Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Replacing a VW Phaeton transmission, the saga

A 2004 V8 Phaeton owner on VWVortex had to have his transmission replaced and posted these photos.

The guy bought the car in April 2010 with 80,000 miles on it.  By 94,000 miles, the car started acting funny while shifting from 1st to 2nd.  For a brief moment, the engine would rev up a couple hundred RPM, as if the transmission was in neutral, before engaging into 2nd.  The tech diagnosed it as a "flare shift" and concluded that it was only going to get worse.

Fortunately, the guy bought a service contract/extended warranty.  The warranty company offered two choices: the company would pay for a used 70,000 mile transmission or the owner would have to pay an extra $2,000 for a rebuilt transmission (that's the cost differential between a used unit and a rebuilt unit).  He opted for the rebuilt transmission.  His research revealed that a rebuilt transmission cost around $4,500. 

Here is the mechanic disconnecting all the fluid lines.

Disassembly instructions.

The engine and transmission will be lowered onto this table.  Note that it is in two pieces, for when the engine and transmission are separated from each other.

They forgot to unhook an oxygen sensor wire.

Old transmission.

New transmission.

Do we need these extra parts?

These pictures were taken in June 2011.  Within a couple of months, the new transmission was experiencing the same problem, only between 2nd and 3rd gear.  The shop updated some software, and it ended up shifting even worse.  The owner then waited two weeks for a valve body from Germany.  After installing the valve body, the flare shift was still there.

The saga continues.


Alan said...

Good luck, man - I hope you don't need it.

MattC said...

My co-worker has a Ford Taurus X with the CVT. He noticed a slight hiccup in its operation (he is friend with the manager of the dealership). The dealership covered an entire replacement of the CVT under warranty. However, he has had to take the car back 4 times for problems that the technicians did while replacing the CVT. Suffice it to say, the dealership has provided a long term rental while the solve this mess.

Ripple7 said...

Tamerlane's I've loved your Phaeton posts keep it up! I'm curious if you drive with constant anxiety of if and when something breaks? I drive a 9 year old e39 touring (525) with 62k miles. I'm in a constant state of paranoia of hearing something that "just doesn't sound right" or "is it shifting a little weird today" Really I've got nothing to worry about the 525's are very reliable but I would also like to get another 20 years out of this car.

Edvin said...

Ripple7: You really have nothing to fear. 62k is nothing for that car as long as you have a healthy enthusiastic approach to maintenance. I used to own an E39 with +280k miles.

Maxichamp said...

@Ripple7: I'm like you. Always worrying. What's worse, the ride is so quiet, every little hiccup can be heard and over-scrutinized in my mind.