Volkswagen Cars 2000-05

Automatic Transaxle

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Drain, Refill & Filter Service




CAUTION
On Passat models produced before 1998, make sure to properly identify the transaxle installed in your vehicle by locating the code identifying characters stamped into the transaxle housing. Failure to properly identify the transaxle could lead to improper servicing, lubrication, and severe internal damage.

Audi A4 and Volkswagen Passat transaxles are of a unique design. The differential assembly is separated internally from the components of the transmission. On Quattro models with All Wheel Drive (AWD) the center differential is also separated as a unit from the transmission and from the front differential.

Because of this unique design, different fluids are required for the transmission portion of the transaxle and the differential, and, if equipped with AWD, the center differential.


CAUTION
Failure to use approved fluids and improperly filling of the transaxle or differential(s) could lead to severe mechanical damage.


NOTE
Always consult your local dealer for the correct lubricant, gaskets and filters for your vehicle.

  1. Raise and safely support the front of the car on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Slide drain pan under the transaxle.
  4.  
  5. Using a 17mm Allen® wrench, remove the oil filler plug.
  6.  
  7. Using the same wrench, loosen the drain plug until it can be turned by hand.
  8.  
  9. While pushing in on the drain plug, turn it counterclockwise until it is free of the threads on the transaxle case. Then, quickly pull the drain plug away, and allow the oil to drain into the pan.
  10.  


NOTE
A small amount of fine particles on the drain plug's magnet is considered normal. If large metal chunks may indicate problems with the internal components of the transaxle.

  1. When the oil has been completely drained, install the drain plug. Tighten to 18 ft. lbs.
  2.  
  3. Refill the gearbox (using the proper type and viscosity of gear oil) up to the level of the filler plug, until a small amount of oil drips from the threads.
  4.  
  5. Install and tighten the filler plug to 18 ft. lbs.
  6.  

Center Differential Fluid
All Wheel Drive (AWD) Models

The manufacturer does not specify a maintenance interval for changing the center differential oil.

Unless you believe that the center differential oil is contaminated, changing the oil/fluid should not be necessary. The fluid should be topped off if necessary or replaced if related repairs are performed.


NOTE
Access to the fill/level plug is difficult with the vehicle on the ground. The vehicle must be level to ensure an accurate reading. Carefully raise and safely support the vehicle on jackstands in order to access the fill/level plug. Make sure the vehicle is level before completely removing the plug.

  1. Park the vehicle on a level surface.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle such that it is level.
  4.  
  5. Place a suitable drain receptacle underneath the rear of the transaxle.
  6.  
  7. Remove the filler plug on the side of the center differential.
  8.  
  9. Remove the drain plug from the bottom of the center differential.
  10.  
  11. Install drain plug using a new crush washer.
  12.  
  13. Using the approved fluid, fill the center differential through the fill hole on the side of the unit until the oil level is 3 / 64 in. (1.0mm) below the lower edge of the filler hole.
  14.  
  15. Install the fill/level plug using a new crush washer, and tighten it securely.
  16.  

Differential Fluid

The manufacturer does not specify a maintenance interval for changing the differential oil. Consequently, the manufacturer does not supply a drain plug for the differential. The oil/fluid can be removed from the differential housing with a suction-type oil siphon tool (commonly available at automotive and boat supply facilities) by extracting the fluid via the fill/level plug.

Unless you believe that the differential oil is contaminated, changing the oil/fluid in the differential of the transaxle is not necessary. The manufacturer states that the differential is filled for the life of the transaxle, and that replacement of the fluid/oil is not necessary, however the fluid should be topped off if necessary or replaced if related repairs are performed.

Volkswagen does not specify a maintenance interval for changing the differential oil/fluid. Consequently, the manufacturer does not supply a drain plug for the differential section of 010, 096, and 01M transaxle. The oil/fluid can be removed from the differential housing with a suction-type oil changing tool (commonly available a boat supply facilities) placed inside of the check plug. Another method (although much more involved) of draining the oil/fluid is by removing the differential cover. This is less desirable, because access to the cover is limited.

Unless you believe that the differential oil is contaminated, changing the oil/fluid in the differential of the transaxle is not necessary. The manufacturer states that the differential is filled for the life of the transaxle, and that replacement of the fluid/oil is not necessary.

