As is the case with many automatic transmission Volkswagens, the Golf does not have an automatic transmission dipstick in the engine compartment. The transmission is a sealed unit and it is recommended by the VW dealers to bring to them to have the fluid checked. And as is the case with most vehicles, someone can always find a way to avoid having to go to the dealer to pay their expensive labour repairs and perform the tasks themselves. VW will tell you that they need to take the temperature of the fluid, and that the car needs to be lifted and level. While levelling and lifting the Golf is true, getting the car to regular operating temperature is all you really have to do before lifting it.
Drive the Golf for 10 to 15 minutes to get it up to operating temperature. Drive it into the shop to be lifted. Switch the stick shift through all the gears with your foot on the brake and hold it for 3 seconds in each gear
Place the Golf in "Neutral" and leave it idling. Release the bonnet latch.
Lift and support the bonnet. Locate the transmission fill plug on the engine block.
Set the lift posts on the rocker panels and lift the Golf all the way up.
Locate the transmission check plug on the right (passenger) side of the Golf. It'll be on the low end of the transmission housing.
Place a drain bucket beneath the check plug and remove the plug using a ratchet and a 5mm male hex head adaptor. Fluid should trickle out very slightly and slowly. If so, the fluid level is fine. If not, add a very little bit of fluid at a time into the funnel placed in the fill plug. If you have to add fluid, lower the Golf down on the lift low enough to add fluid but still high enough above the drain bucket. Add a little fluid at a time and check underneath until fluid starts to trickle out of the check hole.
Wipe the transmission housing with a rag and replace and tighten the check plug. Remove the drain bucket and lower the Golf to the ground.
Remove the funnel and replace the fill plug.
Things you need
- Long, thin-necked funnel (optional)
- Transmission fluid
- Ratchet and 5mm male hex head socket adaptor
- Drain bucket
- Shop rag
- Car lift