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Old 05-13-2003, 10:41 AM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 19
Thumbs down Sealed Trans etc. on 98 E320

I'm new to MB after 16 years of Turbo Volvos. I would have stuck with Volvos, no complaints, but couldn't find the right car after my 93 945T was totaled by an individual yapping on the phone while driving an SUV. Anyway, I found and bought what seems to be a nice 98 E320 Wagon (50K miles) and am pretty impressed with it so far. The first thing I want to do is change all the fluids just for my own personal satisfaction. What's up with this "Factory Sealed Transmission"? Is there a way to change the fluid? Is their a filter? This seems like a crock to me. I'll admit I'm a bit of a nut about fluid changes, but I am uncomfortable with the same filthy red stuff forever in my transmission. This is the just the beginning of my many questions about MBs. Thanks in advance.

Tucson, AZ

98 E320 Wagon 50K
00 BMW 323i Sedan 23K
93 Volvo 945T 100K DECEASED 4/18/03 R.I.P.
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Old 05-13-2003, 11:15 AM
Posts: n/a
I think your car has the synthetic transmission fluid. Two schools of thought on it. 1. Have a dealer look at it and make a judgment on whether it is dirty enough to change, 100,000 seems to be the cut off for original fluid. 2. Tell the dealer to change it and all associated filters right now. The service is about $200 but I don't know if it is a DIY job or not. Personally I wouldn't do it myself because it is done so infrequently and I wouldn't want to chance anything.
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Old 05-13-2003, 12:44 PM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
The trans does have a filter & is fully servicable!
You must use the "special" MB fluid, 8 liters are required.
You will need a dipstick(special tool) to check the fluid level, MB part number 140-589-15-21-00.
Also make sure to add 220-271-0098 magnet to the trans pan.
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Old 05-13-2003, 01:49 PM
csnow's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Mass
Posts: 1,127
Does it have a drain plug at least?
I hate the trend away from these...
1986 300E 5-Speed 240k mi.
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Old 05-13-2003, 04:47 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,160
Originally posted by csnow
Does it have a drain plug at least?
I hate the trend away from these...
A lot of transmissions don't have drain plugs.
The idea behind it is, you need to take the pan off to change the filter, clean the pan & the magnet inside the pan.
2007 C 230 Sport.
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Old 05-13-2003, 10:05 PM
Southern's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Carol Stream, Il, USA
Posts: 605
There is a plug located on the transmission pan and one located on the torque converter. I replaced the plug crush rings when I replaced the trans fluid on my 98 E320.

Also be sure that the transmission fluid is at operating temperature when checking the fluid. You will need to replace the locking pin on the trans dip stick cover since the locking pin must be broken to remove the trans dip stick cover.

Do a search on 722.6 trans to gather more info.
1998 Mercedes E320, 200K Miles
2001 Acura 3.2TL, 178K Miles
1992 Chevy Astro, 205K Miles
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Old 05-14-2003, 05:14 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 19
Thank you all for the info. It really helps!

Tucson, AZ

98 E320 Wagon 50K
00 BMW 323i Sedan 23K
93 Volvo 945T 100K DECEASED 4/18/03 R.I.P.
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Old 05-14-2003, 08:19 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 236
Asked one of the largest MB dealers in Chicago if MB really means their trans do not require fluid changes. They told me MB is correct and they do not suggest trans fluid change in "97 and up. I have over 177K miles on my "97 and have never bothered to do any thing with the trans. It works flawlessly. Dealer did say that a fluid change (the few that they do when correcting leaks} are quite expense. Said I should not be concerned.
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Old 05-23-2003, 07:12 AM
TexasRedNeck's Avatar
knows enough 2B dangerous
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Kingwood
Posts: 21
So what is the "special" MB trans fluid?

What is this special transmission fluid. I understand that it is fully synthetic, but can other fully synthetics be used? I am a big fan of Amsoil products and will be using them in other fluid changes but need to know a little more about the transmission. I too would rather change the transmission fluid at 50-60K, even if it is just a precaution.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-23-2003, 10:21 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 236
Talked with a MB tech at Monrovea(or whatever) head quarters and they said that short of a leak or other damage under rare circumstances should the trans fluid ever be changed.The fluid they used is available only at their factory and if I did change the stuff, I would probably have more problems than expected. So he summed it up by saying "leave the trans alone" "do not worry about it" "MB knows what they are makeing and testing etc." The tech said,of course don't for go regular "manual" maintenace. Said I could never wear out the tran before other major mechanical prblems.
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Old 05-23-2003, 11:40 AM
Posts: n/a

I noticed your comments concerning Amsoil because I too am a big fan of their products. So here comes a little bit of a confession of what I did to my wifes C230K. When I bought the car new it was the second benz I had purchased from the same dealer, so I already knew and had an excellent relationship with one of their service advisors. Anyhow I tell him that I want to install Amsoil products throughout the car and would there be a problem with that, he said if there is don't worry about it because he would make sure whatever problem arose, if any, would be taken care of under warranty.

