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Jetta Transmission Problems and Questions



  • hi, ive got a 1997 jetta gls, 5 speed manual.
    it had always clicked a bit when in reverse, but recently, its grinding, and kicking a bit when in reverse. the forward gears are fine..

    a. does the manual transmission need fluids level checks? if so where do i check it ?
    b. do transmissions ger 'replaced' or 'repaired' typically, if so which is better?
    c. about how much [approx.] would something like this cost?

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    edited March 2010
    General answers

    a: You can check the level of the fluid on manual xmission. It is typically done by removing a screw-in "plug" and making sure that the fluid within is barely trickling out. (filled up to the level of the plug)

    b: It is possible to 'rebuild' a manual xmission and replace individual components. Typiclly, on a 1997, you might find it cheaper to replace entire unit with good used xmission. (I dont think you need to consider either of these yet)

    c: Cost! The bottom line! You would get more accurate answer by simply opening a phonebook and making some phone calls to reputible shops.

    From your description, it sounds as if somone may have "jammed" the xmisison into reverse and damaged the reverse gears at some point... this is just a guess. You really need to get more details on what the noise is. You may chose to 'live with it' and continue to drive. It may last for the rest of the vehicles life.

    The manual Xmissions in VWs are historically very, VERY reliable if they are treated with respect. I have driven a total of nearly a million miles on VW manual xmissions over the years with never EVER a problem. (nor wearing out a clutch!)
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    My kid tells me that, based on his research, destruction of reverse gear is a common problem in VW manual transmissions of that era. He has 1996 Jetta with just over 100K mi, reverse sounds terrible and he holds in gear when in reverse to prevent it's popping out.

    He got one estimate from a transmission shop of around $900 to repair, or maybe it was replacement with rebuilt trans.
  • thanks to both of you for the assistance, i am indeed going to have 'it checked' by the xmission shop near my work, theres lots of auto repair places around there.
  • robin_boyd05robin_boyd05 Posts: 1
    edited March 2010
    I have a 2005 Jetta GLI and the other night when I went to drive home the reverse did not work. It's like the car was in neutral. I had to push it out of the spot I was in. She drove just fine home and once I arrived the reverse was fine. It happened again today. It seems like after she has been sitting and cooling off over a few hours the reverse won't engage but when she is warmed up it starts working again. I was recently laid off and cannot afford to replace the tranny.... any ideas of what it is and what the potential costs would be? I appreciate any help in this time of massive need.
  • slomoshnslomoshn Posts: 12
    Yours is reverse, mine was 4th gear. You have an '05, I have a '00. Same symptoms-sucks when it is cold, but works fine once it warms up. Eventually it worked itself all the way down to only first gear. Now I am getting it rebuilt ($3000).

    If you still have warranty, get it to the dealer. Leave it overnight so they can check it first thing in the morning, that's when it is at its worst.
  • Hows it going people , so my problem is somewhat of the same sort . i had my 95 jetta about 3 weeks of driving traded my 86 accord across for it had a oil leak problem. fixed that and drove for about 3 weeks , went to the store one day and drove fine. backed out from parking spot . put it in 1st to go had to stop for people walking bye . then when i went to let off the clutch to go again it made a loud rattleing sound from the tranny and wouldnt move . also the car now rolls in every gear . what could b the issue ? shortly after though my car got hot and spewed water every where.. so the big question is what happend to my car ? and a lil off topic, but iv been having problems removeing these front axles . do i really need the tool ? they dont pop out ? iv tryed a 6mm hex socket lil to loose iv tryed a 7 mm hex socket to big .. is there a special tool i need for this process ? and is it at all possible to drop the whole tranny wit axles still attached ? the vw dealership isnt helpful in the least ..
  • I have an 04 jetta, 5 speed manual. I believe the engine is a GLS. My car is making a strange clicking sound, kind of like a helicopter. I took it to the mechanic and he thought it was a problem with the axle, but after taking a closer look he said it was coming from the transmission. My mechanic told me my best bet is to replace the transmission with a used one. How much should I expect to pay? Do you think my mechanic is right? Has anyone had this same problem with their jetta? Thank you!
  • 42bjones42bjones Posts: 1
    Dealer stated the key was desensitizing & to thread it. Tried that-did not work. All dash lights will not come on. Car will crank then immediately turn off. Tried to crank again this a.m., now it's making clicking noise as if the battery is dead. The megatronix unit was replaced @ 35,000 miles. Not sure what is happening...HELP!
  • 01tdi01tdi Posts: 16
    It sounds like the transmission might have died. As for the axles you need to get a special tool for them I believe for manual transmission the axles are 8mm square heads to get them off and for automatic its 12mm. however I have herd of people having multiple size screws and what not on their vw. You can get these tools at advanced auto for pretty cheap last time I checked.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    If the engine starts ... then immedeatly shuts down - that is EXACTLY how the immobilizer is supposed to operate if the wrong key is used in the ignition switch.

