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Volkswagen Beetle Transmission Problems



  • 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!!!
  • I have had the same problems. I bought this 03 conv.bug about 3 yrs ago ..had those airbag problems fixed & some other things about $700.00. The back window started pulling away from the top...bought a new top @ over 1 grand because I wanted it to be perfect, then the trans went out, replaced it $6 grand. I CAN NEVER sell this little lemon now. I only pd $8 grand for it. 'Have so much money in it, it will have to be a yard ornamnent for the rest of my life. I have an ----------(we can't mention it here) but evidently that takes a long time. NO NEVER BUY ANOTHER ONE & I tell everyone that says"Oh, what a cute little car!" Yea, right, cute.
    It's a pile of you know what.

    Here is the website to file a complaint with the National Highway Transportation Safety.
  • this is probably a computer or a computer program fault. I would have them update the computer first. this should be cheap, if the problem is not fixed i would replace the computer. nothing is wrong with the transmission, it is not slipping or anything like that. your transmission is doing whatever your car computer is telling it to do. so fix the problem.
  • No. To the contrary. I've been watching the various posts for some time now. The "other" issue not mentioned here besides the valve body, which surfaced just recently by the way, is the flywheel assembly in the transmission. Everybody talking about that "jumping, the overheating, banging into gear, using one or maybe two gears" - well, in many many cases - it was and IS the flywheel assembly. Check the internet AND check this site and you'll see all the documented cases of historically accurate occurrences with this piece of SH--. Mine went (2006 'new beetle convertible) at only 7500 miles. A 5 speed they were "kind enough" to try to teach me how to drive one (having only driven a shift for over 40 years by now).

    VW then wasn't considering the clutch part of the drivetrain - so for only about $3500 they would "kindly" replace the assembly for me. I told them "where" to file THAT just as kindly and drove the car, but never in traffic where it would overheat; never on a hill where it would slide backwards; never close to anyone else where it just "might bump forwards or backwards"; until I cranked up the mileage and hit around 90,000. THEN it was totally disabled and I did the assembly. STILL ran like garbage when it got hot or had to sit in traffic until I re-did the cables? Or I should say they crapped out on me and I was towed in.

    I should say I was given the "sniff" test until it went over the 100,000 and they didn't have to deal with me anymore. I NEVER got any letter about any valve assembly that they would replace. Never got anything at all. They listened - gave it that "Pep boys 'Manny Moe and Jack' thing" I'm sure for the day and couldn't care less. NO ONE at VW disagrees anymore that their transmissions were garbage and that the public "debugged" it for them.

    I should also mention that I'm a lifetime VW driver. They didn't just screw a novice who bought one once? OH NO. I've owned over 30 VW's in a family of Germans who ONLY drove VW. So they're equal-opportunity "I DON'T CARE's". To see them "re-release" the car, knowing how they screwed ALL OF US who owned a Beetle like this - I, for one, am sickened.

    I won't own one again. When I call and say I can't make my payment because I'm putting YET more work into it and can't pay AND FIX - I always complain. And always tell them to go screw themselves. I've put twice as much into the car than it's worth - I HAVE to keep it now. And I'm always fixing something.

    Anyone ELSE have those "winky dink" eyes (headlights that alternately go on/off) - now THAT's another "fun" option, right?

    Good luck all - with whatever year or model you have? They ALL have problems.
  • Thanks for your time and effort. My mechanic suggested as well that he start with the computer issue, that that may well fix the problem.

    Oh, and the headlights -- I got stopped by security and they said my headlight was out! I got out of the car, banged on my car light with a hard wack and it came on. I got back in and drove away. Don't you just love it!

    In the meantime, I have filed a complaint with the National Hwy Traffic Safety Administration It only took a few minutes. Others need to do the same
  • Three time this year I've been hit in my car by stupid/bad drivers. T-boned when a lady in a mad rush to get her "power shake" didn't stop for her stop sign. Then I got hit on the 405. This final time, a lady was driving a giant Lincoln Navigator with her fractured foot boot, and hit the gas instead of the brake, slamming into me and pushing me into the car in front of me. That was the last straw-- my poor dependable 2004 Aveo with only 63K miles on it was finally scrapped. So I thought, "why don't I buy a bug?" because I'd always wanted one. I was warned to just get a Kia, (Honda, Toyota and Mazda not in my budget), but no, I wanted something "fun".

