How often should you change synthetic tranny fluid? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-04-2005, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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How often should you change synthetic tranny fluid?

I just bought a 1972 250C last week. It's the first car I've owned with an automatic transmission since I was 16 years old, so I'm a little ignorant about maintenance intervals for automatics.

Going through the receipts that came with the car, the previous owner drove the car regularly, but he didn't put very many miles on it. As a result, the last tranny flush & fill was a little over three years ago, but only 3,000 miles ago. The shop used Redline synthetic ATF for the fill.

The owner's manual lists a service interval of 30,000 miles for the transmission fluid, but I don't know if there's a "time limit" for the fluid as well, or if the service interval is longer when using synthetic fluid.

So, with modern synthetic fluid and regular driving (12-15,000 miles per year), what should I be looking at as far as tranny fluid service intervals?

Thanks,
Scott Gardner
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-05-2005, 01:36 AM
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RE: How often should you change synthetic tranny fluid?

The normal fluid is Dextron 2 and i have heard the redlinecproduct works fine.I would change the filter every 20,000 miles and just top up the fluid.The idea of synthetic fluid is to extend the time between changes and save money.The Merc tranny is pretty togh and storiews posted here about trannys failing at low miles ,to me at least,are bit supicious.
I ran a W126 280 for 600,000 ,including towing a trailer once with 5 tons on it!.The trans never gave one bit of trouble in all that time.
Given that,I think some of these "low mileage " failures are possibly on cars which have had the odometer "clocked".
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-05-2005, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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RE: How often should you change synthetic tranny fluid?

Thanks for the reply. I didn't think you could change the transmission filter without replacing the fluid as well. (because of potential contamination issues, I wouldn't feel comfortable draining the fluid into a pan, replacing the filter, and then re-using the fluid.

Even though the fluid is three years old, it only has 3,000 miles on it and it looks fresh, so I'll wait and change it based on mileage, rather than worrying about how much time's elapsed.

The factory service interval is 30,000 miles, so I'll go ahead and use that interval. I figure that will be conservative enough, using a modern synthetic fluid.

Thanks again,
Scott
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-05-2005, 10:47 PM
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RE: How often should you change synthetic tranny fluid?

like i mentioned in your other thread i changed my trans oil a couple times with an addative each time to help loosen up the tranny alittle. it worked. i use dexron III with linkite. linkite is the same stuff in z-max. I know, I know about those tv ads and magic lubes and stuff, but I work as an aircraft tech. I got turned on to the stuff by an older greasemonkey who uses it on his rental planes for training. those prop jobs have to get an overhaul every so often after many hours of flight and pulling the pistons from the jugs are a pain, till he used this stuff. i had first glance at the pistons and cylinders, to my surprise it works. i get it in pints from him, but its the same stuff as z-max. it took in order of a couple months for the oil changes to work all the spings, passages and clean things up. the car was parked in excess of 5 years. i changed the filter each time the oil was out. i also cut the original filter and the first filter change to inspect the element for metal. it ran me about 20 bucks for the filter each time, but i know that the tranny is doing well. better 40 bucks than 2000 for another tranny. i also placed a refrigerator magnet on the side of the tranny pan to pick up any metal.....just in case. i plan to pass this car along. its either im over doing it or just call me anal, lol. hope this helps in some small way. cheers.

grez
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-06-2005, 02:11 AM
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RE: How often should you change synthetic tranny fluid?

What is Z max and where can i get so a trial ?
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-06-2005, 07:22 AM
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RE: How often should you change synthetic tranny fluid?

u can find it at the pep boys. u can find it online too. is like 40 bucks for a box, it got like 3-4 bottles, one for each system. fuel, trans and motor. sometimes they add a bonus bottle. i pay 8 for a pint from the old wrench. put a dash in everything. works good on rust after u let it soak too.

grez
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-06-2005, 10:03 AM
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RE: How often should you change synthetic tranny fluid?

zmax, Speedway Motorsports, Inc, is being sued by the FTC.

According to this http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2001/02/zmax1.htm zmax is nothing but colored mineral oil.

The report shows that zmax created 2X the bearing damage than just motor oil alone.

Not trying to start anything just found this interesting.
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