Re: 97 VW Jetta automatic trans not shifting without...
The tranny's are notorious for having "small" problems before they actually let go. However, there is a sensor on the transmission that tells it when to shift as well as a couple of air and cooling sensors. Try having those tested/changed and see if that helps. If not, you may be looking at a new transmission
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When a car is going uphill, it has to use more power to get up the hill. Most automatic transmission cars will automatically detect this, and shift into a lower gear to get the car up the hill easier. As you get to the top or let off the gas, the car should than shift into a higher gear to maximize fuel efficiency. What does your transmission seem to do? Not want to go into a lower gear, are the RPMs jumping up and down before it shifts?
an automatic trans will not shift into overdrive if the motor is under loads such as hills, or general acceleration. you will probably feel it kicking in as you slightly release the gas pedal on level ground.
when vw started to use the computer controlled gearbox system a criticism was the shift was very harsh,to counter this they made it rev slightly before changing.so that you know the system, try this out....without touching the gas.....put it in d and let the car accelerate to its max speed,stop,then use 1/3rd of gas (keep your foot still)and let it do the same...stop,then,if safe,put your foot to the floor,hard, notice when the car changes gear(revs/speed)then if you drive,only using the first1/3rd of the gas,the cars change pattern will alter to suit.......wierd it is.....
get transmission flush and drain and refill with new automatic tranmission fluid if its been sitting for a long time and when you think it should change up just lift your foot off the acelerator a bit then push it down a bit again
Two symptoms here Keith, and I just had this, same car year and model. The pedal could either be a bit loose, check the cable and throtle. Have someone check, when the cars in neutral,they manually rev it, and watch the RPM's. They should go 3-4 as normal. If this is the case, and its not the cable or pedal, REPLACE spark plug cables and wires. Odd, but that was the fix to mine. Hope it helps.
VW Automatic transmissions must be filled within a specific level or they will not shift. Also, must have VW special transmission fluid or ATF +4 FULL SYNTHETIC!!! Required to create proper internal pressure...