Issue with my VW Jetta (2001) Automatic transmission, gasoline engine

My tail lights were out because of a missing fuse. So in the dark I looked to find a good one to replace it with (of the ones already in use but not necessary) and I did not grab a good one.

I got the tail lights on and started to drive to work. I jumped on the expressway and noticed that I was driving between 4,000-5,000 rpm while only going 50 miles per hour. I jumped off the express way and watched the rpm needle go down but it did not go down, then jump, then down, then jump as it would when shifting.

Off the expressway I went onto some back streets which were good to get the car up to shifting speeds to watch the rpm. Again, the rpm just increased and never dropped as would normally occur during a shift.

I assumed that it was due to pulling a fuse that corresponded to shifting. I had no such problems with my car before fixing the tail lights and I had been driving a decent amount before and after messing with the fuses.

I looked up the fuse diagram and list (in English and not pictures). I checked every fuse that seemed to even been remotely related to the transmission. Then I checked every single fuse to make sure they were the correct amperage and were not blown.

What is my next step? I am a pizza delivery driver and I need this car asap. Is it possible the transmission is sticking or a cracked gear? Any input would be much appreciated.

  • You would need to figure out exactly which fuse you pulled. Maybe it was related to the TCM and it lost information. Maybe not. Is the check engine light on? How's the fluid level? You're probably going to have to bring your car to a VW mechanic (someone with access to VAGCOM or similar) unless the issue resolves it self.
    – Ben
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 0:12

2 Answers 2


There is no way that I know of which messing around with the fuses would cause your issue. I will assume at this point you replaced the fuse you moved to the tail lights, so this is not your problem. Sounds to me that there is a larger transmission problem happening here.


Does your automatic transmission have a manual shift mode? Is it possible that you pushed the lever from auto mode into manual shift mode? I've never heard of a bad or missing fuse causing this, but a misplaced shift lever could cause exactly what you describe.

The second thing I would do is swap the taillight fuse back where you found it to see if that fixes your shifting problem.

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