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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 April 22nd, 2018, 19:27   #1
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Huntsville, Ontario, Canada
Unhappy 2001 TDI GOLF suddenly difficult to shift when running


I bought a 2001 TDI GOLF for a decent price. My friend and I (one after the other) thoroughly tested it and ran through all the gears and everything was fine. I drove it over 200km home without a problem, however maybe 10km from home it started having problems switching gears, have to put more effort than one should to change gears. It switches gears without a problem with the car is off.

Now that the weather is finally nice outside I would like to figure out the problem before the bugs come out.
Looking online it seems that it can be anything from the clutch, to changing the gear oil, or possibly the master or slave cylinder?

Thank you very much in advance for your help!
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Cars: 2001 VW GOLF TDI, 2006 VW GOLF TDI, 2011 VW GTI
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Old April 22nd, 2018, 19:56   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Reno, sort of...

Gearbox was cold and no problems, gearbox warms up and shifting gears gets difficult?
And with the engine off it shifts "normally?" Possible clutch and/or an iffy gearbox?
Before you get too worried, I would make sure the shifting linkage is all indexed correctly; there are a couple of very well explained simple videos you can look at.
2001 Jetta GL TDI, Tinted, Ventectomy, Catectomy, EGR-ectomy, TDTuning, HIFLO .216's, Stealth 17/56 Garrett, VCDS Hex+CAN, South Bend Daily Driver 2 Clutch, DG Short Shifter, Frostheater, Baldwin Fuel Filter, Previous Diesel: 1983 Rabbit Diesel
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Old April 22nd, 2018, 20:16   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Northern Minnesota-55744
Fuel Economy: 52+ average lifetime '01

I would do some (more) research yet, but suggest bleeding the clutch slave cylinder to start with ( and it can be a bit of a pain). However, I wouldn't be surprised to find you have a worn pivot, fork, etc.
A linkage adjustment and shift tower bushing clean up probably can't hurt either.
Sounds as though the clutch is "dragging" a bit.

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Old April 28th, 2018, 14:47   #4
Jet 02
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Californa
Fuel Economy: 38 city w/ac 40 w/o, 50hwy
Wink Hard shift clutch problem

My 2002 Jetta started having hard shifting problems. I changed gear lube. no help. It was like the clutch was not fully disengaging. Was prepaired to replace the clurch arm and pivot. Happened to take the car to the car wash.. Clutch problem went away... Turns out the car wash removed the floor mats for cleaning and put them back in over the locating pegs. Turns out the floor mat had slid forward under the pedals and was preventing full pedal travel. Felt stupid for not catching that but happy it was "fixed".
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Old April 30th, 2018, 00:26   #5
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
Fuel Economy: 43/54mpg

I have a service record from Volkswagen of the PO of my car complaining about the car being difficult to go into gear but would go in fine with the engine off. Turns is the flywheel had "exploded". This I think is an extreme case but it was my car's problem at one point.
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