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TDI 101 Got a simple/basic TDI question? Are you a newbie (new to the forums). Feel free to post your question here.

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Old September 10th, 2004, 06:10   #1
TIFFANYTDI
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Default Alright...where is the transmission dipstick?????

We can't find the dipstick to check the transmission fluid in my 04 jetta TDI!?!?!?! There is nothing about it in the manual either! Our friend's father is a manager of the service dept at a dodge dealership. He said that some dodge vehicles are made where you, the owner can't check the transmission fluid. They put a plug in it so that you have to take it to the dealership and pay them to check it or whatever and then they put a dipstick in it afterwards...Is that the case with my JETTA?Help guys...
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Old September 10th, 2004, 06:10   #2
TIFFANYTDI
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Default Alright...where is the transmission dipstick?????

forgot to mention that it's an automatic!
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Old September 10th, 2004, 06:43   #3
highhilltdi
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Default Alright...where is the transmission dipstick?????

You've got to have VAGCOM to check it, and it's not extremely easy then. I wouldn't worry about it, unless fluid is dripping out anywhere you're probably good to go. A good visual under the car should tell you plenty.
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Old September 10th, 2004, 06:47   #4
pepper10
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Default Alright...where is the transmission dipstick?????

It's a new scheme by the manufacturers where they don't put dip sticks in auto trannies anymore. VW, Ford, Dodge, Honda, are all addapting this new method. It is to prevent owners to overfill the tranny and cause it to fail. Manufacturers got tired of changing trannies where the owner failed to do proper maintenance. They now sell aftermarket kits to replace ATF and to check the level, you have to remove a plug on the tranny (don't know which one since I have a manual). In reality, as long as you have no leaks, your ATF level should be fine.
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Old September 10th, 2004, 08:01   #5
weedeater
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Default Alright...where is the transmission dipstick?????

There is no dipstick.

It's a synthetic fluid designed for the 'lifetime' of the car. Realistically, 100kmiles is more like it. So you shouldn't be changing it for a while.
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Old September 10th, 2004, 10:14   #6
Drivbiwire
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Default Alright...where is the transmission dipstick?????

When you get to your first timing belt I suggest replacing the fluid and filter at that time.

The transmission uses a special fluid and the level is measured using a thermal method (expansion of a known volume at a given temperature). The level can be checked but if the fluid is not at the correct temperature you will have no idea if the level is correct or not.

Bottom line is don't worry about it.

DB
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Old September 10th, 2004, 10:24   #7
McBrew
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Default Alright...where is the transmission dipstick?????

My Sprinter has a trans fluid dippstick... but it's locked! The dealership has a special tool.
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Old September 10th, 2004, 10:34   #8
MacGyver
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Default Alright...where is the transmission dipstick?????

A few more technological 'advancements' and the only dipsticks in the cars will be between the drivers' seat & the steering wheel...

How long till the hoods are locked shut & only the dealer can access??
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Old September 10th, 2004, 10:55   #9
TIFFANYTDI
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Default Alright...where is the transmission dipstick?????

you said it.....I can understand the dealerships point of keeping idiots out of the major equipment so they don't screw it up. it would be fine if they didn't charge out the *** to service the cars. I know that the idiot population is growing rapidly...I drive on the road with them everyday! Today was "Pull-out-in-front-of-Tiffany Day"...I wish people would pay attention!!!!!!!
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Old September 10th, 2004, 10:55   #10
Keiller
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Default Alright...where is the transmission dipstick?????

The local foreign car mechanic showed me how to check the fluid. You shouldn't need to do this, but...when the transmission is at a certain temp. the green torx head bolt in the bottom of the transmission is removed. If some transmission fluid comes out and quickly stops, then it is full. If none comes out of the hole, then the fluid level is low. I don't know how you can tell *how* low, though.
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Old September 10th, 2004, 13:29   #11
Rammstein
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Default Alright...where is the transmission dipstick?????

