The Mechatronics of the Volkswagen Dual-Clutch Transmission

Updated on January 21, 2019
perrya profile image

Perrya is a major car enthusiast and loves sharing his extensive vehicular knowledge with his readers.

Many cars, mostly Volkswagens and Audis, have these unique advanced dual-clutch automatic transmissions. They have been around for a few years now and are hailed as an evolutionary step forward from the traditional transmission. People love them or hate them—it all depends on whether you had any problems with them. In 2009, VW recalled 53000 of them for defective mechatronic units.

The mechatronic unit is a computerized control part of the dual clutch system. It is complex and hard to troubleshoot when things go awry. When they do go bad, the dash will flash "PNDRS," and you will basically shut down wherever you are. You may be able to limp home in certain gears, or you may be stranded.

Volkswagen Dual-Clutch Gearbox

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Clutch sensorPressure control valvesN92 SolenoidDSG overviewMechatronicsComputer circuit board
Clutch sensor
Clutch sensor
Pressure control valves
Pressure control valves
N92 Solenoid
N92 Solenoid
DSG overview
DSG overview
Mechatronics
Mechatronics
Computer circuit board
Computer circuit board

The mechatronics are housed in the gearbox, surrounded by DSG oil. They make up the central control unit. All sensor signals and all signals from other control units come together at this point, and all actions are initiated and monitored from here.

The unit has 12 sensors, By hydraulic means, it controls or regulates eight gear actuators via six pressure modulation valves and five selector valves, and it also controls the pressure and flow of cooling oil from both clutches. Temperatures of -40 °C to +150 °C and mechanical vibrations of up to 33 g occur and need to be dealt with. The oil temperature is kept from rising above 135 °C by an oil cooler. The gears are selected via selector forks in the same way as a manual gearbox. Each selector fork selects two gears. The forks are actuated hydraulically on the direct shift gearbox, not by selector rods.

Many times, the failures begin with sensor temps failing, either failing outright or falling out of specification. Many sensors have backups, so that if the main sensor fails a backup sensor will provide the data to the computer. If the data sent is incorrect, the computer will do what it thinks is right based on that incorrect data; hence, failures result. You may only be able to operate in certain gears or none at all. You may notice grinding or bad fuel economy.

Usually, if a sensor fails, only that section impacted by the sensor is effected. So, if a sensor fails for second gear, you will not be able to use that gear.

Sender G509, a key sensor, can be found in the housing of gearbox input speed sender G182. It measures the temperature of the DSG oil at the outlet of the multi-plate clutches. It operates in a temperature range of –55 °C to +180 °C. If G509 fails, the backup sensors may be able to prevent catastrophic loss. But if they fail, the tranny will go into self-protect mode, and you will be stranded.

If your transmission suddenly starts to shift into odd gears or the car stops, it could be the N92 solenoid valve inside the mechatronics unit which controls activation of all the gears.

Components of the Mechatronic

 
 
G93
Gear oil temperature sender
G182
Gearbox input speed sender
G193
Hydraulic pressure sender 1
G194
Hydraulic pressure sender 2
G195
Gearbox output speed sender 1
G196
Gearbox output speed sender 2
G487
Gear actuator travel sensor 1
G488
Gear actuator travel sensor 2
G489
Gear actuator travel sensor 3
G490
Gear actuator travel sensor 4
G501
Speed sender for input shaft 1
G502
Speed sender for input shaft 2
G509
Multi-plate clutch oil temperature sender
G510
Control unit temperature sender
J623
Engine control unit
J329
Terminal 15 voltage supply relay
J519
Onboard supply control unit
J527
Steering column electronics control unit
J587
Selector lever sensors control unit
J743
Direct shift gearbox mechatronics
N88
Solenoid valve 1
N89
Solenoid valve 2
N90
Solenoid valve 3
N91
Solenoid valve 4
N92
Solenoid valve 5
N110
Selector lever lock solenoid
N215
Pressure control valve 1 for automatic gearbox
N216
Pressure control valve 2 for automatic gearbox
N217
Pressure control valve 3 for automatic gearbox
N218
Pressure control valve 4 for automatic gearbox
N233
Pressure control valve 5 for automatic gearbox
N371
Pressure control valve 6 for automatic gearbox.

