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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 February 13th, 2015, 13:07   #1
LMJ
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Default Stiff Manual Shifting in Cold Weather

I've noticed that when outside temps go below freezing, first thing in the morning it's extremely difficult to manually shift my golf (and sometimes me) into first and second gears until I cycle through the gears a few times and things warm up. Seems like the shifter just doesn't want to go into gear. I genersally justget in the car and go without allowing the engine to idle for any lengh of time. Is this a sign of something that needs repairing/replacing. Doesn't seem like it should be normal to me.
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Old February 13th, 2015, 13:11   #2
TDI4all
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How many miles on the Golf ? Have you ever changed the transmission fluid ? Maybe the hydraulic clutch fluid is low or the transmission fluid is low. Just a couple of things to check.
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Old February 13th, 2015, 13:12   #3
Smalls
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It's the oil thickening from the colder temps. Completely normal. This is pending that you've ruled out anything with the clutch and just in the shifter "feel"

You may be able to change out the fluid for a different brand. I know my 99.5 didn't care much for redline oils when it was cold. The Amsoil worked like a charm however.
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Old February 13th, 2015, 13:36   #4
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I recall the first time the trans oil was changed it was stiff for a couple of years--until I had it changed again. non-syth was used on the first change, and proper synth after that. Even after 50k and in sub-zero weather it shifts pretty good--I can tell it's cold, but it goes into gear.
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Old February 14th, 2015, 08:13   #5
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Yeah, I've owned manual-shift VWs that spec'd dino and synthetic transmission fluid. The synth ones shift so much easier than the dino transmissions. That's like moving the gear lever in oatmeal for the first several miles....
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Old February 14th, 2015, 09:11   #6
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At about 120k on my car I changed the fluid: got the car with just under 115k. Shifting was horrible. I don't live in a climate that gets very cold, but, nonetheless, when it was colder it was even worse. Changed to AC Delco Syncromesh with friction modifiers and it's like a totally new/different/better trans. Did the same with the wife's car.

There's no reason to put up with crappy shifting!
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Old February 14th, 2015, 11:10   #7
LMJ
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OK. I'll plan to change the tramsmission fluid with synthetic fluid while the belly pan is removed to replace the dog gone mount.
Before I started it this morning, I shifted between 1st and 2nd several times and it seemed to start easier than normal when temps are below freezing like they were last night and shifting wasn't as difficult.

Why isn't shifting between 2-3 or higher an issue if it's the cold oil causing the stiff shifting.
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Old February 14th, 2015, 11:15   #8
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Why? Gates and stuff... There's plenty of info out there that explains how transmissions work.

Change the fluid with quality synchromesh and be happy

Last edited by UhOh; February 14th, 2015 at 11:16. Reason: fix typo- darn tablet!
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Old February 14th, 2015, 11:35   #9
LMJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UhOh View Post
Why? Gates and stuff... There's plenty of info out there that explains how transmissions work.

Change the fluid with quality synchromesh and be happy
Just wondering I guess. Don't care to be an expert on transmissions. Thought I'd ask someone who knows. Ask me about photography and cameras if you're interested.
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