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Replacing Your Transmission Oil Cooler
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Your Transmission Oil Cooler

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$200

Talent:

*

Tools:

Pliers, 8mm triple square

Applicable Models:

VW Golf GTI 1.8T (2004-06)
VW Golf GTI VR6 (2004-05)
VW GTI (2006-09)

Parts Required:

New transmission oil cooler, o-rings

Hot Tip:

Let coolant fully drain before removing cooler

Performance Gain:

Proper transmission temperature

Complementary Modification:

Flush coolant

If you find yourself in need of changing your transmission oil cooler it is very important that you do NOT allow any coolant to get into the transmission fluid. If any quantity of coolant gets into the transmission you must drain all the fluid from the transmission and flush it. Please see our article on doing a transmission fluid change for additional assistance. The safest way to change the cooler over is to leave the old coolant lines attached to the old cooler until you have installed the new one. Then change the coolant lines over. This way if there is any spillage the transmission is already sealed shut.

Begin by draining the coolant from the vehicle. Please see our article on coolant draining and flushing for further assistance. Even with the system drained there will still be coolant in the cooler and lines.

You will need to remove the engine cover (red arrow) or aftermarket air induction system first.
Figure 1

You will need to remove the engine cover (red arrow) or aftermarket air induction system first. Please see our article on both the engine cover removal and aftermarket air induction removal for further assistance. The battery and battery tray will also need to be removed as explained below (yellow arrow).

To remove the battery cover, push in on the tab at the front top of the cover (red arrow).
Figure 2

To remove the battery cover, push in on the tab at the front top of the cover (red arrow).

To remove the fuse and relay cover, slide the two clips (red arrows) towards the front of the car and pull the cover up and off.
Figure 3

To remove the fuse and relay cover, slide the two clips (red arrows) towards the front of the car and pull the cover up and off.

With the relay and fuse cover off you can see the main fuse and relay panel (yellow arrow).
Figure 4

With the relay and fuse cover off you can see the main fuse and relay panel (yellow arrow). To remove the front battery cover, push in on the two tabs (red arrows) located at the base of the cover.

Remove the ground strap from the battery terminal (red arrow) and set it in a manner that it cannot accidentally make contact with the battery while you are working.
Figure 5

Remove the ground strap from the battery terminal (red arrow) and set it in a manner that it cannot accidentally make contact with the battery while you are working. Do not disconnect the battery ground strap from the vehicle (yellow arrow) unless you are replacing the strap or cleaning the ground contact.

To remove the battery, remove the 13mm bolt and clamping plate at the base of the battery (red arrow).
Figure 6

To remove the battery, remove the 13mm bolt and clamping plate at the base of the battery (red arrow).

Make sure you place the plate and bolt (red arrow) in a safe place as you will need to reinstall it when replacing the battery.
Figure 7

Make sure you place the plate and bolt (red arrow) in a safe place as you will need to reinstall it when replacing the battery.

To remove the battery tray, remove the three 13mm bolts (red arrows, one already removed).
Figure 8

To remove the battery tray, remove the three 13mm bolts (red arrows, one already removed).

Slide the tray out from the engine compartment.
Figure 9

Slide the tray out from the engine compartment. With the tray is gone you will have access to the transmission oil cooler.

The safest way to change the cooler over is to leave the old coolant lines attached to the old cooler until you have installed the new one.
Figure 10

The safest way to change the cooler over is to leave the old coolant lines attached to the old cooler until you have installed the new one. Then change the coolant lines over. This way if there is any spillage the transmission is already sealed shut. If you are removing the cooler for some other reason than replacement, remove the two hose lines form the cooler (red arrows). Coolant will escape from the lines so be prepared for it.

If there was any coolant that spilled make sure to clean it up before removing the cooler.
Figure 11

If there was any coolant that spilled make sure to clean it up before removing the cooler. The cooler seals are located higher than the transmission housing, so unless you flood the area you will be fine. Use an 8mm triple square and remove the three bolts (red arrows).

Remove the old cooler from the mount using care not to spill the coolant in the actual cooler into the transmission openings (red arrows).
Figure 12

Remove the old cooler from the mount using care not to spill the coolant in the actual cooler into the transmission openings (red arrows). You must replace the seals when installing a new cooler or reinstalling the old one (red arrows).

The bottom of the cooler is flat (red arrows) and the seal between the transmission and the cooler is just the compression on the O-rings.
Figure 13

The bottom of the cooler is flat (red arrows) and the seal between the transmission and the cooler is just the compression on the O-rings. Make sure to replace the O-rings. Installation is the reverse of removal. Do NOT forget to add coolant.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Dakota 4182 Comments: 2006 Jetta TDI automatic. I've been told to use only dealer spec tranny fluid for this model. Is it because it is synthetic? Can I use any other tranny fluid maybe a full synthetic? And does tranny cooler have torque specs for bolts?
October 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Most likely due to the importance of the additives. I would follow the advice when replacing.

I don;t have torque specs, they will be in the repair manual. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Jerry Comments: Article states " make sure to replace o-rings" but they are not listed in parts required. that info would be helpful with part numbers
April 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I will have the article updated. Give our parts specialists a call: 1-888-280-7799, They will help you find what you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:41:06 AM