Audi 01V Tiptronic Transmission Fluid Change

May 20, 2010 |  by  |  Audi Maintenance
Audi 01V Tiptronic Transmission Fluid Change

Nothing lasts forever…

As the C5 platform ages, the Tiptronic transmissions can become troublesome.  Audi claims the transmission is filled with “lifetime” fluid and does not recommend service of any type. That being said, the term “lifetime” is subjective and it’s naive to think that the fluid can maintain its lubrication properties indefinitely.  If you have 1) over 60,000 miles on your car or 2)  are experiencing hard shifts or hesitation, you may want to consider this service. This can be done solo, but there are several steps where an extra set of hands will come in handy.

Audi Models

  • All Audi 01V Tiptronic Transmissions
  • This DIY was done on an A6/allroad C5 2.7T Tiptronic car

Parts Required

Tools Required

  • Four (4) jack stands and a floor jack or an automotive lift (Note: It is NOT advisable to use ramps at all as you will need to put the car in gear while lifted)
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Small level
  • 8 mm Allen head socket
  • 17 mm Allen head socket
  • T-25 Torx head socket
  • A good ratchet set with extensions
  • Torque wrench
  • Waste catch basin
  • Disposable ground cover (job can get a bit messy)
  • Ross-Tech VAG-COM cable and software
  • Lint free disposable shop towels
  • Hyperactive/Insomniac Bulgarian Elevator Repairman (optional, but recommended)

Note 1: Powerflush or Transmission flushes of any kind are NOT recommended. There’s a theory that these types of services can actually deposit debris into the valve body, which will only compound problems, or in a worst case scenario, ruin the transmission.

Note 2: At 60,000 miles, the timing belt/water pump service is close to being due.  It is a good idea to do the transmission service AFTER the timing belt/water pump has been replaced.  Why? The transmission cooler lines need to be disconnected to access the crank lock pin.  This is not a big deal, but you will lose a bit of transmission fluid in the process.

Instructions

Overview of the Procedure

With the car lifted and perfectly level, you will be draining the fluid in the belly pan, removing the belly pan, cleaning it and reinstalling it with fresh fluid, filter and gasket. In order to accomplish the proper fluid level, a  VAG-COM cable and software must be used to read the fluid temperature while filling. It is essential to cycle through the gears with the car running while filling in order to get the proper fluid levels.  Note: When draining, keep in mind that the fluid expands when hot. Take precautions not to burn yourself and remember, the hotter the fluid, the more of it will drain, and the more clean fluid you can get back in.

Step 1

Using a jack and jack stands or a lift, raise and support the car at a height sufficient to gain access to the underside of the vehicle. Make sure all tires are at least four (4) inches off the ground. (NOTE: on the allroad, make sure to engage JACK MODE before jacking the vehicle. This is done with the key on and holding both the up and down buttons until the icon appears on the dash).

Step 2

Take a flat blade screwdriver and twist the five dowel pins counterclockwise to remove the rear splash guard covering the transmission belly pan.

Step 3

Check the belly pan for level.  Take measurements sideways and front to back.  If the pan is not leveled, make appropriate adjustments until perfectly level.  This is a very important step.

Step 4

Locate the 8mm Allen drain plug and the 17 mm Allen fill plug on the belly pan and position your ground cover and catch basin below them.

Step 5

Loosen the 17mm Allen fill plug first.  We want to make sure we can refill the transmission before we drain it.  Do not remove it yet (if you did, no big deal)

Step 6

Locate the 8mm Allen head drain plug and remove it.  Allow the fluid to drain.

Step 7

Remove the fill plug, allow any additional fluid to drain (there may be none).

Step 8

Using the T-25 Torx head and ratchet, loosen the 27 fasteners holding the belly pan.  Remove all but 2 fasteners on opposite ends.  If you have an extra set of hands, have one person support the pan while the other removes the remaining fasteners.  Lower the pan and gasket and dump the excess fluid into your catch container.  Remove the old gasket and discard.

Step 9

The next step involves wiping down the inside of the belly pan and cleaning the magnets.  Solvents are not necessary and you do not want the risk of any residue solvents breaking down the new fluid.  Simply wipe down the inside of the pan and clean the magnets with disposable, lint free shop towels.  Make sure no debris of any kind is left behind during this process.

