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My initial post was regarding a brake question. In view of the interest regarding transmission replacement I am posting this thread to help future search inquiries.

Your sealed transmission probably needs to be on a maintenance schedule!

I just acquired a 1999 ML430. The transmission had gone out.

I had the vehicle was taken to an independent repair shop. When the transmission was opened it had lots of metal pieces in the bottom. Bad.

I elected to have it replaced with a guaranteed remanufactured transmission.

During conversations with the service manager I learned this:
- This vehicle was built with a sealed transmission that, supposedly, did not require fluid replacement. There is not even a dipstick to check fluid level.
- I was told that several years ago M-B noticed transmission failures and changed to an 80,000 mile service interval.
- Fairly recently M-B has apparently changed again to a 39,000 mile service interval.

I do not believe the previous owner was ever informed of this maintenance change.

My out the door cost was $4700 (Transmission + Torque Convertor). This is remanufactured and has a 2 year unlimited mile warranty.
 

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I had a re-manufactured tranny put in at 138K miles. The re-manufactured transmission should last longer than the '99 version as long as they updated the transmission with the many design improvements over the years. My transmission shop technician told me there were at least 40 design updates for this transmission since '99. These improvements allowed better fluid distribution for cooling and lubrication and many more improvements. The rebuild kits they use have the updated replacement parts.
 
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