VW 09G/AW TF-60SN - Excessive Debris in the Trans Filter and Oil Pan?

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CA
Customer semi-recently purchased a 08 VW Passat with the 2.0T BPY motor. The car has 124K miles on it and as far as we know, has never had a trans service. For this model year, VW considered the trans fluid to be lifetime fill. But later model years carried a 40k service interval. The transmission in this vehicle is a 09G which is a version of the Aisin Warner TF-60SN. As you will see in the photos below I found a lot of non-metallic debris inside of the pan. Both magnets were very loaded. The bottom of the pan itself had grey-sludge debris (as seen on the towel). The screen on the filter had a fine layer of black material with moderate amount of visible particles. None of the debris was metallic. Is this a normal amount of debris for a trans with 124K miles or is this a sign of an imminent failure? Note: due to the design of the transmission pan, the drain plug was somewhat useless - it removes less than 2 quarts. The cooler lines were also not an option for a fluid exchange due to the style of connectors. So I removed the trans oil pan which drained 3 quarts. I refilled with Genuine Toyota T-IV and drove the car for several miles. Then I repeated this for 3 additional times for a total of 4 pan drops. On the final pan drop I replaced the gasket and the filter. During the test drive after the first drain and refill I did notice a hard 1-2 shift. But on the subsequent test drives this was no longer noticed. Not sure if the fluid changes helped or if the issue goes away once the fluid is warmed up.

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pbm

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Originally Posted by Trav
That looks pretty much "normal" for 125K and no service, nothing horrible going on there.
I agree....I've seen similar with fewer than 125K miles.....
 
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Curious as to the order of events: why did you wait to change the filter until all new fluid? Was the filter not loaded by 125k miles. I guess it doesn't matter either way only that you mentioned it.
 
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I agree seems pretty normal to me. I am confused why you call the debris 'non-metallic' since even though more of a slurry, it seems at least part of the debris must be ferrous metal in order to be attracted to the magnet. But I see no reason for concern.
 
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124,000 miles of questionable service....has the HPFP cam follower been serviced? If not, take a look. It should have the more hardened cam and revised follower, but the follower still wears.
 
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Originally Posted by JC1
Looks normal to me. Thanks for the pics Critic. Why did you use Toyota type IV on the tranny?
My thoughts exactly...
 

The Critic

Thread starter
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CA
Originally Posted by pbm
Originally Posted by Trav
That looks pretty much "normal" for 125K and no service, nothing horrible going on there.
I agree....I've seen similar with fewer than 125K miles.....
Originally Posted by SubieRubyRoo
Heck, I'd say that looks pretty decent for 125k... wash it off, slap it back together, and change the fluid and filter again by 150k, and all will be fine.
Interesting. I have only pulled a limited number of pans and this one was by far, the worst one that I have seen. These particular transmissions are known for Valve Body issues so there is a decent chance that I may be removing the pan again in the near future.
Originally Posted by benjamming
Curious as to the order of events: why did you wait to change the filter until all new fluid? Was the filter not loaded by 125k miles. I guess it doesn't matter either way only that you mentioned it.
Couldn't tell you. I just decided to remove the pan four times to replace as much of the fluid as possible since a cooler line flush was not an option (I do not own the correct adapters). This particular filter was also a screen only.
Originally Posted by deanm11
I agree seems pretty normal to me. I am confused why you call the debris 'non-metallic' since even though more of a slurry, it seems at least part of the debris must be ferrous metal in order to be attracted to the magnet. But I see no reason for concern.
Good point. I was referring to it as "non-metallic" because there were not any visible metallic chunks.
Originally Posted by UG_Passat
124,000 miles of questionable service....has the HPFP cam follower been serviced? If not, take a look. It should have the more hardened cam and revised follower, but the follower still wears.
The current owner replaced the cam follower shortly after he purchased it. The camshaft is original.
Originally Posted by JC1
Looks normal to me. Thanks for the pics Critic. Why did you use Toyota type IV on the tranny?
Originally Posted by Gebo
Originally Posted by JC1
Looks normal to me. Thanks for the pics Critic. Why did you use Toyota type IV on the tranny?
My thoughts exactly...
VW G 055 025 (A2) = JWS3309 = Toyota T-IV. More info here: https://www.mobil.com/English-RU/Passenger-Vehicle-Lube/pds/GLXXMobil-ATF-3309
 
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I pulled the pan on our church 2004 E350 (4R70W) earlier this summer. It's got about 66k on it, and nobody has ever done any maintenance outside of oil changes. It gets short-tripped around town picking up kids, probably only gets into OD 3-4 times a month. It's probably easily got 3000 hours on it with all of the idling and city driving. So, I was not expecting the best of times, and was going to do fluid and filter since they were taking it to Texas for a youth conference. Imagine my surprise when I cracked the pan open and bright, blood red ATF poured out, there was minimal slime/sludge in the pan and nearly nothing on the magnet, and the assembly plug from the factory was still in the pan! It was by far the cleanest transmission fluid and pan I've ever personally seen, the fluid looked like it was literally a hundred miles old. I went ahead and replaced the filter and gasket and filled it with Maxlife ATF... it could probably use an OD band adjustment as it occasionally engages hard, but all in all the van will rust away before this engine/trans ever have any issues. Antifreeze and rear diff are on the list for springtime freshenups. Makes me wonder how bad all the people that had issues with this trans were really treating them, as I would expect this van's life to easily qualify as severe service on any schedule. Yes, transmissions are easier on fluid than engines are on oil, but drain & fills on a regular basis will keep a trans happy and functioning for a very long time. My personal limit is 30-50k for fluid changes, depending on total vehicle mileage and its usage.
 
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