How to Change Transmission Fluid on a Volkswagen Beetle

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If you have manual transmission, you need to change the transmission fluid on your Volkswagen Beetle every 60,000 miles or four years. If you have automatic transmission, you should change the transmission fluid every 100,000 miles or five years. The method of changing the fluid and the type of fluid you need to use also varies depending on the transmission type.

Things You'll Need

  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • Drain pan
  • Rags
  • Nonporous gloves
  • Wrench
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Solvent
  • Transmission fluid filter
  • Transmission fluid
  • Syringe or squeeze bottle

Manual Transmission

  • Raise the car and support it on jack stands.

  • Place a drain pan underneath the transmission, directly underneath the drain plug at the differential end of the transaxle case. Surround the pan with rags and newspapers.

  • Remove the drain plug and allow the fluid to drain into the pan. Connect the plug once all the fluid has drained into the pan.

  • Remove the fill plug located at the other side of the transmission case.

  • Fill the transmission with fresh SAE 75W90 synthetic gear oil using a syringe or squeeze bottle inserted through the fill hole. Fill the case until the fluid just reaches the hole's bottom edge.

Automatic Transmission

  • Raise the car onto the jack stands using the floor jack. Place a drain pan underneath the transmission.

  • Disconnect the mounting bolts for the transmission pan using a wrench. Pry all but one side of the pan off with a screwdriver and tilt it so the fluid drains into the pan.

  • Remove the pan completely once all the fluid is drained. Clean the entire pan with solvent, remove all traces of the original gasket material and wipe the pan dry.

  • Disconnect the filter by pulling it down from the valve body. Discard the rubber seal.

  • Install a new filter with a new seal; this gasket is already attached to the filter in most cases.

  • Install the pan back on the transmission with a new gasket on the pan. Tighten the bolts evenly a little at a time.

  • Lower the car and then add three quarts of VW automatic transmission fluid through the filler hole in the transmission.

Tips & Warnings

  • Run the engine at a fast idle after changing the fluid, shift the car into each gear and then back into park and then let it idle for a few minutes. Check the fluid level and add more fluid if needed--add it until it just begins to drip out of the level check hole.
  • Wear gloves and other protective clothing, as the fluid will be hot.
  • You will likely need to replace the seal on any transmission plug you remove.

References

  • "Chilton Volkswagen New Beetle Repair Manual;" Bob Henderson; Haynes North America; 2000
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