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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings everyone.

I appreciate the support I've been able to gain here in the past. I hope to share that support back too.

Right now, I'm trying to, if possible, save my auto trans. I can share more details; however, here's the summary:

* 2005 Passat, 1.8L, auto, approx. 136,000 miles.

* I usually drive local, short trips. I was driving home from a 2-hr highway trip. When moving from stop-to-go at a local traffic light (almost home after trip), I had the first slip/flare ever noticed on this vehicle.

* At the beginning of the trip, I had to move quickly across a few lanes to enter the highway safely. I 'punched it' a little harder than normal, but not crazy.

* I replaced cv axles with sealed, strong ones I took off another Passat about 2-3 wks before this first flare-up (maybe irrelevant?).

* I don't know the full vehicle maintenance history, but I drained the atm fluid, changed filter, and added valvoline max life back in. I was likely off with the perfect level and temp range at first, but since then, I now feel confident the fluid level is correct. No metal shreds in pan..only a little gray sludge on the magnets. The fluid that came out was opaque/dark - very used.

* It seems the vehicle now shifts best when cold - first thing in the morning/first drive of the day. It seems to be progressively worse through the day (even if it is driven in the morning, sits, then driven in the afternoon/evening). While driving with the new fluid and filter, it seemed better at first, but became progressively worse to the point that flaring is now common while driving.

* The most noticeable problem is in low gears. High gears seem fine. The biggest/most consistent problem is: when parked & shifting into DRIVE, it feels like it engages, but with the exception of the first drive of the day (usually), it revs, but no fwd motion. After some time, it will clunk hard into motion. AFTER it clunks...whether it's 'clunking' into forward motion from PARK or it drives a short distance (a mile-ish), then 'clunks,' it begins to drive better after the clunk. Also, after this 'clunk,' the digital gear display usually lights up red (limp mode, from what I understand).

* REVERSE always works, quickly.

* If I have no forward motion when shifting from PARK to DRIVE, I usually (over past week) then shift to "2" or put it into tiptronic. In "2" and "tiptronic" the forward driving motion engages immediately. I sometimes feel a small, barely noticeable 'clunk' after a mile or two of driving. Once I feel that, if I stop and shift into DRIVE, it works better (again - the gear display is usually then lit red).

* I'm functioning on a school teacher budget, and this Passat is currently my daily driver. I have a few side 'projects' that I have stopped to focus all of my mechanical attention on this. I mention the budget because I never have had a scanning device or Ross-Tech VCDS software until now. I was not YET able to get the Ross-tech VCDS. However, I am grateful to have been recommended picking up an xtool vag401. I'm still learning how to use all of its functions. I was able to pull codes from the TCM (Oooh yes! The TCM is 100% dry, I checked it.). Codes are in the next point...

* I scanned the auto trans and engine for fault codes. After reading codes, I cleared them, drove a few miles, and read the scan again. Codes related to the trans included: 17114 and 17116 - both incorrect gear ratio-related codes, "sporadic." I read several threads about these codes. It seems as if they often, but not always point to a trans replacement (or rebuild). :(

Here's what I haven't done yet:

* Checked and cleaned electrical connections related to the trans (except the tcm). Are there any specific ones/locations I should check?

* I do not yet know how to check the solenoids using the xtool vag401. I see the place to select to 'measure blocks.' I also know I can record data on a usb that came with the tool, then plug the device or the usb into a computer after scanning (while driving, I assume. ...I don't have a lift to run it on, only jacks, jack stands, and ramps.) Can anyone share with me how to scan the trans parts (solenoids, valves, etc.) with the scanner? I didn't see any threads with this info. If there is one someone knows of, I apologize and would love to read it.


I think I remembered to mention everything that seems possibly relevant.

Thank you for any feedback / support! I appreciate it.
 

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There's a 16-pin connector on the transmission that has the wires for all the solenoids. Of course it's down there with all the road grime.

It's probably the next thing to check, but clean things off as best as possible before you remove it. I'll defer to others that have had it apart for detailed advice.

If the solenoids were consistently electrically faulty, you'd be getting a code for that.

But you could easily check the electrical resistance of the solenoids from the TCM connector; there's an outside chance that could tell you something. From Bentley schematic 50/5, the connector pinouts are:

Function, TCM pin, transmission pin, color: (valves are Nxx numbers)
>Ground, 53, 16, lilac
>Ground, 52, 12, lilac/white
>N88, 30, 8, gray/brown
>N89, 33, 9, green
>N90, 32, 4, white/brown
>N215, 5, 2, grey
>N216, 1, 3, yellow/white
>N217, 29, 7, yellow
>N218, 4, 11, red
>G93, 21, 14, white
>G93, 22, 13, yellow/red

G93 is the transmission fluid temperature sensor. It's the only thing besides the solenoids on the 16-pin connector.

