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This article is about some of the most common problems with Skoda automatic transmissions. 

Table of Contents

Shift flares, slippage, or failed gear engagement

First-generation Skoda Superbs that have a 5-speed automatic transmission, designated as 5HP19, suffer from several shift-related issues.

This ranges from flares on accelerations or slippage in reverse to poor shift quality and even failures to engage certain gears. In most cases, there will be no other symptoms or warning lights.

Possible causes

  • Excessive bore or piston wear inside the pressure modulator valve as a result of normal wear that happens because of constant movement. As this valve regulates transmission fluid back-pressure, the resulting leakage causes flares and slippage. There are oversized and upgraded kits available on the market. 
  • Excessive bore wear inside the main pressure regulator valve, which causes shift issues and failed gear changes. Reconditioning the bore and installing an oversized pressure regulator valve is the only reliable solution.

Harsh shifting

Older Skoda Octavia models that use a classic 5-speed automatic transmission, labeled as 09A, can suffer from several different shift issues. Among the problems, harsh gear shifts while accelerating are the most common ones. This can sometimes be accompanied by a noticeable lurch that happens when shifting from Neutral to Drive or Reverse.

Most of these problems will affect high-mileage cars and will start as an intermittent issue that only occurs while the car is cold.

Possible causes

  • Solenoids within the valve body that are leaking or sticking. While leaks usually happen as a result of normal wear, movement obstructions are a result of 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.

Delayed shifts or failure to engage TCC

Skoda models equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission, which are available under designations 09G, 09M, or 09K, have several symptomatic issues that affect gear changes. This can range from delayed or erratic gear changes to shift flares during accelerations. There are also cases where the torque converter fails to lock up, causing burnt clutches with time. In most cases, these issues will be intermittent, with no other symptoms or warning lights present.

Possible causes

  • Excessive wear inside end plug bores as a result of component movement and fluid flow. This causes a loss of hydraulic pressure, which results in issues like gear shift delays or failures to lock up the TCC. Being a well-known problem, there are several upgrade kits available on the market.
  • Excessive bore wear inside the valve body, which leads to pressure drops or obstructions of the solenoid movement. As a result, there will be a noticeable shift flare 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 specialized workshops that sell rebuilt units.  

Transmission in limp mode

Newer Skoda models that come with a 6-speed DSG transmission can suffer from switching to the limp mode.

This is something that usually happens suddenly and without any prior symptoms. When this happens, the transmission will be stuck in third gear, and the ‘PRNDS’ symbol on the dashboard will be flashing. As this also stores error codes into the vehicle's DTC memory, they will help in narrowing down the problem.

Possible causes

  • Excessive clutch plate wear, resulting in clutch travel that exceeds allowable limits. This will cause error codes that indicate issues like ‘clutch limits’ or ‘clutch adaptation.’ Before blaming the clutch itself, resetting the clutch actuation procedure may help. This is possible by using a VAG diagnostic tool or by performing the procedure described below.
  • Failure of some of the sensors, which triggers 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.
  • The faulty mechatronic unit, resulting in a range of different and seemingly unrelated codes. This usually includes implausible values for sensors and gear ratios. This unit is not serviceable, and the only options are either to replace it or have it repaired by a specialist.

Judder and rattle on idle or during gear shifts

Newer Skoda models with a 7-speed DSG transmission can suffer from issues that range from prominent judder and rattle on startup or in idle to shaking that occurs during gear shifts, which is usually more noticeable with lower gears.

Possible causes

  • The dual-mass flywheel has too much play within, which is caused by normal wear or driving style that is too aggressive. A strong metallic rattle on idle is a telltale sign. When checking the condition of the flywheel, look for any movement between two plates and replace if there is any.
  • Worn dual-clutch assembly or certain parts inside it, caused by normal wear-and-tear. Although it is possible to replace single parts with various repair kits, replacing the clutch assembly as a whole unit is the recommended solution.

These are some of the most common Skoda transmission problems based on our expertise and research.