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Old 06-27-2007, 09:11 PM
phuzylogik's Avatar
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Default Hard Shfiting Issues - VW says new valve body or trany

So my car has been shifting up/down really hard lately. I have a NB Vert 2003 2.0 - 73K miles - When the is cooled off it shifts fine. As it heats up it gets worse and worse. To the point that its actually squeeled my tires when it finally shifts into gear. It gets suck in gears and then finally jumps into the gear. Ive been reading all over the place to change the trans oil and i'm thinking of having this done. Some guy in the area will do it for $160.00. But I took it to the dealer and they side my 2 options were: (get ready)

1. change the valve body which should fix the problem but they arent 100% - $2000.00

OR

2. a whole new transmission - $6300.00

Anyone have any thoughts or have had this issue before?
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Old 06-27-2007, 11:54 PM
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What kind of pwertrain warranty did your car come with???
I just had the transmission replaced 2 weeks ago by my dealer free of charge... I have a 2001 2.0 auto with 75k on it, my 01 came with 100k powertrain warranty to the original onwer. They opened the pan and it was full of metal shavings!!
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Old 06-28-2007, 12:22 AM
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i'll have to check - they told me at the dealer it was only 65k. And the book shows 60k. I think im gonna call the 800# and see what they say. Maybe theyll tell me something different
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Old 07-01-2007, 05:14 PM
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Prior to the '02 model year, VWs had a 2yr/24,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty with a 10yr/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. '02 and new VWs have a 4yr/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper and a 5yr/60,000 mile powertrain warranty.

FWIW, Orger krouton17's '03 NBC had to have the tranny replaced and then it went right back to the dealer not even 24 hours later because it was acting up again. Needless to say, she traded the car on a '07 GTI because she had just crossed the 60,000 mile mark.
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:25 PM
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I just got the same bad news on my 03... how did yours work out?

fwiw, I noticed that the downshifting seems fine when you're in autostick mode, maybe I'll just have to use that from now on.
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:49 PM
phuzylogik's Avatar
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I had just the valve body replace and so far so good. It works as good as new.
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Old 09-10-2007, 01:27 PM
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Thanks- I did find your other post about this, and glad to see you nailed them down on whether this would fix it.
I just bought this car, it's gonna be hard to scratch up another $2K. They're also telling me it needs new airbag sensors for $700, but that's another thread ;-)

cheers!
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Old 09-10-2007, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelican18TQA4
Prior to the '02 model year, VWs had a 2yr/24,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty with a 10yr/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. '02 and new VWs have a 4yr/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper and a 5yr/60,000 mile powertrain warranty.

FWIW, Orger krouton17's '03 NBC had to have the tranny replaced and then it went right back to the dealer not even 24 hours later because it was acting up again. Needless to say, she traded the car on a '07 GTI because she had just crossed the 60,000 mile mark.
Hmmmm, they reduced the drive train huh, grrrr. Just had my tranny replaced at 36K.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 10-04-2007, 04:02 PM
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My '03 silver beetle is in the shop with same problem. $3700 on a new valve body and transmission fluid.

Arg. . .
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Old 10-04-2007, 05:12 PM
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Sounds to me like the makings of a recall...
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 10-26-2007, 07:02 PM
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hmm, seems to be a pattern with the silver color..maybe VW will recommend re-painting the car
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Old 02-20-2008, 07:06 PM
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Well, finally got the work done after some scary rides.. The tranny really started acting up, like going straight from 1st gear to 5th, getting up to 30-35 mph and selecting NO gear (as if I was in neutral). The worst was when I tried to stop one time, and the car kept pulling me along. Had to throw it to N to stop the car.
$2200 later, and it seems to be good. Nice and smooth, even seems a little peppier.
I did try to work some assistance from the dealer and VWOA, but NOTHING. "I'm sorry, sir, that is a customer-pay repair."
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Old 02-26-2008, 07:26 PM
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It seems to me that VW dealers don't know I thing about trannies. Why wouldn't they test all the solenoids valves before just replacing the whole body? Gee I dunno $100 or $3000?
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phuzylogik View Post
So my car has been shifting up/down really hard lately. I have a NB Vert 2003 2.0 - 73K miles - When the is cooled off it shifts fine. As it heats up it gets worse and worse. To the point that its actually squeeled my tires when it finally shifts into gear. It gets suck in gears and then finally jumps into the gear. Ive been reading all over the place to change the trans oil and i'm thinking of having this done. Some guy in the area will do it for $160.00. But I took it to the dealer and they side my 2 options were: (get ready)

1. change the valve body which should fix the problem but they arent 100% - $2000.00

OR

2. a whole new transmission - $6300.00

Anyone have any thoughts or have had this issue before?
Hi I have a 2005 vw beetle with the same problem (when it's cool works fine and when get hot it doesn't work good) my question is do you buy the valve body from the dealer or was rebuild?
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 06-24-2013, 12:48 AM
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Car: '03 Vert GLX 1.8t 6 speed Tip
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Your bringing up a 7 year old thread!!!

