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Volkswagen Cabrio Transmission

this past april i purchased a used 98 cabrio from the original owner. she reported no maintenance problems at all. but after i bought i realized that the intermittent wiper only works when the car the temperature outside is warm. ??? (what's this about?)

ALSO, this past weekend i was driving home from a road trip. i drove about 60 miles at about 70 miles / hour. along the way i made a restroom stop and turned the car off. not too long after i turned the car back on, i noticed the car was stuck in 3rd gear and would not shift -- the car is an automatic. the engine started revving, but the car wouldn't go faster or shift into 4th gear. finally i pulled over, shut off the car. i check the oil, b/c i knew i was overdue for an oil change but everything seemed fine under the hood. when i started driving again, the car drove fine without a problem. this really freaked me out b/c other than this one incident the car drives amazingly!! i'm bringing it to the dealer tomorrow to have it diagnosed, but i'm terrified of being swindled, b/c i was already "taken for a ride" at another vw dealer. the car has 54,000k miles.

any suggestions or thoughts?

thanks, marilyn


  • I'm posting this on behalf of my sister in law who owns a 1999 Cabrio. At approximately 55,000 miles the manual transmission had to be replaced. The VW dealership would not offer any explanation as to which component had failed and as the warranty had expired at 50,000 miles she was on the hook for the $3000 repair bill. The car was never abused and maintained at the VW dealership as it was a lease vehicle. Needless to say she is furious with this treatment, has retained legal advice and is scheduled for a small claims court appearance. Upon hearing that she was pursuing the matter the VW dealership offered a token $500 towards the repairs. My question to any reader is if they, or anyone they know, has experienced similar transmission problems with Cabrio's. Thanks for any assistance you may be able to provide.
  • vwdadvwdad Posts: 1
    Same issue at 47k miles with my daughter's 2002 Cabrio about 10 months ago. Luckily a couple miles within warranty. However, had similar problem with transmission this week. This doesn't take into account the numerous times the check engine light has come on both in and out of warranty. Last time dealer charged me $900!
  • rudockrudock Posts: 2
    I recently purchased an 86 VW Cabriolet, changed out the transmission and now the car is extremely sluggish. It revs up but doesn't go so to speak. I'm just a weekend mechanic so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • fordjofordjo Posts: 1
    Our 99 Cabrio has started making a noise in the front end when you let up on the accelerator or coast. The car shifts good, has great pickup, but when you let up on the accelerator the noise starts, it seems a little better when you push in the clutch. Any idea on what the problem is.

  • I own a VW Cabrio 2001, I am looking for the wires that connect the harness to the computer sensor, for the Automatic Transmision. Does anyone have any info on where I can get these parts?



  • Hello fordjo. I have a 99 Cabrio as well, and I've had the same exact issue. I do not service mine at a dealership, but at a VW certified mechanic who says it is the trans-axle assembly. He told me that it was not dangerous to drive and that it would not cause further damage to drive the car, so I've been driving it while I save for the repair. The racket it makes is very annoying but as far as the drive, shift,'s fine.
  • I've been out of country for about 8 months. While I was gone my wife has had a continuing issue with her 2001 Cabrio. It seems that there are times when the little knob you depress on the gear shift to put the car into gear won't budge, so she has resorted to beating it with whatevers handy to get it to shift. I feel I'm pretty mechanically inclined, so maybe I can fix it??? Any ideas out there.....
  • Hello all! I hope someone out there can give me some advice. I have 35K miles on my 2002 Cabrio, which has an automatic transmission. Over the past week or so I've had problems accelerating. The car is sluggish and jerks a little between 1st and 2nd gears and has a hard time even going above 60mph. I've noticed that it seems worse when the engine is cold (however, I live in Los Angeles so cold doesn't really mean COLD). The suggestions that I've heard so far are spark plugs and tranmission replacements - does anyone have other advice? I don't have a lot of money to throw at the problem so I don't want to pay for unnecessary repairs. Thanks!
  • I really need some insight on this one...... 010 in '87 Cabrio throwing fluid.
    Replaced seal and torque converter bushing. Still threw fluid. Pulled anew,
    and replaced seal again, along with torque converter. The fluid still flies!
    Is there some 'input shaft seal' that is leaking out onto my converter and flying out the openings of the bell housing?
  • sandeakasandeaka Posts: 4
    we all want to know the same thing...why we cant do it ourselves and not spend the crazy amount of money...ask auto zone..i guess that is my answer. :mad: Anyways its a 98 cabrio and im actually inclined being a female and i want answers darn it....
  • seawarriorseawarrior Posts: 2
    I just bought a 1998 VW Cabrio for my son. I started to notice that when you step on the accelerator there is a slight delay and then it jerks forward. After I drive it a little the problem seems to go away. The Automotive Consumer Guide stated that "the transmission may shift late, may not upshift, or may downshift unnecessarily due to a bad transmission-fluid-temperature sensor". Has anyone experienced this problem or has any suggestions?

