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2010 E350 4matic
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,
Whats how required amount of atf for a 97 e320 (722.6) ?
I know it should be checked at 176F (which is 80C) and at this temp the atf level should be between 55mm and 65mm on the dipstick. I have 8 liters in there right now after draining transmission pan and TC. My issue is that i cant get the temp to reach 176F (80C) because it's really cold here in Toronto. I did drive it for about 1/2 hr over 100km/h but still i cant get it up to 176F

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I just checked it at 127F and according to the graph above my atf level at 127F should be around 45mm on the dipstick but it's at its actually at 32-33mm on the dipstick which is too low according to the graph. Does this sound right with 8 liters already in there? I am actually a little scared to add more fluid because i dont wanna add too much. I know atf expands with higher temp so do i absloutly have to check it at 176F (80C) or is it safe to just follow the graph at lower temp and add more?

Please let me know our thoughts.

Thanks for the help in advance guys.

Cheers.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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So you are about 12 mm below correct level, what probably is a cup of ATF?
I experienced that those transmission perform just fine with 1/2 liter below or 3/4 liter above recommended level.
Low is actually safer. If the fluid is too low -the transmission will slip on cold start and perform OK when warmed up.
If that doesn't happen -I would drive it with a spare ATF in the trunk till I get a chance to get it fully warm.
 

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2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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17,193 Posts
Agree with Kajtek1. My preferred tech at the dealer told me the same thing. Transmission is happier a little low compared to a little high with the fluid level.
 

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2010 E350 4matic
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Discussion Starter #4
So you are about 12 mm below correct level, what probably is a cup of ATF?
I experienced that those transmission perform just fine with 1/2 liter below or 3/4 liter above recommended level.
Low is actually safer. If the fluid is too low -the transmission will slip on cold start and perform OK when warmed up.
If that doesn't happen -I would drive it with a spare ATF in the trunk till I get a chance to get it fully warm.
Hey bud, the car is actually shifting a bit stiffer then before the transmission service. Now i can actually feel the car shifting. Before it was so smooth that i didn't feel the shift at all, just saw the rpm drop everytime it shifted. Another thing i noticed is that in 1st gear there is a minor ticking (kind of) noise That comes right before it shifts into 2nd gear and after the shift no there is no noise at all. The transmission service didl put an end to the slight hard shiftdown while slowing down.

cheers
 

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1999 E430; 2005 ML500
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1,522 Posts
The word a few yearks back was to get it as high as you could. if your graph is right and your thermometer is somewhat accurate, bring it up to 40mm and close it up. if it shifts fine, you'll be good. i'd be more concerned about having too little in Arcticonia.
 

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99 E430, 01 E430 Sport, 00 SL500
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The lesson here is "don't service transmission in winter" because it's harder to bring it to operating temperature to use dip stick for measure.
Transmission service is some long term maintenance, it's not something urgent. It's not like if you don't do it today, the car will break tomorrow. Another few months of wait and thousands of more miles won't hurt anything if the car has been shifting, running fine.
In your case, the following chart in the stickies may help.
 

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2010 E350 4matic
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Discussion Starter #7
The lesson here is "don't service transmission in winter" because it's harder to bring it to operating temperature to use dip stick for measure.
Transmission service is some long term maintenance, it's not something urgent. It's not like if you don't do it today, the car will break tomorrow. Another few months of wait and thousands of more miles won't hurt anything if the car has been shifting, running fine.
In your case, the following chart in the stickies may help.
Hey mbvis,
thanks for your input, appreciate it. that's the chart i am using and according to this i am about 12-13mm low at 127F. I have extra 1 lter fluid in the trunk so i am wondering if i should just go ahead and put just a little more because the shifting is a little stiffer then before :confused:

Cheers
 

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99 E430, 01 E430 Sport, 00 SL500
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Are you using some infrared thermometer? Keep in mind that its accuracy decreases with increasing distance from the target. The wall of the pan is thick, you may read 127F on its outside but it may be warmer inside. Do another measure at 70-80F, measure the level then you have 2 points to correlate to the chart. If both show low then add some fluid. I got the measurement of the pan somewhere but I can't find it. It helps determine how much fluid to add to bring the level by 1cm.
 

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2010 E350 4matic
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Discussion Starter #9
Are you using some infrared thermometer? Keep in mind that its accuracy decreases with increasing distance from the target. The wall of the pan is thick, you may read 127F on its outside but it may be warmer inside. Do another measure at 70-80F, measure the level then you have 2 points to correlate to the chart. If both show low then add some fluid. I got the measurement of the pan somewhere but I can't find it. It helps determine how much fluid to add to bring the level by 1cm.
Mbvis you are correct i am indeed using the laser thermometer and i have checked it at few different temps several times and it shows low. The car has been parked outside in the cold for more then 2 hrs now so i'll go get and start the car and get another reading at 70F-80F as you suggested and report back.

Cheers
 

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2010 E350 4matic
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Discussion Starter #10
hey guys,
When you guys are checking the ATF temp using infrared thermometer do you guys point the laser at the pan or under the filler tube?

Thanks
 

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1997 E320, 1997 S320
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benzo_e320, personally i would just add half a bottle of atf and stop thinking about it. maybe in a couple of months you can check level again.
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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Goodness.

Why so much interest in guessing? Add this much, chart for that temp...blah, blah, blah.

