"Lifetime", Lifeguard 8-9 Speed ATF (Is this semi-synthetic oil good "forever"??) 24k kms.

Should you change the "good for life" transmission Lifeguard 8-9 Speed ATF sooner than later??


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  • Poll closed .

Maximus Gladius

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LAB RESULTS ARE IN. POSTED HERE: The winning poll result is #4 - Lab sample will show highlighted extreme metal wear and an ALERT to change the oil and Filter.



'Good for the life of your ZF transmission'???.... However, chrysler provides a warranty good for 100k klms....after that, they dont want it, and after you decide to do a first oil change on it then or even later, you'd hope draining out all that crap oil for new doesn't cause a catastrophic shock. So....those that know me here and followed my habits for doing my own oil changes also know I take a sample of that oil (engine, diffs, transfer case) to the lab to get analysed. WHY? Its something I can do; it keeps me involved in my own investment (though it is depreciating); its an accurate record for chrysler that I did the maintenance to their schedule; it eliminates tech errors and messes I may never be informed of; I'm paying the mortgage on it and last but not least, a lab result shows me the oil and mechanical health of those units. The lab will highlight wear problems, contamination problems (like glycol in the engine like I have since new and currently monitoring and yes, the leak is getting worse). Lab results are a preliminary warning system that can prepare you of a potential problem that is in the works. Think of it like a blood test your Dr orders and has you do. It gives you "base numbers" to start with so you can monitor wear metals and contamination as you put on those miles.

So, with all that said, my habitual maintenance habit with my last vehicle, 2017 Tacoma I had for 3 years, was to change my first oils at 1000 klms,...all the oils.

An Elk hit me last Oct 2020 and truck was written off. Toyota treated me like shit and I had to fire corporate and walked over to JEEP and into this amazing 2021 JTR. I did my first oil changes at 1000 kms and found I have an internal coolant leak but couldn't change the transmission oil. I ordered the pan and gasket from Mopar On-Line and waited 5 months only to return it for missing parts and was dirty with grit and crap from being tossed around. Mopar parts guy said, "just use it because it took so long to get". I said NOT A CHANCE and sent it back.

I spoke with my new dealership service manager (I interviewed before I took my truck in for other service) to see how competent he was mechanically and he completely understood my oil condition concerns, he read my oil analysis reports and engaged in critical thinking with regard to the results and reasons for changing my transmission oil NOW! The service manager grew up around high performance vehicles and Harleys and agreed the break-in oil that is in the transmission will have clutch debris and metals flowing around in there tearing stuff up and it's prudent to change the system "earlier than later". He further said if this was a high performance transmission, he would have changed the oils out "in a heartbeat". I understand this is not a high performance system BUT it still has gears and bits that require the oil to be as clean as possible to work as best as possible for as long as possible AND i want it performing great, forever. So I ordered a new transmission pan and gasket from them and have waited now for 3 weeks.

I'm at 24k kms currently and have pulled a sample out of the transmission for a lab result as well as taken in a sample of fresh Lifeguard 8-9 Speed ATF so an accurate cross check of numbers can be done. I will have the results this wednesday and will show you all just how good OR bad the oil is at just 24k kms. I will register my vote here by saying I believe the result will be shocking in that I'll have extremely high wear in the metals and will be ALERTED to get that oil out and filter changed. What do you all think?
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just_another_guy

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Transmission failures on these trucks seem very uncommon so it stands to reason that your 15,000mi transmission is probably doing just fine. I'm interested to see the results, but you seem to be on high alert for no reason at this point.
 

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'Good for the life of your ZF transmission'???.... However, chrysler provides a warranty good for 100k klms....after that, they dont want it, and after you decide to do a first oil change on it then or even later, you'd hope draining out all that crap oil for new doesn't cause a catastrophic shock. So....those that know me here and followed my habits for doing my own oil changes also know I take a sample of that oil (engine, diffs, transfer case) to the lab to get analysed. WHY? Its something I can do; it keeps me involved in my own investment (though it is depreciating); its an accurate record for chrysler that I did the maintenance to their schedule; it eliminates tech errors and messes I may never be informed of; I'm paying the mortgage on it and last but not least, a lab result shows me the oil and mechanical health of those units. The lab will highlight wear problems, contamination problems (like glycol in the engine like I have since new and currently monitoring and yes, the leak is getting worse). Lab results are a preliminary warning system that can prepare you of a potential problem that is in the works. Think of it like a blood test your Dr orders and has you do. It gives you "base numbers" to start with so you can monitor wear metals and contamination as you put on those miles.

