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Audi A4 Differential Fluid Replacement

Pelican Technical Article:

Audi A4 Differential Fluid Replacement

Steve Vernon


1 hour1 hr


$20 to $60




10mm Allen, floor jack, wheel chocks, jack stands,

Applicable Models:

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

Parts Required:

Differential fluid

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool transmission

Performance Gain:

Proper function of the transmission

Complementary Modification:

Change engine oil and filter

If you need to check or fill your final drive or differential oil this article will show you how. There are a couple of very important issues that need to be addressed before you begin and during work on the vehicle.

Audi used several different transmission and drive methods in the A4, from a standard transmission to an automatic Quarto. These different transmission and differentials use different fluids and gear oils. Make sure to identify the type of transmission and differential in your vehicle and use the proper factory approved oil.

Oil expands and contracts depending on its temperature. Make sure to follow the temperature directions thoroughly.

The transmissions and differentials are filled to the level of the bottom of the fill plug. Therefore, it is very important when jacking up the vehicle that you jack it up and support it in a manner that it is level. Failure to do so will make the fill plug too high or too low and result in an improper level in the differential.

Identify the type of transmission you have by looking up at the serial number on the left or right side of the case just behind the output shafts. This information should also be in your owner's manual along with the type of recommended fluid.

You will want to get the temperature of the gear oil up to operating temperature of around 60C or 140F. A short road test should accomplish this. Safely raise and support the vehicle so it is level. Remove any under panels or wheel well shield so you can get access to the left side of the diff. If need be you can remove the axle but I did not find it necessary.

Place a large drip tray under the differential.

Make sure the vehicle is off.
Figure 1

Make sure the vehicle is off. Locate the fill plug on the differential (red arrow).

It is a tight fit but you can get a 10mm Allen and driver in there (red arrow).
Figure 2

It is a tight fit but you can get a 10mm Allen and driver in there (red arrow). With the oil up to temperature and large drip tray underneath, you can remove the fill plug.

Working carefully so as to NOT strip the plug, remove the plug.
Figure 3

Working carefully so as to NOT strip the plug, remove the plug. The fluid is at the proper level when it is level with the lower opening on the fill plug. Allow any excessive oil to drip out for approximately two minutes or add as needed with a fluid pump. When the fluid is level with the lower opening on the fill plug, you can insert the fill plug and torque to spec.

Comments and Suggestions:
kalaba abell Comments: OK point taken ,but do we have shop within Zambia where to get this type of oil
November 1, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I do not know. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Len Comments: hi your article dosnt mention the location of the drain plug?is it the same plug as the transmission drain plug?so the same fluid?mitchell shows a different fuid for the front diff go52190az [2006 a4 convertible 1.8 front wheel drive]
October 11, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't think there is a drain. You have to pump / suck it out the fill plug. Then fill as article instructs. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Mon 1/15/2018 03:11:12 AM