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Automatic Transmission Fluid and Filter Change
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Automatic Transmission Fluid and Filter Change

Jared Fenton

Time:

4 hours4 hrs

Tab:

$100 to $200

Tools:

Jack, jack stands, T40 Torx driver, 10mm wrench and socket, 17mm hex bit, large drain pan, plastic sheeting, fluid pump, torque wrench, Durametric software or infrared pyrometer

Applicable Models:

Porsche 955 Cayenne (2004-08)
Porsche 955 Cayenne GTS (2008)
Porsche 955 Cayenne S (2003-08)
Porsche 955 Cayenne Turbo (2003-08)
Porsche 955 Cayenne Turbo S (2006)

Parts Required:

ATF, filter, gaskets

Hot Tip:

Follow the directions exactly

Performance Gain:

Smooth shifting transmission

Complementary Modification:

Replace driveshaft center support bearing

Changing the transmission fluid on the Cayenne can be a daunting task for the do-it-yourselfer. It involves a few complicated steps that can be potentially dangerous. In theory, you should consider changing both the fluid and filter every 80,000 miles. This helps to preserve the life of the transmission. The fluid acts as a medium to transfer mechanical energy as well as cooling and lubricating the internal components.

Changing the fluid requires you to jack up the car and place it on four jack stands. It is also important that the car is perfectly level, as this will affect the fluid level. Keep in mind that the exact fluid level is critical. If it isn't right, you risk damaging the internal components in the transmission. You'll also need to remove the underbody tray covering the transmission. See our articles on Jacking up your Cayenne and Removing Under Body Trays for more information. Remember to always wear safety glasses whenever you work under your vehicle.

It is critical that the car is firmly supported on the jack stands as you'll need to run the car in gear for the transmission pump to suck up the fluid. Have a helper nearby as well. You don't want to make a mistake and have a 5,000-pound truck fall on you.

It's also important to have the correct fluid. I recommend using the Porsche approved OEM fluid. This fluid contains friction modifiers specifically designed for the Tiptronic transmission. Failure to use the right fluid can damage the internal components. Figure on needing eight to nine liters of fluid to do the job.

Follow the directions below for draining out the old fluid and changing the filter. Once the sump cover has been re-installed, remove the fill port cover and use a fluid pump to do the initial fill of three to four liters. Start the engine and let it idle. Keep adding fluid to the transmission until it starts to pour out of the fill hole. Keep in mind that once you start the engine, it will circulate fluid. If you need to turn the engine off for any reason, re-fit the fill plug until you can continue the procedure.

Move the gear selector from park to drive, pausing for five seconds and then move it to reverse. Let the engine idle during this procedure. Again, make sure the vehicle is firmly supported on jack stands, as the wheels will spin. It helps to have someone in the car that can move the gear selector for you while you continue to add fluid.

At the same time, you'll need to monitor the temperature of the fluid. This can be done with the factory diagnostic computer or by using an aftermarket software such as Durametric. You can also use an infrared pyrometer to measure the temperature. The transmission is fully filled once the temperature is 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees F) and starts to drain out of the fill port. Once filled, re-fit the fill port plug and torque it to 72Nm (52ft/lbs.).

Once the vehicle is firmly supported on jack stands and level, remove the underbody trays (see our article on Underbody Tray Removal for more info).
Figure 1

Once the vehicle is firmly supported on jack stands and level, remove the underbody trays (see our article on Underbody Tray Removal for more info). You'll need to loosen and remove the two 10mm bolts (green arrows) holding the spring clips for the tray to the chassis.

Now loosen and remove the two 10mm bolts (green arrows) holding the heat shield to the transmission.
Figure 2

Now loosen and remove the two 10mm bolts (green arrows) holding the heat shield to the transmission.

ThisPicture shows the transmission sump cover.
Figure 3

This picture shows the transmission sump cover. There are two ports on the sump cover. The green arrow points to the drain plug while the yellow arrow points to the fill plug. Also take note of the 10mm bolts that hold the cover in place (purple arrow).

Be sure you have a large drain pan under the sump cover that can hold at least 10 quarts.
Figure 4

Be sure you have a large drain pan under the sump cover that can hold at least 10 quarts. Now loosen and remove the T40 Torx drain bolt. You'll want to let it sit for at least 20 minutes to let all of the old fluid drain out. Once the fluid stops draining, re-install the drain plug and remove all of the 10mm bolts holding the cover in place. Carefully lower the sump cover out of the way.

