BMW Transmission Maintenance

Your BMW transmission is created by the German ZF Friedrichshafen AG engineering company.

ZF is a global player in driveline and chassis technology with 121 production companies in 26 countries. The Group is among the top 10 companies on the ranking list of the largest automotive suppliers worldwide. Visit their website for more info.

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ZF has promoted lifetime service for many factory filled BMW transmission. "Lifetime is not clearly defined and each OEM manufacturer has their own philosophy.  ZF stands behind lifetime recommendation, when it listed in the vehicle owner manual. ZF's lifeguard  fluids are engineered and tested to retain characteristic through normal lifetime operating condition.

However a spirited driving style, special environmental considerations and  other individual driving factors might place higher then normal load on transmission fluids.

To assure proper operation, it is advisable to perform a drain and fill at 100,000 kilometers (62,000 miles) or in every 8th years.

Due to the complexity of operation, high output of current engines offered, and the high performance demand on their ZF equipped BMW,  ZF only endorses the use of ZF's lifeguard  fluids and genuine ZF parts or OEM approved fluids and parts.

Fluids and parts that are not approved by their respective manufacturer (BMW or ZF ) may void your component warranty on your vehicles transmission.

Use of this fluids and or parts, will void factory warranties and warranties placed on aftermarket transmissions remanufactured by ZF.


The use of any fluid addictives is prohibited as the result will unpredictably change the transmission fluid properties,  potentially resulting in transmission failure.

Some fluids previously recommended where factory fill or available in Europe only. To simple obtaining the recommended fluids ZF now offers  Lifeguard Fluid 5, Lifeguard Fluid 6, Lifeguard Fluid 8.

However there are some BMW owners who feel the need a transmission oil service, as part of their regular car maintenance.

Changing the transmission fluid more often is entirely their decision. A properly preformed transmission oil change will not damage the transmission.  Most problems occur due to improper refill procedures, incorrect transmission fluids, and or non OEM parts or with transmission that already have drive ability problem.

The use of Genuine ZF components and fluids are strongly recommended for best results.

Please contact us for more details if required.

Related:

Our oil recommendation for  your BMW

BMW Repair Blog

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