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sams255

Trip to ZF dortmund

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My appointment was yesterday at ZF to get my Gearbox serviced. I have 155k on the F11 530D and with BMW dealer telling me that the Gearbox oil is for life and refusing to carry out a service. I read on other forums of people who travelled from UK to ZF in Dortmund to get the job done. I arrived at ZF @ 7.30 and went to reception and met Klaus Hennemann the guy who took the booking. He asked me if there were any issues i was facing with my gearbox and said that if they found anything they can repair it or if its really bad they can do an exchange for a brand new box one for 2k euros. They took it for a test drive and carried on with the work (took 3 hours)

 

On the forums, you have seen people taking pics etc and standing there while the work is carried out. But Klaus told me they had an incident a few months ago where a customer filmed the entire thing and put it on youtube and it caused some issues for ZF so now they stopped allowing customers in the garage and taking pics etc. I was disappointed as i would have loved to seen up close what they did but i can understand their point of view. But he said if we find a problem they would take me in and show me while its all open.  they did the Oil drain including TC, changed oil and new pan. They also stripped the Mechatronic and cleaned that out and change parts. Klaus said that the gearbox was not too bad but good job i put fresh oil in. He said next change should be at 50k miles.  He was pissed that all the manufacturers (BMW, LAnd rover, Jaguar etc) are saying its for life when ZF are saying no its not.

 

The gear changes are super smooth. The picture below is of the Gearbox of the one in most F10/F11 but 8 speed. He even stamped my service book. He said he has lots of people coming from the UK to have gearboxes repaired and serviced, i did suggest he speak to his managers and get a service centre opened up in the UK.   Costs it was 24 quid for one way (50 return) on the euro tunnel, Service was 540 euros, the hotel was 30 pounds and me and the wife are chilling here until tomorrow so do make a weekend getaway then getting the car serviced dont seem too bad. So for someone who is wanting to keep their car forever and does a great deal of mileage then i do recommend this type of service from ZF. Who better to service and repair your gearbox then the manufacturer who made it. 

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Thanks very interesting. There are UK based specialists who carry out the work to which would save a journey!! One is 20 miles from my house. 

 

I am not planning on keeping my F10 that long though.

 

Ed:)

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I read somewhere on another forum a guy who did the same thing and drove over to ZF in Germany to strip and rebuild his autobox too. 

He put up detailed photos of the work involved and it looked well worth it.

I might even do it my self sometime in the not too distant future. Thanks for sharing :) 

Edited by boiliebasher

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29 minutes ago, capese21 said:

Thanks very interesting. There are UK based specialists who carry out the work to which would save a journey!! One is 20 miles from my house. 

 

I am not planning on keeping my F10 that long though.

 

Ed:)

Most of the specialist in uk i asked said they would only drain and replace oil. Where as zf did a great deal more work and replaced parts as well. I suppose if you book the job for the friday. You can have a long weekend out there. 

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This is really interesting, so, thanks very much. When mine gets to a higher mileage I might well do this as I love EU road trips!!!.

 

Do you happen to know when they suggest doing to first change in miles?

 

Thanks..........

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Just now, nashdm2 said:

This is really interesting, so, thanks very much. When mine gets to a higher mileage I might well do this as I love EU road trips!!!.

 

Do you happen to know when they suggest doing to first change in miles?

 

Thanks..........

I think they were saying every 60k miles. or 4-5 years. The idea is that you change your fluid often so it doesn't get dirty,   My issue was that i purchased a high mileage police car at 130k. I got the service information from the police under freedom of information and it doesn't mention the gearbox oil change at all. I asked BMW dealer and they said the oil is for life. I started doing plenty of miles since i purchased this car last year and i wanted to make sure my gearbox doesn't go wrong. My gearbox was very long overdue. Other gearbox people said at that mileage if oil was changed it could cause problems as the dirty inside would have been disturbed. Again other people on forums have gone to ZF and had the gearbox serviced and i thought why not have a break and get the gearbox done. i suppose it depends really how long you wanna keep your car.  I would rather pay 540 euros then 3-5k pounds for gearbox change or be putting in a second hand one.   

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6 minutes ago, Matthew Ashton said:

Thanks for sharing this experience. The work they did to the mechatronics, was that an additional cost or is it 540 Euros for the oil change and they do any minor repairs inclusive?

540 Euros was all in. Here is the copy and paste of the email below.  They have put some new parts in as the car does feel very different on the invoice for some reason it says they used 15litres of oil (probably diff oil as well). I would have loved to have been there and seen them do the job but customers are now banned from the workshop. It took 3 hours not 4

In this case the gearbox oil pan is dismantled and the mechatronic modul is taken out.
After that the oil is blown out of the converter pneumatically. So we can change the main part of the oil.
Sealings and expendable parts including the oil filter are replaced.
The whole procedure takes about 4 hours because the gear must be filled when it’s cold.
We can schedule it for the week starting 19 march
The amount of cost including changing the oil in rear axle differential gear is ca. 540,-€

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Diff only takes 2-3 pints tops, it took so much because the TC was drained along with the mechtronics, this is what you call a service and I wish I had known about this before handing over £540 for a oil change and mechatronic seal at my local indy.