Shown here is the transmission filter.
Figure 5

Shown here is the transmission filter. Loosen and remove the three 10mm bolts (green arrows) holding the filter in place. Pull the filter straight down out of the transmission. Make sure that the O-ring on the filler neck isn't stuck in the mounting bore. Push the new filter up into the mounting bore. Carefully re-install the 10mm bolts to secure the new filter in place.

You'll want to clean the inside of the sump cover before re-installing it.
Figure 6

You'll want to clean the inside of the sump cover before re-installing it. Pull the old cover seal off and clean the outside lip (yellow arrow) where it sits. Also remove and clean all of the magnets in the sump cover (green arrows). These magnets work by catching small bits of metal in the transmission fluid. Fit a new seal to the sump cover and bolt it back up into place on the transmission. Torque the bolts to 7.5 ft/lbs. Do not over-torque, they break at 13 ft/lbs.

ThisPicture shows how the fill port works.
Figure 7

This picture shows how the fill port works. The fill port sits higher (green arrow) than the drain port (yellow arrow). The idea here is that you do an initial fill of 2-3 quarts of fluid into the bottom of the cover. Then you start the engine and let the engine idle. Move the gear selector from Park to Drive and Reverse, leaving it in each gear for 5 seconds. This will suck the fluid up into the transmission. You'll need to monitor the fluid temperature and keep filling. The transmission is fully filled when fluid starts pouring out of the fill hole and the temperature reaches 40 Celsius (104 F) .

You may have to use a bit of force to loosen and remove the 17mm fill plug on the sump cover.
Figure 8

You may have to use a bit of force to loosen and remove the 17mm fill plug on the sump cover. Once removed, you'll need to use a fluid pump to move the new fluid up into the transmission. Read the instructions in the above article for the filling procedure.

An infrared pyrometer is an invaluable tool for checking the fluid temperature, if you do not have a diagnostic software package that can monitor the transmission fluid temperature.
Figure 9

An infrared pyrometer is an invaluable tool for checking the fluid temperature, if you do not have a diagnostic software package that can monitor the transmission fluid temperature. Aim the pyrometer at the lower pan to get the correct measurement of 40 degrees Celsius. If the temperature exceeds this, you'll need to re-install the fill plug and let the fluid and transmission cool back down.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Reese Comments: Hello,

What are the Torque settings for the three filter bolts?

Also, do the fill plug AND drain plug torque to 52ft/lbs? If not, do you happen to the drain plug settings?

December 4, 2016
webberman Comments: Just as a precaution with any system that has both a filler plug and a drain plug Differential, transfer case, transmission etc ALWAYS loosen the FILLER plug first then remove the DRAIN plug and drain. IF you end up draining the fluid and find you cannot remove the filler plug you will be a very unhappy camper.
July 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Agreed. Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
bbb Comments: 15 sump cover bolts place on the transmission. Torque the bolts to 28Nm 21 ft/lbs..

NOT 21 ft/lbs

ONLY 7.5 ft/lbs

They brack at 13 ft/lbs
October 31, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it. I will have the article updated.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Ryan Comments: Nick or Wayne, what if simply fill new transmission fluid with the same amount of old trans. Fluid. Would this procedure suffice? As opposed to having to fill while the engine is running waiting to exact temp, etc? Thoughts? Thanks
September 26, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Theoretically yes. But still a good idea to check when warm if the level is correct. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Andy Comments: I don't know if there's something else that needs to get drained, but my pan was overflowing well before I got 5-6 quarts in. Also, the fill plug is ridiculously tight. I bent a 4 foot piece of steel conduit cheater bar getting it loose.
September 12, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff:
First fill with 3 -4 liters, then idle vehicle and top up.


Follow the directions below for draining out the old fluid and changing the filter. Once the sump cover has been re-installed, remove the fill port cover and use a fluid pump to do the initial fill of three to four liters. Start the engine and let it idle. Keep adding fluid to the transmission until it starts to pour out of the fill hole. Keep in mind that once you start the engine, it will circulate fluid. If you need to turn the engine off for any reason, re-fit the fill plug until you can continue the procedure.

Move the gear selector from park to drive, pausing for five seconds and then move it to reverse. Let the engine idle during this procedure. Again, make sure the vehicle is firmly supported on jack stands, as the wheels will spin. It helps to have someone in the car that can move the gear selector for you while you continue to add fluid.- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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