6-speed dsg automatic transmission service

The VW Owners Manual for my 2009 VW TDI Jetta indicates that the automatic transmission fluid and filter should be changed every 40,000 miles. However my independent mechanic’s “after market” maintenance manuals say that the DSG should not be touched for the life of the car. I am perplexed-Any advice would be appreciated.–LVINTHR

The owners manual supersedes all other manuals. If it states that the transmission fluid should be changed every 40,000 miles then that’s what should be done.


+1 for @Tester. I couldn’t agree more.

Go with the manual.

No maintenance on automatic transmission means no working automatic transmission. Manufacturers are reluctant to include maintenance items in the PM schedule unless not putting it there could result in failure during the duration of the first ownership. That means that during their testing, they discovered that if the service was not performed, the original owner would have a higher failure rate than is acceptable.

If they felt that the failure rate for the original owner would be low enough without the service, they wouldn’t put it on the schedule because that increases the total owner cost for the vehicle and gives it a reputation for being “high maintenance”.

Be sure your independent mechanic follows the procedures outlined in the factory service manual for the transmission fluid change and that only the specified ATF is used, not a generic ATF with some additives. If the factory service manual does not recommend a fluid exchange machine, then do not allow one to be used unless the factory recommended service is done first. That is, if the recommended service is to drop the pan and clean or replace the filter, then that must be done first. Even if it just calls for a drain and refill, that also must be done first.

My manual reccomends changing the transmissiion fluid at 100K miles. Do you still reccomend going by the book???

As a bare minimum, yes. But in truth, I do it more often as I am the type that keeps their cars far longer than the typical new car buyer.

While I do agree with Keith’s comments concerning automatic transmissions, the DSG is not an automatic transmission. It is a dual wet clutch transmission which more closely resembles a standard trans. It is shifted by a “mechatronic” unit and there is no torque converter.

It’s very important to follow the schedule for changing the oil and filter, and really important to find a knowledgeable mechanic who will use the proper oil and the proper procedure for changing it.


The DSG is very easy to work on but is known for having problems. Most of these problems are the cause of friction material being magnetically charged and sticking inside the solinoids causing rough shifting. changing the fluid AFTER these problems start will usually not fix the issue. Change the filter and flush the system at least every 40k if not sooner and issues are rare. This is so easy to do yourself …look it up on youtube . JUST MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT FLUID and filter. If someone tells you ANY vw auto trans is a sealed unit and you cant work on them, go somewhere else. (don’t be a cloud on a sunny day)

The DSG should be serviced (filter and fluid) every 40k