Short version - I think the tranny seals have blown out on the car and I was wondering what the approximate cost to fix would be. Assume replacement of the seals in the transmission (include R&R trans?)... Labor cost ~$70/hour.
Longer version - Last weekend, in order to insure the longevity of the transmission in my wifes little wonder, I drained the trans pan and the torque convertor, dropped the pan and changed the trans filter/pan gasket (parts ordered from PartsShop were delivered in record time and pricing VERY reasonable!!). Then I filled it up with fresh Mobil 1 synthetic ATF. I figured that if I keep the same maintenance period and use the synthetic that it would help with keeping it running longer.
My wife called me in a panic late yesterday afternoon and said, "My car won't go out of first gear anymore... it hardly runs at all." I'm freaking out by this time but calmly ask run here through the instructions on how to check the trans fluid level. Ssure enough, there's "no fluid on the stick" - we've sprung a leak.
That's when I remember hearing that changing from regular dinosaur-based oil to synthetics sometimes causes the seals in a unit (be it engine or transmission or whatever) to fail or blow out. I jump into my baby ('89 300E) with 6 quarts of Mobil 1 ATF and head over to my wife's office (1 hour 15 minutes away) to see if I can "fill it up and drive it home". I fill it back up (takes 1 1/2 quarts) then start it up to see if it will run at all. It runs nicely but leaves a distinct trail of ATF throughout the parking lot. Time to call the AAA truck (good thing we upgraded to the Plus membership - free tow up to 100 miles).
Had him drop it off at my regular shop (Mercedes independent - factory trained in Germany) and will catch up with him this morning regarding what it is and what it'll cost.
Everyones opinion / commiseration appreciated.
Scotts Valley, CA.
1993 300 CE Cabriolet (A124) 131K miles
1997 C-280 133K miles
2000 BMW R1100RT 69K miles
1989 300 E 216K miles (sold)