Q: Car went backwards when I had it in drive.

asked by on

This morning I let my car run for a few minutes to let it warm up and I was not on a hill. I was trying to get out of a parallel parking spot and it would only go backwards when I had the car in drive. Eventually after 15 minutes it jolted forward extremely hard and then squeaked and would accelerate like that for a bit until I got it going. What's going on?

My car has 215000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

This is a known issue in the Volkswagon Jetta transmission. Converter drain back is a situation where the automatic transmission fluid drains back into the transmission pan causing this kind of a reaction. Some of this is normal, but not to the extent you are describing. Another potential problem could be hardening of what are called clutch piston seals. These are rubber material and when they get cold they tend to harden which causes them to leak. This can also cause the clutch to be slow or erratic in being applied. I would suggest having an certified expert, like one from YourMechanic, come to your home to diagnose your rough driving symptoms firsthand and make the necessary repairs.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car went backwards when I had it in drive.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: My truck won't shift to reverse

There are a few things that can cause this. Check the transmission fluid level to see if it is low. Sometimes low transmission fluid levels will prevent the transmission from shifting into gear. If you still have forward gears, but...

Q: Problems with my truck slowing down.

The service engine soon message is not normal even if it has been on. One fault code can trigger the light and more codes can pop up while the light is on. If you smell a burning smell after driving...

Q: Car won't go into gear.

We would first have to know if the vehicle is an automatic or manual transmission, and the exact nature of the problem. For both transmissions, there is a wide variety of reasons as to why the vehicle would not shift...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...