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Volkswagen Beetle Transmission Problems



  • Thats the way the '95 Subaru Legacy with 5 speed manual transmission sounds, like it needs to shift to 6th.
  • I wish I had done better research before buying my 2003 New Beetle convertible. I dropped my car off at a transmission shop today because I'm experiencing the same problems that everyone has mentioned in this blog. My car runs normally while it's cold, but as soon as I've been on the road for 15-20 minutes the transmission starts acting up. When I stop the car it jerks and I hear a thud. Once the car gets moving it lurches and chirps gears. The brackets around the gears all light up on my instrument panel, and if I continue to drive the car for 10 or more minutes, it stops changing gears entirely.

    I'm being told that the transmission needs to be rebuilt to the tune of $5,200. The shop offered to change the valve body for $1,600, but explained that it was hit or miss if it would fix the problem, and it would only be a temporary fix. I've had several problems with this car over the 4 years that I've owned it, and calls to VW fall on deaf ears. I worked for Ford for 10 years and Ford Motor Company was willing to help their customers out within reason. It's hard to believe that this problem has been going on for so many years and VW has done nothing to rectify this or help their customers out with a known problem. I refuse to put that kind of money into my car because I'm afraid of what the next problem will cost me.

    Shame on me for buying a VW because I was warned by friends that have had problems with them in the past. I'll be buying a new car within the next couple of weeks and you can bet it won't be another VW.
  • I just had the same problem and went through my paperwork and found out that 2003-2008 models have a warranty extension on their transmission vavle bodies and that an authorized VW dealer must cover the diagnosis and repair. It extends the coverage to either 100,000 miles or 7 years. Hope this helps!
  • interesting - can you tell me exactly what paperwork you're looking at? a document number etc?
  • so did you scarp the car or did you fix it ... i have the same car and same problem
  • just bought the car yesterday 4000 dollars and turns out transmission and other thing are bad i wish i would have did my research
  • Please read my message #576 for background. Here is what happened to me: I was told by VW of America that there was NOTHING VW could do since my car was out of warranty at 79K miles and that they were not responsible for the transmission going out. I asked for a manager and they put me in touch with a Regional Customer Advocate who said they understood that the VW New Beetle has transmission problems and they monitor the Internet; however, not much that could be done but they would review my case and get back to me within 48 hrs. Got a call and they said although they were not at fault and that my warranty had expired, VW was prepared to offer me 25% of the $5200 repair bill to fix my broken transmission and that this offer was only good for 30 days. I told her I was not going to accept.

    I came back to his very website and read about "valve body" recalls and wondered why I didn't qualify for this. Called VW of America back and they checked and said they were sorry I never got a letter but I did qualify for the replacement valve body that addressed hard shifting and transmissions issues and they didn't know why I was never notified. I rec'd a letter from them in 2 weeks providing a free replacement. My VW dealer, VW Cerritos in the Los Angeles, CA area, told me that the valve body on my New Beetle was good and that they were not going to install a replacement one even with the VW of America letter since they KNEW it was the transmission and not the valve body! The service advisor was very difficult and rude. I asked to speak to the general manager and the "owner" of the facility (who's name is on the building) and finally got support to "install a new valve body" per the VW of America letter even though the VW Dealer Service Advisor said that it would NOT fix the problem and I needed to pay $5200 for a new transmission. After leaving it about a week, I pick up my 2006 VW New Beetle with a newly replaced valve body and it runs perfect! I paid $0, fully covered by VW. Amazing how about 3 months of hounding VW of America, talking to managers of managers, being persistent in asking about a recall that I was entitled to that I was never given and even arguing with the VW Service Advisor who didn't want to do the work.....everthing was fixed and the cars' transmission is working great again!

    Except.....the windows are out of alignment again, the shift box is not working, my air bag light is on, there is a moldy smell when I turn on the A/C, front and rear light bulbs went out.....and on and on and on and on.....MY RECOMMENDATION, DON'T EVER BUY A VW NEW BEETLE!!!!!

