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So it takes quite a long time. Almost 2 hours for the fill/reservoir bucket to catch up. I used 12 liters of Ravenol T-WS Lifetime Full synthetic.

I have advice for future DIYers of the T3. First, wear crap clothes, I did, haha.. Threw them away afterwards.

Second, somehow put a siphon bulb in the 1/2 inch vinyl tubing between the supply bucket and the in-feed line of the transmission line. This would EXTREMELY speed the "fluid charging" process!! After every start cycle of the engine, pump about 2 liters, then kill the engine. Then a siphon bulb would be great at pumping 2 liter back into the transmission. The 12 liter change would be done in 20 minutes TOPS.

As I can now attest, the fluid can only gravity feed, period, there is no suction whatsoever on that transmission line. The output side absolutely gushes quickly, have a helper and don't pump out more than 2 liters at a time. This is how I did it.

I got exactly 12 liters into my used bucket, and 12 liters in. For whatever reason, it NEVER ran "new" fluid in the outflow tube. I suspect because my helper was rowing through R-N-D-N-R-P and shutdown , we may have gotten a lot of fluid out of the torque converter as well. I recommend 14 L of tranny fluid to be sure of a full change. Next time, I will do a pan drop at about 160,000 miles and also change the plastic filter and gasket, clean the pan and magnets, and pre-fill the pan with the old fluid, then perform the complete system flush.


I will have to source the VAS fill tube tool, just to be sure at later date, because there is no way for me to fill without it. I
I just done this with Ravenol T-WS lifetime, works great.
 

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New T3 owner here, posting to say THANK YOU to everyone who contributed to this thread; all the various takes, layouts, input, and feedback on this transmission fluid change procedure were very helpful. You can see my intro post here with details on my recent purchase of a 2013 Lux TDI: https://www.clubtouareg.com/threads/new-owner-of-a-2013-t3-tdi-in-ohio.290684/

With 92,xxx miles on my recently acquired 2013 TDI, I knew it needed a trans fluid swap. No hitch on this T3 (yet, I'll be installing one), so at least the "lifetime" factory fluid likely didn't see heavy load conditions. I used the VW factory fluid (G 055 540 A2), which hurt the wallet to the tune of ~$25/L for 13L, or roughly $350 after tax, but I needed the do the change before a 1200mi road trip and the VW fluid was readily available, vs unknown time for the Ravenol ATF T-WS. Presuming I do another fluid change, I'll probably plan ahead and use Ravenol.

I put the new fluid bucket on my ~4' tall workbench, connected the 1/2" PVC tubing to the cooler lines, and put the discharge into an empty bucket. Here's where I made a stupid decision, and hopefully others can learn from my mistake: I hooked everything up, filled the new bucket with 13L of new fluid while it was sitting on my workbench, then realized it was mid-day and I wanted to eat something before starting the exchange process; I didn't close off the feed line, didn't think about physics of fluid, and went into my house for about 45 minutes to eat some lunch. Came out to find the NEW bucket was down to 3L left in it and NOTHING in the waste bucket, meaning 10L excess had filled into the trans and fluid was pouring out from under the vehicle covering my garage floor. Amidst the shock and panic, I clamped the line and had my wife start the engine to evacuate fluid; pumped out 9L, shut it off, then started the arduous clean-up process while cursing myself into oblivion for being so foolish. What a mess it was; after mopping up all the fluid on the floor and getting a catch pan under it, I spent HOURS wiping everything down on the transmission, trying to clean off as much as possible. My best assessment is that ~1L of excess fluid escaped the transmission housing through what appears to be a breather tube at the top, then proceeded to seep down the driver's side of the transmission housing, creating a royal mess.

Lesson is that the transmission housing has lots of open volume, therefore if you put 13L of fluid in a bucket connected to the system and have that bucket higher than the transmission, the fluid will indeed behave according to simply physics and fill the open space. Don't do what I did; once you have everything hooked up, either do the fluid exchange right away, or clamp the line. My recommendation would definitely be to NOT leave the setup unattended, I certainly won't make that mistake again.

Anyway, after cleaning, we finished the fluid change with the remaining new fluid. After finishing everything up, I did a short test drive and it appeared to be functioning normally, but to be safe and to ensure the level was correct, I took it to a local independent VW shop. They checked everything out, said they didn't see any issues, checked the trans fluid level in accordance with VW procedure and ended up adding ~1L, then test drove and found no issues. Since the change, we took the vehicle on a 1200mi road trip to NJ & back, plus a few day trips over 100mi each, and all seems well.
 
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