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Checking Automatic Transmission Fluid

on an Audi A4 1.8 L turbo (B6 - 5 speed)

It's supposed to be filled for life. Great, but if you suspect a leak there's no dip stick or fill tube, and there's no warning sensor. Someone else has posted instructions for changing gear oil in what looks like a manual tranny: Changing the Transmission Gear Oil

If your transmission does strange things while the car is turning that's a sign that the fluid could be low and is sloshing away from the suction filter.

The ATF level is checked by removing a check plug when the transmission is cool (30 degrees C -- if you've driven it in the last several hours it's probably too hot to do this. I checked mine an hour after driving and it was still at 68 C). The car is then started. Once the temperature reaches 35 C if it begins to leak out you can replace the plug and are finished. If it reaches 40 C without leaking out then add ATF through the check hole until it begins to spill out and then seal. Bentley specs 50C for warm countries.


supplies for A4 ATF checkup

The plastic cap with the fill hole snaps onto the pan. Be careful not to hit it too hard or it could come off requiring pan removal.

A4 transmission check and fill hole

Cardboard, rags, and a catch pan. Still this was a lot less messy than an engine oil change. The smaller plug is the drain plug. If you remove that to change the ATF (up to 3 L required. Total capacity is 9L so you're still only changing a third by draining) Bentley manual states the drain plug should be replaced (just the o-ring seal is replaced for the fill plug).

audi transmission pan with locations of fill and drain plugs labelled

Injector pump. Ramps on slight slope (check for level tranny pan) backed up by jack stands (you're way under the car and those ramps looked like they were flexing a bit).

oil suction gun

Here's some info I compiled from the Bentley manual for the A4 (B6). Typos possible--please verify for yourself. Only the automatic tranny has separate oil housing for the front and center differentials since they use a different oil (this table does not apply to CVT):

Audi A4 (B6) Gear Oil Specifications

Cap (L) Repair (L) Gear Oil*** Part # Check Temp (C) Torque Fill / Drain (Nm)
* 5 spd 2WD has 2.25 L cap.
** Continuously Variable Transmission has different specs for capacities, torques, fluids as well as for the differentials...
*** SAE 75 W 90 spec is for synthetic (no indication of GL-4 or GL-5 -- may not matter with synthetic GL-5?)
5 spd manual AWD 2.75* SAE 75 W 90 G 052 911 A 1 25 / ?
6 spd manual 2.5 SAE 75 W 90 G 052 911 A 1 40 / 40
Planet Gear (5 spd AT)** 9.0 < 3.0 ATF G 052 162 A2  40 80 / 40
Final Drive-Front (AT) 0.8 SAE75 W90 G 052 145 A2  short drive (60) 30 / NA
Center Torsion diff (AT) 0.8 SAE75 W90 G 052 145 A2  35 / 20
Final Drive-Rear 1.5 GL-5 SAE 90 35 / 35
Newton-meters to Ft·Lbs Calculator
Nm = 0 ft·lbs

A4 transmission diagrams from Bentley