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2003 ML 320: Engine:112942 31 305548, Transmission: 722662 03 807606, FrontAxelAL431020714752162233
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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a dip stick tool from ebay'er in Great Britain, good deal and it is the right measuring device as I measured the hot and cold markings with the mechanic at the MB dealer. Exact match. Bought 4 Liters of 236.14 tranny fluid and filter and gasket.
Check tanny level when hot engine running and in park, nothing registers on dip stick, did it again 3 times making triple sure that I was pushing the dip stick to the bottom and only had several inches of dip stick left in my hand so I know I an reaching bottom, I can feel it. Still nothing on the stick.

I have no leaks on the ground that I can see and the pan looks very normal. I am at 61K miles and want to change the filter and part of the tranny fluid.

Anyone else have this and would't the tranny be ruined by now without enough fluid?
 

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1999 ML320
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2,800 Posts
I have found it very difficult to measure the tranny fluid level. What type of dip stick you have got. It needs to have a plastic end to read correctly. I have got one from ebay and it is useless as i can't tell the fluid level with it.
I have even used white curtain wire and that is hit and miss also as the tube is so small. Fuid gets on the walls of the tube and distorts the readings the more you do.
I should have just paid the price for a genuine MB one and that would be it.
 

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2005 SLK55 AMG
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253 Posts
I recently bought a tranny dipstick for mine and there is 1 large bend about 1/2 way down you have to coax it around GENTLY!

GL
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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31,631 Posts
Does the transmission engage gears? If so then you're not getting the dipstick all the way in. There are a couple of little ridges where the tube passes into the transmission that can catch it, and since it's right at the end, it's hard to tell based upon how much of the tool you have hanging out the top. It's only another couple inches that it will go after that, but obviously that's enough to keep it out of the fluid.

Put it back in and when it stops, mark the dipstick (a sharpie is good, your choice if you want to risk tape) level with the top of the tube so you can tell where it's stopping. Then back it up just a half-inch or so and then start twisting it constantly (so that it's slowly spinning) and try to push it further while continuing to twist it. NOTE: if you can't twist it, don't force it or you risk breaking off the tip. In that case back it out further until you can twist it, then rotate it 45 degrees and try to go in again. Keep repeating that until it goes past your mark.

Good luck.
 

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1999 ML320
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Whats does the tranmission engage gears got to do with it?. Oh you saying it won't work if it was empty. Ok got you if thats it.
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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Whats does the tranmission engage gears got to do with it?. Oh you saying it won't work if it was empty. Ok got you if thats it.
Exactly. The tip of the tool contacts the bottom of the pan when it's inserted properly. So for it to register no fluid at all, it would have to be several liters low, in which case it wouldn't be working...and there would also be some strange noises.

At least for a while. ;)
 

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1999 ML320
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Ok i'll give that a go. The wife might like that technique also ha. Might leave out the sharpie bit though. Don't think she will go for that.
 

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99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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I bought a dip stick tool from ebay'er in Great Britain, good deal and it is the right measuring device as I measured the hot and cold markings with the mechanic at the MB dealer. Exact match. Bought 4 Liters of 236.14 tranny fluid and filter and gasket.
Check tanny level when hot engine running and in park, nothing registers on dip stick, did it again 3 times making triple sure that I was pushing the dip stick to the bottom and only had several inches of dip stick left in my hand so I know I an reaching bottom, I can feel it. Still nothing on the stick.

I have no leaks on the ground that I can see and the pan looks very normal. I am at 61K miles and want to change the filter and part of the tranny fluid.

Anyone else have this and would't the tranny be ruined by now without enough fluid?
Did you already do the fluid change? If so did you happen to measure how much came out?
If the dipstick is being used/working correctly and it is an accurate one then it is
entirely possible that more fluid was drained than was put back in. I always
measure the fluid that comes out. If the dipstick checks out then it is going
to need more fluid and I would not drive it until you know for sure.
They will run with over a liter of fluid missing. However that will hurt the trans.
 

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Current 2017 GLE350, 2007 S550, 2002 S430, 1998 ML320 Deceased 74 240D, 92 400E, 97 E420, 13 GLK350
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1,915 Posts
I bought a dip stick tool from ebay'er in Great Britain, good deal and it is the right measuring device as I measured the hot and cold markings with the mechanic at the MB dealer. Exact match.

Check tanny level when hot engine running and in park, nothing registers on dip stick, did it again 3 times making triple sure that I was pushing the dip stick to the bottom and only had several inches of dip stick left in my hand so I know I an reaching bottom, I can feel it. Still nothing on the stick.

I have no leaks on the ground that I can see and the pan looks very normal. I am at 61K miles and want to change the filter and part of the tranny fluid.
I've got the MB dipstick. Just did a measurement for you on our ML320 to help you ensure that it is correctly inserted. The tool has a length from plastic tip to the joint of spring to handle of 45.5 inches. When inserted, there was 10.75 inches of 'spring' showing from the top of the dipstick tube to the bottom of the spring to handle.
 
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