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A point for discussion


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It is an accepted fact that the later six-speed automatic transmission (ZF) in, for example, the diesel S-Type, requires a very specific ATF, Lifeguard being seen as the best and substitutes such as Mannol being seen by some as acceptable, but NEVER... NEVER, standard ATF.

My point for discussion is this:-

I know of a diesel S-Type (not mine) that had the transmission filled with standard ATF (Dexron 3 or equivalent) and has since been driven 10 000 miles without a problem.

Over to you :yes:

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Hi Paul

at the end of the day, Oil is Oil, basically the gearbox is a hydraulic pump, solenoid valves and clutches

so it will work because its a Oil, so you will get oil pressure, valves and clutches will operate, but theres many intricate part that are not designed for that oil

but remember this gearbox is used in the s-type r, which pushes over 400 BHP through it, whilst it will work, in a car used daily with no abuse

run hard and your going to get severe wear, atf just aint up to it

remember it was supposed to be sealed for life, so the oil they fitted was the best available and was designed to last many years

atf has to be changed regular, as it degrades fast with heat and abuse

the question is, "would you put it in your gearbox ?", I know I would definately would not use it mine, I would only use Lifeguard 6, as Jaguar recommend

also the zf 6 speed, has the ecu built in and is constantly emmersed in trans oil, which must make it a special oil

my next question "would you buy a car off someone who you know has used atf in his zf trans"

To me its like using Tesco engine oil in a ferrari, these gearboxes were fitted to jaguars, landrovers, audis, mercedes, maseratis are just a few, its just penny pinching

this how cars get bad names, people doing there own maintenance using far inferior parts than recommended and wonder why they break.




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It will work because its Oil, but wont last if its used hard

you also have to remember, when you drain the ZF gearbox Oil, you can only get about 5.5 litres out, but the gearbox holds 10 litres

so your only adding some of the Oil, It wont fail instantaneously and if driven sensible could still last years, but if driven hard, it will fail.

the lifeguard 6 is chosen for extended protection,life and smoothness

I bet it does not drive as nice as it should, I bet the shifts are a lot harsher



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Hi-I totally agree with Joe you must use the correct Oil as stated they are not chosen at random 

the Oil is made up of all the correct ingredients for that box etc as they say for its lifetime and to

make it do everything smoothly ---any cheap Oil works but just cannot do the same .



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I just had to make this call on one of my Discoveries, various people plus the mechanic said ATF was fine in the manual gearbox, it's widely used in Land Rovers. But MTF94 is actually recommended. I went for that but did screw a good trade price from the auto factor to cover some of the difference 😉

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