Accidentally went into manual without noticing

driving to class today in a 15min drive, at some point during it i accidentally knocking my car in manual without noticing, my music being loud i didn’t hear my car revving, i’m not sure what gear i was, what rpms i was at, or how long i was even in manual. but i noticed when my car starting running off and then a sensor came on for “low engine oil” and then following right after that my “alternator malfunction” sensor also came on and my car suddenly shut off and all i was able to do was roll to a stop on the side of the road. it wouldn’t start back and i had to go to class for my test. later after my class i came back and the car started just fine, no sensors showing or anything. the engine was definitely shaking more than usual but it seemed fine. i pulled out and drove maybe 10ft and maybe 15mph and both of those sensors came back on and my car just shut off again. i’m not sure whats wrong. any ideas?? It’s a Volkswagen Jetta 2011 TDI

First, check your oil level. If it is very low - completely below the dipstick - you may have destroyed the engine. Bad day for sure but you DO check your oil level regularly, right??

You need to get the error codes stored in the car read out. Find a friend with a code reader and post the actual codes here in the format P0123. If you can’t do your own work, have it towed to a garage. expect to pay for diagnosis and expect a large bill. Expect the worst, hope for the best.


What does that actually mean?

Have you at least checked the oil level?

Modern vehicles can’t really over-rev because of their electronic engine controls, so although you didn’t do your engine any favors by driving at high RPMs, that incident–in and of itself–didn’t cause whatever problems you are now experiencing.

How often do you normally check your oil?
Does the engine consume oil?
Are you careful to replenish the oil as soon as it is down by 1/2 quart?
Do you use the oil that is specified by VW for that engine?

Yes had my oil completely changed less than 2k miles ago. oil levels looked fine but maybe a little dark. when i went to check the oil white smoke came out of the dipstick hole. the car starts and will run but maybe for 15ft then the sensors go off and the car shuts down

less than two months ago i had to pay roughing $1800 for my car because the owner before never changed the oil and it became sludge in the lines. everything was stripped and redone. new oil was out in. new turbo manifold. new everything. ran great, actually way better than it did because until all of a sudden today.

Well THAT isn’t good! I can’t tell you what you broke over the internet. A mechanic needs to get hands-on, eyes-on and a scanner hooked to the engine’s computer to determine the problem.

That is definitely not a good sign. Have you checked the coolant level in the radiator?

Well, if the sensors “go off”, that is a good thing!
I would be concerned if they went “on”.

That being said, the best advice that I can offer at this point is to have the car towed to a qualified mechanic. Don’t attempt to start the engine, even if the sensors are “off” because there are multiple signs of major problems.

I guess that’s my only option at this point. whenever i check the oil and it smokes. it was almost 3 hours after the incident happened because i had to go to my college classes in between. so i just had started it back up and actually just realized i checked the oil while my car was on. it was also very cold this morning so that could’ve been the reason for the “smoke” coming from it.

… and, please bear in mind that “qualified mechanic” means NOT going to Midas, Meineke, Monro, Sears, Pep Boys, a tire shop, or–God forbid–AAMCO. Have the car towed to an independent mechanic’s shop, preferably one that specializes in VWs.

Check it again with the engine not running

I have a good shop i always go to that did the last work on my car! thank you! i’ll figure it out

Coincidentally, I did that recently with my mother’s Jetta, but I didn’t push it that hard before I noticed, so I didn’t get any warning lights.

The lesson to be learned here is to pay closer attention to how your car is behaving, so you’ll notice it isn’t shifting gears.

Does car have auto trans?
Don’t know what manual mode is for auto trans?

it’s almost like a slap shift, i never use it.

The 2011 TDI Jetta should have the 6 speed DSG dual clutch automated manual. It’s not a traditional automatic in that there’s no torque converter. It’s basically an automated manual transmission where the clutch is operated by a computer (there’s no third pedal). It shifts faster than a regular automatic and is nearly as efficient at transferring power as a manual, but they typically aren’t as smooth-operating as a regular automatic and tend to be less reliable.

Have you checked to see if you still have an accessory drive belt, aka fan belt?

sorry for wanting to get as much opinions on it as possible ? lol

The opinions will be the same as before. This car needs to be seen by a real mechanic. This is not going to be a driveway fix via internet advice to someone who doesn’t even know how to check the oil.

If you play your music so loud that you can’t hear your engine revving at full throttle, how are you going to hear a fire truck, police car or ambulance?


Getting responses on a message board is a lot like fishing. You cast your line, then wait. I hope you find a sensible resolution to the issue you are experiencing. I’ll go back to lurking.

Said i checked my oil less than a month ago. music was loud because it was 6:30am and i was try to get woke up for my finals exam. sorry i don’t have all the money and was seeing if possibly it could be almost a driveway fix. sorry me posting it twice offended you.