How to Add Transmission Fluid to a Volkswagen Jetta

Written by jeffrey caldwell
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How to Add Transmission Fluid to a Volkswagen Jetta
1998 Volkswagen Jetta (All Photos By Jeffrey L. Caldwell)

Transmission fluid in your Volkswagen Jetta's automatic transaxle cools, lubricates and transmits the torque produce by the engine through the torque converter. In a manual transaxle, the oil lubricates gears that would otherwise grind against each other until the transmission no longer functioned. If your transaxle fluid level is low, fill it to the correct level immediately to avoid a costly repair bill.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Automatic transmission fluid or manual transmission fluid
  • Metric socket set
  • Shop rags
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands

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  1. 1

    Drive the vehicle long enough for the transmission to reach normal operating temperature.

  2. 2

    Park the vehicle on a flat surface.

  3. 3

    Let the engine idle with the transmission in park.

  4. 4

    Locate the automatic transmission dipstick. It will be in the front of the engine compartment attached to the transaxle assembly.

  5. 5

    Remove the dipstick and read the fluid level it should be between the MIN and MAX mark.

  6. 6

    Add automatic transmission fluid if the level is low. Place a funnel in the dipstick tube and add as much fluid as need. Do not fill over the MAX mark.

  1. 1

    Park the car on a level surface and wait until the engine is cold.

  2. 2

    Lift the vehicle according to instructions listed in the owner's manual and support with jack stands.

  3. 3

    Remove the belly pan from underneath the engine/transaxle by removing the screws on the rear edge and disconnecting the hooks in the front.

  4. 4

    Locate the check/fill plug on the side of the transaxle.

  5. 5

    Clean the area around the check/fill plug.

  6. 6

    Remove the check/fill plug

  7. 7

    Use a hand pump attached to a manual transmission fluid bottle to pump fluid into the check/fill plug hole, until fluid begins to seep out of the hole.

  8. 8

    Reinstall the check/ fill plug.

  9. 9

    Reinstall the belly pan. Insert the hooks on the front edge of the belly pan into the holes on the vehicle's frame. Then reinstall the screws that support the rear edge of the belly pan.

Tips and warnings

  • Volkswagen Jetta automatic transaxles built in 1995 and later were manufactured as a sealed unit and require a special fitting to add transmission fluid. The manufacture recommends that only Volkswagen dealers or certified mechanics add transmission fluid.
  • Always follow the manufacture's instructions when lifting a vehicle. Failing to do so can cause injury or death.

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