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Jetta Transmission Problems and Questions



  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    But do tell us...have you had any transmission problems?
  • btravenbtraven Posts: 5
    My 1997 GLX also has only 65K and my mechanic thinks the transmission is going. I had to pay him $800 just to get the car current with its certification.

    I was thinking of selling the car anyway, but now I don't know how to advertise it?
  • btravenbtraven Posts: 5
    My mechanic thinks my automatic transmission is going, and I see from this forum that's a common problem, even when the car has low mileage. I just spent $800 on the car and could barely manage that. I'm a cyclist and don't need the car very often; I joined Zipcar too. Anyway, is it possible to replace the auto transmission with a manual transmission in a 1997 Jetta GLX?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    it would be cheaper for you to just go buy another '97 Jetta with a stickshift. You can get a clean low mileage one for around $2500. By the time you buy a manual transmission, do the conversion work, scrounge up all the parts, and pay for a real expert to do it, you'd be way in the hole.


  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    My kid may be selling his 1997 Jetta with a manual soon and that is about the price he's figuring on...that is if he has to sell the super-charger he put on it separately.
  • javyescojavyesco Posts: 1
    I have a similar problem with my 07 VW Wolfsburg edition. The day after bringing it to the dealer for a 15,000 mile tune up (car is actually at 14,600) my clutch blew out. The first thing VW technicians would like to believe is that the driver does not now how to operated a manual transmission vehicle. In my case this is the second car I have owned with a manual transmission. I never had a problem with my first car so why would I have a problem now in a brand new one; and my clutch going a day after it was serviced and road tested is extremely odd to me. I was hit with a 2,100 quote to fix my car for those parts only and was advised that more issues may be found after further evaluation. After back and forth with VW they finally decided to cover the part under warrenty. However after a week the car would make a weird grinding noise when shifting into 1st gear from a stopped position. A few days after this started I was unable to shift into second gear, all other gears work fine including reverse. This seems to be a gearbox issue now. Has anybody else experienced these issues with their clutch or gearbox? I know it is not typically for a clutch to go so early but what about the gearbox, shouldn't it have been evaluated also for any issues?
  • gbagbygbagby Posts: 4
    Hi, what type of Jetta did/do u have? I have a 2000 Jetta VR6 with a tranny issue. I had it rebuilt 20k miles ago and 3rd gear is slipping and jerking like the other tranny did at 109K(original). Can't believe my car's trans has been ruined because I have codes on car computer and it cannot perform basic reset function.

    Also who fixed your wiring harness? Name, address, number would be greatly appreciated. Not wanting to spend 2-4K again. Thanks.

  • gbagbygbagby Posts: 4
    Hey there, I have a 2000 Jetta VR6 w/similar issue. Jerks from 3rd to 4th gear. Did u ever find out what was causing your problems? I had mine rebuilt 20K miles ago and now it's doing it again.

  • gbagbygbagby Posts: 4
    Hi, I have a 2000 Jetta VR6 and my rebuilt trans is jerking between 3rd/4th gears after only 20K miles. The first tranny went out(did the same thing) at 109K. Is it really the transmission?!!! Or just the tcm?

    Throttle Control Module? TCM...? Did u do the work yourself? Any help would be greatly appreciated. All mechanics are saying to rebuild.

  • gbagbygbagby Posts: 4
    Hi, I have a 2000 Jetta VR6, did u get an answer or get your car fixed? Any help would be great! I've already had trans. rebuilt once only 20K ago!! For it to be ruined is hard for me to believe. It's jerking from 3rd to 4th again. Like the original did at 109K miles. All mechanics I speak w/say replace or rebuild.

  • dkg092008dkg092008 Posts: 1
    Hi everyone. I need some major advice on what I should do. I am looking for anyone who has had any similar issues as I am having now.

    I have a 2008 Jetta and I have not had it a year yet and already having problems. About a week ago, I got an oil change at the dealership I bought it at. and then yesterday I pull into my garage, pull up the emergency break and the rpm's go up to 4500. So I let it back down and the rpm's went back down. I lifted it back up and then the rpm's went up to 3000 and then slowy went back down although I left the e-brake up. I thought to myself...wieird...but ok I will take it in to get checked out. Mind you, I had no problems. Everything drove normally...UNTIL. I go back out to the car to get the dealership number and find that there is oil all over my garage. I looked under the car and what I see is that the oil drain plug is missing, nowhere to be found, and no oil everywhere. I automatically called roadside assistance and they informed me they and towed the car to the dealership I bought it at. The next morning I call them to check and see what the deal is and they told me that I have a cracked transmission and that I need a new one and and that my oil pan is ruined also. I asked them why in the world this would happen and they told me that I MUST have hit something and "just not noticed it". When I know for a fact that I hit NOTHING. I went to go look at the car myself and see the damage. It was in their back car yard so they jacked it up with a floor jack and I saw that it had been cracked and they showed me a scuff mark where they said that this happened from. There was transmission fluid all over the ground and I specifically remember that in my garage, it was definitely oil, not purple transmission fluid.The guy there swore to me that I must have hit something and not noticed it. He kept sayin, "Call your insurance. They will cover it." And I said no. This is crazy. I don/'t believe you one bit. The car is still sitting there in the same spot.

