03 Passat, tranny fluid and antifreeze change period

passat
transmissions

#1

VW says transmission fluid and radiator antifreeze are for life and do not need to be changed. Somehow I think this is a marketing ploy. I do know they both take special (and expensive) fluids.



If I’m not going to keep the vehicle much past 100k (now at 53k) is there any reason for me to change them at, say, 60k?


#2

I would do the coolant change. If that is an automatic, I would also have that changed. In moth cases use the VW specified materials. I believe the coolant is G12 and I don’t think they recommend that as lifetime, but maybe for some years and models.


#3

With any Volkswagen I would play it safe and do the changes when others do them, around 50,000 miles. Use VW fluids, as specified.

It has been my experience that VW long life claims do not carry out in practice.


#4

sorry, automatic

thanks for your comments


#5

don’t forget we are talking of over $500 here, at least at a dealer.


#6

If I owned a VW, I would spend that much, if necessary, since I know too many people who have had very expensive breakdwons, usually just outside that warranty period.

VW and other European car companies are under strong pressure from their governments to produce cars with long service intervals to reduce the amount of waste oil and fluids. That’s where the 10,000 mile oil change interval comes from. Germany has several Green political parties.

Germans don’t keep their cars very long and sell them before the warranty expires; many of these cars end up in Africa and other developing countries with no car industry. Nigeria is full of used Mercedes, BMWs, etc. The problem is therefore handed down to unsuspecting new owners. These new owners usually do all the fluid changes with non-VW fluids; but that is better than no changes.

In North America we drive more, and cars are literally “used up”. To get the maximum life out of any car, as many regular posters will attest to, requires periodic fluid changes, no matter how good the car or the fluids.

So, I would look for a shop that will do the work using VW approved fluids. You can buy those at the dealer, if necessary. My Toyota dealer, for instance, sells “Toyota Super Long Life” engine coolant.


#7

interesting info, thanks. Any other “lifetime” fluids I’m missing? Brake fluid taken care of. How about power steering fluid?