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My experience with the 09G Transmission...

638847 Views 648 Replies 149 Participants Last post by  Balkans
Ok, here I go… I will try to put everything in order to detail as much as I can on what I’ve been experiencing with the 09G Transmission on my MK5 Jetta 2.5
Problems began like everyone else’s threads, slip-bump from 1st to 2nd, 2nd to 3rd… and sometimes when going down gears.
I began my search over the forum and notice that everyone has talked about the valve body of these transmissions and VW extending the warranty of them. I’ve also found numerous threads of people changing the valve body of these transmissions without any luck on correcting these issues.

Here’s my story so far…
Like 2 months ago, I took the car to a shop to change the transmission fluid and explained a bit my issues to the mechanic.
He changed the fluid and filter and he said that they were no traces of anything that could lead to an hydraulic problem like the valve body, he also said that he put an additive to the transmission oil and that would make the shifting smoother… WRONG…. After a couple of days of driving the car the bump was very noticeable and was getting worst to the point that one day I thought that someone rear-ended me because of that slip-bump when changing gear from 1st to 2nd.

I called the guy and he told me that probably my car needed a transmission oil cooler… WRONG AGAIN… I never talked to that guy again after that.

I called the dealer and ask him about the transmission oil change and my story with the other shop, he said that these transmissions were extremely delicate and needed the correct fluid to operate. He said that I needed to change the oil again with the correct one (VW OEM) and probably needed to change it again after 2000 or 3000 km…because when you do a transmission oil change, you only change like 5 quarts of oil and almost 1.5 liters never comes out. So I needed to do that to get rid of the maximum amount of additive that the transmission may have. I’ve also knew that the other shop used the Motul ATF oil, not the OEM one.

After the fluid change at the dealer, I couldn’t notice any difference in shifting… the bump was still there and the clank when lowering gears, but after like a week I began to notice a difference. These issues were not as often as before; there was a positive progress in shifting, definitely not like when I started.
I still have the slipping and bumping but just in 1st and 2nd… not in 3rd anymore. I will probably go and do the second change to get rid of the Motul and additive remaining’s in the transmission and see what happens.

------Here's where I am TODAY------

Side notes:
I’ve searched about the transmission control module (TCM) and found that some people had problems with the TCM in cars flooded or with sunroof leaks due to the location of the TCM under the passenger seat. My car had sunroof leaks (now repaired) but I will definitely would like to know some more about this to see if my TCM needs to be replaced.
I’ve also found that someone changed the engine thermostat and the transmission problems were gone, but I can’t think of any relation with the thermostat and the transmission shifting. Any ideas?
I live outside the US and therefore can’t claim for the extended warranty. Is for US only.
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The 09G

