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2004 Toyota Avalon XLS
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Discussion Starter #1
If we're talking about all the 140's (320, 420, etc, all years) which car is the best for a long-life transmission (given fluid changes)?

I had a 96 S320 and the trans failed at around 136k but I never did change the fluid, plus it was engaging in reverse poorly since I bought it. I may be in the market for another S-Class since they look like they are stupid cheap to buy on craigslist... and many are low mile cars (around 120k or so)...

So which is best when it comes to getting good miles out of a transmission?
 

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2004 Toyota Avalon XLS
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Discussion Starter #2
Browsing the forum a bit I've found some users having the opinion that the 95 and earlier V8 models have a pretty good transmission in them. Maybe that could be the way to go if I'm looking for a good deal for a good, solid car.. especially since the V8 models seem to be less expensive to buy due to fuel economy, I'm assuming.

I'm just afraid the cost to maintain a V8 would be higher than the 6? I have no experience in this, and frankly I don't see how it could be that much more expensive given that it's a good motor, outside of buying more spark plugs (oh no!) ... so, any comparison between the 320 and the 420 is welcome. I know fuel economy may not be the best but if it's a great car then I don't particularly care.
 

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CL500 W140 '97 Coupe
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Think you may of answered your own question (136K miles out of your previous model)

Change Trans' oil with the correct grade (if required due to age/mileage) and you're good to go for many 1000's of more miles.....all Auto's can and do fail, the Merc' is no worse than most others out there!!

ps. Aisin Auto's are the greatest but you would require a Lexus for that!!
 

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2004 Toyota Avalon XLS
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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for your reply. Do you think the V8 cars would hold up better transmission wise?

If I have an excuse to buy a less expensive and more fun V8 i think I'd take it!

I would think a low mile car would be a good buy given the trans is in great shape (reverse engages smoothly, fluid smells nice etc) and then I could just get a service done from there and hope for the best results.
 

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There is really no tell tale when a tranny will go. Mine shifts 100% perfection and buttah. I assume it was never rebuilt. But i did maintain it this last year twice. I have 132000 or so on it. Reverse is swift and quick at any temperature. But hell tomorrow it can fail at a moments notice. Or every 18 months I do a fluid change and may last even longer!

Sent from my SGH-T989 using AutoGuide.Com Free App
 

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93 SL500, 95 SL320, 96 S320, 98 S500, 2002 E320 4Matic Wagon & A little 91 5.0 FORD Mustang
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Matt,

The Million Dollar question!!!!

I'm no expert by trade, but I do repair my own transmissions!

Personally, 722.3-722.5 are known for reverse failure at about 120k to 160k on the W140. I have my 722.5 from my S320 in pieces, and I am assembling it. I too, lost reverse gear, what I can say it was a five-dollar o-ring to blame, but I'm glad I tore it down completely, and I found 1st,3rd and over-speed clutches were worn. I would blame this to heat as all these W140 transmissions would benefit from a 12 Sq Inch Transmission cooler which would probably double the life and along with scheduled fluid changes of every 30k or so.

To answer your question, I prefer the 722.6 in any Mercedes. I would add a large aftermarket cooler to multiply the life, but buying a Mercedes with a malfunctioning transmission would be a better choice. Getting the transmission rebuilt, and adding cooler. It would probably get you upwards of 300kMiles life. I know this is a real possibility as I owned two first generation Ford Taurus' known for transmission failure at 70k to 90k. Well, one failed at 100k and the other ran well beyond 320k when I got rid of the car. Heat kills!!!

How often should the automatic transmission fluid... — Yahoo! Autos

These W140's on the market are all going to be in the mid 150k mileage, and the lucky one you find with 100k or 50k on the clock will be $8k to $15 at those prices it will not make sense? I'd rather find one with a blown transmission for a $2k spend $2k to $3k for transmission and add a cooler(even if you do not DIY on cars). Makes more economical sense, and you will have a base line for longevity.

Why the 722.6? It is more efficient(better mileage). 1/3 the labor required to service(easy to service). Robust and powerful. Parts are plentiful, and many aftermarket parts exist to remedy the design flaws that exist. The K2 drum clutch is known for failures on one bearing, and Mercedes does not make the updated bearing, but you have to replace the rear shaft and the k2 at a replacement cost of 800 bucks. This company called Sonax makes quality aftermarket fix for the bearing for 25 bucks. With Mercedes transmission parts when it comes to the valve-body. Mercedes will force you to buy the whole valve body to the tune of 1500 buck. Sonax sells the individual parts to the valve body, and the parts cost will be 1/5 of the price of a new valve body.Now this is only for the 722.6

Read about the 722.6, download the PDF...

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=k2 drum and output shaft machining 722.6&source=web&cd=15&ved=0CEYQFjAEOAo&url=http://transmissiondigest.com/tech/issuepdfs/TD201106.pdf&ei=akEnUNuYOsK6igK32oD4CQ&usg=AFQjCNFMHk_xQtvYC5qFR5L2-_tSBxASUA&cad=rja

I hope the link works.

