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    Thread: 2003 Eurovan - Need new transmission??

    1. 09-08-2011 09:12 PM #1
      Hello – I am just crossing my fingers and HOPING that somebody out there recognizes these symptoms and gives me some cause to hope that I don’t have to replace the transmission on my 2003 Eurovan…
      Here’s the skinny: bought the vehicle almost 2 years ago (then about 85,000 miles, now about 116,000). About 6 months into driving it the car began to shudder (only when accelerating) a few times while driving. This shudder has become more and more persistent over the last 18 months. It’s not exactly “violent” but it is very noticeable and now occurs every minute or two, particulary between 10-40 mph but it’s starting to happen at freeway speeds too.
      We’ve tried loading the car differently, tires have been replaced (2x including changing to snow tires in the winter), tires balanced, passenger wheel bearing replaced, and nothing seems to make any difference. About 2 months ago a few lights came on and the mechanic said that one of the codes included a torque converter indication…. We took it to a guy in Boulder, CO that certainly seems to know what he’s talking about (Wolfsberg Automotive) and he said that it sounds like we need a new transmission (his thought being why replace just the torque converter since that is part of the transmission and b/c VW are notorious for bad transmissions so just go ahead and do the whole transmission). But he also said that we might as well wait until it gets worse so that’s what we were doing. Then, a few days ago, the car wouldn’t shift gears (probably between 2nd – 3rd) going up a fairly steep inclined road. It took about 5 minutes before it finally shifted.
      I guess I am just hoping that somebody out there might recognize these symptoms as something that might not require a whole new transmission…! As you can probably tell by my descriptions – I don’t know that much about cars! Hopefully, this is enough to maybe get some ideas/responses….! The replacement will cost about $6000 so I am just trying to research as much as I can before taking the plunge. Thanks very very much in advance for any insight provided!!!

    2. Member luckeydoug1's Avatar
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      09-08-2011 09:55 PM #2
      You may just need a new sensor. I don't remember which one it is, but my van experienced similar symptoms around 60K. This transmission was serviced religiously (fluid changes @ 35k and 70K) and was treated with kid gloves. When mine exhibited these symptoms it was intermittent at first with the shuttering and not wanting to shift. It soon got to the point it wouldn't shift out of 2nd. It was a relatively (this is a Eurovan,remember ) inexpensive fix. Try to find a good VW technician that knows how to diagnose and repair a Eurovan. This, I found over the 7 years I owned mine, was not an easy task!

    3. 09-08-2011 11:03 PM #3
      I hate to reveal my total ignorance but can u be more specific w/ "sensor"?

      I will make some calls tomorrow and see if I can find someone who knows what's what! This is exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for so thanks!

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      09-08-2011 11:21 PM #4
      You should get it scanned by someone with VCDS software and post the codes. Also post in the transmission section. Can you get a free scan at one of the automotive parts places?? post those codes also. You dont want to make any decisions without diagnosing the problem first.
      David.

    5. Member luckeydoug1's Avatar
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      09-08-2011 11:21 PM #5
      Unfortunately for this situation, I left all my service records in my Eurovan when I traded it in (still very much regretting that decision- trading in the Eurovan!). I referred to this as a sensor for lack of remembering exactly what part was replaced. I do remember it was a relatively quick and cheep fix which did not require any disassembly of the tranny. The more I think about it it may have been the multifunction switch. I will to do more research and maybe my VW mechanic will remember. There may be an error code stored that can assist in the repair.
      Last edited by luckeydoug1; 09-09-2011 at 01:32 AM.

    6. 09-09-2011 04:48 PM #6
      i found the relevant code (mechanic told me a few weeks ago):

      P0740 = Torque Converter Clutch - Circuit Malfunction (Pending code)

      ?????

      thx!

    7. Member luckeydoug1's Avatar
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      09-09-2011 09:34 PM #7
      OK, now you know the codes. I quick google search turned up this: http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...ion-Code-PO740 among others. In that thread it was suggested that the tranny fluid had not been changed at reasonable intervals and that the clutch packs would need to be replaced.

      Please keep in mind that I am not a VW mechanic, just a proud over of a 2003 Eurovan for over 7 years. Hopefully someone can suggest a mechanic in your area that knows how to properly repair a Eurovan.

      FWIW, I consider the tranny and the electronic heating/cooling sytem for the interior of the van to be the 2 biggest problem areas for that vehicle. Oh, yeah, finding decent replacement tire of the correct size with the proper load rating can be a problem.

    8. Member manfredwerner's Avatar
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      09-13-2011 10:15 AM #8
      i had similar issues on a very different car, but anyways, it turned out there is a wire running into the transmission itself, the grommet arround it diterriorated and the fluid leacked out, slowly, so the tech at chrysler replaced it and filled up the tranny, also it was a vacuum leak at the same time. but there are plenty of shops whop only do transmissions it costs by us about 1600 to rebuild witha year of waranty.

      Any ways, just go to a vw dealership for diagnostics only, they will give you a receipt with the problem discription. That's what i do every time i can't figure something out.

