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2nd gear grind efforts

805 Views 13 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  greensleeper
Thought I'd post up my experiences trying to get my 2nd grear grind issue resolved. Hopefully this will turn out for the best, and some info in my posts will help out others with the same problems.
Car history:
It's a 2001 Jetta 1.8T, manual tranny. Has 14,000 miles on it. I'm the original owner. I have had no mechanical problems with the car. The only modifications the car has is a new NA rub strip without the license plate holes (no front plate) and a Euro light switch with the DRL wire removed from the harness and taped up.
Driver history:
Twenty four year old male. Been driving manual since I learned to drive (previous and only other car was a 1992 Saab 900). I don't street race, and very rarely drive the car hard.
Drove just over 200 miles on Friday night. No problems. Put probably another 20-30 miles on the car on Saturday. No problems. Made the return 200+ mile trip on Sunday night. Beginning of the trip involved some city driving, with no problems. Rest of the trip was highway with speeds of 65-75 mph. No problems. Last 5 or so miles of the trip was city driving again. Here is where it started.
As soon as I got off the interstate I got stopped at a red light. Stopped, shifted into neutral, took my foot off the clutch. Opposite light turned yellow, so I shift the car into first and let it start to roll. My light turns green, so I give it some gas. RPMs hit about 3200, so I clutch in and shift into second, start to let the clutch out. As I am going through the process, with the clutch fully depressed to the floor, the gears grind. Tranny goes into gear and I think to myself, "Hmmm. Must have mis-timed that one." Get stuck at another light. This time, same thing happens.
The grind continued to occur every time I shifted into second gear. No problems with any other gears, either. I got home and drove the car around the block trying different shift points, etc. Didn't matter. The only time the gears act like they used to (just a few nights ago) is if I keep the RPMs around 2000 when I shift out of first to second. And even then, sometimes as the gears engage, there is a short little grind, but nothing like if I have the RPMs over 2000.
Now, I am well aware of the problems other folks have had. And yes, I have used the search. In fact, I found the listing of parts for the supposed synchro replacement kit.
I also called Alexandria VW (Northern VA) and ran the issue by a service writer there. He said he had never heard of it before. Go figure, huh?
I then called Checkered Flag VW (Virginia Beach, and where I bought the car) and spoke with the service writer there. He was much more receptive to my problems, saying it definately sounded like a pretty serious issue, and that it should be covered by warranty.
I've got an appointment for Wednesday (tomorrow) to take the car into Alexandria VW to see what they can do. I'm going to do my best to get the service writer or a tech to go drive with me before I turn it over. I want to demonstrate the problem ... maybe even get him to drive it in an attempt to prove it's not just me.
If they can't or won't help me, I guess I'll try taking it down to Checkered Flag VW, since they seemed more receptive.
I'll update this post as I find out more info. Hope this ends up a happy situation ... I just want my car to run without grinding ... and I don't think being able to shift from first to second at 2000+ RPMs (not saying I want to shift at 5500) is too much to ask for.
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Re: 2nd gear grind efforts (moclov)

you should hear what it sounds like at 6500 rpms....wrraaacckkkkkkkkkk...sh1t!
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Re: 2nd gear grind efforts (moclov)

Well, just got back from dropping the car off at Alexandria VW. They took my info, problem description, and told me they would call me.
The service writer then went outside, got in my car (I walked outside to use my phone and saw all this), and pulled it out of the lot. Turns onto the street in front of the dealer, guns it in first (not really guns it, but probably took it to about 3500 RPMs), shifts to second and grrrrrrrrriiiiinnnnnnnnnddddddd.

Doesn't go more than a block distance before he pulls it back into the lot. He gets out and I yell to him "Sounds bad, doesn't it?" He yells back "Sure does." Two minutes later the car is in the service bay.

Unfortunately I had to leave to go to work, so I couldn't stay to see what they were going to do to it.
So maybe ... maybe ... they will actually take care of it. Got my fingers crossed.
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Re: 2nd gear grind efforts (moclov)

Seems like your working with a good dealership, don't be disappointed if the problem isn't fixed right away, by the sounds of it, if they don't fix it right away, it seems that this is a dealership that you can go back to again and again, and they'll do it till it's fixed http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
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Re: 2nd gear grind efforts (ntrldub)

Yeah, I definately think they are one of the better dealers in the area.
If I do have any trouble, I've got mr4te's invoice of his synchro work, and several posts off the vortex on 2nd gear grind issues ... including one that is over 50 printed pages. However, I don't think they are going to try and deny the problem exists.
Just have to see. Thanks for the support.
Re: 2nd gear grind efforts (moclov)

I think you may get lucky on this one. I suggest to anyone else that any problems, such as 2nd gear grind, MAF, window regulators, glove box door hinge, etc., that has been identified as a common problem here, call VWoA first and open a case. This makes it easier for the dealer to get warranty coverage approved. You are essentially doing some of the legwork for the dealer, but coming from an owner helps.
I've done this twice with 58,000 miles on the car. Once for the glove box and once for the MAF. Both times were fully covered. My dealer told me it makes their job a lot easier if I come in with a case number. Just remember to be nice when you call VWoA and don't "demand" they fix something because you read it on VWvortex. Explain that you've read on the Internet that this (whatever it is) seems to be a recurring problem and is there anything they can do to help. They may pay nothing, something or all. It doesn't hurt to make the phone call.
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Re: 2nd gear grind efforts (JettaRed)

