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100k miles, need to change transmission oil??

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Old 09-17-2013, 12:42 PM   #1
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Default 100k miles, need to change transmission oil??

Hi guys,

I have 07 with 100k miles, engine is nice and smooth. No problem with gear slipping or hard shift. Just because of 100k miles, do I really need to do transmission oil change? I've been doing some researching and some people having problem after the transmission fluid change. I definitely don't want to create problem.

Thanks for your input.
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Old 09-17-2013, 01:05 PM   #2
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If it works, enjoy it...

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Old 09-17-2013, 02:47 PM   #3
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If you want the gearbox to live a nice, long, happy life I would absolutely change it.
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:55 PM   #4
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Never heard of an issue after the change. If your changing the fluids to another type it will be more expensive than just a standard flush and refill. Unless yours is a W12 you have the standard, cheaper A8 fluid. Can be done at any reputable tranny shop IMO.
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:01 PM   #5
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I have 196,000 miles on mine. Still the original fluid.
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:08 PM   #6
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This is a very controversial issue and I wish I could get some clarity on it. There have been many post. I asked the dealer, and for my 2005 they told me not to change if it is working fine. They brought a special guy out to talk to me and he asked me what issues I was having. When I told him none, he said they recommend doing nothing unless there are issues. I had 100K at the time and now have 118K. Still no problems, smooth shifting.

What troubles me is that there is a filter and gasket sold. It seems to me that any transmission fluid breaks down and gets contaminated with metal filings over time. Dealer also recommends no fuel filter change, but we know what that does to the lifespan of the fuel pumps.

I think at some point it should be changed out, but not sure 100K, maybe 125 or 150 even if trouble free, but still seems logical to me that you would want to change it. I flushed my power steering out at 100K because it had lost the green color and turned black, and I am sure it was less than ideal at performing it's job. I think the same thing applies to the transmission.
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DA8 View Post
This is a very controversial issue and I wish I could get some clarity on it. There have been many post. I asked the dealer, and for my 2005 they told me not to change if it is working fine. They brought a special guy out to talk to me and he asked me what issues I was having. When I told him none, he said they recommend doing nothing unless there are issues. I had 100K at the time and now have 118K. Still no problems, smooth shifting.

What troubles me is that there is a filter and gasket sold. It seems to me that any transmission fluid breaks down and gets contaminated with metal filings over time. Dealer also recommends no fuel filter change, but we know what that does to the lifespan of the fuel pumps.

I think at some point it should be changed out, but not sure 100K, maybe 125 or 150 even if trouble free, but still seems logical to me that you would want to change it. I flushed my power steering out at 100K because it had lost the green color and turned black, and I am sure it was less than ideal at performing it's job. I think the same thing applies to the transmission.
You're exactly correct here. There's a filter in there for a reason, and yes, it's meant to be changed. Also, despite all the marketing BS of "lifetime fluid," there is no such thing.

You want to drop the pan, clean the magnets (and yes, you'll find very, very fine metallic wear particles here), replace the filter, and re-fill. If changing fluid types, you will need 3 drain/ fills to ensure better than 90% total fluid exchange.

On a modern automatic, I'd say ideal would be a change by 75k, then another at 125k, then another at 175k.

Keep in mind, unless you do multiple drain and fills, or use one of those hydraulic flush machines, you're getting about half the fluid out during a change.
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Old 09-17-2013, 04:50 PM   #8
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My .02 on it is this. The car depreciates so much its crazy, that's just point 1. On my 05 I only flushed because I had to, to rid the hoot noise I was experiencing. On my W12 I probably would/will around 120k or so just because of the caliber of the car. Going back to my 05, having a trade in value of roughly 8-10k, it just isn't worth the cost to me. Not sure how much a standard flush is on these cars now but I know that flushing it on a normal car is right around $100. I just want to run any car I have into the ground and I don't see it beneficial dumping $xxxx into a trans flush when it should be fine without it, especially with what the car is worth now.

