Transmission falling out of my car

Hello everyone…I’m in need of some help here in regards to my 2007 VW beetle. So I’m driving to work on Friday morning and I get off the highway make a left turn then all the sudden I hear the loudest clanking noise and my car just won’t go. I get out to look under my car and my transmission has completely fallen to the ground!! I bought this car from my work on May 1st of this year, however after having it only 2 days I was hit head on, and the driver that hit me took off. My car then spent over a mth in a body shop getting fixed, which I had to pay “3000” for out of my own pocket. I get my car back and I haven’t even had it for a full month and my transmission just literally falls out…I’m so lost on how this happened, and now I need a new transmission because when it fell to the ground it apparently busted a hole in it, and this repair is going to cost me another 1500 at least. I guess what’s bothering me the most is that my nose went above and beyond to prove I was the one responsible for these repairs, and that my transmission falling out was a result of something during the accident. He’s saying that the mount had a hair line crack in it and it just had to finally break away. The thing is my car was seen by 3 different shops and had work done by all them and no one caught this. So now it was towed to another shop who’s telling me all that I need a new transmission and that he only found 1 of the 7 bolts that should’ve been there and that these bolts must have just been easing there way out in the last 3 weeks…like how does this happen? I’m going with negligence on all parts and I refuse to pay for something that could’ve been avoided had these mechanics not been in my boss’s pocket. So any advice or help you can give me in this situation would be greatly appreciated. I’m hoping this is good use of this platform, because I’m desperate for help and answers!

sorry you are going through this.

  1. why didn’t you go through your insurance?
  2. were you hit in the rear? if so was the engine replaced? if yes then maybe the auto body that replaced it might be at fault. if you were hit in the front then it probably has nothing to do with the accident.

This is a “new” Beetle, with a front engine.

That would make it the responsibility of the insurance company to complete the repairs that were not completely done initially.

see I learned something. I was never into beetles. I assumed it was in the rear. and when you assume… you make a ass out of me not U. LOL
and yes I know that’s not how the saying goes.

The car is 15 years old and likely purchased “AS IS”. That means no warranty and the second you are handed the title and keys the car is yours; warts and all.

A careful examination of the transmission, mounts, mounting bolts, and bell housing should reveal an answer as to why this happened.

You say you spent 3000 out of pocket. Does that mean 3 grand in total or 3 grand + any amount that someone else paid? And why 3 body shops?

It’s possible I suppose the transmission could have taken a hit and gotten cracked. It’s all odd to me as I have never seen nor heard of a transmission falling out of anything. Blown up; yes.

My gut feeling is this car may have a history involving the transmission and that the car’s prior owner may know more than they are letting on. They usually do…
Unfortunately, no matter the reason I think you are stuck.

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Of course it is too late now but from now on use the rule a lot of people go by. Never buy or sell a vehicle to friends , relatives or co-workers. Unless your employer gave you a written gaurantee of some kind they have no resposibility for the repair of the vehicle they sold you.

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The “new” Beetle (now discontinued) was essentially just a VW Golf with a different body and different dimensions.

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I only had liability at the time of the accident and hadn’t switched it to full coverage yet !!

FYI I would not involve the previous owner or boss anymore, you still have to work with them.

It was a total of 3000 dollars for all parts labor and body work, and it went to 3 different shops because each shop specializes in certain things that needed replaced…like the mounting and reinforcements I have all my invoices showing all parts that were replaced, so that’s why my boss telling me that the mount had a crack in it was a tad hard to believe since I have an invoice for 200 stating it was all replaced. I work for these people and have for almost a year, and I’m not saying my work is responsible for the repairs, I’m saying these people that replaced my mount and all the bolts should be held accountable. I just hoping someone on here can tell me I’m not wrong and exactly how to go about getting this done correctly!

I’m not saying my work is responsible. I’m saying that the business that replaced my mount and bolts should be. I have an invoice for 200 bucks stating it was done, but have a mechanic telling me that out of 7 bolts I only had 1 that the others must have just eased there way out

You are totally right, and that’s what makes this so hard and upsetting! Also for the record I’m not saying he’s responsible for anything, I believe the shop is and they should be footing the bill for negligence

have you contacted them?