So, with all that said, my habitual maintenance habit with my last vehicle, 2017 Tacoma I had for 3 years, was to change my first oils at 1000 klms,...all the oils.

An Elk hit me last Oct 2020 and truck was written off. Toyota treated me like shit and I had to fire corporate and walked over to JEEP and into this amazing 2021 JTR. I did my first oil changes at 1000 kms and found I have an internal coolant leak but couldn't change the transmission oil. I ordered the pan and gasket from Mopar On-Line and waited 5 months only to return it for missing parts and was dirty with grit and crap from being tossed around. Mopar parts guy said, "just use it because it took so long to get". I said NOT A CHANCE and sent it back.

I spoke with my new dealership service manager (I interviewed before I took my truck in for other service) to see how competent he was mechanically and he completely understood my oil condition concerns, he read my oil analysis reports and engaged in critical thinking with regard to the results and reasons for changing my transmission oil NOW! The service manager grew up around high performance vehicles and Harleys and agreed the break-in oil that is in the transmission will have clutch debris and metals flowing around in there tearing stuff up and it's prudent to change the system "earlier than later". He further said if this was a high performance transmission, he would have changed the oils out "in a heartbeat". I understand this is not a high performance system BUT it still has gears and bits that require the oil to be as clean as possible to work as best as possible for as long as possible AND i want it performing great, forever. So I ordered a new transmission pan and gasket from them and have waited now for 3 weeks.

I'm at 24k kms currently and have pulled a sample out of the transmission for a lab result as well as taken in a sample of fresh Lifeguard 8-9 Speed ATF so an accurate cross check of numbers can be done. I will have the results this wednesday and will show you all just how good OR bad the oil is at just 24k kms. I will register my vote here by saying I believe the result will be shocking in that I'll have extremely high wear in the metals and will be ALERTED to get that oil out and filter changed. What do you all think?
If you want to do it go for it. Auto manufacturers will tell you for the life but then add asterisk for only under "normal conditions" It mostly to get the cost of ownership low on paper because some people really do shop for cars by looking at that stuff.
 
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Maximus Gladius

Maximus Gladius

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Transmission failures on these trucks seem very uncommon so it stands to reason that your 15,000mi transmission is probably doing just fine. I'm interested to see the results, but you seem to be on high alert for no reason at this point.
I have also heard these transmissions are amazing and that was from the service manager who has never done an early oil change during the warranty period,….however did suggest it was a good idea to do it sooner than later. The lab result will be hard facts for everyone with the same tranny. I truly hope the “lifetime” designation on the oil isn’t just marketing but has been tested to hold up till this ZF tranny dies, but by then I won’t be caring much how I’m going to replace the oil but might wonder why it wore out in the first place.

We shall see on Wednesday what the lab has to say.
 

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My last truck had an Allison automatic transmission. It had a drain plug, and a spin-on oil filter with a magnet to catch loose particles, along with the internal filter. I was hoping for something like that on this one. I think the transmission fluid and internal filter should be changed at least every 50k miles.
 

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My guess is you took your oil sample from the sump. If you took it from a cooler line that would be great. The reason the transmission fluid can go for so long is due to the capacity of the filter, the closed fluid system, and the temperature control on the transmission. All this paired with great materials. The sump will have dirty fluid in it no doubt. That is the inlet of the filtering system and the sump washes the filter as it sloshes around. Basically the filter is fine enough and big enough to capture all break in debris plus normal wear, for a fair bit of time. Oil degradation is kept to a min by great temp control and clutch control. If you have a great place to change it out and you can keep things extremely clean, it will not hurt anything to do so. If you change it out in a regular ole shop, chances are your probably not gaining much ground in elimination of contamination.
 