Others might say yes the engine will last forever.. yatta yatta, I agree. This is also after dumping thousands upon thousands into repairs. After owning two of these beasts I have dumped a very large amount of money into preventative maintenance and an extremely large amount in standard repairs to things that should have never broken in the first place (or as early as they did). Perfect examples of this are control arm bushings, struts, noises/creaks from suspension, temp sensors, and faulty electrical items (bluetooth module/nav/mmi) as well as any other stupid thing that breaks. Sorry for the rant I just wish owning the car was as fun as driving it (when it works 100%)! For the record I absolutely love my A8's and I think/know it is the best car I have driven for overall satisfaction to drive. While I am starting to see as I grow up a bit and follow my finances better; I start to realize these cars are one to own when you have quite a bit of cash stashed away for repairs and maintenance.

Last edited by Brozee; 09-17-2013 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 09-17-2013, 04:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwm750 View Post
You're exactly correct here. There's a filter in there for a reason, and yes, it's meant to be changed. Also, despite all the marketing BS of "lifetime fluid," there is no such thing.

You want to drop the pan, clean the magnets (and yes, you'll find very, very fine metallic wear particles here), replace the filter, and re-fill. If changing fluid types, you will need 3 drain/ fills to ensure better than 90% total fluid exchange.

On a modern automatic, I'd say ideal would be a change by 75k, then another at 125k, then another at 175k.

Keep in mind, unless you do multiple drain and fills, or use one of those hydraulic flush machines, you're getting about half the fluid out during a change.
I just had mine changed at 81k when I do feel a uncomfortable "hit" during the shift between 2nd-3rd gear.
I discussed with my local mechanic and finally decided to change the trans. fluid along with the filter and gasket.
Will, after the fluid changing, the symptom is still there however the "hit" feeling do shrink a little bit and the whole gear shift feeling do become better.
So..I think I will keep on changing the trans. fluid to prevent my trans. from getting worse @@

Does anyone else on this forum have the same or similar problem on their trans. ? (Shifting from 2nd gear to 3rd gear will have a obvious "hit" feeling..)
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Old 09-17-2013, 07:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by arnoldsunny View Post
I just had mine changed at 81k when I do feel a uncomfortable "hit" during the shift between 2nd-3rd gear.
I discussed with my local mechanic and finally decided to change the trans. fluid along with the filter and gasket.
Will, after the fluid changing, the symptom is still there however the "hit" feeling do shrink a little bit and the whole gear shift feeling do become better.
So..I think I will keep on changing the trans. fluid to prevent my trans. from getting worse @@

Does anyone else on this forum have the same or similar problem on their trans. ? (Shifting from 2nd gear to 3rd gear will have a obvious "hit" feeling..)
Mine hits from 2nd to 3rd occasionally. It happens when it is doing a high torque low rpm type of mid range between gears low power/speed shift. It doesn't happen under normal shifts like when accelerating, just when there is moderate load type thing in between gears like 20-30 mph.

It is not a major thunk, more like a minor one. But it is a thunk. And it is unusual for the overall extremely smooth shifting the transmission does in all other shifts.

It sounds like you changed your fluid and the problem is still there, just not as much? Was changing it worth it? Did you have the dealer do it? I hear the fluid has to be upgraded and the transmission needs to have it's firmware upgraded for the upgraded fluid. Is that what you did? I also think due to factors such as cost of fluid, labor, "flashing TCU" it should be done by the dealer and one that does indeed flush it rather than just a drain, change filter, and refill. I don't think it is that simple as just drain and refill like in old cars, there is a very specific process and right way to do it to achieve desired results. I think that is why there are such mixed reviews and varying results from the process. The dealer I talked to was not clear to me on the process at all.

