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Volkswagen Beetle Transmission Problems



  • efontenoefonteno Posts: 2
    Check the computer that tells the trasmission when to shift. When i took my car to the dealer, after SEVERAL tries, they finally determined that there was some sort of Sensor connected to the computer that was malfunctioning, causing the transmission to try to shift inappropriately. After replacing the sensor, my car has not "lurched" since. I hope this helps!
  • nataliemacnataliemac Posts: 14
    Thank you! I printed out your post and am taking it to the transmission shop now. At least it gives them something to try. I'll post back when my car is finished and let everyone know if it's fixed.
  • cooper22cooper22 Posts: 1
    I am having the same problem witg my '98 NB. Know it has been some time since your posting, just wondering if you got any help and how you got it fixed. Thanks!
  • zeekeyszeekeys Posts: 1
    I've had the exact same thing happen to my 2000 Beetle. It started with having to
    over rev the engine to get from 2nd to 3rd when driving around town, you park it to do some shopping come back everything 's normal. Took it in to the dealer and was told
    that the tranny needed servicing, of course while your here you need a timing belt.
    I had my beetle serviced and a week later the same problem. Took it back to the dealer with Hey! maybe it's a sensor problem, No I was told You need A transmission
    It,s a nightmare. To anyone reading this don't feel alone you see I don,t have 4000
    dollars and no way to get it, Can't sell a car with bad transmission.
  • Apparently, this is a relatively common issue that can have a few different causes.

    After rebuilding the transmission, the kicking problem was still there once the engine warmed up. The transmission shop and I (with the help of this message board) identified three possibilities:

    * The sensors in the transmission
    * The transmission computer
    * The valve body (I have no earthly idea what this is)

    We started with the cheapest - the sensors - and replaced those. It didn't fix the problem on my car, though someone else here reported that fixed their car.

    The next lest expensive part to replace was the valve body. Luckily, in my case. That fixed the problem. And we didn't have to move on to the computer.

    Another transmission shop we consulted for guidance said they had solved a similar issue by re-programming rather than replacing the transmission computer.

    None of this was cheap. The total cost to me for rental car, transmission rebuild, parts and labor was almost exactly $6,000. The dealer was in no way of any help throughout the process, and they continue to insist that the only way to fix the problem is to replace the transmission. But at least two other people have posted here with the same problem and reported that replacing the transmission didn't fix the issue.

    So, there you go. I still owe $6,200 on the car. It could have been very nearly paid off for the cost of this one repair.
  • I have read all your problems with automatic transmission stuck in third. Did anyone resolve this problem. HELP Jeanne
  • Hi Jeanne - in the post right before yours, I wrote about the things I had to do to resolve the problem.

    Basically, my transmission had to be completely re-built. Then the problem that caused the transmission to become stuck in third had to be fixed. All the details are in my earlier post.
  • Thanks for your comment the end how much did it cost you to resolve this problem. I have an appt with my VW dealer this Thur. Thanks Jeanne
  • The transmission re-build was about $4,000. The dealer will not rebuild. They'll only replace, which runs about $6,000.

    Additionally, my transmission problem was actually caused by something else. It was another $300 to replace the sensors, and another $1100 to replace the Valve Body.

    Plus this took several weeks and the rental car was nearly $1000.
  • Well Natalie...hopefully it will be only the sensor. When I spoke with the service manager(who I know personally as a previous coworker) suggested it my be a sensor problem. That was a good sign....must be an issue they are familiar with. I just bought my "Bug" in April. Everything was been AOK up till now. Have a great weekend....Jeanne
  • Hi my car back from the shop. Everything is now aOK. The problem was a trans control module. Total cost with tax $930.90. The part was $595.00. The module is replaced by removing the dash. Car runs great....$900.00 sucks....I will dispute this with the VW Warranty rep. when she comes to my dealer at the end of Oct. For those who don't know my problem my 2002 Beetle would not shift from 3rd to 4th Thought I had to replace my transmission....Lucky that did not have to happen. Trans control module needed to be replaced. Wish me luck....I plan on printing all these posts in the forum as part as my ammo. Thanks for your support and replies. Jeanne in Cape May County, NJ (very South NJ)
  • Hi Natalie,

    My fiance has a 2004 Beetle turbo and the transmission is kicking when downshifting to 3rd and 2nd gear. Sounds like we need to replace the trans control module also I hope! $900 sounds better than some people replacing their transmission at $6000. If anyone else is experiencing the same problem and solved it please let me know!
  • Just make sure to go and get the repairs before the transmission is ruined by the faulty control module. Otherwise you'll have to replace/rebuild the transmission *and* pay to replace the control module.
  • I bought an automatic transmission 99 VW Beetle with 110,000 miles. I started having a problem, I was starting the car and putting it in reverse to back out and then I'd switch it into drive and the car would start rolling backward and would jerk and go forward. I would then switch it into park and sit for a couple seconds then try it again, and it'd be fine. I brought it to a mechanic and he said that the transmission fluid was burnt, and I'm waiting for the results. Does anyone have any idea what could be wrong? :confuse:
  • sharon60sharon60 Posts: 1
    98 beetle 130000 miles , if you take off real slow the first shift is rather hard , if you take off normal it then shifts normal , car is new to us no info on pre service would a trans oil change help ???
  • Hello everyone!

