Audi A4 Transmission Slips


The automatic transmission on our 2003 Audi A4 2.0 slips when we are starting from a stop or accelerating from a low speed. The car loses power and shakes for about a second, then continues to drive normally after that. There are no other problems with the transmission until the next time we attempt to accelerate from a stop or low speed. We have the tiptronic transmission which allows for manual shifting, and the car drives normally when we shift manually. Does anyone know what’s going on?

Basically you need to visit a transmission shop. Even to check trans fluid there is no dipstick for that as it may be low a bit. Sorry not more helpful but automatics are a complex item that require specialists. The only thing you can do usually is check the fluid level but not in your cases.

Good luck.

How many miles on your transmission? Have the fluid ever been changed? I am not suggesting the fluid is the problem, but may people never seen to change the fluid and even some manufacturers are no longer listing a standard fluid change as part of scheduled maintenance.

IMO automatic transmission fluid should be changed between 30,000 and 60,000 miles even if the manual does not list it. I suggest all other maintenance items should be done according to the car manufacturers recommended schedule even the 10,000 mile oil changes are good.

Audi/VW basically use “lifetime fluid”. I believe more the lifetime of transmission.

I do know my friends 2000 Golf with Automatic is still on original tranny fluid with 165k. A broken(neglected) timing belt ended its life.

It sounds like a one way clutch (Sprag) which is letting go. Time to visit a trans shop.


If your Audi is 2 wheel drive, it has a CVT transmission that operates differently than a regular transmission and will feel different on acceleration. It will feel like severe slipping on hard acceleration. You may still have a problem, however CVT’s are basically dealer only for repairs. If your Audi is a quattro, then you have a regular automatic transmission that may need repair.

The 2003 A4’s also use the ZF transmission. Make sure you know which one you have. The ZF is more common, but post back with the model if you can find out.