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Rebuilt transmission reliability

The auto transmission on my 2002 Jetta TDI was rebuilt this year. It had 85000 miles when the reverse gear went out completely. Now I’m wondering whether to keep the car or trade it while I can.

My question is: Once the transmission has failed and been rebuilt, is it more or less likely to fail again than if it had not been rebuilt?

The transmission is working fine now for the most part. It shifts hard on very rare occasions, when it’s cold or hot (after a highway run), but that symptom existed before the rebuild as well. Otherwise the car is in great shape.


Assuming it was a proper rebuild, you should not have any more problems with it for a long time. That said, I don’t like that shifting hard on occasion thing. Hopefully Transman may stop by and offer the best advice on this you can get.

Who rebuilt it?

It was rebuilt by the local AAMCO shop. They’ve been in business many years here and have a good reputation.

The hard shift is always between 2nd and 3rd, and only occurs once a week or so. It’s been doing that for years, even before the reverse went out.

“It was rebuilt by the local AAMCO shop”

Well, hopefully that good reputation was rightfully earned. Unfortunately, most AAMCO, Lee Myles, and Cottman shops have reputations for poor quality (and frequently unnecessary) repairs, as well as inflated prices.

That being said, if the rebuild was done correctly, the newly rebuilt transmission should operate properly for at least as long as the original transmission. You can help to ensure that longevity by having the fluid changed every 30,000 miles and by regularly monitoring the level and the color of the fluid.

However, if the transmission is not shifting properly, I would not hesitate to take the car back to AAMCO and request that they remedy the situation. Just because the original transmission exhibited this behavior, that does not make it desirable. After all, the original transmission did fail prematurely.