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Discussion Starter #1
I have quick question for you guys who know the answer or experienced same problem before. I have 2002 Beetle 2.0GL with 5 speed auto transmission. Everything was fine until yesterday. I was driving on I-95 with like 65mph. Suddenly traffic slowed down and I had to slowed down too. When my speed down to the 35mph, engine light turned on and transmission shifted the gear to 2nd by itself. Then I pushed the accelerator and car won't shifted to next gear. I slowed down and parked the car to the emergency lane and turned the engine off. I started the engine again but engine light was still on. After I put the transmission to D and started to drive but it wouldn't shift. RPM goes to 5000 but it doesn't shift to next gear. Basically it stuck on second gear. If I push the accelerator up to the 4000 rpm and take foot off accelerator then it shifts. Right now I'm really not sure what the problem is. Transmission, sensor, valves?
 

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I have quick question for you guys who know the answer or experienced same problem before. I have 2002 Beetle 2.0GL with 5 speed auto transmission. Everything was fine until yesterday. I was driving on I-95 with like 65mph. Suddenly traffic slowed down and I had to slowed down too. When my speed down to the 35mph, engine light turned on and transmission shifted the gear to 2nd by itself. Then I pushed the accelerator and car won't shifted to next gear. I slowed down and parked the car to the emergency lane and turned the engine off. I started the engine again but engine light was still on. After I put the transmission to D and started to drive but it wouldn't shift. RPM goes to 5000 but it doesn't shift to next gear. Basically it stuck on second gear. If I push the accelerator up to the 4000 rpm and take foot off accelerator then it shifts. Right now I'm really not sure what the problem is. Transmission, sensor, valves?
Unfortunately a very common problem with the earlier VW Automatics. More than likely it is your valve body. It provides line pressure to the transmission and clutches to shift gears. It has a very high failure rate and VW actually did extend the warranty on the automatic transmissions. You may want to check with the VW dealer to see if yours would qualify. A valve body replacement is around $1700 dollars. Sometime it is better to just find a good rebuilt transmission and replace the whole thing rather than just the valve body.
Good Luck and I hope you get your car running again real soon.
 

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Here is an interesting fact I picked up on Wikipedia:

The Volkswagen 01M transmission is a hydraulic four-speed automatic transmission, developed in-house by Volkswagen, and deployed in Cabrio, Jetta, Golf, GTI, New Beetle, and transverse engine Passat cars manufactured between 1995 and 2002.

It is an electronically controlled based transmission with a lockup torque converter. It does not have provision for a dipstick. VW determined that the dipstick and fill might invite owners to introduce wrong or inferior fluid. Some areas of failure on this transmission include damage to plastic internals due to fluid over-temperature conditions, internal fluid pressure leaks from torn piston diaphragms, worn bores for solenoids in valve body, and the resulting worn clutches and bands. This transmission has a separate oil for the differential than for the transmission, so there are two fluid levels to check.

The shifting of this transmission is controlled by the transmission control computer. This computer is located under the back seat on Volkswagen Golf Mk3 /Jetta models, under the right side dashboard cover on Volkswagen New Beetle models, and in the wiper area plenum on other Volkswagen Golf Mk4/Jetta models. After about 10 years, the resistance in the wires and/or connectors grows. The additional resistance prevents the computer from reading the faint pulses from the transmission speed sensors. This causes the transmission to go to "fail safe" mode. This mode keeps the transmission in second gear and the gear indicator in the instrument panel indicates all gears are selected simultaneously.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
oh no! im sorry to hear that! :/ im having transmission problems myself
I'm sorry to hear that your's too. It's not the only problem I had in 3 years unfortunately. Love my Bug but cost me a lot to fix it. Probably I won't buy Volkswagen again. What is your problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here is an interesting fact I picked up on Wikipedia:

The Volkswagen 01M transmission is a hydraulic four-speed automatic transmission, developed in-house by Volkswagen, and deployed in Cabrio, Jetta, Golf, GTI, New Beetle, and transverse engine Passat cars manufactured between 1995 and 2002.

It is an electronically controlled based transmission with a lockup torque converter. It does not have provision for a dipstick. VW determined that the dipstick and fill might invite owners to introduce wrong or inferior fluid. Some areas of failure on this transmission include damage to plastic internals due to fluid over-temperature conditions, internal fluid pressure leaks from torn piston diaphragms, worn bores for solenoids in valve body, and the resulting worn clutches and bands. This transmission has a separate oil for the differential than for the transmission, so there are two fluid levels to check.

The shifting of this transmission is controlled by the transmission control computer. This computer is located under the back seat on Volkswagen Golf Mk3 /Jetta models, under the right side dashboard cover on Volkswagen New Beetle models, and in the wiper area plenum on other Volkswagen Golf Mk4/Jetta models. After about 10 years, the resistance in the wires and/or connectors grows. The additional resistance prevents the computer from reading the faint pulses from the transmission speed sensors. This causes the transmission to go to "fail safe" mode. This mode keeps the transmission in second gear and the gear indicator in the instrument panel indicates all gears are selected simultaneously.
Thanks for reply. Information is very helpful for me to understand the problem. I drove my car under very very high rain that day. The controller might get wet. I'm not really sure. I read all forums but people couldn't fix the problem with just replacing control unit. I will bring my car to the transmission garage for free diagnostic tomorrow. I will write, what tech will tell me
 

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Thanks for reply. Information is very helpful for me to understand the problem. I drove my car under very very high rain that day. The controller might get wet. I'm not really sure. I read all forums but people couldn't fix the problem with just replacing control unit. I will bring my car to the transmission garage for free diagnostic tomorrow. I will write, what tech will tell me
You have to be really carefull about those transmission repair places. They are sometimes worse than the dealer.
On the early 2000 Volkswagons the transmission was the weak link. Especially if you never changed your transmission fluid. VW determined it never needed it but that was a bunch of bull. It should be changed every 50k miles and a lot of failure can be traced back to old fluid that just broke down over time and just couldn't perform any longer.
In general there are a lot more things to go wrong with an Automatic transmission than a manual one. And as it ages it just gets more prone to failure especially if the fluid has never been changed. And it's not only VW but any car almost 10 years old and older. Automatics are just not as reliable as Manuals once they get older. It's not just magic that makes those gears shift, there are solonoids, switches, valve body, several thin clutch disks, lots of tight passages where the transmission fluid must past through and if the fluid is bad the valve body will have problems keeping up the line pressure which eventually will cause damage to the valve body and transmission. With a manual you have the gears, the clutch and a flywheel. Pretty simple compared to the complexity of an automatic transmission. Clutch replacement if you do it yourself is about 350 bucks which includes a new flywheel. Even if I have a shop install the clutch it is only about 600 dollars total including parts and labor. The Automatic transmission if you buy it online is about 2000 dollars and a shop will charge you about 500 or more to install it but that is a lot less than the $4000+ the dealer or the transmission shop will charge you for the same thing. If they only do the valve body and replace the fluid it may only be around 1700 but then you don't know how long the actual transmission will hold up. It is frustrating I know.
If you do get a new tranmission make sure you change the fluid every 40,000 to 50,000 miles.
Good Luck to you and I hope things will work out for you and perhaps it won't be as grim or as expensive as we all think.
One can hope.
 
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