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Tranny Problems


I've had several e-mail discussions with Al Powell and following is an 
edited version of an e-mail I sent him.  He suggested I ask the list for 
help.  Here goes.

This post regards my 1990 Audi 200 5 cylinder Turbo with 3 speed automatic 
tranny which is showing symptoms of a bad reverse seal.

To recap:  I can't engage reverse when the engine is warm without revving 
the engine.  It then slams into reverse.  First and second gears work fine, 
however, it has difficulty getting into 3rd gear.

I'd like  avoid the Audi dealer for several reasons:
1. They are, to use your word "hideously" expensive
2. As you stated previously - they only sell a tranny and transaxle together

The options you gave me were to find a competent VW mechanic and have them 
rebuild the transmission.  You stated that 84-91 tranny were straight VW 

I called two recommended VW places.

Conversation 1: (first VW shop)
Service Manager: "An Audi transmission?  We don't work on them.  They're 
entirely different from VW tranny's.  Take it to the dealer...."

Conversation 2: (2nd VW shop)
Service Manager: "We don't re-built Audi transmissions.  We don't recommend 
anyone else re-build them, including the dealer.  They can't be re-built 
reliably.  Your only option is to get another one or get one from a salvage 
yard.  We will, however, be happy to install it for you....."

Conversation 3: (salvage yard)
"We'll do a search on our computer and call you back..."
next day...
"We couldn't find anything within a 300 mile radius, but were able to find a 
re-manufactured one for $2850.  We can install it for you for 9 hours at 
$40/ hr for a total of $360 and a little more for fluid, etc.   It shouldn't 
run you more than $3500."

Conversation 4: (Audi Dealer)
Service Manager: "You say your transmission has trouble engaging reverse?"
me: "Yes"
SM: "And it has trouble going into forward gears?"
me: "No, it goes into first and second fine - just has trouble going into 
SM: "Hmmm. that's strange.  This happens only when the engine is cold.  It's 
fine when it's warm, right?"
me: "No, just the opposite.  When it's cold it shifts fine, when it's warm 
is when I have problems"
SM: "Never heard of that.  Usually, they give problems when they are cold. 
 The warm fluid seals better.  Why don't you bring your car in so we can 
have a look"
me: "Thanks for your time"

I'm running out of choices here.  I'm even more hesitant about taking it to 
the dealer.  Apparently, the person I spoke to has never dealt with a 
problem like the one I'm having.

Could someone suggest a shop within a 100 mile radius of PHiladelphia that 
could either:
a. re-build the transsmission.


b.  replace the transmission with another and keep the cost well below the 
$3500 I've already been quoted.

Any other suggestions, comments, hints, or advice would be appreciated.


Ken Gorman
215-641-3390 (days)
215-675-7032 (evenings)