My wife's beetle has sat long enough, i could probably do this myself, but if I can get the job done in the $1100 range, its worth it. Does anyone know of any good trans or VW shops in central/north NJ area I can trust?
Same boat I was in, my 2003 NBC with 71k miles sat for almost 3 years due to the oil pump pickup for the engine being clogged, be careful you may have the same issue as well!! and the transmission valve body being bad.
How many mile are the car now?
What engine is in the car?
What transmission does the car have/how many speeds does it have?
Be careful as there will be likely other issues once you get the car running again.
The car WILL need a thermostat.
The car is likely due for a timing belt, water pump & serpentine belt.
If you can do any of the work yourself, all the these jobs are DIY.
I started with removing the oil pan on my 1.8t and replaced the oil pump pickup due to the oil pressure light coming on. Luckily I caught the problem quick and quit driving the car.
The hardest part of the trans valve body is the removal due to the solenoid wiring connectors. This took a while to figure out how to release the connectors without breaking the plastic caps, but many shops deal with breaking the caps on the solenoids and will replace the caps when reworking the valve body.
I had my valve body reworked rather than buying a rebuilt unit.
The problem with dealing with ANY transmission shop, especially in NJ is they all want you to pay to either draining and removing the pan or pulling the entire transmission tearing it apart then giving you a $4500 estimate for an entire rebuild.
Likely your car has less than 90k miles on it and you probably parked it before the shifting became too bad?? If this is the case, drop the trans pan yourself.
You can do this in under 1 hour if you have basic tools and knowledge. You can even save the old fluid to put back in the trans if you determine you do not want to invest the money in a valve body.
I think I really took my time disconnecting the wiring on the valve body (figuring out how to release the solenoid wiring took me about 30 minutes for the first wire while laying on my back), I think I had the valve body out in about 2 hours max. Then I put the valve body back in and had the car running in under 3 hours, most of the time was spent double and triple checking the wiring as I did not do a good job with a diagram or marking the MANY wires, and the brackets so I could everything back together as correctly.
You have to have a lot of specific discussions with ANY shop you choose to use and tel them ONLY the valve body, but you want to see the inside of the trans pan yourself. I would want to be there when the pan was dropped. There are 2 magnets in the pan and there will be some metal on the magnets, this is CLEARLY expect at 50k+ miles and is NORMAL. There will also be some discoloration on the bottom of the pan, this is NORMAL as well. But all the shops will say you have metal in the pan and the trans needs to be overhauled!!
This is the way the shops make their money and they use scare tactics on customers. The shop will likely say with will give you no warranty on the transmission work because there is no overhaul involved. Too much bickering and garbage scare tactics with most of these shops.
I would say a shop should charge no more than 4 hours labor for this service, plus fluid and maybe filter. A 6 speed reworked valve body can be purchased online for about $500. I spent slightly more on my valve body due to 2 way shipping, but I know that sometimes valve bodies are fine tuned for the vehicle and I knew mine was not abused as we are the original purchaser of the car. I think mine was about $600 with 2 day shipping both ways??
Anyway good luck, I know your exact situation you are in. Having the car sits sucks, but I think I have about 5k miles on the car since putting it back on the road about 7 months ago.