Volkswagen Golf/Jetta 2 manual

Gearbox oil level check (Every 10 000 miles (15 000 km) or 12 months)
Routine maintenance and servicing / Gearbox oil level check (Every 10 000 miles (15 000 km) or 12 months)


Note: Gearbox oil can foam when hot and give a false level reading. Allow the gearbox to cool before checking the oil level.

1 The gearbox oil level must be checked before the vehicle is driven, or at least 5 minutes after the engine has been switched off. If the oil is checked immediately after driving, some of the oil will remain distributed around the gearbox components, resulting in an inaccurate level reading.

084 and 085 gearboxes
2 Position the vehicle on level ground.

3 The oil filler/level plug is difficult to reach using the normal hexagon key and it will be much easier to use a nut and bolt as shown (see illustration) together with a conventional spanner. Instead of welding a single nut on the bolt, two nuts may be tightened against each other using thread-locking fluid.

22.3 Nut and bolt welded together to make oil level plug removal tool - 084
22.3 Nut and bolt welded together to make oil level plug removal tool - 084 gearbox

A Bolt M10 x 100 mm B Welded nut
Arrows show area of weld

4 Wipe clean the area around the filler/level plug, then unscrew the plug and clean it.

Discard the sealing washer (see illustration).

22.4 Gearbox filler/level plug location (arrowed) - 084 gearbox
22.4 Gearbox filler/level plug location (arrowed) - 084 gearbox

5 The oil level should reach the lower edge of the filler/level hole. A certain amount of oil will have gathered behind the plug and will trickle out when it is removed - this does not necessarily indicate that the level is correct.

To ensure that a true level is established, wait until the initial trickle has stopped, then add oil as necessary until a trickle of new oil can be seen emerging. The level will be correct when the flow ceases. Use only good quality oil of the specified type.

6 If the gearbox has been overfilled so that oil flows out as soon as the filler/level plug is removed, check that the vehicle is completely level (front-to-rear and side-to-side) and allow the surplus to drain off into a suitable container.

7 When the oil level is correct, fit a new sealing washer and refit the filler/level plug, tightening it to the specified torque wrench setting. Clean away any spilt oil.

020 5-speed gearbox
8 Note the basic instructions given for the 084 and 085 gearboxes whilst taking into account the following information.

9 This gearbox was originally designed for an engine/gearbox unit without any inclination.

When fitted to the models covered in this Manual a 2° inclination to the left exists, therefore an accurate check cannot be made with the vehicle on ground level.

10 When checking the oil level with the vehicle on level ground, unscrew the level plug (see illustration) and if there is a thick flow of oil immediately refit the plug. If there is no flow, first top-up to the bottom of the hole then refit the plug.

22.10 Using a key to unscrew level plug - 020 5-speed gearbox
22.10 Using a key to unscrew level plug - 020 5-speed gearbox

11 Now add a further 0.5 litre of oil through the speedometer driveshaft hole (see illustration).

22.11 Filling gearbox through speedometer driveshaft hole - early 020 5-speed
22.11 Filling gearbox through speedometer driveshaft hole - early 020 5-speed gearbox

12 From October 1987, the oil level plug hole has been relocated 7.0 mm higher than the one on earlier models. Consequently all filling and topping up can be carried out through the oil level hole. Removal of the speedometer drive cable is no longer necessary for final topping up.


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