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2000 Jetta transmission replacement?

I have a manual vw jetta and last night the transmission decided to lock and spew fluid all over the place. The car has ~81000 miles.

I took it to the dealer and he said it would take $4100 to replace the entire transmission. Did I mishear him? Is this typical for a car to need a new transmission at 81k?

Thanks for your help!


I had an 01 diesel with 140K on it - no tranny or clutch problems at all…thats a strange situation for you - these are pretty reliable trannys - you haven’t been towing anything with it have you?

No. I haven’t been towing anything.

I’m livid because I just had the 80K service at the end of August. In three months I drove 1000 miles. I just don’t see how I could have killed the transmission without any indication of imminent death. There was not stalling, no jerking, no nothing. It just died.

No, it’s not typical for a manual transmission to seize up and especially not a VW. A manual transmission locking up is usually caused by a lack of gear oil or a very low level of gear oil. (That’s assuming a one in a million freak accident did not occur due to metal fatigue failure, etc.)

Any history of transmission gear oil changes, etc.?

JMHO, but I always believe in being able to tell someone WHY a particular part or assembly has failed. Being perpetually curious, I’ve always diassembled stuff even on my own time to determine what happened.

As to cost, yes it’s high and this is true of most vehicles now. Transmissions can be a killer when it comes to comparing replacement costs agsinst the car’s value.
If the car were mine, and assuming this trans has not failed due to someone’s error in servicing it, I would not spend that much to repair the car.
Find a good used unit from a yard, eBay, Craigslist, etc. and go that route.

A new transmission would be a waste of money. Do I read correctly that you went to the “dealer” as in VW Dealer. Find an independent shop that is specialized in VWs. They’ll find a used transmission for you and install it at a fraction of the cost.

Are you the original owner? Your model year had a 10 yr/100k powertrain warranty to the first owner.