Volkswagen ATF Fluid Guide

We answer frequently asked questions about automatic transmission fluid, like, when does it need to be changed and what fluid type is required.  That all depends on what model you have, read more to learn what your VW needs.

Does it matter which fluid I use?

Yes. Transmission fluid has very specific requirements. It needs to function at widely varying temperatures without changing viscosity; it needs to not wear down the clutch components; and it needs to maintain lubrication over a long period of time (while simultaneously not allowing the clutch to slip). If you use a different fluid that doesn’t meet specifications, you could risk damaging your transmission.     For example, the fluid that works in the older 01M transmission is unsuitable for the DSG (direct-shift gearbox). The newer components are too sensitive, and the older fluid is essentially too coarse and viscous.

Which fluid is the best for my car?

The fluid that meets VW specification for your transmission. If you’re using off-brand transmission fluid (not OEM), be absolutely sure it meets the specification. If it doesn’t, or you can’t find the necessary info, don’t risk it. When in doubt, buy OEM.

Are OE and aftermarket fluids the same?

Sometimes they are, and sometimes they’re not, and it’s difficult to tell. Most “universal ATF” sold at local auto parts stores do not meet the correct VW specifications and should not be used.  Some European fluid manufacturers make VW specification fluid.  Brands like Pentosin, Febi Bilstein, Fuchs and Liqui Moly make fluids specifically for VW and will clearly show on the bottle which specification their fluid meeds.

DSG Transmission have special fluid a specific change interval?

The Direct-Shift Gearbox contains two clutch packs with four, interwoven clutches in each. These clutch packs are wet clutches, meaning they are bathed in transmission fluid.  Using a traditional type ATF will ruin the friction material, so it is vital that correct DSG fluid is used.  As those clutch packs wear over time the fluid will become contaminated with clutch debris, so it is important to change the fluid and filter on time to prevent debris buildup.

What is a “Lifetime” Fill? Does that really mean I don’t need to change my fluid for the entirelife of the car?

Fluids wear out and lose integrity over time. Transmission fluid is no different. If you want to ensure that the transmission on your vehicle continues to function well, it’s in your best interest to change the fluid. Many TDI drivers have reported costly transmission problems caused by not changing the fluid. Also, TDIs end up lasting much longer than other cars on the road. It’s likely that VW never anticipated their cars to last this long, and simply designed their service intervals with the type of original owner in mind who only keeps a car for around 100,000 miles and then trades it in. Many people recommend changing the fluid every 40,000 miles, regardless of what the manual says.

What is Tiptronic?

Tiptronic transmissions are automatic transmissions that allow you to shift gears as though the car were a manual, using paddle shifters on the wheel or a modified shift lever. Some VW TDIs and Audis came with this transmission as an option. They require a special type of fluid.

When should I replace my transmission fluid?

This varies. See the list below, which contains information about proper fluid and fluid change intervals for all the VWs and Audis we service:

Volkswagen and Audi Diesel Automatic Transmission Fluid Change Intervals

Fluid Cars Replacement Interval
Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF)

OE Part Number: G052162A2

VW Spec  TL 52162


  • – Golf TDI MkIV (A4 chassis) w/ ALH engine (1999-2003)
  • Jetta TDI MkIV (A4 chassis) w/ ALH engine (1999-2003)
  • New Beetle TDI (A4 chassis) w/ ALH engine (1998-2003)
  • Passat TDI (B5.5 chassis) w/ BHW engine (2004-2005)


Lifetime Fill.

Equivalent to Esso (now Mobil)  LT 71141.


Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) For Tiptronic (electronic gear shifting).

OE Part Number: G052990A2


  • Golf TDI MkIV (A4 chassis) w/ BEW engine (2004-2006)
  • Jetta TDI MkIV (A4 chassis) w/ BEW engine (2004-2005)


Lifetime Fill.
OEM Direct-Shift Gearbox Fluid

 OE Part Number: G052182A2


DSG Fluid by Liqui-Moly

OE Part Number: G052182A2

Manufacturer’s Part Number: 3640





A3 TDI (8P) w/ 2.0L CJAA Engine (2009-2014)



  • Beetle TDI w/ 2.0L CJAA (2013-2014)
  • Golf TDI MkVI w/ 2.0 CJAA engine (2010-2014)
  • Jetta TDI MkV (A5 chassis) w/ 1.9 BRM engine (2005-2006)
  • Jetta TDI MkV (A5 chassis) w/ 2.0 CBEA/CJAA engine (2009-2010)
  • Jetta TDI MkVI w/ 2.0 CJAA engine (2011-2014)
  • New Beetle TDI (A4 chassis) w/ BEW engine (2004-2006)

Passat TDI (NMS Chassis) w/ CKRA Engine (2012-2014)

Every 40,000 miles.
Automatic Transmission Fluid ATF (6-Speed Touareg)

OE Part Number: G055025A2


Fuchs Titan ATF

OE Part Number:  G055025A2

Manufacturer’s Part Number: ATF 4400






  • Touareg TDI (7L Chassis) w/ 225HP 3.0L CATA Engine (2009-2010)
  • Touareg TDI (7L) w/ V10 BKW Engine (2004-2005)
  • Touareg TDI (7L) w/ V10 BWF Engine (2006-2007)


Lifetime Fill.
Automatic Transmission Fluid ATF (Touareg and Q7)—For the AISIN 8 Speed Automatic Transmission


OE Part Number: G055540A2





  • Q7 TDI w/ 3.0L V6 CATA Engine (225HP) (2009-2012)
  • Q7 TDI w/ 3.0L V6 CNRB Engine (240HP) (2013-2014)

  • Touareg TDI (7P) w/ 3.0L CATA Engine (225HP) (2011-2012)
  • Touareg TDI (7P) w/ 3.0L CNRB Engine (240HP) (2013-2014)


Lifetime Fill.

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