Ah, good advice. Thanks.
I guess I should hold off and wait to see what happens, rather than call VWoA now, huh?
Thanks again.
Re: 2nd gear grind efforts (moclov)

I have brought my gear grind to my service managers attn the last 3-4 times it has been in for service. Unfortunately there is no rhyme or reason when my gear grinds( low rpm, high rpm, quick shift, normal shift)
They can never reproduce it , nor can I. Dude you are lucky the service guy made the noise so that you can get your car fixed correctly http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif Good Luck to ya
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Re: 2nd gear grind efforts (JKO)

Just got a call from the dealership. They took a look at the car.
Turns out there was a fluid leak on the bottom of the bell housing. Wasn't drastic enough to leave puddles on the driveway, but apparently had been going on long enough to significantly drop the level. The service writer seems to think this was the start of a domino effect leading to the synchros being messed up.
The bolts on the bell housing were loose. So the tech retorqued them and topped off the fluid level. Took the car for a drive with no grinds. Service writer took it out ... initially couldn't get it to grind, but then got it on every shift. Even downshifting ... which he said was significant to him, because it didn't matter what RPM he was shifting from/to ... said that sometimes even at an almost dead stop it ground going into second.
So they were calling to make sure that it was okay to keep the car overnight ... they also wanted to get the go ahead to tear down the transmission and see what is going on.
The service writer feels pretty strongly that it will be an issue of replacing the 2nd gear synchro, maybe even first gear synchro.
Estimated time frame to tear it down, diagnose, order parts, replace, rebuild, test, and return the car to me ... Monday afternoon, best case scenario.
When I asked the service writer how he thought the bolts on the bell housing basically unscrewed themselves enough to leak significantly, he said that sometimes they are not torqued correctly from the factory, and over 10k - 15k - 20k they loosen enough to leak and cause problems. Worrisome to think that the factory isn't assembling cars properly, but must just be the luck of the draw (or unluck).
Overall, I am very impressed with how Alexandria VW has handled the issue ... no hassle to me other than being out my car, but that is not a truly big deal. I'm not having to call VWoA or argue that this is warranty work, etc. I'm actually kind of surprised at how well this is going. Still keeping my fingers crossed, though.
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Re: 2nd gear grind efforts (moclov)

Great. Keep us informed.
Re: 2nd gear grind efforts (moclov)

quote:[HR][/HR]Overall, I am very impressed with how Alexandria VW has handled the issue ... no hassle to me other than being out my car, but that is not a truly big deal. I'm not having to call VWoA or argue that this is warranty work, etc. I'm actually kind of surprised at how well this is going. Still keeping my fingers crossed, though.
Glad to see their customer service is improving, If I rememeber correctly, they had problems not to long ago. Good to hear that they're helping you actually solve the problem. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
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Re: 2nd gear grind efforts (BostonMk4)

Well, they missed the best case scenario date (Monday/yesterday). No biggie, as my g/f is out of town so I'm driving her WE Jetta. They offered me a loaner, but it would have been more hassle than it was worth to pick it up.
Any rate, I got to talk to the technician this AM. He said they were waiting on the two synchros they ordered to come in. He thought they'd have the car back to me by the end of the week.
I am assuming they are replacing first and second synchros, since the tech specifically said they were waiting on two synchros ... whereas the service writer said they were going to replace second synchro.
I'll do my best to get as much info on the fix as possible and post it up.
Just wanted to give an update. Thanks for reading.
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Re: 2nd gear grind efforts (moclov)

Two updates:
last Friday -- The service writer called to tell me that they had received the synchros, but had decided to replace first and second gear as well, and they were waiting on those parts.
Again, he tried his best to get me into a loaner. But I told him it was not a big inconvenience, so not to worry about it.
today (Tuesday) -- The service writer just called to let me know that the car was totally done, and I could come pick it up. He said the tech had just given him the thumbs up, after having driven the car and then put it up on the lift to look for any leaks.
I specifically asked him if I needed to follow break in procedures, as if I had a whole new tranny. He said not to worry about it, that daily driving, including accelerating onto the interstate would be perfectly fine, but just not to "dog it" ... his words, not mine. He then proceeded to say that they knew that a fair amount of their VW customers were car enthusiasts, and drove their cars accordingly ... he also said that is what these cars were designed for, and that there is nothing wrong with that ... but since I've got 2/5 ths of a new tranny, to take it easy for the first thousand miles or so.
I went ahead and asked him to take care of the 15k warranty service, and to check a grinding noise coming from the left front when the car is in reverse and the wheel turned to the left. He said not to worry, they would take care of it, and the car should be ready by tomorrow sometime.
Overall impression: So far, I am absolutely thrilled with how Alexandria VW in Alexandria, VA has handled this matter. I have not had to convince them to fix my car in any way, shape, or form. They have been very courteous and professional in all the contact I have had with them. They have continuously tried to get me into a loaner. Compared to all the other dealership stories that resemble nightmares, this has been painless.
I am very satisfied with this dealership. Even though they are a little out of my way, I will continue to have my services done there. Your mileage may vary, but if you're in NoVA, I recommend you take your car to Alexandria VW.
Hopefully I will not have to worry about my synchros going out again. But if they do, that is VW's fault, not Alexandria's.

[Modified by moclov, 2:30 PM 2-26-2002]
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Re: 2nd gear grind efforts (moclov)

i wish we could all be as lucky as you have been with the service of your dealership. sounds like there was no BS involved
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