Manual transmission fluid change how-to with pics

frugality

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none, 2016 GTI
Before doing my transmission oil change, I did some searching of old threads to get an idea of what to do. Someone (GeWilli, I think) asked about pictures for a how-to .pdf, which it seems no one had, so I took some pictures. I haven't taken the time to find out how to make a .pdf, but here are the pictures that I've uploaded into the tdiclub picture site:

Start with a car that's still warm (so the oil flows better), put the front of the car up on jackstands, and remove the 10 (I think it's 10) torx screws that hold on the engine belly cover.

The transmission oil:
I saw an old post with a picture of a metal can of $30 VW gear oil (part# G 005 000, G50 SAE 75W-90 oil), and the dealer said that they could get it if I wanted it, but that this is what their computer said was the correct oil for all VW manual transmissions, and it's what they stocked. What they sold me was $15/liter, and required 2 (really 1-1/2) of them.


(EDIT: Rotated and notated picture; crudely but I don't know Photoshop that well yet) I picked up the 17mm hex key at Sears for US$9, but later at my local Auto Zone I saw a 3-pack of 1/2" drive hex bits (17mm/15mm/13mm) for US$8. Notice the bracket I took loose in the right lower corner of the picture; I had to loosen that so I could move the power steering line enough to get the allen wrench into the fill plug.
*Tip: Before draining the oil from the draing plug, make sure you can loosen the filler plug first. I'd be a bugger to drain the oil only to find you couldn't fill it. BIG Tip: Do NOT remove the fill plug as I have in this picture. The engineer in me thought it'd be best to have it open so that air could get in and it'd drain better. Boy oh boy did it drain. It didn't drain, it dumped. And splattered. So leave the fill plug in and it should drain in a bit more controlled fashion.


Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of it draining from the drain plug. Guess I was a bit flustered and busy cleaning up splattered tranny fluid that I forgot to snap a picture. But it'll drain out of the plug where the big allen wrench is in the above picture.

This is where my funnel-with-a-hose ended up, nicely wedged:


I used a small clip to keep the bottom end of the funnel's tube positioned so that about an inch (25mm for you Canucks) of the hose is inside the transmission:


The first liter you can pour in fairly quickly. Pour in about 1/3 of the second liter and then slow down. Eventually you'll get a trickle like this:


Note: I had my car up on 4 jackstands since I was doing some other work, so the car was approximately level. If you've only jacked up the front end, I'd suggest adding the first liter of oil, then lowering the car and adding the rest so that the oil level is correct. Keep the drain pan underneath to catch the new, overflowing oil.

A pretty easy do-it-yourselfer. I'm not sure what the manual transmission oil change interval should be, and from the old threads I perused earlier, I don't think there is one. I intended to do mine at 150k, but it ended up at 154k. Given how easy this was, I should have done it at 100k.
 

ymz

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Good job with the picture-taking-while-doing-messy-job routine, and thanks for posting it!!

Do you notice any difference in the shifting afterwards??

Yuri.

2003 TDI Jetta Wagon - 139933 miles - 29.3 months
 

ToolNut

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May 2, 2004
Location
Boylston, MA, USA
TDI
'02 Jetta GLS, '11 SportWagen
Thanks for the posting. Tranny fluid change is on my "to do" list, but haven't stashed away the time to give it a try. Nice to know it's relatively easy.

Regarding that upside down photo. I'd be careful with those... some of us take these postings too literally...

Paul
 

golfytdi

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Location
Wisconsin
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2005 PD Wagon, 2010 Sportwagen
Re: Manual transmission fluid change how-to with p

If the transmission drain is like the older vws you can use a 17mm lug bolt from a wheel with a 17mm wrench - no tool purchase required.
 

kiwibru

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Re: Manual transmission fluid change how-to with p

Nice write up. How did the oil look that you removed? Still clear? Some indication that it needed the change?...or just miles traveled?
 

frugality

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Location
Spring Lake, Michigan
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none, 2016 GTI
Regarding that upside down photo. I'd be careful with those... some of us take these postings too literally...
Sheesh. Then SOME people oughn't be doing their own car work...
Just kidding. Done.


