Jetta 2011 Sportwagen TDI 6 speed manual stalls on shifting into first gear -- HELP [Archive] - Volkswagen Owners Club Forum |VW Golf / Jetta /Passat /Beetle/EOS/Rabbit/GTI /CC/Bus/Touareg/Tiguan/TDI

: Jetta 2011 Sportwagen TDI 6 speed manual stalls on shifting into first gear -- HELP



Henry Shapiro
12-18-2010, 05:48 PM
I recently bought a 2011 Jetta Sportwagen TDI diesel with a six-speed manual transmission. The car sure seems finicky. I can't tell you how many times I've stalled the car when starting from a dead stop in first gear. I've been driving a stick shift for 25 years and have driven many different makes and models, and I've never had any trouble in the past. If I synch the clutch and the revs just right I don't have a problem, but if I make the slightest error the car is very unforgiving and stalls. I also find that when going around a corner slowly (10 mph) [say, making a right turn onto a residential street from a main street] in second, I'm afraid the car will stall (revs at about 1200) though it hasn't yet. Lastly, if I follow the shifting suggestions on the MFI I often find the car running at very low revs and while it doesn't hesitate or stall, it lacks pep and zip (and I worry it might stall). Has anybody else had these problems? After three weeks I would think I was used to the car, but I'm still stalling on starting from a dead stop occasionally. Suggestions anyone? (I'm beginning to wish I'd gotten the automatic transmission).:(

nitroscope8
12-18-2010, 05:50 PM
It's the nature of it. You need to get used to it or trade it for the DSG. Driving stick for a million years means nothing when driving MODERN GERMAN manual transmissions. Ignore the shifting pattern on the mfi, it's for low fuel consumption only.

chody
01-02-2011, 12:14 PM
i have a 07 2.0 tdi and its flat at low revs and stalled it a few times in the first few weeks going into 2nd at low revs but soon got used to it and it goes like poo off a shovel when pressed

piperpilot
05-09-2011, 01:39 PM
Did you ever get any resolution to your problem with the manual transmission? I have been driving our 2011 jetta sportwagen for about 6 months with the same issue. I thought I would get better with practice but as you said the car is very unforgiving. Did you ever mention it to a vw service technician? Any help would be appreciated. This issue is driving my wife and I crazy.

KDawg
06-13-2011, 06:48 PM
I myself recently purchased a 2011 TDI Jetta with a 6-sp manual. I too have the exact same issue. I see one poster said it was due to being a German transmission but I really think there is something strange going on with 1st gear. I've had the car for two months now and I still don't think there is any consistency with 1st gear. In fact not only does it stall too easily but when you do get it in gear there is absolutely NO pickup whatsoever. The RPMs keep going up but there is no pace. You're lucky if you reach 20 mph with it.

If anybody has any tips I'm all ears. I'm not new to manual transmissions but this is really puzzling me.

nitroscope8
06-13-2011, 09:06 PM
Alright, i'm going to just put it out there raw for you to enjoy. It's the DRIVER. The transmission is a mechanical piece of a metal with fixed gears. They don't change, they don't get bigger, they don't get smaller. Depending where the shifter is set determined by THE DRIVER the transmission has a total of 6 forward ratios and one reverse. This NEVER changes. Moving to the left you have a clutch and flywheel. This is controlled by a pedal all the way to your left. When you push the pedal down all the way to the floor, the engine and transmission are NOT connected. When you release the pedal all the way up, the engine and transmission are clamped together. Depending where the pedal is between these two points determines how much slip between the two happens.

The pedal to the far RIGHT is the gas pedal. It determines how much diesel goes into the engine. More diesel means more boost and more power. By playing with the left and right pedals you DRIVE. If you don't get the two pedals coordinated just right, the engine will either race or it will stall. The choice is YOURS.