Best of luck,

Martin
 

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"CHRIS" Merc 92 600SEL / Sold > 93 600SE / 93 S500 / 89 560SEL / 413CDI / B180-CDI /A170-CDI
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Browsing the forum a bit I've found some users having the opinion that the 95 and earlier V8 models have a pretty good transmission in them. Maybe that could be the way to go if I'm looking for a good deal for a good, solid car.. especially since the V8 models seem to be less expensive to buy due to fuel economy, I'm assuming.

I'm just afraid the cost to maintain a V8 would be higher than the 6? I have no experience in this, and frankly I don't see how it could be that much more expensive given that it's a good motor, outside of buying more spark plugs (oh no!) ... so, any comparison between the 320 and the 420 is welcome. I know fuel economy may not be the best but if it's a great car then I don't particularly care.
Dont be affraid of the S500's V8 ,why stop at 420, if you get a V8 you instantly eliminated the Headgasket problem that the 6 cylinders 140's have & even transmission problems that are all due to the weight of the car itself , maintenance is the same exept for 2 extra sparkplugs & a little bit of extra oil every so & then but you will forget about those extras very quickly once you drive it around ,lots of power when you need it actually to much of it ,lol .For example if you were to join a highway at high speed & crossing over to join the traffic ,can you do it with the 6 cyl..? ,you can but its a bit sort of restricted in a way, no problem with the v8's ,just floor it & you be faster then the traffic you joining before you even now it ,i do it all the time ,lol .
Nice post up there MAVA .:thumbsup:
 

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2004 Toyota Avalon XLS
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for your reply!! I didn't even think of the weight issue until you mentioned it, you're absolutely right! a V8 will push the car so much better it should be less stressful for the transmission. S500's can be found very cheaply, likely because of fuel economy... but maybe worth it? Also eliminating head gasket issue would be very nice... with proper maintenance how many miles could I expect out of an S500 before a transmission rebuild?

I am hoping to buy a Mercedes that I can get at least 200+ thousand miles before a rebuild, maybe even up to 300k.
 

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W140 Moderator
"CHRIS" Merc 92 600SEL / Sold > 93 600SE / 93 S500 / 89 560SEL / 413CDI / B180-CDI /A170-CDI
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Well mine is at aprox 220k km's ,transmission changes smooth & the engine runs & sounds like as if she came out of the Sindlefingen plant yesterday,no rebuilds/reconditioned yet.Full tank on autobahn or long distance freeway sitting on 110km/h constantly with minor stop & start will get you up and around 650 to a little over 700 km's ,city driving mine does no more then aprox 500km's on a full tank if i go slow ,my normal driving gives me 443 km's ,443 because it has hapen'd more than 4 times that i see that actual number before a refill from the 1st moment i see the yellow petrol light on ,i dont exactly drive mine the way a 140 should be driven but more like a roadtrain without brakes,it swalows more petrol but i dont care for that,you got to teach the other motorist who is boss on the road ,lol . :thumbsup:
 

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1991 Mercedes Benz 300E, 179K, stock, daily driver
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This is a theory but I'd think if someone did the regular maintenance on their transmission and didn't accelerate very quickly (gears wouldn't be rushed by the transmission), the transmission would last longer. Yeah and like MercS500 said these cars are heavy, it takes a lot to just get going.
I also know that if you don't service your 2007 and 2008? W221 your transmission may fail and Mercedes won't cover it @ 39k.


I know some people who really push their luxury cars thinking nothing will happen to their car yet their transmission fails. (newer cars then the W140 too) :bash:
 

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93 SL500, 95 SL320, 96 S320, 98 S500, 2002 E320 4Matic Wagon & A little 91 5.0 FORD Mustang
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Lock-out the final gear on any vehicle for city driving as the vehicle is on the fringes of the power band of the transmission, and will wear-out sooner. Save the gear for highway driving at a constant high speed.

Martin
 

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"CHRIS" Merc 92 600SEL / Sold > 93 600SE / 93 S500 / 89 560SEL / 413CDI / B180-CDI /A170-CDI
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The only part that gets serviced by Mercedes on mine is the transmission all the rest i do my self unless it is something that gets to complicated for me or time availability .Oil gets changed every 2/2.500 km's including filter so are the sparkplugs when i change the oil ,check water,coolant, belts etc brakes & discs,diff,maf hole, brake oil change if time has come ,tyres check all the nuts & bolts that none have come loose,lights all function properly (even that the car tells if there is something broken with those ) air con gets refilled once a year just before summer regardless of my mechanic telling me i dont need to ,(i just do it somewhere else ) etc etc ,that's what a service consists of , in my case my car gets a service almost every week just that it dosnt get that nice stamp in the book but you can get your well know'n mechanic to fix that detail up easy,lol .
The only thing my car could do with is the drivers side window regulator ,but it still functions good just that it dosnt close all the way to the top, a cm or 2 just a small gap ,since i smoke & constantly open/close the window i dont really care about it unless it completely fails ,other then that ,yeah , watch your rearview mirrors guys that i'm not coming up behind you's ,but lately i'm slowing down ,dont know why (age/wiser/scared or just preserving the car ?),lol .
Here you go ,thats the S500 experience ,if you look after it it wont give any trouble ,i never had any big problems from the car itself unless they were caused by me or bad petrol or some other chonky licensed mechanic that dosnt know how to work on a real Mercedes & its mechanicals. :thumbsup:
Serviced parts i didnt mention is the suspension parts ,check if all is thight and not wobbly or loose,worn broken boots etc ,very important to check specially the front .

