Just put Dexron VI in my E320, 1994 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 93 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Veteran
Date registered: Sep 2009
Vehicle: E320, 1994, 1995
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 753
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Quoted: 69 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Just put Dexron VI in my E320, 1994

Yes, I put my money where my mouth is.

After some research and reading, I concluded that Dexron VI will be beneficial. For two days, since I put Dexron VI to my 722.3 transmission, I am happy. The car drives with a creamy agility, not merely placebo effects. It was fine using Dex/Mer except some flare from 2 to 3 and some shudder at idling.

The grave warning I read about on this forum against using Dexron VI is mainly based on that MB has not approved the use of VI on W124 transmission. "Use the tried and true, DexIII, aka DeX/Mer", some roared. Some cited that viscosity in VI is lower.

My common sense and engineering judgement conclude that:

1. MB does not approve the use of VI on W124 engines probably because it does not want to go through the trouble of testing it for the products they no longer produce. It costs money and no return. Therefore, I don't believe MB's hesitation to approve VI for older transmissions is based on testing results.

2. Dex/Mer is really not tried and true fluid for older transmissions based on the fact that so many of them failed, in particular, if the fluid change was not performed as required.

3. I have not come across any case on this forum to show that VI actually ruined a W124 transmission. In fact, I came across some examples on this forum who had used VI without issues.

4. The only warning with any technical merits is that VI has a lower viscosity. However, from engineering point of view, fluid viscosity is mainly needed to keep gears from metal/metal contact, which will wear the gear out quickly. Higher viscosity also maintains laminar flow inside the torque converter. Lower viscosity could lead to turbulent flow and forming. On the other hand, lower viscosity actually improves the engagement of friction plates of a clutch (do you prefer grease or water on the frictional plates?). Lower viscosity also improves the efficiency of the torque converter and better functioning of valves. Therefore, there is a balance between lubrication needs and viscous friction loss. Dexron III might have higher viscosity by spec but it quickly breaks down over time; in addition, its viscosity can become lower because it runs hotter and cannot maintain its viscosity as well at higher temperature. Dexron VI, as the spec calls for, has to be more stable over a wider temperature range and over a long time period.

At the end, the lower initial viscosity of VI likely is no less than that of Dexron III while in use.

5. All makers of Dexron VI state that VI is compatible with III.

6. MB's transmissions, e.g. 722.3, are not anything special in terms of the materials used in the friction plates of the clutch. Why only MB's transmission would fail using VI while all others are fine?

7. Dexron VI has all the latest additives, friction modifier, anti-forming, anti-oxidation, long term stability, etc, compared with those used in Dex III.

In conclusion, my engineering judgement and common sense tell me that Dexron VI will be better for one of my three E320, 1994, which shows some flare from 2nd to 3rd gear. This flare has improved a lot after replacing a new valve spring but it is still there. For the last two days, the car drives really well, less idling shudder, less flare, better shifting, and plenty power.

Of course, I can hear some barbs throwing my way already: "Your transmission will be dead in 3000 miles!" To whoever would say this, do you have any scientific and first hand evidence to back up your prediction? Probably not! Let's talk science, not blind conviction.

Well, I bet my money where my mouth is. I will provide an update 3000 miles later. It is currently at 128,500. It was rebuilt by the previous owner at 105,000 miles for the reverse problem when Dex/Mer was used. Dex/Mer is really not that good for this transmission because so many of them suffered early failures.

jftu105 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 93 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 05:01 PM
BenzWorld Elite
R.P. McMurphy's Avatar
Date registered: Dec 2010
Vehicle: 1984 300dt 1985 300 dt 1992 300e just added another 92 300e 1994 e420 1993 300te 4matic
Location: seattle!
Posts: 2,506
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 272 Post(s)
R.P. McMurphy is offline  
post #3 of 93 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 06:47 PM
Lifetime Premium Member
LogicalPosition's Avatar
Date registered: Nov 2013
Vehicle: '99 S420 111K
Location: Florida Sun Coast, Sarasota
Posts: 1,344
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Quoted: 325 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Send a message via AIM to LogicalPosition
Transmission Idle Shudder

Thank you for the well written, thoughtful posting, Jay. I'll be following this thread, as I am sure many others will be commenting.

