Question about 1997 Volkswagen Passat

8 Answers

2002 Jetta 1.8T with a Tiptronic 5 speed 09A transmission and 98,000 miles on the clock is slipping in 4th and 5th gear when under heavy acceleration or driving up an incline. Only slips once over 3000rpms in 4th gear and over 2500rpms in 5th gear. Shifts fine through 1-3 and seems to shift fine all the way to 5th going downhill or on level ground but when more acceleration is giving slips into 4th and then takes a while to engage, then slips at 3000rpms. It just threw a p0730 incorrect gear ratio code yesterday but before that has never had a check engine code come up. ATF level seems fine but dont have the proper tools to check at the exact temp. I check it a few minutes after it has warmed up and cycled the gears about 100 degrees. Might have to much fluid? Could this cause a slip? Added some lucas stop slip but no difference. Drained 3 liters of old fluid and replaced with fresh and more stop slip. No difference. Fluid seemed ok, definitely looked like used oil but smelled just fine not burnt at all and seemed clean. Drain magnet was clean also. Has my tranny just gone totally bad, is a valve sticking, a bad solenoid, could my filter be clogged and need a complete oil/filter change, should I flush the system and replace with new fluid? Is there anyway this could be an electrical problem with my tcm or another bad connector? How can I test the electronics of the tranny or if there was an electrical issue would it give me more faults? I am an experienced mechanic but auto tranys are not my forte, especially this very advanced tiptronic tranny.

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  • trevy07 May 18, 2010

    I drained 3 quarts of old brown, but not burnt fluid and replaced it with 3 new quarts of Redline D4 which is supposed to be equivelant if not better than OEM fluid? Also added a quart of Lucas stop slip which did not do anything, level seems fine but really hard to check without a computer. Would to much fluid cause slipping? I know to little fluid would. Also have heard adding new fluid could make it worse by removing grit that adds extra grip is this true? There is no VW dealership here on the tiny island of Maui but one VW professional and they want to charge $605 for an oil/filter change and want to charge me for 9 quarts of the OEM which is like $30 each. Is the filter a cleanable screen or do I need to replace? Also how hard is it to remove myself. Heard it was a bit difficult to remove the valve bodies and then the filter? Could this be an electrical problem malfunctioning tcm or solenoid? I was told by an independent vw tech to try and flush the tranny through the cooler lines with some aerosol stuff in a green can called trans Kool or something like that, then add new fluid. Do not want to waste a whole day or two and more money to change oil/filter if that will not do anything. Could after 98k the fluid is bad and causing slipping and less presure build up? I am throwing a p0730 code as well still. I am thinking of maybe taking it to the tech soon and running a complete diagnostic on it so maybe they can pinpoint the problem to a bad soleniod or something else easy to fix. But thinking they are going to tell me i need a whole new tranny, more money for them. It seems to be not to major. R D 1 2 3 all work flawlessly and with normal acceleration or down hill driving 4 and 5 work great but uphill or heavy accelerating 4/5 slip over 2500rpms and sometimes hesitate into gear.

    Also when I check/drain some fluid it comes out just like the new stuff I put in nice red color. Shouldn't it have been mixed with the 4+ quarts of the old dirty brown fluid and come out brownish? Does this mean I have a restriction somewhere? a clogged filter or passageway? There were no metal shavings in either of the magnets on the plugs so what would the filter be clogged with? But also the red tamper cap was off the fill port. Bought from original owners that supposedly did no service on the tranny.

    Really need some good answers here, only have a few hundred dollars to spend right now on this car or I have to sell it as is for to cheap. Defnitely do not have enough money to take it to the pro shop here except for a diagnosis. The help is very much appreciated. Aloha!