  • cortez_01cortez_01 Posts: 1
    YES!!! My car is also a 98 automatic, I bought it a year a half ago from a used dealership. 6 months in my car began to do the same thing. To this day the problem has not been fixed. I've taken it to a couple mechanics and they can't seem to do much. You can feel the car about to do it so tell your son to just let go of the accelerator put it in neutral accelerate a little and then back to drive. It won't do a hard jolt just a small soft one. I am looking for the same info as you are I just don't want it to become a huge problem.
  • seawarriorseawarrior Posts: 2
    Thanks for the advise. If the sensor replacement doesn't look too difficult I may try to replace it, just to see if it works.

    Take care
  • I am original owner of 99.5 Cabrio GLS Manual. I never take my car to dealer. I change my own oil and recently did my first tune up at 80K miles. Car runs great, until I heard a very loud noise under my car when driving, I knew I could not fix this one so I brought it straigt to the dealer (a rare action but I knew I had powertrain wrnty). They called me back and said no trouble found. I asked them to take the car on an extended test drive, then they called me back and said yes I needed a clutch for $1450. I said no thanks paid the $120 assessment fee and drove straigt to mama papa repair shop who quote me clutch replacement for $500. The mama papa shop was real cool and told me in less then 15 minutes I did not have a clutch problem at all but a trans problem. I drove straight back to VW dealer and very politely told them of the mama papa diagnosis. VW dealer held to their original position of this is a clutch issue and they wanted to charge me to look further into the problem. I kept my cool and had to in essence force them to pull some fluid out of the tranny to prove there would be shavings in their (step the mama papa suggested I do if they balked at me...which they did). VW dealer reluctantly did pull some fluid and their ego was hurt further as there was in fact evidence of a tranny problem that was fortunately covered under the 10yr/100K warranty. They still said I have a "suspected" clutch problem, which I do not believe, but I decided to have them change the clutch (what I consider a maintenance item) and flywheel for $640 since most all the labor but 1hr would have been covered under the tranny wrnty.

    Hope this helps anyone. Glad I did not forget about my 10yr/100k wrnty
  • dcoronadcorona Posts: 1
    In 2005 I started having problems shifing my 1998 Used Cabrio, I had to bring it to over 3,000 RPM's and then back off the accelerator to shift to 2nd and over 4,000 back off to shift to 3rd. I brought it to a dealership (I hate the dealerships), they said that the transmission memorizes the driver and they reset the codes. It worked for a little while. When it started up again I brought it to another dealership who wanted to change the module ($ 1,200). I put it off and just last week brought it to Aamco who investigated through Volkswagon and found out that the 98 Cabrio was a test for this transmission module which memorizes the driver. He replaced it with a new module and also discovered because I drove it and shifted mannually that I need my transmission rebuilt, total cost $ 3,400. I hope I did not get ripped off, however I can tell you my next car will be something that does not involve the dealership. I love my Cabrio but all roads lead to expensive repair.
  • Hi, we have a 99 cabrio, automatic. Having trouble with it shifting. Gets up to about 4000 rpms or so and then must take foot off gas to shift into next gear. Had transmission checked, and is ok. Any ideas?
  • mregetsmregets Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2000 VW Cabrio(automatic). It seems to be slipping out of gear between first and second and it only has 80,000 miles on it! I dont see how this is possible!? I am hoping it isnt the transmission....any ideas as to what it could be!?
  • rigatzrigatz Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 VW Cabrio with 60,000 miles on it and it does the same thing when the engine is cold. It's the computer transmission fluid sensor malfunctioning. There's nothing wrong with the transmission. Try warming up your car first. That seems to work.
  • doonebuggydoonebuggy Posts: 2
    this is probly gonna sound like a dumb question... but... i have recently replaced all the hoses/fluids ect.. in my 1997 cabrio. but i cant find where to add transmission fluid. :confuse: i really need to know if someone can give an answer soon im trying to take a trip to the beach this next week.. thanks!!
  • doonebuggydoonebuggy Posts: 2
    p.s. does anyone else here have a convertable too?
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