My take on "lifetime transmission fluid" - Page 4 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #31 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-12-2008, 03:04 PM
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Thank you for all the info and the burden you took to test the tranny fluid on the one with 240K miles, Kajtek. I learnt a lot from it, but please be careful with real estate ; it has not much to do with technicalities :-)

Now, to all others : I talked to 2 service "advisors" from Mercedes Benz dealers and one manager from a foreign car repair shop and they all said that MB do not recommend any change at all. One MB advisor suggested to do it at 35K or definitely 50k, but I could sense he just wanted me to bring the car in and do it to get some money. One other MB indy mechanic told me this : If it ( tranny) sounds OK, works smoothly and does not leak , maybe you do not need to do it , up to 150K or even more. If you ‘re not the type who accelerates and decelerates a lot, and there ‘s no leaking, no “visible” problem, just leave it alone.

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post #32 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-13-2008, 07:01 AM
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I could not get the lead tech, shop manager, and shop forman to agree. The MB line is " sealed for life, as the clutches wear it adds grittiness to the oil and therefore has less slippage", from the training center
The lead tech "when we pull them down they are usually pretty clean unless something was destroyed"
The shop manager "we dont have much experience but the lifetime fill seems to work so far"
The shop foreman " how long do you intend to keep the car? It sure would not hurt after 50/60 K Miles"
I had my 01 E done at 60, pan was clean oil looked good, I rest easier in spite of having an extended warranty to 100K.

I changed the oil at 100K on my 92 S and the trans gave up right after that, MB rebuilt $3500 plus labor $6000 including new lines and things. There was still no grit in the pan, front clutch pack bad evidently common!
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post #33 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-13-2008, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Guenther View Post
...The shop foreman " how long do you intend to keep the car? It sure would not hurt after 50/60 K Miles"
I had my 01 E done at 60, pan was clean oil looked good, I rest easier in spite of having an extended warranty to 100K...
That's almost word-for-word what the tech at my dealer (my salesman recommnded him highly) told me, and that was enough to convince me to have mine done. Like you Peter, I don't think any of the techs or service writers/managers I spoke with at 2 different dealers were in total agreement. Needless to say, that was a frustrating experience but you and I did the right thing.

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Last edited by Musikmann; 08-13-2008 at 07:29 AM.
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post #34 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-13-2008, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Musikmann View Post
Needless to say, that was a frustrating experience but you and I did the right thing.
Are you talking about his
Quote:
I changed the oil at 100K on my 92 S and the trans gave up right after that
?

Decisions, decisions. When they are easy? Saying that the other MB with 175,000 miles on transmission what I believe might be original waits his turn.
Than the "new" W211 with 145,000 might have the transmission done, since corporation was taking excellent care about it. But .... I have no records.
WHAT SHALL I DO ???????????
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post #35 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-13-2008, 02:00 PM
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I feel very confident about changing mine at 60k, as i indicated a side point, I changed my 92 at 100K and it shot craps right afterward, with no trash in the pan so go figure. I also believe in letting MB do my OIL changes, including doing synthetic on my 140!
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post #36 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 10:55 PM
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So...can I get a recommendation?

I've got a 2000 CLK 430, with 113K.

It currently runs great and don't think the trans fluid was ever changed, since it's "lifetime."

I am also tending to get the "bang for the bucK" and avoid spending money on service that really won't matter too much.

What you all think?

Also, what do you think about replacing the coolant and brake fluids? My car really does run well and I want to get the most mileage!

(as opposed to my old school of thought, which to no avail, in my opinion, was to follow the service manual to a "tee"

I would say most cars on the road today don't have everything serviced...oil yes, but the rest of the fluids, likely no.
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post #37 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 05:20 AM
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If the transmission fluid's never been changed, you need to do so. There's a reason MB got away from saying it was a "lifetime" fluid.

And the brake fluid is hygroscopic, and will collect water as it ages. It should be replaced every two years.

I can't speak as much to the coolant except to note that changing it is simple and cheap, so why not?
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post #38 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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Since that topic I bought another 2 high mileage W210 so now we do have 2 of them with over 250k each. The silver Mercedes from original post is gone and I drained ATF from wife car about 3 years ago. The latest purchase at 255k has fluid pretty clear, so I assume PO did some service to it and I am not going to worry about it for some time.
What helps is that the $20 MB ATF is having cheaper alternative from Shell lately,
Coolant and brake fluid. You have recommendation above. I live in area with no freezing and low humidity, so I am usually giving them 5 years.
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post #39 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 12:25 PM
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One reason for the confusion surrounding this topic, is that MB advice depends on:

1. The model.
2. The chassis ident

This SI below, issued in 2005, addressed models 203, 209, 215, 230 and advises an ATF & filter change ONCE at 60k km. I presume that this is to remove early life particles from the filter, not because the ATF has degraded.

Note: It states that 'older models are not affected'.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf AT SI.pdf (175.1 KB, 49 views)
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post #40 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaymaynard View Post
If the transmission fluid's never been changed, you need to do so. There's a reason MB got away from saying it was a "lifetime" fluid.

And the brake fluid is hygroscopic, and will collect water as it ages. It should be replaced every two years.

I can't speak as much to the coolant except to note that changing it is simple and cheap, so why not?
IMHO I think MB made a huge error of judgement saying the transmission was filled for life. I don't know what their Drive line Engineers were taking at the time. To me it's nonsense and not logical. Any oil degrades over time due to the constant heat cycles and contamination with various wear particles from the component. Also the filters go to about 20 to 25 micron I believe so the sub 20 micron particles will keep circulating and keep wearing things out.

I've also found it's difficult to get a straight answer from dealers in Australia about the subject. MB won't admit they made a mistake. The last dealer I spoke with said every 60,000km or 4/5 years. I've just done my W204 C320CDI at 48,000km at 5 years being an August 2008 build. The car is so much better after doing it and the ATF looked and smelt like it needed to be changed. I also put a third magnet in the pan. It's a Neodymium high temperature rare earth magnet that is extremely powerful. Once on the pan it's difficult to get off. I did the transmission service myself as I've lost faith in the dealers and made a video to show people it's not difficult.

As for brake fluid ... it's cheap so I do mine once per year. Our climate is quite humid and being hygroscopic why not change it often. It's quick to do with a pressure bleeder.

I'm riding for you #52, my dear son Cameron 1985-2009

2009 W204 C320CDI C Class sedan with Quaife LSD
2006 W639 115CDI Vito LWB Van for hauling motorcycles
2008 W164 ML320CDI Edition 10 (daughter's but I look after it)
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