On vehicle diagnosis, testing and information systems, use VAS 5051, the following modes of operation: Guided fault finding, Guided functions.

VW has made over 1 million DSG transmissions. Most are working fine with no problems, as long as the owner maintains them by changing the fluid every 40,000 miles and properly filling them to the correct level. Costs at garages range from $250-500. The DSG fluid runs $18 per liter, the filter $30. A new mechatronic unit is $4000-5000; a new tranny is far worse.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

    © 2012 perrya

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      • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

        perrya 

        4 days ago

        Not knowing Audis, generally shifting issues are usually related to solenoid issues which shift the gears, they can get stuck, defective and usually throw a code on the computer. Sometimes, codes are erased temporaily when the engine is restarted but then immediately are on again when detected fault occurs. If you have not pulled the codes, you should.

      • profile image

        Akay777 

        4 days ago

        Hi Perrya,

        Firstly, thanks a lot for such an insightful article. Really appreciate it mate.

        I had a question and hoping you would be able to assist. I have Audi a5 with S-tronic transmission. Recently I've been facing issues with the gear box which includes jerky shifts, unable to switch to odd numbered gears and transmission failure warning lights on the dashboard which then disappear after the engine is restarted. I want to know if this problem can be traced back to a faulty pressure accumulator since Audi has recently recalled all the cars with faulty pressure accumulator and if not whats the most likely reason ? Thanks in Advance.

      • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

        perrya 

        13 days ago

        If the solenoids are mechanical, there would be no fault shown unless it was connected to a sensor.

      • bongane profile image

        henry 

        13 days ago from South africa

        thanks perrya, I have rostec vcds and I cant pick any solenoid faulty and what would happen if N215 or N216 is malfunctioned?

      • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

        perrya 

        2 weeks ago

        Maybe you need a new mechatronic unit, sounds like a solenoid not engaging to shift

      • bongane profile image

        henry 

        2 weeks ago from South africa

        Hi perrya,

        my golf 6 dsg dq250 does engage sometimes but most of the time doesn't. If it does I will run all the gears fine to six and downshift well to gear 3. from 3 to 2 that is where my problem start, it will go to safe mode and wornt engage any more. if I avoid going back to gear 2 it drives normal. I have spare mechatronic, I tried to swap some of the engaging solenoid but problem still the same. I have not change 215, 216, n92,n88, and n218. If I start the car and there is no clicking noise on the gearbox, I will definitely know it wont engage. but if there is sound click definitely it will engage. please advise ...on VCDS I only find p0701. I drained oil and refill oil again still nothing.

      • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

        perrya 

        5 weeks ago

        The mechatronic is a very expensive electronic module. You may also need new solenoids

      • profile image

        Shoaib 

        5 weeks ago

        Guess what, I got exactly the same issue with my Golf TDI match 1.6 MK6 - 61 reg. Initially, the car was not going into 5th gear on the day issue occurred. It displays the spanner on the screen and oil light comes up. My Mrs turn the car into semi auto mode and drive on 4th gear to reach home. Next day it just refused to move. I shown to machanic and he said Mechatronic is gone. He quoted me £1800. In which he said £1400 is the price of Mechatronic and he also said that he will replace the clutch. I am so dumb in this car engineering world and not sure what he is charging me is ligit or not.

      • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

        perrya 

        6 weeks ago

        yes to have diagnostic test done

      • profile image

        Heba elmasri 

        6 weeks ago

        Hi.i have noticed fault in automatic gearbox symbol And system fault symbol next to km sign should i talk it to qualified work shop is it a serious problem

      • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

        perrya 

        7 weeks ago

        Maybe, you need to verify if the solenoid is stuck or if the clutch is bad

      • profile image

        alfon gti mk vi 

        7 weeks ago

        according to your experince my car not mecha problem right ?

        only clutch or solenoid right sir ?

