2002 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.8 T from North America - Comments

30th Oct 2008, 16:05

I can't believe the number of comments on this site regarding transmission issues with the 2002 Jetta GLS 1.8T. I bought the car new in August 2002. I only live 8.5 miles from work. Because of the short commute I have very low miles on my car. 40,020 to be exact. The car has been driving weird recently. It revs really high as it's trying to get in to gear then it jerks forward. Took the car into VW Service, and after the car sat there for a full day, they finally told me that my transmission needs to be replaced. THE CAR ONLY HAS 40,000 MILES ON IT!!! I bought a VW thinking it would last me a long time. I was so wrong. I just shelled out $800 for them to replace the ignition coil and water pump 7 months ago. Why oh why did I buy a VW Jetta!!!

30th Oct 2008, 22:12

I have a 2002 1.8l turbo too. My car was running fine until the weather temps dropped. The transmission won't shift from like second to third, or from first to second without warming up first. Took it to a dealer, and the dealer said a transmission flush might solve the problem, no guarantees however. The cost was 300 dollars for the fluid to be replaced. The alternative would have been 5000 for a new tranny. After the new fluid we still have the same problem.

I have replaced 1 coil, a sensor for the fans, my window button has broke (passenger side), a CD has gotten lodged in the player, upholstery falling down, check engine lights on, another sensor that I can't think of at the moment went bad, the list seems to be adding up. Sad thing is I still owe on this car.

Does anyone know what is really wrong with these transmissions? If it was an easy fix I would do it myself! Any ideas? Email me at turboz777@yahoo.com

30th Nov 2008, 15:56

Hello Jetta owners. I too have one. I just got it, and it too has a tranny problem. Mine is a 2000 1.8 turbo with 88,000 miles.

I am a mechanic, have been for awhile, with a.s.e. master rating and advance level. I have been researching this problem for awhile now.

I have mostly worked on domestics, but now I own a VW I want to fix it.

Mine won't shift into drive and stays stuck in third, also called emergency mode. It has a fault in the 4th great. The solenoid says it is open so I've been looking for the part. I've been told it's not a serviceable part. There is a web site for rebuilt valve bodies for around 300.00; not saying this is your fix, but I will replace the valve body and let you know if this can maybe save someone some money. I scanned my codes and it is a 00264 solenoid valve 4-n91 open circuit.

19th Dec 2008, 18:47

2002 VW New Beetle with 1.8 liter. Anyway had the transmission rebuilt a month ago due to it locking up (planetary gears and all innards trashed) any way less than a month later, and it is locked up again, and will be hauled back to the shop on Monday. have 114000 miles on it, and this is the only problem other than plugged intake that we have had with it...

22nd Dec 2008, 01:52

Hello, I also have a 2002 VW Jetta 1.8T. I got it in May of 2006. It has 107,000 miles on it and I have had nothing but problems since I got the car used, no warranty.

Within the first week I had to take the car back to the dealer because it started jerking and shut off on me. I have had the car towed at least 3 times and I have had to replace the water pump, radiator, brakes and rotors, alternator.

Now there is an oil smell leaking into my car when I accelerate, and this is causing me headaches, and my check engine light (which has been on for months) started flashing and my car is jumping and shaking.

I read the book and it says it could be the catalytic converter, and by reading all the other comments on this site, I see that this could lead to transmission problems or having to replace the transmission... this car is becoming too much to handle as far as costs.

If anyone knows a good mechanic that can diagnose the problem and fix VW cars, please email me the info. I would also like to be included in the law suit info. This is so frustrating!!! nenalinda5577@yahoo.com.

26th Dec 2008, 17:54

I have a 2002 VW Jetta 1.8 T and it is by far the worst car I have ever had. The check engine light is constantly on. I have had to get multiple repairs. The sunroof leaks. Everything is breaking on me. I hate this car!

27th Dec 2008, 22:53

I understand your feelings; I too, own a 2002 Jetta 1.8L turbo with Tippy trans.

I've had many problems with the car: water in the floor, bad ignition coils, cracked head, major leak at fuel tank, bad cooling fans and now the trans.

It just started a few weeks ago, when the weather got cooler. The car didn't want to shift from 1st to 2nd, but would after the car warmed. I took it to a friend who is a retired VW Mechanic of some 25+ years experience. He suggested a fluid change, and charged me little above the fluid cost ($190+), but it didn't help. He ran the codes but didn't see a problem. I feel, after reading about others with this problem, that he may have retired too soon, or simply does not know!

If anyone finds the answer, please drop me a line at bmitzdriver@yahoo.com

31st Dec 2008, 07:19

Okay, this is going to sound very strange... have most of you had your tranny fluid changed before the "significant" problem? I am interested in buying an 2002 Volks Jetta with the 1.8tdi, original owner states that the tranny is having the same problems that you are having or soon to have. Called it hard shifting LOL, to most of us "old school" mechanics that's immediately a sign for fluid check.

Well... found a forum that everyone has had great luck with either removing fluid or adding, weird part is some add and others remove some. Too much and not enough catch my drift. They are claiming that from factory VW didn't add the right amount of fluid. I've also heard of doing an "adaptation" basically the tranny is controlled by a computer you need to reset the defaults to a different amount on certain things. but the cost was far less than 5k. Just thought I'd let you guys know.

After looking at all of this info. 8 hours straight. I'm going to buy this car, and "flip it" as we say in the auto industry. I wish you all luck.

P.s. I drive Hondas myself, have a gas getter 42mpg daily driver from 88 that has over 300k done all servicing myself same motor and timing belt, water pump etc. Love it. Never had a problem, and I'm doing some research.

Check your fluid level, and ask your "local" mechanic to adjust and test (+) or (-) as VW has set their factory computer to a wrong default fill amount. :) I'm not too good with all these new cars, but it's "an old problem meets new technology."

Thanks.