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Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 3
Angry 2006 Cayenne S with dead transmission

I'm in major trouble now and need advice. I had a problem with my 2006 Cayenne S, with hard downshift 5 -4 and sometimes 4-3, but only when slightly accelerating uphill. (120k miles and bought it used a year ago.) Other than this annoying little distraction it has been great to drive. To try to resolve the thump, the first thing I just tried this week was a transmission filter and refill kit, thinking simplest solution first. Reading the DIY procedure, I know my limitations and instead had a German car/VW/Audi repair shop who supposedly knew what they're doing take on the job. MISTAKE! Shop calls me and says, "Work is complete, but drive or reverse is just like neutral. Might need a new tranny." The shop tried to check codes, reset codes, etc. for a day and a half but they were clearly over their heads. I ended up towing the car back yesterday on a flatbed (and now with engine light on). So now the transmission wont engage at all. It's in my driveway now...dead. Engine starts of course but no engaging D or R. Help?
Old 11-11-2017, 09:41 AM
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I'll bet you they screwed up the oring on the new filter and underfilled the trans. An very underfilled trans will not engage the gears. Drain the trans and see how much fluid comes out. Should be at least 6 quarts, but probably closer to 7.

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Old 11-11-2017, 03:36 PM
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Thanks for the reply. Here's what I know. They put in 9 of the 10 quarts that I had ordered of Redline D4 ATF. The Meyle filter came with the gasket in place ready to go, and I had a spare one on hand just in case which he gave back to me. Looking for a more reputable shop now with actual tech expertise.
Old 11-12-2017, 08:24 AM
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I agree with the other post. They might have under filled it. You have to check the level at the proper operating temperature and follow a certain shifting procedure you must use the proper tools for this. I am not sure of the exact capacity but I think it is 8.5 - 9.5 liters depending on build date. The fluid most people use is either the Porsche fluid or Toyota fluid which is much cheaper than factory fluid. Just curios why you went with the redline?
My Cayenne does the same thing when shifting occasionally mine has 175K miles on it. I asked my mechanic to change the fluid and filter as it has never been changed and he told me to leave it alone. He said changing it at this mileage is just asking for trouble. Maybe he was right.
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Old 11-12-2017, 08:44 AM
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Touaregs suffer from hard shifts and I believe they use the same transmission. The shifting is controlled by a "valve body / valve chest" which is a replaceable part. My Touareg had a hard shift from 5-4 when coasting up hill to a stop, that was the issue.

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Old 11-13-2017, 08:12 AM
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It's pretty easy/common to pinch, damage, or otherwise misalign the oring on the filter when installing it - - you have to install the filter perfectly straight or it will fail. If you mess up the oring, the trans cant pull enough vacuum through the filter and wont suck up the fluid out of the pan, resulting in an underfilled trans. Low fluid means intermittent or no gear engagement (usually you will lose reverse first for some reason). This happens all the time on Cayennes and Touaregs with the Aisin trans if you read the forums. If you drain the trans, you should get almost 7 quarts out, maybe more if you let it drain overnight - - the other 3 quarts are in the oil cooler, torque converter and valve body. Any less than 6 quarts is very underfilled and is likely your problem. If you use a clean pan, you can reuse most of oil.

BTW, this happened to me after I had a reputable transmission shop replace my transmission front seal. It took me a almost a year to figure out why I would occasionally lose reverse or drive (my trans was low, but still full enough to function correctly except after sitting long periods or on slow hill climbs). Once I fixed the filter and refilled the trans, the problems were gone.

The valve body usually fails with a bad 5/4 downshift (clunk), but I suppose if your mechanic inadvertently unplugged one or more of the half dozen solenoids on the valve body that could also cause the problems you describe. Assuming the solenoids are plugged in, if it is a valve body (solenoids) failure, a rebuilt valve body can be had for under $1000.

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Old 11-13-2017, 04:47 PM
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Thumbs up Vibrations/Shuttering upshifting from 2 to 3 and so on


Sorry to Read/hear about you transmission issues.
Finally Just did my Transmission service 2 weeks ago. Nuts...

My Cayenne STi has 186K Miles. 1 Year old now since purchase 7/2016.
Drained out black fluid 6.5qts. Like mud. Well overdue. ***Logical***

*Vibrations/Shuttering up shifting from 2 to 3 and so on till 6th gear, even on low throttle...

My $54 Ebay Transmission filter. Refilled with AMSOIL ATF Synthetic (Highly recommended) Re 6.5 Qts. used ECS Tuning- Schwaben 3 liter multi-Funcction Fluid Pump Kit.

Now, it shifts sweet, just like new... Will service again in spring just flush and refill.

We Don't ever want Transmission issues, Right!

Keep Us all on your progress, later...
2006 955 Cayenne S Titanium Series - Marine Blue, 1987 Porsche 944S Club Sport.
1987 Buick Turbo-T Lightweight "Great White", +500HP, TA49 Turbo., 944/951/968 & 911 Performance Solutions.
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Old 11-17-2017, 06:36 AM
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You have some great advice there.
The shifting is controlled internally by the valve body. -Solenoids and pressurized ATF engage and/or release various bands over gear sets to allow the different ratios.
It sounds like you should replace the valve body, and make certain things are reassembled properly. (BTDT)
Lot's of used valve bodies on ebay, if budget is a concern.
Everyone you meet knows something you don't. - - - and a whole bunch of crap that is wrong.
Disclaimer: the above was 2 worth.
More information is available as my professional opinion, which is provided for an exorbitant fee.
Old 11-17-2017, 09:58 PM
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