In regard to the conversation about cost and resale value, my position is I plan to keep the car and maintain it well for a low cost of ownership overall. I spent $20k to buy her, another $10 so far in maintenance and repairs, and expect to spend another $10 over the next few years to get 2-300K miles out of her. That is a total of $40K for a car over 5-6 years or more. Considering the quality level and driving experience of this car compared to other cars I think that is a FANTASTIC value. Compare that to a new car you can buy for $40K. There is no comparison.
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Old 09-17-2013, 07:57 PM   #11
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Well, I appreciate all your inputs and expertise. It seems like i opened up a can of worm.....like anything else in this world, people have different views and theories, i guess. So im still not sure what to do......if I start to experience some issue with shifting, is it too late to change the fluid then??
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:01 PM   #12
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My .02 on it is this. The car depreciates so much its crazy, that's just point 1. On my 05 I only flushed because I had to, to rid the hoot noise I was experiencing. On my W12 I probably would/will around 120k or so just because of the caliber of the car. Going back to my 05, having a trade in value of roughly 8-10k, it just isn't worth the cost to me. Not sure how much a standard flush is on these cars now but I know that flushing it on a normal car is right around $100. I just want to run any car I have into the ground and I don't see it beneficial dumping $xxxx into a trans flush when it should be fine without it, especially with what the car is worth now.

Others might say yes the engine will last forever.. yatta yatta, I agree. This is also after dumping thousands upon thousands into repairs. After owning two of these beasts I have dumped a very large amount of money into preventative maintenance and an extremely large amount in standard repairs to things that should have never broken in the first place (or as early as they did). Perfect examples of this are control arm bushings, struts, noises/creaks from suspension, temp sensors, and faulty electrical items (bluetooth module/nav/mmi) as well as any other stupid thing that breaks. Sorry for the rant I just wish owning the car was as fun as driving it (when it works 100%)! For the record I absolutely love my A8's and I think/know it is the best car I have driven for overall satisfaction to drive. While I am starting to see as I grow up a bit and follow my finances better; I start to realize these cars are one to own when you have quite a bit of cash stashed away for repairs and maintenance.
I absolutely love your w12 which is on sale and I really do appreciate your ''how to''s. I just used tpms disable thread and it was succesful.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:28 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mister Bally View Post
I have 196,000 miles on mine. Still the original fluid.
Thanks MR. Bally, that's the best information... Whenever you have to change oil please post.

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Old 09-17-2013, 08:47 PM   #14
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Mine hits from 2nd to 3rd occasionally. It happens when it is doing a high torque low rpm type of mid range between gears low power/speed shift. It doesn't happen under normal shifts like when accelerating, just when there is moderate load type thing in between gears like 20-30 mph.

It is not a major thunk, more like a minor one. But it is a thunk. And it is unusual for the overall extremely smooth shifting the transmission does in all other shifts.

It sounds like you changed your fluid and the problem is still there, just not as much? Was changing it worth it? Did you have the dealer do it? I hear the fluid has to be upgraded and the transmission needs to have it's firmware upgraded for the upgraded fluid. Is that what you did? I also think due to factors such as cost of fluid, labor, "flashing TCU" it should be done by the dealer and one that does indeed flush it rather than just a drain, change filter, and refill. I don't think it is that simple as just drain and refill like in old cars, there is a very specific process and right way to do it to achieve desired results. I think that is why there are such mixed reviews and varying results from the process. The dealer I talked to was not clear to me on the process at all.

In regard to the conversation about cost and resale value, my position is I plan to keep the car and maintain it well for a low cost of ownership overall. I spent $20k to buy her, another $10 so far in maintenance and repairs, and expect to spend another $10 over the next few years to get 2-300K miles out of her. That is a total of $40K for a car over 5-6 years or more. Considering the quality level and driving experience of this car compared to other cars I think that is a FANTASTIC value. Compare that to a new car you can buy for $40K. There is no comparison.
You shouldn't be feeling any "thunks" or "hits" with these gearboxes

As to the fluid change, you can update to the LifeGuard 8 fluid by doing a software update, or you can just do a regular change with LifeGuard 6 and call it done.

