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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKVI-A6 Jetta Sedan (~ 2011+)

VW MKVI-A6 Jetta Sedan (~ 2011+) Discussions area for the MkVI (2011+) Jetta sedan. This model was originally codenamed NCS (New Compact Sedan).

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Old March 27th, 2011, 15:55   #1
JBKM
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Default Manual Trans question

Car in question is a 2011 TDI Sedan with 1500 Miles on it.

This is my first manual trans car so ive been driving it no agressively so far. Starting to get used to the clutch and such and haven't stalled out much at all. Zero gear grinding so i don't think ive caused any damage.

I'm having a heck of a time trying to figure out why shifting into first gear is so problematic. Sometimes its smooth as silk and other times it feels like i have to jam it into gear. Today i even noticed a bit of a grinding feel. I'm really worried that there is something wrong with the syncros or something. If i try to grab a downshift into first (when slowing) it sometimes refuses to go into first without REALLY jamming it in. I normally (95%) of the time don't force downshifts but am trying to feel this issue out. Normally i will go to neutral and slow/stop and then go into 1st to start again.

Anyone else having issues with 1st gear being a completely diff feel than the others? its really eating me up. I'm going to be calling VW dealer tomorrow and see what they have to say.

Thanks,

John
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Old March 27th, 2011, 16:02   #2
TDI_Timmy
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What you are describing in your post seems pretty normal. I downshift all the time to slow down, probably too much, but I don't usually go into first to slow down. I usually only go to second to slow when coming to a stop. My mom's New Beetle was the exact same way and the T5 I installed in my Fairlane works the same way too. I don't know exactly how the first gear syncro works but I believe it is designed to not go into first as a safety when rolling too fast. I usually notice that somewhere under 10MPH it will go into 1st better than when I am travelling over 10MPH. My recommendation, and others might disagree, but don't go to 1st gear to slow you down. Just get to 2nd and then start braking. 1st gear is pretty short and I feel is more for taking off than slowing down.
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Old March 27th, 2011, 17:01   #3
JBKM
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I would agree with it having some resistance to it when going to fast. And I am not a fan of using the trans to slow too much. Much easier and cheaper to replace brake pads!

But it is rough getting into gear even if im sitting at 0 mph waiting for a light to change. Sometimes its smooth as can be, other times i really have to try and get it into first.

Is this something that might need breaking in...perhaps smooth out with the mileage. I want to buy the short shifter but don't want to possibly introduce new problems. Especially if i need the dealer to look at it in the future...
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Old March 27th, 2011, 20:50   #4
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I see what you're saying. I have 1100 miles on mine and it is smooth as butter. I have never had an issue at a stoplight shifting into first. What I do is when coming to a stoplight usually downshift to 2nd and as I near 1200 RPM push the clutch in shift to neutral and sit there at the stoplight. When light turns green in goes the clutch and it slips right into first, never had a hesistation. Only time I have had issues is when reversing out of a spot and then go to first it sometimes doesn't want to engage. I just release the clutch and push it again and seems to make the syncros to line up right and it slips into first.

I would head to the dealer and ride with the foreman and see what they think or perhaps a trusted mechanic.

And I think you are right in holding off on the short shifter until you get this narrowed down.
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Old March 31st, 2011, 06:44   #5
stillcrazzy
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Default 1st gear..

I too have a problem with selecting first gear (2011 TDI Sportswagen-1000 miles). Sometimes it's butter other times I'm forced to ram it home. It is a linkage/cable issue, not the transmission and it has been "adjusted" at the dealer but it still exhists. I live in Phoenix so it's not a cold weather problem. It goes back in next week for another adjustment.
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Old March 31st, 2011, 07:53   #6
TDI_Timmy
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I was going through all the posts on VWvortex and found a post similar to this one but it was an issue going into second gear not first. I think the remedy was adjusting linkage or cable. I wish I copied the link to post here. Good place to search though.
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Old March 31st, 2011, 08:59   #7
740GLE
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There's no need to down shift into first unless you're going less than 5mph. Yeah there have been a few time's a light's changed and i've tried to grab 1st while doing 10mph, it's just the syncros not able to keep up. I have successfully double clutched other times and have had no problems going in.

I think it's just the nature of the tranny and you might need to just live with it and be glad you don't need to change it's fluid every 40,000mi.
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Old March 31st, 2011, 09:51   #8
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I agree with the posts here -- in 30+ years, we've never downshifted into 1st Gear at speed in any car we've owned. To us, there's just no point in it because the vehicle is moving at a slow speed at that point anyway. That's what the brakes are for.

Frankly, we don't do a lot of downshifting in preparation for a traffic light or stop sign. Brakes are cheaper than a clutch. If your're headed for a stop, just take your foot off the gas and let the engine drag slowly pull your speed down.

