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Change that ATF! Picture of my fluid

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Old 10-28-2013, 09:19 AM   #1
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Default Change that ATF! Picture of my fluid

Bought the car with 102,000 miles. Changed the ATF at 105,000 miles.

This "Lifetime" fluid does not look so great. Sounds like ZF suggests every 75,000. That would make better sense.

It took 5.5 liters to refill. I used the ZF 6 gold fluid.
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:24 AM   #2
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Default Is the pan picture pre- or post- cleaning?

It looks pre-cleaning from the fluid in it, but the magnets are surprisingly clean of the typical iron shaving type fuzz.
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helpful cross reference to a C6 post with MMI and other TSB's that also cover D3 A8's.

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Old 10-28-2013, 09:37 AM   #3
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This is just as I took it off the car. I was very worried when I saw the fluid but then the pan was not so bad. Forgot to take a clean pan photo.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:20 AM   #4
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I wouldn't say that fluid is in that bad of shape. Just because it doesn't have the clear gold color to it, doesn't mean it's bad fluid. When its chunky, burnt smelling, or full of metal shavings then I'd say it is bad. When I changed it on my 05 4.2 at 70k miles the dealer even said that the fluid was in great shape, nothing on the filter either. Only reason I changed it was to get rid of the noise I heard when shifting. So just because the fluid looks dirty it doesn't mean it's bad. It is good that you flushed the fluid out for the longevity of the vehicle though. Either way you saved money because your car works fine with the cheaper ZF 6.
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:02 AM   #5
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That is the entire point of changing the fluid (maintenance). "for the longevity of the vehicle"
If the fluid is $1 a quart or $100 a quart no one wants to drive around with fluid that looks like that. Sure I do not think damage has happened from that dirty fluid but that could be the next step. I posted as a log for other owners to know what their fluid might look like.
Burnt or chunky fluid is too late, some type of damage has occurred.
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Last edited by that_tg; 10-28-2013 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:59 AM   #6
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Default I don't think it's as simple as this

Color is a sign of course of how new/old it is. From my question, the OP also confirms there is little stuck to the magnets. I saw much, much worse on my C5 with the 5 speed every time I did it. Either the clutch plates aren't wearing much, or they are now non metallic, or the filter is doing a better job than it did in the C5. FWIW, the filters seem similar from having seen both.

The color still probably won't tell you what is going on with any additives that are in the factory/OE fluid. If they are anything like motor oils, they get used up over time/use. Good to renew those with changes.
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Current #2: 2013 Q5 2.0T hybrid; Scuba blue w/ chestnut sport interior; Euro delivery 7/2013 (pictured at Ingolstadt); RS5 front brakes
Prior (each modded): 2000 C5 A6 4.2 & '96 C4 A6 2.8Q, both still w/ family; '85 C3 5000S 5 sp FWD; '73 C1 100LS

helpful cross reference to a C6 post with MMI and other TSB's that also cover D3 A8's.

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Old 10-28-2013, 12:14 PM   #7
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Yes, that is more my point. Trying to change my thinking on ATF. If I thought about it more like motor oil. Why wait until you hear or feel a problem?
Lucky there was not more magnet chia pets going on.
Cost is always an issue but proper maintenance is never cheep even when we do it our-self.
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brozee View Post
I wouldn't say that fluid is in that bad of shape. Just because it doesn't have the clear gold color to it, doesn't mean it's bad fluid. When its chunky, burnt smelling, or full of metal shavings then I'd say it is bad. When I changed it on my 05 4.2 at 70k miles the dealer even said that the fluid was in great shape, nothing on the filter either. Only reason I changed it was to get rid of the noise I heard when shifting. So just because the fluid looks dirty it doesn't mean it's bad. It is good that you flushed the fluid out for the longevity of the vehicle though. Either way you saved money because your car works fine with the cheaper ZF 6.
Are you kidding????? That's EXACTLY why you change it!!!!

If you wait until it's burnt smelling, full of metallic debris, or worse, actual metal shavings, etc it is WAY too late.

Further, short of a lab analysis, you have no idea at what stage the additive package is at in its life.
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:56 PM   #9
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that_tg
Nice, just wondering where you got your kit from.
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Old 10-28-2013, 04:53 PM   #10
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Wow, that fluid is blacker than motor oil lol. Routine maintenance is always key and you shouldn't wait until you have a problem.

