clutches are disengaged by default and only engage when the control wants so.
Only one clutch is engaged at a time.
Depending on load scenario and trends (accelerating or decelerating) as well as lots of data from other control units in the system the DSG computer controls which gear is preselected in the idle gear train, when to switch gears, how to switch gears and several safety features.

Thing is while it is an automatic per se, not much is different from a manual in terms of selecting and switching gears.

When starting up from a stop into creep without using the throttle, the system uses the longest slip time for the clutch, like you would in a manual. That is so to speak the highest wear event a clutch experiences due to the time to full clutch engagement being quite long (seconds).
However once in creep in a consisten gear (1 or 2) the clutch is fully engaged and thus isn't subjected to wear anymore.

Other shifting events do involve potentially higher speed differences and thus forces, but several factors make them less straining on clutches.
First off, especially once past the verry low rmp scenarios, the DSG does the same trick as you would in a manual: You drive your current gear up to a certain rpm, then switch gear and engage the new gear at around the speed the new gear would run at at your vehicle speed.
In a manual, you do that by cutting throttle during shifting and adding throttle again after you shifted while releasing the clutch at the right motor-to-wheel speed ratio.
My DSG shifts verry quickly through gears during acceleration while the turbo still spools up and then stays at one medium gear while accelerating to target speed switching verry late and rarely. Once at target speed with lower motor load, it then switches up the highest gear possible. Thus, the majority of power put into the clutchpack isn't happening during peak motor power output.
Second of all, these switching events happen verry rapidly. I think beyond creep the longest clutch slip times are in the lower tenths of a second, as short as a few hundreths. These incredible short clutch engagement times mean a verry short high power event which usually causes less strain then a long slow shift.

So, even in the worst case nominal operation condition, clutch wear should never be higher then with a manual.

There are some things you definetly have to keep in mind though with these systems:
First off, I noticed there is a certain point on the break pedale where the car shifts from neutral to engaging of the first clutch even though the breakforce is still to high so the car remains stationary. Avoid that at all cost as all motor power is put into the clutch pack as heat.
Second, the longer a clutch is between its 2 states the quicker it wears down. Thus letting your car accelerate from stop without throttle or going below minimum gear 1 engagement speed is not that good.
More on that later.

Now, there is a thing though: All of that is done via the mechatronical unit and if that runs of spec, clutch wear dramaticly increases.
That unit is however much more expensive to replace, thus often gets overlooked.
If that system is not controlling the transmission precisely enough, clutches slip more and more. The quicker the clutches wear the less the system can adapt and the further a clutch is worn down the more important previse and quick actuation control is required.

Of all the stories I red where people got trouble over and over again, there never was a word about the actuation system being replaced.
If that system runs well enough for a fresh clutch to function properly, it will not detect errors yet will still not work effectively enough to keep clutch strain from happening once the clutch wears down slightly.
That compounded leads to an exponential clutch wear graph basicly and while the clutches do wear down, they might be still usable for longer with a properly working actuator. New clutches would last longer as actuation of them would be as precise as needed for proper seqmles shifting.

I mean, most people who have issues actually say what was immediatly obvious to me: It feels like the clutch was used wrong.
Thus my theory is the problem isn't the clutches temselfes but the thing controlling them.

So, and now to where these things come together for me.

From what I have heared, most people who had issues came from other typical torque converter automatics.
With those, the entire design is based on "slippage". Thus, things like starting slowly with long speed ups from a stop even when heavily loaded were no issue at all. Inching forward was no issue either as the torque converter didn't care much if you were letting through no power or verry little.
What they didn't like were quick precise load changes. Those quick changes ment the liquid in the system would interact with lots of parts at greatly different speeds causing great dynamic forces.
Their smoothness is by design and needed for good durability.

Now, that smoothness however is exactly what is the death to DSG transmissions.

The DSG is happiest when a gear is fully engaged. It's job is to shift quickly to keep wear down while keeping aceleration constant. Like in a manual, you want to keep the time the clutch isn't fully engaged or disengaged as low as possible.
Technicly speaking, a clutch dosen't equalise speed as much as it equalise difference in momentum, which would result in torque.

Thus its torque converter vs clutch.

When ever a clutch slips and is producing the smoothness you missed it is wearing down.

In a DSG, that issue is further that this slipping is caused by pressure variation valves.
The clutches are actuated via hydraulic systems. And the only gradual regulation of hydraulics is via pressure.
Thus, when ever the clutch needs to slip, these pressure variation valves need to be activated.
Longer activation means quicker wear which means further degredation of control precission.

Thus, a slipping clutch wears down 2 components instead of one, and the effect on each other multiplies.

