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  #1  
Old 04-20-2000, 07:23 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Charleston, West Virginia, USA
Posts: 110
Hi Guys,

I respect the advice of the members of this board...so here is my current situation.
1985 190E 2.3L 97k miles. I had a full tranny service about 4k miles ago and have no leaks of any fluids. I change the oil every 2500 miles and have a reliable, strong engine.
I am planning to drive the car to VA from GA in the morning and decided to change the oil today after 2200 miles. I noted three things.
1. Small leak of ATF (maybe 1/4 pint in a puddle) under front of car.
2. Transmission fluid levels while engine hot, idling in park, appear to be 1-2cm above the high mark on the transmission dipstick. Looks really overfull.
3. Transmission now shifts very roughly when engaging reverse to drive or vice versa. If I take the tranny into neutral (900rpm) and then ease into either Drive or Reverse, everything is fine. If I go from D (700rpm) straight into R (700rpm) or vice-versa, the whole car jerks into gear.

No noticeable problems shifting in normal driving. Today is the first day it has really been hot here and she is running between 85-100C when in traffic.

This is a new occurrence and I worry about driving her 9+ hours in the morning with this new issue. All other fluids look perfectly normal and no other problems to report at all.

Your advice will dictate whether I take her tomorrow or no. I tried to all my trusty independent shop mechanic whom I learned is out of town for the weekend.

Thanks,
John Meadows
Augusta, GA

------------------
John J. Meadows
'85 190E 2.3L 96k mi.
My first M-B, not my last.
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  #2  
Old 04-20-2000, 09:05 PM
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Posts: 960
How bad is the leak?? Is it wet looking under the car or is it dripping?? Do you have gasket changed just recently?? Or a while back?? If it's wet looking, then you should be fine. If it drips continuously, then have it looked after ASAP.

As for tranny fluid(or any fluid), it expands when heated, so, it shouldn't be anything to worry about. Just make sure you fill the fluid up to the proper amount when everything's cool.

As for tranny...I don't think anything is wrong with it. But I am not sure. Just take it easy when shift from R-N-D and vice versa...

Happy Motoring....
Andy Kuo

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  #3  
Old 04-20-2000, 09:21 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Charleston, West Virginia, USA
Posts: 110
Andy,

Thanks for the reply. The leak is not major and if it is ok to have that high of a dipstick read on the transmission, then I am probably fine. The hard shifting from R - D is something I can learn to live with. It concerned me since all three of these events occurred within a 24 hour period...which also happened to be 24 hours before I intended to drive the car 700 miles. *grin*

So, the fluid is probably not overfull...

Thanks,
John


------------------
John J. Meadows
'85 190E 2.3L 96k mi.
My first M-B, not my last.
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  #4  
Old 04-20-2000, 11:53 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 117
Whoa -- hold on there! Wrong advice!!!! You really need to siphon out that fluid -- read on:
Andy Kuo wrote: "...As for tranny fluid(or any fluid), it expands when heated, so, it shouldn't be anything to worry about. Just make sure you fill the fluid up to the proper amount when everything's cool...."
That's a really BIG mistake. Your dipstick is CALIBRATED to show the accurate (proper) amount of fluid when the transmission is FULLY WARMED UP. In fact, when the fluid is not warm enough, it will show less than full, and that's perfectly normal -- but you should know that it should NEVER be above the full mark. MB dealerships have charts (and thermocouple probes) to measure fluid temperature and adjust dipstick readings (for levels below full) to determine proper level.
Actually, it sounds (from your description) that someone seriously overfilled the tranny, thinking that the level should be made on cold fluid -- that's very bad! Your leak may even be caused by excessive pressure blowing a seal (but I can't be sure about that).
You should realize that it could take about a 1/2 hour (depending on season, of course) of driving to get the tranny properly warmed up -- I guess your mechanic (certainly not a MB-certified mechanic) didn't know that?
Best thing is to siphon out the excess fluid. Your tranny, and your wallet down the road (if you're tranny isn't already damaged), will thank you.
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  #5  
Old 04-21-2000, 08:45 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
I agree, the fluid must be checked with the car on level ground at operating temperature. The amount of fluid between the two marks may only be a cup or two NOT A QUART. The level can easily raise from the low mark cold to the full mark hot on some trannies.

When the trans has the fluid level up to the height of the rotating drums the fluid foams and can come out everywhere including the breather (top/forward/center). The foam also is compressable so the transmission devices (band servos and clutch pistons) aren't applied properly. This can result in loosing top gear all the way to no drive at all.

After the foam goes away the tranny usually works again, unless you really beat it while its dying.

------------------
Steve Brotherton
Owner 24 bay BSC
Bosch Master, ASE master L1
26 years MB technician
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  #6  
Old 04-21-2000, 10:17 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
Posts: 4,712
Correct the level and you should be fine. Do correct the level. We set ours up at 10mm below the bottom line when cold. This can be found in a service manual. When hot, between the lines.

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  #7  
Old 04-21-2000, 10:23 PM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Surrey, Beautiful British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 750
totally agree with Ken and Steve. it applies not only to MB's but to all cars with auto transmission. atf fluid can be siphoned, use the skinniest vinyl tubbing you can find. if did it recently to my MB car. cheers!!
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  #8  
Old 04-22-2000, 02:44 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Charleston, West Virginia, USA
Posts: 110
You guys really are the best. Here is the deal. I woke up yesterday at 4am to get ready to drive the car up to VA. I checked my email and this board for any other advice and saw Ken's post telling me to get the fluid out of there. I searched for some tubing and manually slurped out about .75QT of ATF until the dipstick (cold) was reading about 10-12mm below the mark. I decided to give it a whirl and drove the car 10 hours all on the interstate. I stopped about 12 times to check fluids and get some for myself. The trans level stayed at precisely the full mark throughout the trip and I have had no additional leaks while parked or any of the little side-effects I had been noticing before. My thanks to all of you for responding and esp. to Ken for emailing me just in case I didn't check the board. The car got better gas mileage yesterday than it has in its life with me. Coincedence? *grin* I think I have finally experienced love for a car (or at least the marque) when I was ok with sitting next to a sedan, plastic tube in hand, slurping Dexron/Mercon into my mouth at 5am, one mouthful at a time.

Thanks again to all.

------------------
John J. Meadows
'85 190E 2.3L 96k mi.
My first M-B, not my last.
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  #9  
Old 04-22-2000, 09:07 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Southampton, NJ
Posts: 126
YOU are a SICK puppy--I like that!
Tranny fluid does have a distinct taste, huh?
I thought it was a delicacy there for a while when I was a kid helping my Dad snowplowing in the winter. Every time that you drink red juice from now on you will think of the experience.
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  #10  
Old 04-23-2000, 04:06 AM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Surrey, Beautiful British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 750
john: when you say you checked the ATF when hot, was the engine idling? or engine off? manual says gear at "park," and engine idling. maybe benzmac or steve could clarify this.
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  #11  
Old 04-23-2000, 12:07 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
To clarify, Joel; the fluid should be checked hot, in park, with engine idling. The purpose of having the engine idling is to be sure that all the work passages and servos are full.

After doing work on the trans we have to engage all the gears to fill all the elements first. If you are testing a hot trans, it is assumed that the thing has been through all the gear positions.

------------------
Steve Brotherton
Owner 24 bay BSC
Bosch Master, ASE master L1
26 years MB technician
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