    I am so weirded out by this. I have talked to a few mechanics I know, not VW mechanics, but still certified mechanics, and they have all told me that they have never heard of this in their life. That in order to crack a transmission you have to hit something very hard and that you would definitely know you messed something up. I drove problems at all. Not a sound, not anything.

    So with that said, has anyone got any advice for me. Please help. I am so frustrated because I know I didn't cause this.

    Thank you very much for letting me vent and for reading this.
  • razor111razor111 Posts: 8
    I take it you have an automatic if you saw pink fluid at the dealership parking lot. The dude must not have tightened the drain plug for the oil or something. I'd stay away from that dealer after you sort this all out. I got a 2002 jetta. Unfamiliar with the 2008. i got a manual anyways. This does sound wierd. To crack a tranny, you do have to hit something hard. my guess and if you say you didnt do anything abnormal on the way back, i'd say the dealer is lying (what a surprise!) and they are avoiding to admit that they did something wrong. YOu know, i had a stripped drain plug from my oil pan 4 years back and i only brought it to the dealer to get my oil changes. i moved out of the area that i lived in and a new vw dealer noticed it and told me that the whole oil pan needed replacement($300). i got on the phone and i demanded to speak to the owner of the place that did it and sure, i did and i swore it was one of their mechanics and complained on the phone and demanded them to reimburse me for the costs until they finally did. what was funny, was that the vw dealership that noticed it was acctually on my side. They told me only and idiot would overtighten a vw drain plug because they have aluminum oil pans and you can strip the plug right out of them. I am glad that I moved away(from the area that the dealership did that to my car) and took it to a new place. Some of these mechanics out there don't care what they do to other peoples investments as long as they get a check at the end of the week they're satisfied. The dealer will try to deny every bit of it. Stick to your arguement. If you know you didnt do it then theres no way you should repay it. I would look closely to where the crack is and look for other visible damage around the other parts and the frame because if just the tranny is crackedin one place then its hard to hit something like a curb or whatever, I doubt you aimed for anything in the road going home. If it is a crack that is totally isolated from anything else and there is no other damage, i would tell them that their mechanics did soemthing when they were trying to raise your car up to do the oil change under neath it. maybe the joe-shmo mechanic used a lift for the first time in his life. Maybe the mechanic ran something over in the shop. Good luck with your claim. My advise is to explain your dissatisfication/disapointment in volkswagen. You really need to prove your best that you didnt do it and you need to have physical proof. Is the crack all alone from everything else with no damage anywhere else? its kinda hard to run something over in the road that big or hard and not have any other damage whatsoever anywhere else. good luck
    also, i am not that familar with the ebrake but i do know that the unit is totally separate from the transmission. i do not know the relation to each and why rpms would increase as a result of lifting up on it. i dont think the ebrak cord would run close to the transmission and if you pulled it, would it crack. yea, i know that doesnt make any sense whatsover, so i dont know what happened in your garage at all. i can definitely say that the drain plug was either loose or stipped and fell out right at the time you pulled in. i dont know how you made it to the dealer ship with little to no oil after that. (what did the car do or sound like on the way back?)and then the tranny decides to let loose all of the fluid at their parking lot is totally beyond what i understand.
    The best thing you can do to save your own butt is if you think you'll look stupid checking what they did to your car right in their own parking lot, then drive half a block away and check under the hood/car to see if everything is tightened.(ive done it b4).Some of these people out there can take apart an engine, but they dont have an ounce of common sense, like proper tightening or whatever and then you have a problem on your hands because of someones stupid negligence. tc
  • engruneengrune Posts: 2
    i have 2003 jetta wagon 1.8t automatic that has 95k on it.
    1)i thought it was time to have the ATF changed, which my mechanic is doing right now.
    however, he tells me that to change the transmission filter, they have to take the entire transmission out, which will cost me $750. is the filter really that impossible to get to?
    2) also, he gave me the option of a basic drain/refill or a power purge. the latter is a lot more expensive, but is it worth it, considering this is the first time i have had my ATF changed and the fluid was pretty nasty and black.
