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    Thread: 2003 Jetta GLI 6-speed transmission problems...

    1. n00b
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      2003 VW Jetta GLI
      06-21-2004 11:49 AM #1
      My 2003 Jetta GLI 6-speed is at the dealer to have the transmission fixed (2nd and 3rd gear syncro being replaced). Anybody else have this problem?

      The service rep. says that I chewed up the transmission pretty nicely and suggested that I replace the clutch with a higher performance (stage one) clutch. He says that I drive my car too hard and need a more powerful clutch. The thing is I don't drive my car that hard... never if ever do I redline it or approach the redline. The one thing that may cause problems is that I sometimes shift from 1st to 3rd or 2nd to 4th. My car is at 23K miles and I don't race my car, is this a common problem or do I need to change how I drive a 6-speed (I'm used to a 5-speed)

      Thanks.

      Randy


    2. 06-21-2004 11:55 AM #2
      i've read about a lot of tranny problems with this 6 speed. i have the same car as you, and there is definitely a lot of noise (like clunking) between shifts, and it just makes too much noise for a brand new tranny (6,000 miles on the car). i don't think its driving style, i think the tranny has quirks. update us on how it feels after you have the synchros replaced...i'm keeping a close eye on mine.

    3. Member gti dreamn's Avatar
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      '04 GTI
      06-21-2004 03:33 PM #3
      Why can't VW just confess to a poor design. It is easier to blame the driver and weasel out warranty work, than admit to an engineering booboo. *Better design = less failures* I think the problem(s) all start with the "stupid- " dual-mass flywheel (22lbs of rotating mass = lots of inertia). That flywheel makes the revs hang above 5k rpm well after the gear selector (stick) is in the next gear. Makes me wonder why people by SS kits with the stock flywheel. I know it's this way in the 5-speed.

      I don't care that the dual-mass flywheel is suppose to dampen vibrations going into the tranny and ultimately back to the dirver. I'd sacrifice a little comfort for better performance. It's no wonder why the Civic Si, Focus, Mazda-3, etc beat VW cars in the magazine tests.

      I'd replace the flywheel/clutch with the ECS Stage 1, like the service rep suggested. Maybe he knows something??? Your gear skipping gears shouldn't destroy the synchros (some will disagree) unless your clutch timing is bad. The synchros are suppose to make it easier for the selector in the tranny match up with that gear.

      Hope they (the dealer) aren't stiffing you for the bill because they said your a bad driver. They don't watch you drive, they can't prove anything. Best of luck.

      \\\\\\\\\\\__ >> Hello Kitty Motor Oil <<, it does exist.
      \\\\\\\\\\\_+_MTL changed 19 Nov 11 (good for another 49k)
      \\\\\\\\\\\__Milestones: 60,000mi on 14 Nov 2013

    4. 06-21-2004 05:23 PM #4
      Quote, originally posted by clark w. griswold »
      i have the same car as you, and there is definitely a lot of noise (like clunking) between shifts,
      You can usually hear the linkage, but every one I have driven was the saem way. The clunking sound you hear may be from engine movement under acceleration. Many have reported a much smoother 1-2 shift, and no clunking sound by changing out the dogbone bushings. (lower engine mount) Hopefully mine will go on this week so I ll let you knwo if it feels any better.

    5. Member Amdek's Avatar
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      06-21-2004 05:41 PM #5
      Quote, originally posted by rblabolil »
      The one thing that may cause problems is that I sometimes shift from 1st to 3rd or 2nd to 4th. My car is at 23K miles and I don't race my car, is this a common problem or do I need to change how I drive a 6-speed (I'm used to a 5-speed)

      Thanks.

      Randy

      skipping gears will not hurt your gearbox

      what you can do... maybe get better at rev matching when shifting.

      Get some redline transmission fluid...

      rather than that don't kick yourself in the a$$, vw's transmissions are less than par


      Modified by Amdek at 3:43 PM 6-21-2004


    6. 06-23-2004 12:24 PM #6
      Quote, originally posted by NOVAdub »
      You can usually hear the linkage, but every one I have driven was the saem way. The clunking sound you hear may be from engine movement under acceleration. Many have reported a much smoother 1-2 shift, and no clunking sound by changing out the dogbone bushings. (lower engine mount) Hopefully mine will go on this week so I ll let you knwo if it feels any better.
      yeah, let us know how those new mounts work out.

    7. Member
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      04.5 BMP GLI 1.8T
      06-23-2004 02:13 PM #7
      I had the same problem with my 03 1.8t 5-spd transmission. I have brought it to the dealer twice now to have them fix synchro problems I think I have the same problem again. The first time it was between 2nd and 3rd, and now its when I shift into 2nd. It never really happened though unless I was really getting on the car and shifting quickly....

