Jim Grant's Tech Tips
‘01 Volkswagen Beetle, Transmission Fluid Level Check
Q: Hi, I own a ‘01 Volkswagen Beetle, and the transmission has been slipping lately. I've talked to several people and they informed me that it could just be that the fluid is low. I've checked the Owner’s Manual and it doesn't tell me where to add more fluid. If you could please tell me where I can add the fluid, I'd really appreciate it.
- Christina S.
A: Checking the transmission fluid in your Volkswagen isn’t as simple as it used to be. To check the transmission fluid level requires your vehicle to be on a lift that it can be set level on. With the engine running and transmission warm, a plug has to be removed from the bottom of the transmission pan. This plug is at the base of a short stand-pipe (tube) inside the transmission oil pan. With the plug removed a small amount of oil should spill out (what is trapped in the stand-pipe) and if the fluid is at the correct it will continue to drip. If that is the case the transmission fluid is at the correct level. If all that comes out is what is trapped in the stand-pipe then the fluid level could be low. To add fluid to the transmission requires removal of the fill plug that is located on the front left upper corner by the oil pan. Oil is added at that point until oil starts running out or dripping from the stand-pipe. When replacing the fill plug you also need a replacement lock for the plug from Volkswagen. Many of today’s vehicles are equipped with sealed transmissions that require specialized procedures, equipment and parts to check the transmission fluid level. It’s just not as simple as it used to be.