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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry for the non Alfa post, but as the title says, this is the best group of car guys I know.

Our 2010 VW golf (6 speed auto) is due for trans fluid change. Dealer just quoted me $650 for fluid, filter, and gasket change. I generally don't touch auto transmissions, but due to the crackhead price quote I'll either figure it out or take it to the alfa guy I used for his opinion. They work on all foreign cars.

Is there any magic to changing auto trans fluid? From what I understand, you don't just drop the pan, change the filter and gasket, put the pan back, and filler up. You may need to run the car in gear while elevated. Can anyone give me a rough idea what's involved with late model auto trans fluid replacement? I haven't found a great how to in the vw forums.
 

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...From what I understand, you don't just drop the pan, change the filter and gasket, put the pan back, and filler up...
I'm probably not the best guy to answer this question except to say "yup - ask me how I know"

I did this on my F350 and as I was pouring in the new fluid I had this moment when it dawned on my Neanderthal brain that I was putting in WAY more than I had just taken out. Luckily I stopped before dumping the entire two gallons in there but I did spend about 45 minutes sucking the excess out with my My-T-Vac :w00t:

Later a buddy told me that he disconnects the return hose and runs the engine in neutral or something like that (don't quote me or try this at home) because to tell you the truth I never did it. The fluid looked so clean I figured it had recently been serviced before I bought the truck but now it's probably time to do it for real so I'm following this thread along with you.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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VW transmission servicing is far from trivial. For starters, you need a special fill tool to get the fluid in and the level right.

ECS tuning sells a complete servicing kit for your car. It's $300, which makes the dealer quote seem somewhat less crackhead.

Volkswagen Golf VI 2.5 Maintenance Transmission - 09G398429AKT - Genuine 6 - Speed automatic transmission service kit - with service tool - ES#2739658

I had an Audi with a similar servicing procedure. Basically said "screw that" and took it to my guy. Don't remember what it cost.
 

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Our 09 Malibu with Korean 6-sp has a ludicrous service procedure where you need to get tranny up to such and such temp and remove service plug to see if any fluid runs out and if so add some. What a crock!
 

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One of the reasons I am less and less likely to EVER purchase a new car. You open the hood and all you see is a big stylized chunk of plastic, nothing to exfoliate your knuckles on, no user serviceable parts and apparently no dip sticks anymore! :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies. I'm somewhere in between Steve's last post and Paul's and Gubi's thoughts. I've got a little bit of a hangup with running the car on stands, but there's a first for everything.

The kicker is, VW sent a supplement to the owners manual that says fluid change only. That however, seems to be the tricky part.

Based on Gubi's link showing $300 for the parts/fluids, the dealer is probably off by only an hour labor at most for the whole ball of wax.

I gotta think about this. Anymore input is certainly welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
One of the reasons I am less and less likely to EVER purchase a new car. You open the hood and all you see is a big stylized chunk of plastic, nothing to exfoliate your knuckles on, no user serviceable parts and apparently no dip sticks anymore! :rolleyes:
Haha, believe me, you can exfoliate the **** out of yourself on that plastic.

I know where you're coming from, but I do like new cars. In spite of the auto transmissions, I like our 2010 golf and 2014 passat. Yes, I like VW. I could see having one or both by the time my little girls start driving.

My experience with the 93 mustang and now with the 164 has me prepared for most maintenance except for this auto trans BS and an engine rebuild. Aside from that, I would say my only other enemy is time right now.

Yes, the engines don't look like much more than plastic. But I do like the 1.8t in the new passat, and it does sound good. The hobby cars get me by!
 

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Sorry for the non Alfa post, but as the title says, this is the best group of car guys I know.

Our 2010 VW golf (6 speed auto) is due for trans fluid change. Dealer just quoted me $650 for fluid, filter, and gasket change. I generally don't touch auto transmissions, but due to the crackhead price quote I'll either figure it out or take it to the alfa guy I used for his opinion. They work on all foreign cars.

Is there any magic to changing auto trans fluid? From what I understand, you don't just drop the pan, change the filter and gasket, put the pan back, and filler up. You may need to run the car in gear while elevated. Can anyone give me a rough idea what's involved with late model auto trans fluid replacement? I haven't found a great how to in the vw forums.

I'm pretty sure that's a standard ZF transverse box and ZF does not specify a fluid change except for severe service (trailer towing, Death Valley commute etc) and then only at 80,000 miles.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Yeah, read up on all the premature failures on VAG transmissions. Smart money is on doing a flush and replace at ~50K or so. I know the stuff in the Audi smelled pretty burned at that point.
 

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...Yes, the engines don't look like much more than plastic. But I do like the 1.8t in the new passat, and it does sound good. The hobby cars get me by!
I know, I was just joking. I turned 60 in June and have two older brothers. One has an Audi Q5 and the other just bought a Ford Fusion. At one time we all had Alfas but I'm the knuckledragger in the family who ended up being a mechanic and the only one who still has them. But I can see a future, maybe five years from now in retirement, where I might buy an electric car (I've been keeping a close eye on Tesla) to park next to the 308 I'm gonna buy to regularly exfoliate my knuckles on and keep me busy.

Because golf and fishing ain't gonna work for me and I've got all these tools that I have to keep the dust off of. :eek:
 

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I wrote service for VW/Audi/Porsche for a while. My take (tho it's been a few years) is this. Check carefully what VW suggests in the book. IIRC the autos didn't have a dipstick and were sealed for life as it were. Changing the fluid required a machine to do it - sucks the old out inserts new. IIRC we billed for a filter as well. Our dealership used menu pricing. For example every 15K, 20K, 30K. 40K and the like a certain service was recommended by the dealer that went something along the lines of what VW/Audi suggested. This service encompassed whatever the person who developed the "list" deemed necessary. Keep in mind the money in a dealer is made in the service department.

