2003 Jetta GLS Automatic stays in 1st gear

10

Asked by Apr 12, 2015 at 01:04 PM about the 2003 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 2.0

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

What was happening rarely has increased to almost every time. Start car, put in drive, get 1st gear only. Shut down car, disconnect battery for about 20 seconds, reconnect and shifts fine.

7 Answers

1,285

It's probably staying in third gear, not first. Look at the shift selector in the dash cluster. After you have reset the car next time, look at the letters and background for Park, Reverse etc. After driving it do the background and letter colors reverse? This and staying in third indicate a transmission fault code is present. The transmission has to be scanned for fault codes to diagnose.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Best Answer
10

Chris I really appreciate your answering however being not unfamiliar with the limp mode I've discovered that the car whines out @3 grand and barely is moving 15-20 miles an hour so I'm convinced it's really not third but first. but I appreciate your answer

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
1,285

Israel, what about the shift quadrant display, is it reversed? This way you know that there's a transmission fault code.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
10

Chris, no...no obverse of display...in fact I got stuck today trying to leave the city for home and was compelled to drop it at the dealer. Their diagnostic said, in part "ABS controller failing to communicate" and that without that...all sorts of other issues could be attributable. They were kind enough to tell me to replace that would be 2,200$...with no guarantee of a fix, just an ability to continue a diagnostic.I declined the work, ended up owing them nothing for their time...and am presently on the hunt for parts at the local boneyard. I will replace, if feasible, every sensor, every module, that could be distantly related to the issue, including the TCM, the speed sensor, the ABS module, etc. Thankfully we have a "UPick" yard nearby, and their prices are exquisitely reasonable. I did get the tranny to shift, after many attempts at disconnecting the battery and reconnecting, so I got the car home. I appreciate your time and thoughtfulness, and if anything I have written sparks a bulb...please, be free to encourage me in whatever direction you would consider helpful. Thanks, again

1,285

Try disconnecting the plug on the ABS controller. The brakes will still operate anyway, just no ABS. I don't recall there being a link between the ABS and transmission operation though. As for the TCM, I'm familiar with failures usually due to water intrusion in the A4s, A6s, and Passats(in those, the module is under the floor). I think the module is behind the firewall in the Jetta(near wiper motor etc). Check for connections there and let me know what you find.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
10

Chris, Thanks for hanging in there with me, man. Went to the boneyard and pulled a TCM from another Jetta, got some info from a service manager that let me know the suffix letters (mine) MG, junker JF, only related to software releases and would not cause increase in my breast tissue or damage the vehicle. (I was prepared for catastrophic results if, as often warned "Make sure all lettrs/numbers match!") Anyway, installed my "new" (older) TCM, and vehicle has not replicated problem. Shifts fine, downshifts fine. Obviously I will know in time, as problem, though getting quite regular, still remained intermittent. You're a good man to know. Thanks for your help.

Glad to help Israel. You're quite welcome.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

Jetta

Looking for a Used Jetta in your area?

CarGurus has 31,233 nationwide Jetta listings starting at $150.

ZIP:

Search Volkswagen Jetta Questions

Volkswagen Jetta Experts

#1 FordNut
FordNut
Reputation 2,190
#2 Goodwrench707
Goodwrench707
Reputation 2,100
#3 Deathjam4
Deathjam4
Reputation 1,460
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Volkswagen Passat
210 Great Deals out of 20,849 listings starting at $1,800
Used Honda Civic
663 Great Deals out of 77,395 listings starting at $1,000
Used Volkswagen GTI
94 Great Deals out of 6,112 listings starting at $2,299
Used Volkswagen Golf
30 Great Deals out of 2,447 listings starting at $1,200
Used Honda Accord
814 Great Deals out of 81,559 listings starting at $899
Used BMW 3 Series
1,371 Great Deals out of 37,814 listings starting at $1,700
Used Toyota Corolla
874 Great Deals out of 74,397 listings starting at $1,500
Used Audi A4
260 Great Deals out of 11,449 listings starting at $800
Used Toyota Camry
1,095 Great Deals out of 96,233 listings starting at $1,250
Used Nissan Altima
1,088 Great Deals out of 82,556 listings starting at $670
Used Mazda MAZDA3
251 Great Deals out of 29,978 listings starting at $895
Used Volkswagen Beetle
190 Great Deals out of 8,834 listings starting at $1,500
Used Ford Focus
699 Great Deals out of 58,626 listings starting at $995

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Volkswagen Jetta For Sale
14,227 listings starting at $12,035
2016 Volkswagen Jetta For Sale
36 Great Deals out of 1,494 listings starting at $8,999
2015 Volkswagen Jetta For Sale
73 Great Deals out of 3,401 listings starting at $8,037
2014 Volkswagen Jetta For Sale
124 Great Deals out of 3,708 listings starting at $6,499
2013 Volkswagen Jetta For Sale
82 Great Deals out of 2,018 listings starting at $5,950