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Mighty Quinn
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone,

We purchased our new 2006 Beetle new in September 2006. It now has only 4900 miles on, mostly city driving. This car has always shifted hard, at least from my perspective. It is really noticeable on wet or slippery roads when you are trying to accelerate slowly from a dead stop. The car seems to want to start in second gear, then will suddenly "slam" into first gear and cause the tires to spin and slip.

This is my wife's car and I typically do not drive it, but I recently drove it around town for a day and found the sudden and rough down shifting extremely annoying. We still have a bit more than a year on the warranty, so I want to find out if this is typical behavior, or if there is a known problem with this transmission.

Looking forward to your advice.

Cheers,
TMQ
 

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Automatic Transmission help - 2006 Beetle

Most members of this Forum are in denial about VW products and common cars failures.
So you really have to search to find the information you are looking to obtain.

So I will tell you what is happening to your car. It happened to my 2005 beetle also

You are lucky that the automatic transmission lasted to 100K. Usually around 60K(Warranty Expires) they start to fail. Poor materials and design. If it is under warranty HAVE THEM FIX IT NOW!!!

My transmission started to fail around 60K. Hard shifting from 2nd to 3rd Up and hard shifting from 3rd to 2nd and really hard from 2nd to 1st.

It starts out mild and then progresses. Runs good while cold and sometimes it does it and sometime it does not shift hard and not all the time. But gets worst after the car warms up and when loaded (any hill climbing).

Stealer Ships will tell you Needs one of the following depending on how long and how much money they can get out of you;

1. Check the transmission level (could be low)
2. OBD code errors – replace transmission control module.
3. Soleniod body valve
4. replace transmission with used “good transmission”
5. Replace transmission with New OEM transmission”

The transmission oil is a VW synthetic oil and should be good for 100K miles , unless it is leaking(rare) and if you plan on keeping the car change it at 100K

OBD errors can show up on the controller due to other transmission cause. Not necessarily the controller.

No way out of this one, take it back to where you bought it fast!!!
 

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Wow, Mothership joined 5/2/09 and already has this place all figured out, right on. :)


Anyway,
When it shifts hard like that; it's usually a fluid level problem.

VW Claims it's transmission fluid is good for the "Lifetime" of the car. Whatever; no fluid is "lifetime" fluid. It should be changed every 60K.

The behaviour you noticed is 1) fairly common and typical, and 2) not exactly "right" just common.

There's defiitely a "delay" between a dead stop and engagement for 1st; typically I'd blip the throttle wait for engagement and then go on.

But if it's gotten more severe, I'd check the fluid level.

To change the fluid properly is pretty tricky:
_LEVEL THE CAR. (very important step)
_Drain it using the 17mm hex drain plug on the bottom.
_Refill using the 17mm hex plug on the front till a little fluid drips back out.
_Close the front fill port.
_Bring the transmission up to operating temperature.
_Open the front fill port again check level, it should be up to the fill hole, and none should be dripping back out.
_Seal it up.

I think that's about it.
 

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Personally, I find few dealers have the expertise on auto transmission like they did in the old days. This is the result in policy change of not servicing & fixing transmission anymore... not just VW but most brands. Most of the time, the solution is a "new tranny".

To the OP - your car is still under warranty, no?. Have the dealer inspect it. Ask them to check the fluid level. Incorrect fluid level is usually the first cause of rough shifting. After that it's the solenoid valve body, which can be expensive.

Mothership - in the name of marketing and cost-cutting, most brands now have "life-time ATF" in their "sealed" automatics, including Toyota who owns AISIN (supplier to most of VW automatics). All bogus (well mostly). I've known of VW automatics dying around 80-120k w/o having the fluid & filter replaced. Those who do regular maintenance have had longer life and consistent performance from their automatics. I've done 3 fluid & filter changes on my 01M 4-speed auto (2001 1.8T chipped). It's a SoCal daily commuter and sees a lot of stop-n-go traffic. Currently at 155k and shifting smoothly. Here's hoping the maintenance routine will make it go beyond 200k.
 

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Mighty Quinn
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to everyone for your responses. Sorry for taking so long to get back to the group.

I am planning to take it to the dealership while it is still under warranty. I was just curious if the problem was common enough to be expected even on such a low mileage car. Perhaps the tranny was underfilled at the factory because this has always been a problem.

Cheers everyone.

TMQ
 

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Is it possible you just don't drive the car enough? 4900 (well now more like 5800 based on the other thread) miles is quite low and the motor/tranny really aren't broken in. These are mechanical parts that are just sitting and are rarely being used. The fluids aren't getting to operating temperature very often nor is the fluid circulating very much.

You might find that the car operates better if it were driven more frequently. Kind of like stiff joints from sitting a lot - you have to get up and move to get them to limber up.
 

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Bugaholic
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Is it possible you just don't drive the car enough? 4900 (well now more like 5800 based on the other thread) miles is quite low and the motor/tranny really aren't broken in. These are mechanical parts that are just sitting and are rarely being used. The fluids aren't getting to operating temperature very often nor is the fluid circulating very much.

You might find that the car operates better if it were driven more frequently. Kind of like stiff joints from sitting a lot - you have to get up and move to get them to limber up.
I completely concur with Susan. You might be tempted to roll your eyes at phrases like "stiff joints" and "limber up" in reference to your car but she is absolutely correct in a manner of speaking. I already pointed out in the other thread about your brake rotors and that you live in a rust-prone area. That moist salty air can and will get into your crankcase and transmission case and form surface rust on the finely machined surfaces such as cylinders and transmission valve bodies. Driving on a regular basis (to operating temperature) will eliminate through evaporation any condensation that has collected. I am not saying definitely this is cause for your transmission problem - just that it *is* a possibility. Fluid level will absolutely cause shift problems like noR stated. Hopefully thats all it is. However, if surface rust has formed inside the valve body, for example, it may be impeding the movement of the valve spools inside the body which are critical to the shift process. Get that car out and drive it! And while I am on the subject of rust - the maintenance schedule in your owner's manual instructs you to have a brake system flushed every 2 years regardless of mileage. The reason is that the brake fluid is hydroscopic - meaning that it ABSORBS water. Translation - rust/corrosion internal to master cylinder, calipers, etc. If you haven't gotten this done, go get it done asap.

And lastly, the advice you see on this board about changing the "lifetime fill" transmission fluid is spot on. I have studied and practiced auto mecahnics in a previous life and overhauled a few auto trannies too. There is no such thing as "lifetime" transmission fluid. It's bullsh--. If you want to keep your transmission operating for a long time you must, at least, keep the fluid and filter changed on a regular basis. I believe you will see recommendations of 50K-60K miles for the 6 spd Tiptronic (non DSG) on this site. IMHO I think that is a reasonable interval. I intend to follow it myself. :)
 
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