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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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