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Thread: Changing the 5 speed transmisison gear oil

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    Changing the 5 speed transmisison gear oil

    So i'm sure some of you have wondered why Volkswagen has no information on transmission gear oil replacement in the 5 speed manuals. Well, it's said that the fluid is lifetime fill and only should be serviced if the transmission is opened for servicing.

    In my opinion this is bad practice if you are keeping the vehicle for hundreds of thousands of miles. I'm at about 23k miles now on my 07 rabbit and ever since day one it has been very notchy when shifting...especially when really cold outside. Part of the problem is the transmission nature itself. The other part is the OEM gear oil used. VW uses a full synthetic oil in there and it takes 1.7 quarts. I decided to replace my OEM gear oil with a well known oil called "GM Syncromesh Manual transmission oil."


    Part number: 12345349 and can be found here: http://www.summitracing.com/parts/NAL-12345349

    AFter reading A LOT of reviews, many vw owners with this transmission have reported MUCH smoother shifts when cold, hot, and everywhere inbetween. I purchaed some Motul Gear 300 from DBC performance (very good company..cheap, fast shipping) but I later found that it's a racing gear oil for warm weather. Cold weather will cause it to shift WORSE. So I tossed that aside and got the GM stuff.

    Not much to this oil change DIY. Here you can see the Fill plug and the Drain plug. It's a 17 mm allen and you remove both. Fill from the fill plug until fluid starts to run out. Once it starts to drip Squeeze the bottle HARD until the fluid really starts to gush out...then slap the plug back in. The reason for this is that the full level is a bit above the fill plug base. That's it! Super easy.

    Just coming home from work i've found my transmission is like BRAND NEW again. Super smooth shifts and i could not be happier (unless I had a 6 spd)
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    Last edited by nitroscope8; 01-23-2010 at 03:48 PM.

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    Re: Changing the 5 speed transmisison gear oil

    interesting... how often do you recommend doing this?

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    Re: Changing the 5 speed transmisison gear oil

    Depending on how you drive I would say you can do it every 40-60k miles. Mine happened to have low flluid level from the factory so i'm glad I did it now...even though it was early. Again, I did it so I could get 'better' fluid in there.

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    Re: Changing the 5 speed transmisison gear oil

    Just out of curiosity, does 5th gear sit up out of the oil in these trannies as well?
    4 wheels:
    14 Fiesta ST / 93 525i
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    03 CBR954RR / 05 Buell Blast

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    Re: Changing the 5 speed transmisison gear oil

    Yep It's out chillin just getting splashed with a little oil. why do you ask?

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    Re: Changing the 5 speed transmisison gear oil

    thanks for this bit of info!
    Bryant
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    Re: Changing the 5 speed transmisison gear oil

    Was there any metal shavings or broken gear teeth when you flushed the fluid out and is the new fluid that you put in good for extreme heat?
    Yeah I own a rabbit. How does it drive? I wouldnt be able to tell you.

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    Re: Changing the 5 speed transmisison gear oil

    i was worried there was only going to be one plug for the transmission oil. that would have been weird.

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    Re: Changing the 5 speed transmisison gear oil

    From all the user feedback and from what I've read on this stuff, it is supposed to be good for extreme cold and extreme heat as well. When I went to the Caddy dealer, the parts guy said that he finds it strange that so many customers buy that stuff...most of which do not have GM vehicles! So something must be right...

    Supposedly it thickens up when under a lot of heat/pressure.


    Nope. I strained the old oil and no solid particles came out. Lol...if anything larger than a grain of sand came outta this thing I would have had a trans on order. I did notice another brake fluid leak on the line going to the slave....WTF.
    Last edited by nitroscope8; 01-23-2010 at 03:50 PM.

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    Re: Changing the 5 speed transmisison gear oil

    Quote Originally Posted by nitroscope8 View Post
    I did notice another brake fluid leak on the line going to the slave....WTF.
    This is mostly caused by the sticky release bearing. The increased force required because of the metal rubbing on metal causes the seals to bulge and leak. I recommend you drive bare foot to confirm. Im goin have to flush my transmission fluid before summer I think I might put this stuff in there if it continues to work out good for you.
    Yeah I own a rabbit. How does it drive? I wouldnt be able to tell you.

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    Re: Changing the 5 speed transmisison gear oil

    Either way next week i'm ordering a new line and seals. The leak is from where the rubber part of the line and the metal part meet...NOT the tiny o rings.

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    Re: Changing the 5 speed transmisison gear oil

    Does vw make a gear oil that is not full synthetic for the older model cars?
    Yeah I own a rabbit. How does it drive? I wouldnt be able to tell you.

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    Re: Changing the 5 speed transmisison gear oil

    Yes. The same 5 spd trans but earlier years took non synthetic oil. YOu may remember when I did tests on gear oil by seeing how they reacted in cool temps. The test I did on the VW oil was non synthetic. The parts dept wasn't letting me open a new bottle of the synthetic stuff

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    Re: Changing the 5 speed transmisison gear oil

    Quote Originally Posted by nitroscope8 View Post
    Yes. The same 5 spd trans but earlier years took non synthetic oil. YOu may remember when I did tests on gear oil by seeing how they reacted in cool temps. The test I did on the VW oil was non synthetic. The parts dept wasn't letting me open a new bottle of the synthetic stuff
    Yeah I looked into that gear oil it seems to be safe to use with our transmissions and it is made by quaker state, pennzoil, and there is even a chrysler version. Though I am curious to know if it is a gl-4 or a gl-5 oil.
    Yeah I own a rabbit. How does it drive? I wouldnt be able to tell you.

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    Re: Changing the 5 speed transmisison gear oil

    Quote Originally Posted by nitroscope8 View Post
    Either way next week i'm ordering a new line and seals. The leak is from where the rubber part of the line and the metal part meet...NOT the tiny o rings.
    out of curiosity nitro, could you make up a stainless steal hose to replace this?
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    Re: Changing the 5 speed transmisison gear oil

    I'm sure it's possible, but the way it connects to the "quick connectors" I don't see how one can make this easiliy.

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    Re: Changing the 5 speed transmisison gear oil

    Thanks for the post! You have to change your avatar now though...
    2008 Rabbit 2DR, 5-speed

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    Re: Changing the 5 speed transmisison gear oil

    Do you think that being low on fluid could have been contributing to your poor shift quality?
    '08 2-Door Reflex Silver

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    Re: Changing the 5 speed transmisison gear oil

    He wasnt low on fluid he just drained it wrong so not all of it came out. The bentley manual requires a different way to drain the tranmission and refill it.
    Yeah I own a rabbit. How does it drive? I wouldnt be able to tell you.

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    Re: Changing the 5 speed transmisison gear oil

    It WAS low on oil from the factory. But it wasn't enough to matter.

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