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Old 05-04-2021, 08:17 AM   #1
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Tiptronic issues

Has anyone with a tiptronic transmission have issues like this:

Starting in in D, 2nd gear, rear end 'clunks' slightly then it shifts immediately to 4th gear, bypassing 3rd gear and will not shift on it's on after that. The red light blinks alternately between 4th gear and D. You have to stop the car, move gear shifter to Park and shut it off. Sometimes the check engine light comes on. Scanning with OBD, codes are 0740 and 0753, torque converter and shift solenoid. Once codes are cleared, it shifts fine for a while, sometimes 100 miles, or more, sometimes much less. One mechanic says shift solenoid needs to be replaced(after we paid over $300 for 1 liter added to trans) due to it being low. Porsche dealers states new transmission for $12,000. Our mechanic said it was a "ghost" thing with Porsches. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it won't. Just have to live with it.
Putting mechanics and dealers aside, has anyone had this happen to their tiptronic transmission and if so, what did you do to fix the issue. I'm at a loss. We just got this Boxster on the road, safely, after complete tune up, new this, new that, etc. About $4000 worth of work done and now this starts. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

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Old 05-04-2021, 08:33 AM   #2
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Your first warning was the low fluid. Why was it 1qt low? That is a lot.

I would have it drained, new filter, gasket and filled....correctly. Check for debris in the fluid including metal. Fluid level is very sensitive in these and if not done correctly by temp it can be over filled....which will lead to issues.

You also need to get the tiptronic codes read. You can't do this with a generic OBD reader or Torque. Durametric can read the tiptronic codes. Depending on the tiptronic codes replace anything necessary during the filter change.

I would also have your mechanic check for vacuum leaks. Your next clue is that it starts up again after about 100 miles. There is a change over valve that opens/closes for the trans cooler, which is activated by vacuum. If this or the valve isn't working it can lead to issues.

After the fluid change have the mechanic reset the adaptions. Take it for a very easy drive around town. Dont accelerate hard or push it. Just let it start to re-learn.
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Last edited by Stl-986; 05-04-2021 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 05-04-2021, 04:15 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply and info. Our mechanic drove it to Knoxville with a Snap-On scanner hooked up. It finally thru the codes about 100 miles from home and 30 miles before reaching Knoxville. It had the same codes(but more in depth) as my pocket scanner. Eurotech checked the fluid level, refilled and tested and no codes came up on their scanner. They thought the low fluid was the issue. Evidently, that wasn't the problem.
Where can I check the vacuum on the trans? I'm new to Boxsters and this is all new to me. But I'm tyring to learn as much as I can. Thanks again for the reply and help.
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Old 05-04-2021, 05:27 PM   #4
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take the engine cover off
look for the AOS
towards the back of the car by the AOS (under the oil fill tube) will be a vacuum line and the change over valve

What your mechanic should do (or you) is hook up a vacuum gauge to the vacuum lines, start the car and see what your vacuum numbers are. Believe it should be between 15-20".

With all that said it is most likely the solenoid but these ZF transmissions are pretty bullet proof.

I would still question the fluid being low. If it was, there has to be a reason why it was low. Also how you check level & fill it isn't the same as doing it on a manual. Still suggest doing a drain, filter & fill.
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Old 05-06-2021, 09:49 PM   #5
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The flashing D4 (if your gear selector is in drive) or P4 (if your gear selector is in park) indicate the transmission has detected a problem and has put itself in limp mode. When this happens, the transmission computer should contain log information that will tell you why it put itself in limp mode. As you have noted, when you clear codes on your ECM it will also clear the transmission error temporarily. What sounds like has not yet happened is that someone has actually read the transmission error log. You can't do this with a standard consumer grade OBDII code reader, you need a more advanced reader that knows how to talk to the automatic transmission. If I misinterpret your note, any mechanic was able to read the transmission codes, not just the OBDII engine codes, I apologize in advance.

The transmission oil cooler switchover valve being talked about above fails into an open state, meaning your transmission coolant will be going through the cooler even when the engine and transmission are cold if the valve is failed. So I don't see how that could be leading to problems that occur after driving a hundred miles - when the valve fails what happens is your transmission doesn't warm up as fast as it normally does.

The transmission coolant change over valve is a $30 part, but it is a big pain to get to. I replaced mine when I took the transmission out and did a rear main seal and IMS bearing replacement. It had been failed probably for years and didn't cause any problems.

There would be two common problems that lead to this valve failing. One is the overall vacuum system which feeds this valve and also feeds your secondary air injection system. Since you were Boxster isn't reporting any SAI problems, it implies your vacuum system is in good shape. The second problem is that this valve itself has a rubber membrane which will disintegrate over the years. When this happens the valve won't move and just sits in an open status no matter what. That's how mine was. As I said above I don't really see how this could lead to any serious problems.

If it were me, I would change the fluid and the filter and see if the problem went away after that. If not, I would ask your dealer for a recommendation for a transmission shop that is familiar with Boxsters. Some mechanics may not be very familiar with ZF transmissions, and your mechanic needs a more advanced code reader to read the transmission logs to really understand what is going on. A transmission shop should have no problem diagnosing and fixing this problem.

Hopefully you'll get the bottom of this problem soon and get back to having fun driving.

Last edited by ddruker; 05-06-2021 at 10:02 PM.
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Old Today, 03:17 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info. I tried to get the codes from the big scanner but couldn't. Going to call the shop in Knoxville that also scanned it when it happened tomorrow to try to see if they still have the codes. But my codes says shift solenoid and torque converter issues. But I'll try to find a place in the tri-cities to change the trans fluid and see what happens after that. Thanks again.

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