KDawg
06-16-2011, 08:27 AM
It might be the driver, but the engineering behind the ridiculously finicky 1st gear IS THE CAR!!! It's one thing to be a condescending jerk to somebody driving a manual for the first time...it is another talking to somebody who has driven a manual before.

nitroscope8
06-16-2011, 06:49 PM
Define finicky? I said the gear never changes. You are either in gear, or not. In my opinion the first gear RATIO is perfect for the car. I absolutely love driving the 6mt tdi's. Nobody at work has problems or complains about it and i've never had customers complain of it. Do you feel first gear is too low and you need to rev it out to get moving? Or do you feel it's too high and you are lugging the engine...like starting off in second gear? What rpms do you let out the clutch at from a stop? What rpm to you typically shift out of first at?

KDawg
06-17-2011, 02:49 PM
Usually barring any inclines I try to keep RPMs at about 1200 when letting off the clutch to put it into first because it seems anything else isn't smooth and or the car conks out. But it is very very touchy and it always feels like there is no pick-up once in gear as well. I know there is almost a 4 to 1 ratio for 1st gear on those cars unless I'm mistaken. I'm not much of a gear-head so for me it was always about feel on previous manual transmissions. I never got into specifics or technical specs. I'd get feedback from the sounds of the motor but with this one I just can't get it right. I have to let it out slowly every time with no pickup otherwise it seems to want to stall. Once fully engaged, if I step on the gas the RPMs go up but there isn't any acceleration. I pop it into second to get it moving. I don't disagree some of it can be contributed to driver error, but this is unlike any manual I've driven before and I don't know if it has to do with being a diesel or not.

So if you have any thoughts I'd be willing to try them out.

DUSlider
06-17-2011, 09:39 PM
Usually barring any inclines I try to keep RPMs at about 1200 when letting off the clutch to put it into first because it seems anything else isn't smooth and or the car conks out. But it is very very touchy and it always feels like there is no pick-up once in gear as well. I know there is almost a 4 to 1 ratio for 1st gear on those cars unless I'm mistaken. I'm not much of a gear-head so for me it was always about feel on previous manual transmissions. I never got into specifics or technical specs. I'd get feedback from the sounds of the motor but with this one I just can't get it right. I have to let it out slowly every time with no pickup otherwise it seems to want to stall. Once fully engaged, if I step on the gas the RPMs go up but there isn't any acceleration. I pop it into second to get it moving. I don't disagree some of it can be contributed to driver error, but this is unlike any manual I've driven before and I don't know if it has to do with being a diesel or not.

So if you have any thoughts I'd be willing to try them out.

If you let out the clutch all the way and give it gas, but it doesn't accelerate while the RPMs are climbing, than your clutch is slipping or your clutch hasn't fully engaged...

Henry Shapiro
06-20-2011, 09:12 AM
I'm the person who started this thread, so I thought I would give my impressions after driving my 6-speed manual Jetta Sportwagon 2011 diesel for six months. I very rarely stall now, but have a lot of sympathy for those of you saying that first gear is finicky. I was recently on a vacation in Turkey where I drove a Ford Fiesta gasoline powered 5-speed manual. It felt totally natural, never had the slightest trouble or stalled or even came close to stalling. But I still have to concentrate on shifting in my Jetta in low gears. I'm always aware of the possibility of stalling and have to make sure not to compensate by over-revving. If you don't just let the clutch out exactly right... This might be an unavoidable difficulty with diesel engines, which respond differently than gasoline engines, or it might be some design problem that VW doesn't want to admit (my friend with an identical car, except that it is the automatic, hasn't had a single complaint), but I agree, it is finicky and my wife, who is a less confident driver than I am, just won't drive the Jetta. Otherwise, I like the car very much (gets great "gas" mileage), but probably won't keep it for more than a few years and won't buy another, at least not a manual.

