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1959 220S cabriolet, 1983 240D original owner, 1999 E300 turbo diesel, 1988 560SL, 2003 SLK320
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Discussion Starter #1
This weekend I acquired some ATF from a friend. The fluid is ATF134, A001 989 68 03 13. It is the correct ATF listed for my 2003 SLK on aftermarket parts websites. The ATF I already had on hand is A001 989 21 03 10 and is the correct fluid for my '99 E300D. It also appears that the 2004 Approved Mercedes Fluids list shows the 03 10 ATF as the correct fluid for both of my cars. Both cars have the same transmission AFAIK. The SLK is a 722.618 and the E300 is a 722.608. They both use the same filter and gasket. Is the 03 13 ATF just the newer version that is backwards compatible with the 03 10 ATF? Can I use either fluid in either car or must the '03 get only the 03 13?
 

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03 E320 4M Wagon & 97 E320
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Len:

There are actually other "03 10" fluids. Anyway, both you have are fine with your cars.

MB 236.10 sheet - ATF 3403, aka 722.6 fluid (MB Part # 001-989-21-03-10)
MB 236.12 sheet - ATF 3353, aka 722.9 fluid (MB Part # 001-989-45-03-10)
MB 236.14 sheet - ATF 134 or 4134, aka "new" 722.9 fluid (MB Part # 001 989 68 03 10).
MB 236.14 sheet - ATF 134 or 4134, aka "even newer" 722.9 fluid (MB Part # 001 989 68 03 13).
 

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2000 ML430 Skyview
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73 Posts
Len:

There are actually other "03 10" fluids. Anyway, both you have are fine with your cars.

MB 236.10 sheet - ATF 3403, aka 722.6 fluid (MB Part # 001-989-21-03-10)
MB 236.12 sheet - ATF 3353, aka 722.9 fluid (MB Part # 001-989-45-03-10)
MB 236.14 sheet - ATF 134 or 4134, aka "new" 722.9 fluid (MB Part # 001 989 68 03 10).
MB 236.14 sheet - ATF 134 or 4134, aka "even newer" 722.9 fluid (MB Part # 001 989 68 03 13).
Lou,

You've also mentioned elsewhere that Valvoline Maxlife fluid which lists the USA spec of NAG-1 is suitable replacement fluid for ATF 3403. Please share if you have any 722.6 5spd running pure Maxlife fluid and if you noticed any difference between it and the factory fluid it replaced.

Rgds, Ed
 

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03 E320 4M Wagon & 97 E320
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Ed: I have been running Maxlife ATF in both my W210 transmissions, the transfer case in the 4Matic, and the power steering in the sedan for many years now. Maxlife had a reformulation a few years ago and the new one is even better, IMHO and experience using them. It is now a full synthetic and a bit thinner (especially when cold) than the old formulation (it seems everyone is going thinner and thinner for many fluids). Its viscosity at 100 deg C is about 6 and that is where many of the modern transmission fluids are aiming.

I think the Maxlife fluid shifts better than the original factory fluid. However, it truly shines in the transfer case and power steering, mainly because it is thinner at colder temps.

The original fluid in the 4matic transfer case was a bit too thick when cold and it was a bit sluggish and had a characteristic slight vibration around 40 mph when cold. There are some threads about that. Several of us switched to Maxlife and the vibration and sluggishness went away.

Then in the extreme cold morning here, the power steering was a bit heavy during the first couple miles and switching to Maxlife also got rid of that problem. The newer MB models use a very thin power steering fluid.
 

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2001 E320 RWD- 2011 E350 4M
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573 Posts
Len, also add my friend to Lou's list, we did one partial change a year ago in January and a Yumling method exchange in April. He brought me a case of Valvoline Import Vehicle ATF and since then (January) he put about 60K miles on his 2005 E320 4M and appx 50K from the exchange.
Shifting is very very smooth, he has absolutely no complaints.
We were just talking about it the other day it's about time for another filter&gasket job, if I have enough time these days.
But again, it's your car, it's your choice.
Good luck
Al
 

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1959 220S cabriolet, 1983 240D original owner, 1999 E300 turbo diesel, 1988 560SL, 2003 SLK320
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info guys. Right now I have enough Mercedes branded fluid for both my SLK and my E300D, so I'll certainly use them up first. Maybe for the changes after that assuming I still have the cars, I may consider alternatives. That's several years away though.
 

