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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A huge shout out to Gnits as his post for Transmission, Differential, and Transfer Case fluid changes for first generation Touareg’s was spot on. I am updating this for the second generation. Specifically, I own a 2015 VW Touareg TDI with 127,000 miles. I am the second owner and the engine oil was changed at 5k-7k intervals while the transmission, differentials, and transfer case were never changed. I changed them this past weekend and I wanted to share my research and experience with other owners.

With that said I am using Gnits write up on the first generation as my boilerplate: (Automatic transmission, transfer case, front and rear differential fluid changes) and making adjustments, as there are a few different procedures and fluids to get the job done. I performed the fluid changes it in my driveway over a period of 3 hours with my brother in law who is a heavy diesel mechanic (I am not a mechanic but can turn wrenches). We used a jack and two stands – pretty basic.

Below you’ll find some relevant information I gathered about the transmission, transfer case, front and rear differential fluid change procedures in the last few weeks. I'm posting this compilation here for convenience and easier discovery for others who are interested in doing these, or at least in learning about them.

Specifics to my 2015 VW Touareg TDI
Model Code: 7P62K8
Engine Code: CNRB
Transmission Code: NXJ

Automatic transmission fluid change


First - here is a link to some VW manuals for performing this and other maintenance on your Touareg. Repair & Workshop manuals

This is an 8-speed transmission unit. Servicing consists of replacing the fluid strainer (filter), changing the fluid, and replacing some gaskets and bolts as necessary.

To complete the transmission fluid change procedure you'll need a VAG-COM diagnostic device that will allow you to keep an eye on the transmission fluid temperature. Without that you won't be able to fill the right amount of fluid into the transmission, which might result in permanent damage to the unit.

There is only one drain plug in the pan. Once removed you can remove the fill tube to get more fluid out before dropping the pan. Mine was stripped so I had more fluid in the pan when I dropped it.

Clean the pan and magnets, remove the strainer and replace with new strainer, and use new gasket when installing the pan.

When filling the transmission use either a hand pump, gravity feed, or an electric pump. I started using gravity feed and after one liter we moved to the electric pump. I highly recommend this – it will save you time and your hands will thank you.

Add more fluid than your removed – as you’ll use VAG-COM to read the transmission fluid temp and then remove the drain plug so the fluid normalizes per VW Spec – it just drains out until it drips out. Just make sure the car is level when you do this.

The full transmission maintenance service set consists of the following parts – these were provided by my local VW Dealer:

0C8 325 435 - transmission strainer, 1 piece
WHT 000 313 - transmission filter bolt, 4 pieces
0C8 321 371 - transmission pan gasket, 1 piece
WHT 005 511 - transmission pan bolts, 11 pieces
0C8 321 181 - transmission fill plug washer, 1 piece
G 055 540 A2 - transmission fluid, 9-13 liters (depending on drain level)


Transfer case fluid change

Transfer cases are generally the same in second generation Touareg’s in the USA. To my knowledge there is only an ON ROAD and OFF ROAD selection in the 7P that was sold in the USA for the second generation.

Servicing the transfer case consists of changing the fluid and replacing the drain and fill plug bolts.

Remove the fill plug first, only then remove the drain plug. After draining clean off the magnet and replace plug. Fill the transfer case until fluid just starts to come out of the fill plug.

VW is known to not fill these from the factory so don’t worry if you put in more than your drained.

NOTE: This is a different fluid than that used in the differentials and transmission and it is only used in the transfer case.

G 052 536 A2 - transfer case fluid, 0.85 liters

Differentials fluid change


There are two separate differentials in 2nd gen Touareg’s. It is my understanding that the front and the rear differentials available in the USA on 2nd generation Touareg’s are the "non-locking" version.

If you have a locking differential you WILL NEED different fluids than the non-locking ones, because of the clutches in them, which need to "stick" when engaged. This write-up is for NON LOCKING DIFFERENTIALS.