So the 09G is a problematic transmission, as I mentioned in a previous thread. I have rebuilt a few of these units and internally they don't have many issues. Unfortunately, every person you dealt with is either making claims for the sole purpose of getting a sale or they are simply ignorant. I currently am working with a 09G with a 2-3 slide bump, which is intermittent. The previous owner had the dealer replace the VB because of an occassional 1-2 slide bang, which it did fix. One downfall with this unit, whether it is a VW design flaw or an Aisin-Warner design flaw (the firm that actually designed/built the transmission, yes, it is Japenese!) is the adaptive shifting system. The dealer has to force the transmission to re-learn the driving habits of the driver and this can take quite awhile as it is always modifying it's shift procedure to some set parameters. Many times the shifting will be erratic before it gets better. The long story here is 99% of the problems with the 09G is electrical (software) or valve body.
Addressing your experiences, the first shop you went to seemed to approach the problem correctly as wear and tear can be seen by inspecting the pan. Bushing wear, clutch material delamination, or just plain metal on metal wear can easily be seen here. However, the mechanic lost me when he claimed that there was nothing indicative of a valve body issue. Valve body issues are primarily valve to bore wear concerns where fluid is leaking from one side of a valve spool to another side, which may cause a plethora of issues, some noticeable and some not. The 09G uses linear valves attached to the solenoids, which have issues in terms of cross leaks or binding in the bore, causing the valve to hang up. This may be the main cause of the slide-bangs and slide-bumps but I have not seen any reports of such. In terms of the added additive, it all depends on what that additve was and what it does to the fluid. Some additives have a friction modifier which adds "teeth" to the friction material. Whether it accomplishes this by interacting with the clutch material or increasing the coefficient of friction of the transmission fluid, I do not know. This may make shifts seem to bang more as the clutches are slipping less during apply. Also, an oil cooler issue would not cause any of your mentioned symptoms, but it may have caused damage that then led to your concerns, not likely, however.
The dealer you took it to seems like your usual dealer, spitting out the same old responses and excuses rather than just saying they didn't have an answer. This transmission is not delicate. The transmission fluid is as important in this unit as it is in say, a new Camaro. Just because it is a foreign doesn't make it fragile. The transmission fluid does need to contain the proper additives in which the transmission was designed around. There are many manufacturers of fluid and they may or may not have one that meets the OEM specs for this model. Just check that the fluid in question does meet the specs asked for in the owners manual or bottle from the dealer. If the wrong fluid was installed you will usually notice other concerns such as slipping, softer shifts or harder shifts. What you probably noticed with the change in shift characteristics after the dealer visit is the adaptive shift program. They would have done a re-learn and this often fixes some of the problems related to software. I don't feel that removing the residual transmission fluid and additive from previously is going to fix anything, but it also cannot hurt.
One thing to mention about the VB is that there are companies working to fix these problems. Both Sonnax and VB Express offer upgrade parts or completely rebuilt units. The latter installs all of the Sonnax upgrades and cleans/replaces the solenoids and then tests the VB's on a flow bench to verify that there are no crossleaks or stuck valves. Look them up, but they will definitely still be expensive, but they are much, much better than the new units from VW. To the best of my knowledge, you will need to bring the car to the dealer after the VB install/rebuild to have them initiate the adaptive shift re-learn. Good luck!
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Thank you bjohns86 for your reply!
So, what would you do first? As you pointed out 99% of the time the problems are software or valve body related, can I do a test to any software related component to see if that's my problem?

I have Vag-Com, not an experienced user though.
So what should you do? Well, unless the symptoms now are significantly different from what they were before you had any transmission work done then I would not worry about the fluid or any other work for that matter. It is water under the bridge and none of the shops are going to make things right with you at their expense, especially the dealer. Now I am making these recommendations off of what you have told me so take them as such. From what you have stated, I would try two things, first I would take the car to the dealer and have them reset the adaptive shift and see how that works for you. If that still doesn't seem to make things better than a valve body is probably required. As stated earlier, VB Xpress (www.valvebodyxpress.com) is an excellent option. I know that you mentioned that you do not live in the US so you may want to check their website on whether they have distributors in your country (Canada?) or call them on Monday and talk to them. You will need to purchase the VB from a distributor and they are still going to run $1-2K USD. You could buy a VB from the dealer but you will be also getting the design flaws included free of charge. I have heard of one instance where it took 2 valve bodies from the dealer before one actually worked right! Crazy! This transmission is a black eye on VW as there best transmissions, as a whole, are ZF-made units. I think many technical folks have been turned off from buying a Beetle (I know, nobody really likes these cars) or Jetta because of the 09G and the inability to buy hard parts (internals) for this unit. Nothing is really available for the 09G (i.e.-drums, pistons, shafts, pumps, etc.); the full rebuild kit is between $500-1200 USD, depending on your vendor. Your only options would be to buy a re-manufactured unit from VW, which I have heard is around $5000 USD, have the part custom made at a machine shop, or buy a core from the junkyard. Omega Machine does make bushing kits for this unit but they are expensive. Also, the torque converter can be rebuilt by several companies, but I prefer Precision of New Hampton Inc. in Iowa. Great work and a rock-solid warranty. So anyway, I too am looking for a way to do an adaptive shift reset without going to the dealer or spending thousands on a scanner so if you find a VAG-COM that can accomplish this for a reasonable amount of money let me know. If you do buy a VB, they are easy to install given that you have a reasonable level of attention to detail and an in-lbs torque wrench, but you will need to bring the car into the dealer afterwards to have the adaptive shift reset. Don't be intimidated, just be thorough. I wish transmissions were like what they were 5-10 years ago, but I guess that is how it goes. They aren't any more complicated mechanically, just harder to diagnose because of proprietary electronics/software. Feel free to ask more questions; I will do what I can. If you want to rebuild the unit, I can help you there too. Not rocket science like some would make you believe!
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Oh, I guess I did not answer your question directly. Unless you have the dealer scanner (and even then I do not know how in-depth they are able to go into the transmission), I do not think that you can do much in terms of troubleshooting components with your standard VAG-COM, but I could be wrong here.
Thank you very much for your help! I've been reading a lot about these units and would definitely try to reset the adaptive shift.