    The pressure was on to do this fast- I commute an hour to work and once the insurance company hands you a check, they take back the rental. So unless I wanted to spend the scant money they gave me for my Chevy on a rental, I needed something fast. Test drove the 2004 Beetle with 88K miles on it on Saturday, and bought it. On Monday on my commute to work, I noticed the same thing everyone keeps talking about here: after driving for about 15 mins, it goes from "D" being highlighted to all the gears being highlighted, like it doesn't know what gear it's in. The shifting between gears is really obvious and not smooth at all. Also, it "kicked" on me out of the blue after I got off the highway. I drive A LOT with this job. I paid over $8500 for this car, CASH. I don't have any more $ to spend, and for 9 grand on a almost 8 year old car, shouldn't that be enough?

    ALSO: headlight is out that of course I couldn't see during the day while test driving. The heated seat (a bonus feature I was excited about) does not seem to work, at least on the driver's side. Air bag light for passenger says "off". Let's see...oh yeah, convertible top worked fine the day I test drove it, but when I tried it at home, the two little flaps stayed open. That was all on Monday. Today, Wednesday, when I started it the coolant light? (13 in the manual) came on for a while, then went off. I am really, really upset that I've bought a car whose tranny is about to go. The dealer said it was "fine". Carfax was clean. How was I to know?

    Last week one of my best friends died in a car accident. And as I mentioned above, three times I've been hit (no fault of my own) by drivers THIS YEAR. The last thing I need on my mind right now is a car that might not be safe. It's bad enough to have lost my car (which was fully paid for) at 63K miles which never needed even one thing in 3 years, and now I'm stuck in therapy (bad whiplash) and have to deal with this too? I can't believe it! I drive on CALIFORNIA freeways over 70 miles a day-- I can't have this thing do something funky on the road. Even hearing about it bucking and feeling like you've been "hit" from behind scares me-- the lady that "killed" my Aveo hit me from behind with my dog in the car, and it was really scary. Now I flinch when a car gets too close behind me, so feeling like I've been hit back there is unacceptable. I'm over the 7 years, and I'm like the 3rd owner anyway. Is there NOTHING I can do? I'm going back to the dealer today to have him reprogram the computer, but it sure sounds like that is not going to fix anything. It sounds like the tranny is bad on this car. F**k. After all these complaints, will they EVER offer a recall? And will it even help someone like me, who doesn't have service records and isn't the first owner? Let's do the math here-- If I paid $8500 for the car, and it needs a new tranny at about 6-7K, that could have bought me a NEW car. I just took out a loan for a needed surgery, so there is no more credit nor money to spare. Getting a "new" used car should be fun, not scary like this. HELP!
  • Volkswagen ended up extending the warranty on the valve body and I had less than 100,000 on it so I took it to VW and they fixed it for free. If you have less than 100,000 take it to them.
  • I too have a transmission probem. I have an 04 new beetle convertible. Was told yesterday that it's the Valve Body. 1500. for repair. VW offered an extended warranty on this part only. 7 years or 100,000. My warranty expired a week ago. I had no idea this was a problem with this year car. Now? The car sits in my driveway until I can afford to get it fixed. VW does not want to hear anything. They said although a lot of people have complained about this problem, there was never a recall so it's on me.
  • What are the symptoms of a valve body going out?

    In my case, I have a 6 speed auto trans with manual shift mode capability. My gears 4 - 6 are gone.
  • Same as above. It started on my car around 75,000 miles. I was told that there was nothing wrong. I'm now at 107,500 miles and my car is lurching very bad once it's warmed up for about 15 minutes. The lurch is very bad when downshifting or pulling out.

    Just took it in again and found out that I can get a rebuilt transmission (70K original miles) installed for $4500. I've already spent around $2000 the last year replacing the water pump, timing belt, etc.

    My original headlights lasted around 3 years. Since then all replacement headlights (VW parts) have lasted about a year. I'd like someone to explain that to me.