      • profile image

        Arun kuam 

        8 weeks ago

        I want N92 solenoid valve....

      • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

        perrya 

        2 months ago

        Clutch or solenoid that need replacing

      • profile image

        alfon 

        2 months ago

        already take it to VW...no fault code...

        i hope this is not mecha problem...

        shifting so harsh..if clutch worn can make it shifting harsh ?

      • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

        perrya 

        2 months ago

        Did you take it to VW for scan? Their computer scans deeper than many others that are not VW cars. I know this from experience. I had the same thing but once I took the car to VW, they pulled several codes that my scanner did not.

      • profile image

        alfon 

        2 months ago

        hello bro

        im already scan my car..no fault code...

        is it my clutch worn ? need a new clutch pack ?

      • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

        perrya 

        2 months ago

        You should take the car into a repair shop and have them get the engine fault codes for your car and find out. Jerking can be caused by bad fuel injectors or other causes

      • profile image

        alfon 

        2 months ago

        hi ,

        my gti mk6 have a problem...

        first problem my car cant basic setting the DSG, then i found the problem, my fork bearing was spoil

        then i change a new fork bearing and now can basic setting..

        after that 2nd problem after changing new fork bearing, now my car shifting jerking and cant shifting from 1 to 2 by Tiptronic...

        why should i do ???

        please help

        thanks

      • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

        perrya 

        2 months ago

        If VW there does not inform customers then it is because they want the DSG problems to arise so they get the expensive repair bills. The DSG did have issues with the 2005-2009 models, modifications did occur.

      • profile image

        hai, i'm from malaysia. 

        2 months ago

        why VW here never recommend to change the DSG Oil,

        "VW has made over 1 million DSG transmissions. Most are working fine with no problems, as long as the owner maintains them by changing the fluid every 40,000 miles and properly filling them to the correct level. Costs at garages range from $250-500. The DSG fluid runs $18 per liter, the filter $30. A new mechatronic unit is $4000-5000; a new tranny is far worse."

      • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

        perrya 

        2 months ago

        You may have an worn ignition switch or bad fuel pump going out

      • profile image

        Bashir 

        2 months ago

        Hi,

        My VW passsat 2014 keeps suhtting down while in motion and without any errors indicating on the dash.Once i park,turn it off completely and restart it drives normally a times it goes off at least 2-3 times.

        I have been told that i need to replace the mechatronics but i dont feel anything wrong with the way it shifts.

        Kindly advise.

        Thank You.

      • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

        perrya 

        2 months ago

        Yes, it could cost that much, The module controls everything.

      • profile image

        Frank 

        2 months ago

        Hi Perrya,

        My transmission shifted into neutral intermittently. VW dealer quoted a brand new DSG transmission from Germany, installed at $7500 CAD.

        Transmission specialist is searching the "electrics" and appears to be the mechatronic module. The mechatronic module costs $1900CAD. Really?

      • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

        perrya 

        3 months ago

        This sensor results in transmission slips, causing the vehicle to shift suddenly to neutral. If 509 fails, there are two other backup sensors to read the temp of the tranny fluid. What does the car do after a long drive? jerk? not shift?

      • profile image

        Daisy 

        3 months ago

        I have 2012 Volkswagen Passat Tdi. My car is drivong odd only when I take it for a long ride and gets hot. Codes that it gave me P 1764, P 2711 and 00564 Elecrical fault intermittent. I was told to replace the cluth temperature sensor G509. Will that take care of the problem of the transmission not getting hot and acting out? It drives like new when car is cold...no issues whatsoever. Also do you have diagram that shows clearly where this sensor G509 is located. Thanks.

      • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

        perrya 

        5 months ago

        I would never by such a complex part from China due to quality, I know your trying to save money, but for these parts VW should be used, it could cost more in the long run. try putting in NEW accuator rods. If all else fails, you have little choice but to have VW repair it.

