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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to buy a 1999-2003 Automatic and have heard some mixed opinions on them. Has anyone ever had one? Any suggestions? The majority that I have been looking at have around 115k miles on them. Will they last much longer?

I am only going to get one that has been well maintained and I will continue to maintain it.

Any input appreciated.

Thank you!
 

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Im Just Me
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135 Posts
First off welcome.As far as the auto tran's some good and bad.I bought my wife a 2000 1.8t with 51,000 miles on it it was well cared for.The first thing i did was have the tran's serviced along with the other normal maint tb,wp,ect ect.We do not drive it hard just normal driving all stock motor ect.we have not had any prob's with the trans yet it just turned 60,000 running fine with tran;s.But other's have had major prob's with less than 30,000 mile's with their auto tran's.So my guess may be my orig owner treated it well and took well care of her as we did or we are just lucky .So i would say try and find out how it was treated by other owners and see maint record's and if you buy a auto tran's run and get the thing serviced asap.Some other's will bash the hell out of the auto tran's and some are fine with it so do your reserch well.I would have got a stick but it is the wife's long lost love and she cant drive stick.Good luck i think they are hit and miss depending on how it was treated before you and after you get it.Remember it is not a race car if you are looking for one go buy one .Hope this help's:D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the advice, I don't plan on driving it like a race car, I just want a nice small car that I can use to go to and from work and school. I will make sure to get something that has maintenance records too. I would buy newer but unfortunately it just isn't in the budget and I don't want to make payments so I prefer to buy outright in case maintenance issues do arise I can actually afford to pay for them!

Thanks again!
 

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I believe those years they used the 01M 4-speed automatic transmission, and which is known for valve body failure somewhere around 100-150K. See if you get records that they regularly changed the transmission fluid. However, I would think that'd be rare, because VW originally dubbed the fluid as "lifetime" which is total BS. So not a lot of people ever changed the fluid.

Make sure you carefully test drive it to see if you can feel issues with the transmission. For instance, late/early shifts, delay of going into gear when you put it in "D" or "R", and most notably if you feel a jerk when it shifts between gears. For me when I drive I can feel the biggest jerk (well other than the jerk behind the wheel) between 2nd and 3rd gear when accelerating very very very slowly, and similarly when it's downshifting when I'm slowing down at a very slow rate. I'm doing a few fluid changes now and hopefully it'll help my problem.

However, the usual consensus around the ORG here is to stay away from the 01M automatic if you can, and get a manual transmission. If you have the choice that is. Good luck on your search and keep us posted.
 
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