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2000 Mercedes E320
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Discussion Starter #1
Good morning. I'm looking to add another E320 to our family. I'm looking at white 2000, or 2001 E320's. I've found a couple that are clean in and out, with 120K. However, no transmission service has been performed (change of fluid), no new motor mounts, or cats replaced either. I will have inspection before purchasing any car, as I've learned from this forum.

I'm mainly worried about the trans fluid. Can I just check with the mercedes dipstick and see if there is red or black fluid on stick, or better to keep looking and find one that has been serviced? Thank you in advance for your input. :)

Warm regards,

Brent
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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36,680 Posts
There are no proven records that the transmission fluid is not in fact lifetime fluid.
I had 2 W210 closing on 200,000 miles when I serviced the transmission. The first fluid did look original, judging from heavy goo on the bottom. Both transmissions run perfect, although I had an issue with electric plate some time later.
Than draining the 2 l of fluid via the plug and refilling 2 l or 20 % like most shops do is not really what I consider a service.
So I would not worry about the condition of the fluid if the transmission performs flawlessly. Buy the car if you like it, drop the pan and wipe it very well. I would also remove conductor plate and wash the dirt from its top.
And trust me -you will not see much red on high mileage fluid. ;)
 

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1999 E55, 2001 E320, 1990 560 SEC, 2004 ML350, 2001 ML55, 1995 S500, 1998 SL500, 2010 E550 Sport zoo
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7,035 Posts
When you center in on the car you want - pay one of the (2) very good local MB indies in your area like $250 to do a PPI before you close the deal .... you have good MB indies, and they will tell you more about your prospective new car than you will be able to tell on your own.
 

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2000 Mercedes E320
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137 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Ditto to a pre-purchase inspection.
Thanks, Kaj, Fab, and Mus. Is there any truth to the notion that you could do more harm than good, by doing trans service when vehicle has high mileage, and it has not been previously done before? Thanks again.:)

Brent
 

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Registered
1999 E55, 2001 E320, 1990 560 SEC, 2004 ML350, 2001 ML55, 1995 S500, 1998 SL500, 2010 E550 Sport zoo
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7,035 Posts
A 120K W210 is not necesarily "high mileage", and at that milage level a good car can be maintained and driven well out past 200K.

On the tranny, 120K-125K is about the limit of useful life on the tranny fluid, assuming no major malfunction. The condition of the fluid is not as closley matched to color as it is to "smell". expecially when a little bit warm. "Burnt fluid" from pending malfunctioning tranny components will have a "burnt" smell.

On "W210 school of tranny" there are (2) different class programs: "standard" tranny service with pan drop + ffilter replacement + replace about 1/2 fluid, and the "full exchange" method which replaces 100% of the fluid, however does not necessarily deal with the filter replacement. You can check the stickies for both, the standard dealer service is pan pull.

The "high milage" contingent are those select tranny's out there past 175K, well beyond normal tranny life without service but seemingly doing OK.

That's when "some" techs might choose to say to the owner that as a tech they might choose not to mess with either tranny program, other than top off if needed, except at some risk. Basically techs don't want to be blamed later, approaching 200K, by the owner that their end-of-life tranny problem was caused by the more recent $350 service. Techs don't want to be blamed for a $3500 tranny failure that will come in this scenario, even if they do the tranny service, since it is too late in the game to recover the tranny.

Like I say at 120K-130K you are on the cusp of being able to prevent later failure with propoer tranny service on the right car, assuming no malfunction or abuse.

The other "choice" has to do with tranny fluid, and there you can get some kibbitzing between various members of the board: the original MB or Fuchs flid designed for the 722.6 tranny (my HIGHEST recomendation, Fuchs $12 a liter, MB $15 a liter), a alternate aftermarket fluid like MaxLife (I have no personal experience, however some others that I respect I think like loubache I think have good reported good expereince), then MB makes the claim that there new 7 speed tranny fluid for 722.9 tranny's is "backward compatible" which both my iundie and delaer MB tech take solid issue against using on 722.6 based on the experience in both their shops (my dealer techs literally force their dealer parts dept to carry the original 722.6, however many other dealers have stopped carrying 722.6 for their service area). Me, I make my life easier, my 722.6 tranny's get OE 722.6 fluid.

At 120K, with a good condition SoCal W210, assuming no PPI issues; then at that milage I would view it as this: ECU self-reset for zoom zoom, tranny service first priority for car longevity assuming PPI has picked up no major issues, front end inspection for ball joints should be done as part of the DIY and if suspect at some point between 120K-140K ball joint replacement will need to be done (many mistake ball joint wear for shock absorber wear) . DIY spark plug replacement with equivalent OE Bosch plugs like $120 parts job including 17mm boot removal tool, DIY belt tensioner belt replacement like $145 in parts or less to repalce any original tensioner in the car now (which should be identified in the PPI), consider pre-emptive MAF replacement before a MAF CEL light (if original MAF in the car) for maximum efficiency, running MB recommended tire inflation specs have your eyes out for your next full set of good rubber depending on the mileage left on the rubber on the car now, pre-emptive aircon evac and refill by any competant air con shop at/about $80 for fresh full R134 in the system, brake service can be handled by any competant brake shop (or DIY) with your choice of correct aftermarket parts inb the trunk (inlcuding MB brake "goo") - all this can be staged on implementation depending on your budget over next few months.