  • trevy07 May 22, 2010

    2002 Jetta 1.8L Turbo with a 5 speed tiptronic transmission is slipping in 4th and 5th gear under heavy acceleration or under load/incline above 2500-3000 rpms. All the other gears drive and shift perfect and 4th and 5th drive and shift fine with normal driving with minimal acceleration or on a decline or flat ground. Feel it may be the torque converter slipping at high rpms, or the tranny is not building up enough pressure in the higher gears/rpms because of the torque converter or old fluid/dirty filter. I believe it is the original fluid from the factory with 98,000 miles on it. VW states the fluid is "lifetime" and that the transmission is "sealed". Drained some fluid, looked very dark brown but had no burnt smell at all, smelled not bad at all so I do not think the clutches are burnt up. Added Lucas stop slip, had no difference.

    Thinking a fluid/filter change may be in order as this would probably increase the pressure and maybe stop slipping at higher rpms. It is showing a p0730 incorrect gear ratio code which just means really its slipping. Does not seem like any sensors. Could be a stuck valve? Thanks!!!

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8 Answers

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P0730: Incorrect gear ratio means the rpm going into the transmission does not match the rpm output for the gear it was in at that time. From all my research, it appears the transmission will need to be rebuilt. I would try draining the fluid, changing the filter, and flushing the cooler. The fluid capacity after a filter and fluid change is 2.6 quarts, 3 quarts if you flush the cooler. It is possible that there is too much fluid, which is why I suggest changing the filter and fluid, it's certainly worth a try, versus having the transmission rebuilt, but with my experience with automatic transmissions, you usually end up having to rebuild the transmission. When the clutches in the clutch packs start to go, there really isn't much that can be done for the outside. Please let me know what you find.

Posted on May 22, 2010

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  • Volkswagen Master
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Hi Trevy,
The question you pose makes sense at first glance. The transmission slip would in some way seem connected to an electrical problem. However on a closer look you will see the electronics only cause a shift or monitor a shift.
The actual slipping is caused by internal non electrical problems. In your case I think you may be stuck with a bad transmission and suggest you first off take the VIN # down and call the local dealer. Ask about RECALLS and Service Bulletins on your actual car. Once done - if there are none be sure to weigh your options. You have eliminated much chance of the slipping being fixed by additives. These do in deed work at times and I have used them and had great success. The technique of checking the fluid level is to just let the car warm to full temperature. This is done sometimes by allowing it to warm up sitting or just to drive it until you come to a safe pull over place that is level - then check it. It sounds like you did a fine job. If the level ever shows as too full then it is too full. The level goes up when warm not down. I have to suggest you take the car to a trusted professional and ask them to give it a once over. I would not tell them I had done anything to the car. Check for their see what was done as an evaluation of their skills if you like. At this point your best option in my experience is to hand it over to a pro. I do sadly think you will need a rebuild on your transmission but it isn't the end of the world. Get a GOOD no- - - a GREAT Warranty because it can sure be handy. Ask for recommendations too. This is a very expensive so be sure to be sure that you're going to be happy and be sure to check your dealer for a RECALL before shelling out the dough it takes to repair a transmission. Sadly though in the end I think you will just have to bite the bullet and have it rebuilt but still check with a trans specialist and let them decide how deep into the transmission you need to go.
Best of it,
Gary
2002 Jetta 1.8T with a - 4bf19cf.jpg

Posted on May 22, 2010

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The high gear clutch facings are simply worn or glazed making the trans to slip

Posted on May 22, 2010

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Its not electriical.. it mosr or less is the clutches between 4 and 5 are worn out.. you will need to have that clutches replased in the transmission.. Have your mechanic do a diagnostic on it with a code reader to verify this..

Posted on May 22, 2010

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Hi! Yes i understand. Have you tried replacing the torque converter? This has big contribution on the tranny specially on when shifting. The torque converter may be worn thats why it fails on the high gear. Have it replaced and see how it goes. HOpe this helps and have a good one!

Posted on May 22, 2010

  • trevy07 May 22, 2010

    How can I check the torque converter if it is bad? Would it be showing a check engine code relating to the torque converter? I think that it would throw a code if the converter was not locking up, but maybe it is locking just slipping at higher rpms. It seems more something like that to me because the tranny shifts fine with normal driving and the transmission just feels good. Do not think it is internal failure at only 98k. These trannies were built very tough. I am throwing a p0730 incorrect gear ratio code, does this relate to the torque converter? Also would I be smelling a burning smell at all from the torque converter. Thanks!

