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Old 04-24-2003, 09:10 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: NE
Posts: 133
transmission fluid and cracked lines

Hey folks,

First of all, just a thank you to those who went out of there way to help me with an electrical gremlin. Kestas, sixto, ctaylor738.... your advice was "dead" on. Should find out today if the car has any battery issues (what used to happen was I'd go to work and find a slightly drained battery when they let me out, we'll see today...), but I had suspected something with the central locking system drawing juice when the car was off, hooked up my new $19 multimeter and disconnected the neg term as per the advice saw (ok here is where I start to look like a loser but so it goes) saw current being drawn, the reading was 20 with the multimeter setting in 200M and I think it was 2 at 20M setting. Anyway... went right to fuse 12 which is for central locking sys, pulled went around car, and the mystery was solved, no current being drawn.

OK, next question, under the car (85 190e 2.3 aotuomatic T) there are two hoses that look pretty cracked and they are leaking. They are dripping something that is oily although they basically go to the radiator. These two lines are like brake lines, not metal, they are surrounded/protected by a spring like jobby, and they run from the radiator under the car to solid steel lines. From reading my little Haynes manual, it looks like they are automatic transmission fluid cooling lines. Here's the question, I should probably change this fluid (at the very least I'll check the level tonight, I was too happy after my fuse success to stop setting off fireworks and running through the streets singing...) but can't I just take out these hoses (which will probably result in complete transmission fluid loss in the car) replace with new hoses and fill her up through the dipstick in the top of the engine (aka avoiding whole raising cah dealing with other bolts that are not leaking...) I mean this is an old car, I don't want to touch anything that's not broken. The only reason I hesitate is because the manual makes such a big deal about doing this in a BL2 lab, I mean a really clean place. And is this fluid like brake fluid where I have to be careful how I replace the fluid... or more like oil where you dump it in and slop a little on the engine without a care in the world. I don't know enough about basic does and don't and am looking for a little advice on this one.

Thanks again for the help,

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Old 04-24-2003, 10:28 AM
I told you so!
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,844
Thanks for the feedback and congratulations with your keen eye on spotting potential future problems. Yes, it appears that these lines are from the transmission to the radiator. This system conditions the automatic transmission fluid (ATF) temperature so it won't get too hot.

If the ATF hasn't been changed in the past 30,000 miles now is a good time to do it... and also a good time to replace the cracked rubber cooler lines. I don't think opening the lines will dump most of the fluid out, but if you do both jobs at the same time it doesn't really matter.

ATF doesn't burn the paint like brake fluid. But be careful on the cleanliness of the fluid going into the transmission. Unlike the engine, the transmission is more sensitive to dirt.
95 E320 Cabriolet, 153K
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Old 04-24-2003, 12:07 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: NE
Posts: 133
part number

is there a resource that I don't know about that might help me find a part number or specifications for these hoses before I make too much of an arse of myself when I talk to the local specialty autoshop?

Thanks again,
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Old 04-24-2003, 12:29 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 1,006
They're flexible lines to the transmission cooler. Its an easy DIY project. Just spray some liquid wrench on the fittings and they'll come off. Some fluid will leak out (maybe 4 oz). When checking the trans fluid level, note the dipstick level depends on temperature. Put a catch can under the hoses as you remove them and add that much ATF back into the system thru the dipstick. A few ml difference won't matter.
Brian Toscano
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Old 04-24-2003, 02:35 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 20,800
Click on the FastLane link at the top of the page. It's very easy to find and order the parts you need.

If you lift the front end of the car to replace the hoses, you won't lose too much fluid when you remove the hoses.

Do a search on replacing transmission fluid. It's not rocket science but it's not a simple drain and refill deal either.

91 300SE
87 300SDL
83 300SD

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