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1997 E300D
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505 Posts
I have recently changed the nearly 4 quarts in the pan, using the Valvoline Synthetic Import Vehicle ATF, which lists the 236.10 spec. on the bottle as well as the NAG-1 spec. It works just like it did before. I am somewhat skeptical of the claims of backward compatibility for the new fluids and will not be using them. It sounds to me like a dealer excuse to justify carrying only one type of ATF instead of several.
 

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2008 E350 110k, 2000 E320 143k, 1983 380SEC 240k
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921 Posts
Just to kick this fire ant nest some more, I am also using the Valvoline Import AFT in my 2000 model since the last Yumling procedure. It runs perfectly. I plan to change at 30,000 mile intervals. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I don't think there is any magical pixie juice in the Mercedes-branded ATF.

Ed: I have been running Maxlife ATF in ... the power steering in the sedan for many years now.
Then in the extreme cold morning here, the power steering was a bit heavy during the first couple miles and switching to Maxlife also got rid of that problem. The newer MB models use a very thin power steering fluid.
Both our W210's are due for new power steering fluid (I use turkey baster method). Once again the Mercedes fluid is ridiculously priced, and I can't believe it is so special. But up to now I have been too chicken to use ATF, but you give me courage. I would be interested to hear from others who have done this.
 

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2000 E 320 Wagon + 2002 ML 500 SUV
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872 Posts
Amen to what you guys have discovered.

There are reasonably priced alternatives to the MB fluid.

And if you read the detailed spec sheets on each fluid's physical properties, it becomes even more apparent that this is the case.

I got some spec sheets on the Pentosin & Febi ATF fluids commonly used by MB / German Independent garages - and manged to scare up a rare, hard to find Shell 134 - 3403 data sheet & guess what - nearly identical !

The latter Shell being said to be the exact fluid as MB dealer & the former used by many an independent German shop.

I got our e320 wagon from a high performance BWM Shop owner in Houston (it was his late mothers car), queried him, he said: we use Febi ATF & other lubes, great stuff, in all our BMW, MB & VW Audi servicing.

Car runs perfect of course. So there's another authoritative voice affirming 'Febi' - a German aftermarket brand to be just fine for the 722.6 / NAG 1 trans in our e320's.

Now, to Valvoline, both the Max Life & Import Multi-Vehicle are full synthetic & meet the spec for our transmissions.

So, when it comes time to change this out, I will be using Valvoline Import MV - already have it in fact.

If I lived nearer to Houston, I'd probably go see Fernando - the shop owner who sold us this perfect car & get some Febi ATF from him.

Either way, that's 2 great options that will save $$$ over the MB fluid.

And for those who have way more $$$ than we do, they can always do the full MB thing & reduce the income disparity somewhat !

Cheers, David - East Texas
 

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1999 ML320
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YUMLING PROCEDURE?

Just to kick this fire ant nest some more, I am also using the Valvoline Import AFT in my 2000 model since the last Yumling procedure. It runs perfectly. I plan to change at 30,000 mile intervals. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I don't think there is any magical pixie juice in the Mercedes-branded ATF.



Both our W210's are due for new power steering fluid (I use turkey baster method). Once again the Mercedes fluid is ridiculously priced, and I can't believe it is so special. But up to now I have been too chicken to use ATF, but you give me courage. I would be interested to hear from others who have done this.
Hello Guys,

I am researching ATF fluids for our 99 ML320. I've spent too many hours with no conclusion other than some guys think the older ATF 3403, MB 236.10 spec is possibly better for the 722.6 five speed than the newer backwards compatible ATF 134 MB 236.14 spec that is required for the 722.9 seven speed transmission.

All the threads and posts I've read are several years old. Did MB or the community at large figure out which fluid is better (for the 722.6) in the meantime?

What is the "yumling" procedure I've read of several times? I did not come across anything other than the mention of it, never the procedure itself.

Thank You,

John Olson
 

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2001 E430 220K mi. Obsidian Black metallic, Ash/Orion Grey interior
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1999 ML320
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Here it is.

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w210-e-class/1365453-tranny-flush-diy.html

This is in the alphabetical index of stickies/DIYs under transmission flush

Fred
Hello Fred,

Thank you for the information. That procedure from yumling seems really clever. I am wondering how to find a diagram showing the routing and direction of the fluid between transmission and cooler. I think that fluids generally enter radiators/coolers at the top (because that is where hot fluids like to be), and the cooler portion exits the bottom (because that is where cooler fluids like to head). But maybe this is different for ATF?