Our 6M hearbox has been absolutely splendid thus far (only 14,000 Miles) -- it's a joy to drive.
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Old March 31st, 2011, 19:29   #9
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It happens when the car is moving nor not moving...it isn't a sync issue it is purely mechanical
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Old April 1st, 2011, 10:52   #10
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Hoo boy, slush-pump jockeys and manny-trannys... you might try some trucker tricks to help with the shifter issue. Personally, I don't think it's a problem, just technique development. I've been driving manual trans for about 40 years, and I have been wrong (once or twice). Try double clutching, i.e.; shift into neutral, release the clutch, push the clutch in and try first. (If your aim is speed shifting, this is not the way to go. It allows the syncros to spin up together and make dropping into gear easier.) Using a "racing" technique, hit the gas pedal to increase the engine RPMs while locating the down gear. This method has always served me very well on and off the track. It also is a little easier on the engine when using the engine for braking (slowing down). We've become spoiled and think that every machine we have should perform flawlessly, when often the problem is us. Are you old enough to remember when Beetles could be tuned up on the side of the road with just a matchbook, and the cars tool kit? Everything could be adjusted; points, plugs, valves, timing....simplicity at its best.
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Old April 1st, 2011, 17:09   #11
marc77777
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First, downshifting in first is not a good idea but getting into first is a bit harder than the rest of the gears even when stopped, volks have always been like this. The trick I find is slowly (don't try ramming it) and kind push down on the knob ever so slightly. The only times I have problems is usually when the light changes and I rush to get in gear, but when you go slow and smooth it works like a charm.

My new thing is upshifting without clutching, anyone know if there are any issues with this, I used to do it all the time when I was younger, seems to only work well with vw trannys. 2 and 4 go in nice and smooth, 3rd is a little less smooth.
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Old April 1st, 2011, 17:47   #12
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Agreed on how to shift into first. I notice myself kind of jiggling the shifter just ever so slightly to go into first if I find it needs some persuasion - usually just goes right in. (This is when I am at a stop)

In regards to upshifting without clutch - I used to do this in my mom's New Beetle as well - always liked how smooth it would be. My concern is that if I did it wrong that the trans wasn't strong enough for a bad shift and something internal could break. I never did break it. I also sometimes have done this with the T5 in my Fairlane and a Kia that I sometimes drove. Just gotta match the revs right and it will slip right in.
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 17:39   #13
JBKM
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I've accepted that I can't grab 1st while still moving. There have been times where it would have been helpful, steep hill with a light on it, slowing to stop and the light goes green (yup, on the road to my housE!!!), 2nd usually does fine but sometimes i feel it bogs down just a little too much and 1st would be a bit better.

I haven't noticed 1st being hard to get into much lately. There are still times when i go to get into it (at a complete stop) and it feels a bit clunky. Its weird because everytime that happens i will pull down into neutral and then shove back up into 1st and its silk smooth. Syncro's lined up the 2nd time? Not sure how that mechanically works.

All in all still loving to drive this sucker!
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 04:24   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBKM View Post
I've accepted that I can't grab 1st while still moving. There have been times where it would have been helpful, steep hill with a light on it, slowing to stop and the light goes green (yup, on the road to my housE!!!), 2nd usually does fine but sometimes i feel it bogs down just a little too much and 1st would be a bit better.

I haven't noticed 1st being hard to get into much lately. There are still times when i go to get into it (at a complete stop) and it feels a bit clunky. Its weird because everytime that happens i will pull down into neutral and then shove back up into 1st and its silk smooth. Syncro's lined up the 2nd time? Not sure how that mechanically works.

All in all still loving to drive this sucker!
Now you're getting it!!!

Look, this behavior is true on every manual car -- first and second work the synchros harder than any other gear.

1. NEVER JAM (as per another post) INTO ANY GEAR. Bent shifter forks are the worst case scenario, but excess wear is always going to happen. These are not racing boxes, so shift smoothly and deliberately. A reluctant 3rd - 6th gear will go in with steady pressure. Often a gear is reluctant because you're applying pressure to the side of the gate. 1st and second need leftward pressure, 3rd and 4th gate should be set by spring, no side pressure from you, and 5th and 6th, well you know.

2. I know people say you should be stopped to shift into first. I also know they can't be driving in metropolitan areas with stop'n'go traffic. To engage first, you should be at a walking pace or lower. Clutch, wait a second, then shift. As you have found shifting into neutral, releasing the clutch and then shifting into first allow the synchros to work much better. If you're still having trouble sometimes, try a little throttle blip while in neutral with the clutch out.

That's it. You will get a feel for it after a while and will no longer notice you're doing anything special.

P.
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 12:19   #15
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Good points!
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