For a list of the most common faults that can occur with the VW's
Autostick transmission, check out
The two most common faults are listed as vacuum leaks and ATF leaks.
Repair of vacuum leaks is generally easy. Such a fault will either
cause shifting to occur slowly or to be non-existent. A frequent cause
of such a leak is a split or collapsed hose
Wear and tear, or splitting of the rubber diaphragm on the servo can
also cause a vacuum leak. The above website states that kits are still
available to rebuild servos, and the host of the above website may be
able to make one available for you [there is an email link on the
site]. Another possible cause is a leaking vacuum tank, although this
is a rare problem. A damaged diaphragm or ill fitting seal in the
solenoid could also be the culprit. A good parts dealer should be able
to supply you with an O-Ring to solve the seal problem, but
apparently, diaphragms are impossible to find by themselves, you would
need to obtain an entire solenoid, usually from a bone yard /
breaker's yard. But the host of the above site insists that hoses and
servos re generally the most common culprits, hoses being readily and
cheaply available. You can obtain a reconditioned servo for around
With ATF leaks, there are generally two types, one easy to resolve
[but expensive], the second more troublesome. Easy to fix problems
occur with the hose, transmission and pump fittings. Again, a bone
yard / breaker's yard may be your best bet of finding replacement
hoses and pumps. There may have been a leakage of ATF oil onto the
crankcase due to damaged seals in the oil pump, caused by carelessness
during disassembly of the pump at some stage. As the seals are a rare
find, a replacement pump from the bone yard would be the best bet in
The troublesome type of TF leak, is thankfully rare. This occurs when
a damaged turbine shaft seal, torque converter seal, or a cracked
converter. Converter seals are still cheaply available, but turbine
shaft seals are near impossible to come across. To replace the
converter or the converter seal, you will have to remove the engine.
But to replace the turbine shaft seal, you would also need to remove
the transmission, to get to the bell housing, where the turbine shaft
seal is located. You can pick up a spare torque converter at the bone
yard, but it is stated on
that converter problems are rare.
There is an online diary detailing the problems that a 1969 VW owner
had with the Autostick transmission, which includes both technical
data and everyday advice regarding the driving of the car, at:
You can also purchase a shop manual for $30, giving full technical and
repair details for Bugs between 1960-71, by following this link:
The manual is fully illustrated and gives complete repair information,
wiring diagrams and mechanical specifications.
As for parts and spares, there are a number of online sources who will
ship them to your door.
offer such a service and may alternatively be contacted at:
2850 Palisades Dr., Corona, California 92880 USA
Phone (909) 549-0525
Fax (909) 549-0580
Toll Free, Orders Only
Their business hours are: 9:00am - 5:30pm PST, Monday-Friday.
You may also wish to check out
or call them toll-free on (800) 466-2360.
offer a similar service. For an extensive list of online parts
suppliers try these links:
If you still experience difficulties identifying the problem, but wish
to fix it yourself, maybe a local VW repair shop could source the
problem. More cost effective would be to join a local VW enthusiasts'
club. An extensive list of clubs and resources may be found at:
I hope this information is of assistance to you and good luck.