Step 10

Locate the two T-25 Torx fasteners securing the filter and remove them.  Be careful not to touch or loosen any of the other fasteners.  With the fasteners removed,  coax the filter out by gently pulling down and rotating it side to side.

Step 11

Lube the gasket on the new filter with clean ATF fluid.  Install the new filter and torque the fasteners to 5Nm (44 INCH lbs)

Step 12

Reinstall the Belly Pan and New Gasket. Using the socket + extension, we inserted 4 fasteners at opposite sides to maintain alignment of the gasket and fastener holes. Once properly aligned, hand tighten all the bolts.  Once all bolts are in place Torque to 10 Nm (7 ft lb).  Do not use RTV or gasket sealers. In order to achieve uniform torque, choose 2 fasteners opposite of each other as start points. Torque the fasteners in an alternating fashion until all are fully secured.

Step 13

Replace gaskets on drain and fill plugs, lube both with clean ATF fluid.

Step 14

Install drain plug and torque to 12Nm (9ft lbs)

Step 15

Hook up the VAG-COM cable and go to: Select Control Module > 02 Auto Trans > 08 Meas.  Blocks > Group 004.  This will allow you to monitor the temperature of the ATF fluid.  Do NOT start the vehicle yet. Just keep the key in the ON position.

Step 16

With the car still OFF, begin pumping fluid back into the transmission.  You will need to insert the hose up through the fill hole and towards the back of the vehicle.  It should take about 2.5 – 3 quarts before some overflows.  Hand tighten the fill plug.

Step 17

Take an initial reading of the ATF fluid temp.  It should read well below 40 degrees Celsius.  If the fluid is hotter than that, you’ll need to wait until it cools down.

Step 18

Start the car. While keeping your foot on the brake, cycle through all the gears, holding each gear for 15 seconds. Go from “P” through “D” and back up from “D” to “P”. It is not necessary to run through the gears via the TIP mode. With the car in “P” and motor still running, remove the fill plug again and start pumping again until overflow. Also, be mindful that the ATF fluid temp must be below 40 degrees Celsius. Cycle through the gears again and pump fluid in until overflow while the car is still running. Repeat this process as many times as you can before the fluid reaches 40 degrees. Once you are approaching 40 degrees Celsius, re-install the fill plug before shutting off the motor. If you fail to do this, the car will dump fluid. Allow the car and fluid to cool down.

Step 19

Once the car and ATF Fluid cools down (we waited until 32 degrees Celsius) start the car again and cycle the gears, same as before. Open the fill plug and continue pumping fluid into the transmission until overflow. Continue to cycle the gears and pump fluid until you reach 40 Degrees. Once you reach 40 degrees, pump until overflow, and reinstall the fill plug.  Once the fill plug is re-installed, shut off the motor.  Torque the fill plug to 80Nm (59 ft lbs).

Step 20

If you did the process correctly, you should have gotten 6.5-7 quarts into the transmission, minus the spillage.

Step 21

Clean up your tools and work area and go for a test drive.  Drive with a light throttle until all of that fluid has a chance to work itself through.

Step 22

Re-inspect the belly pan for leaks, etc. and assuming all is OK with the test drive, re-install splash cover and you’re done! Unless…

1)You did not get at least 6 quarts in  OR

2) Issues arose on the test drive

proceed to step 23.

Step 23

Jack the car up again and allow it to cool for several hours or overnight. Then, start the car, cycle the gears and remove the fill plug. Keep pumping fluid until you get overflow at 40 degrees Celsius. Remember to reinsert the fill plug before shutting down the motor.

Step 24

You are done! Enjoy much smoother shifting.


48 Comments


  1. Excellent DIYC! I will be using this info when changing the fluid and filter on my 2002 allroad this coming weekend.

    The procedure is clear and descriptive. I understand every step.

  2. Notes from my experience in changing the transmission fluid and filter in my 2002 allroad 2.7T with 116K miles:

    The 27 fasteners in step 8 were T-27 Torx, not T-25.

    In step 10, the two fasteners which hold the filter to the inside of the transmission were T-40 Torx, not T-25.

    I started with a 27 degree C transmission. As a result just under 5 liters was drained from the transmission. This included what had remained in the pan. I let the transmission drain overnight.

    The inside of the pan and the magnets did have a very thin layer of sludge. This was actually better than expected. There were no whiskers of metal on the magnets.

