Audi Q5: How to Change DSG Transmission Fluid

Replacing the Audi Q5 transmission fluid may seem intimidating, but it's much more doable than you may think. Follow along as we show you how to change the DSG fluid and keep things shifting smooth.

By Bassem Girgis - May 6, 2016

This article applies to the Audi Q5 (2009-2016).

Replacing the fluid in the DSG/S-tronic transmission on the Audi Q5 is a wise investment if you're concerned about the life of your tranny. This automated manual uses both automatic transmission fluid, for shifting and clutch engagement, and gear oil for lubricating the center and front differential gears. The transmission fluid is designed to last a lot longer than your other fluids, but Audi recommends it be changed at 35k miles, then every 40k afterwards. The gear oil in the transmission will last 100k miles or more, so we won't go into that here. The dealership service costs you a lot of money for these procedures, and once you read the simple guide below, you'll see that you can do it yourself and save. Read on to learn how you can replace the DSG transmission fluid on your Audi Q5.

The S-tronic 7-speed transmission in other recent Audi models, like the A4, S4, A5, A7 and A8, is almost exactly the same.

Audi Q5: How to Change DSG Transmission Fluid

Materials Needed

  • T25 and T30 torx bit
  • 14mm and 24mm socket
  • Jack and jack stands
  • Drain pan
  • Funnel
  • 4 liters of transmission fluid

Just as when changing the engine oil, it is best to get the car up to regular operating temperature first. Go out and start the car, drive it around for 10 minutes or so, and then park it. Be sure to put the shifter in reverse and neutral for at least 30 seconds (while stopped), so fluid circulates through all the passages in the transmission.

Step 1 – Jack up the car and remove splash pan

Use your jack to raise the car, then use your jack stands to secure it in place. Make sure to raise it from the front and the rear, then secure it with four jack stands as level as possible. It is important to have the car level in order to get the proper amount of fluid in it when you fill it up.

Audi used a plastic aerodynamic splash pan on some models in some countries, but not in others. If you can't see the transmission under the car, it is pretty obvious you will need to remove this. It is held in place with clips and screws.

  • Figure 1. Raise and secure the car.
  • Remove the splash shield (#2), if present
    Figure 2. Remove the splash shield (#2), if present.

Step 2 – Drain ATF from transmission

Place the drain pan under your transmission's drain plug in the pan of the transmission, toward the front of the car, then remove it using your 14mm socket. Let the transmission drain completely, then reinstall the plug. You can make your life easier if you measure the fluid you took out, and refill with the same amount.

Drain ATF in transmission pan
Figure 3. #1 is ATF drain plug and #4 is ATF fill plug. Don't remove #5 or #3, which are for the gear oil.

Step 3 – Fill transmission with fluid

A drain and fill of the S-tronic transmission should take about four liters of VW/Audi spec G 052 529 A2 fluid s(uch as Ravenol DCT/DSG). Fill the transmission fluid through the fill hole on the left side of the transmission. You can either put a hose into it, feed the hose up and through the engine compartment, then fill the transmission with fluid, or you can use a fluid pump to pump fluid into the filler hole. Fill the transmission until it overflows slightly, then close and tighten the fill plug. Install the splash guard.

Fill the transmission with the same amount you drained
Figure 4. Fill the transmission with the same amount you drained.

Pro Tip

There is a filter contained in the transmission pan which should also be changed, or at the very least cleaned when you change the fluid. You need to remove the X shaped cross brace, then the transmission pan to replace it.

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