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Audi A4 2003 Frontrak B6 CVT Multitronic Oil/Fluid change/flush

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Old 08-30-2013, 08:41 PM   #1
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Default Audi A4 2003 Frontrak B6 CVT Multitronic Oil/Fluid change/flush

I did a fluid flush on a 2003 AUDI A4 with a CVT transmission and it now shifts much better than before. Turns out its not that bad to do, at least not as bad some people make it seem on other threads/forums.The transmission was replaced at 55k with an updated 7 disc trans. Now at 106k it was starting to jerk again, especially when the car accelerates from a standstill. Overall the trans worked poorly and was getting progressively worse. I read somewhere that a "double flush" of the fluid really restores the performance of the CVT, the "double flush" requires refilling the trans with new fluid driving it around for a little to circulate it throughout the trans and then once again draining it and refilling with all new fluid. (Waste of fluid but cheaper than a new trans) The reason for this is the CVT holds 7+ quarts but only 4ish quarts drains out so doing the double flush is one way of making sure more fluid gets replaced with new fluid.

To do this you will need OEM Audi approved CVT fluid/oil, buy this from your dealer, around $20 a quart, or order online from ECS tuning. Audi has a special VAS-5162 tool that costs $200 for filling fluid in the trans. However it is unnecessary in my experience, I bought a nifty fluid transfer pump from harbor freight for $5 and it did the job just fine! You will need the special 3357 tool, this is a triple square m16 tamper proof bit that is necessary for the drain plug. You can buy this online from several sites or ebay for around $30. I bought mine from a local Snap-On for $40. You will need a 10mm Allen bit for the fill/overfill plug. Also a vag-com is necessary to check the fluid level. Because the fill plug is on the bottom of the trans it gets tricky to check the fluid level so the vag com is necessary.Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

As a disclaimer Im not responsible if you ruin your trans and if it is completely toast a simple trans fluid probably wont fix it. When I did this my CVT worked fine overall it was just jerky. If your careful though there shouldn't be any problems. To start I jacked up the car a little, some say it is important to have the car flat but I think as along as the CVT is filled and drained while the car is lifted at the same angle it wont matter. The bottom of trans has two plugs. The black tamper proof plug is the drain plug and is opened with the 3357 tool. The silver allen plug is for filling and checking the fluid level. Click the image to open in full size.

-Drain the fluid, (almost exactly 4 quarts drained from the my trans.) The fluid will come out a darker color than the new fluid and if you look closely you will see small metal flakes in the oil and this is ultimately what cause the trans to shift poorly and eventually fail if fluid isn't replaced. The dirty metal filled fluid gets clogged in all the mechanisms of the trans and it starts to shift progressively worse until it finally fails. Reinstall the black drain plug.

-Now crack open the silver drain plug, a little overfill fluid should drain out. The hose diameter of the Habor Freight Fluid transfer pump just happens to be the perfect diameter for the trans. The hose is slightly smaller in diameter but I wrapped some electrical tape around the hose a couple inches down and then shoved it into the fill plug. It should fit tight enough so that you can fill the fluid without leaking everywhere. The pump is fast, several pumps and a quart bottle will be fully drained into the trans. I filled just slightly more than I drained to be safe ( just over 4 quarts in my case, might vary for you based on how level your car is). You will drain the overfill anyway when checking the level with the vag-com. Once again make sure the car is jacked at the same angle when filling and draining to make sure you don't under or overfill! Also notice the jackstands so you don't die!
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

- Fluid should be filled and the fill plug closed for now. I lowered the car but placed some 2x4's under the wheels so the fill plug would still be accessible. To check the fluid level with the vag-com go into the Auto Trans controller on the vcds software, then go to measuring blocks, enter 10 for the display group and you will see the trans fluid temp in the third window. The car will have to have to idle to warm the trans fluid, revving it too 2.5k rpm will warm up the fluid faster. Let the fluid warm up to 35 degrees Celsius and then open the fill plug you should have some fluid run out of the fill plug keep it running till cvt fluid temp reaches 40 C, fluid should keep dripping out the fill plug, if it does fluid level should be good. Close the fill plug before the temp goes past 40c. Your CVT oil change is done, if you want to do the double flush, which I recommend repeat all the steps again with new fluid. I recommend doing this every 20k miles to keep the CVT operating right, with good clean fluid these transmissions should run for a long time and operate smoothly.
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Old 08-30-2013, 08:49 PM   #2
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It's interesting that you mention this.
When I brought my car in for a timing belt/water pump change at 80k miles then mechanic mentioned to me that it's a good idea to get a transmission flush. He said he worked on a ton of audi's when he was in dallas (this is chicago) and he saw a lot of the cvt transmissions fail in the heat and that these cars need a flush/pan change every 60k miles.

