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Q: Hole in my Beetle's transmission pan

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I knocked a hole in the transmission pan. The only thing I noticed was somewhat of a vibration for about 4 days and then it stopped. The car suddenly started slipping and in about 10 minutes would not go anywhere or into any gear. The shop is saying without replacing the pan they can't tell me if their is transmission damage and I'm trying to decide if it is worth repairing or not or what the probability of transmission damage is.

My car has 90000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hey there. An automatic transmission is a precision instrument. The tolerances in the transmission are far tighter than they are in the engine, so it doesn’t take a whole lot of abuse to do a great deal of damage. But it sounds like you didn’t get far before things just stopped working. When the transmission ran out of fluid, it could no longer maintain oil pressure on the clutch packs and the car stopped moving.

If you didn’t spend a lot of time with the engine running trying to get the car to move after it stopped, there may yet be some life in the transmission. If there isn’t any other visible damage, I think I would take the gamble and try a new pan and fluid.

Then, whether the car worked or not, I’d get rid of it. Even if the tranny is working, I’m sure you have shortened its life expectancy. If you want to have the car scoped out in person, a certified technician can change the pan and oil and advise you on what to do from there.

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