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1 hour ago, GoNz0 said:

Diff only takes 2-3 pints tops, it took so much because the TC was drained along with the mechtronics, this is what you call a service and I wish I had known about this before handing over £540 for a oil change and mechatronic seal at my local indy.

I suppose you know for next time. The drive wasnt too bad either. 

Edited by sams255

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5 minutes ago, sams255 said:

Although i waant able to take pics i was told this is what they did to my gearbox.

 

To do all that work for £470 is superb value.  I thought it was just a basic fluid change.

 

Ed:)

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42 minutes ago, sams255 said:

Although i wasnt able to take pics i was told this is what they did to my gearbox.

 

See the photos from another forum 

 

http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/527361

 

That's exactly what I was referring to earlier. Well worth the time, money and effort imho

Edited by boiliebasher

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19 hours ago, capese21 said:

Thanks very interesting. There are UK based specialists who carry out the work to which would save a journey!! One is 20 miles from my house. 

 

I am not planning on keeping my F10 that long though.

 

Ed:)

It's true there is a list of U.K. specialists on the ZF website. There were two not too far from me, but one had very mixed reviews and the other was evasive about exactly what a service consisted of and never returned my phone calls. Perhaps I was unlucky. Eventually I did the long schlep up to Preston. 

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18 minutes ago, pidgeonpost said:

It's true there is a list of U.K. specialists on the ZF website. There were two not too far from me, but one had very mixed reviews and the other was evasive about exactly what a service consisted of and never returned my phone calls. Perhaps I was unlucky. Eventually I did the long schlep up to Preston. 

 

What's the place in Preston called please (contact details)? 

 

 

I think most people on this Forum are aware the gearbox oil should be changed every 5 years or 60000 miles - I am there now!

 

 

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1 hour ago, pidgeonpost said:

It's true there is a list of U.K. specialists on the ZF website. There were two not too far from me, but one had very mixed reviews and the other was evasive about exactly what a service consisted of and never returned my phone calls. Perhaps I was unlucky. Eventually I did the long schlep up to Preston. 

I phoned one of the specialists on ZF website they said they just change the oil only, they said they do not strip or clean or replace parts in the mechatronic

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Mine is a really low mileage car, 13k in 3.5 years, so, mine will get there on years and not miles. I think this Dortmund service is brilliant. I will defo be doing this when the time is due, also, the diff oil. I can combine it with one of my French cottage holidays. 

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5 hours ago, E39mad said:

 

What's the place in Preston called please (contact details)? 

 

 

I think most people on this Forum are aware the gearbox oil should be changed every 5 years or 60000 miles - I am there now!

 

 

The Preston specialists are here. I went there because other members had good service from them, but I don't know whether they have any affiliation with ZF. If you Google them you can read other reviews, and they have a Facebook page. Well worth investigating if you're looking to get the job done. :)

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Great post, but did they really strip down the mechatronic unit for that price? 

 

That would be several hours of labour which won't be included in that price you paid when you compare prices over in the U.K. For a transmission service.  Your invoice says they removed the mechatronic unit but it doesn't say they stripped it and cleaned it. That alone will have allowed more oil to be drained out which is good thing.

 

Its interesting to read they used an air flush to empty the TC rather than use an oil flush which is what gets done over here.

 

 

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15 hours ago, pidgeonpost said:

The Preston specialists are here. I went there because other members had good service from them, but I don't know whether they have any affiliation with ZF. If you Google them you can read other reviews, and they have a Facebook page. Well worth investigating if you're looking to get the job done. :)

I've been following their FB page for the last year or so, they look like they turn out some quality work tbf. 

 

I know they only put on FB what they want you to see but the reviews are all good. I'd be interested in a price and what they offer. 

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On 25/03/2018 at 4:16 PM, pidgeonpost said:

The Preston specialists are here. I went there because other members had good service from them, but I don't know whether they have any affiliation with ZF. If you Google them you can read other reviews, and they have a Facebook page. Well worth investigating if you're looking to get the job done. :)

@pidgeonpostHow did you find the Preston specialist from personal experience?

Edited by sshooie

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8 hours ago, 535i Andrew said:

Great post, but did they really strip down the mechatronic unit for that price? 

 

That would be several hours of labour which won't be included in that price you paid when you compare prices over in the U.K. For a transmission service.  Your invoice says they removed the mechatronic unit but it doesn't say they stripped it and cleaned it. That alone will have allowed more oil to be drained out which is good thing.

 

Its interesting to read they used an air flush to empty the TC rather than use an oil flush which is what gets done over here.

 

 

Yes they did strip down the Mechatronic and replaced parts. I also couldn't believe it for that price and I asked him why do cheap he said that the price had gone up recently used to be around 400 something euros. He said as the manufacturer of gearbox we only make a small profit from our service. He said if I needed a brand-new gearbox they would sell it to me for 2k euros and 500 euros fitting. He said go ask how much BMW will sell you a box for, The main guy also said in Germany its a standard thing to service and clean the valve body (mechatronic) he said he don't understand why in the UK its just a drain and refill. They only take 4 bookings a day 2 for morning appointment 7.30-11 and 2 for the afternoon. They have quite a few guys working there in the workshop.

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