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    Thread: Sudden VERY hard shifting; please help!

    1. 04-07-2005 06:13 PM #1
      Hello.

      Just yesterday my transmission started acting very strange. Everything was fine, but suddenly every shift started to become extremely hard. In fact, the shifts (between any gears, but mostly 2nd to 3rd and 4th to 5th) are so hard that I feel the entire car jerk forward when they happen, almost as if something is trying to rip itself out from the bottom of the car. Also, I noticed that the upshifts are not happening at the same points as they used to (upshifts are happening later than they should, then finally when they do it's a really hard shift). This seems really dangerous. It also just started happening so suddenly, and now it's like that every time I drive. I tried doing the shifting myself with tiptronic, but the shifts are still really hard.

      ATF level is okay; the dealer replaced ATF last September.

      Sorry if I'm not being detailed enough; I tried reading the FAQ and some other posts but can't really understand what can cause this. If anyone has seen this problem or knows what might be happening, please help me. I'm afraid that the longer this goes on, the more chance it may permanently damage something. Also I'm not sure but I think it might be "heat" related, since it doesn't happen just when I start driving, but is definitely there by the time the engine temp is up to 190 degrees (the normal operating level)

      Also, my car does have a cold air intake. Not sure if that might have something to do with it. Thanks for reading.

      Edit: forgot to add, it's a Jetta '02 1.8T with 5-speed tiptronic


      Modified by Golbug at 6:43 PM 4-7-2005


    2. 04-08-2005 10:23 AM #2
      Im on your same boat. I have the same symptoms as your car. I was thinking it was time to change the ATF cause the way I drive, even though my cars at 30k but seeing as you did it and it still happens it leaves me wondering why this occurs.

      How many miles do you have on your tranny?

      The cai wont have anything to do with it.
      Thats like saying you upgraded your lungs and you have a broken femur... sorry bout the bad analogy i just got out of emt class


    3. 04-08-2005 02:05 PM #3
      Sounds like a type of "trans limp mode". I have experienced this before when boosting a bit high but it was solved by restarting the car. It's only done it twice ever.

      Others have had this too but if it does not go away after shutting it off and restarting I would take it in ASAP.


    4. Member coolvdub's Avatar
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      04-08-2005 09:27 PM #4
      My bet is you have a bad MAF or one that is on the ragged edge of failure. The reason it shifts okay when cold is you are running open loop and the cold running program in the TCU is running things. Then when the trans is up to full temperature the MAF values are used to calculate torque values that adjust the shift pattern and firmness.
      Don

      CANCER SUCKS but KAISER SUCKS MORE/But so far I kicked it's ASS

    5. 04-11-2005 10:05 AM #5
      Quote, originally posted by coolvdub »
      My bet is you have a bad MAF or one that is on the ragged edge of failure. The reason it shifts okay when cold is you are running open loop and the cold running program in the TCU is running things. Then when the trans is up to full temperature the MAF values are used to calculate torque values that adjust the shift pattern and firmness.

      I recently cleaned it and I've never gotten a cell (knock on wood) so I dont think thats it.


    6. 04-14-2005 11:06 PM #6
      upa

    7. 04-14-2005 11:10 PM #7
      Quote, originally posted by coolvdub »
      My bet is you have a bad MAF or one that is on the ragged edge of failure. The reason it shifts okay when cold is you are running open loop and the cold running program in the TCU is running things. Then when the trans is up to full temperature the MAF values are used to calculate torque values that adjust the shift pattern and firmness.

      hrmmmm...are you thinking what im thinking?????????????

    8. 04-15-2005 07:58 AM #8
      Sure, but how?

    9. Member coolvdub's Avatar
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      04-15-2005 07:23 PM #9
      I wasn't but now you have me thinking. Oh well off to change the pan on mine since it's leaking.
      Don

      CANCER SUCKS but KAISER SUCKS MORE/But so far I kicked it's ASS

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      04-18-2005 07:23 AM #10
      Admittedly "old school" thought here...how's the torque converter doing? Any chance that it may be causing the hard shift response? Secondly, are you still within Powetrain Warranty? If so, get a good dealership check-out for any codes that might be stored...even w/o CEL there may be something going on.

