ATF Mobil 1 full synthetic vs MB ATF - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 10-23-2008, 08:17 PM
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ATF Mobil 1 full synthetic vs MB ATF

Well I have decided to use Mobile 1 full synthetic ATF in my ML. I have used the MB ATF from the dealer. I noticed a few things.

#1 the Mobile1 amd MB come in the same exact bottle.
#2 they smell exactly the same. It is a very distinctive smell, not like Dexron or Mercon ATF
#3 The Mobile 1 has Mercedes specs printed on the back of the bottle

Now I know there are going to be nay sayers but Mercedes does not manufacture their ATF they buy it and put their lable on it.
I did a fluid change last weekend and the transmission feels the same as before.
I will keep you all posted. My ML just went over 190000 miles yesterday and that is the first time the fluid has ever been changed...

I know Mercedes recommend using only their ATF it's a sales gimic...
Where I work we have hundreds of MB Sprinter vans with the same 5 speed automatics, and we use Penzoil ATF+4 and it works just fine. Some of the vans have over 200000 miles on them already...

For those of you wondering where I used the MB ATF it was in my C 230...

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Last edited by rudedude; 10-23-2008 at 08:26 PM.
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#2 (permalink) Old 10-23-2008, 08:24 PM
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the MB oil IS Mobil 1

-Like my father has been telling me since I was 9 years old: "If it doesn't have a star, it's just another car"
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#3 (permalink) Old 10-23-2008, 09:36 PM
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he said ATF not oil. Im the first one to call out a gimmick. You dont even HAVE to use Mobil 1 oil. any approved synthetic is fine, and even some not approved. I know a few people running redline and other synthetic oils in their AMG motors and its fine. Many people on this forum get all crazy saying they wont do anything the stealer doesnt approve of. Obviously alot of things are recommended by the dealer to get people to spend their cash, even MB. Getting routine service done by the dealer, unless its under warranty, makes no sense at all, unless you make serious money to the point that it doesnt affect you. However I dont know about the ATF. I have heard that MB puts certain additives in their ATF. I wouldnt mess with another ATF until I was 100 % positive it was ok which i dont think it is. Im sure your trans isnt going to fall off the truck the fisrt time you use it, but it could cause it to fail prematurely. I really dont know why or anything but its been discussed alot on here.
#4 (permalink) Old 10-24-2008, 01:24 AM
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Quote:
I know Mercedes recommend using only their ATF it's a sales gimic...
It's extremely doubtful that it is a sales gimmick. If M/B recommended changing the fluid every 24,000 miles your statement might hold water, but all of these years M/B has pushed the ""filled for life" aspect. So with no fluid being sold on a regular basis all of these years I can't see how it is a sales gimmick.
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#5 (permalink) Old 10-24-2008, 08:08 AM
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I think the recent recommendations through dealers is to change ATF fluid in the 50-60k miles range. Have not heard the 'filled-for-life' litany for some time. My feeling is that as long as MB backs their products with warranties, service campaigns etc, I'd be foolish to give them a reason not to back my car by using non-approved products. As an example, look at the 150k engine warranty they extended to the early MY's due to the use of dino juice instead of synthetics.

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#6 (permalink) Old 12-17-2008, 08:57 AM
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Has the Mobile 1 fluid worked out ok? My ML320 is coming up on 100K and i am tempted to go with the Mobil 1 myself....
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#7 (permalink) Old 12-17-2008, 02:52 PM
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One of my customers owns a transmission rebuild shop in Phoenix. I spoke with him a while ago about transmission fluids in the MB. He stated that the only transmission in common cars today that must use the OEM fluid is the new Hondas. They actually spec the fluid for the transmissions.

Anyway, back to our beloved ML's. He builds a bunch of transmissions and specializes in euro stuff. The transmission in the ML is the same transmission in many Chrysler vehicles as well as the sprinter vans a lister posted above. All those others spec Mercon IV.

His recommendation is to run Valvoline full synthetic Mercon IV and change the fluid yearly, fluid and filter every other year. He simply stated that if each of his customers did that he would be out of business.

And yes, I trust him. Mine has about 25k on Valvoline, and 125k on the rig total (01 ML430)
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#8 (permalink) Old 12-17-2008, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickey.1430 View Post
I think the recent recommendations through dealers is to change ATF fluid in the 50-60k miles range. Have not heard the 'filled-for-life' litany for some time. My feeling is that as long as MB backs their products with warranties, service campaigns etc, I'd be foolish to give them a reason not to back my car by using non-approved products. As an example, look at the 150k engine warranty they extended to the early MY's due to the use of dino juice instead of synthetics.
The dino juice "warranty" is only as good as the fine print.

Last I check, the customer is responsible for all teardowns/charges if the damage turns out not to be caused by the dino juice.
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#9 (permalink) Old 12-17-2008, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by rudedude View Post
...
Now I know there are going to be nay sayers but Mercedes does not manufacture their ATF they buy it and put their lable on it.
I did a fluid change last weekend and the transmission feels the same as before....
I'm one of those nay sayers. Not because I know what will happen but because
  1. Your smell, feel, taste test method is hardly a way to tell what damage, if any, any fluid would do to your tranny and
  2. In my stack of OEM manuals, MB has one titled Factory Approved Service Products May 2004. Page 6 of that booklet has a list of recommended oils for the tranny. There's 12 of them, all off the shelf brands, and Mobil-1 isn't one of them. A long time ago, I was curious and asked my Mb sources why MB would recommend Mobil-1 motor oil but not recommend Mobil-1 tranny fluid (because I had a ton of gallons from my previous ride and didn't want to waste them). The response then was that MB tested and rejected Mobil-1 ATF for the ML. I believe that. MB selected 12 alternatives and not Mobil-1. That isn't an oversight!

I don't know if it will tear your tranny apart or not and because I don't know, I will not advice using it. The other 12 alternatives are just as inexpensive as Mobil-1, so why not try them instead???

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Last edited by Darkmann; 12-17-2008 at 06:21 PM.
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#10 (permalink) Old 12-17-2008, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mlfishman View Post
... Obviously alot of things are recommended by the dealer to get people to spend their cash, even MB. Getting routine service done by the dealer, unless its under warranty, makes no sense at all, unless you make serious money to the point that it doesnt affect you....
Well, that's your opinion. I recall when PepBoys dropped my car when I went for simple tire rotation because they had no idea where to put the lift. I also recall Jiffy Lube putting in the wrong amount of oil and leaving the oil cap off when I went there for regular oil change. I do recall my dealer performing factory updates on my car when I went in for regular oil change also. So say what you like, unless you're doing it yourself, take it to the dealer or a shop you trust very much. I do recall going to a trusted shop for tranny/clutch work and the shop manager told me outright that I should take it to the dealer because he didn't trust his guys would do the jopb as right as I wanted it done.

Quote:
...However I dont know about the ATF. ...
Isn't that just the point? If you don't know much about the MB ATf, what makes you think that you qualify to advice on using non MB recommended oils and then conclude in general terms that those of us who go to the dealership for routine maintenance are somewhat retarded?

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