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1998 E320
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196 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm knocking on the door of 200K miles on my 1998 E320. I have done the maint schedule as it should be done. My concern is the tranny.... properly maintained, how long can these reasonably be expected to last? I get an ever-so-slight faint shudder when engaging second gear from time to time. Not comforting. I'm wondering if anyone out there has a high mileage W210 chassis that is in the 250K mile category with the original transmission.

I'm facing some maintenance... brakes mostly... and may be at a decision point if the tranny is showing weakness.

Any comments would be welcome. Thanks to all.
Scuddog
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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31,633 Posts
What do you mean "should be"?

If you're following MB's schedule then the trans has never been serviced, which most of us here believe to be a crock. Which in turn means it won't last as long as it would otherwise.

However, why are you limiting your inquiry to the E320? The same transmission (with only minor variation) is in the 210 from 98 on. And it's in at least some model years of the 140, 220, 221, 208, 209, 202, 203, 170, 171, 163 and 164 (and a model or two that I'm missing). That's a mountain of data you are choosing to ignore.

Ultimately, though, the question is whether to keep your car. If maintained properly (and not letting issues pile up) it is cheaper than buying a new one and will give many years of service, even when you do have that large repair bill. 3K for a transmission is not much when you think of that expense divided over the life of the transmission...and it is less than eight average car payments anyway, much less for a benz. And dumping it because other regular, routine repairs are necessary is meaningless; on any car you'll have to periodically replace the tires, brakes, plugs, coolant, oil, susupension parts, etc. But if you've put off a lot and are facing a huge repair list, that's a different issue, and one that really isn't the car's fault anyway.
 

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1997 E320, 1997 S320
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2,946 Posts
there is a few members with over 200k miles on original tranny. i'm getting close to 200k mile also. also our cars are used as taxis all over the world, so i'm pretty sure there are plenty with 300-400k miles or even more.
tranny is my main concern also. i have replaced fluid+filter twice so far, and also replaced conductor place last time fluid was changed. so far tranny has been shifting always smoothly, but i have heard of times when it just fails without any major signs. i hope that's not the case for me. like greg mentioned above, 722.6 is a pretty robust tranny, used not only in small sedans, but in bigger cars like s-class and g-class and also amg cars.
if you are coming to a point where you are thinking of replacing the car, keep in mind that you won't get much for your car. even if your car looks brand new, probably won't get more than $5k considering the mileage.
 

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'99 E320 4-Matic
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4 Posts
200K?! Mine died at 72K. Never got any indicators on the dash indicating a problem until it had to be towed. Friend's '99 S320 lost his at 71K.

MB was even confused as to why the indicator never went on nor did the car shift to "limp home mode" before it had to be towed.
 

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Premium Member
97 E-420 (180K miles), 97 SL500, (93K miles) 2015 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD CC/SB/4x4 Duramax(55K)
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4,228 Posts
My local Indies 97 E420 has >200K on the original transmission w/o any problems. Course he has fluid changed every 30K miles or so.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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36,494 Posts
I sold one diesel with 230k on it and when I did the transmission service, I am pretty sure that was the first one for the car.
My present E300TD has 211k and runs perfect. Diesel transmissions have different part numbers, but to my knowledge those are close siblings.
Just bought W124 with 280k on it. The shifting is pretty rough and I am working on adjusting it. Anybody remembers those?
 

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2003 SLK 320 1999 E320
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9 Posts
I have 160K+ on my 99E320 and it shifts both up and down like a champ{prbably should'nt say that} I have changed fluids(MB only) @70K and 140K and replaced conductor plate and speed sensor on same. Oh and I as have 800 others found my TCU covered in fluid. I think all of the above constitutes just standard maintenance for a MB tranny.:cool:
 

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1985 300DT 230k w/two tank veggie conversion and 50k on WVO/1996 E300D 150k 32MPG mixed driving
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142 Posts
5 or 4 speed tranny

The w210 had two different auto trannies during the 1st generation, the solid reliable 4 speed and the so-called sealed for life 5 speed. The 4 speed was in the previous e320 model design (203?) and is well-known to go 200k++ miles if properly maintained. 5-speed if properly maintained (meaning actually drained and filter changed every 50-60k) has no real track record as of yet as so few actually were maintained properly.
 

