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99 S320 (Sold at 280,000 miles) 2010 S550, 2008 C300, 08 SLK
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all! I recently asked my MB stealer what the going price was for changing the transmission fluid. He quotes me at $350.00. I then ask a local (trusted) independent imports mechanic and , after checking my VIN #, says my transmision does not need any fluid change.....ever! When he checked the VIN# he wanted the 8th and 10th number which are "G" and "X" respectively, which ,he says, makes my transmission a "722-6" transmission and, according to MB, needs no fluid change.
Is this possibly a "theoretical" claim by MB and anyone with a lick of sense would ignore it and change the fluid on a regular basis, or is there something to this?
Thanks in advance.
'99 S320 w/ 115,XXX
 

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1995 S420
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548 Posts
I changed my tranny fluid within a week after I got it. I too was quoted $350 by the stealership. I did it myself for about 20 bucks. Remove the under panel, there are 2 hoses going into the radiator area. Unplug one of those (can't remember which) attach 3/4" ID clear hose onto it (to see colour of fluid coming out and hold into oil drain pan. Start engine, and keep pouring fresh fluid into dipstick area until fluid coming out is bright red. Plug back all hoses, and check level when cold. DO NOT OVERFILL!!! Go for a 10 mile drive, check level when hot again. Save yourself 350 bucks and get a big smile in exchange. Notice how smoothly she shifts.
I used Quaker state Dexron III, but I would recommend Valvoline Maxlife.
 

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1997 S600 (sold)
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4,660 Posts
Most probably say change the fluid. That's the way we were brought up.

Personally, I bought everything I needed to change my 722.6 fluid. Then I had a change of heart. I've decided to be a true guinea pig on this one and believe Mercedes. My car has 115,000 miles, and I don't have any records of the fluid being changed. It's a very good question of just how long you will prolong the life of the transmision by changing the fluid regularly (say every 30,000 miles). Does it prolong the life enough to justify the cost of fluid changes vs. the cost of having to do a rebuild earlier if you don't change the fluid? Maybe not, and that's where Mercedes' recommendation comes into play. The only way to test this is to drive the transmission through at least a couple of rebuilds, then add up the cost. Very few cars will get driven that long so we'll never know the answer.

I did have occasion to see my fluid when I pulled my radiator. There is an oil/water heat exchanger transmission oil cooler in the radiator, and you have to disconnect the transmission cooler lines to remove the radiator. When you do, about 200 mL of fluid spills out. It was very dark brown. It didn't look good. I've decided just to top up and see how long it'll go... I guess until the transmission blows up.

Brett
 

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1997 S600 (sold)
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4,660 Posts
Your car is an earlier model that doesn't have the 722.6 transmisison.

Mercedes recommends Dexron III for its transmissions except the 722.6 model which came out in 1996, I believe. For the 722.6 model, Mercedes recommends only its own fluid, and the fluid is stated to be a lifetime fill (no fluid changes, just top up if necessary). Marketing BS or not? I don't know.

Brett
 

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1996&1997 S600Long
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92 Posts
Hi Guys

I was about to use the Royal Purple for my Tranny , but I sticked with the original MB ATF.
My ATF was needed to be changed only , because I had a Tranny problem , and the Tranny was taken apart.
I didn't want to be the guinea pig either.
I will not change the ATF for another 100k miles .
Dennis
 

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1995 S420
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I can see how "Not Changing" can hurt.

No matter what, and performed properly, I cannot see how "changing can damage".

The difference in smoothness of the shifting in my car was very prominent once I changed my fluid. The fluid that came out was brown, and the viscosity was very, very low. Almost like kerosene.
 

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1996&1997 S600Long
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You are right ychachad , that changing will not hurt , but I don't think it needs to be chaged as the engine oil , let's say every 10-15k miles.
Of course it will not hurt if you change it once or twice , but if MB say " no need for change" that means for me I should change the ATF at 80-100k intervals.
I have seen German Taxis ( w210 E class)with +300k miles with the same 722.6 Tranny, where the ATF was not changed on a regular basis.
By the way the problem with my Tranny had nothing to do with the ATF.
Dennis
 

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1997 S500
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281 Posts
My Inde changed the fluid and filter in my 722.6 for about $160.00- and that included MB fluid. Fluid is in silver MB bottles. Took him about 30 minutes. He states the "Mercedes dosen't change fluid- they change transmissions." $150 seems like cheap insurance to me. BTW, the car shifts like a dream at 106K.
 

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S600, 350SL, C300
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No fluid can last forever! MB used a very good synthetic in the 722.6 and it theoretically should go for way over 100k miles - under ideal conditions! "Sealing" the transmission with its original load of synthetic is probably Ok if you plan to trade in your car for the next model. MB is sure it will get past the guantee period

Smart money says change the fluid and filter every 50 to 100K or 5 years. Use the MB fluid at about $10 a liter. Dino fluid or another synthetic MAY work as well, but do you really want to take the chance?

I changed my fluid in a 6 year old/42K 600S and it came out less than "like new" - brown and tasting a bit "off".[xx(]

Good for antother five years with a $75 investment. Peace of mind is priceless.
 