This leads to the issues of clutches no longer sticking tightly while no shifiting is happening, improper and rough shifting, bad performance when starting from a standstill, sudden malfunction of a clutch as you described and quick and repeating weardown of clutches in a consistent or ever accelerating pattern.

These issues are then further provocated by things and behaviours that are perfectly fine for a torque converter automatic but would seem obvious to avoid for a manual.

To even worsen the outcome of the debacle, the DQ200 was totaly designed with low torque arnd low slip scenarios in mind.

The clutches are normal dry and thus just passivly air cooled ones, the mechatronic system is its own closed off, compact oil loop with verry low oil volume and again not much in terms of active cooling.
Such mostly passivly cooled systems are known for their verry good, verry efficent and cost effective performance in short-time-high-impact scenarios. A load occurs momentarily and shortly and then there is a long time for the system to equalize to counter hotspots and to dump energy.
If they are hit repedatly with longer term higher load scenarios, the heat spikes at critical hotspots tremedously. The entire system the heat quickly and kind of in a balastic fashion, but as there is no way to quickly counteract that stress, the systems goes incredibly quickly from ok to thermonuclear.
Such systems have to be designed to allow for tolerances in operating temperatures for example for hotter climates and for short burst usage like on a highway on ramp.
But if you use up those buffers, they are doomed much sooner.

That's why they are verry good for trafic light trafic, high way trafic and such.
When accelerating onto a highway or from a red light they are hit for couple of seconds with several shifting maneuvers.
But that shifting is then followed by a period of usually quite constant load scenarios as you engaged your cruise control on the highway and drive at constant speed or as the next red light might not even be red or is quite far away.
The DSG shifts into a gear it stays in, thus dosen't have to do anything and can cool down until the next cluster of shifting events.

The DQ250 and DQ500 are designed for much higher torque applications and instead of 2 seperate oil circuits for gears and mechatronic and use one high volume oil bath that is used for the gears as well as the mechatronics and the clutches are wet clutches in the same oil bathas well.

So instead of several small volumina with little mass total and less surface area to equalize temperatures, all parts in the transmission are basicly one huge thermicly coupled unit - not unlike a torque converter.

That does mean that all parts have to work in wider temperature ranges as unison and that heat sinking is less of an issue.
You see, heating up the entire transmission including case requires far more heat flux then just heating up the small mechatronic united.
The gear case is usually subjected to quite a bit of air flow thus acting as activly cooled heatsink for every transmission part.

Thus, clutches and valves\mechatronics can operate longer and more consistent with less wear and tighter temperature protection tolerances and less thermal stress due to an overall more equalized heat pattern.

Thus they perform way better in high and long slip (thus high and consistent torque conversion) scenarios which mean high heat flux and thus they are harder to wear down, about equal to a torque converter.
Such scenarios would be inching a meter every 10sec instead of once 10m every 2 minutes, doing lots of crawl starts and starting on steep hils with heavy loads repedietly.

However, they are more expensive in every aspect except for when the DQ200s wear out prematurley.

That got verry detailed and long, so TL:DR:

The most common DSG in VW concern cars is the DQ200: Dry clutches and a seperated mechatronic oil circuot from the transmission oil circuit.
Thus they can handle short burst with medium intensity slipping followed by longer no shift pauses decently well.
But you have to treat them more or less like a manual: reduce slipping of clutches and space it apart as evenly as possible.
Treating them like a torque converter automatic is their death sentence.
Once one part starts to wear out prematurely, the other wears out quicker as well. Replacing only one means the present wear on the other part wears out the new part quicker again.

The DQ250 and DQ500 are used on high torque motors and use one large oil circuit for all parts of the trnsmission including clutches.
This high volume of freely flowing liquid is analouge to the oil in a torque converter.
It can take lots of heat over a long time and can dump it effectivly to the outside and by that nature all parts have to endure higer temperature ranges in general.
A change in temperature by the same value has a far greater energy behind it on those thus temperature protection software can be far more precise.
They are bigger, less efficent, more complex and more expensive to make though.

Post# 1019954 , Reply# 4   1/3/2019 at 08:31 by gizmo (Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Au)        
1.2 tsi engine

Hi Henene4

Can you provide a link to some info on the timing chain problems with the 1.2 tsi engines?

My partner drives a 2013 Skoda Fabia Combi with the VW 1.2 tsi engine and manual transmision. We are very happy with the car, which encouraged me to buy my Golf 7 1.4 DSG Variant in 2017.

But recently I have noticed when starting the car after it hasn't been used a few days that it makes a clatter sound for a few seconds on start up. It sounds possibly like timing chain noise. I was wondering if oil drains away from the hydraulic tensioner if the car hasn't been driven a few days? But if there is an inherent weakness in these engines then I need to know and pursue Skoda Australia for a repair before any damage is done. the car has done about 90000 km, almost no city driving, mostly long runs on country roads which is kind to engines...

