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Discussion Starter #1
My 2000 VW Passat with 1.9L turbo and automatic transmission, with 200,000 km has started doing some weird things. Twice in the last week from ignition the transmission wouldn’t shift from first. When I flipped over to semi-manual shifting the gear indicator didn’t display the usual 1-2-3-4-5, but just kept showing “D”. I figured there must be a red line safety override, so I rev’d the motor and eventually the gears began changing again in both auto and semi auto modes. Afterward the gears now work perfectly normally.

Also, in one of these instances the ignition was very hard to start, like the battery was dead, turning over with my foot to floor to get it to start. Mind you, with Covid the car’s been sitting for a week. Today, the ignition was fine, but the transmission refused to shift.

Back to the transmission, my first worry was a repeat of years ago when water flooded my battery tray and destroyed the computer under the seat. I have my mechanic to remove the battery and blow out leaves once a year. I’m wondering if this car is on its way out.

Thoughts on the transmission?
 

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"Twice in the last week from ignition the transmission wouldn’t shift from first. "
Do you mean that it stays in first while driving, even at 3000 RPM.

"When I flipped over to semi-manual shifting the gear indicator didn’t display the usual 1-2-3-4-5, but just kept showing “D”."
That would indicate that the auto/Tip switch is not activating.
 

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Please clarify the engine. The 1.9 was a TDI and only a couple were sold in North America. The 1.8T was gas. Vastly different problems with starting between them.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Please clarify the engine. The 1.9 was a TDI and only a couple were sold in North America. The 1.8T was gas. Vastly different problems with starting between them.
My bad, 1.8L turbo, gas.

Tomorrow I will pull the battery to see if there’s water pooled in the tray, thus suggesting the TCM is wet. If I see water, I’ll pull up the rug to replace it, must I pull off the seat too? If so, that‘s likely beyond me and will require a trip to the shop.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
"Twice in the last week from ignition the transmission wouldn’t shift from first. "
Do you mean that it stays in first while driving, even at 3000 RPM.
Correct, even past 3,000 rpm it won’t ship, and then after several minutes of this, it starts shifting and recognizing the tiptronic inputs again.
 

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My 2000 VW Passat with 1.9L turbo and automatic transmission, with 200,000 km has started doing some weird things. Twice in the last week from ignition the transmission wouldn’t shift from first. When I flipped over to semi-manual shifting the gear indicator didn’t display the usual 1-2-3-4-5, but just kept showing “D”. I figured there must be a red line safety override, so I rev’d the motor and eventually the gears began changing again in both auto and semi auto modes. Afterward the gears now work perfectly normally.

Also, in one of these instances the ignition was very hard to start, like the battery was dead, turning over with my foot to floor to get it to start. Mind you, with Covid the car’s been sitting for a week. Today, the ignition was fine, but the transmission refused to shift.

Back to the transmission, my first worry was a repeat of years ago when water flooded my battery tray and destroyed the computer under the seat. I have my mechanic to remove the battery and blow out leaves once a year. I’m wondering if this car is on its way out.

Thoughts on the transmission?
Curious when the last time you changed the transmission fluid and the filter? My 03’ V6 GLX 4-Motion was struggling a bit, so I changed fluid and filter and was surly needed. Just thinking out loud here for ya. Good luck buddy.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Appointment to drop off the car is this Tuesday. I haven’t moved the car since the above post, but today I started it up and went through the auto gear stick top to bottom. When I moved it to 4, the dash gear indicator showed 4. But in 3 it displayed no change, and when I put it in 1 or L, all the gears indicated on the dash, from P to L and the check engine light came on. When I then moved the knob to R the car clanked into reverse and then when I moved into D, it clanked again. I’m glad for that, since now there’s a code for my shop to read. Let’s see if I can drive the car the 2 km to the shop.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I wonder if this car‘s days are numbered. 21 years old and 199,000 km, but I’d like to get another two to three years out of it.
 

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nothing in your posts mentioning transmission service........your car's age and climate in my opinion suggests you could possibly have a transmission fluid cooling line leak between the radiator and the engine as the lines are "super" exposed to the environment, and over time the fluid level has been compromised,first thing I would do is have your mechanic inspect,evaluate the fluid level per the VW transmission fill/inspect protocol.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
This morning was an exciting 2 km drive to the mechanic. "Emissions" alert came on, gear indicator fully lit and check engine light solid, car running very rough. Let's see what they say.
nothing in your posts mentioning transmission service........
The fluid was last changed in 2017, during this issue, First stolen, now torque convertor? but I have this car regularly maintained and the mechanic would have recommended a transmission flush or fluid issue.
 

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This morning was an exciting 2 km drive to the mechanic. "Emissions" alert came on, gear indicator fully lit and check engine light solid, car running very rough. Let's see what they say.
That might be a good thing as it indicates another issue that could be causing the trans issue. MAF and larger vacuum leaks can cause problems with the trans.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Car’s back. Was a failed automatic transmission position sensor.

This thing, Volkswagen Passat Automatic Transmission Gear Position Sensor - 01V919821B - Genuine Volkswagen Part

The mechanic also pulled up the carpet to inspect the TCM and found water, though not enough to submerge the TCM. They dried out the carpet and checked drain holes. They said the battery tray holes and sunroof drains were all clear, so were surprised to find water under the floor.

That wasn’t cheap, but the car seems to be running perfectly now.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
The water is likely from blocked door drain holes and/or leaking inner metal door panel.
They cleared those too. Hopefully we’re good, I’d like to get five more years out of this car. There is some rust bubbling under the paint behind the front wheels, but I get it Krown coated each year, so we’ll see.
 
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