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  #1  
Old 01-14-2002, 04:07 PM
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Transmission fluid/filter change

Local dealer did my 60k service (120k miles). A "rival" mercedes-only repair shop in town asked if they only changed the transmission fluid, or did they also change the torque converter. They changed the transmission only.

This leads to 2 questions:

1 -- What does/did your dealer do on 60k service concerning the transmission?

2 -- I looked back at the original owner'w records (from the same dealer), and that was also what was done at the first 60k service. Evidently, then, some of the trans fluid has NEVER been changed. Is this a problem? If so, what could happen. Fluid actually looks pretty clean -- definitely not black or very dark.

brookspw
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1994 C280, dark green metallic
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1991 190E 2.6, Black
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2003 Chevy Tahoe LT, Redfire Metallic
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  #2  
Old 01-14-2002, 05:55 PM
Ali Al-Chalabi's Avatar
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It is not necessarily true that some of the fluid has never been changed. The reason that you drain the torque converter as well is to get more of the dirty fluid out of the transmission.

The fluid goes out the torque converter, into the transmission cooler, and then back into the pan and through the main transmission parts and back into the torque converter in a continuous loop. The torque converter should hold about three quarts. The fluid goes out the torque converter and is replaced by cooler fluid at a rate of about 1 quart per 20 seconds or so while you are driving. This means that about every 1 minute you have the car running, there would be a complete change of fluid in the torque converter.

That being said, there is a reason there is a drain on the torque converter, so that you can get more of the dirty fluid out, instead of having the clean fluid diluted with some of the dirty fluid. A lot of auto makers do not have drains on the converter, Mercedes was one of the only ones to do this, and I have recently learned that there is no longer a drain on the torque converter.

I recently had the tranny fluid and filter changed on my "permanent fill" 722.6 transmission and the torque converter was drained as well.
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  #3  
Old 01-14-2002, 10:14 PM
Ron D. Harriman
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I've done the draining of the torque converter, and it was
a tough, long, nasty job. The really ugly bit was getting
the plug on the TC to line up. That required turning over
the engine with a big ratchet on the harmonic balancer.
THAT required taking off the fan to get clearance. *THAT*
required pulling the fan shroud. Ugh.

If I were to have the opportunity again, with hindsight,
I would almost rather do two sequential drain-and-refill
jobs with just the pan plug. Cases of ATF are a lot less
expensive than my time by the hour.

Two changes in a row will still leave a certain fraction
of the fluid dirty. If the fluid were really in a terribly bad
way, I'd just go ahead and do the scut work to drain
the TC. But certainly would not enjoy it.

Ron
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  #4  
Old 01-15-2002, 11:47 AM
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If they didn't drain your torque converter, then they only drained approx. half of the Dexron-III your system holds.

Imagine a quick-lube place telling you that they started an oil change on your 6 qt. engine and stopped when 3 qts had been drained out. Same thing as far as I'm concerned.

Find another repair facility or do it yourself.
Tranny fluid changes are not hard to do on most Benz cars.
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  #5  
Old 01-15-2002, 11:50 AM
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Thanks, guys. My thinking is that it should ALL be changed at some point.

Can I get the opinion of a tech on this? What is standard at 60k and 120k? Am I being unreasonable to have expected for this to be done -- this was the MB dealer, by the way.

brookspw
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1994 C280, dark green metallic
105k miles

1991 190E 2.6, Black
191,500 miles
(sold to another forum member)

2003 Chevy Tahoe LT, Redfire Metallic
105k miles

1989 Mustang GT Cobra Convertible
43k miles
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  #6  
Old 01-15-2002, 12:01 PM
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The Mercedes Benz Maintenance Manual 1981-1993, service task 2702 - Automatic Transmission fluid and filter change - clearly indicates that the fluid is drained from both the converter and the main pan. The filter in the main pan is also changed along with the main pan gasket. Drain plug washers on both main pan drain plug and converter drain plug should also be changed.

Go back to your dealer and have him review the contents of service task 2702 with you.
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  #7  
Old 01-15-2002, 02:11 PM
Deltacom's Avatar
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ATF Change

Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Richards
The Mercedes Benz Maintenance Manual 1981-1993, service task 2702 - Automatic Transmission fluid and filter change - clearly indicates that the fluid is drained from both the converter and the main pan. The filter in the main pan is also changed along with the main pan gasket. Drain plug washers on both main pan drain plug and converter drain plug should also be changed.

Go back to your dealer and have him review the contents of service task 2702 with you.

For pre 1989 models ATF change are indicated at the 30k miles service, always including converter, gaskets and filter. I personally change it every 15k.

A simple wiring device with a push switch connected to the poles of the starter (after disconnecting the pole to ignition) allows you from under the car to cranck the engine bit by bit until the converter allen bolt lines up, saving the hasle of cowl, fan and trips back and forth to check the allen bolt!.
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  #8  
Old 01-18-2002, 01:12 AM
ryalljw
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Draining Torque Converter

Sounds to me like the rival repair shop was trying to "scare" you by suggestion a transmission fluid change wouldn't include draining the converter.

