Date registered: Mar 2005
Vehicle: '01-E320 & 02-ST2
Location: John 15:18-19
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Eddie's exactly on point.
MB doesn't warranty the transmission beyond 50K miles (or maybe 100 if you go Starmark) so they could care less how long it lasts. And most domestics now say you never need to change your ATF either, so it's not just a Benz thing. (Plus, how would they respond if you go in and say "What? I have to change fluid every 60,000 miles?? My Ford F-150 says I never have to change it? What gives!???!". Naturally MBZ is going to jump on the "maintenance free" crapolabandwagon.)
This has been discussed ad nauseum throughout this site in the various forums. You can boil it down to three viewpoints:
1. MBZ says I never have to change it, so I won't. So there. NYAH!
2. Fluid wears out over time and the filter gets clogged up with the junk as the parts wear. Thus I'll change mine every 50 or 60 thousand miles.
3. You guys are nuts. You should change your fluid every XXX miles (usually pretty low, around 25,000 to 30,000 miles). (Typically these are also the guys changing their synthetic motor oil and fleece filter every 3,500 miles and their plugs every 40,000 miles, etc.)
What I will add is that you should never
let me stress that: NEVER
flush your transmission without doing more.
All that will do is force a bunch of fluid and particles through the transmission, perhaps into places they haven't been before, while also stirring up sediment and particles that have long ago settled into the pan. You still have the old clogged up filter and if anything, you will probably shorten the life of your transmission.
There are places that will drop the pan and remove the filter, and then flush fluid up through the converter and cooling lines to change out the highest percentage of fluid (if you have a converter plug this isn't necessary, just a complete drain and filter replacement, new fluid and you're set). Such a place is where I took mine. Then you get all new fluid (and a filter), but it isn't a silly pressure flush with the tranny all sealed up.
I did mine at 66,000 miles, pretty much when I planned to. The tech said the fluid looked horrible, so I wish I'd done it closer to 50,000. The car shifts noticeably smoother now as well.
As I usually say, it's YOUR car so maintain it how YOU want to. Manufacturer guidelines are a nice starting point, but often you have to look beyond that.
Take care and enjoy the automatically-shifting ride,
Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. (Winston Churchill)