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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok here it is...let me know what you guys and gals think!

2004 VW Beetle Turbo Convertible Auto Trans 6 Speed Triptronic I guess....78K miles nothing ever touched in trans:

New here but learning...this is our first VDub...2004 Beetle of course Turbo 6 Speed Auto...very very harsh downshifts but ONLY when warmed up...when trans is cold...shifts are smooth as a babies' arse....to me it seems like a fluid issue...fluid cold it is thicker..better viscosity...when warm fluid thins out and can't hold preasure....Vdub dealer today "Garnett" in Pennsylvania just over DE PA line said it is a code 17114 Speed Sensor and needs a new trans....I work at a large GM dealer and this just doesn't sound right...again I don't know hardly squat about these cars...hence this is why I am coming to you guys...any help would GREATLY be appreciated....obviously I can not afford a new trans...my wife always wanted a Convertible Vdub Beetle Turbu and now she has one and won't drive it due to harsh downshift...it was a trade in at my GM dealership on a new Malibu...I know previous owner and nothing has ever been touched in trans....Vdub dealer today said it has latest software updates and he could not update shift points....now a good friend of my owns an idependant shop and is going to go over it Monday for me...he has the correct scan tool for this car and he said he has corrected many Vdub's for this same issue and there is nothing wrong with trans in his experience but not for sure...but he thinks he will be able to reprogram and change shift or downshift points since it is downshifting too soon and RPM's are still too high so you get a big downshift thunk.....HELP...tell me what you all think! I don't mean to highjack this thread but we have the same issue...I will also post in a seperate thread! Again,THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU
 

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Kimberlee
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I had hard upshifts and downshifts in my '05 6 spd slushbox. Ended up being the valve body. I think a valve was sticking in mine but the dealer just replaces the whole valve body instead of trying to free it up. Happened around 50k or just under. It was intermittent but started doing it almost everytime before we took it in.
 

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If it's not under warranty, what you can try is adding some cleaner to the transmission.

The GF's Beetle with the 4 spd Auto was doing the same thing, missing shifts, hard shifting, generally misbehaving.

I changed the fluid twice, no real change does it less, but still occured, I added half a tin of Seafoam Trans-Tune to the tranny. Left it to run in gear, walked it through all the options, and it still gets a little slippy, but the hard shifts are gone. I can only imagine how dirty the fluid must be now. :lol: It works by lifting any build up in the valves, ports, and/or chambers that the ATF can't normally lift, that is deposited by dirty fluid. It lifts it, so the passages reopen, and that it sticks in the filter. The fluid in there is only 6 months old, and it was already looking dirty before I added the cleaner, so it was trying it's best.

It's due to get the emptying out and filter change soon anyways, so I'll get to see how dirty it made the fluid. Then re-add half a tin, and let it go again. See if it get's rid of the last bit of rubberyness.

Of course only do this if you are comfortable with doing a filter change on the transmission or have a trusted mechanic, because you should change the fluid shortly after, but you have to give it time to work, so give it a month of regular driving. As well for a cost effective replacement to the VW fluid, I believe the Valvoline Maxlife ATF does meet the requirements and betters them. It's what I use in the GF's Beetle and it's 01M is notorious for grenading.
 

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I was experiencing the same thing. Since you seem to have a code, I would get that double checked out, but in my case a simple fluid and filter change totally remedied the problem.

Always good to start with the simple, cheap(ish) stuff!

Good luck.
 

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i see you had posted in my thread too, please, please let me know if you find a fix lol. My wife's beetle has been shifting decent lately, but who knows. Just for the heck of it, get it warm and get it to downshift hard, then turn it off, unplug the MAF for 10-20 seconds, plug it back in and see if any better. I still have to get the codes pull. Mine has been pretty much sitting for the last 3 months since its an extra car, but now it getting to droptop weather.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
harsh downshifts

Thanks for the replies so far and PLEASE keep them coming...ok I def want to try Sea Foam treatment...I did this in my GSXR1100 Suzuki motorcycle in the carbs and wow what a difference....ok but one problemo...how the heck do I get the fluid out of the trans...VW tells me it's a sealed trans...another friend of mine runs an independant shop and he looked at it...and called VW and they told him samething...No fluid change possible (which I don't believe escpecially since you fine folks are telling me otherwise) so how the heck do I get to the fluid and filter?? Any one have a .pdf file for the service manual or trans service? PLEASE PLEASE any help is greatly appreciated....you can also email me directly at [email protected] and yes I work for a Chevy dealer so I have mechanics on hand at all times with big time tools LOL...thanks again and Happy Easter to all

William "Sickwithabug"
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Fluid Changed!

Ok I got a new filter and 5 Liters of Fluid directly from my local Stealership....now one problem...we followed posted proceedure however one issue....we measured that exactly 3 liters came out...so we put exactly 3 liters back in...however we had the car level on our dealership ( I work at a Chevy dealership) so we had the Beetle level on our alignment rack but when we warmed the car up to spec and went to measure the fluid level by taking out the trans pan drain plug about 1/2 liter came out! we had the car warmed to exact specs 35-35 degrees celcius, on level surface, and we only put 3 liters in which is exactly what came out of it....what gives???? Was there too much in the trans by someone else, previous owner, to begin with??
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
HELP I need somebody....HELP I need somebody

I know I know....sounds like a catchy little tune sung by the "Beetles"....get it...."The Beetles"??? Ok Ok I will keep my day job....