2XTDI
09-19-2011, 04:28 PM
I thought I was the only one that had this problem. I think both parties are right. I have a 06 Miata with 6spd, and I have to drive it differently than my Jetta. I can idle my Miata in 2nd into the garage but, the Jetta will not allow me that same low rpm drive. I either have to drop it into first or enough speed, neutral it in. I have stalled more times going into a corner than I care to remember. This old dog is learning new tricks all the time.

DUSlider
09-19-2011, 06:02 PM
Must be the difference with the diesel, my aunt has a sportwagen with the 2.5 and she doesn't complain about any of these issues.

BoostedLegacy
10-18-2011, 10:56 PM
Yeah, I'm the new guy here so take this however you want. I haven't driven a manual in about 5 years and I test drove a Golf TDI 6MT today. I wanted to drive a Jetta TDI 6MT but the dealer didn't have any in stock, so the Golf was my guinea pig. I didn't stall. Not even once. Didn't come close. I payed no attention to RPMs and went on feel alone.

Ccbsecu
01-08-2012, 02:15 AM
New to this forum and recently bought a 2011 Jetta TDi 6MT...I am a life long MT guy...the TDi is a completely different beast to drive than a gas manual trans...just takes patience and being confident when you drive. My .02 as a newbie to the world of TDi's.

nitroscope8
01-08-2012, 10:03 AM
I prefer diesel manual over gasoline almost any day. Only reason I didn't buy it as my next car is because I commute 3.5 miles to work and a diesel isn't practical.

Rabbid0281
01-25-2012, 11:20 PM
Dude, yur not alone. Ive killed mine more times than i care to keep count. I just remember to rev it a bit more before letting out the clutch. it does it even worse when the a/c is running. Sometimes it helps to have it at 1800-1900 when letting out the clutch to comp for the draw on the engine. the hill assist is nice tho. i was like, WTH? and i got used to it. same with the easily killable revs. I killed a 01 Wolfsburg like 4 times because i couldnt hear the engine running. just have to compensate. not always cant you have your cake and eat it to. if its that challenging to get yourself reconditioned, then yes go for the DSG.

nitroscope8
01-26-2012, 07:16 AM
1800-1900 rpm??? Wow...... I let it go at 1200ish in customers cars with diesel and don't have problems lol. Maybe the a/c on really hurts it in summer. There is a lag after releasing the clutch so maybe the elevated rpms would keep the lag away.

Rabbid0281
01-26-2012, 07:46 PM
1800-1900 rpm??? Wow...... I let it go at 1200ish in customers cars with diesel and don't have problems lol. Maybe the a/c on really hurts it in summer. There is a lag after releasing the clutch so maybe the elevated rpms would keep the lag away.

yeah, theres a ton of steep hills in louisiana and on post.

vnavone
11-30-2012, 12:54 PM
I had the same issue with my 2013 Sportwagen, which I bought at the beginning of November. I've been driving manual transmissions for 25 years, and I was embarrassed at how many times I stalled the car when I first got it. It took about 3 weeks, but I found the sweet spot and now I never stall it. Just took some getting used to. Stick with it!

PavementPilot
05-06-2013, 11:49 AM
First off, diesel is all about torque, then fuel economy, then power, in that order. They are no different than the big diesels I drive for a living. If you want off the line pep, get a gasser.

rockshift
07-22-2013, 03:22 PM
In June I picked up a new 2013 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI with the 6 speed manual transmission. I have experienced all the problems that every one has posted so far. I need to mention that I have been driving manuals and automatics for more than 35 years and the Jetta was not my first Diesel. In 2006 I bought a new Dodge Cummins 5.9 Diesel 4X4 3500 Dually Pickup Truck with the 6 speed manual trans. I can say that after driving the Jetta for a month now that the Dodge is easier mentally for me to drive. I like heavy and strong clutches. After all the years I have had the Dodge I have never stalled the truck period. For the past 35 years I have owned American and many Japanese cars. Virtually all the cars that I have driven all have very soft and slippery clutches. The best car that comes close to the Dodge in touch and feel is the WRX STI. I wanted to buy that car but it was $10K more than I had to spend and the mileage issue was the priority so the Jetta was the only choice not only for me but there is no other car on the market at any price that exists.

