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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, having picked up our new asg Up just before new year, have been really happy apart from one problem with gear changing/ loss of power. Basically what happens is when turning a corner or sometimes when going round a roundabout the car seems to lose power for a very brief time with you pressing the accellerator and no increase in power, seemingly in a brief limbo. The car will then spring forward in quite a sharp jumping motion having remainded powerless for the limbo moment. This has happened a number of times when turning into a road and have then experienced the limbo moment where I'm then facing oncoming traffic and not even moving, even though pressing(quite frantically) the pedal, but going nowhere!
Also when slowing down the gearbox changes quite smoothly, but when coming to a halt jumps quite sharply and uncomfortably pushing the car forward even though by this point break pedal being pressed-like a burst of power even though accellerator not even being touched!
The worst thing about this is that it is an intermittent problem and doesn't occur all the time. Having taken the car into our Volkswagen dealer today, it was taken for a test drive and of course didn't demonstrate any issues at all which concerns me as have had murder with garages in the past with intermittent problems with past cars and don't fancy a long drawn out time trying to get this problem remedied.
As said previously love the car and just want it fixed, but extra concern when mechanic who came on test drive stating that he and his colleagues hadn't hardly any experience with any problems on the Up and also had no idea what could be causing the stated issues.
Have scooted through the forum (great site by the way), and wondering if anyone else had these issues aforementioned, or am I hopefully the only one in a million that has had a dodgy gearbox?
Am really hoping problems can be resolved and car booked in for proper investigation so we wait and see. Any help or advice will always be gratefully received.
 

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This is pretty normal I think - The UP "ASG" is just a standard manual transmission with a robotized clutch, I've felt some pretty bad shifts come out of the system.

When I first had the car and I was coming up to a corner or roundabout, I had a tendency to just remove my foot from the throttle and place it ready above the break should I need to slow down or stop for other traffic, but otherwise I'd the entire maneuver without using any throttle or break. However, the gearbox doesn't appear to shift at all when you don't have a foot on the pedals unless it's dangerously close to stalling, so when driving round town it wasn't unusual to see the gearbox do a double or triple shift from 5th to 3rd/2nd, which can cause quite a bit of jerk. The solution, for me, is just to keep my foot gently depressing the break, just enough to illuminate the break lights, but not cause a noticeable stopping motion. This causes the car to maintain the gear that is most appropriate for accelerating from that speed (i.e. 3rd at 30, instead of 5th) and reduces the occurrences of the jerky shifts.

This can also happen on hills, and the best approach I've found is to put your foot down and force the computer to shift gears before you reach the hill and then force it to maintain the same gearing all the way up, it'll waste a little extra fuel, but it's better than being slowed down to <20 MPH on a steep hill because the gearbox couldn't keep up with the shifts. (It might actually save fuel, however, as you can maintain a constant speed all the way up the hill)

As for jerky breaking problems, that will probably be the engine breaking from switching into first gear, not entirely sure what you could do about that, I've never had much of a problem with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Geit, thanks for the info. I too have noticed what you have said regarding manipulating the gearbox by the pedal use which can give some smoother action. However when turning from a static position I.e moving off from stopped, at say a junction for instance, the only pedal depressed would be the accellerator and my issue is that the car would then initially move off then reaching the limbo point, before then jumping forward. The danger for me is this limbo point where the car appears to have no power no matter how far down I press the accellerator.
I accept that the Up's gearbox is a bit clunky, but surely not to the point where there is a complete lack of power?
You mentioned the stalling before and that gearbox doesn't seem to do anything unless really close to this. The engine idle on our Up seems to be too low as car feels like it's ready to completely cut out when just at idle and not moving. I wonder if this idle speed had anything to do with things. Still I'm no mechanic so we'll just have to see what the dealer says after a proper inspection.
Seems thst most owners feel that asg not the best in the world, but accept it's actual capabilities, so hope in a way that there is something silly/small wrong that can be rectified by the mechanics, as I don't fancy having to live with these issues in an otherwise great little car.
 

