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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Folks,

I've been slowly getting my '02 2.0 Auto back into shape; it has not been without its challenges.

The car would not shift out of park. Brake switch, I thought. Replaced the brake switch and it worked.

One cool morning, it would not shift out of park. The brake lights worked. I let the car warm up for a few minutes, then it shifted. Over the next few days, I tried to shift it first thing in the morning, and it wouldn't shift. Once the sun got warm, it worked fine. This is problematic with cold weather coming to Denver.

I've researched online and found other VW models that can suffer from a problem with the shift lock solenoid. I'm assuming that this one has gotten cruddy, as the slide cover on the shifter is gone.

Before I break into the thing, has anybody had experience with cleaning and/or lubing the shift lock solenoid? Any gotchas I should look out for?

I'm hoping to use this car as my winter commuter so I gotta get this figured out.

I appreciate any guidance!
Joe
 

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Just guessing, but you mentioned that the slide cover for the shifter is missing. Often coffee and/or sugary drinks can get spilled in the shifter area. I have seen problems on other models where it appeared an entire sugary soda was spilled in the shifter area.

You should be able to hear the shifter interlock pull back "click" when you put your foot in the brake. Listen carefully to determine if the solenoid will actually click when the brakes are applied if and when you cannot get the shifter to move out of park.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. I spent some time trying to get it out of park this morning, and strangely enough, I could actually hear a distinctive click when I take my foot off the brake. None when I depress the brake, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am fairly confident that I was able to solve the problem last night.

I removed the center console and the shifter cover. Once I had it apart I could see the little solenoid deadbolt and how it operates.

There was a good bit of gunk and dust in there from something (or multiple things) being spilled over the years. I sprayed the cylinder and plunger with a very small amount of PB Blaster and blew everything out thoroughly with compressed air.

I put the shifter cover back on and left everything else off so I could see the problem better if it happened this morning.

It was another cool morning, perfect conditions for it to stick, but it did not. I was very happy to hear the solenoid click as it shifted into gear.

I'll add a few pictures this afternoon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Welp,

It only wants to work if the outside temperature is 48 degrees or higher. Anything below that, and the lock will not disengage until the cabin temperature heats up. On a 32 degree morning like today, I wrestled with it for 15 minutes before giving up and driving my Vanagon to work.

Like most all things thus far with this car, The Amityville Beetle, it is another very frustrating issue.

I'm going to take it apart again tonight and see what I can see. Apparently, removal of the $200 solenoid requires disconnecting the exhaust system under the shifter area, which I'm not keen on doing.

This may require "unconventional" engineering on my part, something I'm very familiar with after 30 years of VW ownership...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm happy to go off-topic if it's to discuss the relative ease and joy of ownership and maintenance of my Vanagon when compared to this Beetle. :)

I did my conversion to a '91 OBD1 EJ22 with 91k miles in March of 2006, and in the years since, have travelled almost 60,000 miles without any major issues at all from the motor. In that time I've done several other electrical, suspension, and transmission upgrades to the van, but that motor just keeps on chugging.

It's not that it makes the van fast, but it makes it more like a normal vehicle. Driving in the mountains is not a life-threatening event, basically. And it's been bulletproof. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

But with winter coming, I'd like to have this Beetle be a solid commuter while I tackle some nagging projects on the van; I've spent a lot of time getting the Beetle into shape but keep hitting snags that are driving me crazy...Sunroof, HVAC, oil pan, CEL, cheap shattering plastic, the list goes on and on. I'm to a point now where I'll feel confident driving it if I can get this one last thing figured out. But I've said that before. :)
 
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