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Old 09-01-2010, 04:04 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Southeast
Posts: 1,727
Where to go for transmission fluid change?

I'm in the metro Atlanta area. My car just turned 150k, so I guess it gets a badge at this point, and also it's time to do another transmission fluid change.

Short of going to the dealer or to a specialty Mercedes mechanic, both who will have fairly high prices, where's a good place to go for transmission fluid changes?

Bottom line, my transmission shifts fine now, I just want to keep it that way. I'm sure if I go to an AAMCO, they'll find some problems I didn't have before I went in, so I want to avoid them.


1991 300d, 152k

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Old 09-01-2010, 04:29 PM
vstech's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Mount Holly, NC
Posts: 26,389
do it yourself. get a set of drive up ramps, and wheel chocks, a 6mm allen socket, and a 10mm socket and extension. simple easy.
go to walmart and buy 6 quarts of fluid, and order the gasket and filter from our site here.
John HAUL AWAY, OR CRUSHED CARS!!! HELP ME keep the cars out of the crusher! A/C Thread
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Old 09-01-2010, 04:37 PM
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Location: New Jersey
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the key to not getting screwed is knowing what youre dealing with, what you need, what you might expect.

Also to know your fluid. Is it Dex III spec or something else?

If it is not absolutely tied to an MB specialty fluid (and I doubt it is), I would run valvoline maxlife dex, which meets some decent MB fluid specs and is a great fluid. Buy the filter, etc from Phil, and get a trusted local garage to do it.
Current Diesels:
1981 240D (73K)
1982 300CD (162k)
1991 350SD (113k)
1996 Dodge Ram CTD (438k)

Past Diesels:
1983 300D (228K)
1985 300D (233K)
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Old 09-01-2010, 04:45 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Albany, OR
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The first milage badge is for 155k miles(250k kilometers), so you're almost there.
'04 Jetta TDI Wagon
'82 300TD ~ Winnie ~ Sold
'77 300D ~ Sold
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Old 09-01-2010, 04:57 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Sonoma Wine Country
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I think your car is too early to have "environmentally friendly" insulation in the wiring harnesses but you might wish to make sure. The neutral safety switch and reverse light cables both can be 'disturbed' during a fluid/filter change if you aren't aware of the risk (and many generic auto shops won't be). If you handle the cables gently there should be no problems. I had to rebuild the cables in my '96 after an otherwise excellent shop worked on the transmission and the insulation fell apart.

Also remember that your car's torque converter probably has a drain plug. Rotate the engine by hand until the plug can be seen through the hole in the protection cover. You will get two or three quarts out of the transmission/filter and about the same amount more from the torque converter. Probably a good idea to replace the seal on the transmission pan while you're at it. FastLane has both the seal and the filter at reasonable prices and they support this forum.

Pretty much any good Dexron-III type fluid will be OK - everyone has their favorite. Be careful with full synthetic fluids such as Mobil-1. Because of the age and miles (248,000) on my '96 transmission, my change to Mobil-1 caused a significant front pump seal leak. I was unable to stop the leak and ended up having to get the transmission rebuilt. All of the hard parts were good, fortunately, but at California rates, R&R plus labor and materials to replace all of the wear parts cost almost $3000. [OTOH, I put Mobil-1 in the engine and it doesn't leak at all. Go figure.]


"Buster" in the '95

Our all-biodiesel family
1995 E300D (W124) . .239,000 miles My car
1996 E300D (W210) . .313,000 miles Wife's car
Santa Rosa population 170,685 (2012)
Total. . . . . . . . . . . . 722,685
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:19 PM
Mechanical Hyphochondriac
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Ocala, FL
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Check out Blue Ridge Mercedes if you are not going to do it your self...Jonathan knows his stuff! You will not regret it.
1987 300TDT - 195,000 (Original #14 head)
1993 190E 2.3 - 105,000
1981 300D - 250,000
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:29 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Middle TN
Posts: 3,827
Who works on your other vehicles? Anyone you trust can change the fluid provided they are conscientious. Drain the pan, pull the pan, drain the TC, replace TC plug, install filter, replace pan & drain. Pour in measured amount of fluid to be slightly under filled. Drive & recheck fluid level, top off, be sure not to over fill, done.

Stand there & watch them. Lifts are a beautiful thing. FSM has capacities AND warns against wiping dripping fluid which may contaminate fluid & mess up tranny.

85SD 240K & stopped counting getting paint. 84SD 180,000. Probably up for sale in the fall 2020. 85TD beginning to repair to DD status.
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