Question about 2001 Volkswagen Golf

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Can't change to fifth gear. other gears are fine and engine sounds smooth enough. its a 2003 polo actually, not golf. 1.2, manual, petrol

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  • mcecece Dec 02, 2008

    I have a 2005 model 1.9 Tdi polo , 74 KW. My problem is that when the engine is still cold my 1st and reverse gears I can operate with ease but when its warm with few kilos done I struggle to switch to 1st gear and to reverse gear.

  • Anonymous Mar 03, 2009

    i have the same problem, my polo is also an 03. So terrifying on the motorway suddenly it being rejected! I've found that i need to go from fourth and really whack it to the right and up. It almost feels like it's not in but its fine, just a bit dodgy! Try that ! 

  • steven51 Mar 03, 2013

    i had the same thing with my vw polo 1.2 (2003 reg) - i was on the motorway doing about 80mph when the car "fell out" of 5th gear and packed up completely! luckily the other gears were fine, just had some horrendous grinding noise for quite a few months whilst saving the money to get the car fixed. as a general note, the gearbox will be fine for a couple of months or so, but that all depends if your gearbox is leaking fluid or not. if it is, *DO NOT* drive it anymore unless you really have to. your gearbox could cease and land you in a very dangerous situation. from what i was told at multiple garages, 5th gear is an "added-on" component on the gearbox on 2003 vw polos, so they're more likely to wear quicker and it *is* a common problem with this particular model. all i did was buy a cheap gearbox that was guaranteed for 6 months, got a garage to fit it in along with a new clutch (if you're changing the gearbox, you might as well do the clutch too and save yourself some money in the long run...), and then you're ready to go. it's the inevitable truth unfortunately - if your car keeps locking out of 5th gear, then you might as well start saving money now and be happy later.


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Selector forks on the fifth gear are worn out but don,t let a garage take the gearbox out it can be fixed in place . had the same problem on my golf mk3 vr6 get the parts from a scrap yard should take about half an hour in the right hands to fix

Posted on Oct 01, 2008

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May be a 'vacuum hose' problem.

Posted on Sep 16, 2008

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hi mandy
im dave
if it only revs when you put it in 5th gear then it is not in fifth gear. it may look like it but it is not. try moving the gear selector from fourth into neutral releasing the clutch fully then applying the clutch and initiating fifth gear. if that does not work try placing it into one of the other gears first without releasing the clutch and then selecting fifth.
you should be fine driving in four gears as long as you dont travel on the audobahn or at speeds like your on the audobahn. Just watch your redline. try not to go past it. i think it is actually better for your car to drive at higher revolutions than lower as it cleans out your combustion chamber of carbon. on the other hand it is ******* your engine to drive in the red line constantly.
but 3000 rpm in 4th gear probably has you driving 130km/hr (82mph) which should be sufficient and your redline probably does not start until somewhere between 4-5k

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