    11. 04-24-2005 04:06 PM #11
      bump

    12. 05-17-2005 11:08 PM #12

    13. 05-19-2005 02:35 AM #13
      I have the exact same problem and I am here trying to look for an answer (just like you)
      I've took it to the dealer n times, they never found any problem with their computer. Last year, I called VoA and they swap a new tranny in ... and obviously it doesn't fix it. I am suspecting some kind of controller module has failed but there is nothing I can do as long as their computer found no error ... it is very annoying
      It's been happening on and off for more than a year. For mine, it just get worse during the summer and when the car is not totally warmed up. However, I did realize something strange. If I reverse park into my garage at night and pull forward only the next morning, the tranny won't jerk for that day As I said, it might be the controller and it doesn't like to be reverse when cold? I am still looking for an answer tho.


      Modified by me93942001 at 7:41 AM 5-19-2005


      Modified by me93942001 at 7:42 AM 5-19-2005


    14. 05-24-2005 10:46 PM #14
      ima try to take my car in n see if i get a new tranny now lol

    15. 06-11-2005 07:28 PM #15
      any solutions

    16. 06-18-2005 12:00 AM #16
      well took it to vw and they said there werent any codes... what can i do?

    17. 07-03-2005 06:57 PM #17
      Keep taking it in and tell them the exact same problem. It's funny that they trust the machine more than us. It's like we are the one who is lying and the machine is worth trusting. Did their computer drive our car or I put my foot down the pedal?
      Call VWoA, tell them the situation and everything.
      You can try the followings and see if it fixed the problem.
      In the past, every morning I have to to the followings (shifting):
      P -> R -> D (gas)
      Now, I do this:
      P -> R (a little gas) -> D (gas)
      The problem is gone, at least for that day.

    18. 07-03-2005 11:00 PM #18
      a friend of mine help me work out a similar problem on mine, and it may or may not help, but here goes. he hooked it up to his vag-com and reset everything in the trans to factory. he was telling me solenoids and other things, i just shook my head at that point. anyway after he did it the shifting seemed to be a lot smoother

      this may not fix yours but it might be a good place to start if you know someone with a vag-com


    19. 07-05-2005 09:54 PM #19
      yeah i need to find someone with a vagcom... i think ill take it back and say it again cause either way i have to take it for something else.

    20. 07-06-2005 10:50 AM #20
      Mine shifted kinda rough, a lot better after an oil change...

      Would a transmission fluid change help? 65000km on the car right now... 1999 Jetta new body style.


    21. 07-17-2005 10:09 PM #21
      im sure it would i still havent gotten around to doing it though but im sure changing the atf would help but i wanna done along with the filter

    22. 08-15-2005 09:18 PM #22
      bump for anyone with any suggestions

    23. 09-26-2005 09:06 PM #23
      well i got my car vag'ed and it was a shift selector locking solenoid... anyone have an idea on what that is lol

    24. 10-18-2005 12:45 PM #24
      taking it in tomm to see what they can do about it.. ill keep you guys informed

    25. 02-03-2010 01:44 AM #25
      Yes same problem here ,today I replaced the air filter and the next thing you know this happens but mine oonly does it from 4ht to 5th gear.And not all the time.Wouod it have to do with the air filter replacemant ,or maybe I touched something I should not have????how would the maf cause this???
      Thanx

    26. Member coolvdub's Avatar
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      02-04-2010 06:38 PM #26
      The pins back out of the MAF sensor connector sometimes. Check to see if that is the problem.
      Don

      CANCER SUCKS but KAISER SUCKS MORE/But so far I kicked it's ASS

    27. 02-05-2010 05:32 PM #27
      I tired that also along with cleaning my maf and it still does it.

      5 yrs later and my car is still doing it, lol.

      Dealer denies anything is wrong with it.

      Clearing codes won't do anything.

      Still havent changed the ATF but I dout that will fix the prob.


      Modified by RoBeRt_68 at 5:38 PM 2-5-2010


    28. 09-20-2011 05:27 PM #28
      Try unplugging your MAF it will shift harder than ever, if it shifts the same you probably need a new MAF, I found this out after replacing my air filter, I forgot to plug the MAF back in and it shifted like it was gonna blow up, I plugged it back in and it shifts fine...

    29. 02-01-2012 12:07 PM #29
      Robert_68,
      Did you ever find out what the shifting problem was with your Jetta? Was the problem the shift selector locking solenoid?? I have a 99.5 Jetta doing the same thing.
      Thanks,
      Dave

    30. Member OldSkulDub's Avatar
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      02-02-2012 08:29 AM #30
      Solenoids. probably Transmission temp sensor or pressure regulator sensor. I believe they are G93 and N91.