I don't include normal filter and fluid service (OE filters are cheap sourced on the net), and I assume no cat issues, and in my school I run O2 sensors out to CEL failure unlike the pre-emptive MAF replacement.

That's regimen has served me well on 120K+ W210's in my my barns.

Keep the faith !
 

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Registered
2000 Mercedes E320
Joined
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137 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
A 120K W210 is not necesarily "high mileage", and at that milage level a good car can be maintained and driven well out past 200K.

On the tranny, 120K-125K is about the limit of useful life on the tranny fluid, assuming no major malfunction. The condition of the fluid is not as closley matched to color as it is to "smell". expecially when a little bit warm. "Burnt fluid" from pending malfunctioning tranny components will have a "burnt" smell.

On "W210 school of tranny" there are (2) different class programs: "standard" tranny service with pan drop + ffilter replacement + replace about 1/2 fluid, and the "full exchange" method which replaces 100% of the fluid, however does not necessarily deal with the filter replacement. You can check the stickies for both, the standard dealer service is pan pull.

The "high milage" contingent are those select tranny's out there past 175K, well beyond normal tranny life without service but seemingly doing OK.

That's when "some" techs might choose to say to the owner that as a tech they might choose not to mess with either tranny program, other than top off if needed, except at some risk. Basically techs don't want to be blamed later, approaching 200K, by the owner that their end-of-life tranny problem was caused by the more recent $350 service. Techs don't want to be blamed for a $3500 tranny failure that will come in this scenario, even if they do the tranny service, since it is too late in the game to recover the tranny.

Like I say at 120K-130K you are on the cusp of being able to prevent later failure with propoer tranny service on the right car, assuming no malfunction or abuse.

The other "choice" has to do with tranny fluid, and there you can get some kibbitzing between various members of the board: the original MB or Fuchs flid designed for the 722.6 tranny (my HIGHEST recomendation, Fuchs $12 a liter, MB $15 a liter), a alternate aftermarket fluid like MaxLife (I have no personal experience, however some others that I respect I think like loubache I think have good reported good expereince), then MB makes the claim that there new 7 speed tranny fluid for 722.9 tranny's is "backward compatible" which both my iundie and delaer MB tech take solid issue against using on 722.6 based on the experience in both their shops (my dealer techs literally force their dealer parts dept to carry the original 722.6, however many other dealers have stopped carrying 722.6 for their service area). Me, I make my life easier, my 722.6 tranny's get OE 722.6 fluid.

At 120K, with a good condition SoCal W210, assuming no PPI issues; then at that milage I would view it as this: ECU self-reset for zoom zoom, tranny service first priority for car longevity assuming PPI has picked up no major issues, front end inspection for ball joints should be done as part of the DIY and if suspect at some point between 120K-140K ball joint replacement will need to be done (many mistake ball joint wear for shock absorber wear) . DIY spark plug replacement with equivalent OE Bosch plugs like $120 parts job including 17mm boot removal tool, DIY belt tensioner belt replacement like $145 in parts or less to repalce any original tensioner in the car now (which should be identified in the PPI), consider pre-emptive MAF replacement before a MAF CEL light (if original MAF in the car) for maximum efficiency, running MB recommended tire inflation specs have your eyes out for your next full set of good rubber depending on the mileage left on the rubber on the car now, pre-emptive aircon evac and refill by any competant air con shop at/about $80 for fresh full R134 in the system, brake service can be handled by any competant brake shop (or DIY) with your choice of correct aftermarket parts inb the trunk (inlcuding MB brake "goo") - all this can be staged on implementation depending on your budget over next few months.

I don't include normal filter and fluid service (OE filters are cheap sourced on the net), and I assume no cat issues, and in my school I run O2 sensors out to CEL failure unlike the pre-emptive MAF replacement.

That's regimen has served me well on 120K+ W210's in my my barns.

Keep the faith !
Hey thanks FAB, for all the good information. That is very helpful, and I appreciate it very much!:)

Brent

Brent
 

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Premium Member
2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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17,193 Posts
I have play in one of my ball joints at 87,000 but the tech who discovered it said it is a very minor concern at this point. They are offering a free safety inspection this month so I'll have that done so we can keep a close eye on it.
 

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Registered
1999 E55, 2001 E320, 1990 560 SEC, 2004 ML350, 2001 ML55, 1995 S500, 1998 SL500, 2010 E550 Sport zoo
Joined
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7,035 Posts
From what I have seen, a little play approaching and over 100K is quite normal.

If no other problems the play gets serius around +/- 130K, again no other problems outstanding.

It's about a $400 indie job last time I checked, but you run the risk of having to do a added front end alignment if they have to thrash thing around a bit.
 

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Premium Member
2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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17,193 Posts
Thanks for info fabbrisd1. I don't notice any vibration or looseness in the steering or front end so I will wait on that. Do you think I should have those replaced as pairs or just do the one bad one? I have a dealer quote but don't remember how much that said it would be.
 
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