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Hi.............oh dear this is now happening to me,i picked up my new up in April,love it so happy but last two days lost power on a roundabout.very worrying stuff ,kept pumping power and finally it moved off again......back to dealer next week i have printed off your problem too so they can see the fault that could potentially be developing with the ASG................not happy....over ten gran for the car and now it is losing power !!!!!!!!!!.........please advise me if you found out the problem
 

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omg new up...............losing power on the roundabout....................twice in two days now.back to the dealer not happy .......so love my car but very worrying when car is dying on a roundabout.please advise me if anyone knows what the problem is ?.........thanks even the dealer is saying there are problems with The Asg and they will have to investigate when they pick it up to work shop next week. Seems to me when the car is in second it loses all power !,it stops nearly to dead I have to keep pressing hard on the gas to at least get it moving.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hiya Patsy, sorry to hear you're having similar issues, but in a way if this is happening to others this may be good that it's being brought to dealers attention. Lots of people that own an Up admit/accept a bit of a 'clunky' gearbox, but I don't think some of those have been in the situation and experienced when there's no power and facing rapidly approaching traffic and no movement, or like you say, in the middle of a roundabout! Quite scary in itself, but also quite scary that others could be facing this problem too.
Mine is going into the dealers Monday, so will see what they come up with. Just done a trip this week across loads of miles and motorways and the car is a gem, but whenever on normal roads have to be so, so careful.
Will update once hopefully more info. Hopefully this problem is restricted to a small number of Ups, and if can be fixed-happy days, we wait and see.
 

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Thanks for your reply please let me know when you have had yours checked out.mine is booked in for the 23 rd April.......fab on open roads problem on small roundabouts though !....i love my car feel so fed up now..........i will tell the dealer about you too so hopefully if they sort yours out then they can do same to mine.............i part ex changed my little smart car for the up but never had a problem like this and it scared me when it lost its power on two occasions..........i need my car for work and like you do a lot of miles but nervous and wary of it now.keep checking the gears on the dash board and it is always in second when the car looses its power.............hope to speak soon ..............i so love my car too
 

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Front wheel drive and auto gearboxes always have problems I am afaid this is because the way the engine is mounted

The only gearbox that works well in front wheel drive is the DSG Gearbox
 

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I too traded in a Smart for the up. I used to find in the Smart when i was slowing for a roundabout, found it to be clear so then accelerated, the car would just beach before eventually changing down to second and pulling away. I never felt it was a fault because it did it consistently. The times it was particularly annoying was when there was only just enough time to shoot onto the roundabout and scoot off - only to find the car beaching when you least needed it. Anyway, my solution was to make sure my next car - the up - was a manual!
 

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beaching is deffenently a robotic gearbox problem/caracteristic... Its true that the dsg is one of the best gearboxes around but not the only one to work it's just a case to have a proper auto and not a robotic... I'd have bought the dsg if it was available instead went for manual which is fine for me :)
 

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I live in the country with most roundabouts in the world (not a confirmed fact, but I believe it's so... we have like 8 in a row some places :p).One tip is to not drive the ASG like a DSG box / other automatic.
Don't be afraid to use the kickdown and force it from 4th/5th to 2nd gear.
I was surprised to see that it shifts from 5th to 2nd on motorways (90-110km/h) when kicking down, but found out that the engine is so weak that this is much better than not kicking down and getting mediocre performance / "confused gearbox syndrome" with loss of power that you are describing. When I'm firm anddecisive with the box, it performs really good. It's only with a relaxed driving style I sometimes get the loss of power for 1-2 seconds (while the gearbox makes up it's mind which gear is the best).

In short, you can speed things up by kicking down the gas pedal. The box is not as smart/fast as the DSG when it comes to shifting, so I don't leave it any doubt that you want maxaccelerationin situations like roundabouts and kick the &%&% out of that pedal.


