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  #1  
Old 02-10-2009, 09:35 PM
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Default S-type Transmission Fluid Change

Hi -

I just bought a 2003 Jaguar S-type with 52,500 miles. I want to change the transmission fluid on it, but am not certain whether it is a good idea at this point.

What is your recommendation? The last thing I want to do is put a new transmission in, so I want to keep it up as best I can.

Any suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 02-11-2009, 11:21 AM
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Wait until you hear from a Tech on this one!

The Transmission Fluid they use in the ZF is VERY sensitive and must be handled with extreme care.
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Old 02-11-2009, 02:34 PM
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The ATF costs about $400 an ounce and they have to bring in a Druid Priest to oversee the process. Seriously though, it is something I would leave up to a certified technician.

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  #4  
Old 02-11-2009, 02:46 PM
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If you have a ZF transmission they say its a sealed tranny and you don't change the fluid.
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Old 02-11-2009, 05:10 PM
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They do, but it's not true

I think the recommended change mileage is about 75 - 100,000 I'm sure one of the techs will stomp on me if I'm wrong.
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Old 02-11-2009, 06:11 PM
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Yeah, they say that so you will be back at 80,000 miles with a broke down tranny and a blank check.
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Old 02-11-2009, 09:48 PM
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I need a tech! Fast!

Trans fluid is something I take seriously. I don't believe in so-called lifetime fluid sealed transmissions.

Those so-called sealed transmissions are exposed to the same heat and wear that they were in the 1960's when fluid was changed every 15,000 miles.

My spider sense tells me that I can go to 60k miles, but I would really like to know.
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Old 02-12-2009, 12:52 PM
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Do your research very carefully on this topic before you make any rash decisions.

I've owned vehicles for nearly 40 years, have always done drain-and-fill transmission fluid changes on them myself (no flushes for me, thank you), but this S-Type is an entirely different animal. It runs on about 10 litres of Shell mineral oil which costs $57 a litre at my local Jag parts department. I've also found it at a Mercedes parts department for about $50 a litre. You won't find it at NAPA or Autozone or anywhere else for that matter - the luxury European carmakers have cornered the market on this stuff. As long as your car is under warranty, you would be crazy to run anything else in the transmission because Jaguar will inform you in a heartbeat that you just voided your warranty. Once you're out of warranty, then you're on your own if you want to switch to a different, more affordable, more easily obtainable fluid. Some like Amsoil, some like Castrol, and there's plenty of other fluids out there that you could investigate. But don't do it until you're out of warranty on your drivetrain.

I believe that your vehicle has the 5-speed ZF transmission (it is German). Make sure that it does, then do the research on what is required to change your fluid if you still have a mind to. There is no transmission drain plug that is easy to access for the do-it-yourselfer. Changing your fluid is a complicated process that involves bringing the new fluid up to operating temperature and pumping it into the transmission as you pump the old fluid out. It can be very dangerous, both to your car and to you, if you do not know exactly what you are doing. Again, research what is involved in this process. You won't believe how complicated it is until you do.

I also don't believe in lifetime transmission fluid for ANY vehicle. But I'm not about to mess with my S-Type's fluid until I have to. At only 21,200 miles on ours, I have a lot of time and miles ahead of me to learn the process intricately before I decide whether or not to tackle such a job myself. The ZF trannys are strong units, far better than the Ford transmission they replaced. Research them, understand what is involved in changing your fluid, and be aware of what it will cost you just for fresh fluid alone.

Most importantly, converse with the Jaguar techs here about the process. If they warn you to not try this yourself based on how they perceive your mechanical abilities, then heed what they tell you and learn even more before you go further.

Good luck to you, whatever you decide to do....
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Old 02-12-2009, 04:36 PM
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When the transmission cooler lines on my STR were replaced they also changed the Trans fluid in my 6-speed ZF. The whole job cost about a thousand bucks....so just a fluid change should be a tad less than that.

Sometimes I take the car to an independent Jaguar Shop, and they recommend changing the fluid in the ZF at 50,000 miles.....in plain English, they said the "sealed for life" idea is all bull****...assuming you want your tranny to last a while.
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Old 02-12-2009, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hottienamedscottie View Post
When the transmission cooler lines on my STR were replaced they also changed the Trans fluid in my 6-speed ZF. The whole job cost about a thousand bucks....so just a fluid change should be a tad less than that.

Sometimes I take the car to an independent Jaguar Shop, and they recommend changing the fluid in the ZF at 50,000 miles.....in plain English, they said the "sealed for life" idea is all bull****...assuming you want your tranny to last a while.
Thanks for the tip. I, too am skeptical of "sealed for life" transmissions. I think it is a pile of bull as well. I am a big believer in changing all fluids, as as we know, most people ignore the auto trans, which, next to the engine is the most expensive part of the car.
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Old 02-12-2009, 07:50 PM
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If you want to just drain and fill there is a drainplug on the bottom of the trans pan. If you want to change the filter it is built into the pan itself and a new pan including gasket is about $180. Your car is an '03 which means it has the small torx screws which should be upgraded when the pan is off for another $100. No sense not putting a new electrical connector sleeve and o-rings in while the pan is off for another $75. Then you will need 6 liters of fluid at $60/liter for another $360. That looks like a total of $715 for parts and then add 4 hours for labor at say $110/hour for a grand total of $1155. That should give you a good idea of why the trans is considered "sealed for life" and it's also the reason I have a hard time getting customers to buy a trans service. Those prices assume that the small head torx bolts actually come out of the transmission without stripping or breaking which here in Michigan is pretty much impossible. For another 2 hours I will use an air chisel to get the bolts out and for every one that breaks in the pan rail you can add another hour each for drilling, extracting and helicoil repair. The one I did today only needed 2 helicoils. I've seen them need as many as 10.

