BMW ZF 8-speed automatic transmission oil change

Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
112
Location
Milano (Italy)
Hi everyone, I am writing to you from Italy and when I have some questions about oils I know that you are the best source of information.

The car: 2014 BMW 320d Touring F31 2.0 135 KW / 184 HP with 95k km

I was thinking of replacing the oil in the ZF 8-speed automatic transmission

- I tried to ask in BMW and they replied that the oil is for life and there is no oil change
- I asked ZF (they have a large workshop not far from where I live) and they told me that no oil lasts forever and they recommend replacing it at 100k km. They would (obviously) use the original ZF Lifeguard Fluid 8 oil and replace the sump with the original one. Price 550 € (including VAT)
- I asked a well-known workshop specializing in automatic transmissions and they recommended the same maintenance interval but they said they would use Ardeca oil and original sump. Price 530 € (including VAT)

What do you think?
I was thinking of going to the official ZF workshop

Thanks, as always, in advance
 
Joined
Oct 6, 2020
Messages
1,759
Yes, it must be changed.

I called my BMW dealership today, and funny enough, they do transmission fluid changes.

Use lifeguard 8 or a comprable fluid. Not sure what is in Italy
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
15,770
Location
Colorado Springs
Hi everyone, I am writing to you from Italy and when I have some questions about oils I know that you are the best source of information.

The car: 2014 BMW 320d Touring F31 2.0 135 KW / 184 HP with 95k km

I was thinking of replacing the oil in the ZF 8-speed automatic transmission

- I tried to ask in BMW and they replied that the oil is for life and there is no oil change
- I asked ZF (they have a large workshop not far from where I live) and they told me that no oil lasts forever and they recommend replacing it at 100k km. They would (obviously) use the original ZF Lifeguard Fluid 8 oil and replace the sump with the original one. Price 550 € (including VAT)
- I asked a well-known workshop specializing in automatic transmissions and they recommended the same maintenance interval but they said they would use Ardeca oil and original sump. Price 530 € (including VAT)

What do you think?
I was thinking of going to the official ZF workshop

Thanks, as always, in advance
Go with ZF. It is not even debatable.
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Messages
13,889
Location
USA
I didn't know there was an official ZF workshop!

Anyway, the job doesn't seem to difficult, and there are many good fluids out there such as Maxlife. I don't know what is available in Italy, but you probably still don't have to spend the ridiculous price ZF charges for their fluid.

Enough ATF and a new (aftermarket) pan can be had for $100 or so
 

bismillah

Thread starter
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
112
Location
Milano (Italy)
I have always done the oil and filters replacement of my BMW but I don't think I can do the oil change of the automatic gearbox by myself, but not even a generic workshop.

I watched some videos and a specific equipment is needed to insert fresh oil while the old one is removed. Probably because automatic transmissions are not so widespread in Italy.

On the website from which I usually buy auto parts: The oil pan costs about 100 €
The original ZF LifeGuardFluid 8 oil costs € 35 per liter
The oil compatible with ATF 8HP viscosity costs 25-29 € per liter
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Messages
13,889
Location
USA
I have always done the oil and filters replacement of my BMW but I don't think I can do the oil change of the automatic gearbox by myself, but not even a generic workshop.

I watched some videos and a specific equipment is needed to insert fresh oil while the old one is removed. Probably because automatic transmissions are not so widespread in Italy.

On the website from which I usually buy auto parts: The oil pan costs about 100 €
The original ZF LifeGuardFluid 8 oil costs € 35 per liter
The oil compatible with ATF 8HP viscosity costs 25-29 € per liter

This kit is 200 euros all-in

Is your car an F20 with the N47D20C? :unsure:

I found a pan for only 55 euros on Trodo. For only $20 more, you can get official ZF pan. You can get 5L of Febi ATF for $55. I don't know how much fluid you need to do the change, but if you don't need more than 5L, that's only 110 euros for pan and fluid :)

And of course, 6L of Maxlife is 75 Euros from this seller in Germany
 

bismillah

Thread starter
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
112
Location
Milano (Italy)
You anticipated me. I was just about to write that I saw that on ebay I can get the complete kit for about € 200 At this point I am wondering, is a good general mechanic capable of doing the job? I noticed that there are several kits with 6/7/8 liters of oil, how do I know how much oil I need?
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Messages
13,889
Location
USA
Yes, a good general mechanic is capable of doing the job.

The amount you need should be listed in the owner's manual. The best way to do it is cold, measure how much came out, then refill with the same amount.

It seems to be 8.2L but you probably won't drain that much out.

My car is a 3 series touring (station wagon) so the model is F31. F20 is the 1 series. However it should be the same engine. Why?
oops :oops:

I misread your OP and thought it said 120d, sorry! :(
 
Joined
Oct 6, 2020
Messages
1,759
Yes, a good general mechanic is capable of doing the job.

The amount you need should be listed in the owner's manual. The best way to do it is cold, measure how much came out, then refill with the same amount.

It seems to be 8.2L but you probably won't drain that much out.


oops :oops:

I misread your OP and thought it said 120d, sorry! :(
Not even oil capacity is listed
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2003
Messages
208
Location
Hong Kong, China
I used Valvoline Maxlife ATF, bought two gallons and did two drain and fill to use it up(so approximately 6 quarts was replaced). Have driven 20000+ km since and transmission shifts like new( I would actually say it shifts better than factory ZF fluid).
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
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Location
Ontario, Canada
Facendo questo tipo di manutenzione, la parte piu dificile e di saper fare la ricarica. Consiglio di portare la vostra vettura ad una azienda che conosce bene la procedura.
 
Joined
Oct 6, 2020
Messages
1,759
I used Valvoline Maxlife ATF, bought two gallons and did two drain and fill to use it up(so approximately 6 quarts was replaced). Have driven 20000+ km since and transmission shifts like new( I would actually say it shifts better than factory ZF fluid).
Did you also replace the pan/filter?
 
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