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#4505218 - 09/02/17 09:12 AM ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold
cristiancc Offline


Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Europe
I am bothered by the automatic transmission on my 2012 BMW 5. I bought the car used and although I serviced the transmission, I do not like the way it shifts.

When transmission is cold the 1-2-3 shifts make the car slow down and then lunge, they are not smooth. After a few miles of driving, the shifts are smooth, but only when in Drive mode. If I manually upshift, even at the same rpm as it's done automatically in the Drive mode the hard shift is felt again. And it's stronger as I shift at a higher rpm. 1st to 2nd gear has the hardest shifts. No errors present in INPA.

Has anyone been facing this issue?

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#4505234 - 09/02/17 09:39 AM Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: cristiancc]
rooflessVW Offline


Registered: 12/24/11
Posts: 4018
Loc: North Carolina
How many miles? You're looking at a valve body replacement.
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#4505256 - 09/02/17 10:03 AM Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: cristiancc]
VetteElite Offline


Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 115
Loc: -
Never buy a BMW. Lease only.

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#4505271 - 09/02/17 10:12 AM Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: VetteElite]
rooflessVW Offline


Registered: 12/24/11
Posts: 4018
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: VetteElite
Never buy a BMW. Lease only.

Very helpful. Thanks for your insight.
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#4505280 - 09/02/17 10:22 AM Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: cristiancc]
mclasser Offline


Registered: 04/13/13
Posts: 2221
Loc: The Northeast
What ATF did you use?
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#4505291 - 09/02/17 10:27 AM Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: rooflessVW]
SteveSRT8 Offline


Registered: 10/10/08
Posts: 18947
Loc: Sunny Florida
Originally Posted By: rooflessVW
How many miles? You're looking at a valve body replacement.


While this is possible it is far more likely to be programming, probably needs a reflash/update...
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#4505315 - 09/02/17 10:56 AM Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: rooflessVW]
MCompact Offline


Registered: 07/21/02
Posts: 4110
Loc: KY
Originally Posted By: rooflessVW

Very helpful. Thanks for your insight.


And I'd bet that "insight" is not based on owning, driving, or-most likely-even sitting in a BMW...
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#4505318 - 09/02/17 10:58 AM Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: cristiancc]
cristiancc Offline


Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Europe
The car is 110k miles. Replaced oil was dark-green but not burnt. Used ZF lifeguard 8 and new pan&filter. I did a software update at the end of 2016.
There is a difference in shift quality some minutes after the engine oil has reached the operating temperature (seeing in the dashboard). This is probably when the transmission oil gets to the right temperature.
But why would it shift bad when the oil is cold and shift better when hot?
In the winter at freezing temps, the 1-2 shifts in the first miles were violent. No sound, just the car reducing speed and then being thrown forward. The 2-3 shifts were better, 3-4 even better to unnoticeable.

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#4505321 - 09/02/17 11:00 AM Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: SteveSRT8]
MCompact Offline


Registered: 07/21/02
Posts: 4110
Loc: KY
Originally Posted By: SteveSRT8
Originally Posted By: rooflessVW
How many miles? You're looking at a valve body replacement.


While this is possible it is far more likely to be programming, probably needs a reflash/update...


Agreed, although he might also try resetting the transmission adaptation:

Press the start button once to turn on power (Don't start the engine)
Press the accelerator down to the floor for at least 5-30 sec.
Hit start button once to turn off power
Remove foot from accelerator
Wait for a minimum of 2 minutes
Start the engine and drive

It's worth a shot.
_________________________
Mine:
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1999 Wrangler Sahara
1995 318ti Club Sport

Wife's:
2016 i3 REX
2009 Cooper Clubman

Son's
2009 328i

Buy what makes you smile...

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#4505322 - 09/02/17 11:01 AM Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: mclasser]
kc8adu Offline


Registered: 08/02/05
Posts: 894
Loc: dayton oh
most likely the wrong spec.
esp if it was done at iffy lube.

Originally Posted By: mclasser
What ATF did you use?

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#4505577 - 09/02/17 03:54 PM Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: cristiancc]
69GTX Offline


Registered: 09/23/15
Posts: 3815
Loc: Connecticut
That's the only automatic trans fluid Bavarian Autosport sells for this car, so it should be correct (Dex VI low viscosity type fluid).

Did the car shift ok before you changed fluid or changed the program?

Fluid at normal operating temps usually give smoother shifts as the temps are optimized for the clutches. Same concept with a manual trans synchronizers. Those shift lousy when cold because the viscosity is still too high for efficient synchronizer operation. Shift at high rpm cold will certainly help shorten the life of your auto trans clutches or manual trans synchronizers. When the fluid gets too hot from hard driving, shift quality can diminish again as the viscosity can get too thin.
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#4505735 - 09/02/17 07:17 PM Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: cristiancc]
incognito_2u Offline


Registered: 12/15/16
Posts: 113
Loc: Long Island, N.Y.
Originally Posted By: cristiancc
I am bothered by the automatic transmission on my 2012 BMW 5. I bought the car used and although I serviced the transmission......


What brand/type of fluid was used as a replacement fluid?
{my bad....I see it now...}
How is the fluid level?


Edited by incognito_2u (09/02/17 07:22 PM)
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#4505749 - 09/02/17 07:34 PM Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: cristiancc]
hemitruck Offline


Registered: 03/18/11
Posts: 372
Loc: new jersey
I have a ram 1500 with an 8 speed zf trans. Takees my truck about a mile, or 10 minutes to warm up and shift smoothly. I generally take it easy until trans warms up. Also similar with wife's jeep Cherokee with the ,9 speed trans.

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#4505759 - 09/02/17 07:52 PM Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: cristiancc]
mcrn Offline


Registered: 11/30/05
Posts: 3200
Loc: FL
Did the shifting change as soon as the service to the transmission was done?
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#4507479 - 09/04/17 06:47 PM Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: rooflessVW]
nascarnation Offline


Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 817
Loc: Indiana
Originally Posted By: rooflessVW
How many miles? You're looking at a valve body replacement.


I'm confused by this statement.
Typically wear (increased valve to bore clearances) causes problems when the fluid is hot and thin (leakage), not cold and thick.
Can you elaborate on what wear issue causes this?

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