What was happening to my cvt was now only the jerkiness, but that it would grind if I stomped on the gas. When I turn, i have to ease into the gas.
I got it done at 94k miles and the car feels smoother, no question, but i still have to worry about the grinding/jerking if I just slam on the gas.

Last edited by Eddie3dfx; 08-30-2013 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 10-29-2013, 06:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie3dfx View Post
It's interesting that you mention this.
When I brought my car in for a timing belt/water pump change at 80k miles then mechanic mentioned to me that it's a good idea to get a transmission flush. He said he worked on a ton of audi's when he was in dallas (this is chicago) and he saw a lot of the cvt transmissions fail in the heat and that these cars need a flush/pan change every 60k miles.

What was happening to my cvt was now only the jerkiness, but that it would grind if I stomped on the gas. When I turn, i have to ease into the gas.
I got it done at 94k miles and the car feels smoother, no question, but i still have to worry about the grinding/jerking if I just slam on the gas.
Clean and proper fluid is definitely key for the CVT to last and work properly. Sounds like the grinding may be from one of the cv axles or worn out trans or motor mounts.
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Old 11-16-2013, 02:31 PM   #4
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Though not the proper procedure...wouldn't it be conceivable to drain at non operating temp and measure the exact amount that comes out and then just re-fill with that same amount?
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Old 11-16-2013, 05:31 PM   #5
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Though not the proper procedure...wouldn't it be conceivable to drain at non operating temp and measure the exact amount that comes out and then just re-fill with that same amount?



Quote:
Originally Posted by 303e30 View Post
I did a fluid flush on a 2003 AUDI A4 with a CVT transmission and it now shifts much better than before. Turns out its not that bad to do, at least not as bad some people make it seem on other threads/forums.The transmission was replaced at 55k with an updated 7 disc trans. Now at 106k it was starting to jerk again, especially when the car accelerates from a standstill. Overall the trans worked poorly and was getting progressively worse. I read somewhere that a "double flush" of the fluid really restores the performance of the CVT, the "double flush" requires refilling the trans with new fluid driving it around for a little to circulate it throughout the trans and then once again draining it and refilling with all new fluid. (Waste of fluid but cheaper than a new trans) The reason for this is the CVT holds 7+ quarts but only 4ish quarts drains out so doing the double flush is one way of making sure more fluid gets replaced with new fluid.

To do this you will need OEM Audi approved CVT fluid/oil, buy this from your dealer, around $20 a quart, or order online from ECS tuning. Audi has a special VAS-5162 tool that costs $200 for filling fluid in the trans. However it is unnecessary in my experience, I bought a nifty fluid transfer pump from harbor freight for $5 and it did the job just fine! You will need the special 3357 tool, this is a triple square m16 tamper proof bit that is necessary for the drain plug. You can buy this online from several sites or ebay for around $30. I bought mine from a local Snap-On for $40. You will need a 10mm Allen bit for the fill/overfill plug. Also a vag-com is necessary to check the fluid level. Because the fill plug is on the bottom of the trans it gets tricky to check the fluid level so the vag com is necessary.Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

As a disclaimer Im not responsible if you ruin your trans and if it is completely toast a simple trans fluid probably wont fix it. When I did this my CVT worked fine overall it was just jerky. If your careful though there shouldn't be any problems. To start I jacked up the car a little, some say it is important to have the car flat but I think as along as the CVT is filled and drained while the car is lifted at the same angle it wont matter. The bottom of trans has two plugs. The black tamper proof plug is the drain plug and is opened with the 3357 tool. The silver allen plug is for filling and checking the fluid level. Click the image to open in full size.

-Drain the fluid, (almost exactly 4 quarts drained from the my trans.) The fluid will come out a darker color than the new fluid and if you look closely you will see small metal flakes in the oil and this is ultimately what cause the trans to shift poorly and eventually fail if fluid isn't replaced. The dirty metal filled fluid gets clogged in all the mechanisms of the trans and it starts to shift progressively worse until it finally fails. Reinstall the black drain plug.

