Mechanics

CAR******, HESITATES IN 1ST-3RD GEAR. FINE IN 4TH AND 5TH

1998 Volkswagen Jetta • 120,000 miles

Drove to work one day and everything is fine. On the way home when in 1st, 2nd and 3rd gear, cars hestitates and****** like it's not getting enough fuel. When you're in 4th and 5th everything is fine. Work done since last summer. New fuel filter, cat, MAF sensor, plugs, wires, injectors, fuel bar, cap rotor. Since these were replaced, everything has been working fine. There is NO CEL. All vacuum lines look good. Ran it in neutral to see if a trans/engine mount had broken while working the throttle from under the hood. Everything looks good. Baffling.
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Cobalt95
November 14, 2011.



To really test for a broken engine mount you should have the car in drive and the parking brake fully on as well as one foot firmly on the brake. You have to have some resitance load on the motor to check for excessive movement.
Even though you do not have a CEL, you should still check for trouble codes. Advance Auto or Auto Zone will do this for free. You can still pull a code with a scanner even without the CEL indicating an issue as it does not come on until issue is a possible no start or stop running issue.
There may be a bad shift solenoid. A good idea would be to service the transmission by replacing fluid and filter. See if this changes performance as old tranny fluid can really cause some problems as clutch pack material starts to build up. Especially with the mileage on the car, if it has not been serviced n the last 30,000 miles, it certainly needs it. Clutch pack material and contamaitnation can clog shift solenoids and create the symptoms you have. New fluid can clean up solenoids and lubricate the system better allowing it to work withotu resistance. It will also raise the pump pressure as the viscocity decreases over time and that will cause a lot of problems.

Thanks. Tried everything you suggested. No codes, changed tranny fluid, ran car in gear to check mounts. Also installed new ignition coil. Problem still exits.

Tiny
Cobalt95
Jan 1, 2012.
Thanks. Tried everything you suggested. No codes, changed tranny fluid, ran car in gear to check mounts. Also installed new ignition coil. Problem still exits.

Tiny
Cobalt95
Jan 1, 2012.
Since it is shifting in all the gears and no codes come up when you have the trouble codes scanned with a ahbnd held scanner, Advance Auto or Auro Zone will do this for free. A CEL does not have to show to have a trouble code.
Next check the fuel pressure. Both the auro parts stores I mentioned have fuel test kits with adapaters on an on loaner basis.
The next thing to check would be the Idle Air Control Valve, IACV. It regulates the idle and keeps it steadu under different loads. If the fuel pressure is good and the fuel pressure regulator tests good by coming up to spec without vacuum line on it, the IACV is the next things to check. With the car running, duisconnect the electrical, sometimes vacuum, connector that controls it and see if it has any affect on the idle.
Let me know how it goes.

I have a hand held scanner and checked for codes, nothing. Had a friend come by who was a Jetta mechanic and we took it for a test drive up the hill from my house. Good thing we went up hill. Something in the transmission came apart. Loud bang, wouldn't work in any gear. Haven't pulled the trans yet, but it's toast. Thanks for your help.

Tiny
Cobalt95
Jan 4, 2012.
Woh! That is sotr of lucky, at least where it happened, because you could have rolled into someone. I am sorry it came apart but if it was that close, it was going to happen anyway. You probably have a bad torque converter, torque converter clutch or a bad clutch pack. Make sure the parking pawl gets checked as serious blow ups like that can cause safety issues like the parking pawl coming out of place or the spring getting broke or the solenoid that actuates it getting the arm broken off of it.
Let me know how it goes and I am sorry it blew up. At least you weren't on the highway or had to pay some crazy towing fee.
Let me know how it goes.

Thanks. I'll let you know. May do it myself. I've never worked on a Jetta trans, but I have others. Probably just find a used replacement and swap it out.

Tiny
Cobalt95
Jan 6, 2012.
You might try and find a japanese Domestic Market, JDM transmission. They have a law in Japan that the engine in a car must be replaced or a new car must be purchased in order to own one. So, there are tons of low mileage engines and transmissions available from importers. The law states that this new engine exhagne or new car purchase must occur by the time 30,000 miles is put on the vehilce. Crazy law but it makes fresh Honda motors easy to get but they are running out. I imagine you can find an importer that would get you a Volkswagon tranny. You might have to hunt around and then check on their reputation. Canada is a good place to look. The best companies have purchaseres in japan who inspect the motors and tranies before purchasing them. Then they are tested and have a statup warranty, I know that does not apply to your situation. You may be able to get an axle to axle deal for pretty cheap or at least a motor tranny combo.
Automatic transmissions are the one thing I don't rebuild myself as my past experiences with tiny steel balls and springs getting lost and adjusted incorrectly while re-building to find out I have to re-adjust them in the vehicle is just too much for me. A valve body looks like a human brain and is close to working on one. Good luck to you and let me know how it goes.