Last Thursday I read a thread about doing a throttle adaptation; since I was at work I did it like the guy said without VAG-COM and tested it on my way home.
1.Key On (don’t start)
2.Gas Down to the floor for 10 Sec
3.While holding gas turn key off
4.Let go off gas
5.Key on for 5 min, touch nothing (this will do the throttle adaptation according to that guy)
6.Start and Drive

At first the accelerator pedal felt very responsive to the touch... and no slip or bump between 1st or 2nd, then after like 5 – 10 min of driving the slip and bump appeared…. It was like before, very noticeable and annoying.

That day, there was an accident on the road and the traffic was awful. I reached a complete standstill for about 10 min… weird thing was that after that, the car was smooth again. No bump, no slip….nothing. Probably reached a cooler temperature?
Could it be something related to heat that after driving for a while the problems appear? Is that a symptom of a defective valve body?

By the way, I live in Costa Rica but I can order the parts anywhere in the US… If I do order the valve body, do I need to take down the whole transmission for installation?
Thanks again!
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Thank you for the information on the throttle adaptation. I may try this and see what I notice. This just goes to show that software/VB is a huge factor in shift timing, as well as, shift quality. It would be nice to find a scanner or software package for PC where I could access the TCM of sorts and manipulate or monitor the shift points and when the solenoids are actuated/inactuated. In terms of the traffic incident, it may be because an increase in temperature lowered the viscosity of the fluid to aid in preventing valve stinking (which is a valve body concern), however, I doubt the temp change was significant eneough to really cause a change, but if that were the case I think the valve would stick significantly when cold. To address your question on the VB install, no, the transmission can stay in the car, just drop the pan and be careful with unhooking the wires as the heat stress can cause the harness plugs to be fragile. Label the wires and make note of VB bolt location, as some are different lengths, I believe. I would recommend that you go to the following website and order the rebuild manual which is worth it's weight in gold for this unit. It is $30 USD (http://atsg.com/cart/products/VW_09G_09M_AUDI_TF60SN-453-3.html). Invaluable for anything from transmission identification to VB replacement to extensive rebuild.
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Ok good… I’m going to change some other parts in my car (breaks, suspension…) and I’ll be addressing this issue next year. I’m going to see if I can monitor the shift points or solenoid actuation with my standard VAG-COM Cable… I’ll let you know.
Please subscribe to my thread so you can see when I post new information. I think we’ll probably be gone for some time.
I'm having issues with the 09G in my 2007 Jetta 2.5. Started out with harsh downshifting to 3rd after coasting...heard about the valve body replacement so I took it in. Dealer replaced the valve body free of charge even though I was out of warranty, and all seemed well for the time being. Then, I started having flares between 3rd and 4th when upshifting, regardless of mode (Drive, Sport, or Tiptronic) UNLESS I applied 50% throttle or more. Seems that it only happens while cold, because the problem goes away after some time on the road, and also generally doesn't recur after moderate to hard acceleration. Took it back in to the dealer, they recommended a new transmission. Sounds like bull**** to me, so I did some research. Turns out the 09G is the Aisin-Warner TF60SN...and Aisin-Warner does NOT provide any support whatsoever. Same transmission is used in the Mini Cooper and Audi A3, but with different TCMs and different ATF cooling solutions. Ours (in the Jetta/Golf) uses a ATF-to-engine coolant exchanger mounted in the transmission; I'm not sure what the Audi implementation is, and I'm fairly certain that the Mini doesn't have a cooler. I don't know about the quality of the transmission, but I did find out one thing: Aisin and VW decided to save money by limiting the powertrain warranty to 60,000 miles...while not recommending a fluid change, EVER. I've talked to a few mechanics, and they admitted that the 09G/TF60SN is what makes them money. One guy told me, at length, that this transmission would benefit from no more than a regular fluid flush and refill, every 30k miles or so. But as aforementioned, the beancounters decided that they'd save money by selling it with a "lifetime" fill, limiting the life of the transmission, but saving maintenance costs for that expected life.

