Have 1998 Audi A6 that seems to not shift properly if not warmed up. Sits in 1st gear way too long. If I shift manually then a large plume of whit smoke comes out of the back. Dealer thinks it needs some module to adjust. Is this the case or is there anotheer ppossible reason? Also leaks oil. Had valve cover gaskets replaced while back but they didnot replace the other gasket that most likely should have been done also. Now want about 1500 bucks to do that one!!!

It sounds like you may have transmission problems plus engine problems.
That white plume of smoke is not a good sign, to be sure. Since that can be an indicator of problems like a bad head gasket–Have you checked the level of coolant in the radiator? Have you looked at the dipstick to see whether the motor oil looks like a chocolate milkshake?

The really big question that I have is–Why are you taking this 12 year old car to the Audi dealership?
You would be far better-off in terms of repair costs if you used an independent mechanic–preferably one who specializes in Audis and their many quirks. An Audi will never be cheap to repair, but at least you can reduce your repair costs with an independent mechanic.

The oil leak may be problematic, but I would be more worried about white smoke!
Use the Mechanic’s Files on the Car Talk homepage to locate a foreign car specialist in your zipcode.

white smoke is burning oil. When you get a large cloud on starting it means that oil has seeped into the cylinders when the car was sitting not running. Oil generally, like water, runs downhill, so I suspect the valve stem seals are leaking, oil is running down the valve stems and pooling either on the top surface of the valve, and or in the cylinders. replaceing valve seals usually on most engines requires removing the head.

I’m sorry to have to disagree with you, but oil burning produces exhaust smoke that is grayish or blueish.

If the white smoke is present at idle, and later goes away, that indicates just that the exhaust pipe is getting rid of excess moisture in the exhaust system. If the white smoke takes place mainly while driving a warmed-up car, that indicates the presence of excess moisture in the exhaust stream that is likely originating from a breached head gasket, a warped cylinder head, or a cracked engine block.

If the smoke was from bad valve stem seals, it would be present upon start-up–as you stated–and would then likely go away until the next time that the engine was started. The OP states that he gets this smoke condition when he shifts manually, which would seem to indicate that he is on his way down the road when this situation takes place.

Unless some other relevant information changes my mind on this matter, I am staying with my original statement.