I didn't notice any difference in shifting. Still, I sure hope the oil they sold me is the right stuff. The label was all in German, so it didn't seem to have the GL-4 rating, but I'll assume it's the European equivalent since it's VW/Audi tranny oil.

I'm not an expert, but I'd have to say the drained oil looked darn good. Still transparent and maple syrup colored (or the color of a nice bock beer, if you prefer). No metal shavings that I could see. The drain plug didn't seem to have a magnet in it that I could tell. Maybe there's one elsewhere inside the transmission. I try to be very nice to my transmission, but have ground the gears a time or three. (I don't know if anyone else has had the same experiences, but the times I've ground the gears seem to be times when I've 'hurried up' too much with the shifting. Like when someone waves you through at a 4-way stop and you try to hurry it up, and end up grinding gears in front of them.)

Jason, your tranny looks way too clean.
 

compu_85

Gadget Guy
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Sep 29, 2003
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Springfield VA
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... None :S
Too clean he says! I was actually concerned about the light coating of gunk on it, so I took that pic and cleaned the bottom of the engine and tranny with simple green. The gunk didn't come back, so I assume there was no leak
 

greengeeker

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Feb 8, 2006
Location
Cambridge, MN
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2002 Jetta GLS
kiwibru said:
Nice write up. How did the oil look that you removed? Still clear? Some indication that it needed the change?...or just miles traveled?
A bit of a necropost here but thought this was a relevant enough thread...

Just changed my fluid at 103,000 miles and wanted some insight on the condition of the fluid I pulled out:



It was shifting hard every now and then and especially in the winter so this was both a mileage and needs warranted change IMO. I've never seen new OEM fluid so I have nothing to compare it to - I'm guessing new fluid would be the same color of any new oil but am not sure. Notice that in the picture I put my maglite behind the jar to try and illuminate the fluid and you can see the color of the fluid around the base of the jar a little bit.

Another question: am I ok to send this in for a UOA or do they have some different collection method? Could I have contaminated the oil somehow during collection?
 

MrPolak

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Atlanta, GA
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2001 New Beetle TDI
I changed my trans oil last week at 148K miles with MT-90. The trans is shifting great now. The oil I drained looked dark brown. Based on appearance it was fine, but based on shifting performance it needed it. I also lubed the shifter bushings with teflon bicycle chain lube, which helped as well.
 

3800rpmDiesel

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hey, i just checked mine tonight - seems a bit low - i'm going to change it this week - i'd like to lube these bushing your talking about too, but not sure where they are or what they do:confused: .

can you elaborate some?, have you got a pic of where they are. sorry, the car's off stands now and i just read this, so i won't have a chance to look until next time its up - but it'd be nice to have an idea of what to look for first. thanks.:cool:
 

3800rpmDiesel

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bump. does anyone know where these shifter bushings are, and what lubing them with teflon would do?

thanks. going to change out the fluid this w/e, and wondering about these shifter bushings......
 

CADTDi

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Jul 9, 2000
Location
Memphis, TN USA
My 01 Jetta has 217,000 miles and I am still on the original fluid in my tranny. I opened the drain about 3 weeks ago to check the level and condition and it still looks brand new.

CADTDI
 

nathan100

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California
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2001 New Beetle TDI
This might be a silly question but here it goes. How are you removing the drain to check the fluid level without draining the transmission? I'd like to change my trans fluid as I have 105K miles on my car now, but if its not needed, and I can verify its not needed, then I can wait.

So how exacly does one go about checking the contition and level of oil in the manual transmission without actually draining and refilling the transmission?

The car is question is a 2001 VW New Beetle

Thank you!
 

ymz

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You check the level by removing the fill plug... if the car's level and nothing comes out, you stick your little finger in there to try and feel for any fluid coming up to the level of the bottom of the fill hole...

Yuri.

PS: for any new-bies: the fill plug is on the front side of the gearbox, facing the radiator... the drain plug is the one on the bottom... (this should be obvious, but...)
 
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PDJetta

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'04 Jetta GLS TDI Pumpe Duce Platinum Grey w/ Leather
17 MM allen wrench (socket) gets the drain/fill plugs out.

At least on the Jettas, you have to remove the bolt for the bracket holding the power steering steel line that runs right in front of the transmission fill hole, and push the P/S line out of the way, before you can get the allen socket into the fill plug.

