Jetta Transmission Problems and Questions

deziraydeziray Member Posts: 1
edited September 2015 in Volkswagen
I have a 1999 Jetta Wolfsburg that I bought 13 months ago used from a dealer here in CT. Now since I have owned the car, I have kept up on regular maintenance, replaced a window regulator, replaced wiring under the hood dealing with the spark plugs, replaced back bearings and shocks and a few other minor repairs. Recently my car has started to have trouble switching gears. When I first got the car it would switch gears between 1 and 2 rpms but now it is going between 3 and 4 before it switches and it sounds like the car is working double time to go. I know I have to bring it in to be looked at and since I have a powertrain warranty I am hoping it will be covered, BUT I am a woman and the dealership where I bought it has given me problems about making repairs before. I have a few questions:
1. What could be the problem? Is it costly to repair? Has anyone had a similar issue and if so...did the warranty cover the repairs?
2. How do I get the dealership to deal with me without jerking me? (I know this may be a rhetorical question but I figured it does not hurt to ask!)
3. Are there any remedies for people who buy powertrain warranties with the belief that things will be covered, but in fact are not?
PLEASE give me some advice!!!

Thanks! -Frustrated with VW in Connecticut!!!

See Also
How To Diagnose Automatic Transmission Problems


  • 1joy1joy Member Posts: 1
    i have a 2001 1.8t. i have had the car for about 1yr and 8 mo. 3 mo ago my transmission went out. i took it to a transmission specialist and they rebuilt the transmission. i had the car for a couple of days and it still wasnt shifting right, so i took it back. they then replace the computer. after about a mo i got the car back, and low and behold it went out on me again. so i had it towed back to the shop. they decided that since my car had an after market radio in it (which came with the car since i bought it used) that it shorted out the computer system. now the computer in the engine compartment needs to be replaced. i'm not sure if anyone really knows what they are talking about. but i thought that perhaps my story might save some time and money. i'm out about 3k on my car, and havnt been able to drive it in over 3 mo. i have just about had it with german enginering. cant even check the transmission fluid if i wanted to!!! :mad:
  • jaclyn_sabourijaclyn_sabouri Member Posts: 1
    Recently I have been having transmisson problems with my 2000 Jetta TDI. I got a rebuilt transmission installed as a replacement, and have been expericing high RPM's (almost 3000) at 100km/h. Does this seem right to anyone else or does it seem a bit on the high side? Thank you.
  • kevbuttkevbutt Member Posts: 2
    My 2000 Jetta GL has a problem whereby, sometimes it will not shift from park. The vehicle has approx 125k kms. It doesn't happen all the time, but is happening more frequent, and can happen if parked on a slight grade or level surface. I can rock the car back and fort and them I am able to shift from park to reverse, neutral, drive, etc. There are no noises coming from the transmisson when driving, and it shift fine between gears when driving. Has anyone experienced a similar problem? Thank you.
  • breane24breane24 Member Posts: 1
    I drive a '99 Jetta GLX. And yes, There is a recall on this car. You can check my name for my other posts. Where someone had a compliant of the same problem. There's acouple of recalls with the car. However, on the 125k .. I think that's probably the problem. You've got a lot of mileage...
    :sick: pretty much sums it up. However, when I first started driving my Jetta I experienced much of the same problems. The easy way my friend explained it to me.. Older cars have a safe mode on the transy, or they have recalls. Look into the recalls.... something about the break lights.
  • bf109acebf109ace Member Posts: 77
    I've been driving this Jetta for over 5 years and I'm still wondering how I can achieve smooth up-shifting consistently.

    I usually rev up to 2500-3000rpm before shifting into the next gear up. However, I often feel the jerky engagement of the clutch and saw the passenage's head moving forward because of the jerky shifting.

    Is there anyway you can drive a 5-speed stick as smoothly as an auto transmission? What's the normal shifting point from 1st to 2nd, 2nd to 3rd, 3rd to 4th, etc. - RPMs?

    Do I need to 'rev up' the throttle before putting into the next gear up (like one would do in the heel-toe downshifting)? If so, rev up how much more rpm - 1,000rpm?

    I know many people can drive the stick shift smoothly. Can you share your techniques and skills? Thank you.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    This could be a problem with your car as well, but let's presume that you've found someone else to drive your car and they can shift more smoothly than you can.

