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Volkswagen Cabrio Transmission



  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    When my daughter got her Cabrio, I planned on doing all the basic stuff since it's maintenance was questionable. I ordered a transmission filter online and then started looking for instructions on changing the tranny fluid. It wasn't the simple task I'm used to in most cars. Fluid has to be warmed to a certain temperature, etc before filling requiring special equipment. I'm not entirely sure if just topping the tranny fluid would require the same equipment, but I fear it might. When I get home, I'll try to remember to look through the haynes manual and see what it says.
  • sandeakasandeaka Posts: 4
    not a stupid question.....but, i'd put a hundred on it saying you have a great CLOSED tranny. The only way to check or fill or change the fluid is only through the dealership and costs 45 times of luck.
  • Doonebuggy, You seem to know a lot about this subject. I've got a 1999 1/2 Cabrio with a closed transmission. Is there any other option for servicinig the transmission besides the dealer? They claim that most of the cost is for the transmission fluid, not sure if that is correct or not. Is it difficult to do, any parts involved besides the fluid? I gues you know the car is an automatic.
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    I'm not doonebuggy, but maybe I can help. When we got my daughter's '97 Cabrio, it came with no service records. I went online and ordered all of the various maintenance parts I thought would be useful, including a new tranny filter. I also picked up a Haynes service manual for it. I quickly noticed that there was no process for replacing the filter in the manual.

    Upon further investigation, I found that while you can get into the tranny and replace the filter, refilling it was the problem. VW uses some type of machine that pre-heats the fluid prior to filling. Alledgely, having the fluid at the right temp ensures that it flows properly through all the little nooks and crannies in the tranny and that is the only way to ensure proper fill level.

    One webpage suggested draining the tranny, measuring the amount of fluid drained at "room" temp, and putting that much back in. While I guess that could work, I instead took it to a local independant garage that specializes in VW. The cost was probably about 60% of what a VW dealership would charge. Unfortunately, my daughter has our service records for the car so I can't give you an exact $$ amount.

    This is my family's first VW and one thing I can tell you for sure... it's not user friendly if you like to do your own maintenance! :mad:
  • I bought my 98 cabrio at a used car dealership almost 2 years ago with 89k miles and it has been nothing but problems and me cleaning up the messes of the previous owners. A few months ago it started to have problems shifting into the right gear. I went to my regular mechanic who said he could not check the fluid because the way VWs are made, so I took it to the dealership who told me it was giving a code that it needed a part and they would order it for me, but then very rudely did not call me back and when I called the day before my service appointment they told me the part isn't made anymore. I took it to Aamco from the advice of my dad, they checked the fluid and the fluid was burned but there was no metal in it so the car was fine. The problems seemed to go away but a month later they started again. I got a tune up at 100k miles as Aamco recommended and that seemed to help but soon after the problems came back. I took it back to Aamco today and they tell me it needs new fluid and a new filter which will be $285 so I left it there overnight because I need my car by Friday. If this does not fix it I don't know what I'm going to do. I have a Wheelz warranty I bought with the car and I'm hoping that if it's expensive it will be covered but I know warranty companies make money by denying claims. I am really doing everything I can and taking it for all the oil changes and maintenance services it needs but no one has been able to fix this problem or even tell me what it is.
  • pbodypbody Posts: 1
    I have the same problem. Did you get an answer or solution?

  • They changed the transmission fluid and filter for $300 and it seems fine so far.
  • Hi,

    My 2000 cabrio will not shift while in "D". It seems to be in 3rd all the time. I can manullay shift from 1 up, but it goes into 3rd and not through 2 nd. Book say it is in Fail-Safe mode. Does any one know why that happens?
  • so i have had ALLl the problems on my car now (98 Cabrio) if you can not shift into drive...go to a dealer with anywhere from $2000 to $4000 to get the tranny replaced. Costs a lot but if you love your car it is worth it... Just need to replace it. no easy fix or price..remember it is German and they dont let anyone just fix it. it can only be done at the dealership....
  • it will rev up to a high number and will not shift anymore right?
  • redcabbieredcabbie Posts: 1
    My 1999 Cabrio 5-speed developed a shifting issue. It would not go into reverse.
    I noted that the clamp on the shifter rod in the engine compartment was almost at the end of the rod. I got out my Haynes manual for this vehicle only to discover that the manual trans shown are nothing like the one in the 1999. I removed the shifter boot and found that the rod seems to have rotated counterclockwise (sitting in the dsrivers seat) and is now only going in to third and fourth but only when the shifter is pushed down as in going into reverse and moving past the plastic guide. This gives me third, fourth and fifth.
    Anyone have any ideas as to how to correct this?
  • Hey....I have the same issue...

    Here is what I have noticed and know. I noticed that once the car warms up it drives/runs fine. So with that being said + a check engine light illuminated I bought a code scanner and found that it was the Throttle Position Sensor that was malfunctioning. I have one on order and I will let you know if it fixes my Cabrio.

  • Hello....I have a 2001 Cabrio that runs pretty good....but when I am coming to a stop it downshifts pretty rough! I recently put some lucas transmission fix in it and it is doing better but it is still a little rough on the downshift.

    Anyone else have these issues or have any suggestions other than replace the transmission?

  • new owner of 96 cabrio 2.0 with auto tranny when car is cold seems to not want to go in drive however reverse works fine but once you get it going and drive a few miles and it warms up it seems to be fine. car has 140000 miles tranny is the CLK model. also seems after car sits for couple days (daughters first car so not driven daily yet due to tranny) i find puddle of tranny fluid under drivers side front tire. doesnt leak until its been sitting couple days ? any help or suggestions appreciated
  • Hello . I just purchased a beautiful a 1999 Cabrio dirt cheap due to a transaxle problem. I have picked the car up yet but the previous owners described the problem as the transmission making grinding noises and will not go into reverse . I have no prior knowledge of these vehicles , but most manual reverses use 1rst gear and a reverse idler gear for reverse . Is it possible that a bent or misaligned linkage or stretched cable could be causing it to not fully engage ? Any help greatly appreciated . Thanks !
  • I also have a 2001 Cabrio and have had the exact same problem with not being able to depress the knob on the gearshift. They have tried to replicate the problem at the dealership and can't find an issue. I just took it in because when I turned my wheel left I heard a creaking noise. They determined that I needed a new gear box. They replaced the gear box and when I picked up the car I put the car into drive and this time the knob on the gearshift stayed stuck and I couldnt get it out nor could I get the key out. I went back in and had to leave it again. They just called my husband and said they were replacing the gearshift cable....I told my husband that I always felt it had something to do with the know on the gearshift and hoping that this solves my problem. Thank goodness that when we bought the car last year at CarMax we took out an extended charge!!
  • We purchased our 2000 Cabrio with about 60000 miles from the second owner, we had check engine lights problems and had to get the car repaired every two years so it would pass inspection for emissions, the cruise control stopped working and at 96000 the transmission started slipping and required replacement, it did not make sense to put any more money into the car which I loved to drive only on weekends. It is now at the junkyard. My mechanic says these problems are common in VWs.
    I bought Japanese for reliability. So it goes. Cabrio. great car, big problems.
  • I encountered this also . the fill location is on the bottom and requires special fluid which should be changed every 30000 miles, it is very expensive
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