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ATF Conditioner (MOC)

1339 Views 59 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  cerritos
I had my 2004 S430 transmission serviced at a dealership. I noticed that they charged me an ATF conditioner 01031-01. The part department said that it's MOC brand. I personally wouldn't add anything to the fluid. However, since it's already done by the dealership, I wonder whether it's good to have it added to the transmission?
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This is yet another reason why I do my own maintenance. You can do the trans fluid exchange yourself; it's really not that hard.

This is also another reason why dealerships get called, "stealerships".
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No, it’s not good nor bad. All it is is an additional profit center for the dealership
Good to know. I felt bad when I see on the invoice that they added that "ATF conditioner" into the tranny. The tranny hard shifted twice at lower speed after they've done the job. I probably will redo it myself either by dropping the pan or doing it from the tranny fluid return line.
 

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Since your car is a 2004, and I'm not seeing any "4matic" indication, then that would mean you have the 7-speed transmission, i. e. the 722.9. That means you have to use 236.14-specification ATF. Turns out MB actually recommends Shell ATF 134 for this purpose. The 236.14 fluid such as Shell ATF 134 also work perfectly well in the 5-speed (722.6) transmissions such as your W210. If you go to the stealership and have them do it, they typically will use Shell ATF 134 if they're in the United States.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
When I let the dealership do the transmission service on my S430, I thought everything will be done with Mercedes parts. If they indeed used Shell 134 and added MOC ATF conditioner, that would be very ironical. They charged me $16.83 per liter on the transmission fluid. I thought it's a good price for genuine MB ATF. Now, if they used Shell 134, that would be very expensive Shell 134. IMO, the worst is that they added the ATF conditioner into the tranny. I now have to try to dilute it from the tranny by doing multiple tranny fluid change.
 

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Don't be surprised. MB-branded parts are often triple--or more--what the OEM charges. For example, Mann oil filters are $8 and change at FCPEuro. Go to the dealership, you're talking $20 and up for the same part, at least in my locale.

I've actually seen MB dealerships using Shell-branded ATF 134. Yep, in the actual Shell bottle. But it looks like, in this case, they used the MB-branded bottles. If I recall my reading, the ATF used by MBUSA is Shell ATF 134 put into MB-branded bottles here in North America, due to easier supply on this continent. Over in Germany and the rest of Europe, I believe it's Fuchs Titan 4134. Both are 236.14 fluid, so it doesn't matter which one you use.

BTW...they only did 6 liters. To do a full transmission fluid exchange takes at least 6 more liters (12 total), and I'm more comfortable with 14 liters. The other way to do it is to drain the oil pan three times, including the one where you drop the pan and change the filter, filing up each time with 4 liters of fluid. In between each of these three drains/fillups, you're driving the car around a little bit. A few miles is quite enough.

Both methods will get about 90% of the fluid exchanged, which is better than just draining the pan once like it appears that they did..
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The Shell 134 ATF that I have are at least 4 years old. About four years ago, I bought two cases, each case contains 12 bottles. I used some, there are still plenty left. Do they have shelf life? Is it safe to use them now?
 

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Shelf life of ATF is like that of motor oil. It'll outlast you. :) You're good to go.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks. Good to know. I always wondered the motor oil shelf life also. :)

There are people replacing the ATF from the ATF return line. they disconnect the return line, run the engine briefly until one or two liters came out from the return line, then add same amount of ATF into the pan, repeat this until the ATF came out is clean as new ATF. I like this method, it seems to be much easier than removing the pan.

Is this a good way to flush the ATF?
 

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Most folks who do this disconnect the return line, run fluid into a large container, start the engine, run until the fluid stops coming out, instantly shut off the engine. Let the car sit as long as you can, then remove the pan, change the filter, reinstall. Put as much fluid in as you caught, run until fluid stops coming out, shut down, refill, continue until the fluid coming out is clean and clear. Reconnect the line, use the dipstick tool to properly set the fluid level with the transmission at required temperature.

Use Shell 134 ATF.
 

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I do a variant of Wally's procedure.

1.) Drain the tranny oil pan by unscrewing the plug, pull the pan, change the filter, reinstall. Use a new crush washer when you put the plug back in. Torque to spec.
2.) Fill up the tranny with four liters, which is how much fluid there should be in the pan when it's at the proper level.
3.) Disconnect the return line and attach a hose to the return line. The other end of that hose goes into an empty 3-liter bottle.
4.) Start the engine until the 3-liter bottle is full. When it is, immediately shut off the engine and empty the 3-liter bottle into a storage container of some sort.
5.) Refill the tranny with 3 liters of new fluid.
6.) Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you go through about 14-15 liters of fluid. BTW, while the engine is going, go ahead and shift through the gears, including the Tiptronic ("manu-matic") functionality. This will activate the solenoids and wash out even more of the old fluid.
7.) The fluid now should look considerably redder than before. Reconnect the return line.
8.) Using the tranny level measurement tool (fancy name for a dipstick), see how the level is at ambient temperature. There are two sets of markings. One is at 25 Celsius, which is 77 Fahrenheit. The other is at 80 Celsius, where the official, "real" reading should always be taken. Since we don't live in 80 Celsius temperatures, fill it up until you're within the 25 Celsius zone. That'll get you close.
9.) After FIRST making sure everything is tightened down like it ought to be, go for a little drive. About 10 miles should do it. This is to get the tranny up to operating temperature.
10.) Once you get back, take your tranny fluid level measurement, now that the tranny's internal temp should be about 80 Celsius. Adjust your fluid level from there as necessary, be it up or down.
11.) Bask in your success at a job well done. :)
 
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I do it at the right-hand side of the radiator, a few inches after the return line begins. If memory serves, you'll need a 17mm open-end (spanner) wrench and a 19mm open-end wrench to open up the line..
 
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