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Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 32372
Experience:  Automotive Repair Shop Manager, Technician
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Volkswagen Passat 3.6: 2000 passat slow acceleration... Limp

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2000 passat slow acceleration... Limp mode? Owner says just needs a new "transmission switch"... Any advice suggestions for a potential buyer?

any warning lights on?

does it shift thru the gears ok?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Well, I am going to test drive it later today... can I get back to you? Also, do you have some questions I could ask the owner or things to look at concerning this "limp mode" transmission car?


I found this "reset" procedure online:

I discovered with my Son's 2002 TDI (auto tranny),
that when it lapsed into the " Limp Home " mode that in such a situation that:
(1) I could reset the computers by
.....(a) Turning OFF ignition
.....(b) turn ON the ignition but NOT starting the engine
.....(c) depress the accelerator for ~5 seconds & LET OFF
.....(d) turn OFF the ignition
.....(e) turn on ignition, start up and drive
(2) I also discovered that once up to speed using the above "reset" steps
that IF I engaged the cruise control that the car would function normal
with the cruise control despite IF/WHEN it lapsed into " Limp Home " again!


Thank you for your reply. I look forward to continuing our conversation!


Ok, while that method gets it out of limp in mode, understand that it does not resolve the underlying condition which may get worse over time.

Limp in mode is set when a severe engine or transmission management fault is detected. This can range from faulty electronic throttle body, accelerator position sensor, transmission control module, transmission shift solenoid, internal transmission failure, or about 90 or so other reasons.

You need to ask:

how long he has been driving it with it in limp in mode.

has it been diagnosed, what the exact fault code and definition are

why he has not had it fixed yet - what estimate was to repair

On test drive, put in D1 and manually shift up thru the gears to see if it shifts thru the gears ok or not. If it doesnt, I strongly suspect internal transmission failure and would advise to walk away from it.

If it does shift thru the gears manually, then we are looking a either a gear pressure switch, shift solenoid, or transmission control module

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK, I will try that out.


Thanks for your assistance!


Here is what his ad says:

"the car has a slow take off due to a transmision switch that is $270 bucks, the car runs great, been like that for 2years, shifts fine, DOS NOT SLIP AT ALL."


2 years?!?! How can anyone live with that for 2 years?


Maybe I should just stay far away! Could he have done some damage with 2 years of this poor operating transmission?


Over 2yrs time driving in limpin mode, I would strongly suspect that the low gear bands, clutches and drum are severely damaged and the pan if dropped would be full of metal shavings.

Personally, I strongly suggest walking away from this one. Just sounds like a money pit
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