It would be very helpful if you could please tell me how to find "the alphabetical index of stickies/DIY's under transmission flush." I have found some great information and help on this website. However I am challenged finding it efficiently. I have no idea how to find stickies, DIY's, or even the topics "under transmission flush."

Thank You Again!

John
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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No matter how the routing goes, you will find one flex hose easier to disconnect than the other and that should be consider.
Some will argue that draining 3 oz of atf from radiator exchanger will make difference, but that is not big deal.
I found the flush method not too efficient even with 15l of expensive fluid, so lately I do only pan drop with overnight dripping for 4 -4.5l refreshing.
Still wiping bottom of the pan is most crucial part of service IMHO
 

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2008 E350 110k, 2000 E320 143k, 1983 380SEC 240k
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921 Posts
Hello Guys,

I am researching ATF fluids for our 99 ML320. I've spent too many hours with no conclusion other than some guys think the older ATF 3403, MB 236.10 spec is possibly better for the 722.6 five speed than the newer backwards compatible ATF 134 MB 236.14 spec that is required for the 722.9 seven speed transmission.

All the threads and posts I've read are several years old. Did MB or the community at large figure out which fluid is better (for the 722.6) in the meantime?

What is the "yumling" procedure I've read of several times? I did not come across anything other than the mention of it, never the procedure itself.

Thank You,

John Olson
The yumling procedure is here: http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w210-e-class/1371714-flushed-my-tranny.html If you have a torque converter drain plug then a simple drain and refill with a new filter is sufficient, IMHO.

As for fluid choice, I am still running the Valvoline you quoted, with no problems. Otherwise I don't think there is any consensus, because there are not enough data and everything is anecdotal. I'll say that I would seriously consider the Shell 3404, because it is recommended by Mercedes and can be obtained at a reasonable price. Better than 236.10? I don't know.

For those that say you should not be cheap if you want to drive a Mercedes, I say that I can drive a Mercedes only because I am cheap, i.e. intelligently frugal.
 

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'98 E300, '10 GL350 Bluetec
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I have been running Valvoline Max Life ATF (now synthetic) in my E300 for a few years now. Originally I drained the torque converter and changed the filter, installed a magnet in the pan. After that i just drain the pan and fill with 3L every year, with a new filter scheduled to go in next year.
Shifts are really smooth, most of the time they cannot be felt. I am really happy with this fluid; performance vs value makes me very happy.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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I say that I can drive a Mercedes only because I am cheap, i.e. intelligently frugal.
Hate to point it (NAAH) but would you be really intelligently frugal, you would not be driving gas-guzzlers, but 30-35 mpg diesel.
Calculate how much money would you save in last 5 years on fuel alone.
 

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2008 E350 110k, 2000 E320 143k, 1983 380SEC 240k
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Hate to point it (NAAH) but would you be really intelligently frugal, you would not be driving gas-guzzlers, but 30-35 mpg diesel.
Calculate how much money would you save in last 5 years on fuel alone.
Touche. As an engineer I have done the math - factors such as availability and price of used diesels, diesel vs. gas price, maintenance costs, reliability, etc. Diesel probably wins, but the difference is not huge (in the US). SWMBO had a 1983 300CD Turbodiesel (rear-ended) and the experience left her longing for another. We searched high and low for a W211 CDI, but could not find one at a good price/condition combination. But we have hijacked the thread.
 

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2001 E430 220K mi. Obsidian Black metallic, Ash/Orion Grey interior
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1,252 Posts
...
It would be very helpful if you could please tell me how to find "the alphabetical index of stickies/DIY's under transmission flush." I have found some great information and help on this website. However I am challenged finding it efficiently. I have no idea how to find stickies, DIY's, or even the topics "under transmission flush."
...
At the top of the first page of this forum, you will see about 7 threads shaded blue and labeled "sticky". Those, obviously, are the stickies. They are called sticky because, even when dormant, they "stick" to the top and don't get pushed down the page by new posts like normal threads. The third sticky is called "alphabetical list..". That's the index.

Browse these stickies and you will be blown away by the wealth of information that is available here and humbled by the dedication of the forum members that contributed to this resource.

Good luck and welcome to the forum.

Fred
 

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2001 E430 220K mi. Obsidian Black metallic, Ash/Orion Grey interior
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1,252 Posts
...I have no idea how to find stickies, DIY's, or even the topics "under transmission flush."...
I forgot to also mention that, just above the stickies, to the right, is a pull down tab called "search this forum". Type in keywords related to what you are looking for and you will be able to find DIYs and threads with the info you are seeking.

Fred
 
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