Manual gearchange woes


Ready to race!
There has to be some kind of solution to this? The jolt results in a drive that isn’t that good and is only enjoyable when you put the foot down.


Drag Racing Champion
What year is this S3?
My cousin has a 2020 Jetta that is hard to drive, there is rev hang which just takes away from the true feeling of shifting. I personally drove it myself, and the time it takes for the revs to drop after engaging the clutch is definitely not immediate, therefore there is like a second delay where the revs stay high before dropping to a point where shifting into second can be smooth.

Triple B

Passed Driver's Ed
Golf 7 R
I have this same issue on my 2016 R. By chance I discovered this sometimes cures it ..... I was stopped at the lights and held my foot down pretty hard on the brake pedal and it does the usual VW thing where the pedal slowly drops a little. I drove off and the 1-2 change was really smooth. My theory is that either there is air in the clutch/brake circuit or there is a one way valve somewhere in the brake booster circuit that has a leak or failed. I'm about to take my car in for the dreaded leaky thermostat housing and will have the whole brake/clutch circuit bled to see if this alleviates it.


Autocross Champion
United States
An Exotic
My worst shifts end up being because I was too light on the throttle. I also feel like shifts are worse when I'm doing it slowly or even just accelerating slowly. If I'm focusing on a shift I'll probably mess it up a little. If I don't really think about it and just do it quickly the shifts are better. I don't push the clutch all the way down when I shift, only enough so that I can switch gears without grinding, so I'm not on the clutch pedal a whole lot. Then I got a short shifter because my foot was quicker than my right hand. I've done all the other clutch mods too, so the bleeder valve is gone, I have a stainless clutch line, and an upgraded pressure plate. I mess up once in a while because there's nothing I can do perfectly 100% of the time, but I don't feel it's near as bad as people say it is.


Autocross Champion
Virginia & NC
2016 TR GTI S 6MT
Yeah what your saying makes sense but in my case, the longer I leave the clutch in, the worse it is. That is when when problem is more noticeable.
You know when you are just taking it easy around town and you do a slow lazy casual gear change in to second, you have to really put way more effort than should be required in to releasing the clutch pedal to avoid getting jolted!
you have touched on something that I have though about as regards gear ratios etc. I have wondered myself that maybe 1st gear is really short or something compared to any other car I’ve had
You might have to change out your shifter forks and sliders.


Drag Racing Champion
'18 R
if there was a way to smoothen out this gearchange I’d be a happy man, a way to keep the revs slightly up when shifting, or a way to make the clutch release a bit slower.

Are you sure the too quick of a rev drop is the issue? This car has a decent amount of rev hang, I don't see how you're having an issue with keeping revs up. Are you sure it's not the rev hang that's causing your issue, and that your revs are too high when you're engaging the next gear, causing a jerk? You mention shifting slow causes it to jerk, but that's just a difference in engine speed vs transmission speed. Rev hang can cause the engine speed to be too high, and shifting so slowly will cause the engine speed to be too low, both resulting in jerky shifting, and whatever causes the larger difference in engine & transmission speed causes the worse jerk.

I don't know the history of the S3 that well, but were the previous S3s you owned drive by wire or drive by cable? Drive by cable throttles don't have a rev hang issue, so if yours were DBC throttles, then that could explain why you're experiencing this issue which never existed in previous cars.

As mentioned, all the plastic and crap bushings don't help either. There's so much flex in the system. One of the first things I did was change out all the shifter bushings to solid bushings, and almost all the plastic pieces in the shifter assembly under the hood to metal. While I don't think it'll solve your issue, it may be a minor help.


Go Kart Newbie
Ottawa, Canada
2017 LSG 6MT Golf R
I so friggin jealous you guys have manual S3s!

I have similar shifting in my R. Never as smooth as my 330i. After almost 5 years with this car either I'm use to it to I've gotten better. I still need to focus on shifting to get it smooth.