    It sounds to me as if somone tried starting SOOO many times, that now the battery is dead too.

    What you need to to
    1) Fully charge battery (or replace with fully-charged one)
    2) Try all 3 keys (2 standard keys and the Valet-Key)

    If ALL the keys do the same thing with the immobilizer kicking in, then the prolbem is most-likey the sensor around the ignition-switch which 'reads' the keys.

    If ANY of the keys start the engine normally, then the other keys need to be re-programmed. It is pretty easy to reprogram a key as long as you have ONE good one. Re-programming entails putting the GOOD key in the ignition and the BAD one in the drivers-door keyswitch. (there are detailed instructions on the web)
  • ok i was thinking the tranny cause the clutch peddle still has alot of stiffness. now as for the axles , 8mm square ? not hex as the book states ? will have to go grab one of those today .. one other question , is there a diff year tranny i can put in here , a newer year that will bolt right up and wont have this issue with or atleast somewhat feel safer it wont happen again ? and as with my other car when i changed my accord trans for a prelude had to change axles is that nessary as well or any other things ? srry still lil new to my vw . thanks for the tool answer though maybe can get back to busting knuckles open...
  • yachtengyachteng Posts: 1
    Similar deal here 04 Jetta. I have a loud helicopter style vibration that is speed sensitive. Replaced wheel bearing and axle but still have the vibration. After getting under the differential and feeling for play at the drive flange I have excessive play on driver side flange. It feels like a flat spot on the roller bearing (it clicks only a little as you turn it). I am trying to diagnose the repair but does anyone know if you can replace the bearing in the case without removing the transmission? I don't have a Bentley manual and this is as far as Haynes goes.

    I will keep you posted if I get some answers.
  • 01tdi01tdi Posts: 16
    If you have a manual and it says that they are hex then I would go with that, I'm probably getting confused with a different car. Either way advanced auto or any other auto place should have a set of those tools. as for the transmission I am not sure if 1999.5 and newer transmissions will fit in your car, however you could go up to 1999 model cars and switch out the transmissions but they will be the same as the one in your car. The axles should be interchangeable but chances are you are going to get a newer transmission and have to do all the work, so you might as well replace the axles too right? Just my thoughts, good luck.
  • jetta7jetta7 Posts: 17
    I have a 2003 Jetta TDI Diesel, auto trans. It shudders when climbing hills at 1800 2000 rpm, in overdrive. It also shudders sometimes on flat roads, at same rpm. Has anyone experienced this problem?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    On your 2003 TDI, 1800 RPM is the torque-peak of the engine. This is where the engine provides the most pulling-power and is most efficent.

    I am not sure that I understand what you mean by "shudder". That is not a technical-term which I am accustomed to. Perhaps you can describe better?

    My initial thought is that your automatic xmission is the problem... especially since you suggest that this "shudder" only happens in a specific gear (overdrive). I wonder if you have had that xmission "serviced based on the factory-recommended requirements?

    ...yet more proof that an automatic xmission is less desirable than a manual. - Less MPG *and* costs more to maintain!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    Yeah I was thinking the same thing---the lock up on the torque converter.


  • jetta7jetta7 Posts: 17
    Are you saying that the shudder has something to do with the torque converter lockup?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422's a possibility. First of all, you should check for an engine misfire to cause this problem, as could bad engine mounts, etc. If it's in the transmission, sometimes a fluid change will correct the shudder.


    As you can see after reading this material, tracking down the cause can be tricky.


  • hi..i got a vw jetta 2002 1.8 t . i don't know if is my car's transmission or not...the problem is when i start my car any time..i need to let 'em start for a 1 hour on...because if i drive my car right away when i turn on , it won't go on and doesn't make the right changes , some times get stock and makes a wird noises, i spoke to some technical people and they told me if the check engine light is not on ( orange color ) i don't have to worry about it. do you think that i need to make a transmission oil change..? :
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