Auto gearbox service

Discussion in 'General chat' started by bishbosh, Dec 20, 2018.

  1. bishbosh
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    bishbosh WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Just had the gearbox serviced on my F30. The car has done 83,500 miles and has the ZF 8HP70. I bought the parts online for approx £225 which comprised the sump pan, fixing bolts, filler plug and 8 litres of ZF 8 transmission fluid.

    I had the service carried out by an auto transmission specialist in Barnsley. The old fluid came out discoloured but not with any distinctive burnt smell. More importantly there were no metal bits on the sump magnets and the mechanic said the gearbox was in good condition but did need the fluid changed. 6 litres were drained out of a capacity of 6.5 litres.

    I never had any issues with the gearbox prior to the service, but I can certainly feel the difference since! Gear changes are now even smoother and possibly even quicker - almost to a point of being unnoticeable in some instances. Turn up the radio and you wouldn't notice them at all. Gear changes were - while never rough or jerky - obvious, with possibly a slight delay, but now it feels like a new box, very comfortable and pleasing to drive :cloud9:

    For anyone in two minds on whether or not to have this carried out on their car - it's definitely worth it (y)

    Just need to swap the stilts for some decent suspension to sort out the oversprung jittery back end :rolleyes:
     
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  2. a.s.uk
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    a.s.uk

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    Hi Dave
    Let me know the name of the co. / guy..
    I have mine coming up in the next 12 months or so..
    Cheers Dave
    Al


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  3. Kev2005
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    Kev2005 WARLORD Site Supporter Good Egg

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    How often does the gearbox need a service? I thought it was sealed for life and didn’t need servicing. Do bmw do gearbox services?

    Mine is coming up to 3 years old next year and little under 17k miles so I presume mine won’t need one yet.

    Thanks

    Kev
     
  4. a.s.uk
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    a.s.uk

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    Bmw say sealed for life.... but most people go for 75k miles.... or there abouts...


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  5. bishbosh
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    bishbosh WARLORD Site Supporter

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    @a.s.uk the outfit was Martin Lowe Auto Transmissions, friendly and knowledgeable guys. Clean and tidy workshop too, so good first impressions.

    @Kev2005 Sealed for life is BMW bullsh!t for "as long as it lasts the initial warranty period"

    ZF the manufacturer recommend fluid changes every 50-70k miles depending on driving style.

    I know which one's advice to heed :)
     
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  6. Kev2005
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    Kev2005 WARLORD Site Supporter Good Egg

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    Thanks @bishbosh , @a.s.uk .

    Does the age of the car matter I.e 50k or x years. Just thinking mine doesn’t do high mileage (17kin 3 years) so maybe that should do before 50k miles as at present rate, car would be 8-9 years old by the time it hits 50k whereas I suspect others will reach it by 5 years old?

    Thanks

    Kev
     
  7. bishbosh
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    bishbosh WARLORD Site Supporter

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    ZF say 8 years at the latest. So that tallies quite nicely with your mileage.

    I do about 18k miles a year so will need the next service in approx 3 years. The mechanic was saying he has serviced some cars regularly doing 30k a year!
     
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  8. Kev2005
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    Kev2005 WARLORD Site Supporter Good Egg

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    Thanks @bishbosh will make a note and look into it nearer the time.

    Kev
     
  9. Douglas W
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    Douglas W Site Supporter

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    For those in west central Scotland I can highly recommend https://www.mackie-transmission.com/ in Glasgow. I had my E90 330D auto transmission done at 60,000 and I too was amazed by the slickness of the transmission afterwards. Elsewhere on the forum I recently commented that “sealed for life” meant the life of the PCP not the life of the car!

    Douglas
     
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  10. Mieke
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    Mieke WARLORD Site Supporter

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    My F30 is the first auto transmission that I've owned and, being low mileage, is fine at the moment.

    My previous VW Golf GTi had a 6 speed manual box that was also specified as 'sealed for life'. Around 80k miles the downshift gear changes started to get a bit 'notchy' when cold. I drained the oil from the gearbox and refilled with the specified VW oil. It transformed it to 'as new'. So it's not just auto transmissions that benefit from a service.

    I seem to remember seeing advice from ZF that their transmissions are serviced at 80k miles.
     
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  11. Highsided
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    Highsided Site Supporter

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    It must be on the old "land" that I covered this.

    ZF recommend changing the fluid at approximately 100K kilometres (approximately 60K miles), plus or minus 20k kilometres, sooner if it has had a hard life and later if it has had an easy life. I suspect the "for life" is to keep maintenance costs low for company owned vehicles.

    Something else to consider: reset of the transmission control module adaptations. This process to allow for mechanical wear. The timing of various operations is critical to smooth gear changes etc. Over time wear and tear makes the original settings less than perfect, hence the need for the reset. Obviously, some boxes will show a greater improvement than others. If a box is silky smooth after an oil change I'm not convinced a reset would be beneficial. From posts I've read where owners say they have noticed a measurable improvement after a reset, it seems to correlate with going too far before changing the fluid. I'm guessing some owners/mechanics confuse the 100k kilometres (ZF is German) with 100k miles.
     
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  12. Harry
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    Harry Site Supporter

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    My dealer says the gearbox is sealed for life. They define "life" as a life cycle, as opposed to the length of the box's existence. The box on my 750 was sealed for life until it had dome 92K. At which point they opened it up and it's second life began. In the end they just fitted a new box entirely - I didn't mind. it had warranty.

    On my previous 735, I got the fluid changed at 110K because it seemed like a good idea. The box was working fine. It worked fine after the service for about 3K, then got troublesome, then packed up about 2K later. Coincidence? Unknown.
     
  13. Cotswold BMW
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    Cotswold BMW WARLORD Site Sponsor

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    I had it done on the ZF 6 and the difference driving home was remarkable
     
  14. Kev2005
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    Kev2005 WARLORD Site Supporter Good Egg

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  15. Cotswold BMW
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    Cotswold BMW WARLORD Site Sponsor

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    about 100k
     
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  16. Verbarthe
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    Verbarthe WARLORD Site Supporter

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    I changed the gearbox oil in my last manual E46 at 80k , the difference was very noticeable and much improved .after it was done . Not a believer in something that s supposed to last for life , surely it depends on the length and type of life lived .
     
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