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I have a 1996 VW Jetta with an automatic transmission 60,000...


Question by rolbar1
Submitted on 4/27/2004
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I have a 1996 VW Jetta with an automatic transmission 60,000 miles.  When I accelerate slowly it will shift hard sometimes from first to second ans shifts smoothly thereafter.  How do I check fluid level?  There is no dip stick anywhere.  Should I change the tranny oil and filter?  If so, how much and what type oil do I use?  What might be causing this problem?  Do I need to replace or repair it?

Answer by swarbur4
Submitted on 5/9/2004
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An automatic transmission is a fairly complex piece of equipment containing over 400 parts & controlled by a small computer. It uses many sensors and various inputs from the engine & vehicle. The oil level setting requires knowledge & special equipment to ensure the correct temp of the trans oil.There could be many things wrong with your trans but I would first take it to a qualified garage to have the oil changed/filter cleaned & any software updates downloaded before going to the expense of changing the gearbox. If you go to a VW dealer they will be able to interrogate the trans computer to see if there are any error codes stored.


Answer by chris
Submitted on 6/13/2004
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Watch out though. I has this same problem with a 96 jetta. Slip in first gear a little until it warmed up. Brought it to a dealer for fluid change. After they removed all the metal shavings from the pan, It wouldn't drive at all. Had to tow it out of the dealer. Tranny cost more than the car is worth.  Maybe I was better with a little slip than a non-functional car.


Answer by Watiti
Submitted on 8/12/2004
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Just bought a 1996 Jetta myself. I have not had any problem so far with automatic transmission. I hope transmission problems are not a standard part of the 96' jettas?


Answer by flopez
Submitted on 11/8/2004
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Hey, i drive a 96 with a manual tranny with no dip stick. I found out that to check the fluid level you must take out the "speedometer" sensor. This is how i checked and filled my tranny. By the way i never found a drain plug for my tranny, so i siphon the fluid and then refill to the tip of the speedometer/dip stick


Answer by ronnie836
Submitted on 11/11/2004
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check it out. i have a 96 and my transmission just died. i wish i would have checked the 'slip' out.


Answer by jela30
Submitted on 11/24/2004
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I have the same problem with my Jetta. I bought my Jetta used. With in two weeks, I experienced the same slippage problem. I took it to an "authorized" transmission place. They ordered a "rebuilt" transmission (the only kind the warranty would cover). Two months later, I began experiencing the same problem. I took it to a German autotech. The transmission harness had been partially severed. There goes $1400... Here I am one year later and experiencing the exact same problem with the transmission again. By the way, there is not a dip-stick for the 96 because it requires the expensive fluid and must be done with a machine by a certified technician... $$$    I now learn that the majority of the '96 Jetta'shave this problem... why was there no recall????


Answer by care
Submitted on 12/25/2004
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i have this problem with my 96 auto jetta as well.  there has been a series of problems with this make and year.  the fluid gets too hot and burns... sorry bud but our only solution is a new trans... $3000!  used ones are a gamble since they are all having the same prob :(


Answer by Melster
Submitted on 6/7/2005
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I was told by a VW dealer that in order to check the Trans. fluid you have to take the left front tire off to get to the dip stick. My 96 Jetta does the same with gear shifts. I found no such stick after all my effort. It only happened once but while I was at a gas station the steering felt like it was hitting something when I turned the wheel left. I had to keep trying to turn it and every time it had the same block but moved a little further each time. It has never done it again but it could while I'm driving. Any ideas?


Answer by jetta lover
Submitted on 6/27/2005
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on this particular model of automatic tranny the dipstick is in the speedometer cable drive gear housing on the tranny, easy to check, fill , etc. for instructions consult chilton or haynes manual. but to make it easy the fluid level should be at the bottom of the cable drive gear when removed from the tranny. as to the fluid it is very important to only use the vw fluid, although i cant remeber the part number of the fluid of hand i do know it runs 14.00-18.00 a quart


Answer by Em
Submitted on 12/14/2005
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I have a brand new 2005 Jetta and it is already having the same problem...drive slowly when the car first starts and you'll feel a horrible jerk as it shifts from first to second.  According to VW, it's just Jettas and they can't fix it.  I'm not so happy about that answer, so maybe if enough of us complain they'll fix it.  


