Advice needed re:2008 1.4 auto lacking pull/power

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Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2023 5:23 pm
Drives: 2008 3dr 1.4 Auto
Location: Washington

Advice needed re:2008 1.4 auto lacking pull/power

Post by 00Dash »


I have just joined the forum as I am sure I will be able to get some good advice & help regarding my mother in laws, 2008 VW Polo 1.4, 6 speed Automatic.

She bought the car a few months ago (September) after her husband passed away & his Motability car was returned, but she hates manual cars, so she had to have an automatic. The car was high mileage (134,000 miles) but I know VW are supposed to be good strong cars, so we thought it would be worth looking at. The test drive of the car went fine, the car drove well, & pulled through the gears ok & my brother in law checked everywhere else & all looked good. But just before christmas I was told that the car was struggling with power delivery & struggling to get in to 5th gear, I was also told that there was an engine management light on, which showed as 'P0420', the O2 sensor bank 1. So we replaced the sensor, eventually, after having 3 different ones sent out from different suppliers, but she decided in the end to just go get one from VW, which was fitted yesterday.

However, even after having the new sensor fitted, the car is still having power issues, I have just tried it for the first time, as my brother in law normally drives it, but he failed to give me any update regarding its performance. The car started ok, but you could tell it had not been driven for several weeks, as the brakes seemed frozen (it's been cold up here) & the heater was a bit noisy until I ran it faster.....but getting back to the driving.....I put the car in drive & headed out of the street & the car did seem sluggish & struggled to change gears in automatic drive mode, it felt like it did not want to go beyond 3rd/4th gear, even while it seemed to have a lot of revs as the engine sounded noisy. So I tried for a few minutes to see if it would improve, but it would not, so I thought I'd make sure the gears themselves were ok & put it in to manual mode, which did seem to help the car. However, even though I could change gears ok, there still seemed to be no pull & the car struggled to get up to 30mph going up a slight hill, & just got to around 50mph going downhill, again while still in manual mode, but just testing all gears changed ok so went up to 6th, they also went down by themselves as I was braking.

So I am hoping that someone on here might be able to give me an idea of what is causing these issues, I must add, that my brother in law did have a look at the transmission fluid & he said it looked black, but never said if it was thick or thin consistency, but this had us wondering if it could be a transmission issue, though apparently the manual says it should never need changing (I personally doubt that) as we know it should not be black.

There is one other slight issue, being that the rev counter sometimes goes straight beyond max & stays there so does not work, but then again sometimes it works fine, but I read somewhere about a possible fault at a connection with the alternator, though I don't know for certain if that is correct, so if you know what could cause that & have a cure, again I'd be grateful for the advice.

So is there anyone who can offer any advice, as the car cannot be used properly until this issue is sorted.

Any help or advice would be very gratefully appreciated & I give Thanks in advance for any help.

I hope this all makes sense.

Thanks for looking.
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