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  1. #1
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    8 Speed ZF Transmission-How many litres of fluid needed ?

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    How many litres of fluid needed for a filter and fluid change? I want to drain fluid, remove pan, replace filter and fluid. I read the 8 speed holds about 9.5 litres when totally empty but all fluid will not be removed for a drain and filter change.

  2. #2
    Established Member Two Rings B8noobi3's Avatar
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    A little over 4qt. Get 5 to be sure.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member Four Rings seanf86's Avatar
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    All the fluid change kits seem to come with 9 litres, I'll have 9 on hand when I do mine in the next month or so and I'll save whatever is left for the next change.

  4. #4
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    It's 8 litres plus a half if you have a trans cooler. See this reference from ZF. So nine sounds like a good number. Do you have a copy of the fluid change procedure and access to VCDS or something to read trans temp? It is a fairly specific procedure and if the trans isn't at the right temp, the fill level will be off.


  5. #5
    Established Member Two Rings B8noobi3's Avatar
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    I would like to see how you get all 8 or 9 qt fluid out with just a fluid change without removing the torque converter.

  6. #6
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    That's a good point, the ZF literature likely assumes you do both. Checked the Audi manual again for fluid capacity and it only says you need about half of that for a refill.

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  7. #7
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    Is there a consensus on the mileage where one should do this? Pretty sure Audi claims it's "lifetime" fluid in there but obviously no fluid lasts forever.
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  8. #8
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    There are a few threads discussing that, ZF also has recommendations, they say 80 to 120k km (50 to 75k miles) depending on use (towing, track, etc.) but no longer than 8 years.

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  9. #9
    Active Member Two Rings Valpo A7's Avatar
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    My A7 with the ZF is at 158K on the original fluid. Previous owner followed the Audi line of lifetime fill. My plan is to drain and refill this spring / summer.

    Lifetime fill is too subjective. Lifetime of what? A car's life relies entirely on how well you maintain it. You can be meticulous and get 400K out of a car or beat the shit out of it and get 40K out of a car. BOTH are a car's lifetime.

  10. #10
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    Thanks all for the replies. I have read that ZF suggests 100,000 kms for a fluid change and who knows, they built the tranny so why argue with them. I am at 86,000 kms and have extended CPO warranty but I will change filter and fluid in spite of Audi's "sermon" on lifetime fluid.
    I have located a Meyle filter, gasket and pan bolts for a lot less than Audi OEM's version.

  11. #11
    Veteran Member Four Rings seanf86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A1sailor View Post
    Thanks all for the replies. I have read that ZF suggests 100,000 kms for a fluid change and who knows, they built the tranny so why argue with them. I am at 86,000 kms and have extended CPO warranty but I will change filter and fluid in spite of Audi's "sermon" on lifetime fluid.
    I have located a Meyle filter, gasket and pan bolts for a lot less than Audi OEM's version.
    ecs tuning has the meyle filter kit for the best price at $35ish and I believe FCP euro has the cheapest lifeguard 8

  12. #12
    Veteran Member Four Rings q5 dave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valpo A7 View Post
    My A7 with the ZF is at 158K on the original fluid. Previous owner followed the Audi line of lifetime fill. My plan is to drain and refill this spring / summer.

    Lifetime fill is too subjective. Lifetime of what? A car's life relies entirely on how well you maintain it. You can be meticulous and get 400K out of a car or beat the shit out of it and get 40K out of a car. BOTH are a car's lifetime.
    Might do more harm than good at this point.
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  13. #13
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    If done properly how would putting new fluid in and a filter change hurt anything? I'd rather have all the crap that's collected out of the trans.

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  14. #14
    Veteran Member Four Rings q5 dave's Avatar
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    Your mileage is more than double the recommended service interval so the grit in the current fluid helps keep the friction between the clutch plates. ymmv
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  15. #15
    Active Member Two Rings Valpo A7's Avatar
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    q5 dave, before I commit to doing it I will get a sample of the trans fluid and make a decision from there. I did some googling yesterday after you mentioned it. There seems to be some contention on whether the new fluid causes the damage or just exposes the damage that already occurred. The old fluid acts as a bandaid for the damage done already.

    Neglected fluid breaks down and coats the internals with varnish/sludge. New trans fluid is a very aggressive solvent and will immediately start attacking these deposits. You don't know you have a problem because youíve been going along happily ignorant of the impending problem. Then someone works on the trans, a problem develops and the owner blames the last shop to touch it. If left alone, it will fail anyway. Broken down fluid is no longer capable of doing the job it needs to do.

  16. #16
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    I just had my trans fluid on my 3.0T changed with a new OEM filter and gasket. It took 7 1L bottles of ZF Lifeguard 8 'green' fluid. it was full at 6.5 L, but decided to flush a little extra. My Q5 had 82k miles. I can definitely tell you shifts are smoother and quicker. My shop recommends a trans flush every 50-60k miles. Make sure you follow ZF's procedure to the T.

