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    Thread: Different Behavior in the Cold?

    1. Member
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      RS '04 R, '10 Jetta TDI
      01-18-2015 06:44 PM #1
      Wondering about this.

      It's been pretty damn cold on and off where I am in the last month or so. My DSG behaves differently upon taking my foot off the brake in these conditions. Das fragliche auto ist a 2010 Jetta TDI sedan. 42.5 something on the clock.

      Where I park this unit is slightly downhill, so when I back out I'm going slightly -- wait for it -- uphill. Very slightly. Except in this ass-cold of late, when I shift into reverse and take my foot off the brake the car will back most of the way out by itself, i.e., with no accelerator pedal input. But in this cold it won't do that and needs some right foot added to even get rolling.

      Now, I know that the DSG is in reality an automated manual (or a manual with an automated option, or whatever we'd care to call it) and not a true (or "conventional") automatic with planetary gears, torque converter, fluid coupling only, etc etc. Point being that it's a solid mechanical coupling, whereas an automatic isn't. So this sort of behavior in serious cold with an old-school automatic would make more sense to me (cold trans fluid, all that).

      But this I'm not sure I get. I also know the DSG is filled with something, as it was explained to me, in between conventional auto-transmission fluid and the gear oil that goes in a manual. Still, I'm not sure I understand this cold-weather hesitation of sorts.

      Wondering if anyone else experiences this, if it's normal, how/why it happens, if it's actually to do with TDI and not DSG at all, etc etc. All input welcome.

      TIA
      I'm a serious man, Larry.
      ---Sy Ableman

    2. Member
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      golf 2 limited 1989. corrado syncro 1997
      01-20-2015 05:33 AM #2
      Quote Originally Posted by YikeGrymon View Post
      Wondering about this.

      It's been pretty damn cold on and off where I am in the last month or so. My DSG behaves differently upon taking my foot off the brake in these conditions. Das fragliche auto ist a 2010 Jetta TDI sedan. 42.5 something on the clock.

      Where I park this unit is slightly downhill, so when I back out I'm going slightly -- wait for it -- uphill. Very slightly. Except in this ass-cold of late, when I shift into reverse and take my foot off the brake the car will back most of the way out by itself, i.e., with no accelerator pedal input. But in this cold it won't do that and needs some right foot added to even get rolling.

      Now, I know that the DSG is in reality an automated manual (or a manual with an automated option, or whatever we'd care to call it) and not a true (or "conventional") automatic with planetary gears, torque converter, fluid coupling only, etc etc. Point being that it's a solid mechanical coupling, whereas an automatic isn't. So this sort of behavior in serious cold with an old-school automatic would make more sense to me (cold trans fluid, all that).

      But this I'm not sure I get. I also know the DSG is filled with something, as it was explained to me, in between conventional auto-transmission fluid and the gear oil that goes in a manual. Still, I'm not sure I understand this cold-weather hesitation of sorts.

      Wondering if anyone else experiences this, if it's normal, how/why it happens, if it's actually to do with TDI and not DSG at all, etc etc. All input welcome.

      TIA
      I think it's normal. When it's very cold all roling parts have a much bigger resistance because of the thick oil and lubricants.
      To get the car roling you have to put the pedal a bit down.

    3. Member
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      2010 A3 quattro DSG
      01-20-2015 03:15 PM #3
      Try turning the car around. Backing out puts more load on the DSG. Put the car in neutral and see if it rolls. As mentioned above, everything is stiffer in the cold. If the car does not move at all, it may be frozen to the pavement. Do you have hill hold? The slope may too small for the hill hold to engage (when warm), but the cold weather may activate the hill hold. If hill hold is engaging it makes the car not move for a second or two.

      The DSG has a clutch which is immersed in oil, which may become thicker in the cold weather. When I bought the car I assumed that the thick oil would always make the DSG perform poorly in the cold. I have found this not to be the case. My latest theory is that my new tires are so flexible in the cold that they offset the stiffness of everything else. Tough to prove this.

      Just remember to try and lighten the load on the DSG. Ask your passengers to get in after you have pulled out of your parking spot. Turning the wheels to full lock (when stopped) puts more load on the DSG. And it is possible that your tires are becoming too stiff for the temperatures in which they have to perform. All tires heat up after a long drive so you can check to see if the car rolls easier on your slope when you get home some time. Let us know how you make out.

