How To Drive an AutoStick
I guess I'm not the only one who has had a problem driving a VW AutoStick
so here is some information
from the Owners Manual....
VW Automatic Stickshift
At first glance
you will notice the lack of a clutch pedal. Driving with the Automatic Stick
Shift is simpler and shifting is easier. We suggest you carefully read the
following instructions to familiarize yourself with the operation of the
The Automatic Stick Shift
transmission consists of a torque converter, a power-operated clutch for
shifting, and a mechanical three speed transmission. The torque converter
multiplies the torque produced by the engine and allows the vehiclle to be
driven with very little shifting - usually two driving ranges will be used.
It automatically changes the torque from the engine in an infinitely variable
ratio according to driving conditions. Since the torque converter is fluid
coupling, it also permits stopping the vehicle with an engaged gear while the
engine is running. The clutch interrupts the flow of power from the engine to
permit the gears in the transmission to be shifted. Because the power-operated
clutch is actuated by the first slight movement of the gearshift lever, there
is no need for a clutch pedal.
With the lever mounted on the frame tunnel you can select three forward drive
ranges and one reverse.
The neutral position "N" is between all gears in the "H" pattern.
is the only range in which you can start the engine. In this position,
the power flow to the rear wheels is interrupted. It should be used when
the car is standing at idle, with the parking brake engaged.
From the Neutral position you select the desired drive range.
Driving Range 1
is for starting off and accelerating.
It covers the speed range from 0 to 53 mph.
Always use this range first before shifting into Range 2.
Range 1 is also recommended for use in city traffic, slow moving lines
of vehicles and whenever maximum acceleration is required for passing.
If the lever is in Range 2, you may downshift into Range 1 at any speed
under 53 mph.
Driving Range 2
Always use Range 1 before shifting into Range 2.
Range 2 should normally be used for highway driving. It is the only range
that can be used for speeds above 53 mph. You may shift into Range 1 at
any speed under 53 mph. At low speeds, however, it is better to use
Range 1 to take advantage of its better acceleration.
Shift into Low when you want to get the car moving up steep hills, especially
when carrying a heavy load or when towing, and when driving down a steep hill
or parking in tight spaces.
Engage the reverse gear only when the car is not moving. Depress the
gear selector lever first to overcome a safety catch before shifting into
Reverse. The back-up lights go on automatically when the reverse gear is
engaged (with the ignition on)
With the parking brake set, move the selector lever to Neutral and start the
engine. Shift into the range you wish to use, normally Range 1.
After shifting be sure to remove your hand from the lever to allow the clutch
to engage. To move off, release the brake and accelerate.
Do not release the brake before you are prepared to move, because the power
is transmitted to the wheels as soon as a gear is engaged.
is easy. Simply release the accelerator pedal and move the gearshift lever
from the range you are in to the range you want, remove your hand from the
gearshift lever, and again step on the accelerator.
For easier selection of the driving ranges 1 and 2, which are used most,
the gearshift lever always stays on the right side when in Neutral as shown
in the illustration.
Do Not remove the key from the ignition/steering lock until you have parked
the car, because removal of the key locks the steering.
When parking your car, apply the parking brake, and turn the wheels toward
If you like quiet, smooth driving,
which saves fuel, we recommend that you shift to Range 2 soon after starting
off at about 20 to 25 mph.
If you want maximum acceleration
you can stay in Range 1 right up to 53 mph and then shift into Range 2.
Naturally this will use more fuel.
Keep in mind...
1 - When starting off, shift into a driving range before releasing the parking
2 - After shifting, remove your hand from the selector lever.
3 - When idling for an extended period of time, shift into Neutral and apply the
parking brake. When stopped in traffic, apply either the parking brake or
foot brake to prevent creeping.
4 - When parking apply the parking brake. On hills, also turn the wheels toward
NOTE: The information presented here is from the 1971 VW Owners Manual which differs
slightly and is more complete than the infomation in the 1969 Owners Manual.
The MAIN thing to remember is to keep your hand OFF the gearshift
except when changing gears!