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  #1  
Old 08-24-2004, 06:53 AM
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Checking 722.6 transmission fluid level

I wish to check the transmission fluid level on my 1999 R129 SL500. It has a 722.624 transmission. I have ordered the special tool and parts from the dealer. I understand I should check the level at 25 deg C and again at 80 deg C. My questions are simple and probably stupid:

1. Do I check the fluid level with the engine running?
2. In what position should the transmission selector lever be when I check the level.

I have assumed that should I check the level at 25 deg C with the engine off and the transmission in P. I also assume that I should check the level at 80 deg C with the engine off and selector in P, and then check it again with the engine running and the car in P.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-24-2004, 08:01 AM
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To the best of my knowledge the transmission fluid level is checked with the engine running and the transmission in Park. If you change the fluid you typically add all but the last pint or so then start the engine and shift the transmission from Park through the various gears several times. Recheck the 'cold' level and add fluid, as required. Then drive the car to bring the transmission up to temperature and check the 'hot' level. Add fluid, as required to bring it to the full 'hot' level being very careful not to overfill.
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  #3  
Old 08-26-2004, 06:10 AM
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I've checked it and it seems to me to be too full. The level comes right past the uppermost mark and up to the top of the measuring part of the dipstick. The dealer does not seem to think this is the end of the world and the soonest he can look at the car is 14 September.

Meanwhile, I am concerned about my transmission:

Full load upshifts from 1st to 2nd are noticeably jerky. These used to be slurred just so.

Downshifts from 3rd to 2nd are jerky, too.

Often the transmission seems hesitant or reluctant to change.

There is no slippage at any time.

Changes at less than full load and between other ranges are generally OK.

Any ideas?
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  #4  
Old 08-26-2004, 07:29 AM
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Use a suction device to remove excess transmission fluid. Overfilling is not recommended.
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  #5  
Old 08-26-2004, 08:56 AM
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I am not sure if the procedure with the 722.6 is different than a "normal" transmission. I believe the HHT or star diagnostics software used by the dealer only will display trans temp with the tranny in gear. I wonder if maybe it is supposed to be checked when in gear?
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  #6  
Old 08-26-2004, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali Al-Chalabi
I am not sure if the procedure with the 722.6 is different than a "normal" transmission. I believe the HHT or star diagnostics software used by the dealer only will display trans temp with the tranny in gear. I wonder if maybe it is supposed to be checked when in gear?
You're correct about the HHT/star diagnosis system only giving a temp read out when the transmission is in gear; however, my understanding is that the fluid level is taken with the transmission in Park.
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Old 08-26-2004, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjrodger
Full load upshifts from 1st to 2nd are noticeably jerky. These used to be slurred just so.

Downshifts from 3rd to 2nd are jerky, too.
Sounds like ETC problem.

http://forums.mbworld.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=48087
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Old 08-26-2004, 11:03 AM
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Thanks for chipping in BlackMercedes, I have been hoping you'd see this post. I read of the difficulties you had with your own 722.6 when I searched the forum before posting. My car was March 1999 build and it has a 722.624 tranny. Will it not already have the upgraded ETC? I note the TSB at MBWorld is dated 29 December 1999, so maybe not.

I'm also concerned that mine might be a hardware problem: it used to shift beautifully. I'd welcome your further input, BlackMercedes, I'm worried about getting a bill for a new transmission! Also, how much is the ETC upgrade?
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Old 08-26-2004, 01:53 PM
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Don't your shifting problems sound EXACTLY like the problems described in the TSB? They do to me!

Do you have a good relationship with your dealer? I know a few folks that have had the ETC updated on MB Canada's tab even though the car was out of warranty. Even a cost-sharing arrangement would be preferable to picking up the whole tab. I think that the ETC replacement was about $1100 of my warranty bill. It was about $5000 for the new tranny, $1100 for the ETC, $1600 for the converter, and "sundry" bits brought it to about $8000.

Talking to local techs, MB Canada won't authorize ANY warranty repairs on any 97-99 model year 722.6 trannies. They immediately replace all the bits. While it's more expensive, they upgrade the tranny, ETC and converter.

My indie had a rival shop replace some trannies without updating the ETC, and the new box would be wrecked by the old ETC. He had some disgruntled customers come to his shop, and he replaced everything (cars WELL out of warranty...) and problem solved. However, he has had good success treating patients with shifting problems by replacing the ETC on it's own.

Once sorted out, it seems that the 722.6xx is a deadly tranny, but thank you Mercedes for experimenting on the first three years of owners.
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  #10  
Old 08-27-2004, 03:23 AM
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My symptoms do sound like the TSB. However, on 2 occasions the transmission has slipped from drive into neutral (the shift lever remains in drive, of course), although on both occasions I was doing something stupid. Also, occasionally on a full throttle or kickdown change from 3rd to 2nd, the engine will spin all the way to the redline before 2nd engages with a clonk. I reckon this could be a sticking valve or a worn clutch pack. I think I will wait for the dealer diagnosis. For once the dealer seemed to know what he was talking about.

The new ETC retails at GBP541.65 including tax, although I can get a 10% discount.
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  #11  
Old 08-27-2004, 08:08 AM
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I hate to say it, but messing with the fluid level on a .6 is NOT a DIY job, IMHO. The temp is way too critical. It's ONLY checked at 80C. If you just test drive it and check it, you have no idea. You can monitor the temp with SDS and (I tried this) check the level at different increments and it just keeps creeping and creeping up the stick. 80C, BANGO there it is right where it belongs, and another degree or two higher and the level is already over the mark. It's THAT critical on temp. You usually have about a minute at 80C to check the fluid level, so I guess you could say if a tech is going to check fluid level, 78C or so would be a real BAD time to go get a cup of coffee!
YES the fluid is checked in gear, and YES you only get a temp reading in gear, because you only check the fluid in gear and as far as SDS is concerned, that only real function of the temp sensor at all is to use for checking fluid level. So MB set it up this way so you don't get a bozo checking fluid level in park. SET the parking brake and throw a block in front of the wheels (or rear if you check it in reverse).
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  #12  
Old 08-27-2004, 09:44 AM
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Great info Gilly. I suspected that the fluid level is supposed to be checked in gear on the 722.6 due to the sds only giving a trans temp reading with the vehicle in gear.
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  #13  
Old 08-27-2004, 11:34 AM
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jjrodger, please accept my apology for giving you bum advice. From Gilly's description checking the 722.6 transmission fluid level is a meticulous process. It's difficult to believe that temperature is so critical. I wonder how many MB techs check the level at precisely 80C?
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  #14  
Old 08-27-2004, 02:44 PM
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They plug the car into the SDS and monitor the trans temp.
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  #15  
Old 08-27-2004, 06:03 PM
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Ali:
I think he meant "how many" of them do it this way, not "how do they do it".
The only answer I can give is that all of them i used to work with did it that way. I am sure 90+% of them in a dealer are doing it correctly; MB really stresses this in training. The dipstick tool is really useless without monitoring the temp, and there is a very short window of opportunity to catch it at the correct temp. If you simply testdrive the crap out of the car, plug in SDS and the temp is way high, say 110C or so, which I have seen done, it's way way up on the stick, even though when it was brought back down (let the car sit shutoff for 1/2 hour or so) the level at 80C was found to be a little low.

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