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    Thread: 2004 Jetta 1.8T does not shift on cold start

    1. 08-31-2012 06:17 PM #1

      I tried wading through the FAQ and other user posts so I'm sorry if this has already been resolved, but I just can't seem to process all the scary information that's going on.

      Problem: on cold starts overnight (more frequently lately) my car needs to "warm up" for 3 - 10 minutes before it decides to shift gears. Using Tiptronics It will say it is in 2nd or 3rd gear when It's really stuck in 1st or 2nd. Sometimes it will even pretend its going to work but then "slip" back into the lower gear at around 6K rpm and I have to pull over and wait a little longer.

      I need this car for my commute and don't have access to a lift or equipment so I'm not sure I could do the work myself, but maybe if I can guide a shop towards the problem this might be cheaper for me? As it is, no shop is willing to trouble-shoot, saying "the oil is burnt so your only option will be a remanufactured transmission, $4.5K" (Ouch)

      This leads me to my next question. I bought the car at 80K miles and doubt prior owners did any real maintenance. And I had no idea about changing fluids, so lets pretend that the original fluid is still in the tranny at 115K miles. Is it "safe" to drain and replace the fluid? I've read conflicting information on that also, some saying it might ruin the thing, others saying you're only in danger after a powerflush.

      Anyone care to help me out?\

      PS it finally threw a trouble code: p0732 ratio Errors 2nd gear

      another side note. Can this engine be converted to manual? I'd really MUCH rather not but if it's worth it then......

    2. Member
      Join Date
      Jun 13th, 2009
      San Diego
      2003/VW/1.8T Jetta 5sp Automatic
      08-31-2012 06:34 PM #2
      Like so many people in this forum I faced this issue too. My first advise will be "stop using your car"
      I don't know how bad your problem could be but if you continue to use your car as it is, you will burn the clutch packs and your transmission will definetly will need a rebuild.

      With this symptoms, what I would do first is to check the solenoids, make sure they are working properly. Solenoids tend to stick in one position, when ohm checked they are OK but they are mechanically stuck and will not move when TCM commands them to. This will be a good place to start.

      Changing the fluid won't make your tranny fail, but ATF is not cheap, so make sure you don't have to drain the ATF once the new ATF is in.

    3. 09-06-2012 05:45 PM #3
      Thanks for your reply.

      So I'm taking the car to the shop today, finally found one willing to do some work, but they're a bit pricey. They said they would do a "transmission service" (pull the pan, replace filter, replace that lost oil). They also said they would replace the solenoid I wanted but would give me absolutely no guarantee on their work...I was fine with that, I was expecting it really...

      From reading around I finally managed to guess that N92 is probably my culprit (am I on the right track??), so they agreed to order and replace that Solenoid for $195 from the dealership.

      Total price for the job is estimated at $980 right now. Does that seem accurate? or is that really steep. They said I could save $200 if I didn't do the Powerflush after the cleaning, but they really recommended I get the flush as well. Is that something I should get? Or is that them fishing for money.

      Any input from those of you that have gone through these steps, again I'd appreciate it. I don't have to drop my car off until tonight, pretty much commited to the work after that point.

    4. Member CoolAirVw's Avatar
      Join Date
      Mar 8th, 2007
      Kansas City Missouri
      85 Jetta TD sold 2001 Jetta Tdi, 2000 Jetta Tdi
      09-06-2012 07:01 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by Drago.corporate View Post
      .....They said they would do a "transmission service" (pull the pan, replace filter,
      There is no filter that is changeable. THere is no "transmission service" because of this. Its just drain fluid and reinstall fluid. Most shops cant do a flush because there are no cooler lines. Ask them if they have the fittings to do a flush when there are no cooler lines. Probably they dont so they cant "flush" it anyway. Some folks might drain it and refill it and then do it again and call if a flush. I suppose thats better than nothing, but I wouldn't want to pay 200 for it.

      At my shop the whole job including replacing all 9 solenoids is about $800, including 9 solenoids, labor, changing the fluid and tax.

      OEM solenoids are available in the aftermarket much cheaper than you can get them from VW. You should probably find someone else who will do all 9 solenoids, who wont "beef up" the ticket with filter services and flushes that are not possible and probably not being done.
      Last edited by CoolAirVw; 09-06-2012 at 07:09 PM.
      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.

    5. Member
      Join Date
      Jun 13th, 2009
      San Diego
      2003/VW/1.8T Jetta 5sp Automatic
      09-06-2012 07:24 PM #5
      I agree with what CoolAirVw said.

      Your transmission has to be completly removed from your car and then you have to open the transmission in order to be able to change the ATF filter.

      You should look at a different shop, or maybe changing the solenoids yourself. After you have finished, you can take your car to the dealer and ask them to erase any DTCs from the TCM and perform basic settings.

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