DIY Drain/Refill Fluid on 09A 5-Speed Tiptronic Transmission
(This is simply a guide. Perform the procedures at your own risk/responsibility.)
1. Raise the car with a jack. Remove the 24mm (15/16 inch socket will work, just don’t strip it) drain plug and drain out the fluid (approximately 3 quarts or 2.84 liters came out of my car)
2. Use a new drain plug + washer and replace it. (new parts required only sometimes according to wear and tear)
3. Remove red tamper seal on fill plug and remove the plug. Then suspend a funnel from the top of the hood with a hose running into the hole. Pour in 3 quarts of Mercon V Fluid. I used Mobil 1 Synthetic Mercon V ATF. It was about $7 a quart from Advance Auto Parts. According to Coolvdub, this fluid has worked equal to if not better than the OEM fluid’s performance for a fraction of the price.
There is a wire loom that is hooked onto a metal bracket. You can pop it out of the bracket to get better access to the cap. It is circled in the picture in yellow.
Once you take the red tamper protector off, this is the black cap that comes out. As you can see, I had to break the sides quite a bit to get a flat screw driver in to pry it off. 60,000 miles of heat made it become stuck on pretty tight.
This is the funnel that I used. The tip of the funnel has a ½ inch diameter. This just fits into the filling hole. This means that you could use a few feet of ¾ inch hose and plug one end into the filling hole and one end into the funnel. Then all you would have to do is suspend the funnel a few feet above the engine bay right under the hood and it would do the same thing that the $250 dollar VAG 1924 tool does.
4. Lower the car back down off the jack. While keep all filling apparatus in place, hook up VAG-COM to the car and start the engine. Move the gear selector through each position for about 10 seconds.
[02 - Auto Trans]
[Meas. Blocks - 08]
Set group to "004"
The value in field 1 should be ATF temp in °C.
6. When the ATF transmission reaches around 40°C, place the pan under the check plug. Take the plug out. If a little bit of fluid drips out, the level is correct. If nothing comes out, add a little more until it overflows to a drip. Replace the check plug. (for this step, use of a shallow drain pan allows you to not have to jack up a side of the car and get the most accurate fill)
7. Replace the fill plug and red tamper cap. (If you broke the red tamper cap as I did, it’s cool. The black fill plug will stay on without.)
8. Take the car out for a test drive. According to Coolvdub on VWVortex who practices this, overfilling the transmission from a ¼ to a ½ quart makes it shift smoother in his opinion.
9. I did this as well. Even though I drained out 3 quarts or 2.84 quarts. I put back 3.5 quarts or 3.31 liters into the transmission. After reading the threads on the forum, when people followed the Bentley repair manual procedures to the letter, the over flow plug would start dripping fluid at about 2.75 quarts or 2.60 liters. However, after driving the car, they would get groaning noises. When they would add in about half a quart of fluid, the car would be happy. Therefore, 3 quarts is the baseline figure plus ¼ to ½ quart of fluid.
10. I can attribute this error to the fact that there haven’t been enough transmission failures for VW to revise the procedures for draining and refilling the transmission. Think about how they revised the 105k timing belt to a 60k interval now.
Credit to Don aka Coolvdub for taking some of the pictures and verifying the steps and instructions of the procedure via email to me