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My guess is you took your oil sample from the sump. If you took it from a cooler line that would be great. The reason the transmission fluid can go for so long is due to the capacity of the filter, the closed fluid system, and the temperature control on the transmission. All this paired with great materials. The sump will have dirty fluid in it no doubt. That is the inlet of the filtering system and the sump washes the filter as it sloshes around. Basically the filter is fine enough and big enough to capture all break in debris plus normal wear, for a fair bit of time. Oil degradation is kept to a min by great temp control and clutch control. If you have a great place to change it out and you can keep things extremely clean, it will not hurt anything to do so. If you change it out in a regular ole shop, chances are your probably not gaining much ground in elimination of contamination.
Great points here. Have you seen analysis data from samples taken from the sump and compared with sample from the cooler line? I haven't but your explanation and critical thought suggests there should be a drastic difference in the two. I need, …we all need to see this difference and I’m all in to pull a cooler line sample and take that in in tomorrow morning so I’ll have the lab results for both on Wednesday.

I have not looked at where that line is to pull the sample from. Can you help me locate it and perhaps a photo as well? Thanks!

1staddition: I did look at the cooler to see two high pressure lines going to the top corner at the air cleaner. There’s also two lines on the driver’s side at the top corner too.
Which line is FROM the tyranny to the cooler?

2nd addition: I’m not going to guess at the cooler lines and decided to look for an aftermarket jeep repair shop to do a flush and grab that oil sample from the cooler lines.
 
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An important point to make is that "lifetime" means two different things depending upon who you ask. The OEs consider the lifetime of a vehicle to be 150,000 miles typically.

If you look at what ZF recommends in their published materials, they spec a 60,000 mile fluid change for these transmissions. I plan to do the filter and fluid at 60k intervals.
 

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Lab result is posted at my beginning post. I did not get a sample from the cooler line but will in a couple weeks when I do a "hot flush" and replace with new oil and grab a top side sample from there. I was concerned and confused as to the lab finding glycol in the transmission fluid and called the tech. He said finding glycol in the original oil during manufacturing is often found but once the oil is flushed out, glycol is gone and not found in new oil.

I did not ask at what point is the copper and iron count "normal" and not highlighted. I looked back at my 5 lab results for my engine and in 17k kms, copper was bouncing around 9-21 ppm and iron was 22-48 - not highlighted. I'm concerned enough with numbers as high as I have for the transmission to be 662 copper and 906 ppm iron AND GLYCOL, to get it out of there. You all would be in the same boat as me.

What does this lab result show at 24k?? Heed the ALERT and get the oil flushed out.

It will take time to get the pan, gasket and fasteners. It's taken me about 3-4 weeks to get mine coming later this month.

CHEERS!!
 
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I would check your antifreeze. I am not sure how the oil and trans coolers are constructed but is there a chance the radiator package has an issue??
 
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I would check your antifreeze. I am not sure how the oil and trans coolers are constructed but is there a chance the radiator package has an issue??
The lab tech mentioned its very common for the first original oil inserted at production will have glycol amounts in it. He was not surprised to see that. He said after the first flush, the new oil will not have glycol in it.
 

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TEST RESULTS ARE IN. POSTED HERE: The winning poll result is #4 - Lab sample will show highlighted extreme metal wear and an ALERT to change the oil and Filter.



'Good for the life of your ZF transmission'???.... However, chrysler provides a warranty good for 100k klms....after that, they dont want it, and after you decide to do a first oil change on it then or even later, you'd hope draining out all that crap oil for new doesn't cause a catastrophic shock. So....those that know me here and followed my habits for doing my own oil changes also know I take a sample of that oil (engine, diffs, transfer case) to the lab to get analysed. WHY? Its something I can do; it keeps me involved in my own investment (though it is depreciating); its an accurate record for chrysler that I did the maintenance to their schedule; it eliminates tech errors and messes I may never be informed of; I'm paying the mortgage on it and last but not least, a lab result shows me the oil and mechanical health of those units. The lab will highlight wear problems, contamination problems (like glycol in the engine like I have since new and currently monitoring and yes, the leak is getting worse). Lab results are a preliminary warning system that can prepare you of a potential problem that is in the works. Think of it like a blood test your Dr orders and has you do. It gives you "base numbers" to start with so you can monitor wear metals and contamination as you put on those miles.

