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To change or not to change my Cayenne automatic Transmision Fluid


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Posted (edited)

Would like to get everyone’s opinion on this: my 2013 Cayenne diesel has 146k, the ATF has never been changed and is due at 160k as per Porsche. 

I had a certified Porsche technician advise me not to change the ATF at all at this point seeing that it hasn’t been changed at all up until now. 

Given that I plan to keep my car for the long-haul(200k++), should I or should I not change the ATF?
 

Edited by WVS
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Posted (edited)

I change the ATF and filter every 75K miles for my ZF 8HP transmission.  It is one of the best automatic transmissions I have ever driven by far, it feels like a true double clutch, the technology is absolutely outstanding...... but you have to take care of it. 

 

A certified Porsche tech told you that?  Makes me think even less of them than I already did....... One thing people tend to get confused on is sometimes these will be billed as "lifetime ATF" or don't show-up on a service schedule.  But that is only because the auto manufacturer like Porsche is talking about the lifetime of the warranty they will be on the hook for.  After the warranty is up with them they really don't care what happens.  When you contact the manufacturer directly, ZF in my case, a well known German auto giant, they will tell you to change it every 75K miles.  I believe the manufacturer of the transmission since they made it.

 

Also a lot of people are cheap and don't change the filter, which I find to be very short sighted.  They complain it's too expensive but it's a small fraction of the cost of a new or used replacement transmission.  Many German made transmissions by the likes of Getrag, ZF, etc are known for being outstanding quality if you take care of them properly.

 

Also one last bit of advice having been burned:  I would only use OE ATF.

Edited by Silver_TT
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I sympathize with the OP.  I recall several posts on forums over the years where someone changed the ATF and then had problems with the transmission.  Based on the information provided, they did not appear to have problems prior to the fluid change.  I recently asked a BMW service advisor this question re my 11 year old 335 (~55,000 miles) and he advised to leave it alone for this same reason... 

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What kind of problems did they have?  Don't want to speculate but if they changed the ATF and subsequently had issues it's either pure coincidence or possibly they didn't use OE ATF or used aftermarket filter/gasket/parts.  There's really no reason changing the ATF should cause any problems at all if you use OE parts.  Los of issues with using aftermarket fluids.... I had a 996TT gearbox that was damaged from the former owner, a spoiled little brat, using aftermarket and lying about it taking it out of the "dealer only serviced" records.

 

Don't know what kind of transmission your BMW has but maybe at 55K miles it's not ready to be serviced yet by the book.  My Audi Q5 2.0T is 75K for example per the manufacturer.  Since changing the ATF and filter both with OE parts a year ago I have had zero issues.  I sleep better at night since I saw the filter that came out and it didn't look perfect.  I'm planning on keeping this car forever though, so if I have to pay extra to take care of it I don't spend even a second thinking twice about it.  That's also probably why my cars never have problems though.

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  • Moderators
7 hours ago, Doug_B_928 said:

I sympathize with the OP.  I recall several posts on forums over the years where someone changed the ATF and then had problems with the transmission.  Based on the information provided, they did not appear to have problems prior to the fluid change.  I recently asked a BMW service advisor this question re my 11 year old 335 (~55,000 miles) and he advised to leave it alone for this same reason... 

 

Not surprised by your comment, but you also need to know that one of the most frequent questions we get about changing the Tip fluid is "Who makes something cheaper than the OEM fluid?"  We see many people using fluid designed for Toyota's and God knows what else because they don't want to pay the price for the correct fluid.  We also see quite a few DIY fluid changes that went bad no because of the fluid used, but because people did not follow the recommended procedures to do the change; and then they complain they have problems.  As I mentioned above, there is no ATF on earth that was designed to go 160K miles, we have done customer cars at shorter intervals for years and never had a problem.

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