MkV Jetta TDI DSG Transmission Service: Every 40k!

As a conscientious, caring TDI owner, you’re religious about having your engine oil changed every 5,000 miles (with proper diesel-rated 5W40 synthetic or 505.01 PD oil, of course!), having the timing belt replaced on schedule, and keeping up with filter changes and other routine engine maintenance. But what about your transmission??

If you have a 2005-2010 Jetta TDI with an automatic transmission, you need to make sure you are keeping up with your fluid changes. The “DSG” dual-clutch automatic VW began using in the fifth-generation (2005.5+) Jettas and Golfs requires a service every 40,000 miles, consisting of fluid replacement, a new filter, and a computerized calibration. DSGs are expensive to fix, and the best way to keep yours happy and trouble-free is to keep it serviced on time! These cars are now reaching the age where almost all of them are due or overdue for their transmission service. However, we have noticed that many owners who have not read their maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual (have you?) are cruising past 40k without having their DSG service done. The DSG service at the VW dealer costs over $400! We are able to perform the full DSG service for more than $100 below the dealer’s price, using the same OEM filter and fluid.

Routine preventive maintenance is the key to a reliable car, low ownership expense, and a mutually positive relationship with your TDI! If you’re over 40k and you haven’t had your DSG serviced, or if you bought your car used and aren’t sure if it was done or not, call us for an appointment to make sure you are caught up and avoid expensive trouble down the road.

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12 Responses to MkV Jetta TDI DSG Transmission Service: Every 40k!

  1. James says:

    All TDIs have a 10,000 mile oil change interval (OCI) after break-in.

    • Yes the maintenance schedule in the owners manual calls for 10,000 mile oil change intervals, under ideal conditions like driving on the autobahn and using VW spec motor oil only. If you do short trips we recommend 5,000 mile or at least every 7 months especially if you have a 2004 or newer TDI to avoid camshaft failure!!!!! We would suggest that it is not the total miles that are important as how many times that you start the car=how many short heat cycles has it gone though. Short trips are very hard on diesels. We have seen a 5 year old 2005 TDI with only 36,000 miles need major engine repair from short trips and only 4 oil changes!

      • joshua says:

        how many miles (one way or round trip) is considered short?

      • “short trips” is more about a pattern of usage involving a lot of short trips around town in which the engine doesn’t get fully up to temperature, and it is rarely driven on the highway for more than 20 minutes.

  2. Greg says:

    So I drive 40 miles on open road to work each day (80 miles round trip) with the speed limit ranging from 35-55 the whole way and no stop signs, stop lights etc. – one way time about 35-45 minutes. No stopping most days. With this kind of driving I hit 5000 miles in about 2 months. I have been following the 10K mile recommendation. Is this okay since I have almost no “city” milage on my car?
    Oh, and it is a manual, 2010, TDI

    • Every 10k should be plenty for your car and your usage. Some people even choose to change their oil less often than every 10k, based on used engine oil analysis, but you don’t want to exceed 10k unless you are having analysis done and the analysis indicates that extended oil change intervals are acceptable. Every 10k is a fine rule of thumb for a car that sees a long commute and plenty of miles put on in a short time as yours does.

  3. john S. says:

    Are you implying that if you don’t do a lot of highway driving the gasoline engine is the better choice?

    • If your driving pattern is 90% short hops around town then a diesel is not a good choice. Short trips that don’t let the engine warm up fully are hard on diesels, especially newer TDI’s with advanced emissions controls. In reality they are not great for gasoline engines either though. If the majority of your driving is short trips (less than 2 miles, i.e. to the grocery store, school, etc), then an electric vehicle is a much better choice for your situation. If used only for short urban trips, you will not be able to reap the efficiency benefits a diesel can offer when it is driven for longer periods of time, and the engine will not be as happy.

      “City driving” is not the same thing as “short trips” though — just because you drive in the city may not mean that you don’t drive enough to make a diesel car worthwhile and healthy. An extreme example is a taxicab, city driving but the car is running for a long period of time and distance. If you drive long distances/time periods around town, just because you aren’t doing “highway driving” doesn’t mean a diesel is not the right choice; but if your “city driving” is the more typical type of city driving, that is, short trips with long periods of sitting in between them, then a gasser, hybrid, or best of all an electric vehicle will be better suited to your needs.

      • john S. says:

        Are you implying that if you don’t do a lot of highway driving the gasoline engine is the better choice?
        Thank you for your helpful response. I’ve been doing further research on the Golf Sportswagon and somewhat concerned about its maintenance costs. Consequently I also considering a Subaru Forester to replace my Volvo 1994 940T Stationwagon which has about 300K kms. The frequency of repairs on it are increasing

  4. perry says:

    What do the VW mechanics do for the $500 DSG service? Change oil and filter is around $125, maybe an hour time. Is it necessary for the mechtronics sealed unit to be serviced also if nothing is wrong? What to they do with mechatronic unit? My quote I got was the charge was for parts and 3 hrs labor. Yet, one can change the oil themselves-4.6L to fill, without heating the oil. Please reply to my email.

  5. sheri says:

    I am about to receive an 06 jetta tdi with automatic transmission, we live in the country on a dirt road, and do some short trips, and some longer highway trips, maybe 50/50 of each. If I do regular maintenance on the transmission, do I still need to worry about the flywheel exploding, and transmission failure at high speeds etc? I am a single mom, and this car is a gift from my parents, it was from the auction by our mechanic, dealer long time friend, who purchased it. He is very good with the German cars, But he doesn’t know about the transmission problems they have had, or he said he hasn’t seen this happening.
    Any suggestions? I get worried looking at the complaints.
    Also what should I be doing for regular maintenance, as we do some driving on dirt roads?

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