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Thread: ZF fluid change

  1. #11
    Grasshopper
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    Quote Originally Posted by skypants View Post
    This is where Chrysler and ZF diverge.

    Chrysler, whom warranties the trans, says it’s a lifetime fill.

    FWIW, I have read Audi and BMW also state it’s a lifetime fill.
    I know, but I don't believe in the "lifetime" fluid. I plan to keep this truck for at least 10-15 years, so I need it to last.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chase300 View Post
    I'm sure they would change out the fluid for you....for a price.
    Or you could look for an independent BMW shop and talk to them.

    Otherwise might as well wait until warranty is up before touching IMO.
    I'm capable of changing it myself, I just want to make sure that i purchase enough fluid.
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  2. #12
    Durango Jedi
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    It actually looks easier to change than the older Merc 5-speeds which require the starscan tool to properly set the level.
    I see no issue in changing it yourself.

  3. #13
    Junior Member hamada128's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chase300 View Post
    It actually looks easier to change than the older Merc 5-speeds which require the starscan tool to properly set the level.
    I see no issue in changing it yourself.
    The older MB 5 speed transmission doesn't require the Star tool to set the level. It's the 7 speed that requires the SDS tool.
    The 5 speed just required the measuring dip stick tool since there was no dip stick on that transmission ($10 on Ebay).

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  5. #14
    Grasshopper drag racer's Avatar
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    "They" only say it is lifetime fluid because their warranty cost analysis tells them it is an acceptable risk in the typical application (whatever that is) that the transmission won't fail from not changing the fluid in the warranty period. From an engineering standpoint, you are fooling yourself if you think the fluid does not wear out - even the best of synthetic.

    Fyi, an engineer at the company who I believe makes the best synthetic ATF on the planet has told me that Dexron VI (which must be full synthetic in order to be able to meet the requirements, regardless of brand) is an equivalent & superior fluid to the mysterious ZF factory fill ATF.
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  6. #15
    Durango Jedi Skippy426's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drag racer View Post

    Fyi, an engineer at the company who I believe makes the best synthetic ATF on the planet has told me that Dexron VI (which must be full synthetic in order to be able to meet the requirements, regardless of brand) is an equivalent & superior fluid to the mysterious ZF factory fill ATF.
    Redline and Amsoil also make great fluid for the 8 speeds!



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  7. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by drag racer View Post
    "They" only say it is lifetime fluid because their warranty cost analysis tells them it is an acceptable risk in the typical application (whatever that is) that the transmission won't fail from not changing the fluid in the warranty period. From an engineering standpoint, you are fooling yourself if you think the fluid does not wear out - even the best of synthetic.

    Fyi, an engineer at the company who I believe makes the best synthetic ATF on the planet has told me that Dexron VI (which must be full synthetic in order to be able to meet the requirements, regardless of brand) is an equivalent & superior fluid to the mysterious ZF factory fill ATF.
    So what about those of us with Maxcare Lifetime?

    Leave it and gamble on a warranty refusal?

  8. #17
    Durango Jedi Skippy426's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatentlyPhil View Post
    So what about those of us with Maxcare Lifetime?

    Leave it and gamble on a warranty refusal?
    Straight out of the owners manual: “Fluid And Filter Changes

    Under normal operating conditions, the fluid installed at the factory will provide satisfactory lubrication for the life of the vehicle.

    SERVICING AND MAINTENANCE

    Routine fluid and filter changes are not required. However, change the fluid and filter if the fluid becomes contami- nated (with water, etc.), or if the transmission is disas- sembled for any reason.”

    Since it’s lifetime, and all you have to do is follow FCA’s service schedule and NOT the dealerships “suggested” stuff, you’re in the clear. If it fails you get a new one. Happened to a guy on the FB pages, trans failed right around 100k, his warranty covered it no questions asked. FCA called for the fluid to be changed at 120k on those.


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  9. #18
    Durango Jedi Don Fox's Avatar
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    @ Phil:
    The servicing guidelines in the manual are the minimum requirement to keep the warranty intact. If you choose to service it sooner than FCA calls for, it would not be held against you as long as proper parts and fluids are used.
    As we know, a fluid/filter change for the 8 speed is pricey because the filter is built into the pan, and the fluid depending on where you get it can run $35 a quart.
    Some folks have reported being quoted $700-$800 for a trans service at their dealer!

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  10. #19
    Durango Jedi
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    My 2 previous Chrysler transmissions...45RFE and W5A580 both had 100K oil/filter change intervals.
    So I'm going to follow that.

    I put 355,000 on the 45RFE and currently have 220,000 on the W5A580.

  11. #20
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    Don't mind me --- just reading and learning here.. But when reading ZF's data sheet, I got stuck trying to figure THIS generic warning out;
    I give up. WTH does it mean? "You two guys -- Stop working on this transmission with huge open-end wrenches!" ?? "This is a 2-man job"?? "No naked dudes in the shop" ???
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