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  #1  
Old 08-24-2009, 03:51 PM
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ATF "Alternatives" for 722.6?

* BG fluid supposedly meets 236.10:
http://www.bglsi.com/ATF.PDF

* Valvoline MaxLife supposedly "suitable" for 236.x:
http://valvoline.com/pdf/Maxlife_ATF.pdf

* Valvoline MaxLife supposedly "suitable" for NAG-1 transmission (Mercedes-built 722.6 for Chrysler applications):
http://valvoline.com/products/consumer-products/automatic-transmission-products/automatic-transmission-fluid/37

* Valvoline MaxLife supposedly shown in TSB as replacement:
http://benzguide.com/index.php?title=Approved_Mercedes_Transmission_Fluid

I checked the back of a Valvoline MaxLife bottle and they recommend it for use where 3403 (Shell version of MB 722.6 fluid) is called for. I know this doesn't mean Valvoline submitted their fluid for certification by Mercedes, so I'm a little bit leery.

Also I see there is a new Mobil 1 type 134 fluid that meets the 236.10 spec, but I can't find this stuff anywhere (checked AutoZoo, O'Really, and Wally World).

I have not seen much discussion of alternatives to the dealer-supplied ATF here, so I am curious. What's the going rate for a quart of the "older" fluid recommended for the 722.6? Has anyone had success with the supposed alternatives?
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  #2  
Old 08-24-2009, 05:29 PM
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As far as MB approvals go...Shell 3353 (DHS Gremany) or Fuchs 3353. Unless you go to the newer fluid 4134 or 134, again only Fuchs OR Shell from Germany.

Why damage a $4000 trans by saving $50??
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  #3  
Old 08-24-2009, 05:56 PM
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Yes, I am aware of the current textbook answers on this one. I also understand the philosophical rationale for following the textbook. As stated in the original post, I am interested in knowing if anybody has had success using any of the above fluids, as well as the going rate for the "proper" fluid at the dealer.
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  #4  
Old 08-24-2009, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M.B.DOC View Post
As far as MB approvals go...Shell 3353 (DHS Gremany) or Fuchs 3353. Unless you go to the newer fluid 4134 or 134, again only Fuchs OR Shell from Germany.

Why damage a $4000 trans by saving $50??
Out of curiosity, as a dealer tech who no doubt sees many 722.6 transmissions, have you personally seen one damaged by using any of these specific fluids?
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  #5  
Old 08-25-2009, 08:05 AM
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Have seen damage done by incorrect fluids, no real way to know exactly what fluid was used.

You can get Fuchs fluid HERE, the "Febi" fluid is a re-packaged OE fluid!


Did see several clutch issues with transmissions that used "BG" atf.
They also state their fluid is "approved", but MBUSA & Damiler says otherwise.
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  #6  
Old 08-25-2009, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmercoleza View Post
Yes, I am aware of the current textbook answers on this one. I also understand the philosophical rationale for following the textbook. As stated in the original post, I am interested in knowing if anybody has had success using any of the above fluids, as well as the going rate for the "proper" fluid at the dealer.
How many miles/years define your "test" period? Are you looking for folks that have had used oil analysis? I'd think you'd want more than "worked for me" as a measure of "success."

Here's the list of approved fluids:
http://bevo.daimler.com/bevolistenmain.php?session_id=&navigation_path=bevolisten&language_id=1

Not only, IMHO, is it silly to look for nonapproved fluids that supposedly work, it's also silly to not use the latest specification fluid, which is 236.14. The mobil you can't find is one of these. A couple are available here: http://store.europarts-sd.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=295
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2009, 05:50 PM
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I know the maxlife is also approved for Lexus boxes that call for synthetic ATF...so it does appear to be a Good fluid. I know of two guys running VML in their .6's, one has put about 25K w/o nary an issue, the other 5K. 25K stopped by the other day for a chat and we took a look @ the fluid w/ the dip stick tool..fluid showed some age but Nothing out of the ordinary and according to said owner shifting is Perfect!

YMMV.

Jonathan
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  #8  
Old 10-25-2010, 04:46 PM
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Just for other peoples info.

I've currently run Valvoline Max life for 10,000 KM now. No issues.

At some stage in the next 10,000 KM i'm planning another fluid change as the initial one didn't include the filter. I'll report back on the state of the fluid and such when I do it.
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  #9  
Old 10-25-2010, 05:32 PM
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One of the parts places linked above (I think fastlane) has Redline's for $43 a gallon. It's another of the ones that MB hasn't blessed, although RL has a good reputation and their flow specs exceed the MB standards.

When mine again comes due I plan on using the Shell 134 fluid, touted over at BW quite a bit. A few of the members there have used it and reported no problems, smoother shifting, etc. My car doesn't have the drain plug on the torque converter so I will be ordering a case of the fluid, removing the pan to let it drip, then replacing the filter and using the trans pump to flush out the rest of the old fluid through the cooler lines a quart or two at a time.

I do not recall hearing anything negative about Shell 134 fluid.

Like the other poster I've heard noises about the newer Mobil1 134, but have never found it.
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  #10  
Old 02-08-2011, 08:46 PM
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Had to change the adapter plug last week, and found only 2 quarts of suitable Maxlife in our town--nothing else that would have worked in the 722.6. Coupled with how grungy the existing ATF looked, i began the hunt for a deal on proper fluid--not only tough in a small town, it ain't easy on the internet. My preference would have been the MB juice from PeachParts (usually a good deal and saves me a bunch with this forum), but at $12+/liter it was spooky.

