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transmission fluid change

jljbtm

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I have 50,000 miles on my 2019 Ram 1500 and I thought it would be due for a transmission service so I called the local dealer and he said it never needs changing. I thought I read someplace that it's a good idea to replace it at 50,000 miles I don't remember where I read that.
 

jws1982

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I disagree with that lifetime fluid stuff. I guess it depends on how you define “lifetime”. The dealership would probably say it means 150k miles or something.

Changing it around every 50k miles has made the transmissions I’ve had reliably last longer.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Mjgain

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You're right. It's definitely not a lifetime fill. It's the same transmission I had in my land rover and easy to drain and refill. There will be a lot of old fluid left in the torque converter. So, multiple drain and refills were required. But, if you're doing it every 50k, and changing the pan at the same time (integrated filter), that should be more than enough to keep it happy.

I attached the sequence notes as there are some fun steps to it--if you were inclined to do it yourself.
 

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c3k

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I have 50,000 miles on my 2019 Ram 1500 and I thought it would be due for a transmission service so I called the local dealer and he said it never needs changing. I thought I read someplace that it's a good idea to replace it at 50,000 miles I don't remember where I read that.
FCA states that all the ZF transmissions have "lifetime" fluid. ZF states that not changing fluid until 100,000 miles produces "acceptable rates of failure."

Now, FCA will be free of warranty obligations by then (100,000 miles). And, ZF may deem "acceptable" to be a failure rate greater than 0%. Me? If my transmission lets me down...ever...that is unacceptable.

Most folks will say a change at 50,000 miles would be about right. (Sooner, if you use it heavily: towing, loading up the bed, snow plow, extreme temps (desert), etc.)

The ZF transmission fluid change is pretty simple: drop the pan (all the ZF 8HP's use the same pan), (it has a filter built in): put the new one in (new gasket and bolts included), add the right fluid (liqui moly, amsoil, redline or whatnot: you don't need to use mopar or ZF). Bob's your uncle.

xposted with @Mjgain : he and I are advising the same thing...
 

Andymax

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50K under normal driving is not necessary IMHO. 100K is quite acceptable for the ZF. If it makes you feel better or more confident to do it sooner, then by all means do that.

FWIW - My last ZF 8sp tranny went 166K miles on it's original fluid, which I sent for full analysis at Blackstone. It came back surprisingly good. A couple of the numbers were close to marginal but nothing even close to the danger zone. I filled with Valvoline MaxLife and it was going strong at 229K when I sold it. In another case, @VernDiesel has over 800K (mostly towing heavy) on his original tranny, with Valvoline MaxLife fluid changes every 100K and still going strong. Plus, he has work friends with hundreds of thousands of miles on the same, with no issues. These ZF's are very well built and proven reliable...My fluid change will happen at 100K, no sooner, because I consider it a waste of money. Your opinion may vary.
 
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jljbtm

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You're right. It's definitely not a lifetime fill. It's the same transmission I had in my land rover and easy to drain and refill. There will be a lot of old fluid left in the torque converter. So, multiple drain and refills were required. But, if you're doing it every 50k, and changing the pan at the same time (integrated filter), that should be more than enough to keep it happy.

I attached the sequence notes as there are some fun steps to it--if you were inclined to do it yourself.
Thanks for the notes but i,m too old to do that anymore!
 

jljbtm

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Thanks everyone! i Think i;ll push it another 20-30,000 then revisit this idea
 

VernDiesel

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At 100k the fluid was turning but not bad still you got that initial heavier break in material out. At 200k it was darker still because not all got drained the first time with what stays in the converter. So I change it every 100k that’s not to say that more often wouldn’t be better. At. 700k I had a solenoid go bad ie non fluid related. Unfortunately it was cheaper to swap in a 70k mile salvage yard trans than to let the dealer replace the board that the solenoid was in. The truck now has 855k and I kept the same long change interval. A more frequent fluid change would be ideal especially if you frequently drive in a dusty environment.
 

Mountain Whiskey

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At 100k the fluid was turning but not bad still you got that initial heavier break in material out. At 200k it was darker still because not all got drained the first time with what stays in the converter. So I change it every 100k that’s not to say that more often wouldn’t be better. At. 700k I had a solenoid go bad ie non fluid related. Unfortunately it was cheaper to swap in a 70k mile salvage yard trans than to let the dealer replace the board that the solenoid was in. The truck now has 855k and I kept the same long change interval. A more frequent fluid change would be ideal especially if you frequently drive in a dusty environment.
How does a dusty environment affect a sealed transmission?
 

SD Rebel

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I think ZF generally recommends 70,000 - 80,000 fluid changes for their ZF8 trannys.
 

VernDiesel

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I took that from ZF website. Apparently sealed doesn’t mean it doesn’t in someway vent. Yeah the 70 - 80k is a “severe duty” suggestion.
 

Scram1500

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nothing is sealed as good as a clean room

transmissions have a vent and a dip stick hole


so they are not sealed as you want to believe
Our trucks do not have a transmission dipstick
 

bigdodge

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Our trucks do not have a transmission dipstick
but they do have a breather tube

 

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