    I've been reading a lot of posts on here and on other forums and I think I might be having the same problem as some of you.
    A few months ago, my 05 Beetle started to jerk when I would put on the brakes and sometimes when I would step on the gas. I called the VW dealership and the guy said that it was normal for VW's to do that when they are about 4 years old. I didn't really understand how it could be normal, but I just left it as it was. It got a little it worse over time, but not much. About 2 months ago, I accidently ran over a cement block which caused my transmission pan to get dented. I had that fixed and since then my car has been having shifting problems. When the car gets warmed up (after driving if for about 15 minutes or so), it will get stuck in a gear and the engine will rev for a bit then jerk roughly into gear. I recently took my car in to get it looked at. The mechanic wasn't sure what the problem could be, but he noticed that the car was low on transmission fluid and that a piece in that area was bent and sort of melted or something (that piece had to be fixed in order to change the fluid). So, he fixed that, but the car still has the same problem. When I drove it home after getting that piece fixed, the problem seemed liked it was worse than before. When the engine was revving, the check engine light came on (it was yellow) and the drive, park, reverse, etc initials each had brackets around them, instead of just the drive ( [D] ). My car is at a transmission shop now. At first, they couldn't find anything wrong with it. Then they hooked it up to their computer and found a problem in the 4th gear. The mechanic isn't sure what the problem is, so in order to find out, he has to rebuild the transmission. So, even if that ends up not being the problem, I'll still have to pay for the rebuild. I cannot afford to pay for the trans to be rebuilt. So, I was just wondering, should I try to save money to get the trans fixed? Is it worth it? Could it be caused from something else other than the transmission? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • markveemarkvee Posts: 2
    Whats the status of your car? Same thing happened to my girlfriends car 2005 turbo convertible this last week. When stopped at a light it "bang" really loud and jerk forward then not come out of gear and rev really high. The engine light came on and all the gears selections on the dash were surrounded in brackets. Brought thecar to a local mechanic, charged me $100 telling me it was a pressure sensor switch, told me to contact VW first before bringing it to a tranny shop and basically have it taken apart. Brought it to VW, they told me my girlfriend spilled something on the shifter to make it stick, (girlfriend said it was always like that) they took it apart and claened it up and regreased it. Said the engine light was something else that came on the same time but is a recirculating valve in the turbo. they are not going to charge me for the cleanup of the shifter but the $250 for the turbo valve. They said the tranny goes into "limp"mode if the tranny gets the wrong info from the shifter, basicall the shifter is telling the tranny something wrong. the transmission protects itself by not shifting, which is a bunch of bull. That doesnt really protect the tranny when your car stays in first driving down the road.
    Seems like we have the same prob and i would be curious to find out what hapend to yours!
    - mark
  • Aloha,
    I own a 2005 VW Beetle that has all the typical problems including malfunctioning air bag light(check recalls for your year!), bad driver door handle, windows out of alignment etc; however, the transmission can be the most critical/costly problem of any late model Beetle with over 50K miles!

    If you have the hard shift and the slippage into neutral (feel like you ride in a carnival bumper car) you need to find out if the problem is indeed mechanical (which will need actual trans repair) or another contributing problem that is making the trans malfunction.

    Your repair tech will first scan your vehicle and tell you that the scan results balance with the driving symptoms of no shifting into 3rd/4th gear, etc. If there is no obvious contributing factor, i.e. sever overheating(can dissolve the viscosity of the trans fluid) or malfunctioning alternator(can affect cellonoid operation), that could affect the trans you will need to "service" the trans to determine if it is mechanical or something else.

    The trans "service" including filter and fluid will cost approx $300-$500 depending on your trans model and what kind of fluid it takes. it is not unusual to have trans fluid cost $130.00. You want to ask you mechanic to look for metal shavings on the magnet. If there are significant metal shavings on the magnet then it is a mechanical problem and will need to be rebuilt. (if you have significant shifting problems then tell your mechanic to just "drop the trans pan and check the magnet" no need to spend the service money if it will be a waste and you will only pay for another service with a rebuild). The rebuilt should include a $500 trans rebuild kit a $400 replacement torque converter, fluid, filter, labor and possibly new triptonic and neutral safety switches. A rough labor estimate should be 18-24 hours. A rebuild parts and labor is roughly $3500.00 for a solid job and warranty.

    Make sure you exhaust all contributing factors while keeping costs low. Overheating on these cars is common especially since the warning light(no gauge) doesn't even come on until almost 250deg. Your water pump, thermostat, driver and passenger side cooling fans, radiator, all work together to cool your vehicle(including trans fluid). The stock cooling fan motors often blow out the low speed and only operate on high when the vehicle is already too hot. The stock water pump has a plastic type spool and should be replaced with a metal spool to avoid total timing belt meltdown and especially clogging in the radiator are all common factors that lead to hot operations and overheating. An overheated vehicle can lead to burned up trans fluid and hard shifting. Don't repair expensive cooling parts until you check the magnet!!!!!

    Aftermarket alarms, roadside jump starts, incorrect new battery install, and on the fritz alternator can all lead to malfunction trans. Again check the magnet first!!!!

    With Aloha,
  • markveemarkvee Posts: 2
    After searching the internet and reading horror stories of this make and model and spending lots of money on a car that has only 40,000 miles on :lemon: it having problem after problem over the last couple of months i did the best thing imaginable. They got the engine light to go away and the brackets around the gear selection indicator. The mechanic at the VW dealership said that it might only be a temporary fix. Brought it down to the local Honda dealership, (of course after doing my research on Traded it in, got $11,000 towards a 2009 Honda Accord. I don't think i'll have any problems for a while..... :shades:
  • koskikoski Posts: 1
    I have a 99 New Beetle, original owner. The car has 164,000 miles on it. Without warning, I was driving at 30 mph, stopped at a traffic light, and when the light turned green, I could only accelerate an inch or so at a time. The clutch felt the same, but the shifter has lost all control. The shifter is REALLY loose, and moves 1" sideways, and up and down thru the middle of the H, but not in any gear. I had it towed home. Has anyone had any similar problems?
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