Quote:
you said it.....I can understand the dealerships point of keeping idiots out of the major equipment so they don't screw it up. it would be fine if they didn't charge out the *** to service the cars. I know that the idiot population is growing rapidly...I drive on the road with them everyday! Today was "Pull-out-in-front-of-Tiffany Day"...I wish people would pay attention!!!!!!!
I know what you mean, they're everywhere...everytime I go out of my appartment I see a couple...it's scary.

They multiply like rabbits...
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Old September 10th, 2004, 14:11   #12
ymz
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Default Alright...where is the transmission dipstick?????

>>I can understand the dealerships point of keeping idiots out of the major equipment so they don't screw it up.<<

How about keeping the idiot dealership mechanics out of the major equipment so THEY don't screw it up ?? (yes, I know, there are some good dealer mechanics, but...)
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Old September 10th, 2004, 18:01   #13
Raxum
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Default Alright...where is the transmission dipstick?????

Over filling the trans fluid, putting in the wrong fluid, and the fact that if it does't have a leak then it's not low. Are the main reasion most manufatures have stoped putting dip sticks on the trans.

Some manufatures (isuzu) have had fires from being over filled.

Having the correct trans fluid is even more (ok just as) important as the correct oil.
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Old September 10th, 2004, 18:22   #14
McBrew
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Default Alright...where is the transmission dipstick?????

I was told years ago (by a guy who owned a trans rebuilding shop) that OEMs were goings to start making "sealed" transmissions. He said one of the reasons is that the dipstick is one of the only sources of dirt in an otherwise clean transmission. Just a bit of dust or lint on a rag used to wipe the fluid off the dipstick is enough to snowball into a much larger problem down the road. The engine lubrication system is designed to deal with lots of soot and junk... but an automatic transmission is a much more "sterile" environment. According to him, the sealed transmissions should last much longer.
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Old September 11th, 2004, 20:45   #15
redmondjp
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Default Alright...where is the transmission dipstick?????

Quote:
. . . He said one of the reasons is that the dipstick is one of the only sources of dirt in an otherwise clean transmission. Just a bit of dust or lint on a rag used to wipe the fluid off the dipstick is enough to snowball into a much larger problem down the road. The engine lubrication system is designed to deal with lots of soot and junk... but an automatic transmission is a much more "sterile" environment. According to him, the sealed transmissions should last much longer.
LOL!! The main reason why automatic transmissions fail these days is that they have design problems (such as using el-cheapo plastic parts inside) and/or can't handle the torque put out by the engine. Remember back in the 1970s when American cars had the Turbo 400 (GM), C6 (Ford), or the Torqueflite 727 (Mopar)--these trannies would go easily 150K miles behind big-block motors in cars which weighed over 2 tons--sure the pan started leaking right after you drove it off the lot, but the basic guts of these units were bulletproof. Now we have crappy automatics in all kinds of cars and trucks (any fwd v6 ford product, mopar minivans, etc). But I digress . . .

The #1 thing that could be done to make automatic transmissions last longer would be to install a decent filter in the pressure line from the pump to the oil cooler (usually inside the "cold" side of the radiator). I have rebuilt half a dozen automatics myself, and the "filters" used are basically to keep chunks of broken tranny parts from getting into the pump--they let all of the small metallic wear particles through, causing wear of the valves and other parts inside.

I used to work at a company which made aerial lift equipment which was all hydraulically operated, and we used 10-micron filters or better to keep wear particles out of the system. We also used ATF by the truckload as the hydraulic fluid, and all of the hydraulic component manufacturers said to filter it BEFORE putting it into the hydraulic system, as it apparently could have wear particles in it from the factory. Now automatic transmissions don't have as small of tolerances as the load-holding valves we used in our hydraulic systems, but they are still hydraulic systems, and particles in these systems cause components to wear out.

So, anybody for making a retrofittable kit to filter your ATF? I've thought about it many times but have never gotten around to it.
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