Finally found Shell 134 from a retailer in Villanova, PA for under $100/case shipped ($73.50 plus $21.xx shipping) Oddly, his price for Shell 3353 was nearly double that--comparable to Fuchs Titan prices on Fastlane. Not sure if it's proper to post the name without permission from the moderators, and i don't know how much supply this store can do for that money (i bought 2 cases, may have a few quarts to part with later). At that money, it will enable me to fill/drain a few times to clean up a little of what the prior owner left behind. I did suggest to the shop owner on the phone (heck of a nice guy and only does lubricants) that he visit here and perhaps inquire about some relationship to build his young company.
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  #11  
Old 02-15-2011, 04:06 AM
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VML on my 300E no problems for nearly 60K. Have used it in other W124's and W201's also no issues.
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  #12  
Old 01-12-2012, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
Not only, IMHO, is it silly to look for nonapproved fluids that supposedly work, it's also silly to not use the latest specification fluid, which is 236.14.
Just FYI. I don't agree that it's always best to use the latest/greatest fluids. Sometimes, and in some cases, yes. But not always. The original 236.10 fluid is thicker viscosity than the later fluids... it is very similar to the old Dexron-III. The 236.12 was a reduced viscosity version introduced for fuel economy reasons, and is similar to Dexron-VI. The 236.14 is another variation of the low-viscosity stuff (not sure exactly what the difference is). More details on the factory fluids, specs, and suitable replacement alternatives are in this post.

For high performance applications, a thicker fluid is generally desired, not thinner. This is one case where you would probably NOT want to use a .12 or .14 fluid in the 722.6 tranny. For normal street use at stock power levels, sure, the new fluid spec is probably fine... might even see a slight increase in fuel economy. Of course flushing the fluid on 99-up trannies is as fun as root canal, but that's a different discussion.

Sample case where using the OE/OEM fluid is not ideal: I just bought a car with a 722.6 tranny that is slipping in gear. I want to replace the fluid & filter before condemning the tranny as bad and replacing it ($$$$). But I sure don't want to pay nearly $20/qt for OE dealer fluid, or even $12/qt for the OEM Shell/Fuchs. The Valvoline MaxLife does appear to be the lowest cost fluid that may work in this 722.6 application, and it's ~$16/gallon at Wal-Mart. I will probably drain & refill with MaxLife and if it cures the problem, I'll drive it for a few hundred miles, drain the MaxLife, and refill with the proper OE/OEM fluid. If the problem remains, at least I didn't throw $100 down the drain in fancy fluid. Dunno about you, but $100 is still a lot o' dough to me.



Side note: I believe MaxLife is either non-synthetic, or semi-synthetic. The original 236.10 spec was for "lifetime" fluid, fully synthetic. Anyone using MaxLife should change it every 25-30kmi. Also note the current version of MaxLife is (unfortunately) the low-viscosity stuff for Dex-VI. I think this is a change from the previous/original formula of Max-Life. Spec sheet is here. Would I use MaxLife in a known-good 722.6? Probably not... as mentioned earlier in this thread, it's not worth risking a perfect $4k tranny to save $100.

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  #13  
Old 03-02-2012, 04:27 PM
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I am debating putting MaxLife in the 2002 CLK320...
Are there any general B+M auto part stores that sell any other MB approved fluid without me spending $20/qt?

Called up the dealer today and he said its $19.50/L...14L for full flush. That's insane cost.

Vavoline Maxlife Dex III states its NAG1 compatible which is the original 236.10 formula. The new updated 236.14 (AKA 722.9) is backward compatible, but Maxlife doesn't say its approved for that transmission.
I have searched and searched and found NO threads saying someone who was using the Maxlife has had issues...
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Last edited by ps2cho; 03-02-2012 at 05:02 PM.
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  #14  
Old 03-03-2012, 01:40 AM
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For future readers:

http://www.ryderfleetproducts.com/ryder/af/ryder/core/content/product/srm/key/PNZ%205080660/pn/Auto-Transmission-Fluid-Shell-134-for-Sprinter/erm/productDetail.do;jsessionid=0E5EE97D27F9816737042F1E0732FB08

Shell 134 MB Approved 236.14 $5/quart. I just got 12qts for $72 total incl shipping. That's stupid cheap compared to $19.50 the dealer quoted me a quart!!

Ready for my 722.6 fluid flush via the cooler lines now!
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  #15  
Old 03-03-2012, 11:35 AM
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Just curious, what spec did your 2002 originally require? 236.10, .12, or .14?

I used the MaxLife in my 1997 (236.10) as a test/flush fluid and it was fine, but switching to Red Line D4 made a noticeable improvement. I'd highly recommend the D4 for any 236.10 tranny, and it's $11/qt with free shipping at Amazon. I would use the D6 for a 236.12 application. But without a converter drain, it's tedious and expensive to do a full flush on the newer (late 99 and up?) cars. I'm glad mine is a 1997 that still has the converter drain plug!

I swear, whomever the "engineer" was at MB that approved the deletion of the drain plug, should be located, tarred, and feathered. And then sentenced to do trans flushes for 10 years.

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Old 03-03-2012, 11:35 AM
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