Had another question for those that changed the trans fluid and filter that were doing so to fix harsh shifting and slipping in a Tip....after fuild/filter change did it fix problem/symptoms immediately or do you have to drive it a bit before issues start to fade away? Reason I ask is...as you guys know the reason for my fluid change is harsh downshifts 3-2, and 2-1st gears.....but after we changed it lastnight I only drive 5 miles how from work and issues were still present.....I don't want to sound impatient but just wondering if the issues go away immiediately for you guys after fluid change or take a bit of driving to subside.....so here I am with a ton of questions and still am concerned about what I said in my previous post lastnight about after fluid change when we went to check fluid level what seemed to be alot of fluid came out......instead of my reexplaining....please take a gander at my post lastnight.....a BIG BIG THANK YOU to anyone that can shed some light or their expierence on this with me.....I REALLY appreciate it! Have a great weekend.....and btw tonight "Sickwithabug" gets a new fuel pump assembly and a brand new set of VW 5 Spoke Polished/Painted Wheels.....center caps aren't here yet...but pics will be posted if I can figure out how to do it....this weekend :):):):):)
 

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mine fixed like 3 of the 4 problems i was having right away...

i was still jerking from 1st to 2nd, but after about a week that cleared up... as if there was some gunk caught somewhere...

now, on occasion, i'll have a rough one, but they are no where near as frequent as they were before... i suppose another fluid change would help even more in my case...
 

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strange thing for me to is the fact that when mine is cold, it shifts fine, when it is like in between cold and full operating temp (say, after a few blocks of driving or when the ambient temp is near 75-80 and i start off) it shifts funky (a jerky upshift from 1-2 and hard downs from 5-4 3-4 and sometimes 3-2), then, after i've been driving it and it is totally warm, i have no issues at all.

i've just come to accept it as part of the VW owner experience :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
same thing

Thanks first of all for your reply and insight...mine does EXACTLY the samething but when cold fine...actually perfect...but after a mine of two of driving and it warms up then I get hard downshifts from 3-2 then 2-1 only....all other shifting up and down are fine....just only when warmed up and downshifts from 3-2 then 2-1st....I have only driving now a total of 15 miles since fluid and filter change lastnight so hopefully after a week or so of driving it will clear up and then I am going to put about 2 weeks of driving on her and then change it again.....not filter just fluid....and btw this process was VERY easy....hardest part was getting skid plate off and that was easy....just a ton of bolts holding that sucker on....don't know why in the world V-Dub doesn't want to do fluid changes...greedy bastards! Fire away if you have input on this and I will keep you all posted
 

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I have a 2004 Turbo Beetle Convertible with the tiptronic with almost the exact same milage.

I had the same issue with my transmission and the dealer told me I needed a new transmission.
I took it to a different shop of course for a second opinion and he has told me I need a new valve body.

He's ordering it today the price is around 2,000 dollars.
Which is a lot cheaper than the 8 grand the dealer wanted for the transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
fluid change

thanks for the reply....we changed the fluid and the problem is almost gone....everyone told me you have to drive it for about a week before it will go away but it is going going going....almost all gone.

wife is going to drive it for 2-3 weeks and then we are going to change the fluid again.....even if symptoms are all gone by then we are still going to change fluid agian....it is too easy not to do!

I would give that a try first....listen to me...I am talking like "I" know something...i don't know squat about these things but it has worked for us so far....worth a try since SO MANY folks on here have had the EXACT same problem and most have changed fluid and problem went away for MOST...not all but most.....it really is easy to do a fluid and filter change...easier then the instructions on here make it seem to be....good luck and I will keep everyone posted
 

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I really should change my fluid again, but I just don't have the resources to do it...

Today it was shifting hard as it warmed up... after I had driven it across town, it was just fine...

This transmission is the weirdest thing ever... crazy germans :p
 

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The transaxle was built in Japan, the manufacturer didn't disclose certain pieces of knowledge about the tranmission, cost cutting, etc. So they are certainly lame ducks, unfortunately for us, VWoA would rather just nail Beetle owners for the price of replacement rather than to actually fess up and do a recall. There is a tech bulletin for testing the valve body, and if it fails even one test, it's replacement time, and this was due to 'concerns' from customers.

The new cars have transmissions from Germany, the 01M is something that VWoA should get slammed with in court, because there is no reason that they should be allowed to hide the 96,000mile fluid change in dealer side maintenance schedules, and even with proper changes, the transmissions are still on borrowed time after 120,000 miles. They acknowledged the problem but refuse to 'fix' the problem.

As it stands, the Japanese manufacturer did cut corners on the transmissions, VW found out, and all they did was change the manufacturer for later ones, no recall, no nothing, just a TSB and a valve testing plate, and bills for anyone out of warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
ok well the issue is back again....after driving about 1000 miles since issue was all but gone it's back! We are going to do another fluid change as planned this week....anyone ever put Lucas Trans Fix in this thing? There has got to be a real additive that can help.....anyone?
 

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I really wouldn't put anything else in these transmissions beside the specified fluid... maybe someone on here has done it and can vouch for or against it, but these transmissions seem to be delicate enough without any foreign stuff in them...

I've just come to live with my harsh downshifts... only does it when the transmission is lukewarm... once it is warmed up to operating temp, it is just fine in all regards.
 
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