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

9 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 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

4 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 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 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

7 people found this helpful.

the small wire to the servo tends to rot and fall apart from heat and vibration in the engine compartment. check it, it might be as simple as that, I have seen it twice.

Take apart the shifer at the floor ? Or the shifting rod itself ??

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