2000 VW Golf transmission/fluid



I recently had my manual transmission fluid changed in my 2.0, 2000 VW Golf.

It has 95k on it. It was a nice shifting car before this, now it shifts really hard into 2nd, especially when it’s cold. It gets better with warming, but it almost feels like it’s binding. The mechanic used synthetic fluid, which I think it requires. He looked at it again, and could find nothing. I don’t want to have a big transmission repair. It was fine before. Has anyone had this problem? Do you think they are trying to pull a fast one?


This is a tough one. Most on this forum will say you should have the fluid replaced on a regular basis. The internet is full of stories about people that did that and then their transmission went bad. The story seems to be that replacing the fluid can stir up some debris that then plugs the lines. Maybe someone here has a better answer.


In a munual transmission changing the fluid is not that critical, but I would still do it. I suspect that the mechanic may have put too heavy a fluid in. This is all the more puzzling, since synthetic fluids are normally thinner during cold weather for the same amount of protection.

To my knowlege there are no lines to plug in a manual trnasmission, unless it has an external cooler, which is rare.

I would check the invoice an see what really went in there. It sounds suspicious.


This is actually a fairly common problem when people switch to synthetic when they should not have done so.

Consult your owner’s manual. If it does not specify synthetic, odds are very high that’s your problem. If you haven’t driven it far, you probably have not harmed the transmission. But because of how syncros work, you should check for this ASAP.


Yup, my reply was wrong. This is manual. Sorry…


VWs, at least older ones, must use a GL4 transmission fluid as GL5 has sulfur compounds that can etch the brass synchros. I seriously doubt that the synthetic fluid that was installed had sulfur but if you bought the car used, you may not know what was in there before. It may have been the factory fluid as it’s not very likely that a previous owner changed the trans fluid before 100,000 miles.

Other than that, it;s worth checking the clutch actuation if hydraulic. If cable, then make sure that the automatic clutch adjuster is working correctly.

Another thing to check is the shift linkage to make sure that it is adjusted as intended.

Try the transmission forum on VWVortex.com too.

Just a few things for you to consider.

That was a manual transmission and as I recall it requires a 75-90 W synthetic.  Double check that and double check what was actually used.