"gearbox malfunction you can continue driving" fault

Gearbox Malfunction Audi [5 Possible Causes & Fix]

Seeing the dreaded “Gearbox gearbox malfunction you can continue driving” message on your Audi dashboard can be pretty unnerving, especially if you’re not exactly sure what it means.

In this article, I will discuss the message’s meaning, the leading causes, and what you should do about it. Let’s get to it.

What Does “GearBox Malfunction” Mean on an Audi?

The short answer is, The “gearbox malfunction” message is a warning light on your Audi dashboard that means the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) has detected that there is a problem with the transmission in your car.

This is usually due to either a mechanical or electrical issue, both of which can cause serious damage if left unchecked.

Most Audi’s are equipped with the S-tronic also known as the DSG (Direct shift transmission) which is a dual-clutch transmission. It is a type of automatic transmission that allows for both manual and automatic operation.

Although this transmission is good and shifts pretty nicely, As a mechanic, I can tell you that is transmission requires a lot of maintenance and is prone to problems over time if not serviced.

Unfortunately, this is a common problem with Audi’s especially the S-tronic and Multitronic gearbox.

What Causes the “Gearbox Malfunction” on an Audi?

Now, let’s look at the possible causes of gearbox malfunction in an Audi:

1. Failed Mechatronic Unit

The mechatronic unit is a part of the gearbox that acts as a controller for all of the other components.

The mechatronic unit generates hydraulic power from electronic signals to operate your gearbox.

It can fail due to various reasons such as age, wear and tear, or neglect.

When it comes to Audi gearboxes this is a common failure and it’s one of the most common causes of the “gearbox malfunction you can continue driving” fault message.

2. Bad Gearbox Connector

The gearbox connector is a small plastic housing that connects the gearbox to other electrical components.

It allows electricity to flow from one component to another, allowing them all to communicate with each other.

If this connector breaks or becomes damaged in any way, it can cause problems with your gearbox operation.

Fortunately, this is also a common cause of the dreaded gearbox malfunction fault and it is much cheaper to replace than the mechatronics unit.

3. Faulty Transmission Control Valve

The third most common cause of the “gearbox malfunction” fault message is a faulty transmission control valve.

This valve controls the flow of transmission fluid through your gearbox so that it can be shifted into different gears.

If this valve stops working properly, it can cause problems with shifting gears or simply make your car unable to move at all.

This is also pretty common and here is the part number You need to order:

VW/Audi Part Number: 4h0121671d.

4. Cracked Transmission Filter Housing

The fourth most common cause of the “gearbox malfunction” fault message is a cracked transmission filter housing.

This is part of your Audi’s gearbox that filters out contaminants from your transmission fluid before it goes into your gearbox.

If this filter housing has a crack due to hitting a stone or wear and tear then it cause your Audi to leak as a result of the leak you will get a gearbox malfunction error.

5. Damaged Clutch

The final most common cause of the gearbox malfunction error message is a damaged clutch.

The clutch is part of your transmission that allows you to change gears and it works by pressing down on a flywheel using hydraulic pressure.

If this flywheel is damaged then it can’t get enough pressure to work properly so when you push down on your gear lever nothing happens.

Audi “Gearbox malfunction you can continue driving” Symptoms

Other than the warning message on your dashboard there are a few other symptoms that can help you to diagnose the cause of your gearbox malfunction error.

  1. No Reverse
  2. Poor Transmission shifts
  3. Jerking when changing gears
  4. Gear slippage
  5. Strange noises

Whether you have an Audi a3, a4, a5, q5 or q7 or a7 the main causes and fix are the same.

How to Fix and Reset the Gearbox Malfunction fault?

Since there are a few things that can cause this fault message, as an auto tech, I recommend that you get your Audi scanned with an OBDII scanner to see what error codes are stored in the system.

You can take your vehicle to an independent Audi specialist or if your car is still under warranty you can take it to the dealer.

If you are not sure what your next step should be, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Additional Sources:




14 thoughts on “Gearbox Malfunction Audi [5 Possible Causes & Fix]”

      1. Hi mate, I get this malfunction msg now and again, especially when driving local, my main problem is that when I press the accelerator the car takes a bit of time to take off. Gears change fine drives fine doesn’t judder.

    1. My fly wheel was charged and after that this message started to show. The mechanic says they are not connected

  1. Hi, so I had this message come on and disappear several times last week, during very hot weather but also while in traffic (start stop being used all the time).
    It’s hot today and it’s come on and stayed in (!).
    Other than that I don’t think the gearbox shows any signs of being faulty.
    I switched off the radio and the air on and now it does seems louder, but it’s a 3.0 Tdci and never before had I paid any particular attention, so I might be just trying to find a problem. Any advice what it might be? What other symptoms would mechatronic failure generate?

  2. Janice seymour

    I have purchased an Audi a3 2.0 trip s tronic in the last 10 days. I have since had a warning appear on my dashboard with gearbox malfunction. The gears drop to only d2, D4 and D6 and obviously noisy. Any suggestions what this could mean please before speaking to the dealership. Thanks

  3. Hi
    Thinking of buying 2011 3.0d convertible auto , seller said it used to be a bit lumpy at low speed but he’s had a 410£ gearbox service , it now seems perfect when I drove it , but the gearbox malfunction continue driving still pops up which worries me , can you think of any reason it would come back on when uts been reset and seems to drive OK.
    Regards Shane.

  4. Hi Brian, I have had this error “gearbox malfunction: you can continue to drive” come and disappear for about 2 years now. Lately the message will pop up and car automatically goes into “N” while I’m driving and engine switch’s off. I then pull over and shift the lever to “P”, sometimes it takes a while before the car can start again .

    Mechanic is not 100% sure what the issue is. Can you guide.

  5. Hi there. I had the dreaded gearbox malfunction message come up last Saturday. I immediately did a gearbox service which didn’t resolve it. I was getting fault codes 00775 (cylinder missfire detected) and 03262 (comfort restriction) after a little research I checked the rear right suspension level sensor which was broken, I fixed that today but now I am getting these fault codes…17590 – shift fork “B” unrequested movement. 01315 – Transmission control module (TCM)
    and am now terrified, I also have a TCU tune arriving tomorrow from 034 Motorsport in hope it might be a software issue, if that doesn’t solve it, I will have to accept its out of my power to fix.
    I have read it could be as simple as an earth fault and found that the code 17590 is actually at linear 02 sensor earth fault code??

    Any help if welcome

  6. Thanks. Audi a5 2013 error message come up gear box malfunction however shifts gears properly no issues… the prob is when I’m driving I can hear a vibration noise

    When the car is started and standstill car sounds perfect no flywheel noise ?

    It’s automatic

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