Your car’s transmission is one of the most complex and delicate parts of your car. Next to the engine block, it’s the most expensive part to rebuild or replace, so ensuring that you know how to take care of yours can ensure a smoother drive and a smaller repair bill.
Unfortunately, many drivers overlook servicing and preventative maintenance of this key component. This allows problems to compound to the point where gears can slip or fail to engage, affecting your car’s ability to operate at peak performance. This negligence is often through no fault of their own, as the car’s manufacturer often provides different care advice for the transmission than the component manufacturer, leading to confusion about what the best course of action for the driver is.
Euro Motorsport is dedicated to ensuring that everyone can experience all that their prestige European car has to offer. If you’re as in love with motoring as we are, read on and know that you’re taking the best care of your vehicle.
A case study – BMW & ZF Friedrichshafen transmissions
A typical example of the confusing messaging provided to drivers of European cars about their maintenance responsibilities can be found in the advice given to BMW owners. We’ve been told by many drivers that they’ve been informed by BMW’s own service advisors and dealership staff that their transmission fluid does not require changing, citing the fact that BMW uses ‘lifetime transmission fluids’.
This is concerning for any European auto expert to hear, as any experienced technician will tell you that there’s not a single consumable or component used in a car that won’t eventually need replacement, transmission fluid included.
What’s more, it directly contradicts the advice given by the manufacturer of many BMW transmissions – ZF Friedrichshafen. A German auto parts manufacturer for more than a century, ZF Friedrichshafen has supplied transmissions to BMW for decades, and is the designer and manufacturer of the ZF 8HP eight-speed automatic transmission found in all new BMW models since 2009.
The service information provided to technicians by ZF Friedrichshafen clearly states that transmission fluid changes are recommended “every 80,000 to 120,000 km or after eight years at the latest”. This means that the earliest models fitted with the ZF 8HP are now overdue for a transmission fluid change, putting them at risk of internal damage to the transmission that can be expensive to correct.
A European luxury car is a precision machine specifically designed to deliver a truly exquisite driving experience. To ensure that your car is always performing at its very best, Euro Motorsport recommends that all drivers of all European prestige vehicles work to service intervals far shorter transmission than those recommended by ZF Friedrichshafen.
Based on our experience with a wide range of vehicles, our technicians recommend that Australian drivers have their transmission serviced every three years. This is for three reasons:
First and most importantly, the numbers cited above are the minimum recommended service intervals. Achieving these intervals will deliver an average driving experience with an acceptable chance of internal damage. To achieve the kind of driving experience you bought your prestige car for, you need to ensure that it is getting regular professional attention. A service every three years results sharply reduces the chance of internal damage for your vehicle while delivering smoother gear changes.
Secondly, the environment that Australian drivers operate their vehicles in is very different from the environment that your European car was made in. High operating temperatures cause transmission fluid to age faster than average, resulting in increased wear on internal components. With Melbourne experiencing multiple 40°-plus days at the height of most summers, it’s clear that minimum service intervals for our climate are different from Germany’s.
Thirdly, your individual driving style will affect the need for a transmission service. It’s not only environmental factors that lead to high operating temperatures for transmission fluid – repeated trips at high speeds, repeated trips while towing heavy loads, or sporty driving that involves rapid acceleration and deceleration can lead to increased wear.
A complex job requires the right technician
Trust the maintenance of your European luxury car to the people who respect it as much as you. Euro Motorsport only uses genuine components and consumables in all transmission services, restoring your transmission to factory-original standard.
Know that you’re giving your vehicle the very best and book a service with our technicians today.