Answer by Teva
Submitted on 1/6/2006
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Same thing here with my '96...I paid Aamco 4 grand to rebuild the f'inthing and the 1st to 2nd problem still exists...!!!!
Volkwagen...if you're listening...build better transmissions or I will not buy a 12th VW...!!!! (9 of them were stick-shift)
Wife's A4 golf tranny leaked and began missing at about 170,000...replaced seals and topped it up and now still runs like the day we got it with 260,000 on it...we'll see though....the car is only 7 years old.


Answer by aaron
Submitted on 2/19/2006
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wow, i am having similar problems now. one mechanic says to get rid of the car the engine is bad the other says the wrong oil is being used and thats why i am having problems with jerking.


Answer by bc5k
Submitted on 3/10/2006
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I have the same 1996 jetta with the 01m tranny... same issues but here's what's wrong more than likely... There are for screws in the valve body of the tranny that set the shift points... They back out over time... and the only solution is the kit of 4 plastic screws and 4 springs from vw for a total of 6 whole dollars and then the tranny is perfect.. well, unless you keep letting it slip into gear and then it will destroy the transmission... I performed this maintenance myself from a diagram I found on the web.. I also changed the trans pan gasket and the filter and fluid while I was at it.  Its an easy fix... whole thing took under 2 hours and I am no mechanic.  To replace fluid and check fluid on the tranny, there is a small nipple on the tranny... remove the plug use a piece of garden hose and attach a funnel to it... To check tranny fluid, just remove the plug on the trans pan and start filling it up and when it starts dripping underneath stop.. When the trans no longer drips, replace the plug and it is full...  Also let me suggest putting in a volume of lucas oil transmission conditioner/oil.. I call it trans in can... It will fix most issues except the shift point issue... (ALL Golf and Jetta III'swith an auto have this problem!!!)  IF you get 10 used transmissions with under 50k they will all have the same issue if this service hasn't been performed!!!  Believe me, trial and error will teach you...  SO I really hope this helps because it took me 2 years to compile this info.



Answer by bc5k
Submitted on 4/9/2006
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I have the same 96 4 banger... Same problem... so here's how it goes down, a 3.05 part will fix it.. 4 screws and 4 springs... it was a recall.. http://www.alldata.com/service_provider/techrx/2005/200501212j.html

You will also need the trans filter and pan gasket.. as far as fluid checking.... there is a plug on the tranny with a cover... remove it.. its underneath the car.. the plug on the tranny in front is to be removed as well.. this is where you actually put it in.. use a funnel and a small length of water hose to attach to the tiny nipple... you can't really get to it with just a funnel..  Next fill more fluid than you think it should take the car will then drip underneath... after the dripping stops replace both plugs under and over on the tranny.. it is now full.. stupid huh?  Those pesky german's!!  LOL anyway that is the proper way..




Answer by Plats
Submitted on 11/7/2006
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Same thing is happening with my Jetta right now.

Check the torque convertor.
That's what's wrong with mine.


Answer by petedds
Submitted on 3/7/2007
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Trans is shot.  Mine has the problem between 1st and 2nd gear.  VW said it need rebulding.  Price $4400!  I just found a trabsmission rebuider in GA who does country-wide rebuilding for about $1200, including shipping.  You shoup drops the tranny, a truck picks it up, they get it rebuilt and returned in 4-5 days, your shop puts it in.  3 yr, 75,000 mile guarantee.  One catch:  you or your shop buys the tranny oil.  VW $22.00/pint.  You need 10 quarts or 20 pints.  Try to find it online!  Get it and bring it to your shop.



Answer by MARIO
Submitted on 4/2/2007
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wow that is really something. i have the same problem with the car i own, it has a little slip but when it get warm it works, i'm not driving the car for long distances but i still drive it with no confidence, im afraid it will burn on me. then i have to buy another trans.


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