V6 Automatic Transmission Filter Fluid Change

by: Schnake


November 2000, 2.8ltr V6.

History of the Vehicle: This car has been exceptionally good to me, however recently gear changes haven’t been all that smooth and on the occasion holds 1st gear to long and needed some prompting to change.

Time since last ATF change: Never!!! 190,000km and I am the second owner.


  • 8mm Allen Key
  • 17mm Allen Key (socket drive preferable)
  • T27 Torx Socket
  • T30 Torx Socket
  • Hand pump of some sort to pump the new fluid in.


  • Transmission Filter Kit - Part number 01V 398 003. This includes new filter and pan gasket.
  • Minimum of 5 litres of transmission fluid – Part number G 052 162 A2
  • Other Parts you may need:
  • Check/Fill Plug Seal 01V 321 379
  • Drain Plug & Seal 01V 321 377


  • Jack car and place jack stands at 4 jacking points and insure the vehicle is level
  • Use the 17mm Allen Key socket to check that you can undo the filler plug without a problem. This gives you the confidence of knowing you will be able to fill it later.
  • Do the same with the 27 bolts holding the pan. This is nothing more than a precaution to make sure that you don’t find yourself in a dilemma of striping a torx bolt head and not being able to remove the pan once you drain the oil.
  • Use the 8mm Allen Key to remove the drain plug and allow fluid to drain properly. (see photo – Yes that is how dirty the fluid is after 190,000km)
  • Proceed to remove the bolts holding the pan in place. (T27 Torx Socket)
  • There may be a little bit of fluid in the pan when dropping the pan, so have some rags and tray on hand. In total I had 5.3 liters of ATF in a factory sealed transmission.

(see photo – inside of the pan, note the magnets)

  • Clean the pan and remove old gasket. (see photo - clean pan)
  • Use the T30 torx socket to remove 2 bolts holding the filter on the underside of the transmission. You may need to wiggle the filter around to remove it, be aware of excess fluid in the filter.

(see photo – New and Old filter comparison as well as a sticky beak into the transmission)

  • Apply a small amount of ATF onto the new filter nozzle seal and tap into position; this did require a little bit of force.
  • Snug tighten the 2 bolts which hold filter in place.
  • Insure the transmission and pan faces are clean and proceed with bolting up the pan with 3 to 4 bolts.
  • Insert the remaining bolts and finger tighten, once bolted up snug tighten pan in a cross type pattern.

Note: I started the above in the evening and concluded the following morning to allow the vehicle to cool before the final fill and the proceeding instructions.

  • Place tube of your hand pump into filler plug hole and pump fluid until it starts to over flow, I managed to get 3.5 litres in at this stage. A tip here is to make sure your filler hose in long enough to prevent you from lying under the vehicle whilst running.

You may want someone to help with the next steps.

  • Leave your hand pump tube in the filler and start the engine and allow to run for 30 seconds or so and pump more fluid until the ATF over flows again.
  • With the engine running put your foot on the brake and go through every gear for a few seconds each and again pump ATF into the transmission until it overflows. This allows the fluid to circulate.

Note: If you were to turn the engine off at this stage the ATF will pour out of the filler.

  • The engine and ATF should be at around 30-45 degrees Celsius by now, so if no more fluid is overflowing once you have gone through all the gears, install and tighten filler plug whilst engine is running. I refilled a total of just over 5 litres. Reassuring considering that’s pretty much what came out. Personally I feel there is some leeway as to how much goes in. The vehicle only needs to be out of level by 1 or 2 degrees and you will notice a difference as to what goes in based on the surface area of the pan and the location of the filler being at the back of the transmission.
  • And PRESTO you’re done!!

After seeing the state of the fluid I don’t understand why VW will continue to insist and even refuse to change the transmission fluid! It certainly makes a difference to the way the transmission operates. Gear changes are lot smoother, especially on down shifts when slowing to a stop. As well as a noticeable change when selecting drive or reverse at a standstill. Certainly worth doing! Even my wife noticed a difference…. goes to show it’s a noticeable improvement.

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