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Need help transmission?!? 2003 Jetta 1.8T sedan

Car makes really loud rapid ticking sound when running and going below 20 mph. Car skips and slips and surges all at the same time. Not sure exactly what’s up with that. Also dropped a penny into the cigarette lighter/USB port and started smoking now my radio doesn’t work. Any recommendations with the car and the radio system??

The tapping noise is likely from low oil. The bucking and surging could be a fuel system problem. Is your check engine light on? If you’re lucky dropping the penny in the lighter socket only blew a fuse. It could be worse.

The car chugs oil like its gas, the check engine light is on and it smokes from the front now too.

A faulty PCV system is a possibility. Radio is probably just a blown fuse.

… and/or it could be the result of oil changes that were not done often enough.

Very possible

With this number of problems, I strongly suggest that you have it examined/diagnosed by a competent mechanic, as it apparently has a LOT of issues that will potentially shorten its life.

A 16 year old car that “chugs oil like it’s gas” and has smoke coming from the front end probably doesn’t have much life left. Granted, I had a similar situation with a Pontiac (no untoward noises but it gulped oil) that turned out to be a punctured oil filter. An old Dodge of mine had a hole in the oil pressure sending unit. Both were cheap fixes but I doubt the OP is that lucky.