    3) turns out this particular tanny fluid is practically impossible to get a hold of and it costs $32/quart. is it true that only 1 particular liquid works for this vehicle?
  • razor111razor111 Posts: 8
    changing the atf fluid without changing the filter is a no win situation. that filter has all the crap that was circulating throughout the fluid. putting new fluid in there would just contaminate it without changing the filter. you would change the oil filter when you change the oil , right? I think you could buy your own fluid at a auto parts store that is cheaper than the one at the dealer. ask them to put in the fluid you bought instead. most places should do that. i know firestone does that. buy oil you want put in and they'll do it instead of theirs. just make sure the atf fluid is designed for VW trannies. ask the attendant, they should help you. I dont know about taking the whole tranny out. i think that is a load of crap. i was able to unbolt the old filter on a pickup i owned years back. never had to drop the these days, especially auto transmissions i dont know, just search on the internet. if you find out that instructions on the internet tell you you dont have to, you know that dude is lying to you. go somewhere else. believe it or not, tranny service is not included on regular maintenance intervals which i think is the most ridiculous thing. if they made tranny fluid last forever, then why are we changing our oil every 3 months/3-5K miles. all car manufacturers want to hit your wallet when it comes time to fix the tranny(because we neglect it). i changed the fluid in my manual 3 months ago, it has 73K miles on it. believe me i noticed the better shifting myself. the gears went in a lot smoother. its better to go all out now to change the filter if hes right while your paying for the labor to drop the tranny than to pay repairs later. this is why they call this stuff preventive maintenance.
  • engruneengrune Posts: 2
    thanks for the tip. it makes sense. i guess i was just somewhat reluctant to fork out the money. i will try to figure out whether in fact i need to take the entire tranny out to change the filter.
  • razor111razor111 Posts: 8
    no problem. I learned this by reading a book called "drive it forever" by bob sikorsky. it has great tips and advice for taking long good care of your car. good luck.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    They use an expensive synthetic fluid. I believe VW says it does not need to be changed, unless there are problems occuring with the transmission. I don't know that the color means a whole lot.
  • razor111razor111 Posts: 8
    hey whats going on?
    did some research for you. i did because i dont want to see vw rip somebody off and i want to pass some advice on. Dont ever go to a dealer for transmission work. i was reading through my vw jetta repair manual which i purchased from pepboys and it doesnt say anything about dropping the tranny to replace the filter. i kinda new that already, but just wanted to make sure. they are yanking your chain. if i were you i'd take back your car if it aint too late, or have them finish it, but tell them you researched and you now have proof that they dont have to drop it. go buy the book at pepboys for $20 and show them, thats bettter than $450 or whatever they told you. i had to pull vw arm to get them to change my manual tranny fluid(at 70,000miles), and i'll never ask them again because theres just something about dealers and refusing to change atf fluid for preventive maintenance. i dont get it, the manual is way more easier, just drain and fill. i dont have the luxury of a lift, otherwise i'd do it myself. maybe next time i'll crawl in wierd positions and do it myslef. Go to firestone or a Tranny place. stay away from volkswagen when it comes to the tranny.
  • razor111razor111 Posts: 8
    you should replace the fluid if its any color other than pink or redish-pink. Brown or dark, black fluid should be removed. I'm trying to get my wife to do it on her car(mazda 3), but she'd rather have the warranty take care of it when the tranny blows, but i'm not to confident of the warranty taken care of when that time comes. Her tranny fluid is black. Already seeing signs of it not working properly because it doesnt like to shift down on its own on the up-hills when road conditions call for it. as far as the synthetic goes, thats good stuff, but more expensive. nowadays, synthetic should be used for almost anything with some exceptions.
  • annecohenannecohen Posts: 2
    Leased a 2008 Jetta in Kingston, NY Feb of 08. Now has 58K miles on it. Automatic transmission. Tranny failed yesterday without warning. Towed to tranny shop. Said it has a Gear 2 incorrect ratio problem and I must pay $4K to replace the transmission.

    I cannot imagine this happening to a car that's so new. Any suggestions? Who do I contact for help?

    Took to the dealer who claims we hit something but transmission shop says that isn't the case.

    I'm beside myself with this news and need advice. Thanks for any info.

    Anne :mad: :sick:
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