Audi A5 Forum & Audi S5 Forum banner

Are you iritated by the S5 first gear jerkiness?

26289 Views 71 Replies 44 Participants Last post by  Terminator X
I have a meeting with a regional director of Audi re this issue on Friday of next week. There are many compliants about this "antio stall" feature on the forum, but I don't believe many people have actually reported it back to thier dealer. If you are irritated with the difficulty of smooth take off and smooth driving in stop/start traffic, then please let me know before next friday and I will pass this on. I don't know how to set up a proper pole on this site so either let me know by responding to this thread or possibly some other member in the know could set up a pole for me. Ideally I just need to know roughly where you are based in the world and how long you have had the car.

Many thanks
1 - 9 of 72 Posts
Graham... As discussed when we met... You can register my dissatisfaction, even though I 'drive-around' the problem, I would still prefer to have the option to pull away at 1,100 revs rather than only have the option of idle revs or 1,800 and feathering the clutch.
The last car I had was a 2003 Nissan Maxima with drive-by-wire. The first 10000 miles I had the car I was terrible. My previous car had a daul friction clutch and super light fly wheel and I used to have shifts smoother than my gf's skin. What I learned over time with the drive by wire was to using the old let clutch out and push gas in didn't work. The S5 is a performance car, and isn't going to control clutch engagement like a 3 or 5 series BMW. You are in control, but sadly the drive-by-wire electronic throttle is not what you are used to. Here is what I learned which went against my normal teachings:

1a. Depress Clutch extremely fast
1b. Let off gas completely when clutch is past engagement point (Engine will rev up if you let off too late, and the car will slow down or jerk a little if you let off too soon)
2. Change the gears
3a. Release Clutch and try to have the engagement point catch the right RPMs as you shift. You may hold it at the engagement point for about half a second or so to let the rpms match perfectly

3b. Now this is the hardest part and is what is the biggest pain:
While releasing the clutch, just as it is ABOUT to reach the engagement point, press in and HOLD the gas pedal maybe 10% of the way (no matter what speed you are going). Key here is to not press it in too much or else the electronic throttle is going to think you are blipping the throttle for a spirited downshift, and therefore will rev the engine like crazy. Also letting off the pedal if you think you pressed it too much is worse than just holding it. If you are holding it in too far the throttle will reduce itself while engaging (unless it is almost on the floor), when you let off the gas the throttle will fall quickly and then you will end up really jerking the car.

4. At the engagement point begin pressing the gas more (smoothness is key here) while Releasing the rest of the Clutch quickly.

Sound close to what you do now? I am sure it is, but learning to press the gas in gently at that engagement point took a long time to become second nature, and will make all the difference.

I don't think people "can't drive" or that I have "better skills", I think that this cars electronics are new and after getting used to the terrible implementation by Nissan for this, I can share the experience. I don't blame you for being irritated, it still irritated me some days when I sold my maxima, but, I did learn how to make it work, and yes I still jerked the car some starts when I wasn't paying attention. Especially in stop/start traffic when I was getting frustrated by people cutting in front of me when I was leaving extra room between the car in front of me so I wouldn't have to come to a complete stop.
...Personally I found that my driving style meant I didn't have this problem and I can easily drive to avoid the problem... I have also explained this to guys on the forum... However, they have convinced me that this is not the point... The point is if you want to pull away with lower revs, you can't without balancing the clutch to bring them down and risk stalling. Therefore I support this thread.
My Engineer's Apraisal >>>

OK peeps, for those of you who have read this and other threads, you will know that I don't have an issue with the smoothness/anti-stall thingy... although I DO reckognise it as a problem. To cut a long story short, my driving style is such that I use relatively high revs when moving off out of habit from having a car with a lightened flywheel before this one.


I spent some time today in rush-hour traffic and had plenty of opportunity to play with different driving styles and different revs etc... In summary...


It is true, the anti-stall avoids revs in the range between tickover ~800rpm and about 1,500rpm by lifting the revs automatically to 1,500 when you touch the throttle thus making it impossible to select anything lower (other than tickover) when moving off. UNFORTUNATELY THIS IS NECESSARY... ...I tried carefully dragging the revs down whilst moving off by careful clutch control and as soon as it hits 1,400 the engine bogs down. This is NOT a software function, but a function of having a relatively light flywheel. There is nothing that can be done to change this, other than changing the flywheel spec.

So, the S5 has a revvy sporty engine and puts power to the wheels well helped in part by the light flywheel. To avoid bogging and stalling issues, they have introduced software assistance. The other option is to have a heavier flywheel without the bogging and stall problems, but which is heavier, lower on power, slower to respond and less free-revving. Not a good option!

Good luck Graham with taking this up, and please people register your name as recognising the problem... Audi should listen. However I'm not sure there's a solution.
See less See more
...Thanks A5inReston... The engine vibration is often called 'torque ripple' because the torque varies throughout a revolution as the cylinders fire and if plotted on a circular graph looks like a ripple. This torque ripple causes a little slap-back in the gearbox as well as vibration in the car... stick a big mass on the end of the crankshaft and the vibration is reduced because the engine can't accelerate the mass fast enough to produce the vibration. Unfortunately, this mass needs to be accelerated when the engine revs and hence reduced power output (HP). Dual mass flywheels help reduce the mass required to reduce the vibration.

I put a 12Kg single mass fidanza flywheel in my A6 2.7T and it flew! But I did have to run the revs up a bit to avoid noise and bogging down / stalling... although running two light-pressure turbos this was not such a problem because of high low-end torque.

The S5 engine seems particularly prone to stalling or beginning to stall from my tests, hence the software intervention. It's my guess that this will be a 'charateristic' we will have to live with as a result of having such a rapid car.
See less See more
Indeed I do agree... I got to try it loads at all different speeds and watched the behaviour... clever software really... just annoying! ... however, most annoying was in traffic rolling at 3mph, just below the speed of the car in 1st at tickover... I had to ride the clutch constantly or stop-start, revving like a chav.
Very clever software indeed.

PS I had to Google "Tickover" to find out it meant Idle.
Sorry, I'll try to use more 'international' language in future! It's hard to remember there's a lot of regional/familiar jargon... or 'colloquialisms' to give them their proper name!
Oh, it's such a bore! ;)
I always wondered what everyone was talking about as well with this first gear jerkiness on take off. Mines really smooth. Infact i can get it to roll fine as well without tapping on the gas.
1 - 9 of 72 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.