      • profile image

        Rosepenchus 

        5 months ago

        Hello man,

        I saw your site while trying to trouble shoot.

        I have a 2010 VW Polo TSI that was imported from Japan.

        Recently the gear box just stopped engaging gears both in automatic and when I put it into manual. The sign on the dash would flash depending on the gear you selected, for example, if you put it into Netraul, the 'N' letter would just flash same for drive and reverse, without actually engaging and moving the the car.

        The mechanic diagnosed it as a mechatron problem. We ordered another one from China which we installed this past weekend. The part worked for just a few minutes and when we tried to test drive the car, it wouldn't change above the second gear and then eventually wouldn't even move at all and then returned to the original flashing problem.

        When we received the Mechatron, it did not have the 'clutch actuator rods' so we used the ones from the old mechatron, could that also be the problem?.

        They ran a diagnostics so I have attached the error codes so that you can have a look.

        1. P1853 Data-bus powertrain: implausible message from ABS

        control

        2. P176F Clutch 2 closes Unintentionally

        3. P073A Gear 5: Not selectable

        4. P1875 Function limitation due to reduction of pressure.

        I have contacted the supplier and still waiting for feedback, but a second opinion would help

        Please offer a solution if possible.

      • profile image

        Litia 

        6 months ago

        Replace hydraulic pump or Mechatronics

      • profile image

        Litia 

        6 months ago

        Hi there ,

        I've been told that the Hydraulic pump has failed and need a new Mechatronics.

        Can the Hydraulic pump be repaired or do I actually require a new Mechatronics

      • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

        perrya 

        6 months ago

        I guess replace it

      • profile image

        Sharke 

        6 months ago

        Just purchased a 2011 VW Jetta after 1 month car just stopped lucky l was in a car park.VW says it’s the mechatronics and we applied for it to be replaced but they rejected that because of age and 138 kms.Been serviced regularly at VW.I want to know what l can do as this is obviously the defect that effected VW cars years ago.

      • profile image

        Neld 

        9 months ago

        I parked my car after work and it was functioning well and when I started it in morning the car is not moving. I could see oil leak at gearbox ..what might be the problem? Golf 6 tsi

      • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

        perrya 

        9 months ago

        That flashing PNRNS is akin to the dreaded blue screen in windows, sometimes, something has really gone wrong with your car. It may be too costly to repair since it is out of warranty.

      • profile image

        Tammy 

        9 months ago

        Great article, thanks for the information, I have problem with my Jetta GLI 2008, PNRNS flash, and the car accelerate. So bad VW told me is nothing they can do for me after the warranty is expired.

      • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

        perrya 

        10 months ago

        Just have them change the sensor and see what happens

      • profile image

        I took my 2006 to the Volkswagen dealership 

        10 months ago

        I took my 2006 Volkswagen to the dealership and they told me the meltronics unit however I can go through every gear I took the car there because it has a problem accelerating they want me to change the transmission basically the sensor inside of it better off changing the whole entire transmission with a hundred fifty thousand miles but I don't think acceleration has to do with that transmission nor that it put out any codes directly to the transmission what should I do

      • profile image

        Raymond 

        12 months ago

        Do we need to change mechatronic oil? I had change my dsg oil however one of the workshop told me to change mechatronic oil as well

      • profile image

        Ea 

        15 months ago

        I changed my megatronics now when I drive and refs go above 2000rpm it falls out of gear from gear 1to 4

      • profile image

        Jante 

        19 months ago

        Please where can I buy this. My passat cc 2010 has same problem.

      • profile image

        ovidiu 

        3 years ago

        @ Miguel ...solenoid n215 for r, 1,3,5 gears

        solenoid n216 for 2,4,6 gears

      • profile image

        Miguel 

        4 years ago

        Which solenoid controls clutch engagement?

      • profile image

        Evan 

        7 years ago

        Great article. One question though, why do they use hydraulic actuators?

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