With the BMW 330E rolling out from warranty, Team Vebo started receiving enquiries on the 8-Speed Plug-In Hybrid Transmission Oil Change. The team quickly went into research mode to understand the difference between the regular ZF 8HP Automatic transmission that we service often and the plug-in hybrid version. Before we share the transmission oil change procedure we did on a 330E recently, let's take a quick look at the popular 330E transmission specs.
Sandwiched between it and the eight-speed ZF automatic transmission is an 87 hp/250 Nm electric motor, boosting total system output to 252 hp and 420 Nm; a 5.7 kWh lithium-ion battery juices the motor. With all systems go, the 330e sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds, half a second slower than the 330i. The top speed is also a slightly more modest 225 km/h rather than the 330i’s electronically-limited 250 km/h.*
One key difference between the 8-Speed Plug-In Hybrid Transmission and the regular ZF 8HP is the absence of a torque converter. The torque converter is replaced with an electric motor. Based on our analysis, with such a high torque, the gearbox will work harder compared to the regular ZF 8HP and thus the gear oil needs extra attention from the owners due to the additional stress.
What are the components involved in an 8-Speed Plug-In Hybrid Transmission Oil Change?
New ZF 8HP Gear Oil or ZF Certified Gear Oil
New ZF 8-Speed Plug-In Hybrid Transmission Oil (with filter)
New screws and retainer screws.
We previously demystified the notion of 'lifetime oil' = no oil change. You can refer to our blog post here:
As a summary, ZF recommends that the transmission oil should be change as per the interval below:
Depending on the driving style, ZF therefore recommends a transmission oil change at 100,000 km or after 8 years at the latest.**
We also noted that the recommendation is based on the regular ZF 8HP and not the 8-Speed Plug-In Hybrid Transmission which may go under more stressful conditions.
The gear oil best to changed when the car is able to be jacked up because there is need to remove the gearbox cover and all activities needs to be performed at the bottom of the car. So best place to get this done is at the workshop where they have proper tools, knowledge and skills to handle it in a safe manner.
Any workshop that is familiar in dealing with BMW gear oil change and have the proper tools. A scanner is required to get the oil temperature reading in order to complete the job correctly.
1. First, the car needs to jacked up and the bottom and gearbox cover needs to be removed to access the transmission oil pan.
2. Remove the drain plug and completely drain all the gear oil. (Notice color of the oil after long exposure to heat and pressure)
3. Drain the gear oil to a complete stop. Note that a total of 5L of oil are drained(including oil from the oil pan).
4. Remove all pan screws and retainer screw.
5. Remove the pan and this is how the sophisticated mechatronic and solenoid looks like. Clean it thoroughly and ensure each screws are tight and there are no foreign objects.
6. Install the new pan and screws with recommended torque. Use a torque wrench and tighten with 8nm of torque.
7. All screws and retainer screws are to replaced with new screws. Do not reuse existing screws as corrosion and rust may had already occurred. The oil pan just sits just below the area where the aircon water would be discharged. So all these screws are exposed to water and air which will corrode eventually over the time.
8. Fill up the gear oil with a pump for first round. This would take roughly around 3-4 litres before it spills.
9. Start the car and shift to each gear for 10 seconds for every interval. Warm up the gearbox to around 40-50 deg C and prepare for second refilling.
10. Refill the gearbox again for a second time and secure the retainer screws and reinstall the gearbox and bottom cover. That concludes the transmission gear oil change.