Sunday, February 24, 2008

shifter fix

I was driving down the freeway on the way to work and the car all of a sudden refused to go into 2nd gear. I was a little worried, but since work has been so hectic it didn't bother me all that much. then I noticed 4th was gone as well. I thought through my feeble understanding of the linkages and had a notion reverse wouldn't work either. I pulled in a parking lot and confirmed that reverse was gone.

symptoms - no 2nd, 4th, or reverse, the shifter was no longer centered, but resting about where 4th usually is. I could still shift into 1st, 3rd and 5th, but the play was very much reduced, and it took work to feel the gears.

solution - I didn't have time to monkey around, so I went to the local VW, only a few miles away. I've been treated so poorly at my old dealership I had made a personal vow to never set foot in one again, but I was in trouble. at 8:30 i walked in and I was out by 9:30. no appointment, and minimal hassle. This got me thinking the dealerships were back on the up and up. the $110 diagnostics was OK, and the $63 in parts was ok too, but the part i didn't like was that the dealer did not have the parts in stock, and refused to put the $110 diagnostic fee towards the actual installation of the parts. they wanted me to come back, and pay another $150 (this would have brought the total cost to $325). the mechanic was very knowledgeable and agreed to do his best to get me back on the road, which i was very appreciative of. I feel the $173.04 I payed for the quick diagnostic and the parts was reasonable.

Root cause - shifter weight stripped the grooves so it no longer made good contact on the transmission. reason - wrong bolt installed before I got the car (it had 20k miles) when the last owner had a new clutch put in. it now has 163k.

the parts came in, and I drove around for a few more weeks, and today decided I'd give it a shot to install the new part. the hardest part was getting reusing the bushing from the old part. I finally took a pair of pliers and pried it off. I was pretty sure I'd break it, but it did pop off. it took me about an hour.

if you had another bushing, you could do it in about 5 minutes. all you need is a 13mm socket. reach down, unbolt the old one, undo the shift linkage (make note of where it grips it, mine was so dirty it was obvious where it went). the weight was stripped, so mine was not hard to pull off.

resources I used:

Parts I used:
1J0-711-051-D lever $60.88 from dealer
N-909-083-02 Nut $2.16 from dealer
1J0711761A $??? had I known, I would have bought a new one

it looks like this has happened to others, check the 13mm nut and make sure its tight. maybe you can avoid what I went through.


forkev said...

wow. i'm torn: the dealer is great when they have the parts and expertise, but paying over $100 for the guys to put in parts that can't possible take more then 15 minutes with even basic tools frusterates me.

oh, by the way - the wirlpool washer dryer you gave ran over 5 years and we upgraded off craigslist to a kenmore washer dryer series 90 (whatever that means) for $350 - so far the washer and dryer are still working.

Keith said...

so now you have two sets? its been so long, jen forgot we even sent those up to you! how'd we get those up? did dad take them up to you?

forkev said...

the weekend I came down to move to spokane (in the truck I drove) we went matress shopping and bruce got us a good deal,you guys upgraded washer and dryer from friends up in sparks and we loaded your old units onto the moving truck. they worked great (even after we blew the thermal fuse and replaced it the first year of use)

forkev said...

oh, and we sold the old set for $20 to the guy we puchased the new ones for as it was convenient because he took them away, can repair them, and he said they'd go for about $160 - perhaps they'll get another good home. The washer spinner wasn't catching and forcing the cloths into the water, he said the dog ears could be replaced and it would work again.

Keith said...

thats so cool the salvage was $20. I would have expected it to cost 20-50 just to get rid of them at the junk yard. sweet.

k2h said...

the logs show this page was found by the UK guys over at cool!