The transmission fluid was inadvertently drained instead of the oil
during an oil change. The car, which has only 37000 miles, was taken by
flat bed truck to a VW dealer to have the fluid replaced per
manufacturers specs. When picked-up the transmission was shifting a bit
rough and within a week started banging into 1st gear and occasionally
slipping into neutral at stops. I think the tech let too much fluid
escape when replacing the transmission plug and the level is too low.
The dealer blames an "obstruction" that has magically appeared and wants
to change the filter screen and gasket (for only $690)! Also stated that
the fluid was black (instead of red) to further push the obstruction issue.
I believe they're trying to rip me off! Comments?
1.) Never take your car to a quicky-lube place.
2.) Never take your car to be repair by a dealer unless it's for
3.) Automatic transmissions are evil.
Now, seriously - take the car to an independent. Have it towed if
necessary. Never darken the doors of that dealer again.
Regardless of (one's dislike for) dealers, the person who drained the
transmission should be paying for the repair, not the OP! Put the
screws to the responsible party and let them pay all.
BTW, if the fluid is black, then it is burned, and that indicates that
the transmission is slipping big time. I hate to say it, but I suspect
you are looking at a rebuild on it.
As to 'obstruction'... HUH? Not even remotely possible. Now, if the
fluid was grossly low you can do this type of damage, so your thought
that the dealer didn't properly refill it could be a factor in the
I didn't say anything about who should pay. Or who was responsible
for the failure.
I said to get it away from the dealer.
I doubt that'll be good enough. Unless you replace the whole guts.
Right - yet another reason to get it away from the dealer. If the
dealer can't figure out something this simple, then having them open
it up and replace stuff to the tune of $700 seems kinda stupid.
Here's what's going to happen: the dealer will blame the quicky
lube. The quicky lube will blame the dealer. Not enough evidence for
any kind of case, even in small-claims court to get either one of
The OP owns this one, and is gonna eat $4k in tranny repairs.
Anyone want to take bets?
My son did the same with his 2.8 Tiptronic. We corrected the problem ourselves
by getting the liquid gold that the dealer sells and replacing the same amount
as he drained out.
17 mm Allen socket is needed and a pump. once the drain is removed from the
bottom of the trans a pump is used to pump the replacement fluid up, over a wall
in the trans. The wall keeps the fluid from draining out. Then the plug is
replaced. Once this was done he has had no problems in two years. If there is a
question as to the correct fluid level it is necessary to check for error codes
with a VAG system interrogation of the ECU. There is no dip stick or other
method of checking the fluid.
It sounds to me that whoever made the mistake tried to correct the problem ad
added the incorrect fluid which reacted with the remainder of the correct fluid.
The "obstruction" claim is possible but was probably caused by the incorrect
fluid (if that was done).
The problem sounds like it has progressed past the point that a screen / gasket
change will fix the problem even with a complete transmission flush with the
correct fluid. The $690 is not likely to correct the problem.
I am just guessing that someone tried to add the wrong fluid but if they did it
may have attacked and ruined some parts that have caused the black color of the
You probably have a big problem and because it was started by someone other than
an Audi dealership recourse may require legal action. you don't want to know
what a new transmission would cost.
Let us know how this goes.
Sorry for the problem and I hope that it is not as bad as I have suggested.
what IS the recommended change out mileage for auto box fluid.
my 2.4 has covered 75k and I cannot recall it ever being changed.
Only last week I was discussing this topic at work, expressing my concerns
that "its running great" now but what if I get it replaced and it goes
the service schedule states,
Every 40K miles or 4 years but goes on to state 'except on models with 5
speed auto'..............which is what I have.
so looking through the schedule, nowhere can I see when to change this
Perhaps it just does not need changing...............
Yes, Audi says "lifetime fluid" .... but, there version of lifetime is
"as long as the transmission lasts".
I did a drain/fill on my tiptronic with Pentosin at 72,000 miles ....
currently at 90,000 and running great.
Thanks for all your help! Especially Dave (VWDoc)for the ZF transmission
manual link. I now know that the fluid is supposed to be GREEN! The
dealer that replaced the fluid used RED fluid - stating that was the
only kind VW used (and the only kind they had)! I'll show them the
manual and end the argument right there.
Also, about who pays for the mistake.... that would be me! I was showing
my 17 year old son how to change the oil (whoops). I had always worked
on rear wheel drive autos in the past and I should have been more
attentive to what I was doing. Well.... the fluid was black and probably
needed changing anyway.
The last time the oil was changed by a "mechanic" it was drained.
Oh, did I forget something?
No... it was just drained!
The engine was a little low on oil..... about 3 1/2 quarts low!!!! Only
the oil pressure light saved the engine. Do you blame me for wanting to
make sure the job was done right this time?
Again, thank you for all your help.
The mistake is easy to make given the location of the trans drain plug being so
close to the front, especially the first time you DIY.
Given that green and red were mixed you might be lucky by several complete
flushes and replacing with the green. Seems it would be worth a try before
anything more major.
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