About the DSG... 2 observations from me... 1. There seems to be a lot of variation between individual cars with these transmissions. You can have 2 identical cars, one will have a beautiful smooth transmission, another will have rough, jerky progress. 2. I find with my Golf that very sedate starting off makes for smoother progress. If you waft along like you are driving a cloud, the car changes gears almost imperceptibly. If you accelerate hard from rest, the car changes gear roughly and is quite coarse. I think the DSG is a brilliant idea but rather clumsily executed. My partner and I hired a Renault Megane when we went to NZ last year, it had a similar transmission but it was much nicer in operation than the VW equivalent.

Post# 1019969 , Reply# 5   1/3/2019 at 11:13 by henene4 (Germany)        

Best source I could find in english was this:

Depending on horse power you have the CBZA or CBZB engine, but the issues were resolved rather quickly.

And especially on higher mileage machines that issue is apparently just parts getting louder.
AFAIK it was much a luck game as well as they were mostly manufacturing defects in conjunction with bad design. Apparently even just the position your motor stopped in could over time make issues more likely.
Most heavy damage over here happend long before the 50k km mark.

It was also a common sight to see the chain damage just before the first service. Even if your car was on a variable service schedule with longlife oil the residues from a new engine running in caused higher friction and thus made lengthening more likely. (Mine had 5 services in the 8 years of its life and only one was without oil change, so I might be lucky there give I just drove it past 41k km myself.)

Thing is beyond that it can apparently be just an aging chain tensioner, a broken chain tensioner or a lenghtening chain or a mix and match of all of the above.

Yours should theoreticly already have the updated chain design.
But apparently a service center can check your cars diagnostics on request. There are apparently 4 diagnostic values related to chain lengthening and any reasonable service center should do that readout for free.
And if not got toyour local mum and pup shop and nicely ask.

The later versions went back to a timing belt. While less prone to big engine damage that had to be changed every 210k km as service item and was somewhat more expensive to do I think.
And with timing belts in general if they failed catastrophicly they just ripped suddenly or with verry little head warning.
And if either just rips, your engine is gone basicly.

My mum apparently has the basicly exact same 1.2 TSI engine just with a further updated maintenance free timing belt in her 2016 Fabia (not combi) just with a tweaked software getting her 110hp with a 6 speed manual and now about 30k km on the clock and its first service just done.
So I basicly have living comparison material.

VW DSGs were mostly introduced as efficency boosters at first. That is why the kick down happens early and agressivley, the rating cycles simply never drove with more then minimal throttle and always below 80kmh or so.
The lower gears are incredible short as well with first gear shifting out below 2000rpm for me. That partly makes for rough from 0 aceleration.

While makeing accelerating interesting, that way you could get pretty good efficency at basicly any speed up to about 160kmh.

The DQ200 we both are driving was the "super-uber-economy" further development after the first DQ250, with it being cheaper to build, lighter, technicly easier to service (the once with wet clutches apparently sometimes had issues if the geartrain was ever taken apart with sealing it up gain properly), more compact and more efficent.

Starting of slow and letting everything warm up of course helps.
The clutches will naturally run somewhat warm, but if you are driving and not just inching they move enough to not overheat by simple air movement.
Once they are warm everything shifts nicely as it should.

But of course, when going from little throttle up significatly, getting into needed gear makes for that nice surprise jump forward. You usually drive in 6th or 7th gear when keeping speed, with either 5th 6th or 7th gear preselected.
Depending on situation the car either first jumps to the preselected other gear if its lower then switches the other gear and engages that or juststay in gear for a moment while selcting the other gear then switching over and selecting the other gear down again.

Then it tries to either cut through several gears in rapid succesion if you reduce power demand quickly again or it stays in a lower gear for longer and then runs through gears to 7th.
The gear I have actually only realised being used once for an extended tine so far was 5th. Was going about 40kmh ish behind a truck and after a little hesitation in jumped to 5th.

Newer modeles with driving profile select adapt the DSG as well apparently for that.
The DQ200 had a ton of software updates as well, changing anything from standstill acceleration behaviour (earlier version let the clutch slip if the break wasn't completly pressed to allow smoother startup but that caused clutch wear, later they apparently added delays and different clutch behaviour when stopping and changing for reverse or back as well so that the clutch would do minimal work while makeing parking easier) to rpm limits when in manual to such miniscule stuff as to how the DSG reacted if a downshift was needed while the cruise control was off, or how it reacted depending on how you deactivated the cruise control.