    When initially filling the transmission (before starting the engine) I was able to pump about 3.5 liters into the fill opening before the fluid started to overflow. After starting the engine and cycling through the gears several times (before the transmission temperature reached 40 degrees C) I pumped a total of just over 5.25 liters. This included about .25 liters of overflow/spillage.

  3. Brilliant write up! Quick question, would this be the same method for an EYJ autobox on a 2003 2.5TDi in the UK? Is this the same gearbox? Thanks.

  4. Thanks Joe —

    I’ve been searching all over to see if the gearboxes are the same and I’ve had no luck. It seems that information on the geographic platform is only available locally. Sorry.

    • Jim, thanks for looking. I found out they are the same, carried out the oil change recently, all went well. Thanks again.

  5. Awesome write up! Cheers m8.

  6. I just did something really stupid! I managed to drain the transmission rather than the engine oil. YIKES. Ok, this dummy has two questions: perhaps more.
    1) Can I level the car and refill the trans using the procedures you’ve outlined? I don’t want to drop the pan and all that unless it is mandatory? The car has had it’s 80k service.

    2) is there any other way to measure the temp of the fluid other than the Vag-Com device, to get the right amount of fluid into the unit?

    3) Any other comments (and don’t worry about beating me up–already done!)

  7. Thanks for the write-up. One question – when you say to level the belly pan, where do I put the level? On the rim where the bolts are? Near the drain plug? In the center? It makes a difference.

    • I’d check the center of the pan and the frame rails. Mine was done on a lift from the pinch welds, and the center of the pan showed level

  8. I looked at the cable you referenced, and was wondering if a similar one from ebay would work. I’m on a shoestring budget and only using it once. If I can use a generic one that costs much less it would be REALLY nice! Otherwise thank you SO much for this write up, I feel it will be extremely helpful in the near future.

    • I don’t think the generic cable would work, but I’m not sure. If you plan on owning an Audi long term, get a real cable. Also, check the Audi forums for people nearby that might lend you one. Usually some beer is a good gesture.

      • Awsome write up..period! What “cable” are you guys refering to? I to, would like to perform this service sans VAG-COM. Is this possible?

        • Forget the cheap cables! Some reported them working on some modules – but few can access all installed in the car. And a lot report that a cable suddenly stop working. Also, the software is limited on the cheap cables, and will NOT work with VCDS (VAG-COM) from Ross-Tech.

          In other words – the cheap cables arent worth the hassle and time spent erroring around. If youre serious about your DIY on your (expensive) car, get the genuine cable from Ross-Tech!

          On a sidenote: Love the site and the guides. REALLY useful. *thumbs-up*

        • I used a generic bluetooth cable and the Torque software on my Android phone to do this – It was able to read the trans fluid temp. This cable stays in the car, it’s what I use to check codes if something pops up on the road.

  9. As Jack Christensen said, the 27 fasteners in step 8 are indeed T-27’s, they just need to be seated fully in the fastener or else you’ll think they are too big and you’ll use smaller T-25s. I removed all but 1 fastener while doing this with a T-25 and nearly stripped that last fastener before I realized that a T-27 was the right fit.

    I’ve been told and would have to agree from my first hand experience that adding a bottle of Lubeguard Auto Tranny fluid protectant makes the transmission feel better while driving.

    If you are on the final stages and filling the tranny with fluid and you happen to reach 40C- it took about 3 hours in 40-45F temperature for mine to cool to 32C. So if you were doing this in the summer time, you might be best off just waiting over night.

    If anyone is doing this fluid replacement because their VAG is reading out failure code 17125/P0741, don’t expect this to miraculously save you!

    Thanks for the awesome DIY write-up!

  10. Great write up.

    Do you guys know the oil capacity for a 2004 A4 Tiptronic Transmission?

    I change my fluid recently but only put there around 5 quarts

    • I don’t know the capacity off the top of my head, but it’s somewhat irrelevant because even with the drain and refill, you won’t get 100% of the fluid out of the transmission. Fluid will remain in the valve body and cooler lines

      I assume the top off procedure is the same, but I’m not as familiar with that transmission. How much fluid drained out?

