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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just looking at used NBs for sale to see what's out there, but my plan was to save about 5-6K so I could pay cash for an older model in good shape. I've decided that with my arthritis, an automatic is the way to go, but I've noticed something:

When looking at 10+ year-old Beetles for sale, there now seems to be about 3 manuals to every 2 autos. A few years back, it seemed like 8-9 out of 10 NBs for sale were automatic. I've heard that autos, particularly something known as the 01Ms, are trouble-prone. At the same time, when talking to a VW mechanic about that, he said that's because VW didn't specify when to change fluid. My 2000 GLS with 100K still shifts perfectly, so I don't know what the issue is, but in case I've dodged a bullet, is there a year range of NB autos I should be avoiding? In other words, when did the autos improve?
 

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I bought my 04 last year and have really liked it so far. It's a 1.8L Turbo Conv. It has the 6sp triptronic transmission. The one that is supposed to be "service free". The car only had 35000 miles when I got it. With the help of some really good people on here, I got a little "bug" education and took care of the car in the process. I have changed the "service free" transmission fluid and filter(EASY to do)., changed the fuel filter, changed oil and filter, flushed the radiator and changed coolant. I have the timing belt/water pump kit from Blauparts that is soon to be done. I'm not so sure I'm going to tackle that one on my own. I bought the car in New Jersey and drove it to Louisiana without any problems and still have had no problems with the transmission. I do think doing the service on the transmission is smart to do even though one vw service guy said he wouldn't do it since it was supposed to be "service free". All the stuff I am doing is just preventive maintenance and piece of mind that I'm hopefully extending the life of the car. I love this car....so far! I was looking just last night on Autotrader.com at bugs. They had some 04's and 06's that I looked at with really low miles and not pricey. Just my small opinion. I'm really pleased so far. I know there are some guys on here who really know this car and could answer your questions in more detail. In short, I really like the automatic transmission. If your handy with a wrench, some of these guys can tell you how to take this car apart and back together again rather than going to a vw dealership and paying some insane price for a repair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've been a NB guy for about 5 years now, but I am no DIYer at all. I go to the dealership even when a taillight bulb goes bad. :p

But anyway, I've heard that the tiptronics are good (I have one in my 2010), but that the O1Ms from 1995-2005 2.0 models have problems, and since most used Beetles that are 2005 or older still out there for sale are manuals, I'm wondering if that's because most of the autos are now long dead......:confused: I'm looking for an older, cheap, NB to replace the 2000 that my daughter has cosmetically trashed, but I'd hate to find one for , say, $5000 and have the auto transmission fail within a few months.
 

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Wife's 01 1.8T mechanic
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If your car you have now is an auto, and hasn't had a fluid and filter change, you need to do it today. More like yesterday. Plan on doing the same for any used one. Make sure it shifts correctly, and there is no surging when in gear at constant speed. Don't plan on the trans living a long life, just baby it, and change the fluid.
 
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