    9. Member manfredwerner's Avatar
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      09-13-2011 10:17 AM #9

    10. 09-13-2011 10:33 AM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by summitt6 View Post
      i found the relevant code (mechanic told me a few weeks ago):

      P0740 = Torque Converter Clutch - Circuit Malfunction (Pending code)

      ?????

      thx!
      Since yes the Eurovan ATs are very notorious to break I would be very cautious in thinking it is "only" anything. I just took apart the 2002 AT that I pulled out of my '02 when I replaced it at 108t miles (bought it like that on purpose since I *knew* they go out) and there are multiple gears in the "planet gear pinion" that have literally disintegrated into smaller bits and pieces and powder, so the easiest thing to do would be to pull the AT pan and check to see if it has merely "powder" on it or if there is ANY "chunks" there too on the magnet? If there is, it is bad news, either already or very soon. The symptoms you are seeing both in the car and in the codes *can* be a result of contaminated ATF from bits a pieces in it! Now I am not trying to scare you, you already seem to know these ATs on these EVs are a pain.


      From here:
      http://www.t4-wiki.de/wiki/Geber_G93...etemperatur%29
      Google Translate: http://translate.google.com/translat...26prmd%3Dimvns

      I have now forgotten if you can access the AT pan without pulling the belly pan off since I keep mine off for now but I believe you can meaning it is one of the "easiest" things you can have done and find out plenty.

      I personally would NOT DRIVE the van until you figure out what it is since if it is the worse situation any further driving could do a lot of damage!
      Last edited by EV99; 09-13-2011 at 10:37 AM.

    11. Member VW_Enthu1's Avatar
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      09-13-2011 12:32 PM #11
      I might be reading a couple of these posts wrong, but hold on a second. VW dealers do not fix Eurovan transmissions - they replace them. The way in which VW handles trans problems on these vans is verrrry different than how Chrysler might handle an issue. VW will tell you the codes and replace the fluid/filter, but thats it. Otherwise, they either replace the trans or you're on your own. There is no fixing anything.

      The above assessment is dead on. If you have chunks in your pan, the game is pretty much over - maybe soon, maybe a little later. Either way, its over though. There are a limited number of trans places in the US that will tear these transmissions apart and most of those are on the west coast (I happen to have one in Atlanta). I agree that I would get it in now to get it looked at before it strands you though (and before you tear it up any worse). There haaave been isolated cases of people replacing the fluid and filter and getting lucky. However, based on what you said - and I'm being honest - I would not be too optimistic. Take it in - find out what the issue is.

      I just want to make sure you are clear on this. Normal diagnostic rules are basically - not totally, but basically - out the window on these transmissions regarding dealerships. The codes can help you (obviously) with an independent shop, but don't wait too long.

    12. 09-14-2011 12:36 PM #12
      Thanks to everyone for your feedback and interest in my problem!! You folks are amazing!
      Here's the scoop:

      Took the eurovan into our local repair shop yesterday to have the tran fluid replaced (It really just occurred to me and the other 2 shops I've taken the car to have the fluid replaced). What they found is that the filter was just lying in the pan. Oh, and there were also a lot of metal "shavings". No biggie, right? hahahahaha (I'm laughing through the tears)

      So - new transmission for me!!! Now I just need to figure out who to send it to... On that note, I wanted to try and give back to this forum a little and provide some FYI that I've learned in the last couple of days:

      It was very very strongly recommended to me by a VW shop that I took the car to a couple of weeks ago to take the car to a dealership for this issue - a big reason being for the "amazing" warranty that the dealership would provide. I found out this morning that warranty = 1 yr or 12,000 miles. Color me unimpressed. Am I naive or is that not "amazing"? The price? approximately $7G+. Also - that is a refurbished tranny.

      BTW "VW dealers do not fix Eurovan transmissions - they replace them." That is absolutely correct.

      So I'm very conflicted b/c I am very much under the impression that whoever does this work really needs to know VWs BUT I'm completely aghast at the dealerships cost. My local guy is great and said he'd be willing to do it (he's replaced 2 audi transmissions in the last couple of months) for about $2000 less but he's not super confident (b/c he's not particularly familiar with VWs).

      Am I crazy to consider a non-VW guy for the job?

      Does anyone know of an amazing VW transmission replacement shop near Denver?
      Last edited by summitt6; 09-14-2011 at 12:40 PM.

    13. Member VW_Enthu1's Avatar
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      09-14-2011 01:03 PM #13
      Call around to multiple dealers or European shops on the trans. Last I heard, the going price for a "new" (whatever that means..new? refurb?) trans from a dealer was between $5200-5700. Where is this $7K crap coming from?

      While the warranty is only 1 yr/12 month, you can at least go back to the dealer with issues after the 12 month period (if you handle it correctly...make friends with them during the 12 months, get your oil changed there....throw them a bone on routine maintenance, etc etc etc).

      In my opinion (I could be wrong, but this is what I would do)...under no circumstance would I take this in for repair to someone with minimal experience and $2K savings unless you are about to sell it. If you are keeping it, get it done right. You might get lucky, but if you don't?....you're looking at a whole lot more $ to fix it again.

