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2004 Mercedes ML 270CDI W163
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys,

FYI: I have a 2004 ML270cdi with 111,000km

I just wanted to let you know my experience today in getting my Trans Fuild changed after I read lots of helpful info on her.

Now I got my transmission fluid changed at the MB Dealer because I dont trust any one else in my small town, at least if it goes wrong I have some recourse, I hope.

So I started by buying 8L of MB Fluid/Filter/Gasket/Magnet from the MB Parts Dept Total $386 AUD.

Took car in today and the charge was $286 AUD for the labour, not bad I think.

Got a call 3 hours later to say the car was ready, the service guy said they only used 4 Litres so I had 4L left. However he did say the mechanic said the old fluid was REALLY DIRTY and advised I should get it changed again in about 2000-3000km to ensure I get everything else out?

Now this sounds strange I would have thought they would have done a complete FLUSH and use all 8L??

So I have to trust this as it was done by the MB Dealer and have to trust they did the right thing?

Let me know if you have any thoughts on my experence with the Authorised Dealer and if you thing they did the right thing, would be interesting??

Cheers

A
 

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163 Posts
dealers do a service drain, which means they drain and drop the pan, replace the filter, install new gasket, install the pan back on, and fill in lost fluid, which is about 4 liters as stated. if you wanted to do a complete flush, you can request it, but I doubt most dealerships have transmission flushing equipment. you would have to go to a transmission or a lube shop to get it done, but it would take alot more fluid to get the job done completely.
 

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'05 ML350SE
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1,395 Posts
There is fluid in the torque converter which is not easy to drain on your model year since the drain plug was eliminated in MY00 or so. That might account for the fluid difference if the dealer followed the steps posted by nenad16.
 

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2005 ML350 SE Black
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191 Posts
The guys are telling the truth, beleive that M/B eliminated the drain plug in the torque converter in 2003 to save money. therefore you can over get about 3.5 gts out of the pan.
 

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W163 Crash Test Driver
2008 ML350 (Me!), 2010 GLK350 (Wife), 2003 ML-350 (Deceased)
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1,571 Posts
The guys are telling the truth, beleive that M/B eliminated the drain plug in the torque converter in 2003 to save money. therefore you can over get about 3.5 gts out of the pan.
So would the best thing to do be the filter/pan/drain first...then periodically just pop the drain plug and re-fill?
 

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'05 ML350SE
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1,395 Posts
Planethill:
I think some are disconnecting the tranny fluid line which goes to the radiator and draining that way. I don't have data on how much more fluid can be withdrawn this way but others may.
 

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2005 ML350 SE Black
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191 Posts
Mickey.1430 I think what Planethill was suggesting was to do a complete change, filter fluid etc. and then periodically just change out the 3.5 gts in the pan. This could play out with any number of combinitions of fluid changes fliud and filter one time then just fluide the next, would depend on frequency of changes, and personal preference.
 

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W163 Crash Test Driver
2008 ML350 (Me!), 2010 GLK350 (Wife), 2003 ML-350 (Deceased)
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1,571 Posts
Mickey.1430 I think what Planethill was suggesting was to do a complete change, filter fluid etc. and then periodically just change out the 3.5 gts in the pan.
Yes, thank you ...that's exactly what I meant.

FIRST, you do the pan/filter/gasket/magnet thing...but since that only gets 3.5q, thereafter you would just pop the drain and do the fluid only (another 3.5), say once a year. I don't know if it would be worth it though as the majority of fluid is still old.
 

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2005 ML350 SE Black
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191 Posts
Planethill there is only about 8.5 gts total in the tranny system , changing 3.5 is about 41 percent of the total. thats a fair amount. changing once a year would be quite frequently. Just for giggles how many miles are on you truck... for info I have an 05 and my SA recommended changing the filter fluid etc at 60 K intervals
 

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'05 ML350SE
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B&kML350: I understood what Planethill was saying and I was only pointing out another approach for removing more fluid.
 

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W163 Crash Test Driver
2008 ML350 (Me!), 2010 GLK350 (Wife), 2003 ML-350 (Deceased)
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1,571 Posts
Planethill there is only about 8.5 gts total in the tranny system , changing 3.5 is about 41 percent of the total. thats a fair amount. changing once a year would be quite frequently. Just for giggles how many miles are on you truck... for info I have an 05 and my SA recommended changing the filter fluid etc at 60 K intervals
I am almost at 75,000, but have no idea the age of the existing fluid. I do know that the tranny plug was changed shortly before I bought it. Doesn't that require dropping the pan? I do know the tranny fill plug/seal in the engine compartment is not the original color so fluid was added at some point in it's life.

Regardless, I would like to do it so that I know for sure...but am extremely hesitant to do so. The last time I did a tranny service (on a early 90's Ford Explorer) the tranny failed within 6 months. Even though I followed all the rules, to this day I can't help but think I had something to do with it and should have just left it alone. :confused:
 

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1999 ML320 Elegance, BMW R1150RT, SAAB 9-3
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re; " Regardless, I would like to do it so that I know for sure...but am extremely hesitant to do so. The last time I did a tranny service (on a early 90's Ford Explorer) the tranny failed within 6 months "

just as there are 2 schools of thought on letting your gas tank go down (some say dont let it get empty as you suck up crap from the bottom of the tank, others say to run in down regularly so water and crap do not accumulate) there are also two schools of thought about transmission fluid changes - there is a school of though espoused that says it is not a good idea to change all the fluid in the tranny for just the reason you state.

i have the drainplug in the tc so changed everything. if i did not have the drain plug i would not pull off the transmission cooler hose: to me the risks of taking the hose off for a full drain out-weigh the benefits

the point.... you can take some comfort in the above if you decide to just drain the main transmission (<50% of total):thumbsup:
 

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2002 ML270 CDI
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178 Posts
meandfi, with your mileage you should be fine with the partial fluid change they've done. 4l of fluid is quite a lot, and it doesn't take much new fluid to rejuvenate the whole system with the fresh additives etc that the new fluid provides.

MB do have a full flush procedure in the WIS for the ML, but it is only advised if there are serious issues with the old fluid and/or metal pieces in the pan etc.

If it was me, I'd just let the new fluid cocktail run through for 10,000km or so, and just do a drain plug only drain and refill, you will probably only get out 3l if that. It is easy to do and I would do it myself, so that I could have a good look at the fluid that came out. Just make sure you don't spill any, and measure exactly what you got out, and put back in the exact same amount.

Depending on the condition of the fluid at that point, I'd repeat the partial fill method after another 10k or so, or just go the full flush.

I went the full flush myself (after the initial 4l fluid and filter was run through for a few thou), because I wanted to be 100% sure I had 100% correct MB fluid in it, since the previous owner service history said something about a trans fluid change at a non-MB workshop. You do not want to run this trans on anything but the approved fluid.

Its better to be safe than sorry when dealing with a part that could almost cost more than the car is worth to replace.
 

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It was fun while it lasted
2002 ML320, 2005 S430 4MATIC RIP, 2010 F150 Crew Cab
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11,147 Posts
I would not do a flush. Just wait 20 to 30,000 miles and change 4 liters again along with filter. You should be fine.
 
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