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Old 12-09-2008, 05:31 PM
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Change trans oil and brake fluid at 19K?

I have a 2004 E320 wagon with only 19K miles on it. I took it into Mercedes for a cargo cover problem ( it WAS the rear SAM) and I get an E-mail from them saying they had checked a number of things ( without my direction) and that my trans oil and brake fluid were "dirty" and needed flushing etc. at cost of approx $600. I've never heard of flushing and changing fluids at 19K especially on a car that is driven very lightly.
Does anyone think what they are saying is necessary or just a come on?

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Old 12-09-2008, 05:50 PM
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I thought it was 40k for trans fluid and every two years on brake fluid. Sounds a little high as I was quoted 360 to do the trans fluid on the ML320.
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Old 12-09-2008, 06:19 PM
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The brake fluid is hydrogospic, meaning that it will absorb any moisture that it comes into contact with. You should flush the brake fluid every two years no matter how many miles you have driven. As far as the high prices, go get a quote or estimate from a different dealer or reputable independent shop.
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Old 12-09-2008, 06:27 PM
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check the service intervals in the owners manual. But in general every 2 years for brake fluid
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Old 12-09-2008, 07:41 PM
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Why not have a look at the fluids yourself? 4 year old transmission fluid might be dirty especially if you're driving is mostly short trips. Or, the dealer may just be trying to make their year end quota on service work...

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Old 12-09-2008, 09:03 PM
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If you had the car since new, it is due for it's 2ND brake flush. It's important to do that every two years. Some of the orfices in the system are very small and any corrosion flaking off could plug them resulting in a very BAD day.

There is a lot of debate on these sites regarding when to change the transmission fluid/filter but nobody is suggesting 19K. Over time the transmission fluid can lose it's red color and appear brownish. This is only the dye in the fluid not the fluid itself.

Price is not out of line for dealer maintenance since they charge MSR for fluids and filters and flat rate for work. They also use special fluid exchange machines which generally do a better job than just the 'drain and fill' most of us DIY'ers do. For comparison, it cost me less than $200 for MB fluids/filters and my own labor ($0) to do those two procedures. I'm guessing an independent mechanic would be around $400.

As suggested I would check with another dealer if nearby. Let them know you are comparison shopping and you'll probably get a better deal as the economy is tight and that should favor you. Good luck.
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:17 AM
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brake and trans oil change thanks

Thanks for the good advise, I wasn't aware that the brake fluid should be chanced every two years so I will get that done but will wait a while for the trans flush and change. This where Forums like this are so helpful. Desert

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