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Transmission Problems with a VW Jetta TDI

Some info and a little history of my car. I bought a 2012 VW Jetta with the 2.0 L TDI engine and a 6-speed manual transmission last year in September from a certified VW dealership in Wisconsin. There was 90,000 miles on it and now there is 97,000. I ended up moving to Indiana so I am not able to take this car back to the original dealership that I bought it from.

Recently, I am having transmission related problems, but I am not sure exactly what it is. I have had a few different symptoms occur over the last few weeks listed in order from first to last. The car has been brought into a dealership in Indiana, but they recommend taking it into a transmission shop since it doesn’t have a CPO warranty. I bought an extended powertrain warranty at the Wisconsin dealership. Thought this warranty would have been enough to fix this, but I guess I was wrong.

  1. When the car was parked in neutral with my foot off the clutch, there was a fluttering/whining noise. The noise went away if I pressed the clutch in. I thought it was a bearing issue (pilot bearing, throwout, etc.) Since then, the noise went away entirely.
  2. Approximately one week later, I started hearing whining noises when the car was in 2nd gear while driving. The noise would change from gear to gear (3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th; never from 1st) frequently, but was not constant at the time. After about a week, the noise was constant no matter what gear the car is in with the exception of 1st gear.
  3. Another couple days went by and now I have noticed 4th and 6th gear slip out occassionally when I am coasting.

I have made an appointment at a transmission shop, but I am curious what other people may think. I appreciate any thoughts and ideas.

Sounds to me like you are describing the symptoms of the Dreaded DMF failure. My GTi is currently sitting apart due to this lovely feature VW decided to incorporate.

Popping out of gear however may or may not be a symptom (I could see how it would be however)…but the noises you describe certainly are… Its a sort of “chatter” sound… This is the Dual Mass Flywheel beginning to come apart.

I wont get into the ridiculousness of the DMF here in this discussion, but I am not a fan and its a horrendous idea and I am certain that thousands of manual tranny VW’s will surely suffer the same failure at some point…no doubt about it. It should be a class action suit if you ask me but…

Look up Dual Mass Flywheel failures regarding VW’s on the net… I’m certain you will have more than enough information to read…

Sounds expensive to repair…thank you for your input!

I am knew to this forum and didn’t know how to post correctly. I just deleted the other thread to make things less confusing.

It is basically no more expensive than installing a new clutch… the only added cost is that you also need to replace the flywheel as well… Which traditionally (and I mean like the last 100 years traditionally) flywheels are nothing more than a solid disc of steel… Not anymore… VW decided to re invent the reliable wheel by slicing it into two pieces…radially… as if a record needle cut a record rather than played music. Those two pieces of circular metal are then RIVETED together using small pieces of flat steel…so that the two concentric pieces rotate as one yet able to deflect from each other.

Im sure you will read up about it and view the actual offensive item on the net… You’ll understand when you see it.

Brilliant idea…brilliant

So what I have read so far is that yes everyone hates them. I have also read that people suggest converting to solid flywheel design to avoid this inconvenience in the future. Is that what your doing in your GTI?

I havent decided yet…but I am leaning that direction. The reason they say that they used this design was to eliminate unpleasant vibes from the engine…because this engine is supposedly predisposed to said vibes.

I probably will go with a solid one… I’m not keeping the car after I repair it. My VW time, unexpected as it was…is over with. Basically I have confirmed every single reason why people are supposed to stay away from the brand. Since I do my own work, I knew it wouldn’t matter much…but enough is enough.


Update with problem. Apparently something internally is wrong with the transmission. Shop suggested it is probably a bearing. Long story short, my car is getting a new transmission. As in most cases, this also means they are replacing the clutch, flywheel, pressure plate, etc. Thankfully my warranty is covering the transmission and most of the labor, but overrall the total cost of the repair/labor (warranty and myself) is approximately $6000. Sadly, this car is only worth between $3500 to $5700 for trade in according to KBB in excellent condition.

I would be very suspicious of this diagnosis to be completely honest. Unless you noticed something very wrong with your transmission prior to having this problem I would be extremely wary of this summation of what is needed etc… The symptoms of the well known DMF failure will closely mimic a bad bearing sound.

I’m sorry… I shouldn’t get you more upset than you already are with my inflammatory diatribe. If its covered under warranty then I suppose it really doesn’t matter.

If the OP is OK with the end result and is not out a large amount of money why second guess what could actually be a correct diagnosis ?

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I agree @VOLVO_V70 well said. I really shouldn’t have voiced my suspicions at all…

Unfortunately, my transmission got to the point where I couldn’t get it in to gear with the clutch. To me, this sounds like a clutch problem to me, but it was still making the noise described above. I am not an expert so I am trusting the transmission shop in giving me an accurate diagnosis. Either way, no apologies necessary. Appreciate the second thoughts.

That might have been caused by a transmission oil problem. Level too low, too high, worn out, contaminated etc. Was the oil idea considered by your shop? Internal malfunctions of manual transmissions are not a common thing reported here. When there is one it seems like it is usually a synchronizer that has worn out.

Might be worth it to check w/VW to see if there are any applicable recalls for transmission or clutch/flywheel problems.