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This guide will discuss some of the most common problems that affect Seat vehicles such as SEAT Tarraco, Ateca, Arona, Leon, Ibiza equipped with automatic transmission. 

Table of Contents

Delays while shifting gears, failed TCC engagement.

Seat Leons that use any of the 6-speed automatic transmission variants, designated as 09G, 09M, or 09K, can suffer from several specific gear shift issues. The most usual scenarios include delays during gear shifts, erratic gear changes, or shift flares while accelerating. In some cases, the torque converter will fail to lock up, resulting in burnt clutches. These symptoms are usually intermittent, and there will be no other symptoms or warning lights.

Possible causes

  • Worn end plug bores, happen with time as a result of component movement and fluid flow. As these plugs prevent pressure loss by capping the bore, this results in the loss of hydraulic pressure and delays or failed TCC lockup. Being a well-known problem, there are several upgrade kits available on the market.
  • Worn bores inside the valve body, causing either pressure drops or obstructions of the solenoid movement. This results in shift flares both on acceleration or when coming to a stop. Replacing the whole valve body is the only solution, but because this is a well-known problem, there are many specialized workshops that sell rebuilt ones.  

Hesitation and gear hunting

Seat Exeos that use a Multitronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) transmission can have issues that show up as a lack of response. This can happen both when setting off from a stationary position or while accelerating at motorway speeds. In many cases, the driver may experience a feeling of gear-hunting and slippage. In the initial phases, the problem will be present only when driving more aggressively.

Possible causes

  • An outdated or inadequate version of TCU software, which can cause incorrect transmission behavior. It is possible to update the software using a suitable diagnostic tool or initiate a relearn procedure following the steps described below.   
  • Worn clutch packs, which happen as a result of normal wear-and-tear or too aggressive driving style. The tell-tale symptom for this is the metal shavings found within the oil filter. Replacing the clutch pack is the only solution. As this is a widespread issue, there are different upgraded kits available on the market. 

Judder and rattle while idling or shifting gears

Seats that use 7-speed DSG transmissions can have issues with juddering and shaking under different conditions. In most cases, this will happen just after the engine is started, and it comes in combination with a loud rattle. Another possibility is that the judder happens while shifting gears, with low gear shift being more noticeable.

Possible causes

  • Excessive play within the dual-mass flywheel, caused by wear and aggressive driving. This results in a strong metallic rattle on idle. When checking the condition of the flywheel, look for any movement between two plates and replace them if there is any.
  • Excessive wear of the dual-clutch assembly or certain parts inside it, caused by normal wear-and-tear. However, replacing single parts with various repair kits, replacing the clutch assembly as a whole unit is recommended.

Transmission switching to limp mode

Seat cars that use a 6-speed DSG transmission can sometimes jump into limp mode. In most scenarios, this will occur suddenly, and the transmission will remain in third gear only. When this happens, there will be warnings on the dashboard, such as a flashing ‘PRNDS’ light. This also indicates there will be codes stored in the vehicle's DTC memory, which will help track down the problem.

Possible causes 

  • Worn clutch plate exceeding allowable clutch travel. This will trigger codes that revolve around ‘clutch limits’ or ‘clutch adaptation.’ Still,  resetting the transmission may help in some cases, as it forces it to reconfigure the clutch actuation procedure. Doing this is possible by using a VAG diagnostic tool or by performing the process described below.
  • Various sensor failures will trigger a corresponding code or several of them. Based on the provided error codes, check the suspected sensor together with connectors and wirings, and replace it if needed.
  • Failure of the mechatronic unit causes numerous different codes, including sensors and implausible gear ratios. As there is no possibility to repair this unit as a DIY, it can be either replaced or repaired by a specialist.

Harsh shifting

Seat models with a classic 5-speed automatic transmission, designated as 09A, can have several different shift issues. In most cases, gear shifts on accelerations will be harsh and rough. Also, drivers, my notice lurches that happen when shifting from Neutral to Drive or Reverse. This usually affects higher mileage vehicles or if the maintenance is neglected. In the initial phases, the problem is only present while the car is cold and will not trigger any warning lights.

Possible causes

  • Solenoids within the valve body that are leaking or sticking. While leaks usually happen as a result of normal wear, movement obstructions result from build-ups caused by skipping fluid changes. The resulting lack of smooth and controlled solenoid control causes harsh gear shifts. Although solenoids may be cleaner or replaced one by one, renewing them all at once is the best solution.

Reset Seat Transmission

Method 1

  1. Turn on the ignition, but don’t start the engine.
  2. Press the accelerator and keep it like that
  3. Turn off the ignition.
  4. Wait until you hear a clicking sound and then release the accelerator.
  5. Release the accelerator
  6. Turn on the ignition and start the engine.

Method 2

  1. Turn on the ignition, but don’t start the engine.
  2. Press the accelerator and keep it like that for ten seconds
  3. Turn off the ignition.
  4. Release the accelerator
  5. Remove the key from the ignition.
  6. Press the accelerator and keep it like that for ten seconds
  7. Release the accelerator
  8. Turn on the ignition and start the engine.

The reset methods may not work on all Seat models. Performing the reset does not damage the transmission. It only resets the shift points to factory settings.