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:( My husband just bought me a 98 Bug and the transmission does not want to come out of 3rd gear into hi. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I have always wanted a Bug as they are so cute. We just put new brake pads on, new starter and catalytic convertor and now this problem.
 

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Welcome to the org:wave2:

May I suggest filling out your profile info: it is a vital tool for networking with fellow new beetle owners, e.g., locating parts, help with installs/repairs and just meeting up with some fine beetle people.

From what i've seen around here, it could be the valve body. Now i'm just assuming, so don't take what i'm saying as gospel. I'm having transmission issues, but not as you are.

With the explosion of facebook, we cooked up a facebook group for fellow newbeetle.org members (orgers) like yourself. You're more than welcome to join and field that question there as well. To join, New Beetle... the collective- an newbeetle.org group, CLICK HERE

All the best to you and getting your baby running smooth. We're here for ya:)
 

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5/23/10 <3
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To me, it sounds like it could be limp mode, but as Scarab said, we need more info to help you out. What engine? How many miles? Any thing else going on?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
More Trans Info

Thanks for your reply. I just found it. The engine is a 2.0 and the tranny code is CZM. Car has 129,000 miles. No other problems that I am aware of other than it won't shift into hi.
 

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Have you had the car scanned for any codes?
 

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Not yet however I will try to have that done next week.
Welcome to the Org and sorry about your transmission problems.
The 01M Automatic transmission that Volkswagen manufactured is probably the worst transmission ever built. Actually, it wouldn't have been so bad if Volkswagon would have put a Fluid change in their maintanence schedule at around 50 or at least 60k miles. Put they deemed it a lifetime fluid which I guess the lifetime in your case is about 129k miles. I bet if you take off the transmission pan that fluid will be darker than night. Also the valve body in these transmissions fail which prevents the already contaminated fluid to reach proper line pressure in order to shift in to certain gears. You can try and change out the valve body and internal wiring harness and see if this will help the transmission live a little longer.
Be warned. The dealer will charge you between 1700-2500 to replace the valve body and most don't even want to do it since they can not guarantee that it will solve your issues if the transmission has already been compromised. They will try and sell you a rebuilt transmission and with parts and labor this will be between 5000-9000 dollars. Personally, I wouldn't pay that. You can do a transmission conversion to a much more reliable manual transmission for a lot cheaper.
If you are handy you can swap out the Valve body yourself. Valve bodies can be had for about 500+ dollars plus another 100+ for the transmission harness and another 125+ for the fluid and filter.
Good Luck and keep us posted.

BTW, here is a brand new Automatic Transmission for about 2k plus shipping. If you find someone to put it in for a few hundred bucks you can safe probably several thousand dollars over what a dealer will charge you.
VW 1.8T Automatic Transmission - PartsPlaceInc.com

Here is a good source for the Valve body and transmission harness. If you buy the entire transmission you won't need the valve body and harness since it would be included.

01M 01N Volkswagen Valve Body, Golf 1996-05 , GTI 1999-01 , Jetta 1993-05,  New Beetle 2004 , Passat 1995-97, EUROVAN 92-03.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank You

Thank You for a great reply! We do have a friend who is a great "shade tree" mechanic who has worked on most of our vehicles over the past 15 years. After we hook up a diagnostic to the ECU to see if any codes come up, we were thinking of changing the fluid as one of the members Marvins Dad posted how to do that. We probably will try that following his detailed post.
 

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Thank You for a great reply! We do have a friend who is a great "shade tree" mechanic who has worked on most of our vehicles over the past 15 years. After we hook up a diagnostic to the ECU to see if any codes come up, we were thinking of changing the fluid as one of the members Marvins Dad posted how to do that. We probably will try that following his detailed post.
Good Luck Deb! Keep us posted to see if the fluid change helped at all. From what I have seen it is a band aid at best. Once it doesn't shift into the upper gear one or more of the solenoids in the valve body are fried and the fluid change will do very little to fix that. But you never know until you try. I wouldn't drive it much until you do because you are just burning up the rest of the transmission if you do.