Well, the only reason I believed him because he had done a truck load of warranty work on my 95 E320, even stuff he would notice walking around looking under it, (he was an ex-shop foreman) while it was under the starmark warranty and even covered a few things after it expired at 100k miles. So I had no reason not to believe him. I promptly ordered a transmission dip stick so I could do the Amsoil switch-over.

I ordered the Amsoil ATF, series 2000 0W-30, and series 2000 75W-90 for the rear end. At 1k miles I installed all the Amsoil products with a new tranny filter, that's when I found out that my 2000 didn't have a drain plug on the converter. Oh well.

So anyhow I ran these products for 30k miles, at 15k miles I drained the tranny fluid and just replenished it with more Amsoil ATF, (no filter change) and of course I did 10k mile oil changes, not the 35k that Amsoil says is ok, couldn't stomach that one.

Well at 30k miles I decided to go back to the Mercedes ATF after finding out that it was in fact synthetic and "probably" better for the tranny. Or should I say the "only one that is approved for use".

When I switched back over to the Mercedes ATF at 30k miles the only difference I noted was the 1-2 shift was much harder, other than that everything else felt the same. We have over 50k miles on the car right now and I will be changing the fluid and filter at the 60k mile mark going back to Amsoil ATF because it did make a difference in the shifting and I like the Amsoil products better.

I am in no way recommending anyone else do this, I'm just relaying my own personal experiences with this topic.

Thanks all for letting me ramble!!
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Old 05-23-2003, 04:43 PM
DR.DIESEL's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Puget Sound, Washington St.
Posts: 522
Exclamation hold up there

We have had several clients remove the OE fluid and install Amsoil, Mobil-1 ATF, ect.... This has been a problem.
Most the vehicles came back in with check engine lamps for
slipping transmission clutches.
I would recommend using the MB .6 fluid only.
The .6 trannys can be serviced, filter and all just like any other
I service my client's 5-spd autos every 60k and find people are ok with paying the higher cost.
However the fluid does it's job and can last a "lifetime".
Our Roadside wagon has over 145,000 hard miles on it and has
original fluid.
If you fill your car with aftermarket fluids and have a part failure
under warranty, you may be S.O.L. MB is now checking
oil samples and inspecting every failed warranty part.
I just had to submit a oil sample for a E55 transmission that self
destructed. Let's just hope the client did not change his fluid
to non MB products, or else he may have to pick up the tab.

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Old 05-23-2003, 05:51 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 236
What I'm getting from the dealers and the MB HQ is that these cars,"97 and on ward require very little maintenace. just drive them. They are'nt like the columbia SC, thankfully. The only thing they like to see done is brake fluid changes and thats only for legal reasons.
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Old 05-23-2003, 08:20 PM
blackmercedes's Avatar
Just a guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
I'm with Dr. Diesel on this one. Why bother using a non-OEM fluid in the 722.6 tranny? MB makes a specific fluid for it. For those with warranty remaining, it's doubly important to use the MB fluid.
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K
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Old 05-24-2003, 12:31 AM
Posts: n/a
I just bought a '97 E420 and took it to two different mechanics locally. I asked these mechanics' opinions about several issues, one of which was the changing of the transmission fluid. The mechanic closest to my house says I shouldn't touch it and that it is good for the life of the car, but that if I did want it changed, could I please go to the dealership and pick him up a dipstick. The other mechanic just down the road insists on changing it every 30,000 miles, no less!

Lifetime? Every 30,000 miles? I need to buy my mechanic his tools? What's going on here? And the second guy went on to say that if I left it alone and didn't change the tranny fluid I could expect the thing to fail at 75-100,000 miles. I'm beginning to wonder which guy is worse. The ignoramus or the liar?

Is there a more definitive time-frame for a tranny fluid change? Assuming I stick with factory fluid type, what is the real answer to how often this fluid needs to be changed?
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