If there is one aspect that San Francisco’s International Sport Motors has faced over the years, it’s issues with the automatic transmissions from Volkswagen. The explanation Volkswagen’s automatic transmission fluid device ‘lifetime’ looks too good to be true is because it is. Source While the modern synthetic fluid best prevents and lasts longer than rival oils, it won’t last forever. Indeed, the term ‘lifetime fluid’ legitimately applies only to the length of the VW Powertrain Warranty. Therefore, you are out of luck when the warranty expires.
Volkswagen acknowledges, along with many other car manufacturers, that most buyers are not maintaining their cars over 100,000 miles. The so-called ‘lifetime’ fluid is actually a marketing trick used to help promote cars that need ‘minimum maintenance,’ but most Volkswagen repair promises are null and void after the 100,000 mile mark (when automobiles need real attention) That’s why Volkswagen is considering a 105,000 mile upgrade in timing belt on 1.8 T vehicles, and why most lifelong promises are fake.
If you’re planning to keep the vehicle for a while, you’ll be frightened by the amount of ATF that’s never substituted. Left untreated this fluid will cause serious damage to your tank and oil pans for a whole ‘lifetime.’ Metallic shavings particles can settle on your filter and oil pan, and ultimately damage the transmission. The subsequent fixes will be costly. And make a favour of yourself. If you’re planning to keep your vehicle around to see 150,000 to 200,000 miles, so update the ATF periodically.
While that job may be difficult, the endeavor is well worth it. Visit the nearest automotive parts store VW-Audi (GermanAutoParts and ECStuning, among others) and purchase a VW-specific oil and filter package. Use the filter package and ATF Pentosin G-052-162-A2 for both the 01 M automatic transmission as well as the MK4. Do the same for manual transmission oil and the car will start to work even into old age.
Don’t bother by the way telling the authors of the Volkswagen Operation about these ‘lifetime’ loopholes. We will claim that goods such as the ATF are ‘secured for forever’ but that is just by corporate order. If you just want your Volkswagen to operate smoothly than obey the advice above. And, if you want your Volkswagen to provide the longest life and best performance, do it yourself or call a Volkswagen repair shop that is able to provide you with these kinds of preventive maintenance services. It’s much more cost efficient than removing any of the output.