So, with all that said, my habitual maintenance habit with my last vehicle, 2017 Tacoma I had for 3 years, was to change my first oils at 1000 klms,...all the oils.

An Elk hit me last Oct 2020 and truck was written off. Toyota treated me like shit and I had to fire corporate and walked over to JEEP and into this amazing 2021 JTR. I did my first oil changes at 1000 kms and found I have an internal coolant leak but couldn't change the transmission oil. I ordered the pan and gasket from Mopar On-Line and waited 5 months only to return it for missing parts and was dirty with grit and crap from being tossed around. Mopar parts guy said, "just use it because it took so long to get". I said NOT A CHANCE and sent it back.

I spoke with my new dealership service manager (I interviewed before I took my truck in for other service) to see how competent he was mechanically and he completely understood my oil condition concerns, he read my oil analysis reports and engaged in critical thinking with regard to the results and reasons for changing my transmission oil NOW! The service manager grew up around high performance vehicles and Harleys and agreed the break-in oil that is in the transmission will have clutch debris and metals flowing around in there tearing stuff up and it's prudent to change the system "earlier than later". He further said if this was a high performance transmission, he would have changed the oils out "in a heartbeat". I understand this is not a high performance system BUT it still has gears and bits that require the oil to be as clean as possible to work as best as possible for as long as possible AND i want it performing great, forever. So I ordered a new transmission pan and gasket from them and have waited now for 3 weeks.

I'm at 24k kms currently and have pulled a sample out of the transmission for a lab result as well as taken in a sample of fresh Lifeguard 8-9 Speed ATF so an accurate cross check of numbers can be done. I will have the results this wednesday and will show you all just how good OR bad the oil is at just 24k kms. I will register my vote here by saying I believe the result will be shocking in that I'll have extremely high wear in the metals and will be ALERTED to get that oil out and filter changed. What do you all think?
Sir. You are hysterical. Your protocols are meticulous. Your methodologies are sound.

But you only keep your car for 3 years?? If you flip cars every 3 years, pond water would be an adequate lubricant.

All I want to know is . . . . if when you want to sell your next cars, call me first and I may want to buy it.
 
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Maximus Gladius

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Sir. You are hysterical. Your protocols are meticulous. Your methodologies are sound.

But you only keep your car for 3 years?? If you flip cars every 3 years, pond water would be an adequate lubricant.

All I want to know is . . . . if when you want to sell your next cars, call me first and I may want to buy it.
Well I just try to care for what I pay for. Which now, at 54, I don’t want to keep flipping and paying mortgages. The goal is to care for the vehicle and by the time I’m done paying for it, it runs better than most. I had that same intention on my last truck but an elk ran out in front of me last October and I had to start over. Ive reached that point in my life where no vehicle payments is the home run I need to reach with the vehicle that’s sound.

As far as wanting my vehicle when I’m done,…you’ll have to fall in line. My neighbour has already asked the same, lol!
 

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Glycol could be introduced at the transmission final assembly.

I have worked at the Chrysler Kokomo transmission plants as an outside contractor. Transmission housings come in one end, complete transmissions go out the other. Every machine in the place uses glycol as a coolant and a flush to remove contaminates from the housings. The glycol is recycled, ran through huge filter troughs and back into the system.
 

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Well I just try to care for what I pay for. Which now, at 54, I don’t want to keep flipping and paying mortgages. The goal is to care for the vehicle and by the time I’m done paying for it, it runs better than most. I had that same intention on my last truck but an elk ran out in front of me last October and I had to start over. Ive reached that point in my life where no vehicle payments is the home run I need to reach with the vehicle that’s sound.

As far as wanting my vehicle when I’m done,…you’ll have to fall in line. My neighbour has already asked the same, lol!
I'm 53 and feel the same way. I'll be getting out of a 145,000 mile '07 Volvo S80 when my Gladiator arrives. And it still runs flawlessly. Fingers crossed the Jeep does 2/3 as well.
 
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