Manual transmission fluid flush/change on high millage B5
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  1. #1
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    Manual transmission fluid flush/change on high millage B5

    as the title says im looking to change my manual tranny fluid on my passat. I'm not sure when it was changed last and my pops is outta the country - as he had the passat before i did.
    Ive read up a lil and some people say to do this professional but other says if i can do an oil change this is doable as well. im more than capable to change my oil..who isnt but i do have a silly question, i assume the tranny has a filter but not 100% sure, do i need to get one of these if there is on?
    What type of tranny fluid should i get?
    any advise, recommendations or experiences are more than welcome TIA

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  3. #2
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    It's pretty straight forward. Any 75w90 syn will work, but I went with Pentosin from ECS(I forgot the actual name, I think it is pentosynth or something), it's factory stuff, but I've had great results with Mobil 1 synthetic bringing back to life some pretty sticky manual trannys in the past, so I'm a fan of that as well.

    You will need a "special" 12 point socket to remove the drain plug, I found one online for about 12 bucks. Make sure you can remove the fill plug for the transmission before you remove the drain plug, some people have drained their transmission, then realized the fill plug wouldn't budge.

  4. #3
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    thanks for the info. is there a gasket or filter i need to worry about?
    I would just like to change the tranny fluid like i would do for the oil change.

    or do i have to flush it out of the system like you do for a coolant flush?

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by theNofJboy View Post
    thanks for the info. is there a gasket or filter i need to worry about?
    I would just like to change the tranny fluid like i would do for the oil change.

    or do i have to flush it out of the system like you do for a coolant flush?
    no and no.

    you need the special 12point tool #3357 and a 17mm hex bit and GL4 synthetic 75W90 gear oil and a fluid pump. do not use GL5 fluid.

    open fill plug first with 12point.
    open drain plug. drain.
    refill with car level.

    i'd say this is a bit more involved that a oilchange, but just a little.

    special tools + you're under the car + the tranny plugs can be difficult to remove depending on your climate.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by modifiedA4 View Post
    no and no.

    you need the special 12point tool #3357 and a 17mm hex bit and GL4 synthetic 75W90 gear oil and a fluid pump. do not use GL5 fluid.

    open fill plug first with 12point.
    open drain plug. drain.
    refill with car level.

    i'd say this is a bit more involved that a oilchange, but just a little.

    special tools + you're under the car + the tranny plugs can be difficult to remove depending on your climate.

    exactly..

    i did mine myself... i ordered a 16mm 12 point (triple square its called) bit (XYN is another name for 12 point) and then just drill a small hole in the center of it, so the security shaft on the cars bolt can go through it and allow you to remove it.

    its super easy, just get a small pump to allow you to fill it.. car must be level when filling so that you stop when it starts leaking from the fill hole.

  7. #6
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    thanks for the info! im goin to crawl under the car when i get home from work but where are the drain & fill plug located? The fill plug will obviously be located higher up on the engine i assume....
    im sure when i get under there ill have a much better understanding now.

  8. #7
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    Does anyone have any pics for this?
    I really want to try it this summer!
    Appreciated!

  9. #8
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    the B5 FAQ on Audiworld has alot of pics and procedures.

    http://forums.audiworld.com/a4/msgs/2299748.phtml

  10. #9
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    I have zero experience on VW manual trannys, but I have driven a lot of sticks in my day. And my one cardinal rule about manuals is this: if it ain't broke, don't touch it.

    A manual is not like an automatic. Why mess with it? That gear oil doesn't wear out. I've had sticks with over 200K on them that operated like they were brand-new, as long as the driver knows how to shift correctly. So unless the VW manual is something completely different, IMO it's waste of time messing with it. The same applies to rear differentials on a rear wheel drive vehicle. Unless you tow boats and submerge it or its a limited-slip, leave it be. Drain it at 100K and the 90W will be as golden as the day it was first put in there.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passat Daddy View Post
    I have zero experience on VW manual trannys, but I have driven a lot of sticks in my day. And my one cardinal rule about manuals is this: if it ain't broke, don't touch it.

