Q: Changing gears issue in VW Jetta with manual transmission

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My dad has 01 VW Jetta with a manual transmission. The gear lever is really stiff to engage most gears, especially first gear. Engaging the reverse makes a lot of noise and the problem gets worse on the hotter days. Is it transmission off?

The odds are that it isn’t. Volkswagens have a very funky shifter setup and the linkage is kind of a mouse trap setup. Inside them, there are various plastic bushings, and your car is an ’O1, so it is 15 years old. Those bushings could have gone bad.

It probably needs a new shifter bushing kit. Now, you can try it yourself, but it is very complicated. If you never done that, you are better off paying a mechanic to do it because it’s a relatively complicated job with kind of a squirrely design. But that is how Volkswagens are. The parts are not super expensive, but trying to figure it out yourself, you might get confused so you better pay a mechanic to do that job. You can have a certified technician inspect your transmission and repair your shifting issue properly to save you both time and money in the long-run.

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