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This 99 Beetle is giving lots of problem. Transmission does not shift right for some reason so I decided to change the ATF. Of course with the VW ATF ($13/litre). Well, trany works good so far and it's been a week now. BUT...now my speedometer died and check engine lite turned on. So I replaced the speedometer transmitter but still does not work. Now, I'm going to get the plastic gear itself and hope it will solve it. God, what's up with this car. I just hope it's not the internal gear that is messed up cuz it will really cost alot just to replace this darn plastic gears. Why do they make it in plastic anyway. This things does not last long. It brakes easy.
 

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Yeah, I've heard of that plastic gear tearin' up before. That really sucks. You pretty sure that's the problem? Couldn't be anything electric could it?

Sorry, I know it's a pain in the butt. That transmission problem earlier probably helped damage it. All the jerky hard acceleration and such.

It really is silly they put a PLASTIC gear inside the transmission for the speed sender, but don't lose hope, you'll catch up soon. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yup, pretty sure electrical works cuz when I plugged it and turned the gear, speedometer moved. I'm just disappointed with this plastic thing design. It suck!
 

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And the other way they make more money is by making it harder to get to parts in the engine compartment. The harder it is for you to get to your engine, the more they can make. That's why I love old cars so much, you can get to what you need to.
 

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73standard said:
And the other way they make more money is by making it harder to get to parts in the engine compartment. The harder it is for you to get to your engine, the more they can make. That's why I love old cars so much, you can get to what you need to.
There is also a fundamental difference in mindset of old vs new:

I just changed the timing belt on a 2001 Honda Accord. It was a PITA, but we did it. Much like a new Beetle, it's cramp but it can be done with a floor jack, jack stands, and about 6 hours (in this case, three days -- first timers) and a LOT of blood and sweat.

90% of people out there feel they are incapable or "too good" to do this type of grunt work, so they spend $1200 at the mechanic to do it (or dealer).

While I admit, agree and can't argue that a 1972 beetle is infinently easier, better documented and designed to be worked on in your driveway ... a modern car is designed to need "little" maintences throughout it's life with "big" maintences at certain "high mile" intervals, like 40, 80 and 105k. Most people today also don't keep a car past 40k miles (60k tops), and so the timing belt, water pumps, etc.. are things they never have to encounter... the worst for most is the convoluted VW lightbulb assembly.

The plastic parts are more cost, I'd say, than the known failure rate. Why? Because VW knows people don't keep cars anymore. Plain and simple, yet terribly sad fact. :(

I, however, like to go against the norm and do as much of my own work as possible (first time timing belt coming up VERY soon!)
 

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the worst for most is the convoluted VW lightbulb assembly.
AMEN! I have to change my driver side light. I saw the article about using a plunger to get the housing out... does that really work?

I, however, like to go against the norm and do as much of my own work as possible (first time timing belt coming up VERY soon!)
That's very good to hear.
 

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I've not heard or tried the punger trick, but I bet it WOULD work. The headlight assembly is on a three track system. The key is to line up the bottom track and the left and rights usually realign on the fly for easy re-insertion to the fender.

Taking it out, sans the chrome eyelids charlie has, a plunger would help.. but it COULD break the lense cover OFF if your glue is weak (like my driver side headlight). Should that happen, grab the shiney plastic insides, gets the assembly out, and glue the lense back on with a plastic-safe glue. A lotta folks take the lense covers off to paint the non-reflective silver inside of the headlamps black (or car color) for a neat effect.

Lemme know how that plunger works out... i'd be interested in knowing if most folks can use that!
 

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The funny thing is I got the idea off of here.... well actually the Samba, and it was a link that came to here (well the old org). It was either posted by Foyway or NOR.... I can't remember which.
 

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Not I. First place I heard of it was from Steph.

I don't think I share that info much though. The thought of using a plunger on my NB's pretty gross.

It works though, sure. I just wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
 

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if the plunger works too good (on the taillights ONLY guys) you could wind up breaking a wire.

I typically use a small screwdriver on the taillight to pop it out of place. much less violence.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It's me again...

