February 5, 2009
ZF Automatic Passenger car parts distributers
It has come to our attention there is confusion in the field regarding service intervals and fluid
recommendations for ZF 5HP and 6HP applications. ZF has promoted lifetime service for many 5HP
and 6HP factory filled transmissions. Lifetime is not clearly defined and each OEM manufacture has
there own philosophy. ZF stands behind lifetime recommendation where listed in the vehicle
operatorís manual. ZF engineered and tested our fluids to retain its characteristics through
normal lifetime operating conditions. However, a spirited driving style, special environmental considerations
and other individual driving factors may place higher than normal loads on transmission fluids.
To assure proper operation it is advisable to perform a drain and fill at 100,000km (60k miles) or eight years.
Due to the complexity of operation, the high output of current engine offerings and the expectation
drivers place on their ZF equipped vehicles ZF only endorses the use of ZF Lifeguard Fluids and parts
or OEM approved fluids and parts. Fluids and parts not approved for use by ZF or the original
equipment manufacturers have not been tested and may not meet the required demands. Use of these
fluids or parts will void factory warranties and warranties placed on aftermarket transmissions
remanufactured by ZF. The use of any fluid additives is prohibited as the result will unpredictably
change fluid properties potentially resulting in transmission failure.
Some fluids previously recommended were factory fill or available only in the European market. To
simplify obtaining the correct recommended fluids ZF now offers Lifguardfluid5, Lifeguardfluid6 and
Lifeguardfluid6+. Please see the attached oil recommendation list TE-ML11 for detailed information.
Finally there are some customers that feel the need to perform a transmission oil service as part of their
regular maintenance. Changing the fluid more often is entirely their decision. Properly performed oil
service will not damage the transmission. Most problems occur due to improper refill procedures,
incorrect fluid and or non OE parts or with transmissions that already have a drivability problem. Use of
ZF or OE parts and fluid is strongly recommended for best results,
Please feel free to contact me regarding any questions or concerns.