Any more questions on the transmission service for the 6 speed?
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:03 PM
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Leave it alone.

That gearbox is a sealed for life unit and although your intentions are good, the outcome will be costly and possibly problematic. If you aren't having any transmission problems, let it be!
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:24 PM
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It if it sealed for life, does ZF define what "life" is?

I think Mercedes on the 5 speed auto (used in 04 e500 4 matic) for example changed the definition of "life" to 100K miles couple of years AFTER the car was in production.
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:32 PM
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Real_Tech,

After reading your post, I'd be underneath my car if I owned a six speed whether it was due for a trans service yet or not. I'd be removing and antiseizing the pan bolts one at a time, just to help insure that they are going to come out when the service is due.
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomciob View Post
It if it sealed for life, does ZF define what "life" is?

I think Mercedes on the 5 speed auto (used in 04 e500 4 matic) for example changed the definition of "life" to 100K miles couple of years AFTER the car was in production.
No idea what ZF defines as "life" but I do know that the gearbox is very robust and in my experience they are very durable. Good question though : )
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:18 AM
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Wow, that makes me want to go get mine serviced Real_Tech, ouch. I do have a question though, I had the leaking transmission line problem just last week and they were replaced. Do they replace the fluid when this occurs? Judging by my bill, I would say no as there was no $360 charge for fluid, just $60, maybe they added just one liter? I will have to check but was wondering what the usual process is when those are changed. Thanks.

Last edited by jaguarevan; 02-13-2009 at 11:25 AM.
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  #17  
Old 02-13-2009, 11:56 AM
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Real Tech,

I was under the impression that these ZF transmissions do NOT have a drain plug on the bottom of the transmission pan.

Does my 2005 6-speed ZF transmission have a drain plug on the transmission pan?

Also, I know that a consistently sensible driving style and moderate climate conditions can often help to preserve a "lifetime" transmission for much longer than someone who always rockets away from stoplights in either 0-degree or 110-degree weather. So when do you advise your clients to begin to consider a transmission fluid change in their 6-speed ZF transmissions? And do you insist that they stick with Shell ATF mineral oil or are there better and more affordable ATF options out there once my factory warranty has run its course?
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Old 02-13-2009, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaguarevan View Post
Wow, that makes me want to go get mine serviced Real_Tech, ouch. I do have a question though, I had the leaking transmission line problem just last week and they were replaced. Do they replace the fluid when this occurs? Judging by my bill, I would say no as there was no $360 charge for fluid, just $60, maybe they added just one liter? I will have to check but was wondering what the usual process is when those are changed. Thanks.
I'm sure they just added what had leaked out and what was lost during the line change.
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Old 02-13-2009, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon89 View Post
Real Tech,

I was under the impression that these ZF transmissions do NOT have a drain plug on the bottom of the transmission pan.

Does my 2005 6-speed ZF transmission have a drain plug on the transmission pan?

Also, I know that a consistently sensible driving style and moderate climate conditions can often help to preserve a "lifetime" transmission for much longer than someone who always rockets away from stoplights in either 0-degree or 110-degree weather. So when do you advise your clients to begin to consider a transmission fluid change in their 6-speed ZF transmissions? And do you insist that they stick with Shell ATF mineral oil or are there better and more affordable ATF options out there once my factory warranty has run its course?
Yes the 6 speed does have a drain plug. It is a plastic 10mm hex at the rear of the pan, can't miss it. I'm also including the link to another post that includes exploded view and parts list for the 6 speed parts. Most manufacturers consider normal driving conditions as temp always between 50 and 75, not more than 1000 miles per month, no dusty or dirty conditions, car always allowed to warm up completely before shut down. Any other driving conditions are considered severe service. It's like the 10k oil changes, any driving other than what I listed above REQUIRES 5k oil changes and is considered severe duty service. The real problem is trying to get someone that leases their car to do anything that costs them even $1. They usually insist that the tires that are blown and bent rims should be covered under warranty due to their obvious weakness when encountering large potholes, must be a manufacturers defect.
Jaguar s-type 6HP26 parts/fluid info!!
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Real_Tech View Post
Yes the 6 speed does have a drain plug. It is a plastic 10mm hex at the rear of the pan, can't miss it. I'm also including the link to another post that includes exploded view and parts list for the 6 speed parts. Most manufacturers consider normal driving conditions as temp always between 50 and 75, not more than 1000 miles per month, no dusty or dirty conditions, car always allowed to warm up completely before shut down. Any other driving conditions are considered severe service. It's like the 10k oil changes, any driving other than what I listed above REQUIRES 5k oil changes and is considered severe duty service. The real problem is trying to get someone that leases their car to do anything that costs them even $1. They usually insist that the tires that are blown and bent rims should be covered under warranty due to their obvious weakness when encountering large potholes, must be a manufacturers defect.
Jaguar s-type 6HP26 parts/fluid info!!
That link has good information in it. Thanks.
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:36 PM
 
 
 
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