Remove the fill plug first, only then remove the drain plug. After draining clean off the magnet and replace plug. Fill the differential until fluid just starts to come out of the fill plug.

VW is known to not fill these from the factory so don’t worry if you put in more than your drained.


Non-locking differential service fluid:
G 052 145 S2 - non-locking differential fluid 75W-90

Fluid volumes
:
Front differentials take usually about 0.8 liters of fluid, while rear differentials take around .9 liters of fluid. However, depending on the completeness of your drain, the amount of fluid you can actually put in them might be slightly less.


Fluid change procedures


The fluid change procedure for automatic transmission, transfer case and differentials is described in the Touareg workshop manuals. Even though the procedures (especially for the differentials) are fairly simple, they must be followed exactly to avoid damage. The services manuals are downloadable from Volkswagen’s official ErWin page. You'll need to pay for a (limited-time) "subscription" to access the manuals, but this will only cost a few bucks, and will allow you to download all the manuals at once. I suggest you do that (i.e. download all manuals), so, you can browse them later any time you need.

For the record I did not use the manuals for for my fluid changes.

To complete the transmission fluid change procedure you'll need a VAG-COM diagnostic device that will allow you to keep an eye on the transmission fluid temperature. Without that you won't be able to fill the right amount of fluid into the transmission, which might result in permanent damage to the unit.

The transfer case, and front/rear differential fluid change require no VAG-COM device.


Fluid change intervals


Volkswagen itself makes no mention at what intervals you're supposed to change the transmission/differential fluids, and actually claims these boxes to be "lifetime fills" or "sealed for life". However, "lifetime" in this context only means "for the duration of the warranty period", and depending on how you're using your car, you might want to replace the fluids sooner or later. Opinions differ on when this should be or is ideal, but the Porsche Cayenne's technical manual (which car is using essentially the same drivetrain as the Touareg) advises to replace the fluids after 16 years or 240.000 kms / 160.000 miles. However, if you're towing, off-roading, driving on mountain roads frequently or living in a very cold climate, the wear and tear increases on these parts, and because of that you might want to change fluids more frequently.


General remarks regarding fluid changes


Bolts and gaskets might be reused after cleaning, but this is not recommended. Failure to renew these might lead to leaks, or in the case of the transmission filter also to transmission malfunction.

Always start fluid changes by removing the fill plugs/bolts first, because sometimes they will be seized and/or you will not be able to remove them without additional tools and/or some penetrator fluid.

"Aftermarket" / 3rd party fluids


Instead of the original Volkswagen fluids, several 3rd party or aftermarket fluids can be used that meet the same specs. However, always make sure that the fluid you're using is not only the same viscosity, but also actually conforms to the specific tolerances listed above! Failure to do so might lead to shortened lifespan or possibly fatal damage to the serviced units/differentials.

That said there's no guarantee for anything, and in the end it's up to you who you trust.

I spoke with a few aftermarket manufactures regarding what fluids would work in my 2015 VW Touareg TDI. The following is a summation of my findings that met the specs/tolerances of the original VW fluids listed above. There are other fluids that will work; these are just the ones that I researched.

G 055 540 A2 (automatic transmission fluid, 9-13 liters needed):

Liqui Moly Top Tec ATF 1800
Ravenol ATF T-WS Lifetime
Pentosin ATF1-LV

I used Liqui Moly Top Tec ATF 1800 for the transmission.

G 052 536 A2 (transfer case fluid, <1 liter needed):

I did not find a suitable replacement for this after talking with multiple manufactures. I used OEM VW fluid for the transfer case.


G 052 145 S2 (front differential fluid, <1 liters/needed):

Liqui Moly High Performance Gear Oil GL4+ SAE 75W-90
Ravenol VSG SAE 75W-90

I used Ravenol VSG SAE 75W90 for the front differential.



G 052 145 S2 (rear differential fluid, approx. 0.9 liters/needed):

Ravenol VSG SAE 75W-90

I used Ravenol VSG SAE 75W90 for the rear differential.