Edited by: stratcast
 

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Thanks for everyones kind advice............ill press that peddle hard if it happens again........my smart was a semi automatic so it told me when to move the gears up and down by the arrow on the dash board.so all new to me the way the Up thinks...........I think the car is a lovely drive but did freak me out when the ''loss of power'' happened guess it was just confused...........hopefully now ill help it think by being harder on the peddle...................still haveit booked in at the dealers wont hurt to have it checked out but if all you guys say is correct then i can live with the second loss of power at least i know it isnt a faulty car..............
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi guys, thought I'd give you a bit of an update re asg issues. Took my Up into the dealers this morning for them to 'investigate' the asg issues as mentioned in my previous posts. The people at the dealers were great and they promised to do a proper in depth look into any possible issues and gave us a loan car (exactly the same model Up), which we drove home and some driving locally. The difference in the drive and gear changing was immediately noticeable, and helped us to think that there obviously something wrong with ours back at the dealers. Mid afternoon we got a phone call stating that the dealers gearbox specialist had done an in depth investigation, but had found nothing wrong at all with our car. I then told them that we had noticed a huge difference driving the Up courtesy car and was then told that they'd have another look tomorrow and asked if they could take the car for some proper test drives themselves. I fully believe that they've had a proper look, but strange that the loan car drives so much differently? I'm quite happy to let them take it out on the road themselves, as maybe they will then be properly able to then see the issues that we've taken the car in for! Obviously within the garage environment they cannot properly see the car in action regardless of all the diagnostic equipment that can be plugged in-this cannot replace actually driving it, so we again wait to see what tomorrow's further investigations reveal, and will update accordingly-hopefully with some resolve.
 

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Thanks for update...........i am being a little more assertive with mine today,pressed peddle harder did not give it time to think as to what gear it should be in...........hopefully .no loss of power again.seems to me you have to help the little car along.well if nothing comes of yours then i guess its way to drive it .mine is booked for next week so hopefully we will get some answers..........yes the dealers need to drive it to see but maybe this is how the ASG box drives as others seem to think.....what a carry on ,mind it can certainly pull away when you are more assertive.............love this car and hope there is nothing wrong .....
 

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You can also change down manually by pulling back / tapping down the gear stick if you want to force it 1-2 gears down. It will do the same as kicking down the pedal most of the times, but with this "trick" you can force it in even lower gears some times (great when you want to get up to speed in the shortest possible time to get into those really small gaps in traffic). The engine screams like a sports car and it will deliver a normal performance that can be expected of modern cars
It will still change automatically when getting into the red on the rev counter (great feature of the ASG!).

At the end of the day, the engine is just too small to offer goodacceleration in all gears. It's the weakest engine I've ever driven and it's really important to be in the optimal gear (not to high) in situations where you might need to accelerate rapidly (typically when standing still and waiting to get into roundabouts/high speed roads from standstill/very low speeds).

Good rule of thumb:

standstill = 1st gear
rolling slowly = 2nd gear (I sometimes force it into 1st if gaps are tight)
rolling a little bit faster = 2nd gear for max performance (by kicking down or tapping gear stick), I never risk leaving it in 3rd if I need to catch a small gap in roundabouts etc.

If you are even one gear higher = big issues if you need rapid response /acceleration.



With most other cars you can start in 2nd gear from standstill and get greatacceleration in all the other gears without beating the sh*t out of the engine. Not with the up!.










Edited by: stratcast
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi Stratcast, the issues we're experiencing are actually when leaving first gear to get into second-as though the gearbox knows that it needs to increase gear, but then wavers for a split moment. If we're pulling away from stopped (first gear), and when pulling onto roundabouts (again from stopped), then the split second delay whilst it thinks about it, before then jumping into second. Gear changes above second do not demonstrate any issues and appear to work correctly upon the correct speeds/conditions.
The courtesy car that we've been using today hasn't shown the same issues and changes gear seemingly quite normally in it's own way-maybe the dealer should compare our Up against the loan car, then they'd see the big difference-and see that it's not just in our heads or the way in which we drive our Up, as it's a fantastic little car and would just like to drive it without worrying-hopefully tomorrow will give a better idea of what's going on.
 
