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what is stiff (add a noun here)
clutch pedal stiff
shifter lever stiff.
grinds , a bad clutch will make the lever seem stiff or will grind, if forced.
gears balk? same as stiff.
false neutrals. (slips , gear not engaging)
Not an uncommon complaint...varied VW models (and German cars in general) are known to be hard to shift when cold.
Less-than-stellar 1-2 syncros? Zero tolerance build specs?
Some people have reported double clutching helps..some have suggested moly additives..others have suggested changing the gear oil to synthetic. Give your local VW dealer a call and inquire about any additives they recommend for your hard shifting GTi.
It will be best to get someone to check the hydraulics of the clutch. That is a common issue.
Get a workshop to drain the gearbox oil and flush the system. A tell tale may come from the drained oil if the tranny is near end of life.
change fluid & filter. no dipstick, sealed tranny. can remove both pans from underneath to access filter.
It is a GM 4L30E trans. used on Isuzu Rodeo and Cadillac Catera. BMW, in their inifinite wisdom, markets it as lifetime fluid. The second biggest bunch of **** advertising that ever was. Heat and friction will wear out ANY fluid!
BTW, it will delay shifting into highest gear when cold. this is normal
Sounds like a faulty cold start assistor. On top of the engine you will find an aluminium housing with four things that look like glow plugs screwed into it. These 'glow plugs' are only available complete with the housing fron Vauxhall. Approx £70 +
Airbag light is probably a fault with the seatbelt pretensioner.
Check the wiring under the seats for damage or perhaps the plugs have pulled apart.