I hope this doesn't turn into a namecalling, pissing contest, and this topic can be discussed in a civil manner. I can see your points, and I too find it hard to believe VI would have been developed if it were a serious problem in backwards compatibility. I realize MB selected III as their fluid choice at the time of manufacture, but if VI posed any danger, I'd think they(MB) would warn folks somehow.

What is this "idle shudder" you mention?
Can you describe this shudder in detail?
Does it feel like the transmission is surging forward when in drive at idle with your foot on the brake?
Does it occur under all running conditions, drive train cold, hot, warm, uphill, flat, downhill?
Can anyone elaborate on this in terms of the mechanics? What exactly is happening to cause this?
Is this a symptom of eminent failure of the transmission?
Will it leave me stranded on the side of the road?

I am thinking I may be mistaking this transmission shudder for an engine miss in my 94 E320 @105 K miles. My symptoms have been getting progressively worse over the last 1000 miles. The 1st few times I felt this "miss" it felt more like the tranny was trying to drop a gear from 2nd to 1st, at idle, foot on the brake, and the vehicle surged. Now it's become more frequent and more of a miss than a surging effect. It may miss 3-6 times intermittently in a 60 second stop at a light, up from 1-2 times per minute, 900 miles ago.

I am about to change tranny filter/gasket/fluid, but I have not yet determined which fluid to use.
I think Beto65 brought this topic up a few weeks ago, and it got ugly in here. If using VI buys me a few miles before I replace the tranny, I'm in!
The PO of this vehicle advised me that the tranny requires service every 25-30K miles, as he was told this as a MB tech. He told me to change it ASAP, since he didn't know when it was last changed. He guessed at 75K.

BTW, I do not have the telltale symptom of slow reverse engagement, and the only possible tranny quirk I'm experiencing has been hard(pronounced) shifting between gears when cold. Once it warms it's what I'd call "normal", and under WOT it's perfect.
normanbigfish likes this.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

"You are what you drive!" Big Al

There is perception, and then there is reality.

'99 W140 S420 111K, '94 W124 E320 124K (sold! Repurchased 10/3/16, sold 11/17)
'14 BMW X3 XDrive 38K,
'13 BMW X1 28K (Traded). '11 BMW 328i XDrive 19K(Traded)
'08 Subaru Outback Limited Wagon 56k (Traded)
'83 BMW 320is "Sport" (48k, sold! converted to EV!)
'87 190E W201 (sold!) '85 Audi 5000 (sold!)
'76 250 W114 (sold!) '72 280 W114 (sold!)
'67 200D W110 (bartered) '62 220 W111 (buried)
LogicalPosition is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 93 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 07:53 PM
Lifetime Premium Member
LostInTime's Avatar
Date registered: Oct 2013
Vehicle: 07 E350, 80 240D 4 speed, 90 300SE, 87 260E
Location: The Great Basin (Google it).
Posts: 2,753
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Quoted: 758 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
I had a mild 2/3 flare on my 260E first start of day for several months. I checked the fluid level and found it just a little low. I added about 180 ml of Dex/Mercon and the flare went away. Has not occurred even once since the fluid add 14 days ago.
LostInTime is offline  
post #5 of 93 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 07:56 PM
Lifetime Premium Member
Sam Fuller's Avatar
Date registered: Oct 2011
Vehicle: Current, 90 300CE,95 E320, 92 400E, Sold 70 250C, 91 190 2.6, 91 420 SEL, 95 300D, 87 TD
Location: Wrightwood,CA USA
Posts: 1,529
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Interesting, I will also follow this topic.My transmission is also getting older.
Sam Fuller is offline  
post #6 of 93 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Veteran
Date registered: Sep 2009
Vehicle: E320, 1994, 1995
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 753
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Quoted: 69 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Originally Posted by LogicalPosition View Post
What is this "idle shudder" you mention?
Can you describe this shudder in detail?
Does it feel like the transmission is surging forward when in drive at idle with your foot on the brake?
I think Beto65 brought this topic up a few weeks ago, and it got ugly in here. ...
Yes, Beto65 is the one I should credit for getting me to dig deeper into this VI and III issues. Idle shudder or idling shudder is the one when you stop with foot on brake, you can feel some vibration on your steering wheel. If this problem is prominent, one should look at at least three things: engine mount, transmission mount, and transmission fluid assuming engine idles normally at N or P. For mine, both engine and transmission mounts have been recently replaced. The transmission fluid, when fresh, gives little shudder in my case. I usually replace the transmission fluid when I feel that idling shudder becomes noticeable. I am pretty sensitive, noticeable is something defined as fairly faint vibration. I was in my friend's Honda once. It shudders very badly but my friend thought it was normal. I replaced the fluid for her. In my case, I want almost no vibration or something very faint.