As I posted, I replaced the speedometer transmitter but speedometer still does not work. Now, I got the plastic gear itself and replaced it....GUESS WHAT???? Still does not work! @%*[email protected]$#!!!! This stupid plastic design really suck. I heard that the gear part inside the transmission itself is also plastic which most likely worn out. Now I have to pull the trany down just to make this darn speedometer work. What a hustle! I went to the dealer hoping it's still in warranty but they said that 2nd owner only get's 50k/50T miles which is definitely out. I then asked how much will it cost then...tadahhh....a woping 7hr job that will cost me at least $800 in labor (not including parts). Does anyone had the experience to replace the internal gear before? Pleeaasee HELP! I got a trany exploded printout from the dealer and saw that it has a plate screwed at the back. I might be lucky to just remove it and can see the gear itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Internal gear problem

Okay, now I had the chance to open the backplate of the differential last Saturday and it was difficult to remove it because some screws are is a tight spot. After lots of patience, I finally was able to remove it and saw the gears itself. You know what I saw???? The damn internal gear that is responsible for making the speedometer transmitter work is also plastic and is broken into peaces. I got the broken part lying on the base but could not find the rest. Maybe it was crushed by the metal gears. I now got the gear from the dealer ($39) and will have to alocate time this coming Sat. for it will require me to pull the passenger side axle out just to put this damn plastic gear in...BIG job.
 

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crissycut2 said:
Okay, now I had the chance to open the backplate of the differential last Saturday and it was difficult to remove it because some screws are is a tight spot. After lots of patience, I finally was able to remove it and saw the gears itself. You know what I saw???? The damn internal gear that is responsible for making the speedometer transmitter work is also plastic and is broken into peaces. I got the broken part lying on the base but could not find the rest. Maybe it was crushed by the metal gears. I now got the gear from the dealer ($39) and will have to alocate time this coming Sat. for it will require me to pull the passenger side axle out just to put this damn plastic gear in...BIG job.
I'm sad to hear of your problems. These days a 7-8 year old VW is going to cost some $ to get up to par.

I love VW when they are running right.

Two questions. 1. How many miles does the engine have. It shouldn't be burning oil at the rate of 1 quart per month.
2. How many miles are you driving per month?

You may know this, but if you were looking for reliability, and low cost of ownership, you should have purchased a Japanese made vehicle.

Good Luck,
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Pain!!!!! But finally fixed it!

As I last posted, we (me and my brother) actualy pulled the tranny down. Both axles had to be pulled down too because the whole differential had to come out. The gears are pressed so it has to be done right. As I've said earlier, the broken gear is plastic (actually carbon graphite of sort) and tooks us 2 whole days of work. Take note that i was working with my brother who is a pro mechanic and still took us that long. Hopefully, it will last this time. In addition, we recently changed the waterpump and timing belt, camshaft seal, and crankshaft seal because it had leaks. Also changed the throttle body because it was actually the cause of tranny problem (won't shift properly). Lots of job but finally fixed everything. With regards to your questions:
1. I drive normaly and puts 12k-15k per year. It already has 82k at this time. Yes, the car still eats about 1 - 1.5 quart of oil per month. Still sucks even though no more leaks.
2. Yes, I agree. Japanese cars are STILL more reliable than these Euro cars. I grew-up with Jap cars and just tried Euros.
 

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crissycut2 said:
As I last posted, we (me and my brother) actualy pulled the tranny down. Both axles had to be pulled down too because the whole differential had to come out. The gears are pressed so it has to be done right. As I've said earlier, the broken gear is plastic (actually carbon graphite of sort) and tooks us 2 whole days of work. Take note that i was working with my brother who is a pro mechanic and still took us that long. Hopefully, it will last this time. In addition, we recently changed the waterpump and timing belt, camshaft seal, and crankshaft seal because it had leaks. Also changed the throttle body because it was actually the cause of tranny problem (won't shift properly). Lots of job but finally fixed everything. With regards to your questions:
1. I drive normaly and puts 12k-15k per year. It already has 82k at this time. Yes, the car still eats about 1 - 1.5 quart of oil per month. Still sucks even though no more leaks.
2. Yes, I agree. Japanese cars are STILL more reliable than these Euro cars. I grew-up with Jap cars and just tried Euros.
Honestly, I've had many, many VW's and I believe that if you purchased this car used that it might have been abused, or driven very hard. That is unreal all those problems.
I wish you the very best and I hope you get 100,000 or more problem free miles from you dub.
 
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