Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

1999 Volkswagen Beetle - Trans issue

In 2nd gear it jerks…also when jacked up and tires are off can’t move them…

I am going to assume that your VW has an automatic transmission.
Is that correct?

If so, then we need to know the following:
How many miles are showing on the odometer?
How many times has the trans fluid (and filter) been changed?
(Hint: It should have been ~7 times, so far, on the basis of elapsed time.)

No it’s manual transmission…we just bought the car drove it home and parked it…jacked it up and took tires off front, can’t turn the wheels when in neutral…but when tires were on and car started in neutral the wheels moved on there own? I got a junk car didn’t I?


174,000 miles


Didn’t you get it inspected before you bought it? You didn’t go for a test drive?

you released the brakes, right? :neutral_face:

Jacked up front. Both wheels are off ground?
Trans is in neutral. Neither wheel turns?

If one of the front (drive wheel) tires is on the ground , one off, and the manual trans is in N, you still won’t be able to rotate the the one that’s lifted off the ground, that’s normal, caused by the way the differential in the transmission works. If both tires are off the ground and the trans is in N you should be able to hand-rotate one tire, and the other one will rotate the opposite direction.

I expect if you repeat that experiment with both front tires off the ground you’ll be able to hand rotate the front wheels. Make sure both are indeed off the ground, the trans is in N, and there’s nothing else preventing the tires from rotating, like the brakes are applied. If you still can’t rotate them by hand, I expect the brakes are locked up for some reason. The engine can overpower locked-up brakes, but might result in the jerking sensation your are reporting in 2nd gear.

Possibly. But it’s also possible there’s a minor problem that needs to be corrected by a shop is all. You have one big thing going for you: it’s a manual transmission. More robust than an automatic.