visible glitter in manual transmission fluid

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Jun 21, 2009
2002 VW Passat 5spd with 116k, unknown transmission maintenance history (has had two axles replaced, no mention of fluid changes on those reciepts). I changed trans fluid recently and found it to be 3/4 qt low and fluid had visible yellow-metal glitter left at the bottom of the drain pan after I poured it off. Is that bad? Trans seems to function fine, although shifting could be smoother. New fluid is Redline MTL (2qts) + 1/2 qt MT90.
Is the debris magnetic? Sometimes, steel debris can take on a yellow color from heat discoloration or oxidized lube.
I`ve seen this as well in every manual tranny I`ve changed the fluid on. Just usual wear metals imo.
I see a slight sparkle in the MTF I change out of my car, I assume it is shavings from the synchros or gears, it is "normal" to see a little bit, but if you see a ton, or some blackish sludge like you would on the ATF magnet, something is wearing abnormally. Just change the fluid according to the handbook or more frequent to be sure, fluid is 15 bucks, a tranny rebuild is 600+ not including install on a Honda, likely a lot more on a VW because of the nature of the beast, call it cheap peace of mind.
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Hold any oil pan [after a tranny fluid change] in bright sunlight and be prepared to be shocked. It will glisten and glitter! I have never seen otherwise.
Thx for reassuring me about the fragments. Shifting pretty well of late, but it does pop out of first when I'm idling down one particular steep hill in town while coming to a stop sign (the engine provides braking force and it pops out at about 1200rpm). First and second gear can be a bit stiff to engage so I'm definitely thinking those synchros are pretty worn.
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