Fluid Pan
Filter Service

Automatic transmissions rely on many precision manufactured components, such as check valves, hydraulic pumps, hydraulic valves and the valve body, and use friction materials similar to a brake shoe or clutch disk for gear engagement.

Because the transmission fluid is exposed to high operating temperatures, and wear related debris from the metal components and clutch material fibers, it is possible for dirty or contaminated transmission fluid to mask a worn component. If the fluid has not been changed regularly, the transmission can build up sludge, carbon and other wear related debris that can make a moving hydraulic component stick or assist the operation of worn components by reducing their clearance.

Use caution when changing the fluid and filter on a transmission that has not been regularly serviced and/or has high mileage. Changing the fluid and filter could result in a sudden failure or erratic operation and/or shift engagement. This usually happens because the built up contaminants that were once compensating for the internal wear have been flushed out and removed when the fluid and filter is changed.

This is not meant to discourage someone from servicing their transmission. Statistics have proven that routine maintenance pays off over the long run. However the consequences that could result from servicing a transmission, which has high mileage and/or has not been maintained within the service interval guidelines may not provide the results anticipated.

If the transmission's fluid level is within specification, and the transmission is either slipping or shifting erratically, it should be examined by a dealer or a transmission specialist, before servicing the transmission oil and filter.


WARNING
It is absolutely essential that the gaskets and/or O-ring between the filter and the transmission valve body be in good condition and properly installed, otherwise poor engagement qualities, slipping, erratic shifting and/or internal mechanical damage may result.


NOTE
If after replacing the filter, the transmission exhibits any of the following characteristics, it is possible the seal and/or gasket between the filter and the valve body is damaged, missing, or improperly installed.

After filter removal, always test drive and check for fluid leakage and normal operation. Symptoms of a damaged, missing, or improperly installed filter-to-valve body seal and/or gasket include:



Erratic operation
 
Transmission valve chatter
 
Poor engagement qualities
 
Non-definitive shift points
 
Formation of foam or aeration of fluid
 
Inability of the engine to transmit power through the transmission
 

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle in a level plane. Place a suitable drain pan equipped with a transmission fluid service drain splash shield or a suitable sized drain pan under the transmission sump. Remove the dipstick on vehicles so equipped.
  2.  
  3. Drain the fluid into a suitable container, and then remove the sump pan.
  4.  
  5. Remove the pan gasket, and then remove the fasteners from the filter. Note their positions. Check, if equipped, that the O-ring from the filter did not stick to the transmission valve body.
  6.  
  7. Installation is in reverse order of removal noting the following;
  8.  
  9. Install the new filter and if equipped, a new O-ring lubricated with transmission fluid. Replace the filter mounting fasteners in their original positions.
  10.  
  11. Install a new gasket.
  12.  
  13. Tighten the sump fasteners evenly using a three-step crisscross pattern as follows:
  14.  

Oil sump-to-transaxle fasteners:



88.5 inch lbs. (10 Nm)
 

  1. Fill and top off the fluid level as necessary. For additional information, please refer to the following topic(s): General Information And Maintenance, Fluids and Lubricants.
  2.  

Removal & Installation
  1. If equipped, remove the drain plug and let the fluid drain into a pan. If the pan has no drain plug, loosen the pan bolts until a corner of the pan can be lowered to drain the fluid.
  2.  
  3. Remove the pan bolts and take off the pan.
  4.  
  5. Discard the old gasket and clean the pan out. Be very careful not to get any threads or lint from rags into the pan.
  6.  
  7. The manufacturer recommends that the filter needn't be replaced unless the fluid is very dirty and burnt smelling. When replacing the strainer be careful, the specified torque for the strainer screws is only 24 inch lbs. (3 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Replace the pan with a new gasket and tighten the bolts, in a criss-cross pattern, to 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Using a long necked funnel, pour in 2.5 qts. (2.3L) of Dexron®II automatic transaxle fluid through the dipstick tube. Start the engine and shift through all the transaxle ranges with the car stationary. Check the level on the dipstick with the lever in Neutral. It should be up to the lower end of the dipstick. The difference between marks is 1 pint (0.23L). Add fluid as necessary, drive the car until it is warmed up and recheck the level.
  12.  

To remove the transmission sump and replace the filter, the vehicle will need to be raised, and safely supported to remove the fluid pan and change the filter. Because of the size of the oil sump, to minimize fluid spills, a transmission fluid service drain splash shield should be placed over a suitable drain pan. If a transmission fluid service drain splash shield is not available, a sturdy non-metallic, mortar mixing pan works well as a substitute and is available from most hardware stores.


WARNING
The transaxle assembly used in the A4 and Passat models contains many precision-machined components and must be maintained using the proper replacement parts and lubricants.


CAUTION
Do NOT drain the fluid while it is hot as it splatters easily and severe burns could result.

Before removing the transmission sump make sure the proper filling equipment and necessary tools are available. It may be necessary to purchase a fluid pump, such as NAPA® Tool No. 4344, if the fluid is filled from underneath the vehicle. Make sure you have an adequate supply of the recommended fluid, and that you have a means of measuring the transmission fluid temperature before removal of the fluid pan. For transaxle filling instructions please refer to the following topic(s): General Information And Maintenance, Fluids and Lubricants.

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the sump drain plug and drain the fluid into a suitable container.
  4.  
  5. Remove the sump assembly.
  6.  
  7. Remove and discard the sump gasket.
  8.  
  9. Installation is in reverse order of removal noting the following;
  10.  
  11. Install a new gasket.
  12.  
  13. Tighten the sump fasteners evenly using a three-step crisscross pattern as follows:
  14.  

Oil sump-to-transaxle fasteners:



88.5 inch lbs. (10Nm)
 

  1. Fill and top off the fluid level as necessary. For additional information, please refer to the following topic(s): General Information And Maintenance, Fluids and Lubricants.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Removing the transmission sump pan using professional level draining equipment helps minimize the risk of a messy fluid spill



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. A transmission fluid service drain splash shield helps to minimize fluid spills. Place it over top of a suitable drain pan and the transmission can be serviced with the vehicle on jack stands if a lift is not available

Gearset/Torque Converter Section

A3 platform vehicles equipped with the 01M "Phase II" transaxle require special electronic tools to check and correct the fluid level after the transaxle fluid. Because of this, no procedure is given. It is highly recommended that vehicles equipped with an 01M transaxle be taken to a qualified service facility for transaxle fluid service.

010 And 096 Transaxles Only

Since 010 and 096 transaxle do not have a drain plug, the only way to drain the automatic transaxle fluid is to remove the pan.

  1. Raise and safely support the front of the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Using a thick-bristled brush, clean any dirt and/or grease build-up from the area around the fluid pan.
  4.  
  5. Place drain receptacle (large enough to contain all of the transaxle fluid) under the transaxle.
  6.  
  7. Remove the two rear pan bolts, then loosen the two front pan bolts just enough to allow the fluid to drain.
  8.  
  9. Once the fluid ceased to drain from the pan, remove the remaining bolts and lower the pan.
  10.  


NOTE
There will be a small quantity of fluid in the pan. Lower the pan carefully to avoid spillage.

  1. Discard the old gasket and clean the pan with solvent. Make sure the gasket surface on the pan and the transaxle are clean, dry and free of all old gasket material.
  2.  
  3. Remove the bolts to remove the strainer and clean it. If the strainer is excessively dirty or damaged, it should be replaced.
    1. On 010 transaxle, torque the strainer bolts to 35 inch lbs. (4 Nm).
    2.  
    3. On 096 transaxle, torque the strainer bolts to 71 inch lbs. (8 Nm).
    4.  

  4.  
  5. Fit the gasket onto the pan. Usually the gasket does not require any type of sealing compound to form an effective seal. Sometimes a sealer is necessary to hold the gasket in place while installing the pan. Be sure to glue the gasket to the pan, not to the transaxle.
  6.  
  7. Fit the pan into place and start all the bolts.
    1. On 010 transaxle, torque the bolts (in a crisscross pattern) to 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm).
    2.  
    3. On 096 transaxle, torque the bolts (in a crisscross pattern) to 9 ft. lbs. (12 Nm).
    4.  

  8.  
  9. Using a long-necked funnel, refill the transaxle with 3.2 quarts of fluid through the dipstick tube.
  10.  
  11. Lower the vehicle from the jackstands.
  12.  
  13. Run the engine to check for leaks and to check the level.
  14.  
  15. Add fluid as necessary to adjust the level. Do NOT overfill the transaxle!
  16.  

Passat GLX, GLS & Audi A4 Models

NOTE
The following information includes 1993-97 Passat models equipped with the 01M transaxle which is not equipped with a dip stick. If equipped with the 096 transaxle, refer to the previous procedure. The 3 digit transaxle code is stamped into the transaxle housing.

These automatic transaxles require special electronic tools and fluid filling equipment which is beyond the scope of this manual. Because of the special equipment required and the potential for severe and costly mechanical damage if not properly performed, it is suggested that the ATF fluid in the transaxle be changed by an authorized dealer.

Fluid Level Check



Automatic Transaxle Differential Fluid

The manufacturer does not specify a maintenance interval for changing the differential oil/fluid. However, periodic inspection of the level of the fluid (and the fluid itself) is recommended. A high oil level indicates one of three conditions. First, the previous mechanic/owner may have accidentally overfilled the transaxle if the vehicle was not level. Secondly a high oil level (assuming the vehicle is level) can be caused by excessive condensation (water) in the differential. This may be a result of constant operation in wet areas, or high humidity. Moisture can condense inside of the transaxle in the same manner that a can of cold soda 'sweats' when removed from a refrigerator. Lastly, a high oil condition may indicate that the internal seals that separate the differential section from the torque converter/gearset are possibly faulty, and ATF has contaminated the differential oil.


NOTE
Access to the fill/level plug is difficult with the vehicle on the ground. The vehicle must be level to ensure an accurate reading. Carefully raise and safely support the vehicle on jackstands in order to access the fill/level plug. Make sure the vehicle is level before completely removing the plug.

  1. Park the vehicle on a level surface.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle such that it is level.
  4.  
  5. Place a suitable drain receptacle underneath the rear of the transaxle.
  6.  
  7. Remove the filler plug on the side of the transaxle, near the halfshaft flange.
  8.  
  9. Note the oil level; it should be even with the lower edge of the filler hole.
  10.  
  11. If the oil level is low, add the proper type and viscosity as necessary to obtain the correct oil level.
  12.  
  13. Install the filler plug, and tighten it securely.
  14.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. The gear oil fill and level plug shown with the transaxle assembly removed



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. The gear oil fill and level plug is near the centerline of the drive axle. Make sure the vehicle is level when checking



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. The differential fluid fill and level plug is on the side of the transmission near the axle. A suitable sized hex tool is needed to remove and install the plug

All Wheel Drive (AWD) Models

NOTE
Access to the fill/level plug is difficult with the vehicle on the ground. The vehicle must be level to ensure an accurate reading. Carefully raise and safely support the vehicle on jackstands in order to access the fill/level plug. Make sure the vehicle is level before completely removing the plug.

  1. Park the vehicle on a level surface.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle such that it is level.
  4.  
  5. Place a suitable drain receptacle underneath the rear of the transaxle.
  6.  
  7. Remove the filler plug on the side of the transaxle, near the halfshaft flange.
  8.  
  9. Note the oil level; it should be even with the lower edge of the filler hole.
  10.  
  11. If the oil level is low, add the proper type and viscosity as necessary to obtain the correct oil level.
  12.  
  13. Install the filler plug, and tighten it securely.
  14.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. The center differential is a separate unit attached to the automatic transaxle. It drives the rear differential on the AWD models

Automatic Transmission Fluid (Atf) Level
Passat Glx, Gls And Audi A4 Models

NOTE
This procedure includes 1993-97 Passat models equipped with the 01M transaxle which is not equipped with a dip stick. If equipped with the 096 transaxle, refer to the previous procedure. The 3-digit transaxle code is stamped into the transaxle housing.


CAUTION
If the following equipment is not available or if safety would be compromised, this procedure should be performed by the dealer or a trained service technician and properly equipped facility.

