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mamamech 08-07-2001 06:46 PM

Trans. fluid level - 97 500SL
I know this is an absolutely absurd question but hubby is out of town and I need to checkj the tranny fluid!!! Where the heck is the dipstick???

engatwork 08-07-2001 06:55 PM

If it is running alright I would leave it alone - or better yet ride by Benzmac place of work and get him to check it for you. It is my opinion that getting the tranny fluid right is one of the hardest things to do on MB cars. Anyway to answer your question the tranny dipstick should be on the passenger side against the engine close to the firewall. Look for the red cap. Keep in mind, and I do not know if yours is applicable or not, but some of them do not have a dipstick on the tranny.

mbdoc 08-07-2001 06:59 PM

NOT a dumb question at all!!! There isn't one!! For you to check the fluid you must buy one!!! IT'S a special tool. part number is 140-589-15-21-00, you must also buy a lock-tab to hold the plastic cover on the dipstick tube! 140-991-00-55 is the number for the lock-tab. Also the fluid is a special synthetic that must be bought from MB as well.

Robert W. Roe 08-09-2001 02:20 PM

OK, here's another "really dumb question"... my 1984 300SD has some type of a leak (rear main seal?) that makes it necessary for me to check the ATF level frequently.

The last time I (attempted to) check, I had streaking of ATF on the dipstick, but no point where the dipstick was totally covered, if this makes any sense. How much ATF corresponds to the distance between the "full" and "Min" lines? Once when my SD was in for an oil change, they charged me for 2 quarts of ATF!!

This is driving me nuts, because I want to add Mobil 1 synthetic ATF; in fact I bought enough to do a full ATF change because I found it locally on sale for $4.99 a quart... any help appreciated. Thanks,

Robert W. Roe 08-10-2001 06:48 AM

I guess my real question is: how do I tell where the ATF level really is, if it's streaking the dipstick, rather than covering it? Am I really low, or is the fluid just coating the inside of the tube? How much should I add to get into the ballpark? I added about 8 oz maybe a month ago but I think this is gone now. Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks, Bob

engatwork 08-10-2001 08:12 AM

Bob I determine where the level is as follows:
Drive the car at least 20 miles, park on a level surface and put the car in park. Pull the dipstick out and wipe off the fluid. Put the dipstick back in and pull it out. When I pull it out I look at it in really bright light and kinda/sorta turn it on edge where I can see where the first indication of it being all the way accross the dipstick is at - this is, what I consider, to be the level. You should be able to see where the "streaking" ends and the "all the way accross" part starts. I also make sure I look at both sides and go with the lowest side.

Robert W. Roe 08-10-2001 05:11 PM

Jim, thanks for the reply. That's kinda sorta what I thought, but I wasn't 100% sure, so I figured I'd ask. I wasn't sure why the ATF was streaking/wicking up the dipstick. I was afraid I was getting foaming or God-knows-what. Better to ask than to overfill my tranny a quart or more... thanks again,

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