Automatic Transmission Filter & Fluid Change
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  1. #1
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    Automatic Transmission Filter & Fluid Change

    Automatic Transmission Filter & Fluid Change

    There are several posts on the net about changing the automatic transmission fluid (ATF) in a Passat, so here is my take; hopefully it helps someone out like other posts have helped me.

    Model: November 2000, 2.8ltr V6.

    History of the Vehicle: This car has been exceptionally good to me, however recently gear changes haven’t been all that smooth and on the occasion holds 1st gear to long and needed some prompting to change.

    Time since last ATF change: Never!!! 190,000km and I am the second owner.

    Tools needed for this job:
    8mm Allen Key
    17mm Allen Key (socket drive preferable)
    T27 Torx Socket
    T30 Torx Socket
    Hand pump of some sort to pump the new fluid in.

    Parts used:
    Transmission Filter Kit - Part number 01V 398 003. This includes new filter and pan gasket.
    Minimum of 5 litres of transmission fluid – Part number G 052 162 A2
    Other Parts you may need:
    Check/Fill Plug Seal 01V 321 379
    Drain Plug & Seal 01V 321 377

    The Procedure:
    1. Jack car and place jack stands at 4 jacking points and insure the vehicle is level
    2. Use the 17mm Allen Key socket to check that you can undo the filler plug without a problem. This gives you the confidence of knowing you will be able to fill it later.
    3. Do the same with the 27 bolts holding the pan. This is nothing more than a precaution to make sure that you don’t find yourself in a dilemma of striping a torx bolt head and not being able to remove the pan once you drain the oil.
    4. Use the 8mm Allen Key to remove the drain plug and allow fluid to drain properly. (see photo – Yes that is how dirty the fluid is after 190,000km)



    5. Proceed to remove the bolts holding the pan in place. (T27 Torx Socket)
    6. There may be a little bit of fluid in the pan when dropping the pan, so have some rags and tray on hand. In total I had 5.3 litres of ATF in a factory sealed transmission.
    (see photo – inside of the pan, note the magnets)



    7. Clean the pan and remove old gasket. (see photo - clean pan)



    8. Use the T30 torx socket to remove 2 bolts holding the filter on the underside of the transmission. You may need to wiggle the filter around to remove it, be aware of excess fluid in the filter.

    (see photo – New and Old filter comparison as well as a sticky beak into the transmission)





    9. Apply a small amount of ATF onto the new filter nozzle seal and tap into position; this did require a little bit of force.
    10. Snug tighten the 2 bolts which hold filter in place.
    11. Insure the transmission and pan faces are clean and proceed with bolting up the pan with 3 to 4 bolts.
    12. Insert the remaining bolts and finger tighten, once bolted up snug tighten pan in a cross type pattern.
    Note: I started the above in the evening and concluded the following morning to allow the vehicle to cool before the final fill and the proceeding instructions.
    13. Place tube of your hand pump into filler plug hole and pump fluid until it starts to over flow, I managed to get 3.5 litres in at this stage. A tip here is to make sure your filler hose in long enough to prevent you from lying under the vehicle whilst running.

    You may want someone to help with the next steps.

    14. Leave your hand pump tube in the filler and start the engine and allow to run for 30 seconds or so and pump more fluid until the ATF over flows again.
    15. With the engine running put your foot on the brake and go through every gear for a few seconds each and again pump ATF into the transmission until it overflows. This allows the fluid to circulate.

    Note: If you were to turn the engine off at this stage the ATF will pour out of the filler.

    16. The engine and ATF should be at around 30-45 degrees Celsius by now, so if no more fluid is overflowing once you have gone through all the gears, install and tighten filler plug whilst engine is running. I refilled a total of just over 5 litres. Reassuring considering that’s pretty much what came out. Personally I feel there is some leeway as to how much goes in. The vehicle only needs to be out of level by 1 or 2 degrees and you will notice a difference as to what goes in based on the surface area of the pan and the location of the filler being at the back of the transmission.
    17. And PRESTO you’re done!!

