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.
- All Audi & VW 01V Tiptronic 5-Speed Transmissions
- This DIY was done on an A6/allroad C5 2.7T Tiptronic car
- 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)
- Fluid pump
- 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.
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.
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).
Take a flat blade screwdriver and twist the five dowel pins counterclockwise to remove the rear splash guard covering the transmission belly pan.
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.
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.
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)
Locate the 8mm Allen head drain plug and remove it. Allow the fluid to drain.
Remove the fill plug, allow any additional fluid to drain (there may be none).
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.
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.
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.
Lube the gasket on the new filter with clean ATF fluid. Install the new filter and torque the fasteners to 5Nm (44 INCH lbs)
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.
Replace gaskets on drain and fill plugs, lube both with clean ATF fluid.
Install drain plug and torque to 12Nm (9ft lbs)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
If you did the process correctly, you should have gotten 6.5-7 quarts into the transmission, minus the spillage.
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.
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.
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.
You are done! Enjoy much smoother shifting.