Here is a link to the VWVortex that gives you an idea of what your fluid looks like and the metal shavings that can accumulate over the years.

VWVortex.com - Heads-up: VW "Lifetime" auto transmission fluid (baloney!!!)!!!)
 

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Here is a link to a complete VW automatic 4 Speed service kit:
Volkswagen New Beetle 1.8T > Search > Transmission Fluid > ES#1899548 Complete Automatic Transmission Service Kit - 01MSKKT

Or if you want to save some money you can use this one which uses Pentosin fluid instead of the VW fluid.
Volkswagen New Beetle 1.8T > Search > Transmission Fluid > ES#261800 Complete Automatic Transmission Service Kit - 01MSKKT

Whatever you do, don't use off the shelf type transmission fluid but only VW recommended fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Indy Tom. I am praying for the least expensive fix of course. One person did suggest it might be a grounding problem and we will look into that also. I have seen videos of that alleged lifetime fluid. Pretty misleading isn't it!
 

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Thanks Indy Tom. I am praying for the least expensive fix of course. One person did suggest it might be a grounding problem and we will look into that also. I have seen videos of that alleged lifetime fluid. Pretty misleading isn't it!
To be honest it is very unlikely a grounding problem. If it is electrical it would be the transmission wiring harness which needs to be replaced at the same time the valve body is replaced. Swapping out the fluid may or may not help much if one or more solenoids of the valve body are faulty.
Keeping my fingers crossed for you. Keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well Tom I do believe in miracles! :) If after diagnostic nothing is revealed, it won't cost that much to change the fluid and if that fails then we must contemplate the cost of changing the valve body and harness vs a new transmission. My concern at that point is I would not want to change the valve body and harness and that does not solve the problem. It would be a big waste of money. Decisions-Decisions...life would be so much better without them. LOL
 

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Well Tom I do believe in miracles! :) If after diagnostic nothing is revealed, it won't cost that much to change the fluid and if that fails then we must contemplate the cost of changing the valve body and harness vs a new transmission. My concern at that point is I would not want to change the valve body and harness and that does not solve the problem. It would be a big waste of money. Decisions-Decisions...life would be so much better without them. LOL
If you do the work yourself you can get a rebuilt valve body for $500 plus a new Wiring harness for around $125 and the fluid and filter for another $125.00. Total parts about $750.00. That will save you over 1000 bucks compared to taking it to the dealer or transmission shop. There is a good chance that the transmission itself isn't a complete loss. You can probably get a better picture once you take the transmission pan off and see how much metal shavings are on those magnets. 9 out of 10 times the valve body and transmission harness is to blame. However, once they start failing to produce sufficient line pressure to the internal clutches friction takes over which creates a lot of heat which eventually will cause heavy wear on the internal clutch plates and gears. So the quicker you get this done the better chance of getting a few more miles out of the ailing slushbox.
Good Luck and keep us posted. :bigthumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Tom...you have been a help. I want to thank you. It may be a few weeks before anything significant is done. I hope to have diagnositc done in a few days just to see if any codes appear and go from there. I will let everyone know our progress on this cute little Bug.
 

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Tom...you have been a help. I want to thank you. It may be a few weeks before anything significant is done. I hope to have diagnositc done in a few days just to see if any codes appear and go from there. I will let everyone know our progress on this cute little Bug.
If you were closer I would come over and help you guys. I do hope and cross my fingers for you that once this is fixed you will still be able to enjoy the beetle for a very long time and hopefully without any major problems.
Good Luck to you!
 

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Swapping out the transmission, adding in the clutch pedal, if its a gas car you'll need the ECU to match the manual, possibly the axles and a few other bits and pieces. It sounds like a lot, but its way cheaper than putting in another auto. And there are some great how-to's out there on it. We did the job earlier this year on my husband's TDI. Well worth it.
 
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