    All I can think of are two things you might not be doing as optimally as you could:

    1. You could be releasing the clutch pedal too fast

    2. You could be waiting too long between shifts, allowing the engine revs to drop down to idle.

    both these habits would cause a jerky kind of shift.

    See if you can get a volunteer to shift your car better than you can. If nobody can do that, they maybe it's not you.
  • terrificoterrifico Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2006 Jetta with automatic transmission that shifts very roughly from 1-2. They were unable to replicate the problem when I brought it in for service but it happens more often than not. Has anyone experienced this problem? If so what needs to be done?
  • bcposibcposi Member Posts: 1

    Has anyone experienced this problem on the VW Jetta 2006 TDI (manual transmission)? We were slowing down to about 60 kph when the car jammed to a complete stop. We weren't able to move it at all - couldn't engage the clutch. The dealer showed me the clutch and said it disintegrated and seized the transmission. The transmission housing was damaged as well as a motor mount. We have about 23K on it. Its taken 1 month to repair. This is a major safety issue as far as I can see.
  • dblfltddblfltd Member Posts: 2
    yes. it occurred at the 4500 mile point. "bcposi" please contact me at [email protected]
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Could you and bcposi talk here instead of via email? That will be of enormous benefit to others who may have the same issue.
  • jmullajmulla Member Posts: 1
    My daughter recently rear ended another car with our 2001 Jetta GL. It wasn't a bad accident, just body damage. The repairs cost $3000.

    I drove it for the first time yesterday and it seemed to me that it was not shifting into high gear. It rode at 3000 rpm when cruising at 65 mph and 2000 RPM when cruising at 40 mph. Does that sound normal?
  • cjs703cjs703 Member Posts: 2
    I just recently was experiencing engine noise problems at 20k on my 2006 TDI Jetta, and the dealer just called me and said that the clutch was totally destroyed. The noise that I heard from the engine sounded more like a timing/misfiring problem and I was very surprised to hear anything about the clutch. They are still investigating, so I will have more info later.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Sometimes the throwout bearing can break up (after making a lot of warning noises) and this causes the throw-out fork to engage the pressure plate gets ugly from then on.

    Or springs can loosen up and cause pressure plate failure.
  • root1root1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2005.5 Jetta with an automatic transmission and have experienced the same issue since I bought it new. I have 35K miles on my vehicle and have brought it in a couple of times. The mechanics at the dealership are unable to replicate it, or so they say. It seems to be worse when the temp is colder. Have you had any luck resolving the issue since you last posted? Has anyone else experienced this? If so, any suggestions?
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    I am not terrifico, but we had rough shift from 1-2 and sometimes from 2-3.

    In our case dealer replicated the problem and replaced the throttle body in the transmission. Ours is a 2005.5 and this work was done last April.

    Have you ridden with the dealer technician when they are testing your car? This would be a way to find out if the problem is just not happening when they drive it or if it is happening and they do not consider it to be a problem.

    If it ends up being the latter, you might try a different dealership.
  • bora1bora1 Member Posts: 42
    Aha.. I had this similar problem with my 2002 Jetta 1.8T. This is a common problem with the VW auto transmission. For the longest time, the dealer kept on saying that they could not replicate the problem. I was able to replicate the problem when I requested the service manager to ride with me, but all he said was for me to monitor it and wait for it to get worse. Right after my manufacturer's warranty ran out, the dealer was now (surprise surprise) able to successfully replicate the problem, and referred to as signs of wear and tear. Which transmissions wear and tear at 80k KMs?? I have a 1992 Corolla, and the transmission caved in at 250k KMs.
    Don't wait until the problem gets worse. Insist that the dealer replaces your transmission immediately. VWs policy is never to fix or refurbish mechanical parts.. they simply replace them with brand new ones. Please ensure that you keep all the service records indicating your shifting concerns to the dealer, as these may/will bail you out in case the dealer is not willing to replace your transmission. I got my transmission replaced after weeks of battling with the dealer. After that, I sold the car :-)

    All the best.
  • dblfltddblfltd Member Posts: 2
    VW of America claims that an attempt to get unstuck from snow was the sole cause of damaging the transmission which had to be replaced for $3300. However, this is the third transmission replacement in this car. What do you think about a one-time incident causing that damage? Quite a coincidence given the other two failures.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    The third trans in a! :surprise:

    How many miles?