So, long story short, I'm now at 86,000 miles, and trying to find alternatives to having the transmission replaced as a whole. Aisin-Warner, as aforementioned, does not provide any OEM support, and has no rebuild kits or parts available. VW's strategy is complete unit replacement, if swapping the valve body doesn't work. This whole thing stinks, but there's little us as the consumers can do about it...I hope someone finds a viable and definitive solution. I plan on taking my car into an independent shop, where I'm told there is an individual who does his best to work with military such as myself, but due to the military thing I don't get a lot of free time. I'm hoping he can tell me something worthwhile though.
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SoCal 87, first off, thank for your service regardless of branch. I was Army EOD in 2001-on. Anyways, what you are experiencing is very common, as you can tell from my comments here prior. It really doesn't matter which shift sequence is causing the grief. I am having 2-3 slide bumps with my current project and this is intermittent, but does seem more common at low temperatures. Usually this is the sign of valve bind as the metal has contacted from the cold, which is relative to the area you live in. As the parts warm up they expand and binding is less of an issue. Now with cross leaks (an increased between say sealing rings and drum or spool valve and sleeve/bore result in signal pressure to leak through these increased clearances resulting in slippery shifts; leaks around some items (i.e.- lube circuits will not be noticed by the driver, but this could result in burned up planetary gear sets or bushings)), these will be noticed more as the transmission warms up and the viscosity of the oil decreases (thins out), allowing more to leak by a given clearance. So you did the correct thing with the VB replacement and, in fact, the unit I am working on right now had a dealer VB installed about 8 months ago, which did fix the 1-2 clunk, but brought on the 2-3 slide bump. I have heard of instances were it required more than one "new" VB to fix the shift concerns, so don't be too quick to judge that the VB is necessarily good. My current understanding is that many of the concerns are the linear solenoids, which VW/Aisin-Warner has switched, in terms of vendor, several times since the release of this unit and the newest offerings are so far the best, but I have no experience with this being right or wrong. I also believe the software of the TCM has some role in the issues experienced with 09G, but there isn't much that can be done as neither the dealer nor any aftermarket companies can actually change this, they can only flash it and upload a new program that they recieved from so and so. You mentioned the transmission cooler and service intervals for fluid replacement. These issues are not related to the cooling method they use here unless the cooler is coming apart and sending metal into the unit, but this has not been noted anywhere. The service interval that VW recommends is ridiculous, I agree, however, I don't know if the sticking solenoid/valve issue is related to debris or just plain poor engineering/machining tolerances. With that said, it cannot hurt to change your fluid every 30K miles or even sooner, but a fluid flush and filter change will rarely fix any present issues (this is assuming that there isn't a large amount of debris floating around plugging the filter, but if this is the case than you obviously have clutches coming apart or hard part damage and a rebuild is on the horizon.) The down fall with serving this transmission is that it is a pain in the ass to fill, you will have to buy or make the special tool which www.vwtools.com may or may not have. I made mine and I recommend finding a commercial one if possible. See my previous postings on this thread for info on VB Xpress, definitely worth looking into. Lastly, don't fear, there are rebuild kits available, but they are brutally expensive ~$1000, which doesn't include bushings or the torque converter (I mentioned a great company for those above as well). Look into distributors such as Transtar, Axiom Industries, and Dacco-Detroit. A company called Omega Machine does make bushings for this unit but they too are very expensive, but they are rarely needed, except the bushing in the rear of the case which does rotate on occasion (which may cause a slipping 3-4 shift or loss of 4th gear all together). Sorry to be long winded here but if you have any more questions, throw them out there and I will see if I can answer them or at least point you to someone who can.
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My mistake on the previous post, the VB from VBXpress is about $1200 and the rebuild kits through Transtar are $400-600, depending on clutch thickness. I quoted a ZF transmission price for Audi.
So even with a Valve Body Job, the transmission may still have slips or flares? Damn :banghead:… Socal87 please post your findings if you end up taking your car to that shop.