The 40K was our "biggie" and encompassed pretty much everything including the ATF. 12 years ago when I was doing this stuff we were getting about 500 bucks to do this 40K. You might look at this bunching of service.

In a nutshell here's how it worked. Car is dropped off for whatever the customer drops it off for. We being the wonderful folks we are, perform a courtesy check. What happens is the tech gives the car a good once over, makes a list and gives it to the service writer, asst service manager or whatever they are called nowdays to "sell" to the owner. I always got a charge out of hearing peoples reaction to what VW service costs. Most people think a VW is. well, a VW. They buy them for their college kids to assuage guilt, then when I'd quote them 1K for a brake job on "Heathers Beetle" I could hear the neck veins tighten when I'm talking to Pop in another state getting CC info for payment. ChaChing. Does that make me a slimeball for this. Nope, just makes me re-iterate that you need to be very informed as to what you are wanting done, why you want it done and such. 650 sounds high. You didn't specify the mileage but changing the fluid is usually a good idea at some regular interval.

If it was mine, I'd shop around VW dealers in the area and remember all costs are negotiable. Ask your local foreign car guys as well, there are alot of these cars running around. These things are easy money (profit) for the dealer so they will play. If there is any warranty left on the car, keep that in mind. Save paperwork as well. Your time is a premium I sense and sometimes paying to have something done is the best approach to things in life. ciao, jc
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Thanks Chris. $650 was for the trans work (gasket, filter, fluid, labor). I was expecting to get the call while the car was in...."My service tech looked over the car and recommends yada yada yada, for about $1200." Haha. Then I would politely decline. The golf has about 51000 miles, so they'd love to get there hands into something I'm sure.

As far as I can tell, I wouldn't think this is considered the sealed trans. The pan comes down to drain it, and the fluid is recommended to be changed at 40000. I usually don't over do the interval like that.

The 5 speed manual in my 02 GTI was supposedly sealed for life. I changed that fluid at 120000 miles shortly before I sold the car. It did have drain and fill plugs and didn't require a machine to fill.
 

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Yeah, read up on all the premature failures on VAG transmissions. Smart money is on doing a flush and replace at ~50K or so. I know the stuff in the Audi smelled pretty burned at that point.
Even the 2010 and following? ZF puts synthetic fluid in and the transmission isn't designed for a fluid change. You have to wonder why ZF doesn't want anyone in there.
 

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Interesting Mr Micheal. While some of us get our jollies from buying 25 yr old cars and fiddling with them, more people than not just want to gas and go. My opinion runs the line of the auto mfgrs want a car to sell that requires minimal after sale trips for service, thus the longer intervals between routine maintenance.

I look at BMW. You couldn't give me a new one. There's a guy who writes for Bimmer magazine, Mike Miller out of Pa I believe. He puts it along the lines that when they went to the extended intervals done at no cost to the owner, the problems manifested themselves in higher costs later down the road. I'm paraphrasing but he says buy a used one right before the warranty expires. Owners know they are looking at "catch up costs" and it is on their dime at that point. No one likes the hassle and expense of having their "baby" worked on. So... the mfgrs taut the low cost of maintenance (look at all the cars sold that come with free maint) and thus minimize their costs by extending the intervals. They also know in this modern time, who really keeps a car longer than the note lasts? Yes, fluids and tech is way better than used to be but I firmly believe its marketing. Anyway, I like this Millers outlook and how he calls it like he sees it. What was the old ad campaign "pay me now or pay me later".... Funny it was for Fram, one of the more disliked filter companies on this forum.

FWIW, I had a Taurus with what Ford called the AXOD. One of the (reputed) biggest POS transmissions Ford ever dreamed up. I put untold miles on mine w/30K fluid/filter changes. Never, NEVER had an issue with that box and I pulled trailers and ran the car hard. To the best of my knowledge, it is still on the road and the dude I sold it to has his kid using it and it has 300K on it I understand.

Just me blabbering. ciao, chris
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm good at oversimplifying, so I can boil down my thoughts to this. I don't mind the cost of a new car and any service I can't perform, I just want real pricing. I save a lot in other areas, so I'll write a check for someone to do what I can't, but I don't need to get hosed!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Back to light tech for anyone still tuned in. This trans is an Aisin-Warner, not the ZF. Plain old 6 speed auto and not the DSG. There's a whole lotta BS about this 09G transmission. Who checks temperatures when filling, who doesn't, who changes a filter, who doesn't, 40000 miles, 50000 miles, lifetime fluid...Not the best documented piece of equipment.

Repair manuals are apparently vague on the service process. I haven't picked one up yet since the car hasn't needed work other than a couple easy things to deal with. Hopefully our particular transmission doesn't have the valve body and electrical issues that I read about with some of the earlier years.

I talked to the Alfa mechanic and he seemed very comfortable with the job, so we'll talk again this week and see what the price comes out to. I'm pretty sure I'll wimp out on tackling this one.

Only other thing I observed so far is that fluids/filter/gasket are as high as $300 from ECS Tuning and about half of that from Blau Parts. The fluid is apparently liquid gold.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ended up costing just under $350 at the independent mechanic. 2 hours labor @ $84 an hour. Rest was parts and tax.

Saved me a day and lots of anxiety for sure. Maybe I'll get the courage the next time around. I found a decent write up. Ends up being very similar to the link Steve posted.
 
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