Anyway the problems have not changed.

Auto transmission that shift fine when cold but have harsh up or downshifting once warm usually have worn out valve bodies.

Unfortunately the way the valve bodies were designed, they self destruct somewhere between 70-90k miles depending on how the car is used. Highway driving with less overall shifting usually higher mileage before problems occur, city driving, likely as early as 70k miles.

There are 2 automatics, 4 speed and 6 speed Tiptronic. The 4 speeds most usually replace the valve body wiring harness when the valve body is repaired/replaced.

Most folks either install a rebuilt valve body or ship their valve body out for reworking.

Valve body rework or rebuild is about $500-$550. If you DIY it will likely cost you about $750. If you have a reasonable shop for the job expect about $1100 or slightly more.

DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER AAMCO, the will tell you lets drop the pan and inspect the pan and filter. They will then tell you there is metal in the pan and you need a full rebuild. Then your wallet will be about $4500+ lighter.

You should also read below in signature about filling the transmission.
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:03 AM
Round cars's Avatar
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Default THANK YOU jfoj for reviving THIS thread

Just AFTER T.O.D.5 on my drive back to Tennessee I started having what feels like a shifting issue with Chelsea (she's an automatic). I think it happens between 2nd & 3rd gears mostly?? There is also some mild to moderate tire screeching IF I don't try to anticipate where the hard shifting will occur. If I reduce my RPMs by taking my foot OFF the excelerater (sp) it seems to be less traumatic for the car AND ME.

My mileage is 213,000

Could this be a valve body and wiring harness issue??

Anybody?

Thx
Sandi
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 07-06-2013, 04:20 AM
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Car: '03 Vert GLX 1.8t 6 speed Tip
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Sounds like a valve body issue.

The wiring harness usually has bad connections and is usually not the cause of harsh shifting.

With the mileage on your trans, this may be a tough call as to what to do, likely you should pull the pan and check for the amount of metal in the pan.

You WILL have metal in the pan and on the magnets, just hope the magnets do not look like Chia Pets!!

With the miles on the car, you likely have a lot of highway driving which is VERY different from where my car will shift hundreds of times a day.
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:03 AM
Round cars's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
Sounds like a valve body issue.

The wiring harness usually has bad connections and is usually not the cause of harsh shifting.

With the mileage on your trans, this may be a tough call as to what to do, likely you should pull the pan and check for the amount of metal in the pan.

You WILL have metal in the pan and on the magnets, just hope the magnets do not look like Chia Pets!!

With the miles on the car, you likely have a lot of highway driving which is VERY different from where my car will shift hundreds of times a day.
Huuummmm...?
Did you make a typo in the FIRST two lines of your response......
....bad connections and is usually 'NOT' the cause of harsh shifting. ( or ) ....usually 'IS' the cause of harsh shifting?

Ok, I can drop the tranny pan and check for metal shavings BUT, when I find shavings in pan AND on magnets do I JUST clean it ALL off or ....buy new magnets and INSTALL them in MY old pan? or...buy a new pan that comes with attached new magnets?

Oh, and when I pull the tranny pan should I CHANGE the fluid OR capture and re-use the old fluid ( due to the age of my tranny). I think I've heard people tend to have 'more' issues when they CHANGE/replace their fluid with NEW fluid on high mileage trannies?

Chelsea ran GREAT until now . I've put 6,200 miles on her since I bought her.

Thx again!

Last edited by Round cars; 07-06-2013 at 11:50 AM..
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 07-06-2013, 02:05 PM
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Car: '03 Vert GLX 1.8t 6 speed Tip
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Round,

No typo, the valve body is the major contribution to the shift quality. It seems a lot of folks replace the valve body wiring harness inside the transmission on the 4 speed automatic when repairing/replacing the valve body. This is likely due to questionable connectors, wiring that may have cracked insulation and loose terminals inside the connectors.

If your car shifts close to normal when cold, but once the car is warmed up and the hotter/longer you drive it the harsher the shifting, then you likely have the classic worn out valve body bores and the hotter the trans fluid, the thinner the fluid and the more easily is leaks past spool valves in the valve body.

You have a few choices, non are cheap and likely appealing.

The issue is your trans has a LOT of miles on it compared to many that have started to exhibit this problem. Likely your car saw a lot of highway miles and fewer total shift cycles in its lifetime??

You might be able to get away with a rebuilt or replacement valve body, but beware, your transmission may need more work??

You have to be prepared moving forward with your choices.

Invest the approximately $1000-$1200 into a rebuilt/overhauled valve body and hope this solves your problem and/or expect if you invest this money you may need to rebuild or swap your transmission. The somewhat good news is if you end up rebuilding your transmission or putting a used unit in, you likely can and would want to reuse your rebuilt/overhauled valve body.

Bottom line the valve bodies in all MkIV VW cars ****! They wear out in as little as 50k miles depending on how the car is driven.

As for your questions about dropping the trans pan.

Here are my comments/suggestions.