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1995 S420
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Peace of mind is priceless........yeppaaaaaaaaaa
everything else is priced more

JNLeChevet - 11/10/2005 7:42 PM

No fluid can last forever! MB used a very good synthetic in the 722.6 and it theoretically should go for way over 100k miles - under ideal conditions! "Sealing" the transmission with its original load of synthetic is probably Ok if you plan to trade in your car for the next model. MB is sure it will get past the guantee period

Smart money says change the fluid and filter every 50 to 100K or 5 years. Use the MB fluid at about $10 a liter. Dino fluid or another synthetic MAY work as well, but do you really want to take the chance?

I changed my fluid in a 6 year old/42K 600S and it came out less than "like new" - brown and tasting a bit "off".[xx(]

Good for antother five years with a $75 investment. Peace of mind is priceless.
 

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S320L
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66 Posts
Filled for life? NO!

JNLeChevet - 11/10/2005 7:42 PM
No fluid can last forever!
MB USA internal document regarding the 722.6 transmission fluid change can be found in following thread:

http://www.mercedesshop.com/shopforum/showthread.php3?t=102541&page=1&pp=15

Taxis in Europe do change their transmission oil regularly in 70.000 mile intervals.
 

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99 S320 (Sold at 280,000 miles) 2010 S550, 2008 C300, 08 SLK
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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you everyone for your input and insight! I pretty much have a grasp of what is gong on here.
The post above this one has a link to mercedesshop.com and that thread has one post by "Gilly" (8th down) with an EXCELLENT treatise on tranny oil and related issues.
Cheers!
 

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A140 w210*99 190E*84
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my european MB stealer suggested to replace ATF every ~125.000miles
my car has 36.000 miles ... have changed ATF twice already...
no problem so far

(cost for oil/gasket/filter around $80)
(cost for a new transmission $3300...only!)
 

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S600L
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Just read the W210 foum for the answers you seek on this conundrum ! 100k without a change and you are seriously pushing your luck ! - I know from personal experience ! :(
 

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1996 S500 coupe
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it's easy to do

buy a dipstick on ebay because the cars dont come with a tranny dipstick

oil is $20/L, and you will need 9L (drain the torque converter completely)

I did it at 110k miles and shifting improved a million times

if you think it shifts smooth now, wait until you do the flush.. I cant even tell its changing gears unless I look at the tachometer .. before I could feel it (slightly)
 

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$20 per liter? damn, must have gone up. i bought 8 litres of atf + filter/gasket set all together ~$150 from dealer. make sure you buy another cap because you will break the original one when you place the atf dipstick. and don't forget you are not supposed to drive with the dipstick on, because it is very long and is designed only to measure, and not to drive with it. just place the new cap on when finished with the dipstick.
and also don't forget to drain the torque converter also, because it has a drain plug, this way you are getting almost all the old fluid out.
 

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1996 S600 (Sebastian), 1999 SLK230 Kompressor (Tie Fighter)
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my Sebastian is at my indie's shop as i type this. he worked at a benz stealership for 27 years before opening up his own indie shop earlier this year and so brings a wealth of info from years past right up to the present. this is a somewhat complex issue in that '96 was the year they began changing over to the 'sealed' tranny. but he has seen these cars come in as '96's with the old and the new trannies. the way to tell if you have the new one is if there is a dipstick, then it's the old one.

price to change the new one is about $100 for the fluid, gasket, filter and labor. the old one will be a little less. he says that the old ones should be done about every 60k miles and the new ones, even though they say never, should be at about 100K. again, peace of mind is priceless.
 

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With 108k on the odometer, I debated this as well. I decided that todays synthetic fluid is probably of better quality and certainly cleaner than fluid installed on day one. My M/B dealer tech agreed (of course), but I went with just a fluid change, filter and gasket and not a flush, so I still have some old oil circulating. Using M/B spec oil and getting a flush would have done the same to my wallet.

Tim
 

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1997 E320, 1997 S320
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aristotled said:
my Sebastian is at my indie's shop as i type this. he worked at a benz stealership for 27 years before opening up his own indie shop earlier this year and so brings a wealth of info from years past right up to the present. this is a somewhat complex issue in that '96 was the year they began changing over to the 'sealed' tranny. but he has seen these cars come in as '96's with the old and the new trannies. the way to tell if you have the new one is if there is a dipstick, then it's the old one.

price to change the new one is about $100 for the fluid, gasket, filter and labor. the old one will be a little less. he says that the old ones should be done about every 60k miles and the new ones, even though they say never, should be at about 100K. again, peace of mind is priceless.
if you are paying $100 for both parts and labor, than the mechanic is not using the right fluid. he is supposed to use the mb tranny fluid, and that costs from $12-20 per liter, depending on the dealership, so fluid alone costs more than $100, and another $30-40 for filter/gasket. so parts + labor should be over $200. it's not worth it to try and save a few bucks for something expensive like your car;s transmission. that's just my opinion.
also never get it flushed, just change fluid/filter, because flushing the old fluid is bad.
 

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92 500SEL to 01 E320T current 2014 lexus LS460
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The labor should be the same 3/4, of an hour to drop the pan. The filter, gasket and cap should be around $100, I think it is 7.7 Liters for drain and refill at $10-15 for synthetic, $ 4 for ATF on the pre sealed units. A flush is good, a drain & filter better.
 
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