    I have to ask, how many people would have stopped at the first phone call with VW when told there was nothing that could be done? or would have taken the 25% offered to fix the transmission when it actually was the valve body paid in full by VW? or when the VW Service Advisor said he would not install a new valve body because the one in the car was good and he KNEW it was the transmission? PLEASE, don't give up, use all your options, use this blog, VW needs to hear what a terrible job they are doing and we need to not buy their products that are poorly made with poor materials. You are not alone! Would appreciate any feedback!
  • Please read my post #602 and see if my horrible experience with or 2006 New Beetle VW transmission can help to provide a road map to help you out. Apparently, VW has a range of years that they will issue letters for a new valve body to address the transmission problems. Check with them to see if you qualify and get it fixed for $0!!!!

    Best wishes!
  • Hi, I ironically was in an accident and was hit from behind. As they were repairing my 2003 beetle, I was told that ALL of the wires are correded. THIS was the cause for NUMBEROUS issues in the beetle (head lights on/off, turning signal, drivers side lock not working poperly or portions of the dash board not lighting up). I have no solution...
  • My 99 Beetle will shake when im iding, and starts jumping and hopping when im taking off. I have a 5 speed and it barely runs unless im in 3rd gear. Any ideas on whats wrong??
  • im having the same problem with my 03 beetle..what did you end up doing?
  • I had to buy A new transmission. $6500.00. I had already put a new top on it. I have too much init to ever sell it. My advice to you...UNLOAD IT, Quick!
  • ugh i would but i still owe money on it :(
  • Anyone with a bug and transmission problems should check since VW extended the warranty and paid for the valve body replacement my 2004 convertible needed after slightly over 50,000 miles. I recommend you go to a transmission shop rather than the dealer, who tried to convince me the problem was the transmission, for $7000. I opted for the valve body replacement, done at the local transmission shop, and the cost was slightly over $2000. With enough complaints to VW corporate, i was remibused for the full amount. Good luck!
  • i traded it and lost my [non-permissible content removed]
  • Hey I had the same issue with my beetle it is a 2005 conv turbo. For the last year I have been taking it to shops to have them look at it. Spending various amounts of money to run a tran scan. Every time I took it nothing would show. They would test drive and the car would never jerk. As soon as I would pull out it would jerk, jump out of gear or just come to a complete stop in traffic. Finally it showed up that my tip tronic needed replacing. So 500 dollars later the issue was still the same. They told me I needed a new tranny since that did not fix the issue. I called VW Consumer Care I dont know how many times and got NO WHERE Finally I started to do my research and decided to take my car to the dealership and demand the valve body be replaced! Finally it is working just fine. Has anyone else had the valve body replaced and had any more tranny issues. Or does this seem to really fix the problems? I am concerned. I want to get rid of the car but I am so upside down on it. I spent 6200 this past Feb, for engine replacement because my oil pump clogged 2000 miles out of warrenty. I have had to replace all the window regulators at 400 a piece and also had to have the tip repaired 3x. I do love the car but hate all the issues I have had. I hate to trade it in to be 1000s of dollars upside down on something else . I have a true fear of buying any other car now and plan to always try to do my research before I buy something else. I wish there was something we could all do to come together to keep others from having all these issues.
  • I had the valve body replaced on my 2004 convertible over one year ago, and the car is running great. Fortunately, none of the other problems you have described have surfaced, and i love my bug!
  • I, too, have a transmission issue on my 2004 Beetle. I'm at 63K. Is VW taking responsibility for these transmissions failing with such low mileage? Are you kidding that the cost is $6-7K to replace a transmission? :confuse:
  • Orangebug,
    How much did that cost you and what led you to replace the valve body?
  • I have a 2004 Beetle turbo convertible. The transmission gears 4-6 won't work. I've been quoted $5900 for a factory rebuilt tranny. I have a neighbor who has had the same problems. The rear window mechanisms have also gone out. $680. each. The hydrolics on the convert. top also went out. $4500. This car is a piece of junk. I'd NEVER buy anothe VW. Oh, 2 airbag modules went out about 4,000 miles ago. $1500. for the one in the dash, the one in the passenger seat was $600. You have to replace the whole bottom leather seat. Idiots!!!
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