Erratic Transmission Behavior, Help Please. 2012 VW Passat.

jd63636jd63636 Member Posts: 3
edited October 2014 in Volkswagen
One month ago I purchased a used Passat SE 2.5 with 11,186 miles. I generally take the bus to work so it gets driven fifteen miles a day back and forth to the bus station without incident.
However on four occasions in the past month I have driven it to work which 65-75 miles round trip depending on the route.

Three of the four times I have driven the car to work it has started shifting erratically (both up and down shifts )when it traffic and shortly after this starts the Maintenance
Indicator (wrench) comes on in my center display and then shortly after that the check engine light also comes on. Once it gets to this point the transmission behavior is so erratic and down shifts when coming to a stop so violent I think it’s going to give up the ghost on the spot.
The first time this occurred I limped the car back to the Volkswagen dealer and was told they needed to update the ECM software and the problem would be fixed.
The second time I limped the car back and left it with them they claimed a faulty MAP sensor was the cause and reassured me my troubles were over.
This morning on my way to work this started again with the erratic up and down shifting and the Maintenance Indicator (wrench) was on once again when I arrived at work. So tonight I am confident I will be presented with the check engine light and I will once again have to limp it back to the dealer and leave it with them yet again.

I am out of answers and patience at this point, is this a common issue with the Passat?


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    There are many reasons why a modern automatic can act badly, so the idea of a "common issue" would be hard to prove. Do you have the actual # of the code that the dealer is extracting? That would give us some clue as to where the trouble might lie--whether it's an ECU issue, fluid issue, or mechanical/electrical issue.
  • jd63636jd63636 Member Posts: 3
    Ok tonight I pick the car up again so I do not know what codes it threw. they tell me they de carboned the throttle body and it's fixed. I smell BS. I have never heard of a car needing this at 12k miles and on 10/7 they listed "tech cleaned out throttle body

    Here is what is on the paperwork from it's prior trips in over the last 30 days

    On 9/5 they stated one DTC stored P0106- map sensor range/performance malfunction and they list that they did a software update oin the ECM

    I took it in on 10/7 for the same problem and they state multiple DTC's P0106- map sensor range/performance malfunction and list replacing the MAP sensor and tech cleaned out throttle body housing.

    I will list the codes from this visit tonight after I pick it up.
  • jd63636jd63636 Member Posts: 3
    Well the service order said much the same as the first two state multiple DTC's P0106- map sensor range/performance and tech cleaned out throttle body housing again
  • barney29barney29 Member Posts: 1
    Our problem was similar to yours. In cold weather, it would not go into gear (D) at first start up for about 10 seconds. The shift points would be hard especially when coming to a stop. Again when mildly accelerating from a stop. Long story short. The dealer finally got approval to drop the transmission pan and it was full of metal shavings mixed with the fluid. They will be replacing the transmission next week. The dealership has been more than helpful with us. Honda/Volkswagen of Panama City.
  • acrt4494acrt4494 Member Posts: 2
    JD63636 -- was your problem resolved? What was the fix? I have similar issue (started at 23,000 miles and has persisted to 43,980 and getting worse. Dealership can figure it out. I see that Barney29 got a new transmission. Appreciate any info you have. IMO, this is a systemic issue for VW!
  • acrt4494acrt4494 Member Posts: 2
    barney 29 - how is your car running with that new transmission? Did it solve the problem. I have the same symptoms, less the not going into Drive.....same rough shifting slowing down and low speed.
  • ooo1516ooo1516 Member Posts: 1
    I am having exactly the same problem as jd63636, and I don't find any answer. Please help me to address what the real problem is.
  • agp5000agp5000 Member Posts: 3
    edited August 2016
    The issue is the intake manifold is NOT properly tightened to MFG specs. Thus too much air is getting in and the engine tries to adjust with more fuel when the wrench pops on then off.... The fuel to air mixture is off, causing the lights to pop up.

    Just had this happen for 20k miles in my 2012 Jetta. They said ECM updates, done. MAP sensor, clean throttle body.... none of these cured it. Last thing done, tighten intake manifold to MFG specs. Voila, issue corrected. Issue from factory.

    This should be a MFG recall for the Passat & Jetta. But VW will fight right now to keep any other issues away. Hope this helps. Please tell your dealer.
  • agp5000agp5000 Member Posts: 3
    Ok, so issue re-arose less then 400 miles later. Took it back to the dealer and they did a "wiggle" test on the MAP sensor itself. Everything seemed to be ok and they cleaned it and covered it back up. They wanted to replace the sensor for $130 total. I refuted the charge being it is the same issue since under mfr warranty.

    Long story short, I decided not to replace the sensor after reading online that simply cleaning the sensor will correct the issue. Now it has been 2000 miles + and it has not since re-arose. The problem is, where the sensor is placed, it will eventually get dirty again, and give false readings to give erratic readings to the transmission/engine.

    So, end story is you have to be aware of the MAP sensor and keep it clean if you have this issue. PITA..... Car runs excellent otherwise.
  • agp5000agp5000 Member Posts: 3
    Follow-up since last post. NO issues have re-arose since the wiggle test/cleaning of the MAP sensor. I have read on a couple different forums that this seems to be the common case with this erratic issue. I have followed up with VW and the dealer in the last week to report. + called the recall awareness agency to report.

    Not saying this is a larger issue. Just want to help protect others with this issue.
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