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99 E320 4matic, 07 Toyota Prius.
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Discussion Starter #1
I've been doing some research claiming that the Mercedes synthetic fluid is identical to Chrysler ATF+4, since Diamler Chrysler uses the same Mercedes 722.6 (W5A580) transmission in a number of cars, including the 300C, the Crossfire and the Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.7L. Does Chrysler specify the Mercedes fluid in those non-MB applications? I wondered to myself. So what exactly is so special about Mercedes "special" fluid?
Unless Mercedes made significant changes to the transmission for Chrysler applications (doubtful, given that they share the same model number!), the MB fluid is either identical or interchangeable with Chrysler's ATF+4 (MS-9602).

Since this is all a bit controversial, let me clarify: I'm not suggesting that people shouldn't use the Mercedes fluid. I'm just pointing out some evidence that suggests that the Mercedes ATF is really DaimlerChrysler ATF+4, and that less expensive compatible aftermarket fluids are available.
 

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1994 E320 Wagon,1999 E320 Wagon,2000 E 320 Wagon, MGB Track/Rally, ,1988 300E ,more....
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And you would be wrong

the last numbers in the trans designation such as 722.6** note valving pressures,converter type and more.All different in an e class v,s. the chrysler product.
Thus while atf4 is backwards compatible with atf3 or dex3 it is not compatible with the mercedes 722.6 trans.
Just like you can't use 722.6 fluid in the old 4speed 722.4 trans that required dex3 fluid.
$15 bucks for the proper fluid from autohausaz.com delivered free over 50 bucks
or takes your chances with a $2600 trans rebuilt or 6500 smackers new from the dealer.
Somethings you only get one chance to do it right,spend the extra few bucks and put in the proper fluid and give the old girl the best chance of a long and happy life.Make sure you use lint free rags in any clean up around the open trans.
I still have more of the special dipsticks for the 722.6 trans $40 delivered.
ohlord:bowdown:
btw if you contact valvoline the maker of atf4 they will tell you it is not mb spec and not compatible in the mercedes version of the 722.6 trans.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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$40 for dipstick, while $1 piece of steel cable from local hardware can do the same job?
I put Valvoline ATF in my high mileage transmission about 2000 miles ago. So far is runs smoother than OEM.
I still do agree that in newer car the savings is not worth the risk. But when you calculate how much you overpay for coolant, power steering fluid, windshield fluid, wipers - you might find quite good amount of money in it.
Does dinner eaten with golden fork really taste better?
 

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1994 E320 Wagon,1999 E320 Wagon,2000 E 320 Wagon, MGB Track/Rally, ,1988 300E ,more....
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$1

steel cable from the hardware store calibrated to show the 80 c mark that is so critical for these trans fluid levels?
You save him 39bucks and put in dex3 fluid,but you're also the member that advocates no need to change brake fluid because it does not rain in california:eek:
He is free to do what he wants to do,however with the nice line up of members we had for our spark plug seminar I put on this weekend and the members that wrote from far and wide that they wished they could have been there,I think he will follow the proper path:thumbsup:
And yes food off of a golden fork does taste better.It most often is better food:thumbsup:
 

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The right tool for the job makes life that little bit easier. But I just can't seem to keep an edge on my gold knife.:D
 

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Off course spending the $40 will save you few seconds holding the tape measure to the steel cable, so if that is worth it for you, I don't oppose.
Our German golden plated forks and knifes sit in the box 364 days a year. For steaks I still prefer cheap knifes with sharp tips.
I am planning to put Valvoline fluid in my second Mercedes as well.
Let me think, 16 quarts for flushing at $5 v/s 16 quarts for $21?
decisions, decisions....
 

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2003 Mercedes Benz E500
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668 Posts
Your car...

Off course spending the $40 will save you few seconds holding the tape measure to the steel cable, so if that is worth it for you, I don't oppose.
Our German golden plated forks and knifes sit in the box 364 days a year. For steaks I still prefer cheap knifes with sharp tips.
I am planning to put Valvoline fluid in my second Mercedes as well.
Let me think, 16 quarts for flushing at $5 v/s 16 quarts for $21?
decisions, decisions....
and your choice. But then again, hopefully your advocacy of changing the ATF at 250K, whether it needs it or not, and replacing it with non-MB fluid, will not cause other owners who rely on your "expertise" undue expense in terms of premature AT failure on their cars.

There is such a thing as 4,800 posts worth of experience, or 48 posts of experience, 100 times over. Some of us here feel we know which applies in this instance.

JR
 

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I assume your "premature AT failure" experience comes from those using OEM fluid?
When I had fuel leak on my diesel lines I went to local dealer and paid $5 for miniature o-ring. Later on I got whole OEM lines from Duval for $4.50.
The choice is yours.
 

