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Old 04-22-2013, 03:55 PM   #1
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Question Dark color tiptronic fluid... what does that mean?

I've noticed some fluid leaks near tranny but can't identify exactly the leaky spot yet so yesterday I was checking the tiptronic fluid level and I had to add roughly 1 liter at that proper temperature range. I did notice the tip fluid that dripped out was dark. My '03 has 78k miles and I know I'll do a complete tranny fluid/filter replacement soon but in the mean time should I be concern with the dark color tip fluid? BTW, the tranny shifts fine.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:30 PM   #2
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Does the fluid smell burnt? 78k is a good time to change the fluid. It's conceivable that running the car with low fluid over heated the fluid and tranny. What's done is done, if it were me, I'd cross my fingers have a professional identify and fix the leak and then change the fluid (I'd not be over concerned about flushing the tranny).

Good luck!
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by shadrach74 View Post
Does the fluid smell burnt? 78k is a good time to change the fluid. It's conceivable that running the car with low fluid over heated the fluid and tranny. What's done is done, if it were me, I'd cross my fingers have a professional identify and fix the leak and then change the fluid (I'd not be over concerned about flushing the tranny).

Good luck!
No, the fluid didn't smell burnt. I'll bring it to my local shop next week. One thing I noticed is that it only leaks (minor) when the car was driven and the leak stops once it's parked. Any insight on this scenario?
Thanks for any input
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:34 PM   #4
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No, the fluid didn't smell burnt. I'll bring it to my local shop next week. One thing I noticed is that it only leaks (minor) when the car was driven and the leak stops once it's parked. Any insight on this scenario?
Thanks for any input
If I were a betting person, I would put my money on the output shaft seals. I have never taken a Porsche tiptronic apart; however, I have had several 5HP24A's apart and the methodology between the two should be quite similar. The 5HP24A was a common transmission in late 90's early 00's 4.2 L AWD Audi's.

I purchased my daily driver (1999 A8 4.2) with 203,000 miles, all on the original transmission fluid and filter. What amazed me about ZF, when I changed the fluid and filter, was how clean the visible internals were (as pictured below), especially considering how dirty the original fluid was (notice how dark the dripping fluid is). New ZF fluid almost looks like a wheat beer in appearance.

Once the car is on a lift, it should become apparent where the fluid is coming from. It will then be a matter of sourcing the correct parts, including fresh fluid, filter, and pan gasket, and performing the repair/refill. To ensure the life and health of the tranny, I would highly recommend replacing this fluid and filter every 50k, after you get everything sorted out.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

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Old 04-25-2013, 04:40 AM   #5
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I'll look into the output shaft seals, thanks!
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