-Now crack open the silver drain plug, a little overfill fluid should drain out. The hose diameter of the Habor Freight Fluid transfer pump just happens to be the perfect diameter for the trans. The hose is slightly smaller in diameter but I wrapped some electrical tape around the hose a couple inches down and then shoved it into the fill plug. It should fit tight enough so that you can fill the fluid without leaking everywhere. The pump is fast, several pumps and a quart bottle will be fully drained into the trans. I filled just slightly more than I drained to be safe ( just over 4 quarts in my case, might vary for you based on how level your car is). You will drain the overfill anyway when checking the level with the vag-com. Once again make sure the car is jacked at the same angle when filling and draining to make sure you don't under or overfill! Also notice the jackstands so you don't die!
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

- Fluid should be filled and the fill plug closed for now. I lowered the car but placed some 2x4's under the wheels so the fill plug would still be accessible. To check the fluid level with the vag-com go into the Auto Trans controller on the vcds software, then go to measuring blocks, enter 10 for the display group and you will see the trans fluid temp in the third window. The car will have to have to idle to warm the trans fluid, revving it too 2.5k rpm will warm up the fluid faster. Let the fluid warm up to 35 degrees Celsius and then open the fill plug you should have some fluid run out of the fill plug keep it running till cvt fluid temp reaches 40 C, fluid should keep dripping out the fill plug, if it does fluid level should be good. Close the fill plug before the temp goes past 40c. Your CVT oil change is done, if you want to do the double flush, which I recommend repeat all the steps again with new fluid. I recommend doing this every 20k miles to keep the CVT operating right, with good clean fluid these transmissions should run for a long time and operate smoothly.
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:09 PM   #6
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I drained the fluid with the car cold, not at operating temp. You only bring up the trans to operating temp to check the fluid level. Although not precise you could theoretically drain and fill the same amount given that its filled while the car is at the same angel as when its drained.
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Old 12-08-2013, 11:41 PM   #7
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I had a guy that works at an european auto repair shop tell me that when they do the flush it usually makes the slipping worse. Now i'm not sure wether or not to do the flush. my b6 slips at low rpm in automatic, but not currently when I shift using multitronic after 2k rpm.
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Old 12-08-2013, 11:43 PM   #8
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Was your transmission slipping before you did the swap? If so, did it make any difference?



Quote:
Originally Posted by 303e30 View Post
I drained the fluid with the car cold, not at operating temp. You only bring up the trans to operating temp to check the fluid level. Although not precise you could theoretically drain and fill the same amount given that its filled while the car is at the same angel as when its drained.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:09 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by minimember View Post
Though not the proper procedure...wouldn't it be conceivable to drain at non operating temp and measure the exact amount that comes out and then just re-fill with that same amount?
IMHO this is a horrible idea. What if your trans is low on fluid when you drained? Then you fill to a low level.

I used an HVAC temp probe to measure the temperature of the fluid as it dripped out of the pan. You don't have to have a VAG (I love saying that) to do this job. You just have to think like a cheap bast***.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:35 AM   #10
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Also if your looking to make a tool to fill, I find the way your doing it hideously slow. Order a replacement drain plug, drill a hole in it, and weld a nipple onto it and then you can just thread the plug in and put a hose on it and fill. I use a cheap fuel pump to pump the fluid in. You overfill slightly, then start the engine, remove the fitting and drain off the excess, then put your original plug back in. You guys need to be doing fluid services every 30k. Not waiting until its acting like hell and then try double flushing it. your just wearing the trans out running the same fluid so long.
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Old 02-17-2014, 06:18 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Prospeeder View Post
Also if your looking to make a tool to fill, I find the way your doing it hideously slow. Order a replacement drain plug, drill a hole in it, and weld a nipple onto it and then you can just thread the plug in and put a hose on it and fill. I use a cheap fuel pump to pump the fluid in. You overfill slightly, then start the engine, remove the fitting and drain off the excess, then put your original plug back in. You guys need to be doing fluid services every 30k. Not waiting until its acting like hell and then try double flushing it. your just wearing the trans out running the same fluid so long.
By the time you weld a custom fill plug, and make your fuel pump contraption Ill be done filling the trans. The harbor freight pump I used works fast, five quick pumps per bottle. No more than a couple minutes to fill it up far from "hideously slow" . I stated that it needs to be done at least every 30k in my write up as well.
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:19 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by 303e30 View Post
By the time you weld a custom fill plug, and make your fuel pump contraption Ill be done filling the trans. The harbor freight pump I used works fast, five quick pumps per bottle. No more than a couple minutes to fill it up far from "hideously slow" . I stated that it needs to be done at least every 30k in my write up as well.
You know I thought about it and its the DSG transmission services that when doing it the way you did is hideously slow as they have basically the same drain and fill setup. The tube in the DSG trans is tiny compared to the CVTs large tube inside. The homemade tool works awesome on the DSGs and makes it more convenient on the CVTs but if your working in a shop doing more than just 1 every few years than having a tool and a fluid pump does save time and arm pumps in the long run.

You must have got one hell of a hand pump, most hand pumps iv used take like dozens and dozens of pumps before a quart bottle is empty and its brutal on your arm.

