What is the average price for a transmission fluid change at the dealership? - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 07:23 AM
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Date registered: Mar 2019
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Originally Posted by jaymaynard View Post
Except that extended warranties are usually not warranties as defined by Magnuson-Moss. They're more like insurance policies. They an and do enforce the "professional service" requirement.
Thanks I knew someone would come along and answer my query! Was hoping there was an out, but thought it would be as you described. Some thing to consider when buying into one.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 03:58 PM
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I'll share my sizeable research and actual experience with my 2015 ML350 tranny.

My car DOES NOT have the start-stop option, but it DOES HAVE the auxiliary fluid pump mounted below the torque converter! Weird.
This pump will have to be removed to gain access to any holes in the bellhousing for reaching the torque converter drain. I haven't removed this unit - yet.

However, after a long search, I found only one guy who tried to drain the converter (on a 2012 ML350) and he was absolutely unable to reach thru the too-small hole in the bellhousing and access the drain plug, which did exist but was mounted at an angle making access with an allen wrench virtually impossible for him.
I looked up photos of used 2011-2015 ML350 transmissions and did confirm that the access hole is VERY small and mis-located in relation to the converter drain plug. Seems, as he concluded, the only way to remove the plug would be via access to a larger hole on the upper rt side of the bellhousing at about 10:00 o'clock. It's no piece of cake to reach either. Then rotate the engine, drain it, rotate it back up and try to get the plug back in. OUCH.

After seeing this mess, I concluded that no dealer would EVER try to drain the converter on this model.
Reports herein of using 6 qts fluid seem to confirm this. That's just the qty I used draining the pan only.

Maybe they could do a flush through the lines, but can't find any confirmation that a dealer ever has.

So, for now I opted to change the pan fluid and filter at 40k instead of waiting to 75k. Hopefully before I reach 75-80k and face decision time again, more data will surface about the mysteries of the undrainable torque converter plug on the w166 ML350.

Now to figure out how to change the unreachable spark plugs!!!!!!!
I hate this car already.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Vehicle: 1992 500SL, 1999 CLK 320 conv, 2015 ML350, (2011 ML550 gone, C320 wagon gone, 2005 C240 gone)
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(Thread Starter)
I usually do the tranny fluid change myself on all my cars. I cannot on the w166 because of the extended warranty that clearly states that I need all services done by an approved mechanic. Anyway, for all the transmission fluid I have done on my other current and previous cars (Benzs, VW, Volvo etc..) I dont bother draining the torque converter and I proceed as follow:
1) Drain the transmission and measure how much was drained.
2) Drop the pan and clean it
3) Replace the filter and put the pan back
4) Refilled as much ATF as I have drained
5) Start the engine and go through all the gears while keeping my foot on the brake
6) Drain the ATF again and keep measuring how I drained
7) Do steps 4 to 6 two more times
8) Check the level of ATF and adjust if needed
After all of this I am pretty sure that most of the transmission fluid has been replaced.
The last ATF replacement I did was 4 months ago on daughter's 2011 VW Jetta. The car would go in limp mode (stay in 2nd gear) after driving 20mns on the highway in hot days. My daughter brought it to the VW dealer and they told her the transmission had to be replaced. The car had over 160k miles and the ATF had probably never been replaced. She brought me the car and I proceeded as explained above and the car now drives like brand new, it cost me $95 of ATF. My daughter put 1500 miles since then and the car still goes perfect. The ATF had probably never been replaced.
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