  • dj_relly999
    dj_relly999 May 22, 2010

    It wont really throw a code if its the torque converter for it is internal. Cant really see the difference till the replacement.

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Posted on May 18, 2010

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  • Volkswagen Master
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Once a tranmssion starts slipping that is it, the transmission clutchs are worn out and the transmission must be replaced or overhauled, changing fluid will not cure this, this is based on 35 years as a professional auto repair tech and I am also a Master technician in transmission diagnosisi and repair. This isn't to say that there are not problems with the electronic controls of the transmission, testing the system is always done before a new transmission is put in, otherwise the problems that may have contributed to the failure of this transmission will damge the new unit very quickly.

Posted on May 18, 2010

  • yadayada
    yadayada May 18, 2010

    the brown fluid is caused by the burnt up transmission clutch pack, suit yourself here, but you need a new transmission, this one is toast. I do know what i am talking about here, decades of experience to back me up, look around for a used unit if u have money problems.

  • yadayada
    yadayada May 19, 2010

    Sorry about the money issies but it doesn't alter the facts here, u need to replace the transmission.

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What ATF fluid are you using?

funny thing about VW trans is that they really want there fluid and I've seen lots of funny things when non VW fluid is used

that being said, VW also states that their fluid is "lifetime" though I find that hard to believe!!

So... I'd advise at this time you get to VW and get new fluid, gasket and filter... DIY

Posted on May 16, 2010

  • 1 more comment 
  • trevy07 May 17, 2010

    I drained 3 quarts of old brown, but not burnt fluid and replaced it with 3 new quarts of Redline D4 which is supposed to be equivelant if not better than OEM fluid? Also added a quart of Lucas stop slip which did not do anything, level seems fine but really hard to check without a computer. Would to much fluid cause slipping? I know to little fluid would. Also have heard adding new fluid could make it worse by removing grit that adds extra grip is this true? There is no VW dealership here on the tiny island of Maui but one VW professional and they want to charge $605 for an oil/filter change and want to charge me for 9 quarts of the OEM which is like $30 each. Is the filter a cleanable screen or do I need to replace? Also how hard is it to remove myself. Heard it was a bit difficult to remove the valve bodies and then the filter? Could this be an electrical problem malfunctioning tcm or solenoid? I was told by an independent vw tech to try and flush the tranny through the cooler lines with some aerosol stuff in a green can called trans Kool or something like that, then add new fluid. Do not want to waste a whole day or two and more money to change oil/filter if that will not do anything. Could after 98k the fluid is bad and causing slipping and less presure build up? I am throwing a p0730 code as well still. I am thinking of maybe taking it to the tech soon and running a complete diagnostic on it so maybe they can pinpoint the problem to a bad soleniod or something else easy to fix. But thinking they are going to tell me i need a whole new tranny, more money for them. It seems to be not to major. R D 1 2 3 all work flawlessly and with normal acceleration or down hill driving 4 and 5 work great but uphill or heavy accelerating 4/5 slip over 2500rpms and sometimes hesitate into gear.



    Also when I check/drain some fluid it comes out just like the new stuff I put in nice red color. Shouldn't it have been mixed with the 4+ quarts of the old dirty brown fluid and come out brownish? Does this mean I have a restriction somewhere? a clogged filter or passageway? There were no metal shavings in either of the magnets on the plugs so what would the filter be clogged with? But also the red tamper cap was off the fill port. Bought from original owners that supposedly did no service on the tranny.



    Really need some good answers here, only have a few hundred dollars to spend right now on this car or I have to sell it as is for to cheap. Defnitely do not have enough money to take it to the pro shop here except for a diagnosis. The help is very much appreciated. Aloha!

  • kristyopdend
    kristyopdend Apr 11, 2013

    Did you figure out what was wrong? i am having the same problem.

  • kristyopdend
    kristyopdend Apr 11, 2013

    did you figure out what was wrong? i have the same problem

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