I haven’t yet because this just happened on Friday and by the time I got home and got out all my invoices they were closed so I have to wait until tomorrow morning

The transmission mount has 5 bolts/studs, are you talking about bell housing bolts?

The way I read it the bell housing bolts worked their way out. If so I would speculate that the transmission was removed at one time and not put back in properly. Is this a manual transmission? Maybe the clutch was repaired at one time.

Who is “he?” You identified him as “my nose” earlier, but that has to be a typo.

If it’s the tow truck driver, don’t take what they say as gospel. They’re good at strapping cars to the back of a truck and taking them places. They’re not necessarily knowledgeable about how cars work. I’ve had many a tow-dude over the years “diagnose” my car while I quietly rolled my eyes and then went to fix the real problem.

But it looks to me like there are indeed 7 bolts that hold the bell housing on your transmission. Unless there’s something on your paperwork that talks about transmission removal from the engine it might be hard to prove that the body shops did it. You’re especially up a creek because you not only have to prove the shops did it, but you have to prove which shop did it, which is why it’s generally not a good idea to take the car around to 3 separate shops to do the same job. Unless that’s not what you meant?

At any rate, if the body shop didn’t need to remove the transmission, then they might not have even looked at the bell housing bolts because they wouldn’t have needed to. There shouldn’t be any expectation that a shop will catch everything that’s wrong with a car just because it’s in there. Unless you order a full inspection, they’re generally only looking at whatever they’re being paid to fix, and maybe a cursory glance at some other stuff just to see if there’s something else they can recommend a repair on.

All that leads up to, you’re probably going to end up having to pay to fix this, because you’re not going to be able to prove that anyone screwed up, and even if you can, you’re not going to be able to prove who screwed up.

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Just trying to clarify a few things; and 3 grand total for everything tells me the wreck was not that bad and the impact was not likely hard enough to break the trans itself.
Just curious, but manual or automatic trans?

Can I assume the trans did not actually fall out of the car and what is meant is that a mount gave way which then allowed the transmission to drop down on the mount side and hit the pavement while still being bolted solid to the engine block? This would mean all bell housing bolts are still tight and the trans is hanging from the bell housing bolts.

If that is the case and seeing as how you paid someone to replace that mount then it seems to me bolts were not tightened sufficiently or possibly overtightened which could strip or pull the bolt threads.
This could also damage the remaining mounts which may have been previously good.

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I don’t understand what exactly happened. I’m presuming this is a transverse mounted engine/transaxle, located at the front of the car. In that configuration there’s usually a mount located sort of near the front bumper, around the area the engine & transmission meet up. That mount prevents the engine/transmission combo from torqueing (twisting) too much on rapid accelerations. I’m presuming that one failed and the engine/transmission combo twisted off its moorings during an acceleration (or possibly during engine braking) and the front part of the engine/transmission ended up near to or on the ground.

In terms of what to do, first talk to your insurance company. Second, get an independent shop to inspect the work of the prior shops. If it all the prior work checks out as of expected quality, you can either cut your losses and sell the vehicle for scrap, or repair it. If your inde consultant shop says the prior work was not done properly, then you’ll have to ask them (the prior shops) for your money back, or if they refuse, ask them to fix it correctly for no charge, or seek out a legal remedy.

I don’t understand how this happened either. If it’s a FWD, there is a lot of stuff that has to come off in order to even drop it enough to get the cover off. At any rate, I think the issue is the same if you plan to go after anyone for the damage. You will have to determine exactly what part broke/wasn’t fastened, etc. Then determine who was responsible for that part, then you have to go back to that person to give them a chance to correct the problem. Bad part, workmanship, etc. If they refuse then you have to seek resolution through small claims including the shop and their insurance company. I can’t imagine what part of your car insurance would cover the damage since you only had liability at that time and they were off the hook for any crash damage. At any rate, you will need a qualified shop to determine what exactly happened before you can go any farther.

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