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Discussion Starter #1
Can someone PLEASE explain the issue with the valve bodies and their warranties to me? I decided I want a triple white NBC but not if it's going to break down on me later. I'm looking for one with 30-50k on it used. So are the valve bodies to be replaced on these as well? I'd be getting it in q1 of 2014, so would the extended warranty be up by then? Would it have to be replaced as soon as I got it if the first owner did not? Any help/ advice would be great..
 

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The problem is very few can still drive manual transmissions!!

The valve bodies wear internally in the valve bores and have internal fluid leaks and shift hard.

VW extended the warranty on the automatic transmission for 7 years/100k miles on 2003-2008 models with automatic transmission.

Most of the problems start to show up around 70-90k miles depending on how the car is driven.
 

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k i t s u n e
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Discussion Starter #4
I have a beetle right now with a manual transmission, but its a struggle driving it. I'm not a fan of stick shift. I really do love the look of the triple white nbc's though--

Anyway, should I check and see if this service has been performed on the car prior to buying it? And if it hasn't, would VW cover this if I were to take it in? Would it prevent future failure(s)? I don't want to buy it if it is inevitable that I'll be paying a repair bill for thousands of dollars while I'm in college.
 

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If the car is older than a 2007 then likely it will not be covered. You have to check the in service date and it cannot be older than 7 years otherwise it will be outside of the time window.

THEN, the issue is this problem is not a "hard" failure, it starts slowly, then can get worse as the transmission fluid warms up. The warmer the fluid the thinner the fluid and the more obvious the problem will be.

Many times the dealers will just claim "No Problem Found" to then delay the matter.

Many times it is better to get the valve body repaired by an independant then submit the bill for reimbursement. Then you eliminate all the back and forth about identifying the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So this is a service that MUST be done, correct? It will prevent my transmission from failing (that is if I keep it maintained accordingly, which I will)?

And if it is in the time window, I could just take it to my mechanic, and he could then do it and VW will reimburse me for it, or is that up to them to decide if it is not done at the dealership? Additionally, what must my mechanic do to the valve body so that it is fully repaired and problem free?
 

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I have no idea if VW made any improvements in the later years to minimize or reduce the wear in the valve body.

The valve bodies do not outright fail, the shifting just gets sloppy and harsh.

Changing the fluid may help, but this is a design and material issue more than a fluid related failure.

VW "should" reimburse you, legally they are obligated, however, with CarFax and some other databases if the mileage does not jive they may try to deny coverage?

Just plan on dealing with it otherwise buy a Toyota or Honda.

Unfortunately these cars have issues, rear window will likely come unglued at some point as well. Mine took 10 years, others happened earlier.

Door latches will likely need replacement at some point, but if you learn to carefully close to the door and make sure your passengers do not slam the door like there is not tomorrow you can reduce the need for door latches, but at some point likely you will have issues. My 2003 is on latch #5 & #6 at this point at 84k miles.

Just maintain the car the best you can and hope for the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So it should be alright if I keep proper maintenance? I don't need the valve body replaced if it doesn't have a hard shifting issue?
 

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When you test drive the bug, watch the rpms at which it shifts, are they all roughly the same. Does it stay in one gear longer than the other? Does it thunk when downshifting? Mine did both, particularly 2->3 and 3->4. I received the letter a couple years before my '05 turned 7, it only did the downshift once in a while. Took it to the dealer in feb '12 @74,000 miles, service manager saw it asap with the delayed shifts, didnt see the downshifts. Replaced it a week later in 4 hrs.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Mainly my big question is, if I flush and replace the transmission fluid at every 40k, will/should I expect to have a trouble free transmission (being a good driver)?
 

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In my case the auto shifting got really jerky, kicking in and out, particularly when driving slow or approaching where it should shift. Took it back to the dealer, they verified the problem, and replaced the valve body. No problem.

It is cheaper for them to extend the warranty and only replace those that actually fail in the period than to do a recall,
 

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Mainly my big question is, if I flush and replace the transmission fluid at every 40k, will/should I expect to have a trouble free transmission (being a good driver)?
Unfortunately this was not really a problem due to fluid failures. It was basically a material and design issue.

Not a bad idea to change the fluid every 40k miles for other reasons, however, do not think it will really improve the valve body wear.
 

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In my case the auto shifting got really jerky, kicking in and out, particularly when driving slow or approaching where it should shift. Took it back to the dealer, they verified the problem, and replaced the valve body. No problem.

It is cheaper for them to extend the warranty and only replace those that actually fail in the period than to do a recall,
Recalls are generally only safety related and usually NHTSA instigates them.

The transmission valve body issue has not been known to be a serious safety issue.
 
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