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Crunching 1st & 2nd gears on a new 2018 SEL

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Hi All


I should start by saying that I'm not particularly into cars or the mechanical side of things but I thought I'd treat myself to a bit of luxury after going through two highly reliable Ford Ka's that got me the short distance to and from work without kerfuffle for 15 years. 


In May 2018 I picked up my brand new SEL. I immediately noticed that the 1st & 2nd gears were quite difficult to engage on occasion particularly when compared to 3-6 that were/are very smooth. Basically, they were crunching. I put this down to the car being brand new and running in.


After several weeks though I took it back to the dealership and they said it was just a running in issue. I got to about 1,000 miles a few weeks later and returned the car as gears 1 & 2 were still crunching. I subsequently booked it in for an inspection and they said that there was a fault and replaced the clutch. Obviously I wasn't too chirpy about this as by this point I had only driven about 1,500 miles although I was relieved that the issue was supposed to have been solved. (I bought a VW because I thought they were supposed to be reliable).


Initially gears 1 & 2 were better after the new clutch was fitted but the crunching has now returned. I now have about 2,500 miles on the clock. Obviously, this is a concern! Interestingly, the basic Golf that I was given as a courtesy car when they were fitting the new clutch also had 'sticky' 1 & 2 gears although they weren't crunching. This car was a few years old with about 25,000 miles on the clock.


Due to my lack of mechanical prowess I don't want to be fobbed off when I return to the dealership yet again. I would appreciate your views please.





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Assuming they put oil in the gearbox at the factory I expect the cable change linkage needs aligning. It's a simple procedure, that might need one special VAG tool to lock the gear lever.


Contact the motor ombudsman 


and get their support and take it back.

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Welcome to the Forum.


I must say that my first thoughts about your problem was also that the clutch wasn't clearing, which could well give you the 'crunching'.


As the clutch has now been replaced, it is extremely unlikely that the new clutch is also the problem.


As said above, it could be down to the gear linkage requiring adjustment, but when you say that initially, there was an improvement in gear selection, I am left wondering if there is a problem on the clutch hydraulic release  ( it could be as simple as it having air in the system) This would prevent the clutch from fully disengaging and give you the 'crunching' of gears.


One very simple check that you could make yourself (and should have been the first port of call at the dealership) is to check that there is no obstruction on or under the carpet that would prevent the clutch pedal from making its full travel.


VW cars do  rightly have a good reputation for reliability, but like everything else, the odd problem can arise.


If you continue  not to obtain satisfaction from your dealership, I would suggest that you first of all write to Volkswagen Customer Quality, Yeomans Drive, Blakelands, Milton Keynes. MK14 5AN - Stating the full history from when you purchased the car and including the fault description as you have presented it above.



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Thank you very much for your advice, Sheps

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