Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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 1000 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!

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: acts like it is out of gear when rpms are high..

Based on the information you provided about your 2002 F-150, it sounds like you could have internal transmission issues. The first thing I suggest is to check the transmission fluid. You should look to see if it is full. If...

Q: Car rumbles when accelerating for the first time after not using the car for 12 or more hours.

Hi there: What you're describing could be several issues ranging from clogged fuel injectors or dirty fuel filter to electronics related with a problem with the ignition coil or a sensor; even a vacuum leak. If you turn on the...

Q: Door locks go on and off fast, whole dashboard goes off, transmission seems out of gear, RPMs go up, wont start at times, switch on

Hey there. It sounds like you may have a major electrical issue with your vehicle. This could be a short of some kind or a computer going bad. I would recommend enlisting the assistance of a qualified professional who is...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
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...