Start it, go for a short drive, to get it to operating temp, then park in on level ground, pop the hood and partially block the radiator. Let it continue to idle and the fluid will reach 80C...and that doesn't matter whether it's winter or summer.

The final level check is a measurement spec based on 80C fluid. If you're not doing that, then just flip a coin while facing east and hopping on one foot under a full moon (howling at it is optional). That will make as much sense on trying to figure it out for a different temp, because you'll never know if you're right anyway.

Good luck.
 

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I am coming late to this mess and said I would not comment , however there is so much misinformation that I just do not understand why the originator is not totally confused with all the supposition and guess work, with the exception of the previous post.

First misconception the proper dip stick is not graduated in mm. wtfcuwto

Second misconception is that you have to run the engine temp to 80C to test.That is not totally correct. The best is at 80C HOWEVER----

The proper dip stick has an "A" range min and max and a "B" range min and max. The A range is for an engine coolant temp of 25C. The B range is for an engine coolant temp of 80C.

AS LONG AS YOU ARE BETWEEN THE MIN AND MAX FOR THE TEMP YOU ARE TESTING YOU ARE GOLDEN, GOOD, BLESSED ETC.

Now if the problem is you don't have a proper dip stick and using that J coat hanger idea or the bakamono who suggested blue or masking tape at the end of a plastic strap or the dude who used a small plastic tube that got stuck-----well I feel sorry for you. You need a proper dip stick. That fluid is important use the correct tools and yes the car should be on level ground.
 

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Second misconception is that you have to run the engine temp to 80C to test.That is not totally correct. The best is at 80C HOWEVER----

The proper dip stick has an "A" range min and max and a "B" range min and max. The A range is for an engine coolant temp of 25C. The B range is for an engine coolant temp of 80C.

AS LONG AS YOU ARE BETWEEN THE MIN AND MAX FOR THE TEMP YOU ARE TESTING YOU ARE GOLDEN, GOOD, BLESSED ETC.
Not intending to start an argument or trying to put too fine a point on it, but IIRC, 25c was the range for a cold fill, to be used as a starting point after service. The spec for actually setting the final level was with the fluid at 80C.

I can't recall where I read that, but it was a post here (or perhaps MBWorld) that was a screenshot from WIS or the like.

Since the typical operating range for the transmission is lots closer to 80C than 25C, it also makes sense to me that the final level should be set for the 80C range...with the fluid at 80C too, of course. ;)
 

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2010 E350 4matic
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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks alot for all the info you guys, appreciate it.
I understand that topics like this may have been discussed here many times Before and i also understand that it can get annoying and frustrating for some of you who are more technically inclined then others. I have always worked on my cars but this is my 1st german car and i had 0 knowledge about this car when i bought it. I did my research here first and only then posted if something didn't make sense to me. Anyways as far as the proper dip stick tool is concerned.. I bought one and it arrived today. I have checked the atf level and yes i was shooting in the dark with my home made dipstick took. I was over filled by almost 1/2 liter which was causing the car to shift funny. I took out about 1/2 liter atf out and what a huge difference in shifting. It shifts like new now. I just hope i havent caused any long term damage by driving it for 3 days with 1/2 liter over filled.

Anyways thanks once again for all the feedback.

Cheers.
 

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Don't worry about it; unless you drove several thousand miles a day it's fine. ;)

I'm just glad you got it taken care of.
 

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2001 SLK 320(217K Miles), 2002 E320 Special Edition(183K Miles)
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. The best is at 80C HOWEVER----

The proper dip stick has an "A" range min and max and a "B" range min and max. The A range is for an engine coolant temp of 25C. The B range is for an engine coolant temp of 80C.

AS LONG AS YOU ARE BETWEEN THE MIN AND MAX FOR THE TEMP YOU ARE TESTING YOU ARE GOLDEN, GOOD, BLESSED ETC.
Whoa!!! Before everybody screws up their transmission!!!! The temperature is NOT, repeat NOT the engine coolant temperature, but the TRANSMISSION FLUID temperature.
There is a vast difference between the engine coolant temperature and if you use the 80 degree mark on the coolant gauge, you are virtually assured of using too low a transmission temperature.
 

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'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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Whoa!!! Before everybody screws up their transmission!!!! The temperature is NOT, repeat NOT the engine coolant temperature, but the TRANSMISSION FLUID temperature.
There is a vast difference between the engine coolant temperature and if you use the 80 degree mark on the coolant gauge, you are virtually assured of using too low a transmission temperature.
Resurrecting old thread because I am in same situation as OP. (Cool temperatures in Canada this weekend)

Maybe it is covered somewhere on BW, but it seems to me that determining the ATF temperature may be the most likely potential error. Possible mthods I have considered or tried:

- Use IR thermometer - Inherently inaccurate except for relative readings. This is true even for $5000 units we used in industry. Then where to take measurement - pan is near exhausts and could be either hotter or cooler than fluid. Connection at cooler could also be influenced by rad and air flow.

- Run car until it is hot and assume temperature gets to 80C? Do we know for sure that this will happen. How do we confirm this?

- Not tried, but perhaps Carsoft will read transmission temperature? There is a thermocouple in transmission and I think I read that car has to be put in gear for it to read because of starter interlock switch.

- Thermocouple inserted down dipstick tube + DVM. Probably best solution but I need to find a thermocouple :(

If anyone has a reliable measurement technique I am interested!
 
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