On mine, I did the update, which required 3 drain/ fills to get better than 90% of the old fluid out.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:52 PM   #15
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My .02 on it is this. The car depreciates so much its crazy, that's just point 1. On my 05 I only flushed because I had to, to rid the hoot noise I was experiencing. On my W12 I probably would/will around 120k or so just because of the caliber of the car. Going back to my 05, having a trade in value of roughly 8-10k, it just isn't worth the cost to me. Not sure how much a standard flush is on these cars now but I know that flushing it on a normal car is right around $100. I just want to run any car I have into the ground and I don't see it beneficial dumping $xxxx into a trans flush when it should be fine without it, especially with what the car is worth now.

Others might say yes the engine will last forever.. yatta yatta, I agree. This is also after dumping thousands upon thousands into repairs. After owning two of these beasts I have dumped a very large amount of money into preventative maintenance and an extremely large amount in standard repairs to things that should have never broken in the first place (or as early as they did). Perfect examples of this are control arm bushings, struts, noises/creaks from suspension, temp sensors, and faulty electrical items (bluetooth module/nav/mmi) as well as any other stupid thing that breaks. Sorry for the rant I just wish owning the car was as fun as driving it (when it works 100%)! For the record I absolutely love my A8's and I think/know it is the best car I have driven for overall satisfaction to drive. While I am starting to see as I grow up a bit and follow my finances better; I start to realize these cars are one to own when you have quite a bit of cash stashed away for repairs and maintenance.
As you know, we really disagree on this issue. While I'll be the first to agree that the depreciation these cars go through is "less than ideal," you still own what was once an $80-$110k car, and if throwing a couple hundred bucks at a tranny fluid change is unjustifiable, especially when compared with everything else we all sink money into with these cars (control arms, an air spring/ strut here and there, MMI BS, etc), to stave off a $5000 transmission rebuild, I'm not sure exactly what justifiable is.

The "lifetime fill" BS is exactly that. I've had multiple chats with the guys at ZF in Germany (you know, the company who makes the gearbox), and every single one of them recommends changing the fluid at regular intervals if you want the thing to live a nice long life.

At the end of the day, to each their own.
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:20 AM   #16
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you still own what was once an $80-$110k car, and if throwing a couple hundred bucks at a tranny fluid change is unjustifiable, especially when compared with everything else we all sink money into with these cars (control arms, an air spring/ strut here and there, MMI BS, etc), to stave off a $5000 transmission rebuild, I'm not sure exactly what justifiable is.
The problem is the values are now 10% of the original cost.

I agree that "Lifetime" is an ambiguous statement, likely defining the length of original ownership and like everything else fluids require maintenance.
As Brozee pointed out some of these items add up to a huge chunk of the current value.

My thoughts are if it's not broken don't fix it, and some things can be made worse by fixing.
Personally I wouldn't change it at 100,000 miles or greater due to the higher risk.

If you intend to keep the vehicle forever, in a 'like new' state or as a collectible, there will be continued costs.
A colleague of mine used to need me to do pickup/dropoff when his Buick was constantly in the shop.
His logic: I have no car payment so it's cheaper to have my indy keep fixing it.
Until he annualized his costs and discovered they were greater than car payments and far exceeded the value.

There is a property I'm considering buying that cost $30m to complete in 1967 dollars.
Sale price is $1.3m and it would take a little over $2m to renovate and enormous ongoing costs.
That pendulum has swung too far to the negative side, just as it easily can with any vehicle's repair costs even in inflation adjusted percentages of original value.
Even with a $5m investment, that property will never be worth $210,069,161 nor could the costs ever be recovered.

