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Transmission fluid exchanged with Amsoil ATL

1598 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  leland331
So here it goes... another oil thread. However I am just here to report what i found and learned from lots of reading, research, and trial in my own 2011 RRS.

For some background, I recently picked up a 2011 RRS SC with 130,000 km on it. It has seemingly been very well cared for by someone who understands how these vehicles work. I did not really have transmission problems at all. There was maybe a very quiet noise from the torque converter once when i took off from a stop fast.

I decided just for longevity that i would replace the fluid, pan, and filter. Turns out someone was ahead of me and the previous owner changed it already too. The fluid looked very new. I already had the pan off and didn't plan to stop as i stripped the plastic drain plug and had a new pan in front of me. I decided on Amsoil over the recommended Lifeguard 6 fluid. The decision was not because of the price difference, but because I read about these transmissions having what seem to be fluid related problems from time to time. A few people went out of their way to get an oil analysis done on their Lifeguard fluid and have found how bad it proved to be, only staying in its spec for around 30,000km.

So I decided to take my gamble on non approved fluid and trust that Amsoil knows what they are doing here. I filled the transmission pan, removed a cooler line, placed the line in a container with a mark at 2L to not run the transmission dry, had someone help me so I could start the engine and then stop it when fluid hit the line, then replacing the lost fluid from the pan. This would make sure most if not nearly all of the old fluid was out.

After that, i drove around for a while noticing the vehicle feel freer or more responsive with shifts so smooth i couldn't really tell when they took place. I drove for a while carefully to prepare the fluid for the next step (the fluid will wear in and its friction properties will change when some clutch material gets in it)

I stopped and reset the transmission adaptation. This is a different fluid. While compatible, still different. I spent a very long time driving through the recommended relearn procedure just repeating driving up through the gears, coasting to a stop, holding the brake for 10 seconds. The transmission is always in learn mode and anytime you come to a stop holding the brake for 10 seconds, the adaptation values change. This made it feel like a new transmission as far as i am concerned.

I am by no means saying that I know amsoil is truely safe in these boxes long term. But I feel it is a better fluid,that it is safe, cheaper (and that can also mean more frequent drain and refills), and I also feel that the computer has the ability to adapt to the slight differences in this fluid and would not let the clutches slip and destroy themselves unless you did the relearn improperly.

I will be happy to report back with what i feel as the KM goes up and it sees more use. I may also send it in for an analysis to see how it is doing.

PS: We also own an audi with a zf box now running this same fluid and for 10,000km it has been smooth and completely problem free. I actually did not do an adaptation reset. I probably should and will.
PSS: We also have had two toyotas that use a "special" fluid that have had the transmissions working incredibly on this fluid. One had probably its first fluid change ever at 250,000km and it resulted in no issues.

I would like to hear if anyone else has been brave or crazy enough to use something other than the Zf recommended fluid.
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Thanks for blazing the trail! Keep us posted.
Roughly 500km so far without a single issue. It is smooth, responsive and fast as always. A lot smoother than when it had the original fluid. The smoothness could just be from me relearning the trans though.
I'm very curious about this. I have a few questions about the process that you did. I use amsoil in the engine and it is some really good stuff.

Can you give me a quick rundown of the EXACT fluid changing process you did? If email is easier let me know. Just very curious about this as my trans does some pretty weird stuff sometimes. Nothing to get alarmed about but wondering if this is something I should do.
Of course. I will explain it here so that everyone can read about it.

I removed the pan and filter, made sure everything was clean and replaced the pan and filter with a new one.

On the passenger side there is a fill plug. I removed it and pumped in the new amsoil ATL fluid until it was level with the bottom of the fill plug. Leave the pump in place and the tube in the transmission fill plug.

I then removed a line from the transmission cooler up front under the engine and placed it inside a large container securely. The line closer to the ground is the pressure line that you want. I took a marker and made a mark at 2 litres roughly on the container the line was in and got a second guy to help me.

I started the engine with the helper watching the fluid level in the container and promptly rowed the transmission through the gears and back to park while he watched the level waiting for him to yell at me to turn off the engine.

Once two litres are in the container, empty it, and pump in fluid until you can't anymore again. Start engine and repeat the process 3 times. This pushes the new fluid through the torque converter and the old fluid out. I mark at two litres so as to make sure the transmission never ran dry of fluid.

After that I simply hooked the cooler back up, pumped fluid in until it wouldn't take anymore and started the engine again. I watched the transmission temp on a scanner and let it run until it reached 40 degrees C and pumped fluid in until it ran out if the fill plug again. At that point I put the fill plug back in and your fluid level is now good.

I then went for a drive. Just a gentle one for about 20 minutes to basically hest the fluid up good and get some friction material in it so the computer could learn properly.

I then reset the transmission adaptation and went for a very long relearning drive. Basically you have to start off accelerating using about 12 percent throttle not moving your foot at all when it shifts or for any reason until you reach about 70kmh in 6th gear. You then have to release the gas and let the vehicle naturally coast down to 20kmh then hold the brake at a stop for 10 seconds. Repeat this 10 times being gentle. You need a near private road really.

After that I repeated the above drive cycle 5 times being a little harder accelerating and letting it coast to a stop naturally, being sure to stop and hold the brake for 10 seconds after the vehicle coasted to a near stop.

I then repeated the same procedure only I used the brakes to slow down and did not coast. Every time, stopping and holding the brake for 10s, as that is basically the vehicles signal to take the learning.

After that, I accelerated to about 15kmh then mashed the brakes then instantly mashed the gas about half way, speeding up to about 70kmh and then stopping and holding the brake to take the learning.

I then repeated the above in sport mode (only I did so less times. Maybe once for every scenario).

I then went for a drive around town as a person normally would, making sure to stop for 10 seconds at every stop sign to make sure it learned for that too.

Essentially you are teaching the transmission how to react in every situation by driving it like this. It continues to build it's table of what should happen when in daily driving. The absolute must is the first procedure in normal mode, 12 percent throttle to 75 ish kmh then coasting to a near stop using no brakes at all, then holding the brakes for 10s, rinse and repeat.

You will spend some time driving the vehicle in some interesting ways, annoying traffic. So be safe and pick a quiet road. I do think that the relearn procedure is what made the most difference however.

I hope I did okay explaining what I did. If there are any questions don't hesitate to ask
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A few thousand km later and not a single transmission issue. I did another relearn drive recently. I did not reset adaptations but simply went for the relearn drive procedure and watched the set values change a little bit.

My transmission works incredibly, shifts fast, smooth, and makes less noise than ever. I would not hesitate to recommend this for a zf transmission now. Winter here will be the real test but I think it will be awesome.
This is good news to me. Just got the filter and getting ready to do this with the same exact fluid. Only thing I didn't want to do was any adaptations or re learning but we will see how it goes.
I strongly advise to do the adaptations and relearning when you change the fluid. Once you change it, go for a easy drive for about 50km then reset the adaptations. Do the relearn drive 20 or so times because it gets better and better.

You also get to spend some time driving your range rover really slow in traffic looking like a bad driver. (pick a road with no traffic) you have to coast to a stop and accelerate to 75 with no more than 12 percent throttle repeatedly.
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