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autohausaz.com

proper 722.6 fluid 15 bucks.Up to 1999 have converter drains so you only need 9.5 qts tops.Cheap insurance to do it right.
How do you propose if someones fluid is low and they use your cheap cable and ruler method to calibrate the homemade stick,then when they fill it up to the 80c mark after the fluid change it will only be a guess as to the accuracy on a transmission that can very well fail for want of being a qt. high or a qt. low.
ohlord:bowdown:
 

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2003 Mercedes Benz E500
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Huh...?

I assume your "premature AT failure" experience comes from those using OEM fluid?
When I had fuel leak on my diesel lines I went to local dealer and paid $5 for miniature o-ring. Later on I got whole OEM lines from Duval for $4.50.
The choice is yours.
I expressed the hope that people who do not know better would not be misguided by some of the content of your post...

I could have inquired as to whether you were willing to assume liability for premature failures arising from individuals relying on your advice. I was being nice.

What the heck does this have to do with o-rings and diesel lines?

You really should read things more thoroughly before replying....

And yes, the choice IS mine...

JR
 

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proper 722.6 fluid 15 bucks.Up to 1999 have converter drains so you only need 9.5 qts tops.Cheap insurance to do it right.
How do you propose if someones fluid is low and they use your cheap cable and ruler method to calibrate the homemade stick,then when they fill it up to the 80c mark after the fluid change it will only be a guess as to the accuracy on a transmission that can very well fail for want of being a qt. high or a qt. low.
ohlord:bowdown:
Someplace I've seen a post where a guy put a ruler next to the dipstick tool, which would allow people to make one that is properly calibrated. I think I'd probably mark it before rather than measure after, but a little diligence and time could save that additional cost. In the end it is just a tool, not getting left in the car anyway as a dipstick would. Of course I had mine done because I didn't have a decent place to change it, so this is a moot point for me, and If I were a tech and doing these all the time that's a different issue as well. But for the rare/occasional use, I'd just as soon treat a good friend to dinner. :)

And mileage issues aside, there is no way I will use (or suggest that others use) anything other than spec MB fluid in these transmissions. The shop that did mine actually pulled up the transmission sub-model before answering one of my questions (Will you use the genuine MB fluid or the synthetic Mobil1?) which was one way I determined I could trust them to take care of it.

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg
 

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Someplace I've seen a post where a guy put a ruler next to the dipstick tool, which would allow people to make one that is properly calibrated.
Greg

Yeah. I took the marks from the link ohlord posted on this forum few months ago.
Obviously he is having very short memory :D
E-class I don't advise anything. I am just saying what works for me. Seems that my cars for some reasons can run for years with $100 in repairs cost, while other spend thousands every years.
Once again >>> the choice is yours.
 

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2000 4Matic Estate E320S4 210.282
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I've been doing some research claiming that the Mercedes synthetic fluid is identical to Chrysler ATF+4, since Diamler Chrysler uses the same Mercedes 722.6 (W5A580) transmission in a number of cars, including the 300C, the Crossfire and the Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.7L. Does Chrysler specify the Mercedes fluid in those non-MB applications? I wondered to myself. So what exactly is so special about Mercedes "special" fluid?
Unless Mercedes made significant changes to the transmission for Chrysler applications (doubtful, given that they share the same model number!), the MB fluid is either identical or interchangeable with Chrysler's ATF+4 (MS-9602).

Since this is all a bit controversial, let me clarify: I'm not suggesting that people shouldn't use the Mercedes fluid. I'm just pointing out some evidence that suggests that the Mercedes ATF is really DaimlerChrysler ATF+4, and that less expensive compatible aftermarket fluids are available.
There was a thread on this topic before:

Mercedes' "special" transmission fluid = Chrysler ATF+4? - MBWorld.org Forums

Cheers
 

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W210 E230 & W124 260E
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Precision machines need precision tools. Its not like he old days when near enough was good enough. Sure you can take the risk of using an imprecise measuring stick and non-recommended fluid. But increased risk means your more likely to have a failure.

I can put standard unleaded petrol (gas) in my car or premium unleaded. Standard is cheaper but the car performs a whole lot better on the premium fuel. I want my cars to last so I give 'em the best.

It is a choice and I'm sure we all have strong opinions and are defensive of our choices.

Drive safe!
 

