Volkswagen Up - Enable to select gears from cold - waferthin

My wife owns a 2013 VW Move Up which we bought second hand last November.

We have twice taken the vehicle back to the local dealer to investigate a noisy transmission and an inability to select first or second gear after the vehicle has been left a couple of days.

After the first visit, the dealer explained that the noises was a "characteristic" of the vehicle and the problem with the selection could be that we weren't depressing the clutch for long enough.

However, the problems selecting gears persisted and I created a video to show to the dealership on the second visit. This also demonstrated a crunching when trying to engage reverse from standstill.

The vehicle has been with the dealer for a week and they now accept that the gear selection issue goes further than just being a "characteristic". The vehicle is still under warranty but we have been asked to pay for the investigation work which would require removal of the gearbox. Thereafter, if the root cause was found to be a worn clutch (after under 23000 miles!) we would be liable for the full cost of repairs, which would exceed £1000.

Our argument is the considerable anidotal evidence online of reliability issues with the Up / Citigo / Mii gearbox and clutch. If we were forced to pay for repairs I have very little confidence that the problem would not reoccur. I'm led to believe that later models have a redesigned gearbox but unfortunately have no information over whether this is linked to the same issue.

I've opened a case with VW Customer Services but have reached deadlock because we cannot agree to authorising the investigation without an appreciation of the "odds" against us. VW appear to be unwilling to comment on any questions over reliability and would not sanction any warranty work following an independent assessment.

Really, I am seeking advice over what my next steps should be ? I intend to to contact consumer organisations to find out the legal position and possibly ask how many enquiries they have received from other Customers in a similar situation.

Volkswagen Up - Enable to select gears from cold - elekie&a/c doctor

Worrying info on clutch failure here;

Volkswagen Up/citigo - Unable to select reverse gear - Concernedw4

my citigo (under 10,000 miles) failed to engage in reverse 5 times since new.

Have contacted retailer and skoda but they say not much they can do until it fails again ! Meanwhile I am to drive around in an unreliable vehicle.


Volkswagen Up/citigo - Unable to select reverse gear - 659FBE

As a CitMiUp owner, I researced the transmission problems carefully before purchase. There are 3 basic transmission faults, two of which have been addressed by VAG with various modifications. VAG, as usual, are not providing any details or admitting to these problems.

For vehicle identification, the all important identifier is the 10th letter in the VIN which gives the model year. Registration numbers are irrelevent.

Problem 1: Difficulty in engaging reverse gear. This is due to a poor detail design of the 5/R interlock catch in the gear selector system. It is fitted to stop you moving from 5 to R but of course allows the engagement of either gear from neutral. This catch baulks R sometimes, especially if the cable adjustment is not optimal.

Fix 1: From build year F the reverse interlock catch was deleted, and reverse can only be selected by pressing the gear lever downwards. This fixed the problem. I would not recommend the purchase of an earlier car.

Problem 2: Clutch pedal click on release (RHD vehicles only). This does not respond to lubrication of pedal assy.

Fix 2: Fit modified pedal box. I made this a condition of sale, and it works.

Problem 3: Transmission snatch and associated noise on torque reversal/drive takeup.

Fix 3: They haven't done it.

This is really bad, as it spoils the refinement of the vehicle unless you drive carefully to avoid snatch. Why has it not been mentioed in road tests? You just have to learn to drive it so as to avoid the noise.

The CitMiUp is an incompletely developed vehicle with some outrageous ergonomic design faults: You can't lower the sun visor with your right hand (RHD). The arrow showing which side the fuel filler cap is located is obscured by the gauge pointer when the tank needs filling, and it's not duplicated by the warning lamp. The LCD display is mostly unreadable. The gear indicator takes no account of throttle position, and so is useless. Some controls (eg. outside temperature selection) are positioned such that a hand has to be passed through the steering wheel - dangerous. No strings on parcel shelf (F chassis) so you drive off with no rear vision. The rear seat fold/boot floor arrangement is hopeless - PSA do it much better. There are others.

Finally, the engine has no balance shaft, so it wobbles at tickover...



Volkswagen Up/citigo - Unable to select reverse gear - skidpan

Couple of comments.

My wife owns a 2013 VW Move Up which we bought second hand last November.

