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ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold #4505218 09/02/17 08:12 AM
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cristiancc Offline OP
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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?

Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: cristiancc] #4505234 09/02/17 08:39 AM
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rooflessVW Offline
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How many miles? You're looking at a valve body replacement.


"Zed's dead baby, Zed's dead."
Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: cristiancc] #4505280 09/02/17 09:22 AM
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mclasser Offline
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What ATF did you use?


2018 Hyundai Elantra VE
2013 Honda Pilot EX-L 4WD
2002 Honda Accord EX-L

Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: rooflessVW] #4505291 09/02/17 09:27 AM
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SteveSRT8 Offline
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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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Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: cristiancc] #4505318 09/02/17 09:58 AM
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cristiancc Offline OP
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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.

Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: SteveSRT8] #4505321 09/02/17 10:00 AM
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MCompact Offline
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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.


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Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: mclasser] #4505322 09/02/17 10:01 AM
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kc8adu Offline
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most likely the wrong spec.
esp if it was done at iffy lube.

Originally Posted By: mclasser
What ATF did you use?

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


----------------

2001 Lincoln Cont 4.6L DOHC/ 50K mi / QS HM 5w30 / FUG XG2
1999 Camaro SS M6 /19K /Mobil 1 0w40 /Fram UG /GM MTL-ATF
1969 Ply GTX/RRs
Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: cristiancc] #4505735 09/02/17 06:17 PM
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incognito_2u Offline
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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?

Last edited by incognito_2u; 09/02/17 06:22 PM.

2006 Jeep Commander 3.7 V6 -115k (M1EP5W30/XG3600)
2006 Toyota Corolla 1.8 VVTi -84k (M1EPHM5W30/XG3600)
1999 Toyota Corolla 1.8 -88k (PUP5W30/XG4386)
1998 Toyota Corolla 1.8 -67k (QSUD5W30/XG3600)
Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: cristiancc] #4505749 09/02/17 06:34 PM
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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.

Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: cristiancc] #4505759 09/02/17 06:52 PM
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mcrn Online Content
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Did the shifting change as soon as the service to the transmission was done?


2012 Nissan Rogue
Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: rooflessVW] #4507479 09/04/17 05:47 PM
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nascarnation Offline
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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?

Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: nascarnation] #4507600 09/04/17 07:34 PM
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rooflessVW Offline
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Originally Posted By: nascarnation
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?

And crud in the solenoids causes the opposite.

If the OP is going to DIY, I would change the solenoids on the valve body. If he's taking it to a dealer, they're going to sell him an entire valve body.


"Zed's dead baby, Zed's dead."
Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: cristiancc] #4508050 09/05/17 11:03 AM
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edyvw Offline
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Originally Posted By: cristiancc
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.

2-3 rough shifts are normal on diesels when cold. It is programmed to shift at 2500rpms until engine reaches 50c temperature in order to speed up warming process and lower NoX.
My diesel is like that. 2 to 3 is rough first mile or two, after that normal. I just upshift manually at around 1700-1800rpms to avoid that.
That makes me think that someone programmed your tranny to diesel adoptions when you did software update. In gasser it should be smooth at any temperature.
Several questions:
1. Was 110k first time you changed fluid? ZF recommends 60-75k.
2. Did you do flush?


15' Toyota Sienna AWD (Mobil1 5W30 EP+OEM filter).
11' VW Tiguan 2.0T (Castrol 0W30+OE filter)
Re: ZF 8HP transmission hard shifting 1-2 when cold [Re: cristiancc] #5114258 05/24/19 06:41 AM
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cristiancc Offline OP
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During this time I've done some changes: replaced solenoids. Tested both the solenoids and the valve body at a transmission shop - both of them generated on screen graphs that were according to specs, they said. So all normal. Yet, the 1-2 rough shifting is still present, this time harder when warm, but not so harsh as it had been with previous solenoids when cold. Tranny shop suggested replacing components until it gets "fixed".
It's only happening at very light acceleration.
With the transmission adaptions reset, the 1-2 shift is a lot harsher than it was before resetting, while the rest of the shifts are quite smooth.

Checked operating variables for transmission such engine oil & trans temp, air flow, coolant temp, speed, etc, all seem normal.

Transmission fluid was changed two years ago.

The clutch application chart for this transmission shows that when 1-2 shift happens, clutch C gets disengaged and clutch E gets engaged. But these clutches get engaged/disengaged for other gears as well which don't produce a rough shift.

Any advice?

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