Extend The Life Of Your 5HP19 Automatic Transmission

Posted by on Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

The 5HP19 is a five speed automatic transmission manufactured by ZF Friedrichshafen AG. It was first put into production in 1996 and was finally phased out of use at the end of the 2003 model year. It was originally designed for use in BMW vehicles, including the 2000 – 2003 320i, 323Ci, 525i, 530i and 728i.

This is the 5HP19 automatic transmission


The 5HP19 also included a few sub classes; The 5HP19FL (used in the Porsche Boxer, the Audi A4 and Audi A8), the 5HP19FLA (used in the Audi A6 and Audi Allroad Quaottro, and the Volkswagon  Passat),  the 5HP19HL (Porsche 911 Carrera 996) and the 5HP19HLA (Porsche Carrera 4S).

While the 5HP19 is considered a good transmission, it is mainly up to the vehicle’s owner how long the transmission will last. Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to extend the life of your 5HP19 automatic transmission.

You must perform timely scheduled maintenance. Although the factory has a longer recommended time interval between scheduled maintenance services, I recommend you get your 5HP19 transmission serviced every 25,000. This is cheap insurance to assure that you get the maximum lifespan out of your transmission.

Not every maintenance service is the same. It really depends on the shop you visit and what they include in a transmission service package.  Here is what I believe every transmission service should include:

  • Drain and replace the transmission fluid, preferably with synthetic fluid.
  • Drain the torque converter.
  • Replace the transmission filter.
  • Thoroughly clean the inside of the transmission pan.
  • Pressure clean the transmission cooler and cooler lines.
  • Adjust the transmission bands to compensate for wear.
  • Re-torque the valve body bolts.
  • Run a scan on the transmission CPU and look for error codes.
  • A thorough test drive, including city and highway speeds and conditions.

Many times a transmissions lifespan can be reduced due to poor driving habits.  Here is a list of thing you should be aware of:

  • Don’t throw your vehicle into park before coming to a complete stop (two mph is not a complete stop).
  • Don’t tow over the factory recommended tow limit.
  • Allow your transmission to warm up before driving it hard.
  • Don’t drag race your 5HP19 equipped vehicle.
  • Don’t go from a forward gear to reverse without coming to a complete stop.
  • Be aware of your transmission’s temperature. It should not go much over 200 degrees.
  • When climbing a long, steep hill, allow your vehicle to naturally slow down a bit while still keeping up with traffic.

As you can see it doesn’t take much to extend the life of your 5HP19 transmission. Regular maintenance and proper driving habits can make all the difference!

The 5HP19 automatic transmission can be found in the Porsche Carrera 4S


Sooner or later, due to high mileage or abuse, you will be faced with a decision to replace the 5HP19 in your vehicle. I highly recommend doing so with a re-manufactured transmission over one that was simply rebuilt. A re-manufactured transmission comes with a much better warranty; three years compared to an average 90 days for a rebuilt transmission. In the rare event that you need to contact the company that re-manufactures transmissions, they are just a quick phone call or email away!

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