The car is almost 3 years old and you have owned it for 8 months max. You have no idea how the clutch was treated before you bought it so why should VW accept it as a warranty claim without having investigated it first. This is normal proceedure for many manufacturers.

The gear indicator takes no account of throttle position, and so is useless.

If you need a gear change indicator to drive a car you should take some extra tuition. Both myself and the wife have been driving for over 40 years and in that time we have only had 4 cars with gear change indicators. In truth they are simply a toy, even if they take into account throttle position they cannot take the road gradient into account and that has a huge impact on the gear required. We simply ignore them and drive using the messages we get from the car.

Volkswagen Up/citigo - Unable to select reverse gear - Shugs

My 2013 Citigo has suffered from gear engagement problems (on 1st, 2nd and reverse gears) pretty much since I bought it at 1 year old. My local Skoda dealer has had it in three times under warranty and all I got was polite platitudes.

Over time, I became convinced that the underlying problem was not the gearbox, but the clutch not disengaging fully. There is no adjustment possible with the clutch hydraulic system, so in the end I took it to a local transmission specialist (J Dain in Norwich). They told me that the problem was indeed the clutch and replacing it would cure the problem.

So, J Dain replaced the clutch for a total cost of £380 and now everything is perfect. It is distinctly odd to be able to engage first gear without balking, and to engage reverse without graunching of gears. A total cure for a relatively modest charge.

I'm a bit disappointed that VW/Skoda UK could noit have admitted that clutches fitted to the Citigo (and Up, Mii) are of distinctly variable quality. The gear issue has up until now really spoilt what is otherwise a good little car, but fortunately that's now behind me. I'd advise anyone with an Up!, Citigo or Mii that has this characteristic gear engagement issue to look at having the clutch pack replaced, or if under warranty demand that the dealer does the work.

Volkswagen Up/citigo - Unable to select reverse gear - RobJP

Unfortunately, you bought it at a year old - who knows how it was driven, and the clutch (ab-)used in that time.

Skoda's NEW car warranty specifically states that the clutch parts are only covered for 6 months / 6500 miles.

So you'd have had no 'demands' to be met under the warranty.

Volkswagen Up/citigo - Unable to select reverse gear - Shugs

Perhaps, but there are plenty of cases of these cars having the same problem from brand new, so I strongly suspect that my car had this issue from day one. My point here is that there was a simple, if not inexpensive, fix for this yet the local dealer kept taking the car in for warranty investigations, to no effect.

Volkswagen Up/citigo - Unable to select reverse gear - RobJP

'Strongly suspect' counts for nothing, unfortunately.

Whilst HJ has recorded a number of problems with the clutch on the UP/Citigo/Mii, it should also be noted that these cars are probably far more likely to be bought by older drivers (or the opposite end of the spectrum, new drivers), and the clutch problems could well stem from there.

You say that your car was a year old when you bought it. So was it ex-demo, or one elderly (or very young) owner prior to you ?

Volkswagen Up/citigo - Unable to select reverse gear - Shugs

I'm curious about the tone of your reply - do you work for VAG UK?

I am not seeking any compensation etc from Skoda UK or anyone else over this, and it does not matter who owned that car before me - the dealer failed to diagnose something that was clear to an independent transmission specialist, and while the car was under its general 3 year warranty period where else was I supposed to go? The dealer could have told me what was required, and that under the terms of the warranty a repair would cost me, but they either did not have the competence to know what was required, or they and Skoda UK had no interest in the matter. A mixture of both, I suspect.

I'm only trying to be helpful here. A glance at the Briskoda and Up forums over the past few years shows that this is a very common issue, in many cases from brand new. A clutch is not something that starts to not disengage properly after time - I would have thought the exact opposite would be true, with fuller disengagement happening as the clutch friction surfaces wear down.

Fortunately the problem has been resolved in my case without huge cost, so if this experience helps others, that's good.

Edited by Shugs on 01/09/2017 at 14:41

Volkswagen Up/citigo - Unable to select reverse gear - FiestaOwner

My parents had the same gear selection issue (when cold) with a VW UP!, which they bought new in 2012.

After reading of others owners having the same problem and being unable to get it resolved. They decided the solution was to trade it in for a 1 Litre Hyundai i10. This solution worked perfectly.

Even ignoring the gear selection issue, having driven the UP! and the i10, I would say the i10 is a much better car.


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