ZF6HP26 Transmission Maintenance



The 6HP26 is a six speed automatic transmission made for BMW by the ZF Friedrichshafen AG Company. It uses a special planetary gear set that can provide more gear ratios while making the transmission lighter than its predecessor — a five-speed transmission. This transmission is used mainly in high-end luxury vehicles, but it has recently found its way into some not so high-end luxury vehicles such as the Hyundai Genesis. Rated for use in motors that put out as much as 440 Ft Lbs of torque, it is a fairly heavy duty transmission. The 6HP26 comes with a very steep first gear ratio of 4.17:1, which is great for quick jack rabbit starts. It also comes with a 0.69:1 ratio overdrive gear, which helps the car it’s used in get better gas mileage as well.  First put into production in 2001, this transmission is still being produced today.  The 6HP26 can be found in a wide variety of vehicles, including the Jaguar XKR, the Jaguar XJ, the Ranger Rover, the Rolls Royce Phantom, the BMW 5 series, the BMW 3 series, the Maserati Quattroporte, the Kia

Mohave, and finally, the BMW X5.

BMW X5 (Wiki)

The BMW X5 comes with a 6HP26 automatic transmission.

The BMW X5 is a mid-sized, luxury SUV. Some even refer to it as a crossover vehicle, due to the number of car based components used in its construction. This SUV features four doors, a rear hatch gate and seating for up to five adults. It’s available with both gas and diesel straight six engines, along with a more powerful V8 option. Being that this is a luxury vehicle, it comes standard with a high-grade leather interior and all the latest technology based bells and whistles.

The X5 is by no means an inexpensive vehicle. Vehicles this expensive need special care, especially when it comes to its very sophisticated automatic transmission. If your goal is to maximize the usefully lifespan of your BMW X5, then you should take note of this important advice. Here is how to keep the 6HP26 transmission running strong in your X5.

Change the transmission fluid often.

While the factory may tell you it’s OK to go longer in between transmission oil changes, I highly recommend that you have the transmission fluid replaced every 30, 000 miles. If you drive your X5 hard, reduce that to every 25,000 miles. Another good recommendation is to replace the organic oil based fluid with a good quality synthetic fluid. Synthetic fluids do a much better job at protecting your transmission from everyday wear, and are much more resilient to the negative effects of excessive heat.

Change the transmission filter.

Every time you change the transmission fluid, you should change the transmission filter. Many times the old filter won’t look dirty to the naked eye, but trust me it’s probably full of fine, transmission damaging debris.  It’s best to use an OEM quality filter when replacing the old filter. Cheaper filters are known to not meet the ridged factory requirements for filtration.

Sooner or later, due to high mileage or abuse, you will be faced with the decision to replace the 6HP26 transmission in your BMW X5.


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