    Also, avoid the Miele filter kit. I've heard bad things about it. Not constructed very well and metal is weak. We drive Audi's. They are expensive.
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  17. #17
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    Zach, was it a fluid drain and filter change that your shop did on your vehicle that used about 7 litres? You mention they chose to "flush" a little more fluid, was the service a flush or a drain and filter change?

    Its surprising to hear about the Meyle filter concerns that you mention as Meyle is an OEM supplier of various parts to the auto industry.
    Thanks

  18. #18
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    The trans was drained when cold. The trans pan was then removed and the new filter was fitted, along with new gasket. Then the trans was filled cold. Then the trans was warmed up until oil was proper temp according to ZF spec. Then it was topped off and had an extra .5L left over so it was 'flushed' through.

    My shop has done "tons of the ZF8's" and they say the ZF8's take 6L but a few take up to 7L of fluids. I trust them, as they have been Audi trained and all have experience at the dealers. They recommend a trans 'service' every 50k miles. I think this is a bit on the conservative side, as ZF suggest a little higher mileage.

    And I was surprised to read/ hear about the Miele as well. Could have saved me about $150 but didn't want to risk it.
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  19. #19
    Established Member Two Rings B8noobi3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zachf88 View Post
    The trans was drained when cold. The trans pan was then removed and the new filter was fitted, along with new gasket. Then the trans was filled cold. Then the trans was warmed up until oil was proper temp according to ZF spec. Then it was topped off and had an extra .5L left over so it was 'flushed' through.

    My shop has done "tons of the ZF8's" and they say the ZF8's take 6L but a few take up to 7L of fluids. I trust them, as they have been Audi trained and all have experience at the dealers. They recommend a trans 'service' every 50k miles. I think this is a bit on the conservative side, as ZF suggest a little higher mileage.

    And I was surprised to read/ hear about the Miele as well. Could have saved me about $150 but didn't want to risk it.
    Thatís how they work since forever, the mechanic gains your trust then shafts you with guilt trips.
    Iíve personally changed 2 Q5ís and many other Zf from Bmw and none had gone over 5qt with just a drain and filter change. I wouldnít be surprised if you open up your transmission filter to see a Meyle.

  20. #20
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    I contacted Meyle, they said the transmission filters are built to meet the OEM specifications for the transmission filter, however, they are not approved to the specification by Audi. They are an aftermarket product.

  21. #21
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by B8noobi3 View Post
    Thatís how they work since forever, the mechanic gains your trust then shafts you with guilt trips.
    Iíve personally changed 2 Q5ís and many other Zf from Bmw and none had gone over 5qt with just a drain and filter change. I wouldnít be surprised if you open up your transmission filter to see a Meyle.
    That might be the case with your tech, but my tech didn't see a dime for the filter. I bought it from another company (FCP Euro). Don't be so quick to jump to conclusions. It wasn't stamped with Meyle either. I have offered my 2 cents. Proceed how you want. $150 extra for OEM filter and gasket is not bad for assurance that it'll be perfect fit. Last thing I would hate is to have a crappy filter and have a car out of commission a few days and more costly repairs. I bought from FCP Euro to take advantage of their lifetime replacement warranty.
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  22. #22
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    I will try the Meyle transmission filter option, I do trust the company, I have used their products on Benzs in past.

  23. #23
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    How was the Meyle filter? My mechanic is working on this for me today (felt compelled to get this done after reading this thread). We went with oem filter to be safe but damn the filter and fluid are expensive!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by zachf88 View Post
    I just had my trans fluid on my 3.0T changed with a new OEM filter and gasket. It took 7 1L bottles of ZF Lifeguard 8 'green' fluid. it was full at 6.5 L, but decided to flush a little extra. My Q5 had 82k miles. I can definitely tell you shifts are smoother and quicker. My shop recommends a trans flush every 50-60k miles. Make sure you follow ZF's procedure to the T.

    Also, avoid the Miele filter kit. I've heard bad things about it. Not constructed very well and metal is weak. We drive Audi's. They are expensive.
    FYI just got this done and mine took 7L also (my mechanic also thought only 6L was needed beforehand). The transmission now shifts night and day better, i.e. faster, crisper and more smoothly. I bought my vehicle used and was always a bit annoyed about how my ZF8 seemed to shift clunky but now I realize it just needed a fluid and filter change. It's expensive but WELL worth it.
    2014 Q5 TDI Premium Plus S-Line: APR Tune, Magnaflow Catback Exhaust, OEM Euro BITDI Intercooler, Full ECS Tuning Differential/Tranny Inserts Kit, AFE Dry Flow Filter, Custom Painted Satin Black OEM Peelers, 034 Motorsports Rear Sway Bar, Moog Front and Rear All Metal Endlinks, Sprintbooster, AirBlue 70 Front Tint and Powerflex Front Control Arm Bushings.



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