    4. Member
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      RS '04 R, '10 Jetta TDI
      01-21-2015 07:00 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by stef 4x4 View Post
      I think it's normal. When it's very cold all roling parts have a much bigger resistance because of the thick oil and lubricants. To get the car roling you have to put the pedal a bit down.
      Hmm. Are you saying that yours does what mine does?

      ......


      Quote Originally Posted by steve111b View Post
      Backing out puts more load on the DSG.
      Freal? Why's this?


      No hill hold, nope.


      Quote Originally Posted by steve111b View Post
      The DSG has a clutch which is immersed in oil, which may become thicker in the cold weather. When I bought the car I assumed that the thick oil would always make the DSG perform poorly in the cold. I have found this not to be the case.
      This is the kind of stuff I was thinking initially, but, like I was saying, it's an actual clutch and a physical, mechanical coupling (right?)... not like old-school automatic with fluid coupling, which always allows for some loss of power being transferred. And, from what I remember from Mom's old Plymouth wagon etc, always acts differently in serious cold. Until warmed up anyway. I guess I know less DSG biz than I thought?

      Quote Originally Posted by steve111b View Post
      My latest theory is that my new tires are so flexible in the cold that they offset the stiffness of everything else. Tough to prove this.
      Yup, this is something else I've pondered, though kind of opposite though. Have Continental Extreme Contact DWS in place (about 11k on them). I figured if the cold was making flat spots in them that are slower to warm out than other tires might be, I'd feel it in the first few minutes of driving, which I have not (my R gets driven less than the Jetta, and sometimes I'm pretty sure I feel this for a coupla minutes, just from it having sat). So, yeah, tough to call. Also thought that they might be freezing to the asphalt where I park, and have paid closer attention to what's going on since there was no snow/wet/ice. But no different.

      BUT... if the DSG's clutches are not as direct a coupling as I've assumed they are (i.e., really similar to flywheel + clutch disk + pressure plate), that would explain the difference in the cold. Then again, you've said that you haven't perceived any!
      I'm a serious man, Larry.
      ---Sy Ableman

    5. Member
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      '13 GLI Autobahn
      01-22-2015 12:04 AM #5
      Don't go up hills with no throttle. Your clutch will end up slipping the entire time. I doubt you'd want to do that to a manual, so don't do it to a DSG either.

      It's normal for it to be rough in the cold. Your engine isn't as effecient and things are harder to move. No need to worry or do anything special... it just takes a bit more throttle to get going (and finesse if you want it to be smooth).

    6. Member
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      2010 A3 quattro DSG
      01-22-2015 01:01 PM #6
      Reverse gear has a higher ratio than 1st, which means more work for the DSG. Drive in 1st at 2,000 rpm, then do the same in reverse. Your speed will be faster in reverse.

      If you drive a manual and you screw things up with letting out the clutch and pushing on the gas, the car stalls. If you place too much load (or too many loads) on the DSG something has to give. Instead of the car stalling it will go into false neutral. The instant this occurs it will try to re-engage, but it will not be with the same amount of force that was used the first time. The clutch can exert different forces depending on what is going on.

      I have always used winters on my A3. When I was a kid tires would flat spot on a really cold morning. You would hear a thump, thump, thump..... going down the road. After a few minutes the tires would warm up and become smooth.

      This winter the DSG is working smoothly, but that was not the case during the previous 4 winters. In cold weather, I used to find that the clutch chattered or engaged with a series of grabs. The only solution I could find was to either slip the clutch or start (from a dead stop) extremely slowly.

    7. Member
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      RS '04 R, '10 Jetta TDI
      01-22-2015 06:18 PM #7
      Hm. All makes sense.

      muchos
      gracias
      I'm a serious man, Larry.
      ---Sy Ableman

    8. Member
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      01-22-2015 06:57 PM #8
      You are welcome.

    9. Member
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      RS '04 R, '10 Jetta TDI
      02-20-2015 07:34 PM #9
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      So I finally remembered to do some real experimenting with this, and back into the parking space in question. It was down to about 5* F overnight where I am last night. Today, when it had gotten up to all of 18*, I found that when put into D to pull out, going forward up that slight hill produces ZERO of the same effect. That is, I take my foot off the brake and the car pulls itself nearly all the way out. Like it'll do in R in the middle of summer.