    What did you do when you were stuck?
  • seabee1seabee1 Member Posts: 1
  • asimeniaasimenia Member Posts: 2
    Among other things wrong with my automatic 2002 1.8T Jetta (80,000 miles), the most recent is quite weird.

    So one day 8 months ago I'm driving on the freeway at 70mph. All of a sudden (with my foot on the gas pedal) the car starts revving instead of driving. I mean I'm coasting but the speed is going down. I take foot off gas, turn hazards on and move aside. Once pulled over, I turn engine off and on, and it's fine.

    Since then, that same thing has happened about 30 times. The "connection" lasts at most 5 seconds". VW can't run codes because it needs to happen when they test it. Know about Murphy's Law?? Apllies here...

    The other day though I was on cruise control at 70mph, and the same thing happened, and even in cruise control the speed went down (the engine stays on but it's like something cuts out) Since I was in right lane I left everything alone to see what would happen... The car got down to 60 almost and all of a sudden with a quick jerk whatever it was got connected again and the car sped up by itself to 70 wit...

    Any ideas?

    As a side note, the temperature gauge on my car goes to normal (in the middle) and by itself drops to the left (cold) back and forth several time in a day...

    are these two related? How can I figure out what is wrong with car??? PLEASE HELP!

  • borat1borat1 Member Posts: 3
    That is a tremendous saftey issue. You could easily hurt yourself or others on the road.
  • bmz26bmz26 Member Posts: 3
    i have a 2001 vr6 and i need a tune up. change your plugs and wires. i also had the 3rd cylinder misfireing but the main prob was the wires. has them for 125 i think and they have worked good for me
  • bmz26bmz26 Member Posts: 3
    So reverse took a big crap on me. I have a 01 jetta vr6 with a 5 speed manual. I need a new trans but i was thinking of a 6 speed does anyone know if it will work out well or should i just stay with a 5 speed
  • cwetzelcwetzel Member Posts: 2
    Just today I pulled my 99 jetta wolfsberg into its parking spot, and put it in reverse to straighten it out. Then I heard a noise from outside(under the hood), and the clutch pedal went to the floor. there is no tension at all on the pedal now. the engine will start and run until I attempt to put it in gear. I found a small rectangular peice of broken metal under the car. I believe this is a bracket involved in the linkage somehow. Is the problem the linkage, like I believe, or is it my clutch, or something else?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Oh I wonder if you have a cable actuated clutch? If the bracket that holds the cable in place broke, that would explain everything.
  • cwetzelcwetzel Member Posts: 2
    In all honesty I haven't even had time to lift my car and take a look yet. I believe it is cable actuated, but I'm not entirely sure. the peice I found does look like it could be a bracket. metal, rectangular, bolt hole in the middle, raised back and tabs of some sorts on the end, does that sound right? Thanks for the advice.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Yeah, it's cable actuated. Sometimes I'm told the spring drops out of the clutch pedal assembly, but that's up under your dashboard I think.

    Anyway, the clutch cable must be held in place by a bracket or it couldn't work the clutch---it needs something to bear against--to hold the outer sheath while the inner cable works.
  • fpjdpfpjdp Member Posts: 10
    When I put the car into drive i have to rev the engine to get in gear. Once in gear it shifts and runs fine. Someone said the tranny fluid may be low. But I can't find where you check the fluid. Hope someone can help :(
  • sawchuksawchuk Member Posts: 1
    All of a sudden today my jetta stopped going into Reverse, 1st or 2nd gear...I limped home and got under the car but couldn't seem to locate the linkage
  • danni2danni2 Member Posts: 1
    My Jetta is at dealer following a replaced battery which developed into transmission problems (wouldnt shift). I was loyal to dealership where I purchased the car and reported banging and rough shifting everytime I brought it in for service. It was never completely repaired.Moved to North Florida, new dealer, 1st experience there. They want $3800 for a new transmission. Car has only 65K. I read many posts with similar issues. Do I have any recourse. Should I have it towed to a transmission shop? Please help, any advice will be appreciated. I am in shock! :cry: :sick: :lemon:
  • vwguild1vwguild1 Member Posts: 98
    You are 5K miles out of warranty on the PowerTrain...You should have the Service Advisor look into the service history on your Jetta...You may get some good will from VWOA if your previous dealer failed to address these issues when the PowerTrain was still in effect...
  • pruzinkpruzink Member Posts: 112
    Check your service receipts from your visits to your previous dealer to see if you can document that you complained about this problem when the repair would have been covered under warranty. Usually, when you drop the car off, the service writer will list any complaints that the customer would like checked. If you have this documentation now you have a valid arguement that the previous dealer failed to deal with your problem. Don't be afraid to contact VWOA if the local dealer does not agree.
  • manichemaniche Member Posts: 1
    hey i just started having this problem last night with my 2002 1.8t.
    i have a manual tran. every time i shift gears, the rpm shoots up to about 4k, then drops back to about 2.5 and then the car starts accelerates (a little sluggishly).