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi there, so we've had the car looked at by the dealers, and the comparison of the two cars. Myself and a mechanic drove the loan car for about half an hour, and found it to be a smooth, efficient drive with good gear changes and everything seemingly working fine. We then took our Up out for the comparison, and guess what? True to form with any intermittent issue, it wouldn't show itself no matter how long we drove around!
So we went back to the dealers, and quite rightly the dealer said that if the fault cannot be seen, then they couldn't attempt fixing it! I understand where they're coming from, but doesn't fix things when the problem happens again does it? The dealer told me to report our issues to VW myself which I found a bit strange, so asked why I needed to do this when surely they should be doing so, but they informed me that they had nothing to report as they had found nothing wrong, and that they were just the dealer, not actually VW!?! To me, I bought the car from what obviously was VW and in my impression they were VW, so therefore had an obvious responsibility to help solve the problem. I was then told that this was not the case and told they could do nothing more unless they could see a problem-even if it did occur intermittently!
I came away quite dejected and unhappy with their attitude as I believed, and still believe that the issue still existed.
To be fair it did take two days before the car did show its problem again, and on each occasion I had friends or family in the car that were quite surprised, and concerned when the car just seemingly lost power at the most inconvenient moment. I've decided to keep a diary of when this problem occurs, where it occurs, and who if anyone witnesses the occurrence, aswell as sending a detailed letter to VW customer service reporting our issues-as the dealer blatantly doesn't want anything to do with helping to solve our problems.
From some of the comments posted by other Up owners, some people appear to think that any issues we have experienced are actually only in our heads, but I can guarantee our problems do not compare to issues felt by others, and to be fair we have had numerous passengers and witnesses who have also experienced the 'limbo' moment and even though it seems to occur randomly, it is still a problem, and in all our minds that have experienced the problem, could be potentially quite dangerous. What we need to do though is actually persuade the establishment that there is an actual problem to be recognised, and then hopefully fixed.
As we've said many times-love the car, but just want it to work properly-all the time!
We'll write to VW direct now, and see what happens, and in the meantime will just have to avoid roundabouts and avoid turning corners to try and stop the issue re occuring-a chance to really enjoy driving our new Up!!
Good luck to anyone else experiencing anything similar, but even more luck in getting the dealers/VW to see that a problem actually exists-let alone trying to get it fixed!!
 

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s.hadey said:
concerned when the car just seemingly lost power at the most inconvenient moment ...., we have had numerous passengers and witnesses who have also experienced the 'limbo' moment and even though it seems to occur randomly, it is still a problem,
Sounds exactly like the CityGo I had a test drive in - several limbo moments and jerks/lurches.

As I was thinking of going for the Auto box myself and my VW Dealer didn't have
one to try - I had to go to a Skoda dealer! The Motoring press reports were pretty scathing (I quote: "... plain horrid to drive..." ".... Avoid it at all costs...." "Stick clear of the .... robotised manual gearbox ).

Our local dealer has, I believe, sold only one ASG and the lady who bought it, did so without a test drive - she told me that herself when I met her parking her ASG Up! near us a few weeks ago. She has returned it and done a deal for an identical Up! but with the manual box.

Sadly, I think you're on a 'hiding to nothing' trying to get the dealer to respond - if the Demo car I had and the Motoring press comments are still relevant.






Edited by: PeterWestSussex
 

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Hi s.hadeys, I am from The Netherlands and my wife got her new high up! 75 ASG just last week.So far, she has already experienced 3 times the symptom that you describe. Basically, it always happens during a roundabout and the car will get stuck in 1st gear and wont change to 2nd regardless of how much gas u press on the pedal. (even to the extent of 5-6KRPM)

She have to step the brakes and bring the car down to almost a stop and re-accelerate again to get out of this "limbo" situation. To me, it's kind of dangerous as the car behind her will have thought she had moved off but in reality, the car can't move and have to stop. I have driven the car myself but so far, it did not happen when I am driving it although I personally witnessed this happening when she was driving.

We will be monitoring the car for a few more weeks to see if it gets better.
We have notified our dealer and waiting for them to give a response on this.
 

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I'd never order a small car with an automat, they never seem to have enough power to work properly.

The Telegraph wasn't impressed with the VW up!'s asg either--> ASG
 
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