    31. Member MidnightG60's Avatar
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      02-03-2012 04:03 PM #31
      My friend has a 2002 Jetta 1.8T that is doing the same with the really hard shifts. It only does it once warmed up as well. The dealership also told him that nothing was wrong with the transmission and that the motor mounts and trans mounts needed to be replaced. After replacing the mounts the tranny still jerks HARD. We brought it to Aamco and they told us it is something internal. They will pull the tranny on Monday and I will update you guys on the verdict.
      -Charlie

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      02-03-2012 08:19 PM #32
      Starting about 5 weeks ago, I started to experience the same problem. The car would delay its shift into 3rd gear, then it would slam hard into 3rd. I didn't take the car on the freeway, so I don't think it ever tried to shift into 5th. The first time it happend, I stopped, shut off the ignition, and restarted the engine. The problem went away. It came back with more frequency, but usually would go away after restarting the car. I scaned the transmission computer, and it did report a sporadic problem with its internal temperature sensor. However, I have seen that fault before in the past 2 years, but it never caused any problem with shifting. I cleared the fault. The problem returned, but no new fault codes appeared. Finally, the problem reoccured, and this time the check engine light came on. I restarted the car, but the problem remained, and this time I noticed the speedometer was not working once the car went over 25 mph (it would fluctuate and not register speeds above 25). The only thing that I noticed with the problem repeating was that the outside temperature was in the 20's F. This time, the scan revealed a sporadic fault with the speed sensor in the transmission. My car is an 2003 Jetta with a VR6 engine and 09A transmission (5-speed tiptronic) and 95,000 miles. I decided to take it to the dealer.

      The next day, I drove the car to the dealer. Of course, the problem did not occur (the trans. shifted smoothly, and the speedometer was working fine -- amazing how VWs know when you're driving to a mechanic )! The dealer's mechanic first tested the wiring between the TCM (tranmission control module) and the transmission, and that wiring checked out ok. Based on the faults that were logged, he decided to replace the internal wiring harness in the transmission (he said that the temperature sensor was part of the internal harness). He also replaced the speed sensor, and changed the trans. fluid. On their test drive, they found that this did not fix the problem, and they did experience hard up shifts into both 3rd and 5th gear. Also, the TCM logged more faults with the new speed sensor. The mechanic said he even hooked up a new wiring harness from the TCM to the transmission during the test drive just to make double sure that the harness was not the cause. He tested the solenoids, and they all seemed fine. He said that installation of the new speed sensor was not difficult, and he really felt the fault codes in the TCM were not correct.

      Finally, VW recommended that the TCM should be replaced. That was replaced yesterday, and that appeared to fix the problem. The mechanic did a 30 mile test drive with several restarts of the engine, and the car shifted fine. I have not seen any problems or faults on 4 seperate drives that I have done since I got the car back. The weather has been very warm this week in Ohio, so I won't be sure that all is well until winter returns.

      Sorry for the long story, but I wanted to pass along my experience with a problem that sounds just like what I was experiencing. When it was being fixed, I thought that it was a solenoid issue, but the mechanic (who is very experienced with this transmission and knows about folks having problems with the solenoids) didn't think so. He assured me that no solenoids were replaced with my repair. My car was in at the dealers for almost 3 weeks, so, hopefully this story will save you some time. I'll report back when it turns cold again, but as of now, the car is working fine.

      Good luck with your fix for this very expensive problem (at least for me).

    33. Member CoolAirVw's Avatar
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      02-07-2012 05:40 AM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by MidnightG60 View Post
      My friend has a 2002 Jetta 1.8T that is doing the same with the really hard shifts. It only does it once warmed up as well. The dealership also told him that nothing was wrong with the transmission and that the motor mounts and trans mounts needed to be replaced. After replacing the mounts the tranny still jerks HARD. We brought it to Aamco and they told us it is something internal. They will pull the tranny on Monday and I will update you guys on the verdict.
      Yikes! I might want to try solenoids on this one since its ok cold and happens warm. You may be buying a trnas you dont need. You know what Aamco stands for right? "all automatics must come out" meaning they pull the trans and rebuild it whether it needs it or not.