    i noticed the temperature gauge side-effect too, it used to stay dead center at 190 but now keeps dropping to lower several times.

    have you discovered what the problem is?
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Member Posts: 690
    If you have an automatic transmission, chances are its the computer (normally a $300 item). The labor to replace it should be about 1/2 hour.
  • deaner14deaner14 Member Posts: 40
    I have about 134k miles on my Jetta. Recently, it started "lurching" when it was in gear but the clutch was fully depressed.

    I took it to a non-VW tranny shop and they said it was the pilot bearing. My VW doesn't have a pilot bearing. Took it to another place and they said they pull it apart and see what's what. Got the diagnosis back and they had pulled the clutch/pressure plate and tried to turn the fly wheel (dual mass for those of you in the know). However, there was something wrong with the flywheel and it has a definite clunk sound when you flip it over in your hands. btw, I decided to go with a solid flywheel instead of the dual mass previously installed in the car. It's cheaper and less prone to failure in the future.

    Now that the car's back together, it's shifting like there's no tomorrow: smooth as silk. The only thing I notice is there's a distinctive buzz when I pass 1800 rpm. It feels like you've run over a "keep-awake" strip on the highway. Car has to be moving... and has to be in gear.

    I'm thinking my new flywheel is out of balance, the engine mounts weren't tightened to spec and/or ... well, that's why I'm posting. Anyone have any other thoughts or suggestions? The tranny man says he'll tear it apart again if need be, but we're both searching for answers.

  • fpjdpfpjdp Member Posts: 10
    When I put the car into drive it will not go into gear unless i press the gas then it will kick in. It seams like it needs tranny oil or a transmission tune-up and filter replacemant. Has anyone experienced the same problem? There has to be someway to check the tranny fluid. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • mlemastermlemaster Member Posts: 1
    My daughters 04 Jetta automatic won't shift out of park, the foot on brake symbol stays lit on the shifter console, and, the EPC light is on on the dashboard. Don't know if they are related, she didn't notice the EPC light before.
  • skippytcgskippytcg Member Posts: 10
    my wifes 2001 did the same thing, bad brake switch, there is now a recall on them
  • nittany4nittany4 Member Posts: 1
    HI, unfortuanetly I share your pain. I have had the entire clutch replaced on my 2006 jetta 2.5, TWICE. First at 8000 and then 10000 miles. I am seeking an attorney and hopefully can get rid of this thing via the lemon law. I've been driving a manual transmission for 20 years, so although they tried to tell me this could be my fault, it clearly is not. It's a shame as I (used to) love VWs. This is my 4th one and thanks to two trips in a tow truck in 2 months, my last.
  • cjs703cjs703 Member Posts: 2
    Well to follow up on my previous post in February, it turns out that the flywheel has moving parts, and has oil. The flywheel ended up leaking the oil on the clutch and destroyed it. So under warranty they replaced the flywheel and the clutch. I haven't had any problems since then (10,000 miles).
  • sdazzo213sdazzo213 Member Posts: 3
    The car is an 07 VW Wolfsburg edition with a manual transmission. It has about 200 miles. I am new to driving a manual transmission but i feel like i picked it up pretty quickly and have confidence in the way i drive. I have driven with a couple of friends who also drive manual transmission and they told me i was doing just fine. Earlier today I was driving down a pretty steep hill doing about 40 in 3rd gear and all of a sudden i heard a noise. It sounded like something dropped. Initial I actually thought a tire blew out. As i continued down the hill the car produced a loud clanking noise about every revolution of the tire. I pulled it in to a parking lot. When I put the car in gear and depressed the clutch the clanking noise continued and the car would not go anywhere. I have no idea what happened and I am wondering if someone can help me out. I was not shifting or anything when the incident occurred.
    What happened to my car?
    Would this be covered under warranty?
    Could this be caused by the way I drive or did something just happen?