Thanks for your reply!! I didn't even think of the weight issue until you mentioned it, you're absolutely right! a V8 will push the car so much better it should be less stressful for the transmission. S500's can be found very cheaply, likely because of fuel economy... but maybe worth it? Also eliminating head gasket issue would be very nice... with proper maintenance how many miles could I expect out of an S500 before a transmission rebuild?

I am hoping to buy a Mercedes that I can get at least 200+ thousand miles before a rebuild, maybe even up to 300k.
Well if you think about the petrol consumption between V8 & 6 cyl, would'nt the 6cyl models not need to accelerate more to get this 2 tonne monster of a car get moving ,maybe not at higher speeds but in the city i think they should be almost equal there .The only stress i had between the transmission was my flex disc that was completely disintegrated from the way i take of ,you must have seen my post about it .
The real difference i think in some country's is when it is time for registration & insurance ,thats where the difference of pocket comes .Here in Australia if i had the 6 -V8 or V12 i always would be paying up & around -$14/1500Au a year ,at the moment mine cost's me $1400 a year with a custom numberplate ,it's a lot of money considering that a normal small car would only cost about 5/600 dollars a year,here the registration goes by weight of the car not by the ccm (engine capacity ) like in italy ,over there anything over (i forgot wich one it is ) 2L or 3L would get taxed like mad,so if you get to see a V8/V12 W140 in italy on the road ,think of the poor rich bastard who's driving it,lol, but for that exact reason Mercedes has come out with the S280 that is under the 3L tax or registration fees (so it must be 3L then ),thats how nice Mercedes is to it's customers ,they dont want you to miss out but stab you later on parts .Even Ferrari made the 208GTB/S instead the normal 308 for italy only i belive due to the engine capacity registrations etc .... .
 

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M120, M119, W126*2 + Silver Avantgarde wagon
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1999 722.6 C140 M119 and use the gears like they were meant to be used and service the transmission every 30,000 miles.

R
 

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The real difference i think in some country's is when it is time for registration & insurance

>> exactly in hong kong, that's why the S500 are cheaper than S320 and harder to sell....
 

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1997 Mercedes Benz S320 SWB
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This is a theory but I'd think if someone did the regular maintenance on their transmission and didn't accelerate very quickly (gears wouldn't be rushed by the transmission), the transmission would last longer. Yeah and like MercS500 said these cars are heavy, it takes a lot to just get going.
I also know that if you don't service your 2007 and 2008? W221 your transmission may fail and Mercedes won't cover it @ 39k.


I know some people who really push their luxury cars thinking nothing will happen to their car yet their transmission fails. (newer cars then the W140 too) :bash:
**********

It might have been an old post from me.

I've never "floored" my 320. I usually drive mine with slow stops and accelerations. My transmission rarely shifts above 3,000 RPM. Car is driven gently until it has warmed up (transmission and engine temperature.)

I change all of the transmission fluid, pan gasket, filter every 30,000 miles since 54,000 miles.

Predictable performance: smooth, timely shifts, shifts into reverse in .5 sec (or less?), no leaks, no burnt or discolored fluid. Level is usually checked every year at temperature.

I'm at 120,000 miles as of this month. The notorious head gasket problem is starting to "sweat".... otherwise, my S320 drives like it did when I first bought it.

Hard-driving any transmission can only shorten its life. Owning GM, Peugeots and MBs, I've never had an engine or transmission issue in almost 30 years of driving.

When I hear a friend has a car with ANOTHER transmission issue/failure, I blame my friend, not the car! Hard on the car, sporadic repairs rather than maintenance, broken household appliances, broken marriages!

"What....okay, I'm coming upstairs right after I finish this post to the Group, dear..."


Time To Check The Wife's Tranny Fluid And Go To Bed,


James Combs,
Salt Lake City, Utah USA
1997 S320, 120,370 miles (yes, I always go to the garage before bed for one last "look" before I set my security alarm for the night!)
 

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99 s320,and 83 300sd
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there was a 320 on here with 389,000 miles,and I think they rebuilt trans at 347,000.Of course they changed fluid.I believe cast iron block wins over on aluminum,
 
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