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Old 01-28-2002, 12:47 PM
94 E320
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Fairfax, VA
Posts: 437
Question Transmission fluid change

My car is need of a transmission fluid/filter change according to the serivce guides...but have had no problems regarding the transmission what-so-ever.

There is shop that I go to that can change the entire fluid fluid and refill with the same amount without changing the filter.

Basically it attaches on one the entire fluid out and replaces it with the same amount.

Should I do this or drain the fluid, change the filter, and refill?

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Old 01-28-2002, 01:52 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 565
What this shop is referring to is often times called "power flushing". Many places that offers such serves require that you first sign a waiver releasing them from responsibility.


Because this approach has a tendency to loosen dirty that may be in the system. A spec smaller than you can imagine can deep-six your tranny.

There's a defined approach to changing MB tranny fluid and filter. In most cases it involves draining the converter, main pan; replacing the filter. Hire an garage versed in MB repairs/services.
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Old 01-28-2002, 02:10 PM
Registered Diesel Burner
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 2,911
If you want good service from the transmission, the pan needs to be dropped and the filter changed. We're not talking about a complicated mechanical process here. Six bolts for the pan, and three screws for the filter. While the pan is off, a good mechanic will thoroughly clean out any accumulated residue from the bottom of the pan. Most often that will be very fine metal shavings.

For the do-it-yourselfer, it is important to note that the transmission pan gasket that Mercedes uses is a soft rubber gasket - easily split if you tighten down the pan bolts too much. So, use a torque wrench and the right torque values.

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Old 01-28-2002, 04:28 PM
94 E320
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Fairfax, VA
Posts: 437
thanks for the heads up guys

there is probably a reason why the designers and engineers write the service manuals huh ;-)
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Old 01-28-2002, 08:07 PM
Van Helden
Posts: n/a
Not changing ANY FILTER when recommended, to me, is like washing your face with a dirty wash rag. There just are no shortcuts worth taking with these lesser expensive maintanance items. I had an 86 300SDL tranny act up with erratic shifting patterns only to find out that the MB dealer I bought it from at 80,000 K had not changed the trans. fluid and filter and had indicated on the service record that he had. I had it properly done in Minneapolis which resulted in a full quart of the severely contaminated fluid ending up on the selling MB dealership manager's desk and the service manager trying to explain. You had to been there to see how pathetic this was. It cured the shifting problem and drove it another 40,000K without any further problems.
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Old 01-29-2002, 12:23 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Chicago
Posts: 100
I recently changed my AT filter and fluid, dead easy.

Like indicated in the posts, six bolts, three screws, new pan gasket, and some ATF.

I have typed up the full instructions for someone last night, I will be more than happy to send them to you if you like.
1993 400SEL (W140) 281K
1999 S500 (W140) 163K (Sold)
2002 S500 (W220) 72K
1999 S500 (W140) 88K
You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.
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Old 01-29-2002, 09:43 AM
94 E320
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Fairfax, VA
Posts: 437
hey send me ur list

as for the fluid itself....i can get from the dealer right?

(don't shoot me....if no one posts....i will do a search) :-)

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Old 01-29-2002, 02:33 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 18,745
Unless you have one of those new-fangled permanent fill 5-speed ATs, you should be fine with commonly available Dexron III/Mercon or one of the synthetic alternatives. Your manual will say for sure.

91 300SE
81 300SD
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Old 01-29-2002, 08:18 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 962
Not to start yet another "synthetic vs. regular" debate, you may want to consider using Mobil 1 synthetic ATF. I switched over since my car sits out in the cold while I'm at work, and like synthetic motor oil it doesn't thicken up as much as conventional ATF in the cold. Also runs a bit cooler (they say) in the summer due to decreased friction.

Also, don't forget to drain the torque converter! That's the only tricky part.
'93 400E
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Old 01-29-2002, 09:39 PM
CJ CJ is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Earth
Posts: 1,318
Can you send me instructions as well, or better yet post them here? Did you drain the converter?
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Old 03-21-2002, 03:25 PM
Former Dieselholic
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: West Michigan
Posts: 380
I too would like to have a copy of your instructions as I am going to attempt this feat in the coming weeks...

I understand that it is not brainsurgery, more like removing a splinter, but I get a little nervous when "possibly killing the transmission" has been referenced more than once...

Current: '91 300TE 4MATIC 317k and climbing...
'81 300TD Wagon 168K "Tank"
'83 240D 216K 4spd manual "Da Bear" (aka best car ever)

"Never sweat the petty things...
and never pet the sweaty things."
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Old 03-21-2002, 04:06 PM
kowached's Avatar
Rising Member
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Michigan
Posts: 74
How about a "Synthetic vs. Synthetic" debate? (Just kidding)

I always use Reline or Amsoil synthetic in long service items like the transmission or axle. Renfy, by all means change the filter at suggested intervals, empty the pan and refill with new fluid in between if you want to, but do change the filter at the correct intervals.
Mobil has been changing their formula little by little hoping that you don't notice. Mobil 1 and Castrol Syntec are not true synthetics, they are ultra refined mineral oils (hydrocraking). I don't want to get in to it, but if you want more information search the Forum on hydrocracking and additives for the whole story.

1998 BMW 540i Sport
1995 E320
1992 400E
1989 BMW M3
1979 Triumph TR7 (1st car)
1986 BMW 735i (Sold)
1980 BMW 320i (Sold)
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Old 03-21-2002, 05:06 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,503
I think the reason why people like the "power flushing" method of changing transmission fluid, is that the machine guarantees to change every drop of fluid.

In most transmissions, more than half of the fluid remains in the torque converter, and is not drained when the fluid is changed by dropping the pan or pulling the drain plug.

Mercedes is the only transmission that I'm aware of that allows fluid to be drained from the torque converter, which has its own drain plug.

Thus, the benefit of using the power flushing machines is really nullified.
Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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Old 03-22-2002, 09:27 AM
mplafleur's Avatar
User Friendly
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Lathrup Village, Michigan
Posts: 2,939
When I was in my younger days, my Chrylser/Dodge products all had drain plugs in their torque convertors. I thought every car did.

Wait... Chrylser... Mercedes... Oh yea, It's the same company.:p
Michael LaFleur

'05 E320 CDI - 86,000 miles
'86 300SDL - 360,000 miles
'85 300SD - 150,000 miles (sold)
'89 190D - 120,000 miles (sold)
'85 300SD - 317,000 miles (sold)
'98 ML320 - 270,000 miles (sold)
'75 300D - 170,000 miles (sold)
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Old 03-22-2002, 10:08 AM
Steve Gutman's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 492
Drain trans hot or cold?

The engine oil and differential are to be changed hot and it is said in many discussions. No one ever says if the trans is to be changed hot as well. Any advice on this?

1985 Mercedes 500SL Euro (Gray market)
1995 BMW 520i Euro (Gray market)
1992 BMW 525it Wagon
1994 Honda Del Sol Si
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