VW gearboxes. - Ashley
I am the proud ( at the moment ) owner of a 'W' plate Polo 1.9 Sdi. This morning arriving at work i stopped to show my pass to the gate guard, when i engaged first gear and released the clutch the gearbox let out a loud grinding noise as if something had engaged, but not first gear. The guard promptly jumped out of his skin. I immediately depressed the clutch, but the noise continued until the engine revs subsided. I then depressed the clutch again and moved off as normal. I then realised that the gearbox had become very 'sloppy' and first gear had become a hit and miss affair. I contacted my local dealer and arranged to have the car looked at this afternoon.

They inspected the car and found reverse gear almost impossible to engage without grinding the gears. They suggested that the clutch slave cylinder was faulty and took the car into the workshop. After another hour, and three test runs later they said that they could find no faults and all fluid levels were normal, but they had adjusted the linkage and it seemed to cure the fault, but if the fault re-occurred i should contact them again.

It seemed to do the trick as the clutch now seems to bite higher up the pedal and first gear seems more accurate. BUT, it is almost impossible to engage reverse without grinding.

Is it possible to adjust the gear linkage, and is it viable that the syncromesh has been damaged on the reverse gear sprocket ? Or did they just adjust the clutch cable and see if that did the trick ?

I know that VW gearboxes are not the best, but my car's only done 8,000 miles !

Any advice would be very gratefully recieved.

Re: VW gearboxes! - Guy Lacey
I would say "Not good enuff mate"

I'm not 100% on such new VW's but is your jukebox both cable-linked and with hydraulic clutch? Not as simple as just sorting out the linkage in this case I should think.

I would be *very* careful and get as much work done as possible if under warranty - u will kick urself if the box fails out of warranty and you are landed with a bill for over a grand.
Re: VW gearboxes! - mark
I work as a warranty administrator at a VW dealers: We see quite a few gearbox problems, usually resulting in a rebuild or new box. Get your dealer to investigate the problem in depth. Is your service history spot on? Second & Third year warranty on VAG vehicles is dependent on Dealer servicing.
Re: VW gearboxes! - Ashley
Hi Mark,

Thank you very much !

My car was given a yearly service by the supplying dealer as the car was nearly a year old when i bought it, even though it only had 4k on the clock.

I know that the weak link in VW's are gearboxes, but my last Polo was superb when it came to refinement and build quality. I hope that this one can live up to the standard. The dealer that i took the car to was not the supplying dealer. I think a phone call to them is on the cards, just to see what they do to help me, or what advice they can give me even if it's just some friendly advice !

Once again, many thanks,

Re: VW gearboxes. - mike harvey
I work in further education teaching Motor Vehicle engineering. We had a Golf in our workshops a couple of years ago for a routine service. One of the students was asked to check the gearbox oil level (I'm sure a lot of you know what's coming now). I went to move the car out of the workshop to road test it , and got crunching noises pretty much as you did. Turned out he'd undone the reverse gear selector retaining bolt, not the level bung, and reverse gear had fallen into the bottom of the gearbox! That kept myself and a collegue up late, stripping the box to rebuild it. This will not have happened to yours of course, so I'm no help, but every time someone mentions a VW gearbox it brings a smile to my face. Good luck with your problem.
Re: VW gearboxes. - colin

had a 2000 reg 115gttdi gearbox was alway bad. dealer fobbed me off with specialist lubricant and many adjustments. But it was always a dog. gave up and got a new car


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