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DSG Transmission Oil and Filter Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

DSG Transmission Oil and Filter Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$80

Talent:

**

Tools:

14mm, 8mm Allen, 24mm Socket, code reader or infrared thermometer

Applicable Models:

VW GTI (2006-09)

Parts Required:

New oil, filter and gasket

Hot Tip:

Make sure the temperature is correct when setting the level

Performance Gain:

Smooth running transmission

Complementary Modification:

Flush coolant

Volkswagen calls for changing the oil and filter on the DSG transmission every 40,000 miles. If you are reading this there is a good chance you are going to do the job yourself and are looking to save some money. While the factory calls for a special tool (which is not cheap) to perform the work, this article will show you how to do it without buying the tool. The special tool fills the transmission from the bottom; you can easily eliminate the cost of the tool by filling the transmission from the top and using the filter opening. It will take a little longer to fill but is perfectly safe.

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 (yellow arrow). Please see our article on battery tending and replacement.

With the battery and tray are removed you can see the plastic filter housing (red arrow).
Figure 2

With the battery and tray are removed you can see the plastic filter housing (red arrow). You are going to be removing this so take a moment and clean around it first.

Use a 24mm socket and remove the top of the filter housing (red arrow).
Figure 3

Use a 24mm socket and remove the top of the filter housing (red arrow).

Use care when removing the housing (red arrow) as there usually is fluid on top of the old filter (yellow arrow) and can spill.
Figure 4

Use care when removing the housing (red arrow) as there usually is fluid on top of the old filter (yellow arrow) and can spill.

Always replace the O-ring on the housing with a new one (red arrow).
Figure 5

Always replace the O-ring on the housing with a new one (red arrow).

Remove the old filter by pulling it straight up off the opening in the case (red arrow).
Figure 6

Remove the old filter by pulling it straight up off the opening in the case (red arrow). The filter holds fluid in it so be prepared.

Lubricate the small O-ring (red arrow) in the new filter with some clean fluid before installing.
Figure 7

Lubricate the small O-ring (red arrow) in the new filter with some clean fluid before installing. If you are top filling the transmission you will hold off on installing the filter in the transmission until after filling.

Locate the transmission drain plug (red arrow) It is located beside the rear dog bone bolt on the bottom of the transmission case.
Figure 8

Locate the transmission drain plug (red arrow) It is located beside the rear dog bone bolt on the bottom of the transmission case.

Use a 14mm Allen and remove the transmission drain plug (red arrow).
Figure 9

Use a 14mm Allen and remove the transmission drain plug (red arrow).

The fluid will drain out in a small stream (red arrow).
Figure 10

The fluid will drain out in a small stream (red arrow).

There is a plastic tube screwed inside the case above the drain plug.
Figure 11

There is a plastic tube screwed inside the case above the drain plug. You will need an 8mm Allen to remove it.

Insert the Allen (red arrow) into the drain plug hole (yellow arrow) until it engages the plastic tube inside.
Figure 12

Insert the Allen (red arrow) into the drain plug hole (yellow arrow) until it engages the plastic tube inside. You should be able to use finger pressure to loosen and remove the tube.

When you remove the tube a strong stream of fluid will drain out (red arrow).
Figure 13

When you remove the tube a strong stream of fluid will drain out (red arrow). Allow this to drain completely.

This is the tube you remove from the drain plug hole.
Figure 14

This is the tube you remove from the drain plug hole. It is used to set the level of fluid in the transmission. When it is inserted and the fluid comes up to temperature any extra fluid above the top level (red arrow) of the tube will drain out the bottom (yellow arrow) and back out the drain plug. Reinsert the plastic tube and the drain plug.

While the factory recommends buying their expensive tool and filling the transmission fluid from the bottom, you can clean the small amount of old fluid from the filter housing and then fill the transmission from the top.
Figure 15

While the factory recommends buying their expensive tool and filling the transmission fluid from the bottom, you can clean the small amount of old fluid from the filter housing and then fill the transmission from the top. Note: the factory only uses the bottom fill tool because it is a very slow process to fill from the top and they do not want their technicians spending an hour filling a transmission. It took me a full 50 minutes to fill the project car's transmission this way. The transmission should take 5.5 quarts when replacing the filter.

Start the car and with your foot safely on the brake place the transmission in each of the gears for 30 seconds to one minute, then back in park.
Figure 16

Start the car and with your foot safely on the brake place the transmission in each of the gears for 30 seconds to one minute, then back in park. You need to set the level of fluid by getting the transmission fluid up to between 35-45 degrees C. You can check this with an infrared thermometer pointed at the transmission case. With the engine running open the 14mm Allen drain plug and allow the extra fluid to drain. Do NOT remove the plastic tube. A very small amount of fluid "spitting out" every 30-45 seconds is normal, watch for the steady flow of fluid to stop. When this happens reinstall the drain plug with a new washer.

If you have the software you can check the internal temperature of the fluid through that system.
Figure 17

If you have the software you can check the internal temperature of the fluid through that system. Do not let the temperature get above 50C when setting the level as thermal expansion of the fluid will mean you set the level too low. 45 degrees C is the most you want (red arrow). With the level set reinstall the battery and air induction system.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Sam Comments: Great write up! When filling it do you need to use a tube to fill it up or did you just pour straight from the bottle? Also how will have the front end of the car on jackstands affect how much fluid can get put in?

Thanks again! Filling from the filter area will save me a nice chunk of change!
June 5, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Best to have the vehicle level is possible when filling. Unless you measure and pump in the same amount that came out.

You can pump straight from the bottle. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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