Dodge Challenger Forum banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of September's Ride of the Month Challenge!
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
284 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My car currently has approximately 51k miles on it. My transmission has always been slightly clunky (especially when cold) and randomly would have the slight jerk when slowing to a stop in sport mode. Being that I track my car 3-4 times a year, I decided to change my transmission fluid.

I have attached my personal notes and reference documents to help anyone else who may decide to do this in the future. Overall the process is more intimidating than it is hard and my results after the fluid change were impressive. My transmission shifts smooth as butter now and I am very happy that I did it.

I purchased my fluid and pan from Brian (BND). He sells really good fluid and the Mopar pan at a great price. The results speak for themselves. First I was skeptical but now I am a believer. My transmission is shifts so much better now. I would NOT trust Mopar's "Lifetime Fill" mantra. If you care about your car and want to keep it operating properly for years to come, I would highly recommend changing your transmission fluid.

Hope this information helps someone else who may be on the fence..

Great video reference:

Good information if you have a capable scanner and want to check the health of your transmission: Gears Magazine | The ZF 8-Speed Transmission Fluid and Filter Change

Old pan vs New pan
1022875



Look at the particulate in the fluid on the old pan..
1022876



All four magnets were gunked up (I wiped the middle of this one for reference)
1022877



1022878
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2020 SPS, M6, Go Mango
Joined
·
521 Posts
This has bugged me since day one in my jeep. Trust the lifetime fill, or do the sensible thing and change it. Forums everywhere are torn. "don't change it, the friction material in the fluid helps promote shifting, if you change it you'll lose this material. According to this guy, that's only the case if you wait too long, which I may have already at 85k.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,873 Posts
@Janson - at what milage did you change the fluid? Just curious... Also - were your shifts always not-so-great when cold/coming to a stop, or is that something that just got progressively worse over time?
 

·
Banned
2017 TA Green Go.
Joined
·
272 Posts
50k sounds about right. I have 15k on my 2017.
Its mine now so it will take less time to hit 50k than it did 15k.
This ZF 8 speed is a wonderful trans. I want to keep it working well as long as possible. A bit pricy for a fluid change but you gotta pay to play.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
284 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@Janson - at what milage did you change the fluid? Just curious... Also - were your shifts always not-so-great when cold/coming to a stop, or is that something that just got progressively worse over time?
51k miles. My shifts were always slightly rough when cold/coming to a stop. It may have been slightly smoother when i purchased it new 5 years ago, however, I always remember it not being perfect.

This has bugged me since day one in my jeep. Trust the lifetime fill, or do the sensible thing and change it. Forums everywhere are torn. "don't change it, the friction material in the fluid helps promote shifting, if you change it you'll lose this material. According to this guy, that's only the case if you wait too long, which I may have already at 85k.
The fact of the matter is the ZF fluid that comes in the transmission originally is a SEMI-SYNTHETIC! I recently found this out and it's actually referenced on the ZF document that I attached to my post. This means that the fluid will indeed break down over time. I can tell you that if it was me, I would change it even at 85k miles. They key thing to remember is that when you change the fluid, you aren't technically changing all of the fluid. There is still a good amount of fluid in the torque converter and oil cooler.

Can you imagine a dealer doing this? They can screw up a simple motor oil change.
Ha! Some dealers can screw up anything. I am still looking for the mythical unicorn of a dependable dealer around where I live. However, I'm sure there are some of them out there. I would recommend calling around to a few transmission shops and talking with them to see what their experience is with changing the fluid on a ZF transmission. Most likely they will have a lot more experience with the ZF being that there is a lot of them used nowadays in multiple brand vehicles.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jtrosky

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,988 Posts
Agreed. I’ll check with my Shop. Valaya Motorsports San Jose. No way in hell would the incompetents at Normandin CJD (Fiat-Citroen-Vauxhall) ever be allowed to try to figure this out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,873 Posts
How would one go about trying to determine if a particular shop (dealership or not) knows what they are doing when it comes to servicing these transmissions properly? I mean I'm sure if you just go in and ask a shop "Do you know how to properly change the transmission fluid on a ZF-8 transmission?", they are all going to say "Absolutely!". Is there a good, easy way to get a good "comfort level" that they really know how to do it properly without "quizing" them on the subject? :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
284 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
How would one go about trying to determine if a particular shop (dealership or not) knows what they are doing when it comes to servicing these transmissions properly? I mean I'm sure if you just go in and ask a shop "Do you know how to properly change the transmission fluid on a ZF-8 transmission?", they are all going to say "Absolutely!". Is there a good, easy way to get a good "comfort level" that they really know how to do it properly without "quizing" them on the subject? :)

I would recommend asking them how often they service ZF transmissions to get a feel for their expertise. If it is a locally owned business, try and speak with the owner. The one primary benefit of a transmission shop is that some of them have a pump that can add and remove fluid over time in order to effectively change 95% of the fluid out in the transmission. Supposedly the pulls some out and adds fresh fluid back in cycles while the car is running in order to exchange most of the fluid out of the transmission, cooler, and torque convertor.

Also, dont be scared about what type of fluid you decide to use. Every manufacturer that uses a ZF transmission has their branded version of the fluid. Every one of them uses ZF fluid via a business deal. Just ensure that the fluid you replace it with meets the requirements.

Please note there is a lot of misinformation regarding that your warranty (if you have one) can be denied if you dont use the specific brand oil that the manufacturer requires. This is false per the Magnuson-Moss warranty act. The only time a manufacturer can do this is if they provide the oil for free.

Full Magnuson Moss Warranty act available at this link
1022931
 

·
Registered
'16 A8 Scat Pack
Joined
·
10,905 Posts
The biggest misinformation around is folks thinking the MM will really help them quickly.

One can scream at their dealer MM all they want, and yes, one has that right to fight and start this legal process.

The reality is that from start to finish, it takes several years to go through the legal system.

Meanwhile, the car in question will not get any warranty work done, until the process ends.

If a person has the money, the time, and doesn't mind not having their ride to use, "go gettum." Lol

Bottom line, make sure whatever fluid is used on your car meets the manufacturer's spec. Any other argument is going nowhere fast if Chrysler states that one used the wrong fluid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
My car currently has approximately 51k miles on it. My transmission has always been slightly clunky (especially when cold) and randomly would have the slight jerk when slowing to a stop in sport mode. Being that I track my car 3-4 times a year, I decided to change my transmission fluid.

I have attached my personal notes and reference documents to help anyone else who may decide to do this in the future. Overall the process is more intimidating than it is hard and my results after the fluid change were impressive. My transmission shifts smooth as butter now and I am very happy that I did it.

I purchased my fluid and pan from Brian (BND). He sells really good fluid and the Mopar pan at a great price. The results speak for themselves. First I was skeptical but now I am a believer. My transmission is shifts so much better now. I would NOT trust Mopar's "Lifetime Fill" mantra. If you care about your car and want to keep it operating properly for years to come, I would highly recommend changing your transmission fluid.

Hope this information helps someone else who may be on the fence..

Great video reference:

Good information if you have a capable scanner and want to check the health of your transmission: Gears Magazine | The ZF 8-Speed Transmission Fluid and Filter Change

Old pan vs New pan
View attachment 1022875


Look at the particulate in the fluid on the old pan..
View attachment 1022876


All four magnets were gunked up (I wiped the middle of this one for reference)
View attachment 1022877


View attachment 1022878

I find this post excellent.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top