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1999 E320 4matic (owned previously); 1996 SL500
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674 Posts
Shouldn't the electronic, driver adaptive, 5 speed transmission theoretically last longer? In other words, would a transmission last longer if it shifted harder when driven hard and shifted smoother when driven smooth?

A transmission with rigid unadaptive shift points would completely flummoxed by little old ladies who never exceed 55 mph, and by hammer-down types exceeding triple digits...

???
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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36,494 Posts
Shouldn't the electronic, driver adaptive, 5 speed transmission theoretically last longer? In other words, would a transmission last longer if it shifted harder when driven hard and shifted smoother when driven smooth?

A transmission with rigid unadaptive shift points would completely flummoxed by little old ladies who never exceed 55 mph, and by hammer-down types exceeding triple digits...

???
Not so easy. The softer gear change keeps the clutches slipping longer -adding to the wear out. Making sharp gear changes on classic transmission always extended their life.
On W210 the computer cuts out the throttle to make for smoother changes, so that is extending the life in theory, but than we don't know what exactly MB programmed, do we?
 

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1999 E320 190,000 miles sold 97 E320 288,000
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64 Posts
My 97 e320 had the tranny replaced at around 270,000 (I put in a used one instead of a rebuilt). The previous owner had the service done at an indy and the last service records showed that they found some metal shavings in the pan on the last transmission service. No problems with the used tranny so far (15,000 + miles).
 

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2001-W210-CAPRI METALIC BLUE-/ 2002-W210 E300D
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908 Posts
Almost 300k and no problems...

2 complete fluid FLUSHES to clear fluid, the first filter ( when broken open ) had metal shavings in it, but no problems so far, very smooth and tight.
B
 

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Registered
1998 E320
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196 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
What do you mean "should be"?

If you're following MB's schedule then the trans has never been serviced, which most of us here believe to be a crock. Which in turn means it won't last as long as it would otherwise.

However, why are you limiting your inquiry to the E320? The same transmission (with only minor variation) is in the 210 from 98 on. And it's in at least some model years of the 140, 220, 221, 208, 209, 202, 203, 170, 171, 163 and 164 (and a model or two that I'm missing). That's a mountain of data you are choosing to ignore.

Ultimately, though, the question is whether to keep your car. If maintained properly (and not letting issues pile up) it is cheaper than buying a new one and will give many years of service, even when you do have that large repair bill. 3K for a transmission is not much when you think of that expense divided over the life of the transmission...and it is less than eight average car payments anyway, much less for a benz. And dumping it because other regular, routine repairs are necessary is meaningless; on any car you'll have to periodically replace the tires, brakes, plugs, coolant, oil, susupension parts, etc. But if you've put off a lot and are facing a huge repair list, that's a different issue, and one that really isn't the car's fault anyway.
Thanks for the info. I have changed the fluid 2X in the 80K miles that I have owned it. The filters, gasket and fluids were changed without incident. I do not believe that these trannies are supposed to go for a lifetime without a fluid change. My indie mechanich also thinks that is rubbish.

I may keep this car but I may be moving to a hot climate where a black car with black leather may not be so smart.
 

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2008 AMG E63 135,000 Miles
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251 Posts
My goal is 200k miles. 131k and ticking, same great tranny...knock on wood. Great to hear you have made it!

My reward, personally, is a 2009 or 2010 S550 when I hit 200k.

Saw it on Top Gear and it 'had me at hello' when I saw it had radar cruise control and night vision.

:D :D
 

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99 E300TD, 91 300E
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7 Posts
2nd owner. 99 e300td. did first tranny service before i took car home at 210k. Put 8k on it since then,was early feb. or so. good to go thus far. we shall see after i get up to say the 250k mark.
 

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101 Posts
my car had tranny replaced at 170k and now it needs rebuilt again at 189k, wtf, i need 2 drop a stick in the dog

my car is '99 e300 diesel
 

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07 Silverado CC Z71, 10 Chevy Tahoe LT, 12 BMW K1600GLT
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5,812 Posts
204K so far what seems to be the original tranny. According to PO, the fluid and filter have been changed fairly regularly. Don't have any records of them, though.

But the tranny shifts good, though.
 

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9 Posts
I wonder what effect using the W(inter) mode does to reduce wear. It does get better MPG, and shifts less.
I'm at 130k, first fluid change and conductor plate next week. (yes- over due)
 
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