Whatever fluid you choose to replace, replace it when the fluid is no longer fresh. The problem with Dex/Mer or Dexron III is that it deteriorates very fast, according to my experience. Check your fluid. Put it on a piece of white tissue, compared to fresh fluid (III or VI). If it is more like brown, about time to change.

I am an educated guinea pig in this VI thing. I believe in it after considerable thought and am willing to do it with my own car. As I said, I will report back in 3000 miles. If my transmission fails in 3000 miles, I will make sure I announce it so that no other cars suffer the same fate. I doubt it would happen. At the same time, people should always be diligent in changing transmission fluid. Get a topsider (or any fluid extractor) to change the fluid easily for at least 2/3 of it. If you want to change all of it, you need to get a 27 mm socket and a nice long ratchet to turn the crankshaft CLOCKWISE when facing the engine and a mirror underneath. Not a very convenient task. Use a fluid extractor, you at least get 2/3 of the fluid replaced with very little effort.

jftu105 is offline  
post #7 of 93 (permalink) Old 11-01-2014, 03:49 AM
Date registered: Feb 2014
Vehicle: 1995 E420
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 223
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
beto65 did a service with Dexron VI

One month later his transmission failed.

The president of Redline oil said only GM transmissions are backward compatible to Dexron VI from Dexron III.

He said no other manufacturer transmissions
should use it in place of Dexron III.

I'll post his e-mail response when I get home.

Plan on calling Marc at Sun Valley in the near future.
NYbenztech is offline  
post #8 of 93 (permalink) Old 11-01-2014, 06:47 AM
Date registered: Feb 2014
Vehicle: 1995 E420
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 223
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Cameron Evans, President of Redline oil on Dex VI

My question to Redline tech support:

Mercedes recommends Dexron II or III for the 722.3 transmission 1981-1995 cars

GM claims Dexron VI is backward compatible for GM transmissions

Does that apply to Mercedes as well?

Redline's answer:

GM's recommendation as backwards compatible can't and shouldn't be followed with other vehicles. Note that If the trans and converter stall were designed for a thicker fluid, they'll operate, but not likely as well as on the fluid viscosity of the original fluid spec.

Your trans was designed for a Dex III, so D4 ATF is your answer. A thinner ATF like D6 won't multiply torque at the same level.

Cheers, Cameron

Cameron Evans
Red Line Synthetic Oil Corp.
(707) 745-6100
[email protected]

NYbenztech is offline  
post #9 of 93 (permalink) Old 11-03-2014, 02:26 AM
BenzWorld Elite
sbaert's Avatar
Date registered: Jun 2007
Vehicle: '95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
Location: San Diego/USA & Belgium/Europe
Posts: 16,529
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Quoted: 1848 Post(s)
Even GM themselves will not endorse the use of Dex6 on any of their vehicles built prior to model year 2006.

Ditto on Allison (a GM division) transmissions.

But hey, what do they know???

Seems like they've been outsmarted by a guy who insists on using all the wrong parts and the other who insists on keeping worn out parts alive indefinitely by way of a soldering gun.
sbaert is offline  
post #10 of 93 (permalink) Old 11-03-2014, 07:32 AM
Date registered: Feb 2009
Vehicle: 1993 400E
Location: Ft Lauderdale, Florida
Posts: 7,361
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Quoted: 425 Post(s)
Dexron VI worked out real good for 65beto.

The thread he started was completely deleted about the transmission failure
around 5 weeks after he serviced it with Dexron VI.

I mean, Redline oil says it IS NOT backward compatible on Mercedes transmissions
or any NON GM transmissions.

Yet members like 65beto and jftu105 think they know better.

Clarkz71 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Closed Thread

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > Mercedes-Benz Sedan Forums > W124 E,CE,D,TD Class

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Title goes here

video goes here
description goes here. Read Full Story
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome