Volkswagen Front Wheel Drive 1974-1989 Repair Guide

Automatic Transaxle

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FLUID RECOMMENDATIONS



Dexron®II automatic transmission/transaxle fluid is used in automatic transaxles. If this is not available, its superseding fluid type may be used. VW recommends that the fluid be replaced every 30,000 miles (48,000 km).

The final drive section of the automatic transaxle uses SAE 90 hypoid gear oil, API service GL-5, Mil-l-2105B. The final drive unit requires no attention other than an occasional level check.

LEVEL CHECK



See Figure 1

On late model VW's, the automatic transaxle dipstick was modified. Old style dipsticks have a fluid level instruction plate attached to the handle. If this type of dipstick is used, the difference between the MIN and MAX marks is 0.35 quarts (0.33 L). When checking the level cold, fill the transaxle to the MIN mark. Warm up the engine to normal operating temperature and check the level again. It should be between the MIN and MAX marks. If not, add fluid as required.



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Fig. Fig. 1: The old style dipsticks have a fluid level instruction plate attached to the handle

The new style dipstick does not have the instruction plate attached to the handle. In addition to the MIN and MAX marks, there is a 20° mark at the very bottom of the dipstick. The difference between the MIN and MAX marks is 0.24 quarts (0.22 L). When cold, fill the transaxle to the 20° mark. Warm up the engine to normal operating temperature and check the level again. It should be between the MIN and MAX marks. If not, add fluid as required.

  1. Idle the engine for a few minutes with the selector in N . Apply the parking brake and move the selector lever to P .
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  3. Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean, reinsert it, and withdraw it again.
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  5. The fluid level should be within the two marks. Top up with Dexron®II (or its superseding fluid type of automatic transmission/transaxle fluid). Bear in mind that the difference between the two marks is less than one pint. Use a long-necked funnel to add the fluid. Fluid should be drained and replaced at the specified interval in the Maintenance Interval Chart, later in this section.
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CAUTION
DO NOT overfill the transaxle. Too much fluid can cause damage.

PAN AND FILTER SERVICE



  1. Purchase the required amount of automatic transmission/transaxle fluid and a pan gasket.
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  3. Slide a drain pan under the transaxle. Jack up the front of the vehicle and support it safely on jackstands.
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  5. Many early models are equipped with drain plugs in the pan. On later models, you must loosen the pan retaining bolts to drain the fluid.
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  7. On all models, loosen the front pan retaining bolts and remove the rear pan bolts. Lower the pan and drain the oil in the drain container. Once the oil is drained from the pan, remove the front retaining bolts and lower the pan.
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  9. Discard the old gasket and clean the pan with solvent.
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  11. On models with circular oil strainers, unscrew the strainer and clean it. On models with rectangular or not perfectly circular oil strainers, the strainer cannot be cleaned and must be replaced. On these models, only replace the oil strainer if the fluid is contaminated.
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  13. Install the oil strainer, but don't tighten the bolt too much. Specified torque is only 4-14 ft. lbs. (5-19 Nm).
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  15. Using a long-necked funnel, refill the transaxle with fluid (refer to the Capacities Chart in this section). Check the level with the dipstick. Run the vehicle for a few minutes and check again.
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