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    Thread: Odd 01M Problem: Reverse works fine, no forward gears

    1. 04-10-2011 08:33 PM #1
      I searched & didn't find any threads matching this problem: reverse works fine with no slipping or delayed or too soft or too hard shifting. No forward gears work at all. With the front end jacked up, the wheels will not spin forward in 1st gear. Sometimes with the wheels not spining, when 1st gear is selected, the wheels will spin backwards a few turns. Gears 2-D will spin the wheels forward, but will not move the car, when sitting on the ground.

      The car is a 2001 Jetta TDI with 180K miles, 100% stock original. I'm trying to help out a buddy, it's his daughter's car. I drained the fluid (very dark, but no burnt smell that I could tell) & replaced the filter. The old filter was the original OEM with a 2001 date stamped on it. I think the fluid was the original also. There was no metal chunks in the pan. The magnet only very minor fuzz on it. There was no clutch lining particles that I could see in the pan. I forgot to take the old filter apart, but I didn't see any chunks in the parts you could see. The pad looked dark brown. I flushed it a few times until the fluid came out mostly red. Pulling the pan off the last time I did notice a few brown clutch particles in the bottom. They were about the size of a grain of sand, maybe 10-12 total. My buddy wanted to try the Lucas "fix", but that of course didn't help. I don't have a Vag-Com & the Chinese copy my buddy bought doesn't work. A "smart" code reader he has, only shows a glow plug issue, nothing about the transmission.

      Talking to his daughter, it seems like it has been not going back into 1st gear when taking off from a stop, like it should. She said she could feel it dropping out of gear when stopped. She would have to rev the engine up to get it to go into gear. This has been going on for like 4-5 months. The car would be fine in all other gears, just 1st would be a problem taking off. The day it failed, she said that after taking off it would shudder or pulse when driving. It happened when she was driving around a mall where there are many stop signs real close to each other, so it was being driven slow in 1st gear for a while. She parked it to let it cool down. After that only reverse works. She used to drive with it in D only & did not race or drive the car hard.

      I'm thinking that the valve body is worn or clogged up & maybe 1st gear is bad, even though I don't see any large amount of clutch lining. I'm also thinking it has been driven for a long time on old dead fluid & maybe even low on the fluid level also. Has this failure mode been seen before? Does this sound like a bad valve body? I know the torque converter is working & the oil pump, as reverse is still working OK. Can a TDI even be driven carefully (no hills) with a bad 1st gear for awhile? How long will a well maintained 10M last before the torque converter or clutches, pump etc. die, 200K 225K 250K? Have people had good luck with used "low mileage" transmissions? A dealer reman is not an option for their price range. Can the 10M even be rebuilt by the local Turbo 350 "expert" transmission shops? I know A-1 VW's like that back of my hand, but have never liked any auto transmissions at all. I tell people they are never worth fixing, just swap to a manual trans & learn how to really drive. She wants the auto & I don't think the car can even be converted to a manual transmission due to CA SMOG laws. I can kinda see maybe taking a gamble on a rebuilt valve body, but I don't see how there can be much life, if any left in that abused transmission. Does anybody like CoolAirVw have any ideas? Thanks in advance.
      Last edited by 531sb2; 04-10-2011 at 09:54 PM.

    2. Member CoolAirVw's Avatar
      Join Date
      Mar 8th, 2007
      Kansas City Missouri
      85 Jetta TD sold 2001 Jetta Tdi, 2000 Jetta Tdi
      04-18-2011 11:35 PM #2
      Quote Originally Posted by 531sb2 View Post
      She said she could feel it dropping out of gear when stopped. She would have to rev the engine up to get it to go into gear. This has been going on for like 4-5 months.
      This describes pressure loss to forward clutch. Make sure the fluid is full. If it is then you need a trans.
      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.

    3. 04-24-2011 06:23 PM #3
      When the car is cold it will move very slowly forward a bit, until the trans gets warm. Reverse works fine all the time. I'm sure the valve body is junk. She & her dad decided to buy a low mileage used TDI transmission. I get the fun job of swapping it out. I've got the old one about ready to drop out. It looks to me like the sub frame needs to be dropped down a bit so the trans can clear the bellhousing & flexplate bolts. It looks like the steering rack can be unbolted & the sub frame will drop down a bit. When I pull a trans on the A-1 VW's I always pull off the passenger drive flange, so I don't have to fight getting it to clear the pressure plate. It looks like the 01M is the same way & needs to go around the flexplate. How hard is it to pull the 01M flange off?

      Do you have any tips on pulling or replacing the transmission? What fluid do you recommend for flushing out the replacement trans? I was thinking of doing a quick flush with a cheap filter & test it out. They live about 10 miles from a VW dealer. I was thinking it would be best to drive it to the dealer & have them do a service with the VW fluid & filter. The other option is to use Redline, but I don't have a Vagcom & I'm a bit worried about getting the fluid level just right. Is the old transmission worth anything as a core? The car has 178K miles, no metal or chunks of any kind in the pan. Thanks

    4. Semi-n00b
      Join Date
      Dec 12th, 2007
      Yardey, PA
      03 JETTA TDI, 01M swapped for 5 spd
      07-10-2011 02:03 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by CoolAirVw View Post
      This describes pressure loss to forward clutch. Make sure the fluid is full. If it is then you need a trans.
      After filling the tranny, run the car through all the gears and recheck the fluid level. You'll be about half a quart low. Add more fluid until it's full. If it still doesn't work, THEN you need a new transmission.

      If you have a ScanGuage, their web site has instructions on programming it read ATF temp for proper filling.

      I had this exact problem: dropped out of drive at very low speeds when warm. I was pretty sure it was an issue with the ATF level, but I couldn't find a garage that would touch it (incl dealer) because it's a 'sealed unit'. So after borrowing some tools I changed the fluid in my garage (I'm mechanical, but NOT an auto mechanic). I read the Bentley manual and about 6 or 8 posts on changing the fluid, and NOT ONE OF THEM mentioned that you have to run through the gears to fill the upper chambers before checking the level. Now I have no forward gears at all.

      So I have to put the thing back up on stands so I can access that dopey filler tube. I'm a fat asthmatic insurance analyst, I am not built for this.
      Last edited by email4dj; 07-10-2011 at 02:06 PM.

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