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Thread: Transmission Fluid change? help!

  1. #1
    New Member Edin is a jewel in the rough Edin's Avatar
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    Transmission Fluid change? help!

    Hello,

    Little back story... My 1999 VW Golf Automatic 2.0L (180,000km roughly I think) is having some transmission problems and takes quite a bit of effort these days to switch gears. I bought the car used about 1 1/2 - 2 years ago and I have no idea the last time the trans fluid was changed. That being said when I bought the car it wasn't giving me these problems. Currently it takes quite a bit of time for the gears to switch and you can hear the car trying to do so for about 5-10 seconds before it gets the job done. I'm scared the transmission is going to die on me! I got the car for fairly cheap with its only problems being rust related. I've had to do some work on the underbody of the car but I have no experience with transmissions at all!! I've researched all over online and I've gotten too wide of an opinion base as to what to do, so now im confused. I don't want to take it to a dealer or a specialist because I dont have the money nor want to spend a whole bunch on a car I paid little for. That being said I'm looking for some experienced opinions!!


    - Should the fluid be changed considering the car is so old? People say its risky to do it on such an old car.
    - Should I change the transmission filter as well?
    - Whats a recommended automatic fluid to use? the car didn't come with the manual so I'm a bit lost in that regard and Google hasn't come up with anything.

    -Someone mentioned the fluid just might be low but there is no dipstick in these models so I'd need to check by either lifting the car up or getting down there and doing it manually. Does this sound like a low level problem?
    -People are also saying I should throw somthing like a fluid called lukus into the car that helps the transmission? will that do the trick?

    Sorry for the long post, I just wanted to cover all my bases! Any help would be great, Thanks!
    Last edited by Edin; 11-03-2012 at 09:20 PM.

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    Junior Member aanderson is just really nice aanderson's Avatar
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    Re: Transmission Fluid change? help!

    Here's what you should do. Get the fluid and filter replaced. You need a pump to fill it there is no dip stick, it's a sealed unit. You want to go to a VW mechanic. You can use Valvoline Max Life to replace the fluid drained. Have the mechanic clean the pan and replace the filter. Fill with 3.5 quarts of MaxLife. Drive it for a day or two then get 2 quarts drained and refill the 2 quarts with more Max Life. Repeat one more time and you should be getting smoother shifting. That filter and fluid in it is bad with that many miles on it. You're lucky in a way because some of the popular ATF fluids are carrying VW specs now a days. Here's your options. Pentosin ATF1 (expensive), Royal Purple (expensive), Redline (expensive), Valvoline Max Life (cheap), Wolf's Head Super Universal ATF (cheapest). Don't get it flushed. Do the drain and fill technique.

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    Junior Member Burton124 is a jewel in the rough Burton124's Avatar
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    Re: Transmission Fluid change? help!

    I was thinking of changing my transmission fluid as well since my cars having a little trouble shifting before the engine warms up.. if you've already done it what were the results like and how much did it cost you?

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    New Member Edin is a jewel in the rough Edin's Avatar
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    Re: Transmission Fluid change? help!

    Well it turns out my trans fluid was quite low. I emptied all of the fluid in a container to see the current amount/quality of the fluid. The fluid looked to be quite decent and in no need of serious replacement. So what I did was measured the fluid I extracted and realized I was about 2/3's of a leter short after I accounted for the fluid that didn't make it into my container. Also I wasn't completely sure what new fluid to get. Anyway I put the fluid back and added enough Lukus to account for the missing amount of fluid. I also needed to buy a new drainage screw since the one I took out was in bad shape ( apparently this happenes to a lot of people so get one in advance mine was like 3-4 bucks). After I was all done I made sure to switch all the gears a bunch (I.e park drive 1-2-3 etc etc to get it moving around before I started driving it. I knew that the lukus wouldn't fix the problem immediately since my mechanic mentioned that it can take a week or two to see a difference. So after I was all done I drove it back to University (2 hour drive) experiencing the same problem but after a while I noticed the lower gears were working much better. Long story short the problem seems to have gone away At least 95% of it over the course of roughly 1 and a half months.The experience as a whole didnt cost me more than $80. All I bought was the screw, lukus and paid my mechanic about 20 bucks to use his lift, tools and get a few quick tips. I did all the labour myself. That bein said you could do it all on your own in the driveway or w/e if you got the right equipment no need for a lift, it just made it easier.

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    New Member Edin is a jewel in the rough Edin's Avatar
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    Re: Transmission Fluid change? help!

    Oh I also forgot to mention i changed the filter and cleaned out the pan. the fileter wasnt very expensive either. I didn't read aandersons post since I did the job before he posted it. I think I made a second post on here somewhere and someone gave me a few tips and the solution I came up with after that was what I explained above. The transmission seems happy now but Who knows how long that will last. My mechanic seems to think ill get another 100km no problems as far as the fluid is concerned. I have a feeling it was replaced before I bought it that's why it was in decent quality. It was just low. That lukus fluid gets great reviews and fixes problems for many people. That being said if you wanted to replace the fluid from all the research iv done I'd go with what Anderson suggested above. Apparently replacing the fluid on such an old car can be a little risky and flushing the transmission much more so. So if I was to replace it I'd do what he suggested, that being said it will cost a bit depending on the fluid you buy. The price range verys. Good luck. If you got any questions ill see if I can help.

    P.s. sorry for the poor grammar. I typed this all out on my iPhone.
    Last edited by Edin; 12-31-2012 at 12:44 AM.

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    New Member guisasso is a jewel in the rough guisasso's Avatar
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    Re: Transmission Fluid change? help!

    Hey Edin, tx for posting this. a couple of questions, did you need a pump to refill? Where did you refill from? How did you know you had the right amount after refilling?

    I have a Golf GLS 2.0 2002

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