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: 127,967 (2,000–252,000)
Drive Train affected: Manual Transmission
23 model years affected: 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, more1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015
98 people reported this problem
54 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.
2000 Volkswagen Jetta123,650
Unable to shift into reverse. All other forward gears work fine.
I pulled into my driveway and my car won't go in reverse. I think linkage is out.
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.
1999 Volkswagen Jetta126,000
so far just noise...loud, rhythmic with ground speed, revers only, even w/ clutch in and rolling.
makes a grinding noise then trying to shift into reverse either stalls or kicks into first gear.
1996 Volkswagen Jetta102,000
reverse gear went out
2002 Jetta 1.8t manual. Will not go into reverse. drops down into position but moves forward. I will try some of the fixes listed below such as placing the car in neutral with the clutch up then shifting to reverse. Turning car off shift into reverse and start. Let car roll back in neutral and then shift into reverse. If all else fails will bring in for service. Have to note the gear box has been loose sometimes not letting me shift into third or fourth gear. This car has has so many problems, ignition coil failure, windows dropping, and other electrical issues. I think it was the first model made in Mexico. The Audi same engine hadd ignition coil problems too. Don't buy this car...period
1996 Volkswagen Jetta155,000
I can shift all gears except the reverse when I shift in to reverse and start moving it kicks out off reverse and stops moving
1998 Volkswagen Jetta148,000
Stripped reverse gear occured TWICE to my transmission and replacement! Very costly!
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.
1997 Volkswagen Jetta150,000
Loud pop and comes out of gear. All forward gears are fine.
the differential gear gave out when taking off from a stop and shifting into first gear.... complete transmission rebuild
1997 Volkswagen Jetta125,000
noisy reverse and diff exploded 2 holes wth
2000 Volkswagen Jetta108,000
The whole car vibrates when trying to reverse.
Mine wouldn't let me get into reverse at times and I would have to pump the clutch and it would eventually let me in gear.
2008 Volkswagen Jetta137,000
My Jetta has done this twice now. I'll start the car, and (attempt to) shift into reverse, and I can feel the gearshift going in only about halfway. The first time this happened I knew something didn't feel right, and when I let up off the clutch the gears started grinding. So I turned the car off, then back on and tried again with no problem. Happened to me again about a month or so later. Tried shifting into reverse and no matter how many times I try, it'll only go in about halfway. I'm not sure if this is a linkage problem or not. The clutch is still in good shape as far as I can tell.
2007 Volkswagen Jetta115,000
I have a manual car 5 speed. It would allow me to change gear from 1,2,3 but would struck on 4,5 and Reverse Gear.
Reverse is out. Only goes forward. Doesn't even go in the reverse gear. But it goes in all the others.
Manual transmission will not go into reverse , will not go into 2nd and 3rd gear. I think its the syncro rings for 2nd &3rd. But reverse. I don't know
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