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Transmission ‘groaning’ noise - towing

1017 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Hughsie
2016 7P V6 3.0 diesel 180kw 8sp, 73,000km
I know this is a recurring theme, but thought I’d post our experience.

After towing a 3.2T van for around 25,000km on a few trips our drivetrain developed a resonant groaning sound at about 1400rpm especially when loaded, that was very disturbing.

Our VW specialist mechanic on tour (North Rocky Mechanical, Rockhampton, Aus) recommended changing the drivetrain fluids - gearbox, front and rear diffs.
He said that the idea of a sealed gearbox lasting a lifetime is ridiculous, especially when towing.
He said the gearbox oil in particular was showing clear signs of ‘work’ and recommended changing it every 20,000km when heavy towing.

We’ve done around 1900km since, most of it towing. I’m pleased to say that the noise has disappeared which is obviously very pleasing.

Cheers, Brett
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I think with hi temps and a heavy van it could potentially be warranted. The life of typical modern synthetic oil will halve for every 10C increase in temp above about 100C. if your typical OC8 synthetic transmission oil is good for 80000km to maybe 120000km with no towing in cool conditions you only need an average temp rise of 20C to get to a 20000 km to maybe 30000 km life. You also only change half the oil for a normal drain and refill change so the average oil life is older than the change interval.
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