1. You should be able to reuse the pan gasket, at least on the 6 speed Tiptronic you can usually reuse the pan gasket. It is a very thick rubber on the 6 speed with metal collars that keep the gasket from getting compressed too much.

2. I would capture the fluid if you choose to reuse it. You can strain in through a cone shaped paint strainer available at paint and hardware stores. I would only do this to save you some $$$$ on reusing the old fluid if you decide you need to buy yourself time while you decide what to do to repair your car. Dropping the pan is rather easy, refilling the trans can be a bit confusing when filled by the drain plug, but it is actually very slick and easy once you know how to do it and find the right tools. I have a nice post with pictures about this. DO NOT try to fill the trans from the upper fill if your car still has one, you will have more headaches and broken plastic parts that are impossible to find.

As for having to reuse the old fluid, this is all automotive urban myth, I have NEVER seen a high mileage automatic transmission fail due to a fluid change that actually failed due to a fluid related problem. They ALL fail because the transmission was never maintained and there were mechanical problems that someone hoped a fluid change would solve. The new fluid does not cause the final failure, the mechanical problem that someone tried to solve with a late in life fluid change actually was the cause of the failure. Again, transmission RARELY fail due to fluid related issues, unless the fluid is NEVER changed and it is overheated and the friction modifiers break down and the clutch packs burn up due to excessive slippage.

3. Expect to pay around $450-$550 for a rebuilt or overhauled valve body. Add about $60-$75 for synthetic trans fluid, $50-$75 for trans filter and gasket. About $75 for a wiring harness for the 4 speed. And expect about 3-4 hours labor from a reasonable shop. DO NOT GO TO AAMCO!!!!!!! You will not leave without spending about $4500. TRUST ME!

4. You do not need new magnets, you should not need a new trans pan. You can remove the magnets and wipe them clean with a paper towel. You WILL need at least 2 of the trans drain plug aluminum crush washers.

5. If you can change your own oil and replace your brakes you should be able to swap your own valve body. It is not so hard, disconnecting and keeping track of the wiring on the valve body is really the hardest part. Take pictures, make drawings and label things.

6. My preference is to get the valve body in the car overhauled rather than getting an exchange, but this is my personal preference. This adds to the downtime of the car due to shipping. But I had my valve body out on a Saturday afternoon, shipped it from VA to CA and had it back in the car and driving it the following Friday afternoon.

Hope this covers most of your questions. Good luck as these trans problems can be expensive and many times it is a cross road point on a 13 year old car, do you keep investing money into it??

The flip side is a new basic Beetle is at least $20k!

Kind of a sideways view of things below:

I always try to base my large purchases on the yearly cost of ownership less the cost of money. So forget trying to factor in money interest and consumables like gas, oil, tags, inspections and insurance. When I was younger I some rather nice muscle cars that I was able to buy the cars and put money into the engine, trans, suspension and brakes up front so I would have a reliable car. I think in my heyday I was able to drive some really nice muscle car for about $500 annually!! Unfortunately I really should have kept them as I would have some rather high ticket cars to sell, just as usual no place to keep all the hardware!

These type of numbers are hard to get today, however, if you could get your annual cost to drive in the $1500 range, this would be pretty good, anything less, you are heading in the correct direction.

Keep in mind, hopefully when you go to get out of the car you can recoup some cash, so this final cash out of the car should and can be used to offset the final dollar figure of annual ownership. Even if the car is not running, selling if for parts or even taking a tax deduction from donating it helps.

Kind of like my first HD TV, I was an early adopter 12 years ago, the stupid TV was like $3k. Well I milked it along for 12+ years, had 1 repair that cost me $0 about 3 years ago. I had a free pass from the wife to replace the TV 3 years ago when it had a problem, but I was not happy that I had really gotten my money out of the TV. So finally after 12+ years, I decided it was time to move on, I was at about $250 annual cost for the TV which I decided was tolerable and the technology had improved dramatically. So for less than 1/2 of what I spent 12 years ago, I have a larger screen, better picture, more features, but I HIGHLY doubt this new TV will last me 12 years!! So if I can get my $250 annual running figure out of it, I will be happy, if I do better great.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:25 AM
Round cars's Avatar
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GREAT INFO!!
I don't mind investing money into my Chelsea. I'm kinda thinking the valve body is the culprit so....here I go .
~Any ideas/suggestions on a good online company to order tranny pan GASKET and FILTER from?
~Also that WIRING HARNESS. I've never actually seen this HARNESS....is it a type of 'plug n play' harness or will there be some sodering involved??
~The valve body
I've never seen one of these either. How Is the OVERHAUL process different from the REBUILD process? I'm going with the overhaul process but I'd just like to know how the differ.

~Do you happen to remember who you used in California?? Was it quality work? I don't mind about the 'down time' I have another vehicle i can drive until Chelsea is all fixed.

Just trying to get a mental picture of the process.

Thx a million for all the advise

Last edited by Round cars; 07-07-2013 at 01:53 PM..
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