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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD)

VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old October 22nd, 2019, 11:02   #1
wildn
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Default ALH Automatic reliability

Im looking at an Auto ALH 02 jetta with 182k on it and Im just curious how reliable is the 4 speed in it?
Also is a ALH easier to work on than a BEW for someone with moderate mechanical skills?
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Old October 22nd, 2019, 11:06   #2
mr.loops
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Heads up. Peeps are going to tell you to a) swap it to a manual or b) buy a manual TDI car

The 01M is said to be one of the worst automatic transmissions vw put in their cars.

YMMV


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Old October 22nd, 2019, 11:17   #3
oilhammer
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It is as reliable as a fart with the flu.
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Old October 22nd, 2019, 11:35   #4
KrashDH
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It's as reliable as the right shoe on a left foot
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Old October 22nd, 2019, 12:03   #5
Nero Morg
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So I heard through the grapevine that they aren't that bad, so long as you get a trans cooler relocation kit. Any of you heard of that?
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Old October 22nd, 2019, 12:21   #6
BobnOH
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I have, but I spend too much time reading on these forums. I had an inkling that deficient cooling contributed to the early demise of the 99.5(98nb)-2003 automatics. Have not seen verification, most recommend to just avoid the 01m.
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Old October 22nd, 2019, 13:39   #7
flee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildn View Post
Im looking at an Auto ALH 02 jetta with 182k on it and Im just curious how reliable is the 4 speed in it?
Also is a ALH easier to work on than a BEW for someone with moderate mechanical skills?
If the auto trans is original, be aware that 180k mi is a reasonable expected lifespan.
I got about 185k mi and then needed to rebuild. 30k mi or so on the rebuild so far.
Either engine is fairly easy to do routine work on.
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Old October 22nd, 2019, 18:41   #8
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Just recently sold my 2000 Jetta with an 01m, it had 290k on it. When it would start slipping in 4th I replaced the valve body and it was fine. If pushed after it starts slipping it will cause other problems.


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Old October 22nd, 2019, 19:24   #9
Meister Kraft
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLH_TDI View Post
Just recently sold my 2000 Jetta with an 01m, it had 290k on it. When it would start slipping in 4th I replaced the valve body and it was fine. If pushed after it starts slipping it will cause other problems.


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This sums up 90% of the issues, they are in the valvebody most the time. I would fear it iím Running 350k miles on my second trans. As long as the body and interior are good I would buy it.

With that said the manuals really arenít bad in traffic, seriously consider one if you can.
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Old October 22nd, 2019, 19:53   #10
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Originally Posted by Meister Kraft View Post
This sums up 90% of the issues, they are in the valvebody most the time. I would fear it iím Running 350k miles on my second trans. As long as the body and interior are good I would buy it.
With that said the manuals really arenít bad in traffic, seriously consider one if you can.
I'm seriously considering the 2002 ALH Jetta; it's super clean and coming from what seems like a trustworthy TDI specialist, Or there's a '05 BEW Jetta for the about same price about 5hrs away that's a 5 speed with 232k.(both around 4k)

Between the two the ALH's interior and exterior are super clean verus the BEW which is a little bit rougher but not terrible. The main thing I'm worried about the auto trans going out. And im not that confident in my ability to swap in a manual.
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Old October 22nd, 2019, 22:02   #11
Mongler98
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everyone complaining how unreliable this trans is, still gets 2 to 3 times the mileage of most gasoline engine transmissions.
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Old October 22nd, 2019, 23:18   #12
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I beg to differ with that. Two Hondas, over 220k each, camaro 700r4, 280k on it. Rip was rear ended in that one.
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Old October 23rd, 2019, 00:06   #13
Meister Kraft
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At the end of the day itís you, who needs to be happy with the decision.

If this vehicle is a daily and 40ish mpg is good enough, then enjoy the hot coffee, keep the Timís warm on the passenger seat, a seat heater for you and auto box for a relaxing commuter.

If you want around 48+ MPG and donít mind shifting then buy a manual install a stock clutch assuming it doesnít have one, swap out the injection pump to the larger one found in the automatics and give it a set of injectors. Focus on maintence and suspension bushings and that vehicle has the potential to out last all of us.

Contact mark Malone for a clean/powerful tune, great group to work with
See a member ďdrive by wireĒ for your injectors, he can balance them
IDParts is a great place for most if not all items

The BEW engine was smooth compared to the ALH and a lot quieter. If memory serves me right I think the BEW engine had issues with the cams and lifters and a host of emission component issues. Most items given the age should have been fixed by now with new part updates/designs. I donít recall a difference in MPG between the two engines but itís something to research.

I prefer an ALH MK4 jetta or golf, most repairs are very quick and itís simple. I enjoy a good challenge but I would rather sit back at a lodge in the mountains drinking with friends than fixing my vehicle all weekend.

Ohh one last thing, and this really is the most important...DONT RUSH INTO A PURCHASE!!! Believe me when I say another one will show up, and it might be in better condition.
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Old October 23rd, 2019, 04:29   #14
oilhammer
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The biggest issue with the 01M isn't that it is so awful, just that it isn't in step with the rest of the car in which it is used in terms of durability. Plus, it is expensive to replace. LOTS of automatic transmissions are only good for ~150k. Our shop replaces them constantly in all kinds of things. But if you had a Chevy Traverse that actually made it to 150k and the 3.6L's chains haven't flown off, or the suspension hasn't fallen to pieces, or the brake lines haven't all rusted away, and the trans died, you'd not bat an eye. It's a Traverse... 150k and it is used up anyway.

But an ALH Jetta or Golf at 150k is just a baby. Simple, reliable, super easy to service, lots of fun upgrades can be done, so if ITS transmission died at 150k miles, you'd be pissed. Because the rest of the car was still so good.

I would place the 01M in the area of a '3' in a 1-10 scale of durability, with a lot of Chrysler 41TE, 42LE, and some of the Ford AXOD and 4R70W and GM 4L60E transmissions being worse, with longitudinal Aisin slushboxes easily gaining the top spot of a '10'. Those really are the ONLY automatics (conventional torque converter/wet clutch pack/ planetary type) seemingly able to claim an "indefinite" lifespan under most normal conditions.

That said, at this stage of the game, the newest ALH cars are now a whopping 17 years old. So really the overall condition of the car, regardless of how many pedals it has, should be taken into consideration. I'd not turn down a clean, nice, well cared for ALH+01M if the price was right. You can always fix or even convert the transmission. Not so easy to make the body and interior look good again if it is trashed.
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Old October 23rd, 2019, 11:45   #15
BobnOH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildn View Post
I'm seriously considering the 2002 ALH Jetta; it's super clean and coming from what seems like a trustworthy TDI specialist, Or there's a '05 BEW Jetta for the about same price about 5hrs away that's a 5 speed with 232k.(both around 4k)

Between the two the ALH's interior and exterior are super clean verus the BEW which is a little bit rougher but not terrible. The main thing I'm worried about the auto trans going out. And im not that confident in my ability to swap in a manual.
Then we're done. Get the '05 or keep looking.
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