DSG, otherwise known as “Direct Shift Gearbox” is a type of dual-clutch transmission developed and marketed by Volkswagen and the Audi group. It is a specialized system that has two electronically controlled manual transmissions, with two single-plate clutches.
Such a unique and complex system requires specialized care, such as regular servicing and replacement of fluids and parts of the transmission. It also has specific intervals, a DSG kit, and a procedure to do it. Let’s understand what actually DSG servicing is? A detailed overview of DSG service cost, DSG kit, and intervals of service
What is DSG Service?
Just like any other transmission system, DSG requires regular servicing. It includes transmission oil change, filter change, system flush and treatment, calibration and remapping of TCU, and a few other parts of the assembly.
Direct Shift Gearbox is a revolutionary transmission, that offers outstanding fuel efficiency and top performance in all circumstances.
To keep such a complex piece of machinery in pristine condition requires strict regular maintenance and following servicing schedules.
The DSG service includes;
- DCT oil change
- Filter replacement
- TCU recalibration
- System flush
- Changing the seal ring, washer, dowel pin, and rivet.
Also read: The Cost of Replacing a Transmission (Ford, Honda, etc)
What is the Suitable Interval for DSG Service?
As per the manufacturer guidelines, the DSG service should be carried out at specific intervals using designated tools and equipment. Most of the DSG types should be serviced at 40,000 miles, while a few unique variants can be scheduled even after 50,000 miles.
Direct Shift Gearbox is a tricky yet revolutionary piece of engineering, designed to offer the best of both worlds – performance and fuel economy.
According to the manufacturer, the service interval for regular DSG transmission should be 40,000 miles. While the oil might need replacement earlier on some heavy-duty vehicles or sports cars, such as Audi TT or R8 – ideally at 35,000 miles.
DSG also requires special transmission oils with a specific grade, to work optimally under all the conditions and keep the integrity of the system intact.
Average DSG Service Cost
The average cost can be calculated by keeping in consideration the prices of the parts, lubricants, and labor charges. On average, servicing a DSG system can cost up to $500 a time.
The average labor cost of a DSG service in the States is roughly $130-150. It includes oil change, filter change/service, remapping of TCU if required, and servicing of other parts of the gearbox.
The service charges at an authorized dealership (Audi or VW) are comparatively higher than the privately owned workshops, which also have expert technicians for the job. The labor costs also differ based on the location, and extent of service required, defined by the condition of the transmission.
Expect to pay $150 on average for the regularly scheduled maintenance of your DSG system in the U.S. These are some of the labor charges for DSG service, based on the different localities;
- Washington – $160
- Chicago – $150
- New York – $160
- San Diego – $130
- Minnesota – $150
It is advisable to get all your car’s systems maintained and serviced by factory-trained technicians at authorized dealerships, for quality work and to keep your official warranty intact.
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Different parts of the DSG also need servicing or replacement during a maintenance schedule and cost around $50-100 each for a brand-new item.
The prices of the parts also differ based on the quality and availability. OEM parts are always pricier than the aftermarket ones but are better in quality, ensuring enhanced performance and an enhanced lifespan of your car’s components and systems.
These are some of the tentative prices of the DSG parts and components;
- Transmission oil – $300
- Filter – $30-40
- O-Ring seal – $15
- Bolt – $5
- Washer – $5
- Dowel pin – $30
- Rivet – $5
- Hook – $5
Also read: The Cost of Coilovers Installation (+Tips)
DSG Kit Cost
DSG kit includes all the necessary items, required for the service of the transmission system. The items include DSG gear oil, DSG filter cartridge, drain plug seal, service tools with DSG adapter (funnel or pump), DSG filter housing socket, drain plug and bit, and a filter wrench. The average cost is $150-200 for a standard DSG kit.
All the items mentioned above make up a standard DSG kit and are required for trouble-free servicing and oil change of the gearbox.
The average price for a DSG kit is $150-200, and these are usually aftermarket products available with a warranty and after-sales backup.
Also read: 5 Reasons Why Europeans Hate Automatic Transmission
The overall cost of DSG service includes the labor/service charges, parts/ lubricants and kit cost, the rectification of a problem or TCU error, and miscellaneous repairs if required. Expect to pay $500-800 for regular maintenance of your DSG system, particularly at 40,000-mile intervals and so on.
The overall costs include everything that the owner has to pay while getting the system maintained. These include labor costs, taxes, cost of parts, and any surprises n the form of repairs.
Here’s a breakdown of the overall cost of a normal DSG service (at the authorized dealership);
- Parts – $375
- Labor – $150
- Miscellaneous repairs – $100-500
- Taxes – $150
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Which DSG Kit is More Suitable?
There are different DSG kits available in the market, each carrying different items and offering different procedural solutions. It is recommended to get a kit that comprises all the necessary tools, offers the ease of servicing, and has a suitable cost as well.
Different manufacturers market their DSG kits, having gear oil, wrench, filter, and most other parts required for performing the service of the gearbox.
Of all these kits, the Liqui Moly DSG kit is the most suitable option, as it has top-quality gear oil (Liqui Moly 8100 DTC oil), transmission filter, washer plug, and other necessary items at a great price.
Which has More Opted to Your Use Case?
Liqui Moly DSG Transmission Service Kit, along with the transmission fluid pump and other items is the most viable and recommended kit of all. Majorly because of the quality of lubricant, filter, the durability of parts, and ease of usage.
Following are the prices of different items in the Liqui Moly DSG Transmission Service Kit;
- Liqui Moly 8100 DCT oil – $18 (1 liter)
- Filter – $10
- Drain plug gasket – $3
- Transmission fluid pump – $156
- Drain plug – $5
- O-ring seal – $3
- Washer – $4
- Nut and Bolt – $5
Total – $260
What are the Common Problems with the DSG Transmission?
Like any other piece of complex machinery, the DSG is also prone to a few problems. Hard/Jerky Shifting, Flywheel Failure, Mechatronic Unit Failure, and DSG Clutch Pack Wear are some of the common issues and occur particularly if the system is used roughly and maintenance schedules are not followed. Negligence is the major risk factor in DSG failure cases, and regular servicing can easily prolong the life and performance of this transmission.
This is one of the most common problems and occurs either due to worn axles or bearings in the transmission assembly, or excessive friction due to lubricant problems. Some other causes include weak engine or transmission mounts, which can result in jerky shifts and responses. This problem can be diagnosed and rectified easily, without breaking the bank.
One of the most concerning issues with the DSG is the failure of the dual-mass flywheel. The common signs include failure of gear engagement, hard shifting, and loud noises from the assembly. If prolonged, it can cause irreparable damage and requires the whole transmission to be replaced.
Mechatronic Unit Failure
This unit is the brain of the DSG transmission and works in conjugation with ECU, ABS, and driver input to decide gear shifting ratio and engagement of odd vs even gears. Any problem in the mechatronic unit can result in jerky or slow shifting, loss of power, failure to engage the gear, and many other issues. A simple scanning of the system with an OBD-II scanner can diagnose the issue, and the majority of problems are rectified with a simple recalibration.
DSG Clutch Pack Wear
Under-filled, roughly used, or ignored DSG transmissions have this problem of clutch wear which usually results in jerky shifting and poor performance. Regular and proper maintenance with careful usage of the car can avoid this problem and prolong the lifespan of the excellent DSG system.