    8. 06-23-2004 02:24 PM #8
      And I almost cried because the GLI came out a few days after I bought my GLS! whoosh! boy am i glad

    9. n00b
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      2003 VW Jetta GLI
      06-23-2004 02:54 PM #9
      "It never really happened though unless I was really getting on the car and shifting quickly...."

      You are describing my problem almost exactly... it only happens when you shift quickly, but I've had it happen at normal acceleration as well.

      Thanks for the feedback


    10. 06-23-2004 03:08 PM #10
      how often do you blokes service your tranny?

    11. 06-29-2004 09:18 PM #11
      I have a 2003 GLI. The shifting always felt slotty. About a month ago, it started grinding into 3rd gear. If I ran the tach up to 4500-5000 RPM and then ingaged the clutch and shifted quickly it would grind into gear. At first I thought I may not be engaging the clutch as fast as I was shifting, so I made it a point to engage the clutch for 1 to two seconds and then shift and it still grinded. It would only start doing after I drove it for about half an hour. The car is one year old and has 24,000 miles (12,000 of it highway. No shifting involved).

      I called the dealership where i got it and they couldn't get me in for a week. I cringed everytime I shifted into third gear and heard it grind and wondered what that was doing to my transmission. I dropped it off fully expecting it to be there awhile. Two hours later they call me and tell me it's ready. I go in and they tell me they adjusted the clutch cable and it's working fine now. I don't believe them, get in the car and start going through the gear box. It sounds much more clunkyier then before. I drive off...no grinding.

      Two weeks later, it starts again. I'm calling the dealership tomorrow. I've watched this forum since before I got my GLI, but never bothered to post. I started searching to see if anyone has had the same problem. I'm glad I did.

      This isn't the first problem. 6000 miles I noticed my rotors were grooved and when I braked, the stearing wheel was jumping all over the place. Repaired under warrenty. Next I got the coil pack recall. I take it in. They tell me my coil packs are upgraded to the new ones. Four weeks later a coil pack goes (there's 4) on a friday. After sitting all weekend (and i work on saturdays), I take it in and they replace 3 coil packs, and say they have to order the 4th. I mention that I brought it in for the recall and they said they checked the first coil pack and it was the new one but the other ones were the old ones (BS). Four more weeks I take it back, because I'm still waiting on #4. They say it's still on backorder but they have one in for another person and they never came in to have it installed.

      Can't wait for the warrenty to run out. Then I'm really boned.


    12. 06-29-2004 09:28 PM #12
      Quote, originally posted by NEPA VW »
      I have a 2003 GLI. The shifting always felt slotty. About a month ago, it started grinding into 3rd gear. If I ran the tach up to 4500-5000 RPM and then ingaged the clutch and shifted quickly it would grind into gear. At first I thought I may not be engaging the clutch as fast as I was shifting, so I made it a point to engage the clutch for 1 to two seconds and then shift and it still grinded. It would only start doing after I drove it for about half an hour. The car is one year old and has 24,000 miles (12,000 of it highway. No shifting involved).

      I called the dealership where i got it and they couldn't get me in for a week. I cringed everytime I shifted into third gear and heard it grind and wondered what that was doing to my transmission. I dropped it off fully expecting it to be there awhile. Two hours later they call me and tell me it's ready. I go in and they tell me they adjusted the clutch cable and it's working fine now. I don't believe them, get in the car and start going through the gear box. It sounds much more clunkyier then before. I drive off...no grinding.

      Two weeks later, it starts again. I'm calling the dealership tomorrow. I've watched this forum since before I got my GLI, but never bothered to post. I started searching to see if anyone has had the same problem. I'm glad I did.

      This isn't the first problem. 6000 miles I noticed my rotors were grooved and when I braked, the stearing wheel was jumping all over the place. Repaired under warrenty. Next I got the coil pack recall. I take it in. They tell me my coil packs are upgraded to the new ones. Four weeks later a coil pack goes (there's 4) on a friday. After sitting all weekend (and i work on saturdays), I take it in and they replace 3 coil packs, and say they have to order the 4th. I mention that I brought it in for the recall and they said they checked the first coil pack and it was the new one but the other ones were the old ones (BS). Four more weeks I take it back, because I'm still waiting on #4. They say it's still on backorder but they have one in for another person and they never came in to have it installed.

      Can't wait for the warrenty to run out. Then I'm really boned.

      Why only 4 coilpacks? You have 6.


