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Should I buy extended warranty?

Asked by John

Hi, I'd like to get some advice please. I'm looking to buy a 2013 Audi A5, 2.0-litre Quattro convertible. The car has travelled 40,500km. My concern is the automatic transmission on the car, which is the Audi seven-speed S-Tronic. As with the VW DSG transmission, I know there were a lot of issues with these transmissions. This is my concern with buying the car. Should I buy an extended warranty on the car?

Answered by CarsGuide

16 Sep 2020 David Morley

There’s good and bad news here, John. The transmission in the car you’re looking at is code-named DL501 and it’s a wet-clutch design. That’s distinct from some of the dry-clutch designs also used by the VW Group which were much more troublesome with a high rate of failures. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that even with its more durable wet-clutch design, the DL501 has also been known to suffer what appear to be inherent problems. Mainly, those relate to the mechatronic unit (more or less the transmission’s central nervous system) and premature wear in the clutch plates themselves.

The car you’re looking at has covered a very low distance, so it should be okay for now, but there’s no telling what dramas might crop up with years and kilometres. The problems will likely be worse if the car has not been serviced by the book, so check the service handbook for evidence of this. Even then, it’s a bit of a gamble.

But the only thing I’d stay further clear of than a DSG transmission would be an extended warranty from a car-yard. These are specifically written to exclude the things you’re most likely to need them for. Have a close look at the fine print and you might find that the sort of transmission problems you’d expect in this car will be specifically excluded.

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