My best guess is that the MB techs you saw modified their dipsticks to shorten them. There are literally dozens of posts on here that will corroborate what nelbur told you in post #2.
I received my MB ATF measuring tool last week.
Since I was going back to the MB dealer anyway, I took the tool with me. My car needed a neck replaced.
It was Saturday and there were very few cars in the service bay. I walked in and chatted with the shop foreman(guy in white lab coat). He said I shouldn't have bothered wasting $40 on the ATF measuring tool. I explained that I live several hours away from the MB dealer and it's easier to check it myself every now and then.
He looked at the tool and it was the correct one. In fact, he took the shop's tool out and put them side by side... same exact length. I asked him to show me how to properly mesure it. Since my car was already warm, he started the engine and pulled off the ATF tube seal. He told me to "fully insert the took as far as it will go" and wait 1/2 second before pulling it out in a brisk motion. I mentioned that I read on some internet forum(this one... Benzworld
) that it shouldn't go all the way in. He insisted that's how it should be done. The tool had only about 1.5 inch sticking out of the tube.
The tech who just replaced my car's neck finished the paperwork came around to see what we were talking about under the hood. The shop foreman asked him: "Ian, how do you measurnig the ATF with the MB tool? all the way in or just until the tip reaches the bottom of the pan?" The tech replied "push the took all the way in and twist it a bit if it feels like it's not going down.. then a couple more inches...."
I didn't say anthing more, but my face was probably dislplaying a suspicioius look... the shop foreman said I should even be in the service bay in the first place, even if it's a Saturday. Showed me to the customer lounge. The lounge attendant was making Western omeletts for a couple of other waiting customers, so I decided to have a bite and wait for my bill to print out. (which was only $52 for the neck replacement)
At this point, I don't know who to listen to anymore. That shop foreman has 25 years at the same MB dealer, according to a pin on his white lab coat.... The tech looked even more senior(almost 65?). If their method was wrong, I think a lot of MBs with dead transmission would haver showed up... according to a plaque in the showroom, they're the 3rd largest MB dealer in Northeast, based on volume of new MB cars/SUVs sold in 2010.
For now, I think I"m just going to leave the tool in the trunk... until I figure out who's right and who's wrong.
Or possibly just clean it up and return it back to Amazon for a full refund....