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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, 2018, 10:47   #1
MikeyMo
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Exclamation Trying to diagnose 03' jetta tdi wagon automatic-wont shift into 4th

So recently i bought a 2003 jetta tdi wagon automatic. the guy told me up front that the injection pump is leaking. I confirmed that it was out of the top of the pump not the front or the back. i have read numerous threads and posts on how to fix that. I feel confident i can do that. other than the injection pump the guy said there was no issues. I test drove the car and I could of swore i remember it hitting all 4 gears. drove it all around. stopped by the bank, and stopped by autozone to see the code for the check engine light. the code said it was "P0673 cylinder 3 glow plug circuit" the guy behind the counter said a new plug was about $20. other than that the car looked pretty good, So i bought it.

the next morning i got a ride to the town the car was in ,about 40 minutes away and the car started on the third try. i primed it after the first try. I let the car warm up a little and took off for the gas station. car was doing good on the back roads, but as soon as i turned on the main road and tried speeding up, the car wouldn't shift into 4th gear. The RPMs would just keep climbing and never shift. this happens around 40 MPH where i feel like the car should be shifting into 4th. but it never does. I started to slow down to see why, when the car suddenly died. just as if i removed the key from the ignition. so i coasted to the side and popped the hood. I had to wiggle the crankshaft position sensor cable in order to get the car to start. I would get the car to run for a few miles then it would die (only at low speeds when stopping) eventually i got the car home after keeping the car at a low RPM so i wouldn't damage anything.

The next day I got a new crankshaft sensor and replaced it. Now the car starts just fine and also runs just fine.....except it still wont hit 4th gear. No problems with needing to wiggle the wire or anything. It still takes a couple tries to get it to start when i first try for the day. but after the car has been warmed up, if i shut her off, she will start right back up. engines sounds healthy. I'm not sure what else it could be. I have a few ideas. Maybe the camshaft position sensor...... Tomorrow i am going to check the transmission fluid level and also check to see how dirty it is. I plan on changing out the fluid. I hope maybe having low/dirty fluid may be my problem. any thoughts??? I have used the search bar. majority of what i read said tranny fluid, camshaft sensor, crankshaft sensor.....or its in limp mode. I dont think its in limp mode. car works just fine from park to end of third gear. no acceleration problems.

Also i did (or I tried) to reset the transmission computer by turning the key "on" and pressing down on the gas for 30 seconds. still nothing. Thanks everybody. I will update tomorrow after I change the fluid
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Old February 13th, 2018, 11:40   #2
UhOh
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Two things, need to deal with separately...

1) Starting issue is likely all to do with the leaking IP (if you see fuel leaking you can bet that air is getting in, thereby creating starting problems- when warn the engines are a lot easier to start, any air incursion issues are more readily overcome);

2) Transmission issue- you NEED to scan to find out what codes are popping up. No other way to real deal with these transmissions. You might be able to resolve this, but the odds with these transmissions aren't real great. Again, a scan should show something. Logging can also show how the transmission is performing: CoolAirVW has some threads that contain valuable information on this; it's really a LOT of information to digest (I still only have but the faintest of ideas on these transmissions- only have one in the family and I bought the car with the intent of swapping in a 5spd [long story, but that's off the table for now; I have to try and get by with the 01m]).
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Old February 13th, 2018, 12:38   #3
MikeyMo
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Can I get a scan done at like autozone? Or do I need to go to a mechanic?
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Old February 13th, 2018, 12:45   #4
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No, you need vcds or other more in depth scan tool, odb11 etc.
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Old February 13th, 2018, 12:53   #5
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Site members are usually happy to help out if they have VCDS. Might look to see if there's anyone in your area:

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=296841
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Old February 14th, 2018, 00:01   #6
MikeyMo
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okay so i called a bunch of mechanics to feel things out. one of the transmission places said my tansmission has something like 9 selenoids inside and if one of them goes out then there is a chance that could keep the car from shifting into 4th. Another place thinks its a valve body in the transmission. he thinks i should put in a new transmission. I found 3 VAG-COMs within a couple hours of me. so I'm going to try to reach out to these guys and see if one of them will scan my car for a couple 6-packs of beer and a pizza or something. I'm in a lot of trouble. I spent $2000 on the car and only had $2300 in our automotive account (for a car). Hopefully i can get someone to scan the car, if i do then i will post what the codes are. There is a VW mechanic in town (not a dealership), would he have the right scanner to get the right codes? could i ask him what kind of scanner he uses? or does it have to be a VAG-COM? thanks all
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Old February 14th, 2018, 01:56   #7
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There is a very good chance he would have the right scanner. Make sure to post the codes here.
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Old February 14th, 2018, 03:24   #8
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There are a couple things about this year car that you ought to know if you don’t already from researching or maybe someone has mentioned it to you already. The 99.5-03 vw automatic transmissions are perhaps vw’s worst ever effort at an auto tranny.

Your going to change the fluid that’s a good start. Yes the solenoids or valve body can go bad. Many people on this forum will not buy these model year cars with an automatic. They are to much of a liability. Now that I’ve been such a ray of sunshine...my 2000 was an auto.

When I first got it it hesitated going into reverse, I just thought it was a vw thing and drove it. The tranny finally died a 331k, that’s pretty good for any automatic transmission. Changing the fluid is a good idea it may be low or dirty or both. Check coolairvws thread on 01m, that’s the transmission you have.

Keep in mind that these transmissions don’t have a great rebuild success rate, and a $4k new one from vw is ....well more than the car is worth. The ultimate cure for this particular transmission is a 5spd swap, half the price of a new 01m.

Here’s coolairvw s website direct to his 01m page.

http://kansascitytdi.com/o1m-faq/
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Old February 15th, 2018, 11:46   #9
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You need to determine if it is being commanded to go into 4th gear, as well as the lockup of the converter. The only way to do that is with a suitable scan tool.

I assume you are CERTAIN it is in fact not going into 4th gear by driving and moving from D to 3 and not noticing a change, correct?

The 01M is not a very good transmission, but I'd still want to properly verify your complaint before anything drastic.
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Old February 15th, 2018, 18:58   #10
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You might try unplugging the MAF, take it for a drive, and see if it shifts into 4th. A bad MAF will make that car's auto trans act wonky.
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Old February 16th, 2018, 09:12   #11
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I had the same issue with my '02 jetta automatic after it had sat outside in railyard for about a year. 2 separate mechanics told me the transmission was shot. I finally had the mechanic from my uncle's railroad business take a look (he had no monetary incentive to lie to me) and he found that a squirrel or something had chewed through the insulation on a wire attached to the transmission. He put some black tape on it and several years later there's been no issues.

Just a cautionary tale that a lot of these guys will tell you stuff is shot just so they can charge you to replace.
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