Also i find the name Audi gave this model hilarious. Frontrack.....lol we know its not quattro but we have to give it some kind of cool name relating to how well it still does tracion wise..
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Old 03-28-2014, 06:06 PM   #13
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Thankyou for the write up I've looked everywhere for a straight forward easy write up. Yes sir you have succeeded in just that. I'm not sure why there are so many people trolling tho, it sucks to see all these negative individuals. Anyways thanks I will be doing mine this weekend and will check back in and let you know how it went.
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Old 03-30-2014, 04:39 PM   #14
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Well I went ahead and did a Double Flush this weekend, one fluid change Saturday morning and one Sunday morning after driving around about 40 miles after the first. The transmission feels great and I'm really happy with the double flush method. I've had audi service it twice once at 40k and once at 60k both times 260 bucks. I bought 9 qty of ENEOS CVT QT Synthetic fluid on amazon and it was less then half. Thanks again me and my a4 b7 2.0t Apr stage 2+ water meth injected thank you sir.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:06 AM   #15
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Great write up and Pics. I've read a number of these to prepare for the job. Theres another good one here,
http://www.furitech.com.au/index.php...-fluid-change/
I note this author recommends moving the wheels in forward and reverse to get the fluid level just right, draining excess or topping up as appropriate with the engine running. I'm concerned about the car nor being flat when the level check is performed, as the filler is basically an extended tube into the box, which overflows when the correct level is reached. if the box is tilted, the level at overflow could be very different to the level when the car is flat. Another author of this procedure even goes as far as using a spirit level to ensure the box is flat. I'm jacking all four wheels to be on the safe side. I also like the reference to "friction modifier" additives, sound like an inexpensive way of getting rid of problems without mechanical intervention. I note also that the clutch can be calibrated, using VCDS I presume, but I wouldn't know anything about that. If someone does, please post.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:21 AM   #16
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Further to the above, I found this.
http://www.esatinc.ca/VW_Audi_Docume...structions.pdf
Two part procedure for adaptation, The first driving with the wheels off the ground, the second on the road with VCDS attached, and scanning the TCM, the transmission control module. It's starting to get complex.
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:54 AM   #17
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Thanks for this informative and useful post
I have an A4 B6 2.4 L V6 with similar jerking and flashing panel and loss of drive problems .
What a P/poor effort by Audi. This pulls the whole series reliability to shreds. They will get no more recommendations from me.

To the box . I was not even able to ascertain where the filler was despite a fortnights research looking for workshop manuals and gearbox diagrams and 50 years experience of DIY repairs to all sorts of cars. The only useful stuff was here , and on the Continuously Variable Transmission page of the wikis.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contin...e_transmission
and see later posts for pictures

I now see where to go and will post a few photos here myself for future lookers. There is a mention on one post I read that the pan can be dropped and the screen filter inside cleaned or changed (but not on my model). I'll try to add more as I find it . There was talk of an inline filter in one of the oil lines . I have not found one yet if there is one and that may have been on the 1.6L engine only.(This is not on mine either)

I have bought one of these cheap USB and laptop programs and interface but I have not got that working yet either. Worked once and then the program crashed in Windows Vista and won't come back at this stage .Possibly a configuration issue.(See later its how you set it up)

Last edited by tytower; 07-28-2014 at 02:23 AM.
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:02 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prospeeder View Post
Also if your looking to make a tool to fill, I find the way your doing it hideously slow. Order a replacement drain plug, drill a hole in it, and weld a nipple onto it and then you can just thread the plug in and put a hose on it and fill. I use a cheap fuel pump to pump the fluid in. You overfill slightly, then start the engine, remove the fitting and drain off the excess, then put your original plug back in. You guys need to be doing fluid services every 30k. Not waiting until its acting like hell and then try double flushing it. your just wearing the trans out running the same fluid so long.
First price the drain plug ! Then get it home ,drill it out ,braze in a nipple of some sort , attach a hose and clamps and..phew its just easier the other way.
Just a half of the screw to hold up the plasic covers is $7.98 AUD each and I need about 12 of them with the backing receivers /lock tabs $150 all up

Last edited by tytower; 07-28-2014 at 02:22 AM.
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:06 AM   #19
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Does not appear to be an edit button that I can see so here is the CVT wiki

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contin...e_transmission
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:11 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tytower View Post
Thanks for this informative and useful post
I have an A4 B6 2.4 L V6 with similar jerking and flashing panel and loss of drive problems .
What a P/poor effort by Audi. This pulls the whole series reliability to shreds. They will get no more recommendations from me.
i dont think basing an entire line of cars or company's reliability or durability off one somewhat uncommon transmission on a 2wd Audi (yuk) Is very fair. Name ONE car company with a reliable CVT transmission. There isnt one. And Most of the issues after the updated transmissions are installed is from absolutely no maintenance on the part of the owners. Did you service it every 30k? I doubt it.
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