Having owned (2) Porsche 928's over the last 5 years, and having changed the transmission fluid & filters, I must add it is a simple procedure to line up the drain plug of the torque converter to drain the ATF from there as well (especially if the car is up on a lift in a service bay). The 928 transmission is a MB design, using MB filters, which looked to me to be the exact same filter on my 95 E320.

John
95' E 320 (96,000 mi)
88' Porsche 928 S4 (81,000mi)
96' Ford Contour (140,000 mi)
86' Jeep Grand Wagoneer (126,000 mi)
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  #9  
Old 01-18-2002, 10:22 AM
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Well, my car has 123k on it. I bought it at 119,000 and took it for its 60k service. Also, I have all service records. So, after he tells me this I go back and look at all the 30 and 60k services. In EVERY one, (in the materials portion of the ticket) it says 6 qts oil, 3.5 qts ATF. (The fractions of quarts may be diff., but it is close).

So, from that it certainly does NOT appear that they changed ALL the fluid. Also, on the 120k it DOES list the trans filter but does not list ANY ATF fluid. It IS full, however.

I asked the guy because sometimes my 2nd to 3rd shift has a little bit of a moan/groan type noise for just a second. So, he was wondering about dirty fluid.

brookspw
__________________
1994 C280, dark green metallic
105k miles

1991 190E 2.6, Black
191,500 miles
(sold to another forum member)

2003 Chevy Tahoe LT, Redfire Metallic
105k miles

1989 Mustang GT Cobra Convertible
43k miles
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  #10  
Old 01-25-2002, 10:50 AM
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Posts: 281
My trans filter/gasket set finally came in and I'm gonna jump on changing my fluid ASAP after work. I'm trying to remember the size of the allen bolt to loosen the torque converter on my 560SEL...does anyone know off the top of their head? I also heard (from an indy MB shop owner) that trans fluid called "supertech" (I think) is supposed to be a pretty good fluid and he's been using it for MB tran fluid service at his garage and runs it in his SL500...I noticed it yesterday AT WAL-MART while he was buying cases of 1 gallon containers! I read the back of one and it does conform with specs for Chrysler,GM and Foreign transmissions (Daimler-Chrysler??).I was almost compelled to buy it but of course I still had "WAL MART" in my head instead of trans fluid. The thing I ran into last night after leaving WAL MART (with my mechanic's creeper for 10 bucks) I stopped at Autozone,Pep Boys,and Advance and NONE carried trans fluid in gallon containers and I didn't notice any kind of so-called "big" name fluid.It was just AAMCO trans fluid or Contco trans fluid.
Does it even matter or is it moreso "just as long as it's Dextron III ?" I would much rather go back to WAL-MART after work and pick up the gallons like the MB shop owner (because it's so much easier since I know that my car's trans is good to go after two gallons of trans fluid). Any ideas? I just know I'll end up right back at WAL MART though at $4 a gallon!
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  #11  
Old 01-25-2002, 11:14 AM
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I got a confirmation through a phone call from Wal-Mart headquarters that all the Tech 2000 brand fluids are make by Quaker State without separate specs sheets from Wal-Mart.

At the time, I was looking at the Tech 200 15W-40 universal oil.
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  #12  
Old 01-25-2002, 03:45 PM
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Supertech is Wal-Mart's own exclusive auto fluids line. It is also inordinately cheap. A quart of oil is under 80 cents! Not too sure about the quality of it, although I do have stockpiles of their windshield washer fluid, it is now only 88 cents per gallon.
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  #13  
Old 01-25-2002, 03:51 PM
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I think Supertech has changed its name to Tech 2000.

All their oil meets the API specs.
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  #14  
Old 01-28-2002, 10:16 AM
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the Supertech/Tech 2000 IS basically Quaker State and I also have confirmation...I'm pretty much stocked with a crapload of the trans fluid at 3.99 a gallon! I've got enough to change my fluids on all four of my MB's at least another 4 times and I'm comfortable with the Quaker State name. I hope the rest of the "family" here can get a great deal on this as well! Guys, just look past the WAL MART and just see it as Quaker State willing to discount their product to a vendor that discounts to their customers.I say that because I know that just because a box that COSTS more because of the flashy printing on it doesn't mean that the off brand (with the same contents) isn't of just as much quality.Hell it doesn't hurt Quaker State to sell to Wal Mart for so low because they've still got the "others" that will pay twice as much for their product elsewhere because of that mentality.Also they could care less because they make their money off of the vendors who THEN jack the price up anyway.That bring up another point. If Wal Mart is willing to charge just $3.99 gallon (WITH their markup), guess how much Wal Mart is paying? In other words Quaker State makes a mint off of you either way. Smart! So I figure at least be smart enough to pay the absolute least I can to acheive the same if not better results I would spending a million bucks for 2 little gallons of trans fluid! just my loooooong 2 cents. Whew!
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