Question about 1996 Volkswagen Jetta

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Just bought used Jetta leaking trans fluid - can't be fixed w/o major labor?

My daughter just bought a used 96 Jetta, automatic. Its leaking both oil and transmission fluid and the mechanic checked and said two seals need to be replaced. BUT, he won't do it for this make/model. Apparently, the entire transmission has to be taken out..something like that? Is it really going to cost more in labor to fix this than the car's even worth? What now?

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  • clg_pa Oct 21, 2008

    Appreciate your advice to find another mechanic...but my mechanic isn't the problem. Apparently this model/make requires taking the entire transmission out of the car (and probably half the engine, too) in order to get to the seals that need to be replaced. He knows how to fix it....but it requires so much time and labor - it's not practical for him to do it...and be able to charge the per hour labor rate he charges (which is reasonable).

    I can only imagine what a VW specialty garage or dealer would want to charge.

    He also said, with the special VW transmission fluid needed, its NOT a good idea to mix in any additives that could maybe seal up the leaks--which was my next question.

    I can't believe this car is designed this way.

  • llourens Nov 18, 2008

    My car broke saels 4 times and all 4 times the box had to come out. Labour intensive. We then bought a imported box and fit it but now

    The car wont change gears and aparently its caused by an electronic problem.



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I dont know where you live
there are many independent repair shops out there that would do the job for alot less
here is one trick i have found that work very good.
go to a professional auto parts store like a carquest or a NAPA and ask the counter person who he would recomend a independent repair shop that is familar with the VW cars
dont give up you will find a great mechanic that will help.
good luck

Posted on Oct 18, 2008

  • paul erickson
    paul erickson Oct 21, 2008

    i sure didnt think my answer was that bad???

    so what up?

    did you want more information of what?



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1 Answer


Hey, I have the same problem with mine, and it seems that a lot of people do. I'll tell you that changing the fluid and filter and seal made a big difference but did not fix it for me and I think it's just common for them to **** out. Mines 97 2.0 automatic. No, you can't check the fluid but there is a fill plug to the front top of tranny. Very interesting to get to, my mechanic had to pump fluid in. For reference I was told 3.25 quarts as the book says "see dealer" about that. Anyway, the seal is on the bottom of the transmission. There should be a cover over the pan. There's 4 bolts, make sure the car is level when you take off. This will require changing fluid and probably filter with seal because it's likely crappy. My seal was leaking. The trans fluid was like oil. Also takes Decron III but I subbed something the parts place said was the same.

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