Reverse Gear Failures and/or Noise From Manual Transmission on Volkswagen Jetta

Reverse gear failures and noise in the manual transmission models are common.

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Average mileage: 128,912 (45,000–201,692)
21 model years affected: 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, more1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
78 people reported this problem
39 people shared problem details
2002 Volkswagen Jetta148,000
2002 VR6 Manual Transmission - Doesn't shift into Reverse anymore. No noise from transmission, or engine bay area. No smoke. No leaks. Allows me to shift into where Reverse should be, but only seems to engage 1st gear...treats it like I didn't go over far enough for Reverse.
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1999 Volkswagen Jetta126,000
so far just noise...loud, rhythmic with ground speed, revers only, even w/ clutch in and rolling.
1996 Volkswagen Jetta102,000
reverse gear went out
I pulled into my driveway and my car won't go in reverse. I think linkage is out.
1997 Volkswagen Jetta150,000
Loud pop and comes out of gear. All forward gears are fine.
2000 Volkswagen Jetta123,650
Unable to shift into reverse. All other forward gears work fine.
1998 Volkswagen Jetta148,000
Stripped reverse gear occured TWICE to my transmission and replacement! Very costly!
the differential gear gave out when taking off from a stop and shifting into first gear.... complete transmission rebuild
1992 Volkswagen Jetta192,450
Sometimes reverse gear does not work until I put it back in neutral, let off the clutch, press clutch again, then shift into reverse. Also I get a clunking noise sometimes when shifting.
1997 Volkswagen Jetta125,000
noisy reverse and diff exploded 2 holes wth
2000 Volkswagen Jetta108,000
The whole car vibrates when trying to reverse.
makes a grinding noise then trying to shift into reverse either stalls or kicks into first gear.
2009 Volkswagen Jetta145,000
High pitched vibrating noise at 60mph was diagnosed by VW tech as failing transmission and recommended replacement.
2001 Volkswagen Jetta143,000
I also have problem with my MT. On a rare occasion I'll try shifting out of reverse and it either won't move or sometimes it's extremely stiff and difficult to shift With what feels like a lot of tension on the shifting mechanism. I've found that if I turn off the ignition, I can then shift out of reverse into 1st gear without any tension or stiffness on the shifter what so ever. I start my Jetta back up an have no issue shifting. I'm sure it's just a temporary solution to a deteriorating transmission, but turning off my Jetta, shifting out of reverse and restarting the car is a suitable option for the time being.
left car running 5 minutes did not put in park. Moved shift to Reverse and car would move. P D N R S letter on dash were flashing. put car in drive and went forward. put car in reverse and didn't move. turned car off for 10 seconds, car in park to start then went into reverse fine. no more problems.
my girlfriend is the one driving from home to work, not beating on it and the reverse gave up on me
1999 Volkswagen Jetta201,692
VW "New" Beetle, to be honest, (Which- from my mechanic friends in other states- is just a bug body on a Jetta engine and frame,) and no solution. I just towed her home and have yet to get to a mechanic to figure out what might be wrong. However- if it's going to be the 1,000's of dollars I'm seeing mentioned all over the place- I'll have no choice but to junk her. Basically she decided that she just no longer would get into reverse. Tried to shift her and while the manual shift shifted into the right position, she wanted to go forward. The stick seemed kind of mushy, though, like it wasn't catching something properly down there.
2000 Volkswagen Jetta180,000
I had problems putting my car in reverse in the summer when the engine is hot. In the winter I had no problem. When the engine is hot in the summer I have to force it in reverse to get it in. So after a year of doing that I think I caused damage to the transmission cause when I was shifting to second gear it would pop out. Took it to the mechanics and told me the transmission needs replacement. not happy
2000 Volkswagen Jetta105,000
The car went into reverse when I bought it just fine, the next day it wouldn't. Reverse gear acted just like a stiffer 1st and the car went forward...
1999 Volkswagen Jetta148,000
Lost reverse will shift fine in first and second but won't shift out of second into higher gear. Automatic 2.0 Volkswagen jetta
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