  11. I have a 03 A4 quattro with 174,xxx miles just bought it from auction crashed in front. Lost some tranny fluid. I figured I would have it serviced and changed. Would you suggest flushing the trans? Or just changing out the fluid? Thank you

  12. I have a 01 a6 whit a triptonic transmission and lately it feels like its sliping or not shifting gears when I slow down about 20-30 mph, when accelerate again its like I have to wait until the gears are engaged do you thing I should replace the atf. Any suggestion?

    • It’s hard to say whether it would help or not. Do you suspect a leak? I’d first take it to a mechanic familiar with Audi tiptronics.

  13. Thanks for your write-up! (2002 A4 1.8T B6 w/ 130K) I serviced the trans today and i gotta say audi’s lifetime “no service is requied” is pure BS. The fluid was extreemly dirty and the internal magnets had piles of gunk on them. I really wonder how plugged the filter was… I didnt notice much difference in shifting post flush however i use to have a shimmy when making tight turns (like the AWD was binding) but its all cleared up now. I feel much better after performing this service expecially since audi doesnt provide a dip-stick for the trans so there is no freeking way to see the level or how filthy the fluid is…

    thanks again,

  14. Waiting for my tranny fluid to cool off now.

    Very good write up.

    Additional hints for everyone.

    1. If you have a slope on your garage floor (as most do) then put the front of your car on the low side. This will give you more room under the tranny pan. I got my car all leveled up…then realized this.

    2. I put my Fresh tranny fluid bottles in my freezer to help with the cool down process. Helped a little but man does this fluid take a long time to cool off!

    3. I used my floor jack to raise and lower the tranny pan since I didn’t have another person. This worked realllly well. I highly recommend it.

    The part where having a second person would have really helped me was in the leveling of the car. Getting in and out and in and out from underneath was a pain.

    The hardest part of this for me is really the temperature. If I had known this I wouldn’t have driven my car in the morning before starting this although…I’m sure it helps get more fluid out in the draining process.

    • Oh…. 1 more thing. Watch out for the wire that is hooked onto the edge of the pan. If you miss this then as you think you are free of all the bolts and about to “smoothly lower it” this will hang you up and dump the pan sideways.

    • I found a linoleum remnant at Home Depot that worked well for spills. Stiff enough to roll my creeper across and easy to clean up when I had a spill.

  15. This post is one of my favorites! I read through it and lacked the time late-winter to DIY, so I paid an indy shop $800 (this was the converging price for all reputable shops in the area) to do this… And they pancaked the gasket. Asked them to re-torque with an in-lb torque wrench and they did (in a circumfrencial manner) to some relief; still leaks a drop or two here and there. Regardless, I’m redoing their handiwork this month and this post gave me the know-how. Hope it works! Thanks!

  16. great blog and detailed instructions on the DIY’s! I recently acquired an older Audi A4.

  17. 2005 A4 3.0 convertible . 82,500 miles . We are having a hesitation when shifting from 1st to 2nd . . almost a ‘jerk’ . Car is in shop now to change transmission filter and fluid. but it is going to cost close to $1,000. It would be worth it if this fixed the problem, but we are afraid the transmission is going. We are not sure what to do . . I am leaning towards selling the car! Anyone have any similar problems?

  18. Wish I would’ve used this great DIY instead of the instructions from the parts supplier. It failed to mention the important detail in part 18: putting the fill plug back in before shutting off the motor. A good quart was pissed all over the floor before I managed to get the plug back in.

  19. Mitchell Aaron Gronlund

    Wow! You just saved my life!! I have been doing over extensive research in an attempt to locate this info. Quick question… My seal between drive axle and transmission is leaking… Prognosis or any suggestions are welcome and greatly appreciated!

  20. I cannot believe the prices that I have seen on here and prices that a dealer charges to do a transmission filter and fluid change on a car, Its crazy the job is pretty easy to do! I just did it on our own car, Please! They make it like its a hard job and they have a lift and power tools, We used a ratchet and our own jack it was so easy.

  21. Thank you man! Best info on transmission!

  22. I have a 2002 A6 4.2 quattro the tranny is slipping as of last week. It was shifting hard before this. Where is the connector to read tranny codes and is it with an ODB11? Also is the fluid change process the same as above? any info would be great.

  23. very nice so happy i was thinking to change my a6 2.5 tdi

    tranmission oil filter change i hope same procedure will aply.

    regards.

