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2006 New Beetle Convertible 2.5L 6-speed Automatic

I'm on vacation til the end of the week and the roads I drive to get home are rural, curvy and hilly. I don't want to get myself stranded if this is going to cause my car to break down.

Yesterday the 654321 that individually light up when you're in that gear disappeared and were replaced by PRNDS in solid red. The check engine light came on too.

The car drove fine, actually a bit better, since I've had this ongoing problem of the car cutting out when you're pressing the gas and there's no acceleration and then a hard thunk when it goes back into gear. It's infuriating and a problem I unfortunately inherited when I bought the car nearly a year ago. Sometimes I can switch it from D to S and it'll keep right on shifting on its own. Sometimes I can switch it to up or down and it'll shift. Sometimes it refuses to shift and I have to do a quick pullover, shut the car off and restart it. Restarting has always worked. Sometimes it gets stuck in 3 or 4 and won't shift out of there and again, restarting is the only fix. I've done some reading that this is an issue with these transmissions and coming from a 2002 New Beetle Sport 5-speed Manual, I'm not a fan. I love everything about my Convertible except for this horrible transmission and the lack of 5s on the speedometer.

Digression there, I know, but important. So now I'm reading about the PRNDS all lit up that it's likely a sensor where the shifter is. So I'm wondering, will I make it home okay or should I get my car to a mechanic this week?

A question for the long-range, is it possible to find a mechanic that would rip out this 6-speed Automatic and replace it with a 5-speed Manual or am I dreaming and I should sell this car and find an Aquarius Blue Manual, which I never see for sale? Would it be ridiculously expensive? I've seen YouTube videos where mechanics replace automatics with manuals and they make it look not too bad. Anyone out there a New Beetle aficionado that is also a mechanic that would be interested in taking this job on? If so, I'd love to hear from you.

So the immediate issue is the all lit up PRNDS and getting home.

Thank you for your time, interest and help. I appreciate it.

Victoria
 

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The PRNDL sounds like it is showing you that there is a transmission related code/problem.

Assuming it is the 6 speed Tiptronic it could be anything from the shifter magnets coming loose in the console are to a faulty solenoid or wiring issue with the valve body.

ALL of the 6 speed VW Tiptronic transmission have valve body problems.

Most generic ODBII scan tools will read ECU/ECM AND transmission related codes. If you do not have OBDFusion, suggest you buy this app for your phone or tablet, but you will need an interface to communicate with the car. In all total you are looking at probably less than $30.
 

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Is the moving cover over the shifter damaged? When I bought my NBC that cover was damaged, and caused an issue similar to what you are describing. There are magnets in the over that tell the computer what position the shifter is in. If the cover is breaker out the magnets will not align correct and you will not know if you are in gear or not.


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Is the moving cover over the shifter damaged? When I bought my NBC that cover was damaged, and caused an issue similar to what you are describing. There are magnets in the over that tell the computer what position the shifter is in. If the cover is breaker out the magnets will not align correct and you will not know if you are in gear or not.


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My Beetle needs that slider replaced. May I ask where you sourced the part? I can find one for 6-speed tiptronic Audis, but not one for VWs. Thanks!
 

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You said "The car drove fine, actually a bit better, since I've had this ongoing problem of the car cutting out when you're pressing the gas and there's no acceleration and then a hard thunk when it goes back into gear.". This is a sign that there is a problem with the transmission. You need to have it checked before the problem gets worse.
 
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