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Thread: Volkswagen Jetta Automatic Transmission Problems, Shifting hard

  1. #1

    Default Volkswagen Jetta Automatic Transmission Problems, Shifting hard

    I am tickled to death tonight. After letting my Jetta just sit for months, I decided to try what I found in an article. I took my Jetta, the article, to my mechanic for shifting problems and had him replace Value Body and Solenoids. IT WORKED! Shifts great! This car started shifting hard at 70,000 miles. I took it to VW and they told me it was normal. CRAP! I drove it another 30,000 miles but at this point it almost threw you into the steering wheel when shifting. Especially at stops!!! I took it to a transmission person, quote rebuild transmission 5800.00 YIKES. It sat! I then started doing research and found hundreds with the same problem. Some replaced the transmissions and a found a few that did the Valve Body with Solenoids. VB & S, was the cheapest way to go! Cost: $1800.00

    I can tell you how to fix most of your problems with the 99.5 thru 2003 automatic transmissions. I know from experience.
    I believe it will be all happy faces from now on with this group.
    My story.
    We bought a 2006 tdi. loved the gas mileage so much we bought a 2001 and 2003 automatic transmission. As I enjoyed the gas mileage so much I was reading about hyper-mile-ing and how to increase gas mileage. So it began. Turns out hyper-mile-ing in a automatic is not so good. At least in these cars.
    Should be done in a standard transmission. So in the 2003 one day and out of the blue it shutters as I am slowing to a stop light. Then I accelerate and made it to 4th gear (I think). Riding behind a school bus and stopping and going so my next stop and I accelerate to only 3rd gear. Next stop only 2nd gear and next stop could not get past 1st gear. No forwarning - no warning at all.
    Towed it home and parked it. Well I had also been hyper-mile-ing the 2001 as well. Started driving it solely and before you know it it started feeling like it was jumping around the gears like from 1st to 3rd and from 2nd to 4th. But in the end I found it was really the RPM's jumping all over the place but caused by the transmission. So now I could not drive either car.
    The code I pulled with a vag-com terminal says the tcc (torque converter clutch is bad) or (other internal parts) per the big book. Convinced I would need to replace the torque converter due to the torque converter clutch is inside the torque converter. A few months of diagnosing and reading it turns out these MK4 transmissions have cheap little valve bodies. Oh and also you do need to change the fliud at least every 75,000 miles VW just says it is considered a sealed unit (other words they want you coming in for a rebuild).
    forward- When you remove the transmission pan the valve body is right there staring you in the face held in by10 torx bolts. There is a wire harness clipped on the 2 sides by 5 contacts and 2 contacts. If you stick a long skinny screwdriver under the contacts so it it the lenght of the contact strip and just lift the contacts out of their connecting seats you will not damage them. Drape the harness to the side out of the way.Then you can reuse the cable. If you try to pick them out individually then you'll break them and a replacement harness which is made better will cost you 116.00 dollars.(I know). When you unbolt the valve body you'll have about another quart of fluid drain out, now your empty. From complete empty the books says it takes 5.5 quarts to refill. You can use the store bought ATF fluid but only if it is fully synthetic. Advance auto and pep boys sells the moble 1 ATF brand that says fully synthetic. It is halve the price of VW's refined mineral oil transmission fluid and I got it from even the trans experts that it is ok as long as it is fully synthetic.
    So there is some fluid left inside the transmission (1/2 a quart) I think because filling these both 3 times already it only took about 5 to full.
    So I looked on ebay for a valve body hoping to come in at around 300.00 but I just could not find anything I felt I could rely on.
    So I took to the web rebuild shops. Turns out one had just moved across country to my city.
    I called him and his were 499. but he would give me a break to 410.00 and I provide a core
    I explained The 2003 would not move and I thought the clutches were burned out and that the 2001 just jumped thru the gears like crazy and was undrivable and I though it had a bad torque converter.
    He said it is always the valve body in these years.
    He warned me about the cable harness and I broke the first one because he did not tell me the best way to remove them (not sure he knew the best way). After I broke that one I found the trick with the long screwdriver to do the trick with a couple removals still no problem.
    I took him my valve body and he gave me a replacement which was bad as well because as it turns out he did not test it as he said they never come back.
    Well let me stop here and tell you that the transmission shops out there are are charging 3000.00 for a transmission rebuild and you are only getting a new valve body (which is great as it is an upgrade to the cheap little thing coming from mexico) but they are charging for a complete rebuild. The cheap one pulled from the transmission has cheap little plastic gear stuff on the ends of the valves.
    The valve body shops bore out the valve holes and install bigger all solid valves in place of the cheap stuff.
    forward- I put the rebuilt valve body in the 2003 and it still would not work. I called him and in discussion I told him about the tcc code I was getting from both of them and he said to pull the torque converter and bring it in, he'll open it up and check it out. The whole time he is telling me (every time we talk ) that it sounds like my transmissions because my fluid smelled burnt. I pulled the torque converter and took it in but when I got there he said it can't be the torque converter as the torque converter clutch will only kick in after 40mph which is your overdrive that you feel in these transmissions. (I knew that from a tracker I had, but had forgot) So took out the valve body and I put it in the 2001 it did the same thing nothing (where the 2001 would work before).
    I called him back and asked him to test the valve body he had sold me. He said it has to be the installation. I explained I have worked on my cars for 30 years and I know how to do a simple installation. He said ok bring it in - I did - he tested it and it would not go into any gear on his machine.
    He rebuilt another for me and it fixed both cars. I put it in the 2003 and it went into all gears. (remember this car would not drive at all) Though I did not have the 2003 back together at this point because I had bought a standard transmission to put in if the automatic was indeed bad. I pulled the valve body and put it in the 2001 and it shifts better than it ever did before. So now he is fixing one for the 2003 that I'll pick up in a couple days. Like I said when I put this good valve body in the 2003 it worked going through the gears and then I put it in the 2001 and drove it (drives great).