    A manual is not like an automatic. Why mess with it? That gear oil doesn't wear out. I've had sticks with over 200K on them that operated like they were brand-new, as long as the driver knows how to shift correctly. So unless the VW manual is something completely different, IMO it's waste of time messing with it. The same applies to rear differentials on a rear wheel drive vehicle. Unless you tow boats and submerge it or its a limited-slip, leave it be. Drain it at 100K and the 90W will be as golden as the day it was first put in there.
    Well my shifting improved tenfold the second I replaced it at 120k, and don't think it was a coincidence, but maybe you can convince me other factors where at play, like the moon lining up with the stars perfectly. I've notice remarkable improvement in almost every manual tranny I've had over the last 15 years the second I put Mobile 1 syn in it(usually at around the 100k mark), but my experience is only with five different models of cars,(accord, talon, eclipse, Type R, Passat) so I may be a little green.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by aran View Post
    Well my shifting improved tenfold the second I replaced it at 120k, and don't think it was a coincidence, but maybe you can convince me other factors where at play, like the moon lining up with the stars perfectly. I've notice remarkable improvement in almost every manual tranny I've had over the last 15 years the second I put Mobile 1 syn in it(usually at around the 100k mark), but my experience is only with five different models of cars,(accord, talon, eclipse, Type R, Passat) so I may be a little green.
    I can't answer that, as you know your cars/trucks better than I do. But after driving 200K and detecting no difference in the operation of the clutch or a decrease in shifting performance, I've come to the conclusion that unless the tranny is leaking, I don't touch them.

  13. #12
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    many people notice the tranny getting notchy during cold shifts when the fluid get old. also, the 1st-2nd gear synchros are known to wear, so replacing the fluid on these cars is certainly desirable after 100K miles. especially if you're modded.

    as for the rear diff, the axle seals are known to weep, so over time the fluid there gets low. so, keeping an eye on the fluid in the rear diff is desirable as well.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passat_OEM+ View Post
    exactly..

    (XYN is another name for 12 point)
    i just learned something, thanks!

  15. #14
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    Be sure your car is lifted high enough. Tranny drain/fill pugs are not as accessible as oil drain plug. Ideally you want to use a lift. You must be level.

  16. #15
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    I changed mine and for sure noticed a difference. I got the genuine VAG oil... let's just say there is a hefty price to buy the genuine stuff.

  17. #16
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    I can seem to remeber if this applies to the situation

    but always make sure you can remove the FILL plug BEFORE you drain the system

  18. #17
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    Manual transmissions sure do benefit from a fluid change. The synchros always wear a bit, then the metallic swarf from the synchros & shift dogs is suspended in the fluid. You may not notice a difference if you don't change it, but I guarantee you'll feel a difference if you do.

    I've had numerous cars that I drove well over 200k miles, and every one of them had improved shifting and feel when the fluid was changed out at 75k-100k mile intervals. I even changed the Miata's out with Redline at 30k because 2nd gear was a bit notchy. It then became almost too fast, but it's still like new at 100k now.

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passat Daddy View Post
    A manual is not like an automatic. Why mess with it? That gear oil doesn't wear out....Drain it at 100K and the 90W will be as golden as the day it was first put in there.
    WRONG. Gear lubricant does wear, and does pick up wear metals, which makes it abrasive. It should be changed with some level of frequency if you want your car to last forever. Yes, abuse is worse on the transmission than not changing the oil, but if you want to take care of your car, you change the gear oil.

    Incidentally, IIRC, the Passat takes GL-4 oils and not GL-5s. GL-5 can be corrosive to the particular alloy of brass in the syncros. I would stick to the VW oil, or Redline MTL or MT-90.


  20. #19
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    wer is fill plug for vw passast

  21. #20
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    Above the left axle on the tranny.

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