2005 VW Golf Makes Transmission Shifts Funny – It Jerks

Reader Question Hello, Austin

I just came across your website and I did check into insurance rates for my car. Soon I should be receiving an email with information!

I have a 2005 VW Golf – 12,000 miles. Twice in the last month the car jerked very hard when the transmission attempted to go into the next gear. It will jerk “hard” twice in a row and then be fine for a few more weeks.

I took it to the VW dealer and they claim they couldn’t find anything wrong. They took it for a ride and the problem didn’t occur! Not surprising since it is a sporadic problem at this point. I have a gut feeling that this is just the start of the transmission going bad. It’s alarming when it happens because it is so noticeable and I can’t prepare myself for the sudden “jolt”. Would you please email me with your thoughts?

Thank you

Hi there Tania,

Thanks for checking your rates. I was thinking about your issue last night, and also posted your question on a few forum boards that I like to use, but no one responded saying they have experienced the issue you talk about.

I can give you my thoughts though. I have experienced similar shifting patterns when I let off the accelerator just before the transmission was about to shift gears, and that loss of acceleration caused a harder than normal erratic shift.

You might also check to see if you have a shift select button, some cars can select how hard and fast the shifting will take place. Not 100% sure if your vehicle has this, but you might look around the shifter handle and on the console for that option. I have the option for “power” or “economy” on my Lexus, and power causes a harder and faster shift.

Last thing I would do is make sure you have documentation from the dealership with your SPECIFIC complaint. You will probably have to leave it in service, and have them actually write up a service order for this job. This will help you later on if something bad does come out of this you at least notified the dealer about the issue early on.

Another suggestion would be to visit another dealership in your area and talk to the service manager there and have them check your VIN code for any recalls or service bulletin that might be out on this issue.

This will also get another opinion as to what might be happening. I have found dealership expertise varies greatly among dealerships, and individual service writers, so don’t just take the word of one dealership and one service writer.

If there is a common known issue with the transmission, eventually it will become common knowledge among dealers and service writers…..and eventually this information will make it down to the independent auto repair shops.

If you take your car to the dealer for oil changes, I would complain about this shift issue EACH TIME and make sure it is documented on YOUR copy of the service order. They might eventually find the problem if you continually bring it up, if they don’t you have one heck of a document trail in the event something happens in the future and you have a warranty claim.

Austin C. Davis

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