Aftermarket replacement parts


Instead of the original VW parts you might also opt to use aftermarket ones which are readily available. These are the aftermarket parts I used and I had no fitment issues.

0C8 325 435 (transmission strainer):

Vaico V10-0435

Other aftermarket manufacturers:
Meyle
Topran

0C8 321 371 (oil sump gasket):

Vaico V10-2285

Other aftermarket manufacturers:
Meyle
Topran


Disclaimer: Even though I went out of my way to verify every bit of information here, obviously I cannot take any responsibility for them being correct. So, always make sure to double-check everything you read. The transmission and the axles are very expensive parts of your Touareg, so, if you mess up something in them, it will cost you. Better safe than sorry!
 

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160k miles on tranny interval? I guess that indeed would be lifetime for most owners. Off the top of my head I believe my owners manual says 60k for the 2015 TDI in USA.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This is the third Touareg TDI I've owned (2011. 2012, 2015). The dealer(s) told me that the differentials and transmission are sealed units that have lifetime fluids in them - the last service manager recommended against me even doing a transmission service. molardog - it made me curious if I missed something in the owner's manual, so I gave it a cursory overview and found nothing that mentions transmission, differential, or transfer case change intervals (only engine oil intervals).

Where did you find that? The closest thing I could find was this chart http://pics.tdiclub.com/data/500/2015_Touareg.pdf that was posted by Fixmy59bug

Thanks in advance.
 

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This is the third Touareg TDI I've owned (2011. 2012, 2015). The dealer(s) told me that the differentials and transmission are sealed units that have lifetime fluids in them - the last service manager recommended against me even doing a transmission service. molardog - it made me curious if I missed something in the owner's manual, so I gave it a cursory overview and found nothing that mentions transmission, differential, or transfer case change intervals (only engine oil intervals).

Where did you find that? The closest thing I could find was this chart http://pics.tdiclub.com/data/500/2015_Touareg.pdf that was posted by Fixmy59bug

Thanks in advance.
Its in my owners manual and the elsawin docs:

237366
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Im thinking if you drop the pan, replace the filter, and refill every 60-80k you will be good to go
That's my plan moving forward - about every 60k.

Thanks for enlightening me with the ElsaWin documents which show changing the transmission fluid at 50,000 or 60,000 miles while the 600+ page VW Owners Manual that came with our vehicles mentions nothing of transmission, differential, and transfer case fluid changes. Thus the reason for @Grits to originally pen this document for T2's and me for T3's. Hope you're able to use it when the time comes to change your fluids.
 

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That's my plan moving forward - about every 60k.

Thanks for enlightening me with the ElsaWin documents which show changing the transmission fluid at 50,000 or 60,000 miles while the 600+ page VW Owners Manual that came with our vehicles mentions nothing of transmission, differential, and transfer case fluid changes. Thus the reason for @Grits to originally pen this document for T2's and me for T3's. Hope you're able to use it when the time comes to change your fluids.
My pleasure. It does boggle my mind that VW cannot clearly communicate a consistent recommendation. Of course, they arent too interested in owners getting good longevity out of their transmissions.
 

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Hello do the owners of t3 ... Do you feel the gear changes? My vehicle has 153000km never emptied automatic transmission and nobody wants to do it
 

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Hello do the owners of t3 ... Do you feel the gear changes? My vehicle has 153000km never emptied automatic transmission and nobody wants to do it
My 2015 T3 had 128,000 miles (205,000km) prior to changing the transmission fluid and filter for the first time. I'm the second owner and the vehicle never towed a trailer with mostly highway miles. The fluid looked good when I dropped the pan - no indication of burnt fluid or breakdown of the fluid.

I never had a problem with shifting prior to the fluid change - it shifted well prior to the transmission fluid change and shifts well now.