      Please do update us.
      Auto trans fluid change or flush will not make a trans fail. Stop spreading the wives tale/urban myth.
      ASE Master Certified Technician with L1 Advanced Diagnostic Rating Recently passed ASE certification for Light Diesel repair.
      www.KansasCityTdi.com

    34. Member CoolAirVw's Avatar
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      02-07-2012 05:52 AM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by shgolden View Post
      Starting about 5 weeks ago, I started to experience the same problem. The car would delay its shift into 3rd gear, then it would slam hard into 3rd. I didn't take the car on the freeway, so I don't think it ever tried to shift into 5th. The first time it happend, I stopped, shut off the ignition, and restarted the engine. The problem went away. It came back with more frequency, but usually would go away after restarting the car. I scaned the transmission computer, and it did report a sporadic problem with its internal temperature sensor. However, I have seen that fault before in the past 2 years, but it never caused any problem with shifting. I cleared the fault. The problem returned, but no new fault codes appeared. Finally, the problem reoccured, and this time the check engine light came on. I restarted the car, but the problem remained, and this time I noticed the speedometer was not working once the car went over 25 mph (it would fluctuate and not register speeds above 25). The only thing that I noticed with the problem repeating was that the outside temperature was in the 20's F. This time, the scan revealed a sporadic fault with the speed sensor in the transmission. My car is an 2003 Jetta with a VR6 engine and 09A transmission (5-speed tiptronic) and 95,000 miles. I decided to take it to the dealer.

      The next day, I drove the car to the dealer. Of course, the problem did not occur (the trans. shifted smoothly, and the speedometer was working fine -- amazing how VWs know when you're driving to a mechanic )! The dealer's mechanic first tested the wiring between the TCM (tranmission control module) and the transmission, and that wiring checked out ok. Based on the faults that were logged, he decided to replace the internal wiring harness in the transmission (he said that the temperature sensor was part of the internal harness). He also replaced the speed sensor, and changed the trans. fluid. On their test drive, they found that this did not fix the problem, and they did experience hard up shifts into both 3rd and 5th gear. Also, the TCM logged more faults with the new speed sensor. The mechanic said he even hooked up a new wiring harness from the TCM to the transmission during the test drive just to make double sure that the harness was not the cause. He tested the solenoids, and they all seemed fine. He said that installation of the new speed sensor was not difficult, and he really felt the fault codes in the TCM were not correct.

      Finally, VW recommended that the TCM should be replaced. That was replaced yesterday, and that appeared to fix the problem. The mechanic did a 30 mile test drive with several restarts of the engine, and the car shifted fine. I have not seen any problems or faults on 4 seperate drives that I have done since I got the car back. The weather has been very warm this week in Ohio, so I won't be sure that all is well until winter returns.

      Sorry for the long story, but I wanted to pass along my experience with a problem that sounds just like what I was experiencing. When it was being fixed, I thought that it was a solenoid issue, but the mechanic (who is very experienced with this transmission and knows about folks having problems with the solenoids) didn't think so. He assured me that no solenoids were replaced with my repair. My car was in at the dealers for almost 3 weeks, so, hopefully this story will save you some time. I'll report back when it turns cold again, but as of now, the car is working fine.

      Good luck with your fix for this very expensive problem (at least for me).
      thanks for posting this. this is very good info, but I have a few comments...

      #1 despite you saying "I started to experience the same problem", what you describe really isn't the same.

      #2 Your dealer said "... installation of the new speed sensor was not difficult," All the sensors on a 09A are inside the trans and require the trans to be removed and the case to be split. This not easy. I hope you didn't pay for this work that didn't fix your car.

      #3 Scoping the sensor signal at the trans computer would have saved pulling the trans and replacing internal harness and sensors. A buddy at a neighboring shop just did one last week that trans computer wouldn't recognize the VSS signal despite the fact that he could verify it was there by scoping the wires at the trans computer. That car had speed sensor codes and the speedometer was inop. Trans computer fixed that car just like yours.
      Last edited by CoolAirVw; 02-07-2012 at 05:55 AM.
      Auto trans fluid change or flush will not make a trans fail. Stop spreading the wives tale/urban myth.
      ASE Master Certified Technician with L1 Advanced Diagnostic Rating Recently passed ASE certification for Light Diesel repair.
      www.KansasCityTdi.com

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      02-09-2012 11:25 AM #35
      I am having this problem too, but I have a bit more to add and not sure if it’s worth fixing or just swapping a stick into it. The transmission fluid was just changed. Right now the car doesn’t like to shift out of first until is at operating temperature. Then two days ago after driving 40km on the highway (going to speed limit or under) the car didn’t seem like it wanted to shift out of first at its normal rpm then when it did it was just like your problem (but wouldn’t go into fifth). After parking for the night I drove it 400 km the next day and could not get it to recreate any of its problems. I also noticed the other day that my block is cracked (at one of the mounts on the passenger side) my mechanic said it would have been due to a neutral drop…. (But after experiencing that jerking tranny problem the other day I now assume that would have caused it)
      Oh ya and I bought the car last Sunday….

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