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Old 09-08-2011, 12:59 PM
Josh8loop Josh8loop is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
Posts: 39
Originally Posted by dagObx View Post
I read most of the link than Compu 85 posted & I think it should be mandatory reading for anyone contemplating the purchase of a TDI.

It seems that the most transmission failures were related to the 01A automatic transmission, which according to the link, were installed on the 1998 - 2001 Jettas (possibly other models as well). The link states that it is not a matter of if, but when the trans will go out - due to shoddy parts. Apparently VW used some parts with substandard steel in them. Mentioned chunks of metal in the pan, with little or no warning of failure. Replacement costs ~ $4,500 - there is no "fix". It also stresses the importance of keeping the trans fluid topped off to prevent overheating. That prompted my question about an external cooler, but that would do nothing for faulty parts. VW is not repairing these faulty transmissions, only replacing them. Doesn't say a lot about VW, especially at $4.500 a pop.

I have tried a 5-spd. VW tranny in a local Jetta, but I'm not sure I would be able to handle it every day with my bad shoulder. If I could find a way to shift it with my wrist instead of using my whole arm I'd be in business. I just can't take much movement in my shoulder - even under the influence of Vicoden.

Thanks guys. I'll keep on looking & thinking. If Farm Bureau totals my '87 124 diesel, I'll have to seriously consider the VW. Although I love my Benz & know the VW will never be its equal, I live a long way from anything (65 miles to the nearest WalMart) & my continued trips to the veteran's hospital in Durham (534 mile round trip) may dictate the change.

Actually it's the 01M that is the dreaded transmission to watch out for. Used in the 99.5-2003 yeras of Golf, Jetta, and Passat I believe. My 2002 VW Jetta TDI had the 01M that failed, and it got replaced(by me) with a 5-speed with a taller 5th gear. My MPG's went from 45 with the auto to 53 plus with the manual! For me my TDI has been very maintenance intensive, and there are some "gotchas" that have to be tended to. Overall now that I have most issues straightened out with mine I love it. Highest city driving MPG I have gotten are 56 in town, and lowest so far with the 5-speed has been 53 in town. FWIW

I am in the process of looking for a 1999 E300D for my family, and once I have it I plan on implementing a little "out of the box" solutions to increase it's fuel mileage similar to the ones I use on my TDI.

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