The only recommendation I would make is to drop the pan, replace the filter (screen)/gasket, and fill the fluid per spec - do not do a transmission flush. Sometimes when a shop does a transmission flush they don't replace the filter and debris can get stirred up into the small orifices of the transmission making things worse.

In the end you'll have to decide if you want it done or not.
 

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My 2015 T3 had 128,000 miles (205,000km) prior to changing the transmission fluid and filter for the first time. I'm the second owner and the vehicle never towed a trailer with mostly highway miles. The fluid looked good when I dropped the pan - no indication of burnt fluid or breakdown of the fluid.

I never had a problem with shifting prior to the fluid change - it shifted well prior to the transmission fluid change and shifts well now.

The only recommendation I would make is to drop the pan, replace the filter (screen)/gasket, and fill the fluid per spec - do not do a transmission flush. Sometimes when a shop does a transmission flush they don't replace the filter and debris can get stirred up into the small orifices of the transmission making things worse.

In the end you'll have to decide if you want it done or not.
Thank you for your answer but is it normal to feel the gear changes slightly? For example at a highway toll when I accelerate I really feel a little lull at each gear change
 

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My 2015 T3 had 128,000 miles (205,000km) prior to changing the transmission fluid and filter for the first time. I'm the second owner and the vehicle never towed a trailer with mostly highway miles. The fluid looked good when I dropped the pan - no indication of burnt fluid or breakdown of the fluid.

I never had a problem with shifting prior to the fluid change - it shifted well prior to the transmission fluid change and shifts well now.

The only recommendation I would make is to drop the pan, replace the filter (screen)/gasket, and fill the fluid per spec - do not do a transmission flush. Sometimes when a shop does a transmission flush they don't replace the filter and debris can get stirred up into the small orifices of the transmission making things worse.

In the end you'll have to decide if you want it done or not.
Agreed. A flush is a waste of money on fluid. Pan drop with filter change is the way to go.
 

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French38, what you described is normal. We own 2 low km Touareg TDIs, and they perform very much as you described.
 

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My 2015 T3 had 128,000 miles (205,000km) prior to changing the transmission fluid and filter for the first time. I'm the second owner and the vehicle never towed a trailer with mostly highway miles. The fluid looked good when I dropped the pan - no indication of burnt fluid or breakdown of the fluid.

I never had a problem with shifting prior to the fluid change - it shifted well prior to the transmission fluid change and shifts well now.

The only recommendation I would make is to drop the pan, replace the filter (screen)/gasket, and fill the fluid per spec - do not do a transmission flush. Sometimes when a shop does a transmission flush they don't replace the filter and debris can get stirred up into the small orifices of the transmission making things worse.

In the end you'll have to decide if you want it done or not.
Sounds like if one is not doing much if any towing you have alot of leeway to change the fluid. Probably depends on your climate as well hence the 60-80k recommendation in elsawin.
 

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Denim,

Did you get all your parts and fluids from the VW dealer? Their prices are insane where I'm located. (Probably the same anywhere)
 

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Denim,

Did you get all your parts and fluids from the VW dealer? Their prices are insane where I'm located. (Probably the same anywhere)
BlauParts is where I got
Nevermind Denim. I answered my own question after reading the entire post
Glad you figured it out - got some from BluaParts (Ravenol fluids), and Pelican Parts for the filter/gasket for transmission. Good luck!
 

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If you get on it, you should feel all the shifts, especially 1-3 in the TDI, although they can happen very quick. If you're light on the throttle, I doubt you could feel 3-8 even if you were paying attention.
You also need to remember the Transmission shift pattern is adaptive- it opptimizes shift patterns for the way you drive. If you object to the way it shifts, the first thing you should do is perform the transmissions reset- Ignition on, engine off, hold the accelerator to the floor for at least 10 seconds. Release accelerator, turn off the ignition, open the door. Start and drive vehicle normally afterwards.
Thank you for your answer but is it normal to feel the gear changes slightly? For example at a highway toll when I accelerate I really feel a little lull at each gear change
 
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