Touareg: 2008 R5 TDI
Join Date: Dec 2016
Second Vehicle: Still looking
Thanked 26 Times in 25 Posts
Well, this is exactly the thing / here is my thinking:
For one, I do not plant to keep this vehicle for another 10 years - so, I will not get my return on any really long term investment. Even if I would keep it, I would regularly replace these fluids, so they wouldn't have to last another 125.000 miles or so. In reality I only drive the car around 3000 miles a year - so, I will be probably putting another 10.000 miles in total into it max. before I get rid of it. Maybe even less.
And the other thing is: just because the car is getting 11 years old this year, anything and everything can break in it, even "on its own". And if it does, again, I see no benefit in having the very expensive OEM fluids in it while this is happening. Also, even if it happens to some related component down the road, nobody will be able to tell it was because of the fluid anyway. At least I don't think that when you're using these high quality fluids you could really see a failure in such a short time and/or in such a violent manner that it could be directly linked to the fluid change as the sole reason for it.
That said I've researched this topic extensively now, and based on what I've read, I do not expect anything to break here obviously. Of course I've read some horror stories about transmission fluid changes at high mileage going very wrong, but I believe these to be the result of people having used the wrong fluids (meaning not only aftermarket ones, but of totally wrong specs) and/or not following proper procedures, and not because of the high mileage fluid change per se. Also, if this high-mileage-fluid-flush-breaks-the-transmission thing happens to me, it will happen also with OEM fluids, and it will be the more a waste of money if I will/would have used those instead of the affordable, but still very high quality aftermarket fluids.
And again, we're talking about a ~$700 difference here in cost, which I think is a lot for a simple fluid change, and for which (and some) you can get a full transmission from a break.
Then again, we'll see. But honestly, with fluids that are claimed by their manufacturers to meet OEM specs, and appear to be in some cases actually be the very same products that the dealership sells you, just with a different sticker label on them and for 3x the price.... I will be very surprised if there will be anything going wrong, because of these fluids.