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[Solved] Will not engage to drive until you floor it


Topic starter

My car is a 2001 VW Jetta 2.0L and it's an 4 speed automatic. Right now has 180,000 miles and it's been a reliable car so far was taken care of. The trans fluid has been changed a while ago but every time when I shift from reverse to drive especially at cold start it will not engage to drive until you floor it but it can make loud clunking sound and chirped the tires so I floored a little first then take off at higher speed. When the transmission has warmed up from driving, it can engage from reverse to drive at no problems at all. Aside from engagment issues, the transmission shifts perfectly fine at stop and go traffic. Do you think is this normal?

3 Answers

The transmission controller can sometimes get confused.

To reset it:

 turn the ignition on without starting the car. Immediately put the accelerator to the floor. Count to five seconds. Release the pedal. Turn the key off then immediately start the engine.

Problems solved now thanks

Wow, with that kind of amazing luck on your side be sure to buy Powerball tickets!!


Posted by: @rockinroll5

Do you think is this normal?

It's most definitely not normal. Your transmission is slipping like mad when it's cold. Did you put in the right amount of fluid back in the transmission? You're around the lifespan of the transmission, it could be wearing out. 

This post was modified 2 weeks ago by Justin Shepherd

Even the old fluid have same problem and was in red color. So I put new fluid and trans filter cause I thought it will fix this problem but it's still the same. The new fluid was full at proper level.


I bet you its one of those DCT transmissions. They were total junk and yours has high mileage.

It's normal for a VW, yeah. Not normal for others.

It's an older style transmission with 4 speed and torque converter.