I have a 1973 VW superbeetle automatic stick shift. I drove into the garage yesterday and now I can't get it into any gear. Has anyone had this problem?

Asked by Feb 20, 2011 at 07:28 PM about the 1973 Volkswagen Beetle

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

7 Answers


yes. that's the reason most people replace the auto stick shift for a regular four speed standard. there are switches under the shifter that require periodic adjustments, there are pumps and lines required for the transaxle to work. if your low on fluid, switches out of adjustment, or any problems with the pump or other stuff, the transaxle won't work right. they are a pain in the butt, nobody really works on them any more, and parts are very hard to come by. your best bet is to get ahold of a local vw shop (if you live in california!) and ask around about who works on them. good luck because here in oklahoma, nobody will touch one with a ten foot pole!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

almost all the time its the wire inside the shifter it grounds out whenn you shift becuase it has a tilt built in if you mess around spinning the knob it stops working unscrew the top of the shift and you will see the wire if cant get it to place properly you can push it against the side of the shift so it grounds and you can shift

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Tx for the help. It is now shiftingok for now, think the wire under the shifter must have a short int, My son came up from fl tohelp me. i'll work on it in warmer weather I'm in Ia.& 83 so i need to not get too excited. Tx again.


yes Vw dealer told me it could not be done,here's what is wrong' the auto stick shift on a volkswagen has a torque converter as does any automatic,but, that is as far as it goes for the automatic part.the rest is a typicle trans axel. when you shift the car aground button is tripped on the gear shift lever,activating a vaccuum pump which dips the clutch for you[that's why it keeps hopping out of gear if you rest your hand on the stick]. so if your VW shop is a ways off as mine was,you have to b able to start the thing in gear. Get a really good repair mmanual,and study your ass off on the wireing duagram,as you must bypass all neutral safety switches,and I mean ALL!!!, if sucessful, you may put the car in the necessary gear and fie it up,apply brake ass you do or car will happily go through the garage wall or door or, well you get the idea. Shifting without the clutch is no big deal except when going down to the gear like at a stop sign or light.Then shut off car place gear llever in low and start car in gear. to bypasse all of those safety switches, I used a series of jump wires, alligator clips,and most importantly the paper clip. have fun,itfeels great doing something that German trained mechanics say can' be done! Oh yeah iforgot to tell you what is wrong, dia phram in vacuum pump is probly ruptured, the clutch won't dip to allow you to engage gears, yup,it's right up there with wooden cu-coo clocks ,bave fun,and start bypassing under drivers seat,luck.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

quesxtion i had a yellow one years ago, quite rare to have the stick shift automatic...looking to locate my first car?????



2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Hi I am a 16 year old kid and my first car is a 1970 vw beetle with and automatic stick and it idles fine but its realy hard to get it into gear and it grinds like no other. Please help

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

  • need help please 2 answers

    I have a 1973 beetle but i rode the car this weekend and sunday when i wanted to shift it dnt want to what can be the problem and how do i go about fixing it

    1973 Volkswagen Beetle Hatchback


    Maintenance & Repair

  • my 73 sb 4 speed standard wont go forward in any gear does anyone know what might be the problem? 5 answers

    I noticed that it wouldnt go into third gear , now I got home and it goe into gear but wont go forward .

    1973 Volkswagen Beetle


    Maintenance & Repair

  • 1973 Super Beetle 3 answers

    I just took my beetle (Little Greta) to a mechanic and had a new shifter put in and the brakes fixed. And I was able to master the manual transmission (yeah!)...so I can now drive her. Problem, though...

    1973 Volkswagen Beetle


    Maintenance & Repair

  • 1973 vw bug power problem 6 answers

    So I've been having a problem where I can start my bug and have it run for a few minutes then die. Tested the battery, put a new alternator in it, checked almost all the grounds I could find. What...

    1973 Volkswagen Beetle


    Maintenance & Repair

  • Automatic Transmission 14 answers

    I just purchased a 1973 VW Super Beetle, but I'm having a tough time with the manual transmission so I can't drive her. Does anyone know of a place that can install a semi-auto or complete automatic t...

    1973 Volkswagen Beetle


    Car Customization


Looking for a Used Beetle in your area?

CarGurus has 9,557 nationwide Beetle listings starting at $1,500.


Search Volkswagen Beetle Questions

Volkswagen Beetle Experts

#1 tenspeed
Reputation 1,660
#2 Chris Billings
Chris Billings
Reputation 1,480
#3 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 1,220
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Honda Civic
657 Great Deals out of 88,603 listings starting at $995
Used Ford Mustang
476 Great Deals out of 45,735 listings starting at $1,999
Used Toyota Corolla
781 Great Deals out of 73,830 listings starting at $1,995
Used Volkswagen Golf
60 Great Deals out of 2,881 listings starting at $1,995
Used Chevrolet Camaro
225 Great Deals out of 30,943 listings starting at $1,217
Used Volkswagen Passat
265 Great Deals out of 24,442 listings starting at $1,000
Used FIAT 500
65 Great Deals out of 5,661 listings starting at $3,900

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Volkswagen Beetle For Sale
3,810 listings starting at $16,135
2016 Volkswagen Beetle For Sale
15 Great Deals out of 480 listings starting at $11,999
2015 Volkswagen Beetle For Sale
38 Great Deals out of 952 listings starting at $9,500
2014 Volkswagen Beetle For Sale
19 Great Deals out of 709 listings starting at $7,995
2013 Volkswagen Beetle For Sale
25 Great Deals out of 731 listings starting at $7,000

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.