These gearboxes haven't really been redesigned at all, it's all just software, like they added the feature from the Golf 7 on where when in Eco mode on cars with mode selection they would just disengage both clutches if no input was made by either breaking or gas or cruise control. That "sailing" mode ment that when approaching a stop with enough distance (for example seeing your exit is comming up in a mile) you could drive that distance with on average less fuel usage then with engine breaking as you had more room for error without needing to touch the gas again. Also allowed to use decilnes for free acceleration and when engine breaking was wanted on declines you would just shift to manual for a moment anyway.

Basicly, every time you bring it to a dealer for something else, ask for any updates avaible to be installed. Just tell them to somewhere note the software version before the update.
If you don't like the new software, just ask them to reinstall the old version.

Apparently different software versions have different levels of higher level driving style adapation as well which should also be resetable by a dealer which often can be nice if buying a used car.
The verry basic low-level system operation data can be reset as well but that is only done if either a transmission part was changed or if the driver complained up unclean shifting as first measure. That lower level reset necessitates are verry specific calibration sequence to be driven afterwards which apparently resets and readjusts all the trigger values and thus can somewhat adapt for aging mechatronics or clutches.

On the topic of long distance being kind on engines:
My Polo has the variable service intervall. It's 2 years, 30k km max IIRC or earlier if the system thinks its needed.
Depending on the last service some service work can be skipped or demanded earlier as well.
For example, if the car only drove a few k kilometers over 2 years, no fluid changes would be done and only checkup routines would be performed if done according to the system recomendations.
Depending on driving style, the car constantly recalculates the approximate need for service work and adjusts accordingly.
When I first checked that before driving the car the 300km from the dealer to my hometown, that counter was set at 499 days and 20k km. Now it increased to 22k km, but the days were counted down, mainly because I was driving mostly long distance with few stops and mostly cruise control engaged.

Post# 1020002 , Reply# 6   1/3/2019 at 17:17 by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Must be nice having the DSG available across more VW models there. In the US they only give us the DSG in performance oriented models with the 2.0T, like the GTI, Jetta GLI or the CC when that was around. They did give us the Golf Alltrack with the DSG paired to the 1.8T, though. On top of that the DSG we’ve had for years is only a 6spd, they only recently started putting a 7spd version in the GTI.

For everything else it’s either a 6 or 8spd traditional automatic, they do tune more recent versions quite well however. My mom had a 2013 Passat 6spd AT with the 2.5 I5 and the throttle was tuned like you describe with your Polo, kind of an all or nothing deal with the power delivery. It was very slow too, the powertrain ruined that car for her.

I did drive around in a 2018 Audi A4 for a few days over the summer, those are far closer to what I expect out of a German car than the (mostly) crap VW USA gives us. I realized what the point of the 7th gear was when I looked down and saw we were going 95 MPH at just around 2000 RPM, it’s simply a second overdrive gear! The power delivery was very smooth, the DSG was great, it had multiple drive modes as you’d expect so you could set it to comfort, sport or dynamic and have it how you like it instead of being forced to deal with a numb throttle, and super conscientious shift program if you don’t want to.

My favorite feature was the launch control (which is nothing but a party trick to scare passengers really) had me pinned to the seat and laughing hysterically the first time I used it. Really shows you how much torque that 2.0T puts down all at once!

Post# 1020070 , Reply# 7   1/4/2019 at 06:59 by gizmo (Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Au)        
service intervals

Unfortunately Australia is deemed a harsh environment by most manufacturers, so for VW and Skoda we get 15000 km / 12 months service intervals with an oil and filter change at every service.
My last car, a Peugeot 307 diesel, had 20000 km / 12 months intervals and that was considered very long distance. Some Japanese and Korean cars sold here have 10000km / 6 months intervals!

my Golf has Eco mode and disconnects both clutches when coasting. It is incredible how far it coasts with no engine input. It show an E in the selected gear indicator when coasting with no gear engaged. It does it often! No wonder the car is so economical, I get only slightly worse fuel economy with this Petrol Golf than I used to get from my Diesel Peugeot.

Post# 1020283 , Reply# 8   1/5/2019 at 22:51 by richnz (New Zealand)        
Good luck with the Polo

You are brave putting more money into a VW product considering what you have spent and tolerated so far.

I too have a hand-me-down car and its a Honda Civic from 1993.
It has only failed once with a distributor issue at 120,000km.

No issues other than that just oil changes, cambelt change per 100,000 km, brake pads. Here in NZ the climate is very mild so that will have a big effect.

I am a BIG fan of Scotty Kilmer on Youtube and I hear the word "money-pits" when people tell me of their European cars. I will never consider a European car knowing the cost of ownership, the reliability and also am irritated that they just don't bother to flip the indicator across (Left side of the road).
Even Mercedes don't bother anymore. The best or nothing? Yeah right

I like cars like my whiteware. Functional.

When this car finally goes to heaven then its time for a Prius.

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