Reverse gear failures and noise in the manual transmission models are common.
Car Problem Reports
Volkswagen Golf Reverse Gear Failures and Noise in Manual Transmission Models are Common
Volkswagen Golf Problem
Average Mileage: 128,844 mi (113,000 mi - 147,000 mi)
Visitor, 1998 Volkswagen Golf, 147,000 mi
Reverse sounded like a playing card against the spokes of a bike wheel. 3 months later it started popping out of gear if not held in place. Finally, even when holding it in gear, it now slips and grinds, and if I am not backing down a hill... then I go nowhere.
Not sure what has failed, why, or what the repair is, or what it will cost.
Visitor, 1998 Volkswagen Golf, 113,000 mi
1998 VW Golf GT 5-speed manual
When in reverse, immediately pops out of gear when engine is accelerated. When shifter is held against reverse shifter stop, reverse gear still pops out or makes a grinding noise.
Visitor, 1997 Volkswagen Golf
Only 138,000 kms on the car but grinding noises in reverse and now pops out a higher revs. No fix at this time.
Visitor, 1999 Volkswagen Golf, 127,000 mi
My 1999 Golf Manual transmission will not go into 1st gear or reverse.