|Quote, originally posted by Katmeat »|
|I wonder, though, why this problem is temperature-dependent. And no, the problem is not incline-dependent.|
OK, I am really happy to hear that it is not incline-dependent. That rules out any possible problem with the transmission itself, and makes it 99% probable that the cause of the problem lies in the mechanical function of the locking pin that slides in and out of the shift lock solenoid.
The shift lock solenoid itself is as simple as a deadbolt door lock - even simpler, I suppose, because all it consists of is a pin, a spring, and an electro-magnet. Although it is possible that the pin is binding or catching on the transmission shift lever mechanism, my personal guess is that someone spilled something in there (Coke, coffee, etc.) and the remains of that liquid are less viscous at lower temperatures.
By the way, the correct function of the N376 Ignition Switch Key Lock Solenoid is something that is supposed to be checked by the VW dealer at every single scheduled service interval - in other words, every 10,000 miles. It is listed on the VW maintenance schedule (both at the dealership, and in your owner manual) as "Check Automatic Shift Lock Operation". So, have no fear about asking your dealership to pay special attention to this next time you take the car in for service.
On the other hand - if you enjoy taking things apart, that is a pretty easy task to start developing your Phaeton knowledge on, because we have it so well-documented here on the forum. By example, here's a photo of the Alabama GTG last month, showing us taking the shift lever selectors apart so that we could install start buttons. Brent's car is in the foreground, and in the background, you can see Robert's wife wondering what the heck we are up to. There's more excellent photos of this GTG at this link: Alabama GTG Photos.
Spy Photo - Volkswagen's Top Secret Trussville, Alabama Research and Modification Center