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Volkswagen New Beetle, Transmission, Convertible, Hatchback
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#39 of 795 Beetle Transmission Problems - Answers!
Mar 30, 2009 (11:23 pm)
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!!!!
Mar 31, 2009 (4:07 am)
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 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 edmunds.com) Traded it in, got $11,000 towards a 2009 Honda Accord. I don't think i'll have any problems for a while.....
#41 of 795 VW New Beetle Trans Problem?????
Apr 04, 2009 (9:30 am)
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?
#42 of 795 Car slipping into neutral, me into insanity
Apr 15, 2009 (11:35 pm)
God, I wanted a Beetle since they came out with the model. I got a 2001 Beetle two years ago. But what a piece of crap. Mention of that trade-in has got me thinking ...
Anyway, for a while now while driving on the freeway or something I felt like the car suddenly stopped listening to my gas pedal, but I told myself it was the wind--until today. There was a clear 4-5 seconds after a stop light that I tried to go--did at first--then it just wouldn't listen. Then it was back. I took it immediately to my VW mechanic who told me it was my catalytic converter. Went driving tonight--hmmm, not the catalytic converter. That kind of pisses me off not just cuz it's a waste of money, but from this forum I'm seeing that these symptoms seem to be tied regularly to transmission problems.
Apr 15, 2009 (11:37 pm)
I've spent over $1,000 in repairs over the last five months on this car--once to replace some stupid chip in my car key for $300. For the love of God, don't get a Beetle if you're looking into it right now.
#44 of 795 New Beetle 99 transmission
Apr 18, 2009 (8:39 am)
The front wheel of my VW NEW BEETLE 99 are locked, the car turned on but not moving and you can not push. Being turned on and accelerate and release the pedal, the RPMs drop quickly.">
#45 of 795 Most common transmission problem
Apr 18, 2009 (6:06 pm)
Which is the most common problem in the transmission of the beetle.
#46 of 795 Re: hard 1 to 2nd shift [sharon60]
Apr 19, 2009 (4:16 am)
03' beetle - after over $6,000 in repairs, ie: repair everything showing up on the computer (engine/tranny) the car is still jerking. Now they are saying I need a new tranny. New tran will cost $6,000. Just not worth it.
I love my beetle, but not that much. anyone out there who is considering buying a beetle, reconsider. Your heart will be broken.Now I hope when I try to trade it in, it doesn't jerk while they test drive it. Wish me luck.
VW PLEASE ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM -
#47 of 795 Bearer of more bad news...
Apr 22, 2009 (6:25 pm)
Sounds like I'm not the only one! I found this forum just now while looking up beetle transmission issues, I'd heard of them happening often and was trying to post and find if Volkswagen intends on doing any sort of a recall. For now they haven't but I intend to post everywhere in hopes of them finally hearing enough.....
Here's my story. Bought my dream car in May and next month will be a year. It's a 2003 Beetle convertible and had 50k miles on it. Around Oct or Nov I noticed how hard it was shifting down. It would just jerk from gear to gear until I would come to a complete stop. I drove for a Christmas party mid Dec round trip of 3 hours and was fine. I parked the car in my driveway for 5 min then got in it to go to the grocery store and about a quarter mile from my house while up-shifting it couldn't make it out of third gear! My heart dropped I knew this was bad, bad news. Took it to three mechanics before one could tell me he'd need to rebuild the transmission. Between three mechanics and ordering parts it took three months to fix! Just got it back about a month ago and it sounds like I'm riding around with a crock pot under my feet. Something just rattles like metal clanking anytime I get in and just take off, seems like it does it all around town but here's the thing. My mechanic is about 40m away and by the time I get it to him each time to have him test drive it the noise is gone. It's like after it warms up it silences. Anybody have any suggestions? He says he believes me but it warming up and quitting doesn't make sense.
Furthermore he informed me that it seems beetles and jettas alike have this issue. Also he had to order all my parts from California which added to the headache (Kentucky) and ordered several before he could get 4th gear back. This was all after replacing the thermostat and the dipstick holder. But I'm looking up, this is the end right? I love my car. Oh and by the way when I took it to him yesterday there were two more beetles there with the same problem. hmmm.
#48 of 795 Re: Bearer of more bad news... [pilch]
Apr 22, 2009 (7:28 pm)
hey pilch, you need to take advantage of your parts and labor warranty on the rebuild. If they rebuilt your 2003 ask if they only did a rebuild kit and torque converter or if they actually replaced the transmission piston. also find out about the sensors and valve assembly.
also if rebuilt double and triple check that they used the correct trans fluid. for your year car with a trans rebuild your fluid should have been $250.00. Remember there is no trans dipstick so they need to overfill and then bleed off. I'm assuming your dipstick holder is for the oil.
did they use only volks parts? or aftermarket parts?
was the battery disconnected during the removal of the trans? If you believe that the clanking is trans based you might need to simply reset the transmission computer.
it is worth another visit for your reassurance...the wrong or short pour fluid and not properly reset computer could eventually lead to the same trans prob. If done correctly then yes, it is the end, clanking could be a million things....bearings, loose exhaust, cam etc......let us know how it end up