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Are you iritated by the S5 first gear jerkiness?

26302 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
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How fast are you shifting? The fly wheel in this car is very light, probably a lot lighter than you are used to, which means that the tach may fall a lot faster than your last car. Speeding up your shifts may solve your problem, especially at low rpms. Maybe it is because my last car had a touchy electronic throttle, but on both of my extended test drives around conjested nj "suburbs" I found 1 -> 2 shifts to be glorious and smooth without ever jarring the salesman. I did find a few launches to be touchy because I am not used to the engagement point on the clutch.

I am not saying you don't know how to drive, I am saying you may be still applying your old habits to new technology. Take a look at what RPM = MPH in both 1st and 2nd gear. And make a conscious effort to match them. You will get a sense of the timing, and then you will fall into harmony.

1 -> 2 Shifts are like sleeping with a woman, the first few times are rough, but once you figure out the rhythms, it is bliss, unless you want it to be rough...
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I've taken to starting off by letting the clutch our part way briefly, allowing the car a moment to start moving, then re-releasing the clutch. It does smooth things out, but I can't imagine it's going to be good for my clutch plate.
Actually what you are doing isn't too bad at all for the clutch. When you step on the gas you make a lot more power than at idle, so using the V8's torque to get you rolling in first gear is better than revving to 1500+ and letting the clutch out smoothly.

Leaving the clutch at that engagement point for a second without any gas and then letting it out the rest of the way is going make your life easier and smoother, as long as you aren't on a hill... and won't harm the clutch negligibly if at all.

I promise you that we do a heck of a lot more damage on those other shifts especially when we're shifting from 7k (unless you are rev matching exactly)
Just spent 45 min on the jammed GSP and the jerkiness is starting to get very annoying........
I took the turnpike, best decision of my life. Long live 101.5's traffic report!

Sorry you got caught. Did you at least get to see something interesting? Practice your MMI skills?
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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.
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BMW seems to accomplish the same with a little item called the Clutch Delay Valve, which is inline between the slave cylinder and clutch. Looks like Audi uses electronics instead. Either way, it's very frustrating for someone who truly knows how to operate a clutch.
The Clutch Delay Valve makes sure the engine rpms match the speed before the clutch engages fully. It wears out the clutch faster and makes the car feel soft. It is definitely easier to drive, but IMO makes it less fun. An M3 doesn't have a clutch delay valve because it makes it impossble to spin the tires when shifting and greatly reduces feedback to the driver. The delay valve was the #1 reason, for me, to not choose a 335xi. There are days when that smoothness would be nice, but in general, as long as it is just me in the car, I like being able to almost lose grip of the steering wheel or being able to chirp the tires on the 1-2 shift!

After all, the S5 is a performance car that is luxurious, not the other way around.
After I got comfortable with the car I took it into the dealer which did some kind of update. Afterwards, my driving habits had to be relearned again. I would say that things are still a work in progress.
I had this TSB/software update performed last year and it did help with the idle and 1st gear engagement. Unfortunately, it didn't help the 1-2 shift which is still hit-or-miss from a smoothness standpoint (and I've been driving nothing but manual trasmissions for the last 20+ years :thumbsup:).
I would bet that your problems are Clutch/Bearing/Fork related. I suffered with this forever, had the clutch fixed and the problem was gone, for 500 miles. I just got my fork and throwout bearing replaced again and now it is consistent. We shall see how long this lasts...
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