Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: 'Filled for life' transmissions

  1. #1

    Default 'Filled for life' transmissions

    Interested in what folk know/think about the 'Filled for Life' approach Audi have for some of their transmissions.

    E.g. I have a C7.5 RS7 which I think has a ZF 8 speed transmission but I think the tiptronics have this too.

    I've asked Audi a couple of times what exactly 'filled for life' means and the most I can get is that changing the trans oil isn't in the scheduled service plan. I can't get my head around the idea that the transmission failing is the first and last cue for a transmission oil flush.

    Research: not much about this on Aussie Audi forums but some on the international forums. Given Aussies, on average deal with higher temps and temps + time are what kill oils, I'm looking for an Aussie context.

    EDIT: To clarify, does anyone have information on average expected mileage for transmissions 'filled for life' or has anyone had their 'filled for life' transmission oil replaced and have findings about the state of the oil drained???
    Last edited by Demiliam; February 14th, 2022 at 01:13 PM.
    RS7 MY16 | Dynamic Pack | Black Styling Pack | Open to aftermarket ideas!
    Previous:
    S5 MY10 6MT|2012 facelift | OEM RS5 steering wheel | APR Stage III S.C. | APR Carbonio CF intake | APR RSC cat back exhaust | OEM RS5 Brembo brakes | Ohlins suspension NB: purchased with mods.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    10,032
    Thanked: 477

    Default

    How many KMs on your car Demiliam?

    I don't support the 'filled for life' philosophy and am of the view that the gearbox oil should be changed after 80k kms or so. If you've got any 'undesirable traits' (such as clunky shifting) you'd probably want to do it earlier.

    I've only had the gearbox oil changed in one of my cars (the B7 RS4) and I used Redline MT90 in that. I changed it in that car at around the 50k km mark as I noticed some slight notchiness which was greatly improved once the fresh gearbox oil was in.

    Probably best to consult a ZF specialist on what should be used as replacement gearbox oil in your RS7.

  3. #3

    Default

    60,000kms. Can't really say if it has any issues around shifting since it's been with a dealership almost since I got it getting a new rear differential.

    The dealership seem reluctant to change the trans oil so I may need to go elsewhere (or DIY it). Just hesitant to go outside the dealership given the amount of work they're doing with the rear diff and not wanting to give them grounds to decline any future issues.

    From reasonably broad reading around the topic of 'filled for life' I found it to be generally unsupported except by manufacturers. I'll see how it drives when I get the car back and also check if there's a drain plug. If there isn't a plug and it seems more 'sealed' I'll take my preventative concerns back to the dealership and see.
    RS7 MY16 | Dynamic Pack | Black Styling Pack | Open to aftermarket ideas!
    Previous:
    S5 MY10 6MT|2012 facelift | OEM RS5 steering wheel | APR Stage III S.C. | APR Carbonio CF intake | APR RSC cat back exhaust | OEM RS5 Brembo brakes | Ohlins suspension NB: purchased with mods.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    2,445
    Thanked: 280

    Default

    Fair to say there are two perspectives on this, the dealer where its a piece of mechanical equipment they hope to sell a replacement for idc, and yours where lasting for ever is preferred. a reasonable definition of Life is probably less than 20 years and certainly in that time many items will become NLA from the dealer so the vehicle is in effect unsupported.

    Clearly I'm in the longer life camp, but it is worth noting that many gearbox and diff failures are the result of poor choice of replacement oil or poor filling technique. So while I do subscribe to changing the various transmissions oils, for some there is a risk in choosing that course of action. I use Pentosin for my Auto and Motul for my 01E. I wouldn't say they were better than the factory oils though.
    C5 RS6: Sportec, Milltek & Wagner -- B5 RS4 : modified -- B5 Audi 1.8 quattro 132 Kw -- 2007 VW Touareg TDI -- UNIMOG 404 TLF8

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    10,032
    Thanked: 477

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Demiliam View Post
    60,000kms. Can't really say if it has any issues around shifting since it's been with a dealership almost since I got it getting a new rear differential.
    That sounds like an interesting story. Hopefully your wallet is staying intact through the process Demiliam.

    Quote Originally Posted by Demiliam View Post
    The dealership seem reluctant to change the trans oil so I may need to go elsewhere (or DIY it). Just hesitant to go outside the dealership given the amount of work they're doing with the rear diff and not wanting to give them grounds to decline any future issues.