The two ground wires are connected together within the transmission, so the resistance between them, measured at the TCM connector, should be nearly 0.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
FrescoGreen01.5 - Thank you for sharing those details! I appreciate it...and please pardon my delayed response.

Honestly, electrical work is not (yet?) my strength, but I'll come out of this knowing more about it. This seems pretty straight-forward. If not sooner, I'll be able to spend some time with checking it ALL on Saturday.

I'll reply back with an update after checking. Thanks again. I sincerely appreciate the suggestion and details.
 

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what was the relative time between when you did the maintenance on the transmission and when you noticed the problem ?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
After I noticed the first slip/flare, within 3-4 days, I drained the atm fluid, changed filter, and re-filled (light to no driving during those 3-4 days). However, I think I was a little low on the fluid after the initial re-fill (temperature was likely past the max mark when re-filling / I didn't have a scan device to get an exact read.). Within two days after that, I tried and was able to add more fluid...at which point I felt confident about the capacity being properly reached.

Thanks for asking.

Btw...for general information: When I shift from PARK into DRIVE, except for the first DRIVE of the day, it feels like it engages, but gas doesn't move the vehicle (acts as if it's in NEUTRAL). If I use the tiptronic feature, it always engages and moves with some gas..however, the shifting is still a little erratic and some flares occur at gears 2-3.

Thank you again for any support.
 

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when you filled/serviced it,did you go through the gears and then refill 'til overflow out large hole ,then while still running install (large) fill plug ?
 

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temperature from a fluid expansion aspect/comparison is relatively insignificant, the temperature is more important on getting the fluid out of the transmission and into the radiator as this takes up some significant volume of fluid.....
 

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There used to be "VAG-COM finder" site to find those willing to scan another person's car. You might look for that.

VCDS certainly allows checking the solenoid resistance, plus they can all be exercised during an output test. In a quiet garage, you can hear them actuating.

You say that when shifting into Drive it effectively stays in Neutral, but when shifting directly to "2" or using the Tip switch, you have immediate drive. Is that correct? I think that using "2nd" still starts out in first gear, but the shifter shaft (going into the transmission, moved by the cable) will be in a different position. So if it works OK like that, but not in the "Drive" position, maybe the cable isn't adjusted right, or something is wrong with the valve body. In any case, keep using that method to avoid the flairs, which are not good for the clutch facings. Perhaps try using "4th" instead, and see if it still works OK.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
cchief22 & ylwagon - thank you both for the info and your thoughts. I appreciate it, truly. I'm finally going to get some time with it tomorrow.

when you filled/serviced it,did you go through the gears and then refill 'til overflow out large hole ,then while still running install (large) fill plug ?
Yes...I did do exactly that.

Thanks for the temperature info too. That makes senses. I'm wondering if a second drain, with a definite correct temperature, then re-filling fresh atm fluid would produce some desired results. The first time I drained it, the temperature was likely slightly higher than the required range. Though, I would think the slightly higher viscosity would definitely ensure it drained as much as possible?


You say that when shifting into Drive it effectively stays in Neutral, but when shifting directly to "2" or using the Tip switch, you have immediate drive. Is that correct? I think that using "2nd" still starts out in first gear, but the shifter shaft (going into the transmission, moved by the cable) will be in a different position. So if it works OK like that, but not in the "Drive" position, maybe the cable isn't adjusted right, or something is wrong with the valve body.
Exactly as you described. I was contemplating the same - if the position/cable needs adjusting. My current knowledge of the valve body is limited. I haven't tried any adjustments with the cable yet. I'll do a little research on it. I did try using "4th" and "3rd," but I had the same results as DRIVE. Only "2nd" and Tip is giving me an immediate engage into forward motion with gas....EXCEPT usually the first drive of the day; at that time, DRIVE will give me forward motion. That kind of throws off the possibility of a cable adjustment, now that I'm writing it, you think? Also, I have immediate backward motion when shifting to REVERSE.

I'm going to keep working at it and report back. One evening earlier this week I cleaned and disconnected the 16-pin connector that FrescoGreen01.5 mentioned. It was very clean and dry inside. The wiring all looked in good shape. I cleaned it with a little electronic cleaner, just to be sure I wasn't missing anything. I'll do the resistance tests on it tomorrow. I was happy to see the connector pins are labeled by number, so I can easily use the info shared.


Thanks again!
 
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