Bottom line: If you plan to keep it for a long time and there is an issue get it fixed.
You'll pay for a new transmission sooner or later anyway.
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:31 AM   #17
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Well... Very interesting subject! Here are my 2 cents to it.
1. Transmission filter. That is the myth the transmission filter needs to be changed. Even on very old Audi the transmission filter has the same principles and in reality it does not need to be changed. It does not reduce the flow with the age and it should not be contaminated with debris or anything. The transmission is fully closed system unlike any other filters like Fuel Filter or Air Filter or even Oil Filter.
2. Magnet accumulates the fine metal that is normal by design. Every transmission will have metal. Obviously if you too much of the metal accumulated there is likely a problem with transmission and fluid change will not fix it. But never the less even if you have tons of metal the magnet will hold all. No point to clean it ether. And in fact it is extremely hard to make the magnet is really clean.
3. Fluid. I agree to have fresher fluid is much better than the Old one. But look at Audi recommendations. They do recommend changing Brake Fluid every 2 years practically no one does it in North America. They do recommend flushing the Cooler fluid every 5 years who does that? They do recommend changing the Fuel Filter as well... But from another hand they do not have such requirements for the transmission oil and differential oil and etc. Here is a reason for that. Cooler for example is changing the chemicals presence with age. Due to that fact it will not protect and lubricate your system as it suppose to. Theoretically your water pump will shorter the life. But transmission fluid is quite different. It does absorb elements from transmission, but according to the Audi it does not influence the life or performance significantly. I lean to believe to Audi and follow all recommendations (including coolant replacement).
4. Transmission oil cannot be replaced 100%. Each flush takes a portion of it. From that prospective I would use the original oil. And I agree with BMW if you want to change oil type youll have to flush few times.
Consider all of those facts; I do not think Ill ever change transmission oil on my Audi. And I agree with Brozee. The car depreciates in value so much, so at some point it will be more expensive to do that procedure, so it will not make such sense. Looking at my expenses I spend in average $100 per month on car. And that number looks stable for all Audis I owned. Even Audi V8 used to take on average $100 per month.
Anyway, I may change my mind, but for now Im not byes to do that procedure unlike the other onces.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:11 AM   #18
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I had a little hoot and I fixed it by changing ATF. That leads to a conclusion that old and new ATF (of the same kind) are not same. New one is better. So, just flush, no filter, no pan dropping, would be cheap and will refresh fluid by replacing about 60% of it, or 5 liters. I believe it would prolong transmission life. Hopefully long enough to drive it to the junk yard at the end of the road.
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:17 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2fast2c View Post
Well, I appreciate all your inputs and expertise. It seems like i opened up a can of worm.....like anything else in this world, people have different views and theories, i guess. So im still not sure what to do......if I start to experience some issue with shifting, is it too late to change the fluid then??
Here is some more info. Please draw your own conclusion. Thanks

http://www.blauparts.com/audi/audi_f...nsmissionfluid
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:50 PM   #20
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My 2 cents worth from the service industry.

Changing fluid with high mileage trans is no problems if your transmission is working properly. Changing fluid to try to fix a slipping, hard shifting, slow shifting, or other transmission issues is where people run into problems. I'm speaking generally for all transmissions.

Now for people with a hard shift, this is an adaptation issue. Not sure if Audi dealers are versed in curing the problem. When I bought my car, it had a hard 1st to 2nd shift. It was also about 4 qts low on the blue ATF. Even after I filled it up to the proper level, it had a hard shift. I talked to European Transmission Parts, a ZF specialist here in GA, and he recommended performing an adaptation. I never got around to it because of scheduling but after about 5 months of driving, the trans adapted itself. All shifts are butter smooth now.

Also a lot of independent shops can flush all of the fluid, as long as they have the Audi radiator adapters. I will probably flush mine at 100K. I will have to do some research on what fluid to use since lifeguard 6+, the blue fluid, is about $36 per quart the last time I bought some from Audi. It usually takes about 12 qts to flush a trans so it can be costly.
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:50 PM
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