    I will never own another VW, no matter how cute and fun to drive. VW is not a quality auto maker.
  • I paid 2400 to have the computer issue and valve bodies replaced. My mechanic fixed the computer issue first, but believed the valve bodies would need replacing. Although it felt like it was a transmission issue, it was the computer telling it to downshift or not? My car now runs better than it ever did. Let me know if you want the name of my mechanic! Miracle worker!
  • It feels like the transmission is dropping out of the bottom of the floor. Mine is a 6-speed auto tiptronic. I took part of this conversation to my regular mechanic. He did some more looking and referred to a transmission specialist. They had seen the issue, now they had some history of similar issues, they knew what to look for and they didn't have to reinvent the wheel. It was costly, $2400, but not as much as a new tranny. Mine had 63k. It actually drives better than ever now.
  • Yes!!! I have an 05 turbo convertable and have had tranny issues for the past few years....they have been progresive issues with the car not going into fourth gear and then all of my gears are highlighted. Its at the point now where I cant even get to school without almost getting killed on the freeway.

    I had the valve body replaced a couple years ago. i got the valve body independently from a place called valvebody pros and it only put a bandaid on the problem. Then one machanic told me that the valve boy I purchaed didnt come with a harness and that might be the problem. Please someone help!!! Also I have had the silonoid replaced twice because it was throwing a code for that at one point.

    The last time I had the codes read it said there were electric problems and didnt say anything about the transmission. I live in Orange County Ca does anyone know who can help?
  • Just got her back after 24 days in shop - 2006 NB Convertible, 5-speed manual, failure of multiple transmission parts at 31,000 miles... WHAT?....can't say she ever shifted smooth, hard shifting started early on.....but sudden failure of 3rd and 4th gears, stuck in neutral driving down the road one night??....towed to shop ...."transmission needs replacing".... at 31,000 MILES? You MUST be freakin' kidding me.

    I am/WAS a lifetime VW/Beetle driver. Those days are rapidly coming to an end. We need to give VW hell for this nonsense. Love my car but this is RIDICULOUS. - yes yes i've also replaced the headlights, a window, twice did solenoid sensors (& she throws same code anyway for secondary air injection something), dash lights are partially out, plastic seat handle stuck on passenger side ... the list goes on ad infinitum. I must be insane to keep her. I had 2 Beetles before her, never a single problem. Wanted a convertible for fun. Hm. Are we having fun yet?
  • I have a 2004 beetle convertible. I was experiencing extrememly hard shifting between 1st and 2nd and then 4 and 5th. Eventually the car gave out almost completely in the middle of the road. It it would jump 3 feet as it shifted gear. Very dangerous! i sent it to the shop and left it there for weeks so they could figure out what was wrong with it. Basically, the said they couldnt find anything wrong. I was very angry - there has been so much wrong this is car - a few months before that i replaced the timing belt and water pump, a heat sensor and both of my rear triangle windows no longer worked. They were haLF way up. Yay for winter! In any case, i got the letter about the valve body at the same time the car was in the shop. Basically VW said it was not the valve body but rather I had to replace the ENTIRE TRANSMISSION. So, after a few weeks of coming to the conclusion, that i didnt have much of a choice, I decided to replace it. After much complaining to VW, they offerred me $1500 loyalty cash towards the transmission. The total cost was 6500 so with the loyalty cash, I paid 5000. Not a year later, i'm experiencing the SAME problem. I have had it in more than 4 times this year. It only has a year warranty..and now i have about 3 weeks left. Today, I heard from the dealer....they wont replace the transmission...only the valve body. how convenient. VW IS AWFUL!!!!!
  • It has been over 3 years that I experienced the transmission issues....with no assistance from VW. Thankfully the local AAMCO mechanics knew what they were doing - replaced the transmission and did some re-designing of a few parts. I am still totally amazed that VW has shrugged so many customers off with more or less stating that they don't know what the problem is. By the way, my car has been working fine since AAMCO fixed it - about 30,000 miles ago(2004 convertible). I certainly will never buy another car from them...and I always let people know how VW handled this case.
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  • wanted a vw beetle platinum grey undamaged hood and front bumper for a 2003
    beetle turbo s live near boston, massachusetts told 1998-2004 hoods all the same

  • Hi! Yes, I too have the same problem with my cute piece of crap 2004 VW Convertible. Was it you "bugn2go" or "classycoley" that had good luck just recently with the repair ??

    Would appreciate any advice ! Thanks !
  • Please read my post #602 of 637 dated Oct. 26, 2011 for my resolution to the same problem you're having. Best of luck, you'll need to be persistent and hold your own against the inept VW staff that will try to tell you that it's not their fault the transmission goes out and that you have to pay in full to replace it. Hopefully my story will provide a path for you to follow. Let me know how you do.
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