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Discussion Starter #1
Severe shudder when downshifting.

I’ll try to keep this short. Last week I decided to change the oil in my 2003 Passat glx wagon myself (for the first time). It’s got 33K miles. You guessed it. I inadvertently drained the tranny (auto, tip) PANIC! Searched forums. Got goods advice. Proceeded to carefully refill with 3 quarts of VW tranny fluid from the dealer. I followed the instructions to the letter. I also changed the oil with synthetic. Everything seemed fine. Fast forward one week and approximately 300 miles driven. The check engine light comes on. It’s Sunday and the dealer is closed so, I go to AutoZone to get them to read the codes. Codes indicate a bad mass air filter. No big deal. I figure I can drive for a couple of days until the new part comes in. So I’m on my way to a Christmas party and I notice that the stability control light is also on (continuous, not blinking). Pushing the button does nothing. I figure it’s related to the MAF somehow. A few miles later the car shudders pretty strongly while downshifting. I’m two miles from the dealer so I head straight there. On the way there it shudders two more times – again while downshifting (I think).

Could this be related to the MAF or did I screw things up when I refilled the tranny? (maybe I didn’t put enough in?) It’s at the dealer right now. I haven’t told them about my adventure with the tranny fluid because I’m hoping it’s the MAF and covered under warranty. If I tell them about the tranny, they might say I voided the warranty.

Any insight is greatly appreciated!
 

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With only a few miles, I'd recommend checking the transmission and refilling correctly. Did you refill with the engine running, and work it through all the gears while filling?
 

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weary about it cause you just changed tranny fluid, BUT!! when i had my MAF taken off (well it was plugged in but no air was going through because i had my airbox disco'd) my CEL came on, and right upon that happening, the tranny would shutter!!!! not necesarrily when i was driving it ( i dont really remember ) but when i would take it from park to reverse or reverse to drive it would slam SO hard, i reconnected my airbox right away... and it fixed the issue. as of now, i think (and hope) its only cuz you have a CEL that its shuttering..its risky changing that TIP fluid! why did you change it with only 33k miles??

-nst
 

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PassatWorld Staff
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You have a 2003, so it's DBW (Drive-By-Wire). The DBW cars' ECU's are closely coupled to the tranny's TCU. Your bad MAF sensor is causing the TCU to have fits because it's not seeing the proper MAF for a given engine speed and gear. I wouldn't worry about the fluid. Get the MAF sensor changed out and the codes cleared, and then see what happens.
 

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PassatWorld Staff
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12,267 Posts
You have a 2003, so it's DBW (Drive-By-Wire). The DBW cars' ECU's are closely coupled to the tranny's TCU. Your bad MAF sensor is causing the TCU to have fits because it's not seeing the proper MAF for a given engine speed and gear. I wouldn't worry about the fluid. Get the MAF sensor changed out and the codes cleared, and then see what happens.
 

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PassatWorld Staff
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12,267 Posts
You have a 2003, so it's DBW (Drive-By-Wire). The DBW cars' ECU's are closely coupled to the tranny's TCU. Your bad MAF sensor is causing the TCU to have fits because it's not seeing the proper MAF for a given engine speed and gear. I wouldn't worry about the fluid. Get the MAF sensor changed out and the codes cleared, and then see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the info. I'm hoping it all points to the MAF. I didn't want or intend to change the tranny fluid. I did a boneheaded thing and drained the wrong fluid accidentally. I don't feel too bad about it because I know others have done it and survived. I was very carefull when refilling. I had it up on jacks and ran through all of the gears and checked the level each time after running through the gears until it wouldn't take any more fluid. It took exactly 3 quarts, but i don't know how much drained out initially, looked about like 3 - 4. I drained it into my oil container that already had oil in it from my other car (acura CL). I approximatly knew how much that was so I did the math to figure the difference - about 3 quarts.
 

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jackhole said:
I did a boneheaded thing and drained the wrong fluid accidentally.
ahh i see, well no biggie, lets see if the maf fixes all..if it does, hey, u got new tranny fluid!! that isnt hurting anything!
 
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