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Metal shavings in my transmission

VW America has replaced my transmission three times. 10 July 09, 28 Oct 09 and 07 Dec 09. I am about to take it back again for the same problem and would LOVE to have some ideas about what is actually causing the problem. My last invoice reads "Auto transmission differential noise verified concern test drove vehicle found noise coming from auto transmission rear differential. call tech line. remove auto transmission rear differential oil pan and check oil contaminated with metal send photos to tech. remove and replace transmission. test drove re check noise okay at this time. I have gotten almost rude about asking what is causing it and can’t get an answer. The transmissions get sent back to VW America and taken apart, but the dealership tells me they don’t get told where the metal shavings are coming from.

I share your confusion. There is no reason a transmission should be replaced 3 times in the space of 6 months. Are you sure your transmission was actually replaced? This almost sounds like a con game. I may be wrong but something smells fishy here. Have you thought about taking your Golf to an independent transmission mechanic? Transman…where are you?

The problem is defective transaxles…The solution is obvious…

You do not specify what type of Golf, year and mileage, or if first owner.

Check your states’ Lemon Law…You might qualify for a buy back from VOA, given you had taken it back 3 different times for the same issue.
Personally, I would never keep such a car. If this is a new car under warranty and this is a hassle, just wait until the warranty expires and then it becomes an EXPENSIVE hassle.

To be honest, there’s not enough info known to make any kind of guess at all but are you absolutely, dead certain, without a doubt whatsoever, that this transmission has actually been replaced 3 times?
If the original transmission was trashed and IF the converter was not changed/cleaned and IF the cooling lines were not flushed out then it’s possible for a new transmission to become contaminated by debris.

You refer to “remove and replace” transmission. In mechanicspeak that is referred to as R & R and it does NOT necessarily mean the transmission was actually replaced; only that it was taken out and reinstalled. Any chance of misinterpretation here?

As far as I know transmissions do not get sent back to VWOA at all. That’s all handled on the dealership level.
VWOA is NOT going to replace transmissions every other month under warranty. The service rep is going to be heavily involved the first go around, much less the second and third.

As a first step I suggest you contact VWOA and ask them to verify whether what you’re being told by the dealer is true. Ask for warranty claim documentation to prove this.

I certainly hope this is all being done under warranty.

I can’t offer an explanation, but here’s a suggestion: Plan to sell or trade this Golf a few months and a few thousand miles BEFORE the warranty expires.

I’d also consider checking out the ‘Lemon Law’ statutes in your state.

I am sure they put a “new” transmission in (it may have been rebuilt, but it was not the same transmission) I am 100 percent sure of this because I was working with a non dealership garage on this also when it started making the noise again I took it there and he said “look at that nice new shiny transmission”. I keep taking it back to the dealership because I bought it there and it’s still under warranty until August 2011. I have not paid for any of these new transmissions.

2001 Golf TDI. I am the original owner. I bought it from the dealership I am taking it to. I still have my original PO. I consulted an online atty re lemon law and they didn’t want to touch it due to the fact I bought it in 2001.
I don’t want to keep this car if it can’t be corrected. I have said many times at $4000 a pop for the transmissions it will soon become cheaper for them to either cut me a check or give me a new car.

I don’t know if they are lying to me about what happens with the transmissions they take out. I have the invoices and I have had another VW garage look and tell me they are “new” (could be rebuilt but new to my car)

Thanks, but what I really am looking for is ideas about what mechanically is causing there to be metal shavings in the transmission. I know it would be a great help if I could say where the shavings are coming from, but I can’t get that information no matter how many times I ask.

This is definately a mfg’r problem. As soon as VW will no longer replace your transmission under warranty you must sell this car. Once you start paying for this transmission work you’ll go broke.

This car fits my definition of a “Lemon”. VW should either replace these transmissions for the life of the car or buy it back and send it to the crusher.

My first choice is for some really smart person to figure this out and fix it so I can safely drive my car to 200000 miles (it only has 66000 on it) It can run on biodiesel and gets 40 miles to the gallon. It has not had any of the electrical problems VWs are known for.

My second choice would be for the dealership to give me a check and part this thing out so NO ONE has to drive an unsafe vehicle. Needless to say I will NEVER own another VW.

My third choice will be consulting an attorney regarding warranty law.

I don’t want to think about dumping this on someone else because that just sucks.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I will give this a shot and hope you are correct.

Metal shavings is due to something inside the transmission coming apart. Bearings, gears, clutches etc. The inside of a transaxle is full of stuff that can grind up and leave metal shavings. My guess is the transmission is trying to engage two or more gears at the same time. This creates very high internal pressures and parts work against each other until something eventually fails.

IF they have really replaced the transmission 3 times, the car is NOT a lemon. They just keep putting in bad transmissions.

I am not a mechanic, but I tend to disagree with your assessment. The symptom is metal shavings in the transmission. Your assessment would mean the metal shavings are already in the transmission or is an internal malfunction of the transmission itself. Three in a row are having the exact same problem? The service manager even admitted the probability of that was about as good as winning a powerball lotto.

“Lemon Law”? On a 2001 model year car that the OP purchased 9 years ago?

I don’t think that there is a Lemon Law anywhere in the US that would cover that type of situation.

I don’t mean to come across crass here but it seems to me there is a lot of this story missing, being misinterpreted, etc.

VW builds fine transmissions and you’re stating they’re failing every 2-3 months. These failures are not going to be due to faulty manufacturing; assuming the transmissions are really being replaced. They may fail due to someone cutting corners on the first replacement but it’s not a bad transmission issue.

Metal shavings are due to an internal failure, which could be anything. As to continued shavings after the trans replacement this could be due to someone not replacing the converter or cleaning it, not cleaning the cooler lines, etc. as I stated previously.

You have receipts and claim this is all under warranty. I maintain to you that VWOA is not going to buy you 3 transmissions without ripping somebody at the dealer apart (and making the dealer pay for them) and those transmissions do NOT get sent back to VWOA.
I have also mentioned previously that you should contact VWOA at the regional office and verify whether the dealer is yanking you around on this or not.

Remove and replace the transmission on a repair order does NOT mean remove the old and in with the new. It may simply mean remove the old, fix something, and reinstall the original.

Just being curious, did you buy this car new? Up until the first failure have you maintained the transmission with regular fluid changes and if so, who has been doing this maintenance?

I am the original owner. It has not been in any accidents. I have done all recommended servicing. The servicing has been done at a dealership or a very respected garage that has been in business over 20 years specializing in VW and Audi.

I agree that I don’t think it’s bad transmissions. I have receipts and it was all done under warranty. The July invoice says order and replace transmission. The October invoice says verified problem test drove remove front tires inspected remove front axle left/right, check wheel bearing, remove front caliper and brake pads inspeced ok, removed differential oil pan and check, found metal in differencial gear oil. call tech line. remove and replace transmission. Cost to VWOA is $4000 for each transmission - I have seen the paperwork each time.

I don’t believe there is fraud involved here and I am not making this up. As far as what happens to the transmission after they take it out, I am telling what I was told.

I have called and am taking it back in April 16th. We shall see what they say this time.

I scheduled my car to go back in April 16th and brought this up. The assistant service manager replied that the transaxles are an internal part of the transmission so that would mean I got three defective ones in a row if you are correct.

Just to agree with ok4450 here. You also ran this car for 8 years with no problems until recently. So, something is definitely wrong at the service end of this chain, not the supply end. I also am guessing that you have an extended warranty. Does it require that you service the car at a VW dealer?