I have known from experience that eventually those slipper clutches will get broken in and get a decent “bite” and over time one can perfect the shifting action. So far I have stalled the car 6 times – yes I have kept count since I took it as a personal insult about my driving technique. 2 of the those times I went into 3rd by thinking I was going into 1st so that mistake is obvious. The other times it was because I went below 1000 RPM. With the Dodge there is so much low end torque that I can actually launch the truck at idle. Moreover I never use 1st gear with the Dodge since 1st is really a granny gear to be used only when the truck is loaded and carrying a trailer etc. I admit at first I used the same driving technique that I use on the Dodge on the Jetta – and this is a mistake. I have been told that the Jetta TDI was designed to act more like a Gasoline Engine rather that a traditional Diesel engine. There is really no real torque below 2000 RPM. The power comes on after 2000 RPM and its seem almost too much. OK so I have accepted the fact that the Jetta is not the Dodge and it will never will be the Dodge.

After a month I seem to be getting used to the Clutch Engagement process and now it has gotten more broken and I can sense the “bite” action better. But the biggest problem that is really getting me annoyed is the shift from 1st to 2nd gear. I just can’t seem to get it timed right. Then I looked that the gear ratios technical specifications and I found the problem. The ratio for 1st gear is 3.77 and 2nd is 1.96. This is a huge gap. I know that the Jetta was not going to have the close ratio high performance gearbox but this is ridiculous. As a comparison the WRX STI has 1st 3.63 and 2nd at 2.23 – this tighter and easier to engage more smoothly. I have tried to get the RPM and timing more consistent but its becoming a chore. If I go below 2000 RPM the mesh is too slow. If I go over 2000 RPM the turbo is realty kicking in and I am over powering it. This is becoming a big problem. I think VW really made a big mistake here. So what are the solutions ? If I get a CAI and the Software Re flash I am told I will get more low to mid range torque. This should make the TDI act more like a conventional Diesel engine. Also, if I upgrade to a faster Shifter (I have been advised that the Sigma 6 Shifter from Diesel Geek is the best on the market) this could improve my timing since the stock shifter is slow and Notchy. But will this all work in the end ? Is this something that I will have to live with the Jetta. Being that this is a daily driver it’s a problem.

Other problems with the car are the following:

1. The front seat is hard for me to get used to. I know that Automobile Manufactures design the front seats to accommodate the vast majority of drivers that have bad lower backs and need support under their thighs. I am not one of those persons. The Jetta seats have too much of an upper tilt especially at the thighs and there is no way to make the seat more horizontal. In fact when you open the door and look at the seat you can see the font upper tilt. I have been adjusting the levers and adjustments to get rid of the Tilt but I can’t. I called the dealer who I bought Recaro seats for my Dodge and he knows the problem that I experiencing. There are only 2 solutions. The first one is expensive. It would require buying a single Recaro seat with the seat mounts. Those mounts allow you to adjust the amount of tilt that one likes. But it would look really weird since there would be 2 different front seats. The good news when I sell the car I would have a like new front seat ! The other option to the lift up the rear seat mount using spacers. I have does this before when I installed seats on a Toyota 4X4. I had to use 1” spacers and Grade 8 Bolts in order to accomplish this and make it safe. At the same time the designers at VW placed more padding at the lower part of the seat to help with lower back support. I took out all the lumbar support from the seat adjuster but it still feels like someone is pressing on my lower back. Trying to fix the tilt and the lower back problems means making compromising adjustments to fix both problems but not at the same time.