  24. A4 2002 SE 3.0 quattro 61k miles. Just did my trans oil change this morning (before reading this very good write up). Started from cold removed filler plug and about .5 litre of oil came out, after removing drain plug retrieved in total 3litres (3quarts).Added oil 2.5 litres ,after running engine and through gears (slowly warming up)managed to put back 3litres in total.I guess what I took out was the same quantity that went back. Didn’t do the filter as I was following a Haynes manual which didn’t mention it. What gets me is if you can only remove 3 quarts how can you replace with 6 quarts. How can you remove more old fluid(read you can’t fit a quart in a pint pot) am I missing something. Might re-do this job and take off the sump (belly) pan and change the filter.Is there any way you can totally change the oil other than watering it down ?. Ray

  25. Is it ok to pump out fluid via dipstick tube as a temporary measure?

  26. Update. Revisited this job. Bought filter,gasket & plug gasket from Audi dealer (£67, that’s $104).Drained out 4.5lt(4.5 quarts) cold from standing over night. Previous day bonnet(hood)pull decided to fail, took 3 hours to open, after carefully prizing out front grill(without damage) unbolting 2x13mm head bolts that adjust catch to allow enough gap/clearance(wedge open bonnet with protection to paint work).With a 10mm open end spanner undo 3x dome head nuts that hold the catch pin plate to the bonnet(done at night time with a head torch), Never thought I knew so many swear words, a real stress test. This took longer than removing the transmission sump,replacing the filter and gasket,cleaning the sump and magnets and refitting. Note 27x bolts are T27 torx size (Tip; smear grease around mating surface of sump pan to hold gasket in place). Managed to fit 5.5lts of fully synthetic oil before overflow (yes you can fit a quart in a pint pot when it comes to Audi transmissions (Tardis you know).I will write up fully how to open the bonnet/hood if requested,this would be common to all A4’s up to before they changed the grill above the bumper/fender model.Did this job with car on ramps(metal) and home made wooden ramps (6×2 inch planks 3 of) each side at back. Very stable for when you need to go through the gear changes to cycle the oil. Measured temp with infared thermometer from Maplins (very accurate). My scan tool didn’t read temp (incidently no error codes).Oil cost £34.50 ($53.82)plus the wasted £30($46.80) on oil the first time round.The old oil was black but no sludge or metallic particles on magnets (61k genuine miles verified). Also changed both diffs oil (easy), sucked out middle/front diff oil as no drain plug .Changed engine oil(long service spec) all the filters, plugs and fuel filter already been done. Previous owner had cam belt/water pump replaced (£1100) , disc’s and pads all round (£400) 5 months ago, previous previous owner had replaced the brake master cylinder, servo unit and fluid (£1100)(multiply by 1.56 to convert to dollars). This car has had the most servicing in 61k miles, is in mint condition metallic black,inside black leather immaculate. That,s why I’ve done these oil changes, should go 5 years with only routine services. Took a long time to find a car of this condition and mileage for year (2002), but spotted it on Ebay (genuine private sale), negotiated to £2200 ($3432). Went to see a lot of crap before this one . Might order a bently manual from the US, don’t get this type of tech info in the UK.

  27. Thank you so much!!! This is a brilliant tutorial. Especially if you know very little about cars. I am not sure I will even try this myself but this is the first article that has made any sense whatsoever and made me think that I ‘might’ be able to do it so thanks.
    On a sidenote… my Audi book (2001 A6 3.0 Quattro 162kw tiptronic) doesnt even mention transmission fluid at all… would you know of a website or information sourse that I can find out a) what kind of fluid is oem and b) how much I need?

    Thanks very much… top article!!

  28. Approximately how long do you think it takes for the temp to reach 40C? No access to VAGCOM in my area.

    Thanks

  29. I have a 2001 A6 2.5tdi v6 Auto Tiptronic my level plug is seized so much my sump is twisting. How can i sort this.

  30. Fantastic write up, my mechanic and I did the gearbox oil change yesterday following replacement of the radiator, all parts purchased from audi, I too found the sump was t27 bolts. 8 litres of new fluid was put into the gearbox. So far I have covered 40 miles and gear changes are noticeably smoother. My oil had never been changed before. Audi a6 4.2 Quattro MY 1999

  31. I’m a little overwhelmed with info and not sure, but maybe anyone here can help me out.

    Is this procedure identical to the 2.0t CVT tranny?

    Thanks for the replies.

Trackbacks

  1. Transmission help - AudiForums.com
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