The use of Tool No. VAG 1551 or VAG 1552 or their equivalent is necessary to monitor the Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) temperature. The following parameters are necessary to properly check the ATF fluid level:



Vehicle raised, safely supported and level
 
Climate control in the OFF position
 
Transaxle must not be in emergency (limp) mode
 
Gear selector in with engine at normal idle speed
 
ATF fluid temperature between 86-113°F (30-45°C)
 

  1. Verify that the transmission is not in the emergency (limp) operation mode. Do NOT perform this procedure if the transmission is in the emergency (limp) mode.
  2.  
  3. Connect the VAG 1551, 1552 or its equivalent to the Data Link Connector (DLC).
  4.  
  5. With the engine at normal idle, the gear selector in P with all electrical consumers and the climate control OFF , raise and safely support the vehicle such that it is level and the underside of the transmission pan is accessible.
  6.  
  7. Place a suitable drain pan under the transaxle.
  8.  


CAUTION
Transmission fluid is hot and could scald exposed skin. Wear eye protection and avoid contact with the transmission fluid.


WARNING
The ATF fluid level plug must not be removed if the fluid temperature is above 86°F (30°C).

  1. Remove the ATF fluid level plug. On 096 transaxles (1997 and earlier Passat models) DO NOT remove the overflow tube when the level plug is removed.
  2.  
  3. When the ATF fluid temperature reaches 86-113°F (30-45°C), if the fluid level is correct, the ATF should begin to drip from the fill cavity.
  4.  
  5. Install the fill plug using a new sealing washer.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. The transmission fill plug is also the level plug on 96 and later A4 and 98 and later Passat models

Fluid Recommendations




CAUTION
On Passat models produced before 1998, make sure to properly identify the transaxle installed in your vehicle by locating the code identifying characters stamped into the transaxle housing. Failure to properly identify the transaxle could lead to improper servicing, lubrication, and severe internal damage.

Audi A4 and Volkswagen Passat transaxles are of a unique design. The differential assembly is separated internally from the components of the transmission. On Quattro models with All Wheel Drive (AWD) the center differential is also separated as a unit from the transmission and from the front differential.

Because of this unique design, different fluids are required for the transmission portion of the transaxle and the differential, and, if equipped with AWD, the center differential.


CAUTION
Failure to use approved fluids and improperly filling of the transaxle or differential(s) could lead to severe mechanical damage.


NOTE
The part numbers provided in the following information could change without notice and are provided only as a reference. Always consult your local dealer for the correct lubricant for your vehicle.

The 1990-93 Passat GL/CL and 1995-96 Passat GLS models use Dexron® ATF in the transmission gearset/torque converter section of the automatic transaxle. This fluid is reddish in color, and turns brown once it has been in use.

The 1993-97 Passat GLX, 1998-00 Passat GLS and 1996-00 Audi A4 models use a special synthetic ATF, ESSO LT 71141 available only from the manufacturer's dealer network. The fluid is yellow in color and available from your local dealer in either 0.5L (Part No. G 052 162 A1) or 1.0L (Part No. G 052 162 A2) containers.


WARNING
The manufacturer strictly states that no additives should be used in the with the ATF fluid!


CAUTION
Always consult your dealer on the current recommended Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) type.

Refer to the manufacturer's suggested maintenance information for replacement intervals.

Differential Fluid

The center differential portion of the automatic transaxles used on A4 and Passat models equipped with All Wheel Drive (AWD) uses G 50, SAE 75 W 90 synthetic gear oil. The fluid is from your local dealer in either 0.5L (Part No. G 052 145 A1) or 1.0L (Part No. G 052 145 A2) containers.

Volkswagen does not specify a maintenance interval for changing the differential oil/fluid. However, periodic inspection of the level of the fluid (and the fluid itself) is recommended.

01M Transaxles

The differential portion of the 01M automatic transaxles used on Passat models uses VW ATF to lubricate the differential assembly. This synthetic lubricant is available from your local dealer in either 0.5L (Part No. G 052 162 A1) or 1.0L (Part No. G 052 162 A2) containers.

Volkswagen does not specify a maintenance interval for changing the differential oil/fluid. However, periodic inspection of the level of the fluid (and the fluid itself) is recommended.

Except 01M Transaxles

The differential portion of the A4 and Passat automatic transaxles use G 50, SAE 75 W 90 synthetic gear oil. The fluid is from your local dealer in either 0.5L (Part No. G 052 145 A1) or 1.0L (Part No. G 052 145 A2) containers.

Volkswagen does not specify a maintenance interval for changing the differential oil/fluid. However, periodic inspection of the level of the fluid (and the fluid itself) is recommended.

 
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