How to Add Automatic Transmission Fluid to a Volkswagen

Updated July 19, 2017

On Volkswagen cars equipped with an automatic transmission and built before 1995, the fluid level can be checked and fluid added through the transmission dipstick tube. Models built after 1995 do not have a transmission dipstick tube. They were designed as a sealed unit and require a special scan tool and fitting to monitor fluid level and add transmission fluid. If you have a Volkswagen that was built after 1995, it is recommended you take your vehicle to a dealership or certified service centre if you are concerned about the automatic transmission level.

Drive the vehicle for a few miles until the engine is warmed up to normal operating temperature.

Park the car on a level surface. Place the transmission in "park," set the parking brake and allow the engine to idle.

Open the bonnet and remove the transmission dipstick from the tube.

Wipe any fluid off the dipstick with a clean rag or paper towel.

Insert the dipstick into the tube.

Remove the dipstick and note the fluid level. It should be between the "MAX" and "MIN" lines. If it is below the "MIN" line, add fluid.

Remove the transmission dipstick from the tube and insert a funnel in its place. Use a funnel with a fine mesh filter to keep foreign material from entering the transmission.

Add fluid in small increments.

Keep checking the fluid level in between adding small amounts of fluid until the fluid level is between the "MAX" and "MIN" lines.

Take the vehicle on a short drive, then check the fluid level again.


If you find yourself adding transmission on a regular basis, clean the outside of the transaxle and examine for leaks.


Do not add fluid above the "MAX" line. Doing so could cause fluid leaks in the future. Always follow the recommendations listed in the owner's manual when selecting transmission fluid.

Things You'll Need

  • Automatic transmission fluid
  • Clean rags or paper towels
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About the Author

Jeffrey Caldwell has been a freelance writer for over five months and has published over 250 articles on websites like eHow and Caldwell writes articles on a wide range of topics including travel, camping and automotive mechanics. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Millersville University.