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I don't want to add fuel to the fire but I have a question:
although common sense dictates that a lifetime fluid should be changed, is there any statistical data that indicates that not changing the tranny fluid shortens the tranny's life? I'm talking about scientific data not anectdotes.
I would think that the fact that MB now recommends replacing the tranny fluid at set intervals indicates that the lifetime fill was not as successful as they anticipated....
Personally, I find it hard to believe that any fluid can last for life (without shortening such life)
 

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2003 Mercedes Benz E500
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Mercedes' official policy...

is most likely not going to change signifcantly. I suspect that something like "well, if YOU insist, we won't object, but it is not really necessary..." is becoming the order of the day at many dealerships, and some are still taking a hard line, e.g. "lifetime means lifetime".

Were MB to do a "180" on this issue, it would open the door to a raft of law suits, and the corporate attorneys in scenic Montvale are not going to allow that to happen. Another good example of this approach is the case of the disintegrating wiring harnesses in the 1990s. MB made a specification change, contracted with a new supplier, and then left it to the consumer to pay for a very expensive manufacturing/supplier fault, even after the defect became a commonly known problem.

The other point [made recently by ohlord] is that what makes more money for the dealer and MB, selling you a new transmission, or potentially a new car, or 8-16 quarts of their expensive ATF?

I don't know where you are going to get hard statistical data on the number of failures, as I would surmise that most, but not all, occur after the warranty period has expired. If the failures occurred during the warranty period, I am pretty sure MB "ain't talkin". It is pretty hard to collect that kind of data, which also happens to be a data set comprised of a statistically valid number of "anecdotes," right?

I personally believe in changing the ATF at, or before 60K, it is cheap insurance. Others on this forum believe otherwise. It IS my choice.

JR
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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Unfortunately there is no firm recipe what is "enough insurance".
Some people spend on "Insurance" more than the new car would cost.
That's why I prize forum like this one. We can all get different experiences and draw our own conclusions.
 

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'99 e55 (murdered, slowly); '87 560sec (burned, quickly), 95 E320 Cab (terminal), 83 300D (immortal)
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I just can't help myself!

This thread - and the entire topic - has been beaten to death. Still, having dealt with two unruly 722.6 transmissions (both of which were pre-2001 and thus "filled for life" and well past warranty when MB changed the spec), I have to throw in something. I firmly believe that ATF + 4 is equivalent to MB fluid. When purchased from a Chrysler dealer, it is not just equivalent - but simply relabeled. I have no empirical support for this, and am not a chemist or an engineer. The safe bet is, of course, buy MB spec fluid from the dealer. At worst, you would only be paying a little extra for the certainty that you have the right fluid. Still, I have been inside several 722.6 trannys and one Chrysler Crossfire. These are the same transmissions. i cannot imagine that different fluid specs would apply. For the curious, I might suggest picking up a quart of MB dealer fluid and a quart of Chrysler ATF+4 from a Chrysler dealer. Certainly, a visual inspection of packaging and fluid appearance proves nothing. I care for my cars, and if it were not for the prohibitive cost, I would gladly buy everything from a dealer -from the "MB Spec" windshield fluid to their previously alleged proprietary coolant (which has since been proven to be Zerex G-05). We would not be on this forum if we did not have some passion for our cars, so use whatever fluid you think is appropriate. Enjoy your car, drive it, and sleep well.
 

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This thread - and the entire topic - has been beaten to death. Still, having dealt with two unruly 722.6 transmissions (both of which were pre-2001 and thus "filled for life" and well past warranty when MB changed the spec), I have to throw in something. I firmly believe that ATF + 4 is equivalent to MB fluid. When purchased from a Chrysler dealer, it is not just equivalent - but simply relabeled. I have no empirical support for this, and am not a chemist or an engineer. The safe bet is, of course, buy MB spec fluid from the dealer. At worst, you would only be paying a little extra for the certainty that you have the right fluid. Still, I have been inside several 722.6 trannys and one Chrysler Crossfire. These are the same transmissions. i cannot imagine that different fluid specs would apply. For the curious, I might suggest picking up a quart of MB dealer fluid and a quart of Chrysler ATF+4 from a Chrysler dealer. Certainly, a visual inspection of packaging and fluid appearance proves nothing. I care for my cars, and if it were not for the prohibitive cost, I would gladly buy everything from a dealer -from the "MB Spec" windshield fluid to their previously alleged proprietary coolant (which has since been proven to be Zerex G-05). We would not be on this forum if we did not have some passion for our cars, so use whatever fluid you think is appropriate. Enjoy your car, drive it, and sleep well.
That is because the Chrysler Crossfire is a re-skinned Mercedes slk, with a mercedes transmission. The transmission on the Chrylser 300 and Dodge challengers with the Hemi V8 are also 5 speed Mercedes transmissions. This would explain the transmission using the same fluid as chrysler. Some Chrysler products use Mercedes transmissions. The fluids are not the same as Mercedes. As a former mechanic I can confidently say this. Use the MB or equivalent transmission fluid.
 
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