Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

What's the matta with my Beeta?

I just bought a 98 Beetle with 58000 miles on it (for only 3400)! It was apparently abandoned and sat around for some time at a car shop before being sold to me.

So here’s its weird problem: When I am driving in low gear (it’s an automatic), under 25 miles per hour or so, it feels like I’m driving with my brake on. For example, when I attempt to coast down a hill, I don’t even accelerate! Even on the steepest of hills, I’ll be slowly decelerating. This problem is most apparent after I start the car. After the car has shifted up past 25mph and back down, the problem is still there but not quite as extreme.
I have found that, when coasting down a hill, if I shift my car into neutral, it feels like I suddenly let go of the brake! I will suddenly begin to accelerate in neutral where as I am decelerating in drive (when driving under 25mph).
What also might be worthy of note is that it shifts -kind- of hard when going past the 25mph mark. I’ve seen cards shift harder so I don’t think it’s a big deal but it might be related.

I’m afraid this problem is having a negative affect on my gas mileage. I’m additionally afraid that it’s a problem that’ll get worse and cost me lots of money. Someone halp, and thanks so much!!

Park your car on a flat surface. Shift to neutral then shut off the engine. Stand in the doorway and push back and forth on the vehicle. It should roll freely. If not, you have a stuck brake(s).

It sounds like your transmission is not up-shifting into a higher gear when you release the throttle…It could just be a disconnected vacuum line or other shift control part…I would have a transmission pro check it…

If the brakes are properly releasing…
does this car have a ‘‘hill descent control’’ feature on it ?

No offence, but I wouldn’t brag about what you paid for it. You could likely have bought it for half that price. The price you quote is more than you could buy a loaded 1998 New Beetle for from a dealer in excellent condition.

It sounds like you are manually putting the car into low gear. If so the car is acting 100% normal. Leave it in drive and let the car do it’s thing.