How do you check the fluid level since there's no dipstick?? How many qts does it take??
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Old 10-29-2013, 06:42 AM   #11
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that_tg
Nice, just wondering where you got your kit from.
Bought the fluid from here
http://www.thectsc.com/catalog/6_speed-58.html

Funny thing, and do not let this one out. I ordered 7L from them and they sent me a case.... Yes, 12L. shhh. I could not believe it. I had to get back to my computer to confirm the amount I ordered and payed for. Must have been one nice or lazy worker.

The filter and gasket I bought as a kit from ECS tuning. The gasket was the right shape but was for a trans with many more bolts than my trans has. I did not use any gasket. The pan has a think metal gasket as original and I just bolted it back as it came off. Easy as it gets. Now I need to return the gasket if I can.
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Old 10-29-2013, 06:53 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by 2k4blacka8 View Post
Wow, that fluid is blacker than motor oil lol. Routine maintenance is always key and you shouldn't wait until you have a problem.

How do you check the fluid level since there's no dipstick?? How many qts does it take??
There is no good way to check the level.

If you had the car up, running, and in Drive. Then opened the fill bolt.... Then you could add fluid until it spilled out. That is the only way.
Might as well drain it and fill it.
Use the process for the original A8 trans for this trans.
I did not give the trans much time to drain... Maybe 4 hours of sitting. and it took 5.5L to fill to full.
Here is the process

http://www.audipages.com/Tech_Articl...servicing.html

The 2007 transmission was easier than the 1997 to access.
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:49 AM   #13
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Now that I have the "extra" ATF. What if I change the fluid again in say... 10,000 miles. It was so dirty and probably only changed out half of the total fluid in the car.
Good idea?
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:03 AM   #14
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Default If you want to be thorough, yes.

You perhaps got 60% give or take. The rest was in the torque converter and maybe some cooling lines and such. Doing it again will get the next .6 x (1-.6) = approx 25%, or 85% total. A few who have converted to one of the other fluids (gold to blue, gold to green) have mentioned doing it three times, which should approach 95%. Presumably skip the pan pull and any filter change in the next ones and save a bunch of time and mess.
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Current #1: '06 D3 A8L W12 brilliant black w/ amaretto; 4 seat setup, CPO; modestly lowered, H&R 20mm rear and 12mm front DRs with 275/35 on OEM polished + forged 20's; S8 sway bars (see: rear bar and gen'l D3 bar info and front bar); tweaked 385mm front factory brake mod and matching rear brake mod; matching C6 A6 back headrests (better rear view: headrest tweak); owner installed AMI retrofit with part number details here. [pics now only in picture poster] Upper control arm reference (+ more info in replies) here. Lower cost D3 OES sway bar links here.
Current #2: 2013 Q5 2.0T hybrid; Scuba blue w/ chestnut sport interior; Euro delivery 7/2013 (pictured at Ingolstadt); RS5 front brakes
Prior (each modded): 2000 C5 A6 4.2 & '96 C4 A6 2.8Q, both still w/ family; '85 C3 5000S 5 sp FWD; '73 C1 100LS

helpful cross reference to a C6 post with MMI and other TSB's that also cover D3 A8's.

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Old 10-30-2013, 02:17 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by that_tg View Post
Now that I have the "extra" ATF. What if I change the fluid again in say... 10,000 miles. It was so dirty and probably only changed out half of the total fluid in the car.
Good idea?
If you really want to get more of the old fluid out, absolutely. You could easily skip the pan drop and filter this time around.
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:47 PM   #16
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Good point!
Would not have to take that brace beam out either. Drain and fill. This time I am going to let it drain overnight.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:12 PM   #17
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Good point!
Would not have to take that brace beam out either. Drain and fill. This time I am going to let it drain overnight.
Given how gross yours came out, I'd be inclined to do the second drain and fill soon, then do a third in another 10k (and take note of how nice the fluid looks as it comes out). If all is well, at that point you could go another 50k (if you keep the car that long).
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:06 AM   #18
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Right, if the fluid is no good why wait with bad fluid. I will post the picture of the second round fluid when I do it. Off to a hunting trip this weekend. Will give it a go next week.
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:06 AM
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