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Issues that occur with ZF 8HP automatic gearboxes

2023-04-15 20:17:10 Author: Nova Rent a Car
Issues that occur with ZF 8HP automatic gearboxes

The ZF gearboxes of the 8HP45, 8HP50, 8HP70, 8HP75, 8HP90 series are eight-speed automatic transmissions produced by the German company ZF Friedrichshafen AG, and in this article the car rental office Nova Rent a Car Airport Iasi shows you the defects that appear in these transmissions but also some solutions to solve them. These are automatic torque converter clutches, meaning they use a hydraulic coupling system to transmit power from the engine to the transmission. They are also dry transmissions, meaning they do not need lubrication via transmission oil to cool and lubricate internal components. The ZF 8HP transmission is intended for use in vehicles with rear or all-wheel drive and longitudinally mounted engines. This type of transmission is widely used in the automotive industry, being used in vehicles from several car brands such as:

  • Audi A8, A7, A6, RS 6, A5, S5, A4, S4 SQ7, Q8, RS Q8
  •  Alfa Romeo Giulia, Stelvio Quadrifoglio
  •  Aston Martin Rapide, Vanquish, Vantage, DBS Superleggera
  •  BMW Seria 7, Seria 6, Seria 5, Seria 3, Seria 2, Seria 1, X3, X4, X5, X6
  •  Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Jeep Grand Cherokee
  •  Jaguar XJ, XF, F-Type
  •  Land Rover Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Discovery
  •  Rolls Royce Ghost, Wraith, Dawn, Phantom

One of the main advantages of ZF 8HP45, 8HP50, 8HP70 gearboxes is their efficiency in terms of fuel economy. Due to the large number of gears and their advanced design, they offer significant fuel economy compared to older transmissions with fewer gears. The transmissions also offer quick and smooth gear changes of just 200 milliseconds without the need for a break in pulling power, which improves overall vehicle performance. In addition, these clutches offer the possibility of changing gears in a non-sequential way, for example one can switch from 8th gear directly to 2nd gear in extreme situations.

The ZF 8HP70 transmission has a maximum torque limit of 700 Nm and weighs almost 90 kilograms and depending on the vehicle and engine it can be adapted for a wide range of power and torque. For example, the ZF 8HP70 can be configured to suit internal combustion, petrol or diesel engines from 200 to 650 horsepower, and peak torque can range from 300 to 700 Nm. It is important to note that these values may vary depending on the vehicle and engine.

On the downside, the ZF 8HP45, 8HP50, 8HP70, 8HP75, 8HP90 clutches are more complex and expensive than older transmissions, which can lead to higher repair costs. Reliability can also be an issue because these transmissions use a large number of mechanical and electronic components. However, these transmissions are generally considered quite reliable and are used by many high-performance car manufacturers.

Mechatronics problems. Mechatronics is the electronic and control part of the ZF 8HP automatic gearbox, which is responsible for shifting gears and controlling other functions of the transmission. The car rental company Nova Rent a Car from Iasi Romania reminds you that it includes a TCM transmission control module (Transmission Control Module) and a TCU telematics control unit (Telematics control unit). In an automatic transmission, the TCM and TCU are two essential components that control the operation of the transmission system to allow gear shifting and ensure optimal car performance.

The TCM is the transmission control module that monitors and controls gear shifting. It receives signals from various car sensors, such as the speed sensor, accelerator pedal position sensor, or gear shift position sensor, to determine the right time to shift gears. The TCM can be programmed to change gears depending on the driver's driving style or driving conditions, such as the car's speed or the incidence of hills.

The TCU is the transmission control unit that handles torque transmission between the engine and transmission, and monitors how the car shifts gears. The TCU communicates with the TCM and other car components to ensure that gear shifting occurs properly and smoothly. It can also adjust how it shifts gears to suit your driving style or driving conditions.

Generally, the TCM and TCU work together to control how gears are shifted in an automatic transmission, ensuring optimal performance and a safe and enjoyable driving experience.

Over time, mechatronics can also suffer some defects, such as:

     Sensor Failures - Sensor failures can cause problems with detecting drive belt position, speed, and hydraulic fluid pressure, which can lead to shifting problems or erratic transmission behavior.

     Solenoids – Faulty solenoid valves can cause problems with hydraulic fluid pressure, which can lead to shifting problems or erratic transmission behavior.

     Electronic controller problems - The electronic controller may suffer from problems correctly detecting signals from sensors or correctly transmitting commands to solenoids, which can lead to problems with shifting gears or erratic transmission behavior.

     Power Supply Problems - Power supply problems can lead to problems with the electronic controller, solenoids, and other electronic components of the mechatronics.

Solutions to these problems may include replacing faulty components, cleaning sensors and solenoids, recalibrating the electronic controller, and fixing power supply problems. It is important to carry out regular maintenance and overhauls on the gearbox to prevent these transmission mechatronics problems from occurring.

Other ZF 8HP Transmission Error Codes:

• P0705 Transmission Range Sensor Circuit Malfunction (PRNDL Input)
• P0706 Transmission Range Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
• P0710 Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit
• P0711 Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
• P0712 Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Low Input
• P0713 Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit High Input
• P0714 Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Intermittent P0715
• P0717 Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit No Signal
• P0729 Gear 6 Incorrect Ratio
• P0730 Incorrect Gear Ratio
• P0731 Gear 1 Incorrect Ratio
• P0732 Gear 2 Incorrect Ratio
• P0733 Gear 3 Incorrect Ratio
• P0734 Gear 4 Incorrect Ratio
• P0735 Gear 5 Incorrect Ratio
• P0750 Shift Solenoid 'A'
• P0755 Shift Solenoid 'B'

Although the ZF 8HP gearbox is considered one of the most reliable and advanced automatic transmissions available on the market, over time it can suffer some problems and the Nova Rent a Car Airport Iasi car rental agency shows you some of the most common problems which may appear on this transmission in the lines below:

  1. Abrupt and uneven shifts between gears. This can be caused by a number of problems such as faulty sensors, dirty or faulty solenoids, contaminated lubricant or low lubricant.
  2. Abnormal noises or vibrations. These problems can be caused by a variety of factors, such as overheating, worn internal components, contaminated or degraded lubricant, or problems with the electronic control system.
  3. Pressure losses in the hydraulic system. This can result in jerky shifts or even the inability to shift, and causes can include hydraulic fluid loss, hydraulic pump or solenoid failure.
  4. Faults in the torque converter. These problems can cause abnormal noises and vibrations, an increase in temperature and even loss of power. Causes may include wear or failure of internal components, contaminated or low lubricant, or problems with the electronic control system.

Solutions to these problems may vary depending on the cause. In many cases, their solutions include changing the lubricant, replacing faulty components, cleaning solenoids and sensors, or recalibrating the electronic control system. In more severe cases, the entire automatic transmission may need to be replaced. To prevent these problems from occurring, it is important to follow the maintenance schedule recommended by the car manufacturer and to carry out periodic inspections of the gearbox.


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