    I would really appreciate some insight on this matter
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Sounds like you broke an axle! Very strange for such a new car.
  • darkzdarkz Member Posts: 1
    Whenever I drive my jetta, it feels like there's alot drag all the time and it slows down too fast after I release the gas (crappy mpg's). It takes about 15 seconds to get from 0-60 (sucks gettin in the freeway). The only time it coasts for a long time like a normal car is when I shift it to neutral when I'm up to speed. The atf fluid is level and I even checked the brakes, no binding there. What could it be. !!!Help!!!
  • exvwownerexvwowner Member Posts: 2
    :mad: I had my Jetta TDI (manual transmission) for less than a year when the clutch gave out (stuck to the floor). The car had less than 24K miles on it. I was told that the clutch was a "wear and tear" item and not covered by the warranty. Since I was so clearly dissatisfied, the dealer offered to pay half to replace the clutch and flywheel. But I was out $1200 for repairs on what I considered a new car. I traded it in exactly a year after buying it. I was pleased that it retained it's value and I got a great tradein on another brand. And I'm extremely glad to get rid of what I consider a horrible vehicle.
  • fpjdpfpjdp Member Posts: 10
    When I put the car into drive it will not go into gear unless i press the gas then it will kick in. It seams like it needs tranny oil or a transmission tune-up and filter replacemant. Has anyone experienced the same problem? There has to be someway to check the tranny fluid. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • jetta2002jetta2002 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Jetta Auto Transmission that has been in the shop for over 1 month now!
    The problem is, after driving the car for approx 30 mins it did not seem to want to go anymore - the rpm's would scream but the car would not move. You had to let the car cool off in order to drive it again - and yes my fan was working. Took the car in and was advised the tranny needs to be re-built - clutches, value body among other things needed to be repaired. 2 weeks later got the car back and after having the car not even 24 hours the same problem - the car went back and I was told that a sensor needed to be re-placed..... done - Again picked up the car and not even 2 hours later the same problem and since then the car has been in the shop. The housing has been changed, the computer has been changed 2-3 times and the problem is still happening but more frequently. I don't think anyone knows what is wrong with this car? Does anyone have any thoughts on what might be happening? I really need to have my car back! :sick:
  • weim_06weim_06 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 VW Jetta VR6 automatic, I got it about 2 months ago and for about a month it has been in the garage. It won't go in reverse all the time. When I took it to the dealer the first time he replaced the TCM, then the selecter pin and this last time he flushed the transmission, and it still don't work. It will work most of the time if I put it in first let it coast a little then put it in reverse. I called my dealer again and again he wants to try something else, replace some valves in the transmission. I am afraid that I might have a transmission problem. I have about 3 months left on my warranty. I hope that my dealer isn't trying to screw me around till then. Does anybody have any idea what it could be? Please help.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Member Posts: 690
    Not to be mean or anything, but if I were new to driving a manual, I would not spend $20K+ to learn how to drive a manual. I would buy a beater with a manual transmission to learn on until I become proficient enough to step up to a newer car.

    Twenty-Five large is an expensive way to learn how to drive a manual transmission...
  • isusic15isusic15 Member Posts: 1
    WOW... sounds familiar. Over the past weekend my 2004 Jetta did the exact same thing. RPM'S would shoot up but my car would not move. Would go in drive for a few feet, but nothing in reverse. I had to have it towed and later got the worst news. I need a new transmission. I'm in udder shock because my Jetta was bought NEW and only has 30,000 miles on it. After I get this new transmission I am selling it and purchasing a reliable car. Good luck with your Jetta.
  • aq5aq5 Member Posts: 1
    I have owned several older volkswagens and never had any problems working on them myself. I recently acquired a 2001 Jetta and started having tranny problems or so it seems. I have been told I need a new tranny and was offered a very low price for the car without it running at the moment by the dealership. I don't know if it really needs a new tranny or if it is low on fluid because I had the same problem did not know where to check it myself. I had the car brought back to my house to do some more investigating on it and found that the only way the tranny fluid can be checked it by computer...go figure. The dealership would not tell me how to check the tranny fluid they seemed a little on the suspicious side. I am now in the process of trying to find a mobile service with a computer, towing is getting a little expensive but so is a $4000 tranny if all I need is some fluid. Good luck
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