Changing PDK clutch oil on Porsche 911 (2009-2012)

Maintenance Interval 6 Years or 60,000 Miles (90,000 Kilometers)
Estimated Dealer Cost $1400
Estimated Independent Mechanic Cost $900
Estimated DIY Cost $600
Repair Time 3 hours
DIY Difficulty Medium

It’s important to change the PDK transmission oil to keep your drivetrain running smoothly. Over time, the oil begins to breakdown so regular replacement is essential. The PDK transmission is a combination of a manual and automatic transmission. As a result, the transmission uses both manual transmission oil and automatic transmission fluid (ATF). This is a source of confusion for many Porsche owners because Porsche calls for both a “PDK transmission oil change” and a “PDK clutch oil change”. This article covers the PDK clutch oil, which uses special ATF.

Changing the clutch oil is not a complicated job, but requires a special Porsche tool (PIWIS) to activate ‘Transmission fill mode’. This allows you to drain as much of the clutch oil as possible and achieve the correct oil level. However, you can still do-it-yourself by using a pyrometer or other diagnostic tool instead.

We also recommend changing out the PDK transmission filter and oil at the same time. This will save you time and money since changing the filter and oil only add a little bit more time. If you are inexperience doing your own maintenance and repairs, we recommend you go with a certified Porsche mechanic for the job.

For an overview of the fill procedure, check out the video from Jeff Richardson. While the video is for a Porsche 981, the filling procedure is identical. Detailed step-by-step instructions along with tools, parts, and exact specifications can be found below.

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Torque Specs & Fluid Capacities:

PDK transmission clutch oil capacity: 5.2 liters
PDK clutch oil drain plug: 11 ft-lbs
PDK clutch oil fill plug: 20 ft-lbs
Transmission pan bolts: 2 ft-lbs

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1: Prepare your vehicle and work area.

  • Start with a cold engine, so you can fill your PDK clutch oil to the correct level.
  • Put on eye protection and gloves.
  • Park your car on a level surface.
  • Gather parts and tools.

Step 2: Raise your vehicle off the ground.

  • To give yourself enough clearance to work, safely raise your vehicle using a lift or jack and jack stands.
  • ENSURE YOUR CAR IS LEVEL! This is essential to ensure the correct fluid level.
  • NEVER rely on a jack to keep your car up; use jack stands to safely support your vehicle.
  • Also be sure to use wheel chocks to prevent your car from rolling.
  • Once your car is on jack stands, give your car a hard shove to make sure it is secure.
  • To lift your vehicle on jack stands, check out this helpful video from CarFanatic.

Step 3: Remove the rear underbody panels.

  • Remove the two rear underbody panels which are held on by 10mm bolts and T25 screws.

Step 4: Remove the PDK clutch oil fill plug.

  • With the underbody panels off, you will now see the PDK transmission.
  • Locate the PDK clutch oil fill bolt, which is located on the driver’s side just in front of the rear axle and above two coolant hoses. Thank you to amet from Rennlist for allowing us to use his photo.
  • Unclip the coolant hoses and move them out of the way.
  • IMPORTANT: Just below the fill plug, place duck tape along the seam where the PDK transmission pan and engine meet. This will prevent dirt from getting in when you fill the PDK clutch oil.
  • Remove the fill bolt with an 8mm hex socket. If you cannot get the fill bolt off, STOP and do not drain the fluid or you will be unable refill the transmission oil.
  • If you can remove it, proceed to the next step.
Remove the PDK clutch oil fill plug.

Step 5: Drain the PDK clutch oil

  • Locate the clutch oil drain bolt which is located on the bottom of the transmission on the plastic transmission pan.
  • Get a drain pan that can hold at least 6 liters of fluid and place it under the drain bolt.
  • Remove the drain bolt using a T27 torx socket and be sure not to let it fall into the drain pan.
  • Allow the transmission fluid to drain for 15 minutes

Step 6: Remove and replace the PDK transmission pan.

  • Note: If you are not replacing the PDK transmission pan, skip this step.
  • When the oil stops draining, locate and remove the 13 T30 Torx screws that hold the transmission pan in place.
  • Remove the transmission pan.
  • Be sure to remove the main transmission pan seal along with the o-ring seal on the oil intake connection.
  • Install new transmission pan, using supplied new seals and screws; ensure all the seals fit correctly.
  • Screw in the new screws, but do not fully tighten them.
  • As shown in the picture, torque the transmission pan screws to 2 ft-lbs using a 1/4″ torque wrench in this specific sequence; this will help ensure your transmission pan is screwed on evenly.
  • Be sure not to over-torque the transmission pan screws.
Remove and replace the PDK transmission pan.

Step 7: Add new PDK clutch oil.

  • IMPORTANT: Be sure you are using the correct PDK clutch oil, which is Pentosin Synthetic FFL-3 (linked in the parts section). Also, you will need to ensure your car is level in order to reach the correct oil level.
  • Install a NEW drain bolt and torque it to 11 ft-lbs. Do not over torque it!
  • Place a drain pan beneath the fill hole.
  • Add ~5.2 liters of PDK clutch fluid in the fill bolt hole using a fluid transfer pump as shown in the video from BleepinJeep.
  • If you did not use a PIWIS, you may not have drained all the oil clutch oil, so just stop filling the transmission once clutch fluid begins to drip out of the fill hole.
  • Note: Do not reuse fluid pump for any other fluids unless you clean everything out thoroughly.

Step 8: Ensure PDK clutch oil is filled to the correct level.

  • Start the car and shift the gearbox lever through the R-N-D while pausing for one second at each position; then put the gear lever into Park.
  • Connect a PIWIS diagnostic tool to the vehicle and allow the clutch oil to get between 30 and 40°C; you can either determine this using the PIWIS tool or measuring the temperature of the clutch oil that drips out. 30-40°C will feel warm to the touch.
  • Once the clutch oil is between 30-40°C, use the PIWIS to engage “Fill Mode”.
  • If clutch oil does not drip out during “Fill Mode”, add more clutch oil until it does.
  • Once the clutch oil stops dripping out, you’ve reached the correct level.
  • Install a NEW clutch oil fill bolt and torque it to 20 ft-lbs.
  • Note: If you don’t have a PIWIS, don’t worry about “fill mode”. Just follow the above steps, but use a pyrometer to measure the temperature of the oil.

Step 9: Reinstall everything in reverse.

  • Ensure there are no fluid leaks.
  • Re-install the underbody panels and just hand tighten the fasteners; they don’t need to be torqued much.
  • Lower your vehicle back on the ground.
  • Clean up your work area and put away your tools. You’re all done!

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