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Audi A4 Automatic Transmission Fluid and Filter Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Audi A4 Automatic Transmission Fluid and Filter Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$80 to $220

Talent:

**

Tools:

21mm, 19mm, 13mm wrench, 16mm XZN Drain plug socket, 10mm, 5mm Allen, 10mm socket, fluid pump, code reader or infrared thermometer, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses

Applicable Models:

Audi A4 (2002-05)
Audi A4 Cabriolet (2003-06)

Parts Required:

New oil and filter

Hot Tip:

Make sure the temperature is correct when setting the level

Performance Gain:

Smooth running transmission

Complementary Modification:

Flush coolant

Changing transmission fluid is a straightforward task, and one of those things that is good to do whenever you take ownership of a new (to you) car. Transmission fluid has a longer change interval and thus is more likely to have been neglected by the previous owner.

Fortunately, changing transmission fluid in the A4 is not that difficult, if you have the right tools and get the car safely supported up on jack stands.

The vehicle must be in a level position (the fill hole, when the car is level, serves as the indicator that the transmission has the proper amount of oil in it). Next, remove the under body trays. Please see our article on under body tray removal for additional information.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle is that you may need a couple of special tools. The car has a 10mm Allen-type fastener on the fill plug and a 16mm XZN drain plug fastener. Make sure that you check the fasteners on your transmission and only use the correct tools for the job; you do NOT want to strip one of these bolts.

The filter for the CVT is very expensive and most people refrain from replacing it. If your fluid is dirty when you change it, the age of the last change is unfamiliar to you or your vehicle has over 100,000 miles on it, you should seriously consider changing the filter.

With the underbody trays off you can see the filter lines at the front of the transmission (green arrow), the filter (yellow arrow) and the drain and fill plugs (red arrow).
Figure 1

With the underbody trays off you can see the filter lines at the front of the transmission (green arrow), the filter (yellow arrow) and the drain and fill plugs (red arrow).

There are two plugs on the lower case of the transmission: the 16mm XZN drain plug (red arrow) and the 10mm Allen fill plug (yellow arrow).
Figure 2

There are two plugs on the lower case of the transmission: the 16mm XZN drain plug (red arrow) and the 10mm Allen fill plug (yellow arrow).

You must use a 16mm XZN socket to remove the drain plug (red arrow).
Figure 3

You must use a 16mm XZN socket to remove the drain plug (red arrow). A standard 16mm triple square will not fit or seat correctly in the plug. You will run the risk of damaging or worse stripping the plug.

Using the special socket, remove the drain plug (red arrow).
Figure 4

Using the special socket, remove the drain plug (red arrow). Be prepared as there is a large volume of oil that will come out. Now is also a good time to remove the fill plug (yellow arrow).

If you are going to be removing the filter, you will need to use a 10mm socket and remove the two bolts (red arrows) on the under tray bracket and remove the bracket.
Figure 5

If you are going to be removing the filter, you will need to use a 10mm socket and remove the two bolts (red arrows) on the under tray bracket and remove the bracket. Make sure to give everything a good cleaning, as you do not want any dirt or debris getting into the lines. If you are not replacing the filter, you can skip steps 5-11.

Use a 5mm Allen and remove the two brackets that hold the cooling and filter lines to the front of the transmission (red arrows).
Figure 6

Use a 5mm Allen and remove the two brackets that hold the cooling and filter lines to the front of the transmission (red arrows).

The filter lines connect using 19mm and 21mm nuts.
Figure 7

The filter lines connect using 19mm and 21mm nuts. The 19mm nuts are fixed and the 21mm nuts spin. Hold the line with the 19mm nuts (red arrows) with a wrench and use a 21mm wrench to loosen the other nut (yellow arrow).

Always leave the end caps on the new filter lines until just before installation and cap the old lines if you are going to leave them open for any length of time.
Figure 8

Always leave the end caps on the new filter lines until just before installation and cap the old lines if you are going to leave them open for any length of time. Install the line fitting by hand until it is hand tightened. Then bolt them back in place for the final tightening.

Remove the two 13mm bolts (red arrows) that mount the filter to the left side of the transmission.
Figure 9

Remove the two 13mm bolts (red arrows) that mount the filter to the left side of the transmission.

The bolts pass through two rubber isolators on each opening (red arrows).
Figure 10

The bolts pass through two rubber isolators on each opening (red arrows).

Transfer these rubber bushings to the new filter.
Figure 11

Transfer these rubber bushings to the new filter. Installation of the filter is the reverse of removal.

Reinstall the drain plug and using a fluid pump and hose insert the hose into the fill opening on the transmission (yellow arrow).
Figure 12

Reinstall the drain plug and using a fluid pump and hose insert the hose into the fill opening on the transmission (yellow arrow).

The CVT transmission holds approximately 7.
Figure 13

The CVT transmission holds approximately 7.5 liters of fluid. An average fluid change will use 4.5-5 liters of new fluid (plus another .5-1 quart if you changed the filter). Pump in enough fluid until it starts dripping out from the fill hole. The transmission needs to be at operating temperature (35C-45C or 95F-113F). Start the motor and with your foot firmly on the brake shift the transmission through all the gears. Using your code reader or an infrared thermometer get the transmission up to operating temperature. With the transmission at proper operating temperature, if no fluid is running out, add fluid until tit drips from the fill hole. This diagram illustrates what is happening inside the fill hole.


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Comments and Suggestions:
Bill Comments: Are the B8's same? I have a 2011 A4 with CVT transmission. Dealer stripped the drain plug. What are my options?
November 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can try to use a bit of a different size, tap it int, then loosen. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Broker Comments: 2004 Audi A4 1.8L Cabriolet. Need to step on the gas pedal for 5-10 seconds before it's able to move from Parked to Drive or Reverse. Once it gets going it's a smooth ride... Thanks...
September 12, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like an internal pressure issue. First check the transmission fluid level to be sure it is correct. Then check the transmission ECM for fault codes. If the system is not working properly, a fault code will be set. This will be your best bet when diagnosing.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
johnsom Comments: is this info for cvt gearbox in audi a6
August 1, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: CVT for these vehicle:
Applicable Models:


Audi A4 (2002-05)
Audi A4 Cabriolet (2003-06) - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
johnny8ch Comments: great write up - i am preparing tools and need to source the fluid transfer pump or figure out what size o.d. the tubing is that fits into the fill hole with or without electrical tape as someone suggested/used. any help will be appreciated. thanks
June 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The hole ID is about 14mm. (going by memory) - Nick at Pelican Parts  
tealplum Comments: Is this writeup for the CVT only? Or will this procedure be the same for the quattro triptronic transmission.
February 9, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes. CVT only. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
wilfred Comments: thanks for the infor..my audi a4 2003 model gives me difficult wen changin gear at stat up from parkin to drive,its hard to shift to drive ..wat cn be done with this problem
November 26, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The shift cable may be corroded. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Cleoo Comments: I used this when changing the fluid in my CVT transmission.
I backed up the rear wheels onto Rhino Ramps and jacked up the front wheels until the car was level.

I used 6 quarts of CVT Transmission Fluid. Make sure to get VW G052 180 A2 fluid or compatible fluid. The external inline filter is made by COHLINE. I didn't have a 21mm open wrench but I was able to make do with two crescent wrenches. Wrap electrical tape near the tip of the hose-2-3 inches back to make a secure fitting when filling. When I pumped fluid in, it didn't leak. The proper torque for the DRAIN PLUG is 24NM.....FILL PLUG is 30NM.
October 13, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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