    13. Member Lew_Dog's Avatar
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      2008 Infiniti G35xS, 2011 Honda CR-V
      06-29-2004 09:30 PM #13
      I have a GTI VR6..Not sure if the GLI and the GTI VR6 tranny's are the same, but suposedly, the GTI has the Audi S4 2.7T clutch in it. It's supposed to be pretty heavy duty..Not sure if the GLI is the same. My is pretty notchy and nosiy as well (I've posted in the VR6 forum on this). I have under 2k on a 2003 and the thing shifts craptacular. 2nd and 3rd are a nightmare! Mine is going in soon as well for a look see...I'll post my findings as well.


      Peace,

      Lew


    14. 06-29-2004 10:15 PM #14
      beats me. that's what the tech told me. He put the coils in, not me, so I didn't bother to look. also, i know how to drive it, not fix it. that's why yours is tricked out and mine's stock. nice pix's by the way. i wouldn't mind doing that, but i'm not confident that my 2 year old wouldn't barf his fruit loops all over the interior or ride his mongoose into the side of it. plus winters in NE PA are murder on ground effects (pot holes, snow banks, 18 inches of snow at a pop).

    15. 06-29-2004 10:20 PM #15
      Quote, originally posted by NEPA VW »
      beats me. that's what the tech told me. He put the coils in, not me, so I didn't bother to look. also, i know how to drive it, not fix it. that's why yours is tricked out and mine's stock. nice pix's by the way. i wouldn't mind doing that, but i'm not confident that my 2 year old wouldn't barf his fruit loops all over the interior or ride his mongoose into the side of it. plus winters in NE PA are murder on ground effects (pot holes, snow banks, 18 inches of snow at a pop).

      I was just asking about the coilpacks because I wanted to make sure you got all 6 (one for each cylinder) replaced and that the dealer didn't try to scam you.

      And, I got through the winter just fine with my current mods.


    16. n00b
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      2003 VW Jetta GLI
      06-29-2004 11:36 PM #16
      Quote, originally posted by NEPA VW »
      I have a 2003 GLI. ...
      Next I got the coil pack recall. I take it in. They tell me my coil packs are upgraded to the new ones. Four weeks later a coil pack goes (there's 4) on a friday. After sitting all weekend (and i work on saturdays), I take it in and they replace 3 coil packs, and say they have to order the 4th. I mention that I brought it in for the recall and they said they checked the first coil pack and it was the new one but the other ones were the old ones (BS). Four more weeks I take it back, because I'm still waiting on #4. They say it's still on backorder but they have one in for another person and they never came in to have it installed.

      I haven't heard of a recall??? I even called VW about my tranny and they said there weren't any reported problems/recalls with my car. I bought mine at the end of March 2003... did I somehow miss this problem?


    17. 06-29-2004 11:37 PM #17
      Quote, originally posted by gr8gatzby »
      how often do you blokes service your tranny?
      awesome.

    18. Banned
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      06-30-2004 12:52 AM #18
      Well, I've got only 15k on my 03 GTI, and no problems YET.

      When (mileage) did you guys start to notice symptoms??


    19. 06-30-2004 12:57 AM #19
      My car developed the same symptoms the DAY i took it home... with 51 miles on the clock i shifted and CRUNCH!!! VW still refuses to address the issue.. I have documented it though, before i sell this car, i will get VW to replace the POS.

      also if im crusing at around 35 and i hold my foot on the clutch, i can shift from 3-4 and the tranny will grind while rolling...


      Modified by veedublvr at 9:59 PM 6-29-2004


    20. 06-30-2004 06:53 AM #20
      Quote, originally posted by rblabolil »

      I haven't heard of a recall??? I even called VW about my tranny and they said there weren't any reported problems/recalls with my car. I bought mine at the end of March 2003... did I somehow miss this problem?

      My GLI was built in September '02 and I was affected by the faulty coilpacks. It depends on when your car was built. If it was built sometime after September '02, there is a good chance you got the updated coilpacks straight from the factory.


    21. 06-30-2004 08:30 AM #21
      They may have meant no reported problems with the tranny. There are problems with the coil packs. I would take it to the dealership and make them inspect the coilpacks. I got mine in March of 03. If you got your's later, they may have started putting the new ones in or they may have been switched at the dealership before sale.

      My problems with the tranny started around 20,000 miles.

      as for mahmgb, I've spent the winter in philly and OCMD already. Have you spent a winter in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. It's not the same. A storm that shuts down Philly for days is a two hour delay for my kids. Last winter, we had something like 9 days above freezing in three months. Part of the reason I bought the GLI was that it didn't have too much torque and horsepower that I'd be spinning my wheels all winter. Even with the ESP, it sometimes takes me several tries to get up the hill to my driveway. Also, the potholes can swallow small children and large dogs. I've already replaced 2 tires because of them. Huge holes ripped in the sidewalls, and I can't believe I didn't crack a rim. The 24 hour roadside assistance comes in handy then.


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