--Nate
 
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ymz

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PDJetta said:
17 MM allen wrench (socket) gets the drain/fill plugs out.
Except on some of the latest cars that require a triple-square bit...

As usual, Metalnerd has provided one...

Yuri.
 

mchabot

Well-known member
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May 11, 2006
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Liverpool, NY
TDI
2000 A4 Jetta Manual
Bump for a good piece of preventative maintenance. 130K miles and the factory fluid came out pitch black (looked like my oil after 10K miles). Swapped the factory stuff for redline MTL and the transmission shifts like butter. Everyone hurry and get new fluid in there before the cold weather hits. Its well worth the 1/2 hour.
 

1sparrow

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You can buy a plunger type pump for quart containers at Auto Zone for a few dollars. Makes life easier!
 

Jon Linn

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Fort Wayne, In
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2002 New Beetle 160,000 miles
I have a 97 Jetta, which Tranny fluid should I change to when I change it. I have almost 130k miles on the car
 

ymz

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2003 Jetta TDI Wagon, 2003 Jetta TDI Wagon
Jon Linn said:
I have a 97 Jetta, which Tranny fluid should I change to when I change it. I have almost 130k miles on the car
Any GL-4 75W-90 manual transmission oil should do... VW has many, many flavors of G52... G50 is very good but expensive... Many people like Redline, but others (myself included) prefer to stay with the VW fluid...

Yuri.
 

fitzski

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Oct 13, 2004
Location
Ottawa
TDI
Uh... hmm... Well, none...
lost1wing said:
If you don't have a 17mm allen socket, you can use a 17mm bolt and two 17mm nuts. I since tacked them together and cut off the excess bolt shank.
Well done!
 

BradleyRas

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harrisburg,pa,us
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2000 Jetta GLS TDI Silver Arrow
Thanks for the info folks. I removed my belly pan and drained out the factory gear oil (138000 miles) and it was not pretty. I replaced it with Royal Purple Synthetic.

What upset me is that the VW stealer****te failed install all the T20 screws that secure the belly pan.. :mad:

Pics to come...
 

BradleyRas

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harrisburg,pa,us
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Broken belly pan and side skirts... sigh... I guess I'll be ordering a steel replacement.. Only 5 screws holding it on :mad:


Ready Freddy! :p


Fill plug removed first, then drain plug as mentioned earlier. I thought I could get away with removing the plug without making a huge mess by holding the catch pan up high but the dirty oil gushed out so fast it splashed up and out of the pan an yes...into my hair, on my face & garage floor. Guess I shoulda listened...huh? :eek:


drain plug removed..took two hours for the old oil to stop dripping


The old oil...

nasty stuff!!


metal flakes at the bottom...I guess that could be expected after 138K miles
 

BradleyRas

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harrisburg,pa,us
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2000 Jetta GLS TDI Silver Arrow

Refilling from the top. I purchased a gear oil refil valve/cap from the local Pep Boys for less than $5..worked like a charm!

twisting the yellow dial starts/stops oil flow.


FULL!


Thanks for the previous hints/tips & tricks! Jacking up the car was the toughest part of this job. If I can do it SO CAN YOU.

BTW, I found a 17MM hex driver at Harbor Freight, it came in 10 piece set for $13.
 

NarfBLAST

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BradleyRas said:
Thanks for the previous hints/tips & tricks! Jacking up the car was the toughest part of this job. If I can do it SO CAN YOU.
Doh! Now I have no excuse! Only 307,000km on the original fluid tho...

I am going to try and see if I can get at the fill plug from topside while I'm doing a TDIheater install and check the level.
 

Medic92

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Has anyone tried using a PELA to pull the fluid out rather than draining the it from the bottom?
 
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BradleyRas

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Medic92 said:
Has anyone tried using a PELA to pull the fluid out rather than draining the it from the bottom?
The drain plug is much easier to reach than the fill plug, so it kind of defeats the purpose. Plus, it would take much more time to 'suck't the gear oil out vs draining it out, with no real assurance you got all the yucky old stuff out.

This is my opinion, someone more technical than I may have better information than what I have to offer.

All I know is this was such an easy job, I wish I had done it sooner.
 
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