You know, that’s really the story here… I couldn’t find any post of anyone fully fixing a 09G transmission…

Bjohns86: take a look at this fluid change DIY…

You may find this very useful as well: http://docs.jayzone.eu/erWin/VW/Jet...ransmission/6-speed automatic gearbox 09G.pdf

Thank you for the postings. They lend some alternative insights into the 09G. This would have been much more appreciated 3 years ago beofre I made a tool, but that is how it goes. The pdf is also nice, however, realize that this transmission doesn't need any special tools, besides the one requred to fill the pan and, of course, a scanner. If you have general transmission rebuilding tools than you will set to go. Also, in regards to the VB replacement, I wouldn't be too worried as the chance of you getting a VB with issues is rather slim. I have built 6, 09G units and haven't had such a problem, but it is possible. Now there are ways to fix these issues, but I have omitted them in the postings here because of the liability of sorts. Since this issue of 09G VB's is such a big topic I may write a post focused solely on my experiences with this VB, such as identification, function, and troublespots and what your options are. Again, I have only rebuilt 6 of these particular units but I have been intrigued with this unit because of how mysterious it is. Aisin-Warner don't really have good luck with VB's and the 09G is no exception, however, AW makes other transmissions that have many, many more VB complaints than the 09G! At the end of the day, in terms of high-quality foreign transmissions, ZF is still king. If you think that such a post specifically focusing on the VB information mentioned above is good idea, let me know. Anyone can respond to this as well. Thanks again for the information in your last post.
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Hi, I’ve found this other post for troubleshooting the 09G…
The second problem pointed out in the post I think is related to Socal87 problem and the third one is exactly my problem!

Third Topic:
The automatic transmission has harsh upshifts between 1 to 2 and 2 to 3 when warm. All other shifts are good. There are no transmission trouble codes.

1. Check the transmission fluid and ensure that it is at the proper level.

2. Connect a full function Volkswagen compatible scan tool and check the transmission control unit for trouble codes.

3. Disconnect the Transmission Control Module (TCM) and see how the transmission operates. This will place the transmission into limp mode and bypass the electrical components for testing purposes. If the vehicle moves and the transmission does not slip, then there is a control issue and the TCM system will need to be tested.

4. If the vehicle still does not move and the transmission does not engage, then there is an internal transmission fault. Remove the transmission pan and inspect for foreign material in the pan. If there is metal or particles in the pan, the transmission is worn out and will have to be rebuilt or replaced.

5. Once transmission function is restored perform a transmission basic setting procedure to relearn throttle kick down points.

** These transmissions are difficult units to rebuild and it is suggested that the valve body be replaced with a new unit when rebuilding. The valve body is an aluminum structure. The spool valves and solenoids in the valve body are made of harder material and can cause the passages in the valve body to wear abnormally and leak. This internal leakage can cause abnormal shifting. **

Link: http://newbeetle.org/forums/questio...ansmission-discription-information-topic.html

Do you know where the TCM is located? Can I disconnect it for testing purposes as this post suggests?

