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Old 11-14-2002, 11:14 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: minnesota
Posts: 16
Question rear axle

recently I had my rear axle oil changed at 61,000 miles, The machanic notice some tiny matel flak when the oil was draining.
He says this could be a big problems a possible gear grinning inside he won't says what cause it or how long b4 I replace the axle. could this be a normal thing, are there any concern on the tiny metal flak? Anyone have any idea?



1997 c280 60,000m
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Old 11-15-2002, 01:25 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Currently assigned @ Travis AFB, CA
Posts: 165
new to me

1. Iím with Tank, when I changed mine at 108K (first time because I didnít know better back then) it was black and the smell that comes with that type of oil but no flaks.

2. Now at over 200K in my wifeís 260E and the 190E still no flaks. We ran these car hard too because we been all over the world and the speed limits are more then the US.

3. But then I donít know about the C280, do a searchÖ

Thai GI sendsÖ
GI but not GI Joe
They call me "The Thai GI"
Thai in the US Arsenal
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Old 11-15-2002, 02:40 AM
amg280's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: NY
Posts: 530
Does your C280 have traction control? If it does, technically it should be less likely to wear. This is due to the traction controls ability to electronically "lock" the rear diff via rear brakes to simulate a limited slip. This will prevent damaging one wheel spins. When only one wheel is spinning, the spider gears inside will start to spin to compensate. These gears arent designed to rotate fast, just fast enough to compensate for the car to go around corners.

It might be possible that your C280 was "abused" at some time in its life. Power braking will cause very bad damage if only one wheel is spinning, in which if you dont have ASR, it will be one wheel. I wish mercedes outfitted most of there cars with limited slip. Your diff could of been mis adjusted internally right from the factory, thus the flakes. Does your diff have excessive play? Do you here a clunk when you go from reverse to drive and vice versa? That is a sign if may be wore. That and the constant drone at highway speeds.

Good luck,


p.s. the arrow is pointing to the spider gears

93 300D 2.5 Turbo, Black/Palomino 273K
09 E350 Black/Black 41K
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Old 11-15-2002, 07:47 AM
Ken Downing
Posts: n/a
I have seen this fine particals in lots of cars... May well turn out to be a problem over time... but odds are it will not.. As long as its not chunks.... I have had them have a fine partical in them the first change.. and never again ... and drove them hundreds of thousands of miles.. If I were you I would run it a while.. and change it again... the next time it will also have some particals in it as some were left inside the last time.. However it should not be as bad... If its worse then worry about it.. However for now I would just put it on the must change oil a few times list..

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Old 11-15-2002, 07:47 AM
Posts: n/a
Sometimes a center section will have flakes in it. That's why a magnetic drain plug is such a good idea for rear axle center sections and manual transmissions.

The presence of these flakes alone is not cause for panic. I would, however, fabricate a magnetic drain plug and change the fluid in a few thousand miles so that you could examine the plug to see if it is producing lots of flakes.

Good luck,
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