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Auto transmission problem -- missing 4th gear?

3075 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Heckerschmidt
I recently purchased a 2000 Beetle (2.0l auto) and from what I can tell it never shifts up to 4th gear. When in Drive, it does 80kph at 3000 rpm, 100kph at 4000rpm (or a smidgen under 4000), and 110 at about 4200 rpm. Do those rev counts that sound too high to you?

When cruising at 100kph, if I move the gear lever back from D to 3, it makes no difference - there is no downshifting.

If this does show a problem with the transmission system, is it a known/common problem?

With thanks,


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Thanks for those couple of comments. A local transmission mechanic has connected the car to diagnostic computer and confirms there are all sorts of errors, and that the gearbox is in "fail safe mode".

However, when I spoke to the car dealer who sold the car to us he is adamant that the car only ever had a 3-speed auto-transmission. I cannot find any spec sheet for a 2000 beetle that was sold with 3 gear transmission. Is that a thing? Or is the dealer taking me for a ride?
Thanks for the confirmation @billymade. I have also asked VW Australia to provide a definitive response which will hopefully be sufficient to change the dealer's mind.
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