About the information on the VB, I just want to know what my options are… at the end of the day I want to know if it makes sense to repair it at a reasonable cost. Otherwise I would be thinking in other options such as selling the car to someone who actually wants to get into that mess or trade the car for a newer one. Don’t really like that because I love my car, but I don’t want to put money into something that is going to be a pain in the a$$ to repair.
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Well, that is a fine approach, I guess, but I would find it easier to remove the one or two transmission fuses in the left side of the dash, but if you want to dig for the TCM, it's all good. If you remove the fuses for say 15 minutes and replace them then drive the car you will be doing a forced adaptive relearn without scanner. The posting you mentioned seems erroneous as the shift solenoids control shifting and if you disconnect the TCM there should be no upshifts and if they do occur they will presumably be harsh. Sooner or later you are just going to have to punt and do something. I am skeptical that these shoot from the hip tests will point to anything conclusively. If I were you I would reset the adaptive shift anyway you so choose and drive it for a few days. The shifts may be harsh and erratic and unusual at first but they should get better as the TCM determines shift data from input/output shaft data. I know you just want a cut and dry conclusion to your problem, like most folks on forums, but unfortunately several things can cause your symptoms and it may come down to a gamble.
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Ok, I did the adaptive shift. As you mentioned the shifts were erratic for the first say 1 – 2 days… but finally I think it’s getting back to “normal”.
The slip – bump is still there so seems that a valve body replacement is needed as you also indicated before.
I’ll let you know what I’m going to do… I need to go to the US to buy the part and fly down to Costa Rica to install it. Probably next year.
Remind me again, which shifts are giving you the biggest issues and what are they. You said a slide-bump 1-2 and 2-3? Sometimes you have downshift issues, are they hard or just noticeable? In "sport" mode does anything go away or does something present itself? Also, how many miles are on this VB and what year/engine is the car? You shouldn't have to come to the US for this VB, did someone tell you this?

Hi Brad.
The biggest issue is when upshifting from 1st to 2nd. When the transmission does the upshift it takes a while to get into 2nd and produces a vibration before going into gear. It’s not always hard, sometimes is barely noticeable but sometimes it’s a huge “Clank”. It’s also more perceptible as the car gets warmer. I think that’s the best description I can give you.
The upshift from 2nd to 3rd produces something similar but not as hard as the other one.

In Sport or TipTronic mode is the same.

My car is a Jetta 2006 (2.5 engine), miles: 56000

The reason I think I need to go to the US is because the dealer here is crap, and there’re just a few automatic transmission shops with good reputation. If a valve body replacement is needed, then I just thought that probably the best is to order the part from a US reseller (The one you recommended me). If I ship the part directly to Costa Rica, then probably taxes here are going to be insane. Here in Costa Rica the law for importing car parts is really stupid and if a part is large and heavy I’ll have to pay a lot in taxes. If I fly to the US and come with the part, I have a good chance to pay fewer taxes or pay nothing at all.
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Hi Brad,
Yesterday I got an estimated cost for the valve body. I talked to a guy in transtar1 which is a distributor of valvebodyxpress. He told me that the final cost would be $1100 and the original part must be sent to vendor for repair.

If you remember, I live in Costa Rica so it’s a little difficult for me to take my defective valve body and wait for a repair in the US. I don’t know exactly if that’s how the rebuilt process works, I thought that maybe I could buy the part without having to take mine.

I’ve investigated furtherer and found that ECS Tuning is actually selling that part.

What do you recommend? I honestly don’t know if the ECS valve body is brand new (I would think so) but since you told me that it’s better to have a rebuilt valve body with all the defects repaired than a new one it makes me think twice before buying from them.

I also think that the price is a little high for a rebuilt part ($1100) vs the other one in ECS tuning $927 which would be brand new.

What do you think?
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There are pros and cons both ways. The rebuilt unit from VBX is a unit in which they installed all of the upgrades that solve the most common complaints with these units. However, the units are used so the bores are wore at some capacity even though they may be within tolerance. I am familiar with the units from ECS, but unsure as to where they came from (dealer or some other VB company). You may want to investigate this path considering where you are located. Find out where they are getting their VB and realize that there are 4 different VB's available for this transmission so isolate which one you have. Also, there are ways in which you can physically adjust shift points on these VB's if you are getting say a 3-4 slide bump which feels like it neutralizes between shifts. On the unit I was speaking about weeks prior, I had to adjust the K2 valve train (3-4 shift) so that the timing was right. See what you find out with the VB folks. Also, before you drop that kind of dough, try to reset the adaptive shift again. If you continue to get the same complaints than you will just have to take the chance and get the VB. Cruel reality.

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