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Old 12-27-2008, 06:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Mechanic checked ATF, What does it mean?

Dear all,
I have a 2000 E320 with 93K miles. I have not changed the ATF myself yet but I think the previous owner did but I can't get in touch with him. Car runs and shifts flawless. Question is that my mechanic checked the ATF with his dipstick. Level was normal and the fluid was reddish, not brownish, and it didn't seem to have any residue but this is only from the few drops from the dipstick. The fluid was ver slippery as well. Since the fluid was reddish with no hint of brown does this indicate that it may have been changed? I have had the car for the last~20K miles. (I know I should go ahead anyways and change it and I plan on doing this very soon.) What color fluid usually comes out from a car with close to 100K miles? Thanks
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Old 12-27-2008, 06:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Not sure about the color but one thing I know is, FLUSH the system!!- U understand that it takes approx 8.5 quarts to fill, though my dealer put in 5 quarts during my flush a few months ago. A new filter will also be installed. Will cost approx $200(fluid, filter, labor), worth the investment. I know some non e MB shops that do the flush for 89.99 with filter @ hand. Ensure you use recommended MB tranny fluid and nothing else.
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Old 12-27-2008, 07:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The fluid is red, and if it had never been changed it would definitely be brownish.

That said, I would wait until maybe 110k and then change it again.
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Old 12-27-2008, 07:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'd be inclined to agree with Oliver, but to be sure would probably suck out an ounce and send it to Blackstone Labs. Then you will have more information as to how "old" the fluid is and thus a better sense on when to change it.

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Old 12-27-2008, 07:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jchumba View Post
Not sure about the color but one thing I know is, FLUSH the system!!- U understand that it takes approx 8.5 quarts to fill, though my dealer put in 5 quarts during my flush a few months ago. A new filter will also be installed. Will cost approx $200(fluid, filter, labor), worth the investment. I know some non e MB shops that do the flush for 89.99 with filter @ hand. Ensure you use recommended MB tranny fluid and nothing else.
When I bought my filter an fluid at the dealer the parts guy told me he may not have a filter because they now flush the transmissions, which means they do not remove the pan or replace the filter. But he did and I am planing to do mine today.
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Old 12-27-2008, 09:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'll definitely change the fluid before i hit the 100K miles mark even though there are signs that it has been changed. I will do it for my own piece of mind. Question: Since the car doesn't have a drain plug for the TC, would it just trickle out if I left it overnight at an angle (rear way up off the ground)? I can't do the other method that requires 2 people and starting it and replacing the fluid pint by pint.
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Old 12-27-2008, 09:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You can find my pictorial on transmission flush in general section.
I did full flush with 14 quarts at 230k. The fluid was pretty brownish and regardless full flush the new fluid washed out some residues after some driving and turned out brownish as well. Just lighter.
My observation was that the only problem with 230k fluid was thick residue at the bottom of the pan, so just the pan drop with refreshing about 30% of the fluid like most of owners do seems to be adequate.
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Old 12-27-2008, 09:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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no it will not drain out over night. if you want all the fluid changed go to a dealer.they use a machine that takes about a hour and it flushes all the fluids out. if you want it dine right do it this way. you can drain the pan and replace the filter your self but that still leaves about 5 qts of old fluid in the car. if you unshure just get a new filter and gasket put in. its worth the piece of mind. you cn never do it to much but if you go to long there can be major problems. i change my trans fluid and filter once a year, its exessive(sp) but i know that my trans will be good for some time. i have 170,000 and ever time i change it my fluid look as freash as it did when i put it in. also i recomend using the fluid for the new 722.9 trans, its more expensive but worth it.
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Old 12-27-2008, 09:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Color is NOT a good indicator of trans. fluid quality. It turns brown LONG before it needs to be replaced. Since you don't have a TC drain plug, I would suggest having the dealer use their flush machine.
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Old 12-27-2008, 10:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Before you let the mechanic take your baby out of your site for transmission flush, you better watch this YouTube - Jiffy Lube Scam Caught on Tape!
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