2. Getting maintenance advice is a problem. I have known for decades that in this country cars that are made in Europe always get this inflated and gloried perception by the public and those organizations that sell and maintain them. Japanese cars are easier to work on and fix while European cars are harder to work on for the do it your self person. As an example the simple but essential operation to lift the car and place it on jacks stand with all 4 wheels off the ground. After talking to many companies and getting a lot of options and estimates I came to some conclusions. My previous car was a 2006 Scion TC. On that car Scion had 2 central lift points – one for the front and one for the rear. This make it very easy to lift the car level for either the front or rear. On the Jetta there are no such lifting points. The only way to lift the car is to place floor jack and lift it on the specified marks indicated on the pinch welds. But in order to lift the car evenly you need to use 2 floor jacks at opposite sides. In addition you need to use pinch weld tabs to protect the pinch weld from being bent in over time. I read about people using pieces of wood with slots cut down the center and also hockey pucks doing that have the same cuts. I eventually bought 2 polyurethane Pads from Protech and that solved that problem. Then came the problem of how and where to place the Jack stands. I have received some really stupid advice to place the stands on the aluminum bullet mounts for the lower front suspension and place jack stands on the mounts for the rear suspension. Then I found a company that was selling jack pads to be installed in holes in back of the pinch welds which are covered in the front by a round plastic plate and on the rear a hole that is plugged by a big rubber plug closest to the rear wheel. I found out that those are the holes that the dealer or shops uses when using a 4 arm lift. They place the arms of the lift which have prongs that are inserted into those holes and the car is lifted 4 wheels off the ground at the same time. I had to make special custom jack stands out of wood with a prongs of my own design using a ½” bolt and old polyurethane bushings for a rear leaf spring from my Toyota 4X4. Getting the care off the ground is vital in tire rotation. Most people that I talked to said when they rotate tires they do one side at a time. This is great when you have directional tires but if you don’t and I mentioned the “forward cross” rotation for other tires they had no answer on how to accomplish this. What really get me mad is the fact that VW and a lot of people don’t really want people to work on your car for even doing the most basic stuff. They want to go to someone and pay them. Its all bout the money and the “High” that you have a European car – that’s funny after doing research I found out the Jetta was designed and is being built from VW of Mexico. There is only a small percentage of the parts that are actually made in Germany. I tried to buy the Shop Manual for the Jetta but I was told that VW has forbidden any and all access to these technical documents only to be access through a special website that is secured with special user names and passwords buy Authorized Factory Trained Mechanics at their Dealerships. I am aware of the Shop Manuals made by Bentley Publishing and I will get one as soon as one is available for my year of Jetta.

The car on the open road is great and it does get the mid 40’s in MPG. I read somewhere that the Jetta really shines on the open road. In town I am getting just over 30 MPG and this is exactly what the EPA said. I have tried to improve on that but I think the shifting and gearing might be hurting me. I am concerned how I am going to feel about this car over time. What I am afraid is the issue that are bothering me now will not go away and it will be a constant concern with me every time I drive the car. I could see my self selling the car when I can afford it but what do I buy – that’s a bigger problem.

Any thoughts, opinions, comments and complaints welcome.

CraigK
09-29-2013, 02:43 PM
In November of 2012 I bought my 2013 Jetta TDI, so I have been driving it for over ten months now. I bought it with the DSG, after test driving it with both transmissions. My wife doesn't drive stick, so what does a guy do?
That said, I love the car! The DSG is either perfectly geared for economy (D mode) or fun and power (S mode). No problems with it either in town (33 mpg) or on the open road.
The TDI really does shine on the open road, too. I get about 53 mpg, figured by pen and paper, on secondary roads with a 60 mph speed limit, 46 mpg on interstate with a steady 80 mph limit. The car hums, effortlessly and at relatively low revs, at 80 mph, and could sit there all day.
I traded up from a 2009 Beetle with the 2.5 5MT. I really liked the Beetle, but this car is a hoot to drive, and much more practical with its four doors and huge trunk.
Fortunately, TDI VWs are in demand, and used ones are getting really high prices. If the MT problem is getting you down, you won't lose too much by selling and buying a DSG model. Why let one issue ruin a really good car experience?