    A side note: now I have a standard trans that will net me another 10 miles per gallon when I decide to install it. These 99.5 thru 2003 only give 40 to 42 mpg but that is using the air conditioner or not and traveling at highway speeds of 70 and 80mpg as well as stop and go traffic.
    The 2006 computer tells us we get 48 mpg but at every fill up when we do the math it is only 40mpg at speeds of 80 miles an hour and air conditioner an d stop and go just as the other two. I think the automatics in these cars will only provide the mpg no matter what. That may change if you drive highway and never go above 60mph but I don't know too many people that can do that. Course in the 80's it was the law (sucked!). I can't drive 55 55555555555555
    So wrap up, change the trans fluid Q 75,000 miles. You can use ATF fully synthetic transmission fluid (1/2 the price of VW fluid).
    Always change the transmision filter with every fluid change.
    Replace the valve body and be careful in removing the harness connected to the valve body.
    Do a google search for 01M valve body replacement.
    In fact I think it would just be a wise upgrade to replace the valve body because it will keep you from getting stranded. one day. I don't feel so bad doing a cross country trip in this car where my confidence had been shaken in the two of these cars going out.
    The shop told me he sees all the problems with the o1m and the G series. I'm pretty sure he said G series but I don't know which cars those are in.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Volkswagen Jetta Automatic Transmission Problems, Shifting hard

    Does anyone have a suggestion on where to buy a rebuilt valve body for the transmission?

  4. #3
    Junior Member Silverjetta02 is on a distinguished road Silverjetta02's Avatar
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    Default Re: Volkswagen Jetta Automatic Transmission Problems, Shifting hard

    I wounder if that's what's wrong with mine transmission shifts from 2 to 3rd hard.

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Volkswagen Jetta Automatic Transmission Problems, Shifting hard

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverjetta02 View Post
    I wounder if that's what's wrong with mine transmission shifts from 2 to 3rd hard.

    try this. I did it on my 03 tiptronic yesterday and it feels like a whole new trans. Mine was shifting hard and getting stuck in 3rd but I thought wth it's free and it never hurts to try and it worked!

    Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App

  7. #5
    Junior Member Silverjetta02 is on a distinguished road Silverjetta02's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
    casa grande az

    Default Re: Volkswagen Jetta Automatic Transmission Problems, Shifting hard

    Thanks man u ill give it a shot. Been thinking about just doing a 5sp swap but keep reading how much work it is.

  8. #6

    Default Re: Volkswagen Jetta Automatic Transmission Problems, Shifting hard

    Mine is acting kind of weird, when the car is cold it is hard to shift and when i take off it basically sits there until i give it more gas... Once it warms up it runs without a problem. Is it possible it is the valve body or the whole transmission?

  9. #7

    Default Re: Volkswagen Jetta Automatic Transmission Problems, Shifting hard

    I started having hard shifting on my diesel 2003 (295K) this summer. It slipped at around 40k and at around 80K as I was getting up to speed and the gears needed to shift. It got pretty bad, almost choking, though it did keep on going. No engine lights or anything though.

    I spoke to my mechanic about what I learned here, but in the end, after chatting we decided to try changing the transmission fluid. Poking around the web, (and from experience with swapping out bike chains and gears!) I was fearful that changing the fluid would take out some of the grit that may have been helping the gears grab. But the alternative appeared to be maybe a new transmission Fortunately, a month later, after the switch, the car is running much better. There is still a slight catch at 40 and 80, andI feel like the RPMs are a little high when on the highway, but all in all, much better. I tend to "feather" up to speed, rather than hammering on the gas/brake as a matter of course. No sense exhausting the poor girl, I figure!

    Since the transmission fluid change I also tried this:
    http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?4466549 http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?4466549

    And maybe its placebo effect, but I feel like its ameliorated the situation even more.

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