    After seeing the state of the fluid I don’t understand why VW will continue to insist and even refuse to change the transmission fluid! It certainly makes a difference to the way the transmission operates. Gear changes are lot smoother, especially on down shifts when slowing to a stop. As well as a noticeable change when selecting drive or reverse at a standstill. Certainly worth doing! Even my wife noticed a difference.... goes to show it’s a noticeable improvement.

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  3. #2
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    Nicely done!
    I'm pleased to see there are others in our world who dissent to VW's 'lifetime fluid' theory.

    If you live where sand and deicing chemicals are applied to roads in the winter, it can be beneficial to apply penetrating oil to the 27 pan bolts in advance of attempting to remove them.

  4. #3
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    Nice DIY write-up! Pretty much on key with the taligentx one.

    I've experienced a couple of slips over the past week and am probably going to do this myself if I can't find a reasonable local price. Question, and apologies in advance as I tried searching but didn't yield much:

    What other ATFs work with the ZF tranny? I've read that Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF would work fine, anybody attest to that? Basically not looking forward to $90 for 6 liters of Pentosin ATF.

    Also, could anyone advise on what hand-pump would be sufficient? Imagine I could go to Home Depot or Lowes and pick one up?

  5. #4
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    doyles-1.8T:
    try partsquick.com for good prices on the filter, pan gasket, and Pentosin ATF-1.
    I think they carry the fill/check plug seal as well (otherwise $9 at dealer, $25 for drain plug w/ integral seal).
    Register for their "best" price (I think I also got an additional break for ordering 6 litres of fluid v. 5 litres).
    I think they still do free shipping on orders over $50.00.
    The pump can be found almost anywhere - I think I got mine at Pep Boys for $10?

  6. #5
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    Appreciate the info!

  7. #6
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    I ran Mobil 1 for 30K and did not notice any change from the OEM fluid. I ran Redline for 15K until the Torque Converter started acting up. It was much smoother than the OE and Mobil 1. I switched back to the Pentosin and the TC problem was less noticeable. I will be using Pentosin to topoff the trans when I replace the TC next week.

    I can not say the Redline had anything to do with the TC problem, but it made it more noticeable. I think the M1 is fine but wanted to use Pentosin to see if that fixed the TC problem (it helped but did not fix it).

    As for a pump, I converted a 2 gallon yard sprayer. Much faster and easier than a hand pump.

    One thing I forgot to add: On the later models, the filter is held in place by a T40. My 01 B5 has this. I don't know when the switch was made.
    Last edited by PZ; 06-12-2009 at 02:00 PM.

  8. #7
    $t0rm1n n0rm@n
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    Nice I have used Mobil one until the tranny started slipping on the shift plates. Then swtich to Maxlife and shifting better then the day I drove it off the lot.

  9. #8
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    I am sticking with the Pentosin. New TC is on the garage floor and the trans will be dropped this weekend. I have 5L of Pentosin to top off the trans once all is done.

    On the last change, I used compressed air from the fluid pump to blow out the trans cooler and valve body. I got almost 7L in the trans on that fill, so the fluid is mostly Pentosin at this point.

  10. #9
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    PZ, think I'm going to have LOTR in Farmers Branch check my tranny codes - I called to get an estimate on the fluid change and he said it's odd that I've had a couple of slips before 100k miles regardless of never changing the fluid.

    Basically said he'd rather be sure there's not a deeper issue so I don't blow $$ on changing the fluid and still experience slips. Are you familiar with the guy, think he said his name is Bob? Believe he's the owner...simply wondering if he has a rep of doing unnecessary expensive repairs or if he's legit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by doyles-1.8T View Post
    PZ, think I'm going to have LOTR in Farmers Branch check my tranny codes - I called to get an estimate on the fluid change and he said it's odd that I've had a couple of slips before 100k miles regardless of never changing the fluid.

