After a couple months of frustration searching for a solution to this shifting problem I happened on this thread. I have an '02 Jetta 1.8t w/ 130K miles. I simply love the car and still get better than 30 MPG.
Similar to everyone else, it started one average morning with a difficult time getting it to shift out of first. After a few minutes of messing with it, things were fine again. A week later it happened again, then more frequently until the car was incapable of 20 MPH.
I was able to 'force' a shift by increasing the RPM's to 6400, but I don't like to do that without a good reason (or at least one that makes me smile instead of grimace). I read other folks who described a problem of very hard shifting 1st to 2nd and was curious if they were shifting at high RPM's.
I continued searching and found many posts of folks having similar issues which resulted in changing their transmission for a mere $3,000 - $5,000. Very disheartening. I still owe the bank $4,000 on my car and I couldn’t afford a repair bill like this or to dump the vehicle. ROCK <- me -> Broken CAR
I next followed some advice from other posts I had found and took the car to my local dealer to 're-flash' the TCM. This sounded like a waste to me, as I had no codes and the way the problem evolved did not seem like a computer failure (gradual instead of sudden). $90 later I confirmed it was a waste.
Ok, so my next swing was going to be changing the fluid as a last ditch effort before having to ‘force shift’ it everywhere I go. I came across this thread and the N92 valve stood out like a beaconing red light. So, I ordered the parts (shout out to Auburn VW – nice folks) and cleared my weekend expecting this to be as big a pain as it sounded.
I ordered the N92 valve (part number posted above), 4 liters of the proper tranny fluid (part number posted in DIY/FAQ), and a tube of VW silicon to seal it back up.
I followed coolvdub’s walkthrough posted in the DIY/FAQ (thank you tremendously for the time and effort of creating it) and replaced the N92 valve. The entire project took about 4 hours for two guys both fairly handy under the hood with a couple of distractions (fixing a headlight bucket and changing the oil).
One note on changing the fluid. Since the pictures are gone on the how-to for changing the tiptronic fluid, I just read between the lines and followed this procedure.
1. Drained fluid into pan
2. Poured into jug with measuring marks (in liters)
3. After putting everything back together I filled it through the filler with the red ring on front
4. Added exactly the same amount as was measured as being removed (3.5 Liters)
5. Started car, let it warm up for a few minutes, ran it through the gears pausing 5 seconds in each one.
6. Test drove the car
The reason I mention this is that I did not go back and verify the fluid level. There were no apparent leaks before I started, and from everything I’ve read people seem to have very random results when they check anyway. I figured putting in exactly what I took out was going to be close enough.
Please chalk my car up in the success column for resolving the ‘won’t shift from first gear’ problem. I have since put about 500 miles on my car with absolutely no troubles. I would like to say it’s running even better, but it’s always ran so well that couldn’t be true.
THANK YOU COOLVDUB! You just saved me several months of embarrassment from driving my car at 5,000 RPM through school zones with my head ducked down while saving my pennies for a new tranny!
Thank you everyone at VWVortex for all your great communications!
-Very Happy Camper