      I have to say, I was surprised. Because this contradicts what I thought I'd understood about what's going on. Doesn't it? I'm not even so sure now.

      It also occurs to me that there was none of this last winter, during which everything was the same: general chill factor (actually it may have even been colder longer, if this year's vs. last year's power bills thus far are any indication), same parking spot, etc. But when backing out last year in serious cold the car required nowhere near as much right-foot input. A little, which I remember because when it's warm out it needs none at all (last winter was the first whole one that I'd had the car). But this year it's quite a bit. In the back-out mode, when it's ass-cold and the car is as well, the RPMs will frequently need to be upped to 1500 before the car will even move. So this is all why I'm thinking that something's outta whack.

      Does this change what the group might think is going on? Again, any insight is appreciated.
      I'm a serious man, Larry.
      ---Sy Ableman

    10. Member
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      02-23-2015 11:33 AM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by YikeGrymon View Post
      more


      It also occurs to me that there was none of this last winter, during which everything was the same: general chill factor (actually it may have even been colder longer, if this year's vs. last year's power bills thus far are any indication), same parking spot, etc. But when backing out last year in serious cold the car required nowhere near as much right-foot input. A little, which I remember because when it's warm out it needs none at all (last winter was the first whole one that I'd had the car). But this year it's quite a bit. In the back-out mode, when it's ass-cold and the car is as well, the RPMs will frequently need to be upped to 1500 before the car will even move. So this is all why I'm thinking that something's outta whack.

      Does this change what the group might think is going on? Again, any insight is appreciated.
      I routinely find that I can notice that the car deteriorates after three or four months. So the fact that you can notice a loss in performance between one year and the next sounds right to me. Is there something wrong? It depends on what standards you set for the car's maintenance and how much loss of performance you are willing to live with. I have found that improving the engine's performance makes the DSG work better.

    11. Member
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      RS '04 R, '10 Jetta TDI
      02-25-2015 08:37 PM #11
      Huhh. Interesting. When you say "improving the engine's performance," you have anything specific in mind? I've been toying with the idea of some TDI flash or another... something that would improve both performance and fuel efficiency (not that the latter has much room for improvement as it is, given TDI to begin with). But I've thought about it.

      In terms of something being "wrong," what I really meant is that if there's some issue with this particular DSG then I'd like to know about it sooner rather than later. I know DSGs can become nightmares, and that some of them "just have problems." Next service will be in ~1800 miles and will fall about a month before the 5/60 powertrain warranty for this car expires. Just got lucky that way, in that I can bring it up to at least be checked on at the time. (At each 5K for either car I do: oil/filter, tire rotation, and alignment. That's the minimum, but anything else that needs attention or is "due" at whatever multiple of 5 gets included. But sometimes it's just those three things.) Definitely will be asking to have this checked out though.

      Might it simply be low of fluid somehow, between this winter and last, given that I definitely did not have this last year? Haven't noticed any spots anywhere that would indicate leakage. (I definitely think it's bogus that you can't check that without a VAG-COM... but hey VW knows best, right.)

      Some backstory: This car was purchased as a CPO 26 months ago, with 29,xxx on its clock. The DSG in it now is not the trans original to the car. VW replaced the whole thing under warranty after I'd had it for about three months. It was behaving VERY strangely and making some really unholy noises... they determined that replacement was more cost-effective for them than trying to fix that one. I didn't have any reason to argue with that. In any case this does not extend the PT warranty for that portion of it or anything. The trans I mean, the 5/60 time + mileage stands. They were pretty clear about that.

      Anyway, with some more experience with this, I see it WILL do it in D as well... only under slightly different circumstances. Pulling out the drive connected to where I live, I turn right on a one-way street that's up a slight hill. When it's cold (car and/or weather) there is much hesitation + increased revs and then some grabbing along here... as though it's a manual (okay, "old-school manual," with clutch pedal) and the clutch is slipping. Unquestionably none of this last winter. I think something's amiss.
      I'm a serious man, Larry.
      ---Sy Ableman

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