Trying to find a better solution than a new transmission

I have a 2001 Volkswagen Jetta GLS (2.0 L Automatic). About a year ago, it started shifting a little strange, and I went one day to get new brakes, an oil change, and added a fuel injector cleaner. The car drove great on the way home. I drove again a little while later and the car would not shift out of first gear.

I had a mechanic buddy look at it, and in typical fashion as soon as he drove it it was working just fine. I drive it, it won’t shift. Check engine light comes on giving a read about the mass air flow. we replaced that and the catalytic converter. He drives the car for a few days and everything is fine. I go to pick up the car from him, won’t shift.

Are there ANY other solutions at this point, because I just want someone to give me some ounce of hope that i’m not going to have to replace the transmission in the car.

Have you had a TRANSMISSION shop look at it? If its having shifting problems, that’s where you need to start.

Curious; why did you change out the catalytic converter? What does that have to do with the shifting? What does the MAF sensor have to do with the transmission? Just because a code pops up doesn’t mean the component needs to be replaced. Stop throwing parts as it, you’ll have better luck with the lottery.

Hmm, well how many miles are on this car? I must say that the transmission is hardly strained by the 2.0 engine in these cars, so it has the potential to last for quite a while.

Has anyone checked to make sure that the fluid in the transmission is at the correct level? This is really important to know before we go any further with solutions. This car doesn’t have a dipstick for the tranmission, so you’ll have to check the level by removing a side fill plug. Probably wisest to bring it to a VW shop or a European car garage for help with this if you’re not sure how to do it properly.

yes we did check the transmission fluid level which was fine.

I wasn’t “throwing parts at it”, the catalytic converter had been damaged and had a hole in it.

How many miles on it? Have you actually changed the fluid? VW says the fluid is lifetime, but there’s no such thing. A reasonable change interval is no more than 75,000 miles (I’d do 50,000 personally).

I would recommend a VW specialty shop at any rate.

my mechanic friend is actually works for the dealership. the car has about 100,000 miles on it.

Change the fluid and filter and see if things improve. It’s worth a try. Your friend will know what the proper fluid is for this transmission. VW says transmission fluid is lifetime, but it’s lifetime assuming how long the average owner owns the car, not the mechanical lifetime of the car.

There could be some hope but your problem is usually not good for hope. Unless the valve body is damaged or the fluid level is too high, somebody is going to have to open it up and look around; usually by rebuilding the transmission. Sometimes, you can’t find the diagnostic expert with the $150 solution.

Then explain that in your post, otherwise people will think you replaced the catalytic converter because the transmission was acting up!