    Basically said he'd rather be sure there's not a deeper issue so I don't blow $$ on changing the fluid and still experience slips. Are you familiar with the guy, think he said his name is Bob? Believe he's the owner...simply wondering if he has a rep of doing unnecessary expensive repairs or if he's legit.
    Sipes216 can run the trans codes on your car. He ran mine for me. Send him a PM or meet him at my place this weekend. He might drop by to see some of the fun of a trans drop.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by doyles-1.8T View Post
    PZ, think I'm going to have LOTR in Farmers Branch check my tranny codes - I called to get an estimate on the fluid change and he said it's odd that I've had a couple of slips before 100k miles regardless of never changing the fluid.

    Basically said he'd rather be sure there's not a deeper issue so I don't blow $$ on changing the fluid and still experience slips. Are you familiar with the guy, think he said his name is Bob? Believe he's the owner...simply wondering if he has a rep of doing unnecessary expensive repairs or if he's legit.
    Bob is the owner of the shop. He is legit, and runs an honest shop. His prices aren't cheap, but he does good work. He's worked on my car before and I've always trusted his work.

  13. #12
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    Through which hole do you fill it?

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    Motel Room Moderator VAGguy's Avatar
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    the 17mm one.

  15. #14
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    I am still confused as to how you go about filling it. I'm sorry. I just need some further clarification.

  16. #15
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    re read the post, if you dont understand you would be best getting it done at a good shop, but its pretty easy to do, always undo the 17mm filler hole first, you dont want to drain the fluid and find you cant undo the 17mm bolt to fill it.

  17. #16
    Motel Room Moderator VAGguy's Avatar
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    you have to pump it in.

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by PZ View Post
    Sipes216 can run the trans codes on your car. He ran mine for me. Send him a PM or meet him at my place this weekend. He might drop by to see some of the fun of a trans drop.
    Appreciate the invite, unfortunately I was busy all weekend with family stuff. Besides, thought the engine had to be cold to check trans-codes? Hope your torque converter swap went well!

    I'll get in touch with sipes and see when schedules might align, as always I appreciate the info.

    Quote Originally Posted by bill1975 View Post
    Bob is the owner of the shop. He is legit, and runs an honest shop. His prices aren't cheap, but he does good work. He's worked on my car before and I've always trusted his work.
    Thanks for the info. Bob indicated $250-300 for the oil replacement if no codes indicated deeper probs. Sounds simple enough to do myself but I have no experience with it and would rather have a shop warranty guaranteeing the work in case something goes awry.

  19. #18
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    Thanks for the writeup. I am getting ready to do this as well. The Trans on my 2000MY V6 wagon has started clunking, but only in first gear. The rest of the shifting seems fine.

    I am also a little distrustful of the fill it and forget it thought process of VW. So, I figured I would try a filter and fluid change on her to see if this solves the problem.

  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAGguy View Post
    you have to pump it in.
    No, you don't have to pump it in. I filled mine using a length of clear hose and a funnel. Poke the hose into the tranny fill hole, connect the funnel to the other end, hold the funnel about window height, and pour fluid into it. Gravity moves the fluid through the hose and up into the trans.

  21. #20
    Motel Room Moderator VAGguy's Avatar
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    If you have a 5 foot hose yes, otherwise pump it in.

  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by turtle View Post
    No, you don't have to pump it in. I filled mine using a length of clear hose and a funnel. Poke the hose into the tranny fill hole, connect the funnel to the other end, hold the funnel about window height, and pour fluid into it. Gravity moves the fluid through the hose and up into the trans.
    You will never get the right amount of ATF in the pan. The ATF will heat up faster then you can have gravity push the ATF in the pan. Use a pump or risk under filling your tranny.

  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by pson View Post
    You will never get the right amount of ATF in the pan. The ATF will heat up faster then you can have gravity push the ATF in the pan. Use a pump or risk under filling your tranny.
    Oh yeah....and once "full", turn the car on and let the ATF fluid get sucked up, then fill it till it's "full" again. Raise the rear of the car higher than the front in order to fit more. PZ threw me that piece of advice. Allowed me to fit an additional qt. in.

  24. #23
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    Moved into the info base.

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