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I have a 2002 VW Lupo 1.4. In neutral, there is a off and on sound like a gear is being "raked" in to gear coming from the gearbox. It's not constant but off and on. I push the clutch pedal in and it goes away but release it and it comes back.

I have never changed the oil and don't know if it has been ever done.

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The point is that after a couple of years the oil loose lubricity. So it is possible that your transmission suffer from this. Check the clutch too, maybe the gear is worn out. So, push the clutch pedal hard down and step on the throttle. If there is a noise again, maybe its the crankshaft or the flywheel. If not, it is the clutch or the gear.

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You need to have the car checked over immediately really. The noise could be a simple thing BUT it sounds more like either a release bearing or spigot bearing is failing and pressing the clutch pedal is taking the load off something causing the noise to abate. If it is either of these then there will be quite a bill to have either replaced, as the gearbox has to be removed. Also if the clutch itself has not been replaced more recently then it would definitely be worth replacing it at this point.

If the noise is not just something simple say from the release/spigot bearing then it could be something more serious like an input shaft or mainshaft bearing/bearings etc. Any well equipped garage with experienced technicians should be able to do this work.. Gearbox experience is not essential for bearing replacement but it does help. I've had to deal with gearbox damage caused by poorly trained/equipped garages who've tried to replace bearings & gears etc with the wrong tools 🙁

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