      "So I'm very conflicted b/c I am very much under the impression that whoever does this work really needs to know VWs BUT I'm completely aghast at the dealerships cost." My friend, your impressions are correct...

      1. Whoever does the work on that trans really needs to know what the he** they're doing, and...
      2. All of us are aghast at the VW dealership costs for just about anything. In case you haven't figured it out yet, buying an EV means that you are out of your mind and willing and able to absorb some pretty painful repair bills - it is not for the weak of heart or thin of pocketbook. Its a 1991/2-design VW commercial van from Europe, not a 2009 Sienna or Odyssey.

      Relax, I'm not ripping on you. We're all out of our minds...I've said this before...

      (Demented, but true story: I once had a VW service advisor - with a straight face - tell me that they considered Eurovan transmissions a consumable item ...like an oil change...or brakes ...or belts. I ...politely...unloaded on him and let him know that statements like that were one of the many reasons why VW had - to date - failed in North America so badly. Late edit: I keep thinking about this...how can anyone take a VW service advisor serious when they say something that outlandish? Instead of just admitting the transmissions are junk, their method of handling it is to call them a "consumable". I remember my jaw dropped when he told me that. How could I not rip on him? That was the craziest thing I had ever heard a service advisor say...he lost all credibility from that point forward.)
      Last edited by VW_Enthu1; 09-14-2011 at 02:15 PM.

    14. Member manfredwerner's Avatar
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      09-14-2011 09:20 PM #14
      I don't know what is it that vw dealer has to know so special about at?
      My experience with transm repairs is like this:
      we had a ford escape repaired 3.0 v6 awd for 1.5k with 12k miles 1 year waranty, that was 3 years ago, it is still running the guy is a chasidishe jew(driver) he abuses it alot.
      Isn't escape a european car? then we fixeda mazda 5 transmission with a used one( not a rebuild by the shop) 8 months later it is gone.
      The bottom line-go to that guy for 2 k, i think that all they do is measure and replace worn out parts. I don't beleive one has to be a vw specific trained technician. Also i would bargain him down to 1700. And after that repair make sure you will get a receipt with waranty info. And then get that repair insurance they advertise, like protection one or something. That's what most of our customers do. One guy used that insurance to replace a seized engine (well he never changed oil) and it was paid for ayways...

    15. Member manfredwerner's Avatar
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      09-14-2011 09:22 PM #15
      and also, the dealership is not a 100% guaranty, and the most costs will go to their union, retirement plans, sick days etc.

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      09-15-2011 08:12 AM #16
      www.desmolition.com

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    17. Member VW_Enthu1's Avatar
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      09-15-2011 09:40 AM #17
      Manfredwerner: With all due respect, you have got to stop your advice string now because you are not guiding him down the right path on this. Any guidelines and beliefs you have on routine US transmission repair do not apply to VW Eurovans. The rest of us on this forum know these transmissions, their problems, and the service nightmares these vans can cause. We're not making this stuff up. We have experience with these vans dating back to '03 - you don't. I mean you no offense, but you are completely off-base on this.

      Take a step back and read all the archived posts on these transmissions before you give any more advice. My previous post stands.
      Last edited by VW_Enthu1; 09-15-2011 at 10:20 AM.

    18. Member manfredwerner's Avatar
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      09-15-2011 01:44 PM #18
      i see, thanks for the info, but that's what i would do myself. i am really curious how he will go about it!

    19. 09-17-2011 01:15 PM #19
      Summitt6,

      There's a yahoo group called ev_update. A recent post regarding transmission repair was Message #128889 (you may have to be a member to read it, but here's the meat/bones):

      "Now I finally have the dream van! I just got her back from Advanced Transmission
      in Lakewood, CO (highly recommend this shop BTW) who did the rebuild for JDB
      Imports. "

      Another source of repair shop reviews is:
      http://roadhaus.com/shops.php

      I'm showing code 0740 and waiting for more symptoms but I think mine is an electrical intermittant. Lots of the independent shops will install a rebuilt tranny from germantransaxle.com .

      Good luck, Richard

    20. 12-06-2011 08:00 PM #20
      I am late to this thread, but did want to weigh in on the topic of a 2003 EV versus earlier. I have been having some serious problems with a rebuild AT due to shredded planetary gear.
      Three times back in the shop to correct surging on gear changes. Valves not pressuring properly. new wiring harness. new cooler. My mechanic (who owns a 2002 EV himself, it's why I chose him) tells me that the 03 is a different transmission and is very tricky to work on. He has just offered me my money back or to take a full VW rebuild at $6100 (vs. the $3700 i paid for the planetary rebuild).

      My point of advice: if you have an 03, make sure to do extra diligence around transmission problems.

      (anyone know a great transmission mechanic in nyc metro?)

    21. 12-07-2011 01:07 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by CMCraig View Post
      My mechanic (who owns a 2002 EV himself, it's why I chose him) tells me that the 03 is a different transmission and is very tricky to work on.


      All auto transmissions in 1997-2003 VR6 Eurovans are the same 01P with only minor changes in the gear ratios.

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