    From reasonably broad reading around the topic of 'filled for life' I found it to be generally unsupported except by manufacturers. I'll see how it drives when I get the car back and also check if there's a drain plug. If there isn't a plug and it seems more 'sealed' I'll take my preventative concerns back to the dealership and see.
    Most dealerships will fall into line on what the factory guidance is on these things, and hence won't support the gearbox oil replacement. From memory you're in Sydney Demiliam - I'm sure there would be a number of ZF transmission specialists around who could easily assist with the oil replacement. In my case on the B7 RS4 draining the oil was easy enough but refilling was a little more difficult without specialist equipment (fill hole near the top and access wasn't great). A transmission specialist would be all over this though I'd imagine.

  6. #6

    Default

    Elephant memory Alister. I've moved up near Brisbane now and will see what ZF specialists might be around.

    Not much of a story. Asked the dealership to flush and check absolutely everything as soon as I received the car. They gave it a clean bill of health and then I picked up an issue that turned out to be the rear diff. What precisely is wrong nobody knows as dealerships no longer open differentials but the dealership accepted full liability and are sourcing a new rear diff from Germany at no cost to me. I'm quietly hoping they're going to give it extra attention to ensure the car doesn't come back with anything else wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by IchBautAuto View Post
    Fair to say there are two perspectives on this, the dealer where its a piece of mechanical equipment they hope to sell a replacement for idc, and yours where lasting for ever is preferred. a reasonable definition of Life is probably less than 20 years and certainly in that time many items will become NLA from the dealer so the vehicle is in effect unsupported.

    Clearly I'm in the longer life camp, but it is worth noting that many gearbox and diff failures are the result of poor choice of replacement oil or poor filling technique. So while I do subscribe to changing the various transmissions oils, for some there is a risk in choosing that course of action. I use Pentosin for my Auto and Motul for my 01E. I wouldn't say they were better than the factory oils though.
    Thanks IchBautAuto. Annoyingly, ELSAWin has guides for a number of different transmissions but they all hyperlink to a server I can't access. So no info on OEM oils and procedure. Whether it's me or a specialist, I plan on getting the drained fluid analysed to see what condition it's in. Will post here if there's community value.
    RS7 MY16 | Dynamic Pack | Black Styling Pack | Open to aftermarket ideas!
    Previous:
    S5 MY10 6MT|2012 facelift | OEM RS5 steering wheel | APR Stage III S.C. | APR Carbonio CF intake | APR RSC cat back exhaust | OEM RS5 Brembo brakes | Ohlins suspension NB: purchased with mods.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    316
    Thanked: 27

    Default

    Filled for life AKA when warranty period ends. Usually 80-100k km is the around when you want fluid+filter change or earlier if you notice some rough shifting :/
    WAUZZZ
    Current
    B7 A4 2.0TQ
    APR
    8P A3 REVO
    B6 S4 JHM
    B8 S4
    Past
    B5 A4 1.8TQ
    B5 A4 1.8T
    B5 S4 GIAC

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheChenga View Post
    Filled for life AKA when warranty period ends. Usually 80-100k km is the around when you want fluid+filter change or earlier if you notice some rough shifting :/
    Have you done this with filled for life transmissions? Asking since I've struck out with the AT specialists in my area. To elaborate, none have given me confidence since:
    - comments that my transmission doesn't appear on their service program
    - none can definitively tell me the transmission model of my car (5 specialists asked are split between 8HP65A or 8HP55A)
    - cost of the ATF should be about $1000 to flush the system but 4 have quoted $200-400 for this
    - comments that the a scantool isn't needed since the job can be done with ignition off and simply removing the pan. Other high-end ATs have specific steps to do with warming the ATF and making sure the valves are open to drain: none have mentioned this.

    The final nail in the coffin for this enterprise came from a mechanic who I think knows his stuff but declared up front he'd not be keen to do the job since he's not an Audi or ZF transmission specialist. This guy spoke about various control modules and the computer learning and adpapting programming based on wear picked up from sensors. There's a chance that flushing with new ATF will remove debris etc that changes the condititons within the transmission and throws out the 'learned' settings the computer has for shift changes etc. The computer probably doesn't have a reset to reflect an ATF change which means it can't relearn. In effect, changing the ATF on a filled for life transmission might do more harm (or lead to more headaches) than intended.

    Open to thoughts!
    RS7 MY16 | Dynamic Pack | Black Styling Pack | Open to aftermarket ideas!
    Previous:
    S5 MY10 6MT|2012 facelift | OEM RS5 steering wheel | APR Stage III S.C. | APR Carbonio CF intake | APR RSC cat back exhaust | OEM RS5 Brembo brakes | Ohlins suspension NB: purchased with mods.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •