26k mile transmission fluid change

alext91

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Mar 26, 2015
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Seacoast New Hampshire
TDI
2013 Jetta Sportwagen TDI 6MT Pano, 2015 Golf S 4DR 6MT, 1999.5 Jetta TDI Tornado Red(Sold)
Just changed my manual transmission fluid in my 2013 JSW 6 speed since I'm going on a road trip in a week. Well I'm glad I did because the fluid was very dark! Anyone else experience this?


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alext91

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Mar 26, 2015
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Seacoast New Hampshire
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2013 Jetta Sportwagen TDI 6MT Pano, 2015 Golf S 4DR 6MT, 1999.5 Jetta TDI Tornado Red(Sold)
Nobody else with dirty fluid? I wouldn't think this is normal. Regardless, the car shifts much better now. Much easier to find first. Here I was thinking I needed to adjust my dieselgeek shifter, but this was really what I needed!

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soot1

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Currently none. Formerly: 2010 VW Jetta TDI 6M, 1993 Dodge Ram W250 Cummins 5M 4WD, 1990 VW Jetta Diesel 5M, 1986 VW Jetta Diesel 5M, 1980 VW Uabbit Diesel 4M. Currently driving 2018 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4WD.
What did the fresh fluid look like? I assume it was completely clear or only with a hint of amber coloration, right? If that is the case, then this really doesn't look normal by any stretch of imagination. Even if it was sitting somewhere for two years, waiting for the fix, it should not turn this dark. I really don't have any explanation other than the previous owner wanting to take a revenge on VW, filling the tranny with a dirty engine oil, and let them have it back.
 

turbobrick240

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maine
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2011 vw golf tdi(gone to greener pastures), 2001 ford f250 powerstroke
Looks fine to me. I wouldn't worry about it.
 

DerekG

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Sep 8, 2013
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Oklahoma
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'13 4dr Golf TDI 6-speed manual
I changed mine at 60k miles and it looked similar. I wasn't having any shifting problems and any improvement after was probably placebo even though it "felt" little smoother when cold. I also have the DG Sigma 6 and love it.
 

alext91

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Seacoast New Hampshire
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2013 Jetta Sportwagen TDI 6MT Pano, 2015 Golf S 4DR 6MT, 1999.5 Jetta TDI Tornado Red(Sold)
Yeah, I'm not super worried about it. Improvement definitely wasn't placebo in my car though. I'm just happy it feels better!

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JELLOWSUBMARINE

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yes
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2011 JSW 2008 E350 6.0
Yeah, I'm not super worried about it. Improvement definitely wasn't placebo in my car though. I'm just happy it feels better!

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I changed all my fluids when I bought it @ 70k just for good measure. I like incorporating magnetic plugs.

I grew up on primitive 3 on the trees and other mechanical linkages. Long live the cable shift! Ha
 
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alex_tdi

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Los Angeles, CA
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TDI GLS, 2001, Blue
When new, the color is like olive oil. They darken pretty quickly. It's good to change them out early and often, especially if you do lots of stop-n-go driving. The heat degrades the oil and the degraded oil causes problems for the mechatronics and the clutch.
 

turbobrick240

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maine
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2011 vw golf tdi(gone to greener pastures), 2001 ford f250 powerstroke
Oh, it's a dsg. I was wondering why you'd be changing the fluid so early.
 

alext91

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2013 Jetta Sportwagen TDI 6MT Pano, 2015 Golf S 4DR 6MT, 1999.5 Jetta TDI Tornado Red(Sold)
Mine is a manual, not DSG

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turbobrick240

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My bad, the other Alex's post confused me.
 

soot1

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When new, the color is like olive oil. They darken pretty quickly. It's good to change them out early and often, especially if you do lots of stop-n-go driving. The heat degrades the oil and the degraded oil causes problems for the mechatronics and the clutch.
In all the Jettas and Rabbits I owned over the years, the oil looked just like fresh gear oil - light tan even at 200,000. The W250 pickup was the only vehicle I owned in which I drained the gear oil (at 150,000), but when I saw the old oil was the same color as fresh, the old one went right back in, and I never bothered to check it again. This is the first time I see gear oil this dark, and moreover, with this few miles in it. I wonder how the tranny would feel if it were refilled with some good quality synthetic 75W90 gear oil. One thing is for sure - it would cost only a fraction of what the OEM oil would.
 

turbobrick240

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maine
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2011 vw golf tdi(gone to greener pastures), 2001 ford f250 powerstroke
Judging an oil by transparency isn't really that helpful. I've seen brand new gear oil that's quite dark. Also some very expensive synthetic oils are quite dark.
 

soot1

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Judging an oil by transparency isn't really that helpful.
I agree, but I was concerned more with the change in color, which I assumed was much lighter originally, when the oil was fresh. That's why I asked the OP what color the new oil was. I have never seen what the OEM oil for this tranny looks like, but if it's as dark as what is shown in the image, then it's a non-issue.
 

turbobrick240

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It's darker than mine was, but that doesn't mean much. We all know that diesel motor oil lubricates just fine after it darkens almost immediately. As long as the lube isn't full of glitter, I'd say it's a non-issue.
 

rhinorear

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Lost Causes NM
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2014 JSW
I can't remember were I read it but isn't there a special procedure you're meant to follow to drain, or is it to refill? As I understand it the manual tranny is literally laying on its side and filling it till the oil spills out is not the correct way?



Not that I'm going to adhere but I also read the tranny oil type is meant to be good for the life of the vehicle, or does the service manual indicate a fluid change is necessary?
 

alext91

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I can't remember were I read it but isn't there a special procedure you're meant to follow to drain, or is it to refill? As I understand it the manual tranny is literally laying on its side and filling it till the oil spills out is not the correct way?



Not that I'm going to adhere but I also read the tranny oil type is meant to be good for the life of the vehicle, or does the service manual indicate a fluid change is necessary?
These cars you can fill until it spills out if the car is level. You may be thinking of DSG transmission? Yes this fluid is technically "lifetime" aka 100k miles but I chose to change it early due to sitting and shift quality

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rhinorear

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2014 JSW
You are probably right aboot the DSG confusion.


I hear ya. I'm of the same mind set. I'll be changing mine out soon for the same reason with only 30,000 miles
 

tactdi

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North Carolina
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2005.5 Jetta
On the BRMs with the 5sp manual trans, the trans is installed/bolted to the engine at an angle.
The fill hole is pointing down, and if you fill the trans until fluid flows out, the trans will be under filled. You either fill the trans off the car and level, or when on the car, fill using the fill hole until fluid flows out, then remove the reverse switch, and fill the remaining amount (what the manual calls for a full transmission fill).
 

Henrick

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Aug 24, 2010
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Ireland
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Golf VI TDI, 77 kW (CAYC)
I have changed my trans fluid at 35'000 km (due to leaky seal on the CV flange).
It looked like that too.
 

rhinorear

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Location
Lost Causes NM
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2014 JSW
On the BRMs with the 5sp manual trans, the trans is installed/bolted to the engine at an angle.
The fill hole is pointing down, and if you fill the trans until fluid flows out, the trans will be under filled. You either fill the trans off the car and level, or when on the car, fill using the fill hole until fluid flows out, then remove the reverse switch, and fill the remaining amount (what the manual calls for a full transmission fill).



WOW! That's crazy wacked
 
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