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Should you change transmission fluid and filter that is over 100K?

  • Yes, change the fluid, it will do more good than harm

    Votes: 81 87.1%
  • No, don't change it, as it could do more harm than good

    Votes: 12 12.9%

  • Total voters
    93
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Thats the 1st reasonable sounding explanation for leaving the old fluid in.
Hmmmm....
But as I said, I'm at 180K at the tranny is tight.
But yes, unfortunately waiting till 120K the analysis did show lots of crud, metals and what not.

There have been several iterations of fluid, before mercedes now is settled on one for all applications (I remember there was even a separate pn for AMG applications) the so called ATF 134.

Like you, the 1st go around I figured the one size fit all approach to be BS,
so I originally used the part # originally recommended for my 2002 coupe, with 722.6 despite people saying the newer was better.
I did it again, a couple thou miles ago, with the new ATF134 spec
based on other people who has used it and felt it was good. And a definate improvement over the older
new and improved fluid.
The only thing I had heard was that a lot of people experienced leaks at the orings after flushing with the new spec fluid, and now I make that part of the tranny maint, since TCU's are damn expensive.
Lucky for me I haven't needed one yet, knock on wood.

Glynn, the guy on mbwhired, also stated in his opinion that the newer fluid was better from a technical standpoint, but there were issues with some of the ones in between, prior to ATF134.
The poll is too limiting to cast a vote, so I'll comment instead.


If your car is trouble-free, then a partial fluid change (drop pan, replace filter and gasket, clean pan, fill PROPERLY with 236.10 fluid) should be fine at pretty much any mileage. If you've waited until after 100,000 miles, you've already incurred additional wear and there is nothing you can do about that, but you'll still be betting on maximizing the life of your transmission.

The bigger problems related to changing fluid (including at high mileage):

* Waiting until symptoms develop, and then thinking a fluid change will work magic. Depending on the symptoms, a fluid change may resolve them, but it's sort of like feeling tooth pain and deciding maybe it's time to start brushing and flossing regularly...probably not going to work out for the best.

* Using the wrong spec fluid. MB dealers no longer stock 236.10 fluid and the use of the newer 236.14 "backwards compatible" has created problems for many owners. The solution? Don't have the dealer do this service. Good indie or, of course, DIY. Spec fluid is readily available (even at NAPA), just not at the dealer.

* Failure to set the fluid at the proper level. This should be obvious, but I'm stunned at the number of people who have posted about changing fluid and just adding some back in or ignoring the fact that the fluid should be at 80C when finalizing the fluid level. DOH!!

* Doing a complete fluid flush. Changing out old, degraded fluid all at once replenishes the detergents and MAY preciptate problems by washing gummed-up deposits out all at once. (And it probably is worth noting that the "power flush" things that don't even drop the pan should be avoided on any car, not just those with the 722.6xx transmission.)

Now, none of the above will mean anything to that small percentage of owners who simply reject the concept of a fluid change because the transmission was oringally marketed as "maintenance free". And they are welcome to ignore their transmissions, just as the rest of us are welcome to service them. No reason to point fingers or call names; one of the good things about owning a car is getting to decide how YOU want to maintain it.


As always, YMMV. ;)

Good luck.
 

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Sorry for the multiple posts, but I discovered that the fluid turns from red to green fairly rapidly.
Blackstone siad it was a sign of oxidation, but
I find that even with a full flush, a few thousand miles later, put in your tranny dipstick, wipe with a paper towel, and it's green. Now I'm curious, will have to check it.
Check Codes +1 --and interesting point about the

# The naysayers should look at the colour and smell of old oil - my indie told me 4 yrs ago that when the red has turned to brown it's ready for a change - when it has a green/khaki tinge to it, your tranny is approaching a terminal condition! (my SLK was a bit like this at the first change and never any problems)

Oberoi
 

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Just a couple of points of clarification, and I'll leave this subject. First of all, the source for the single-flush requirement was questioned. This is easily answered by visiting the official MBUSA web site: Click on owners, then owners support, then maintenance manuals and schedules, download the PDF for C-Class model year 2007 (G7 transmission) and see on p. 65 where it gives the requirement for a one-time flush at 39K miles. Now, the G5 we've been talking about for the C-Class, the factory manuals have consistently treated the 722.6 as a maintenance-free transmission from my 1998 W202, bought new in 1997, to 2007 or so. Mercedes' decision to go with the no-flush was based on sound engineering judgment and testing. It wasn't a marketing gimmick as some have implied and certainly wasn't based Mercedes' wanting to exclude flushes from the free maintenance program as others have implied -- the maintenance-free 722.6 in my W202 was well before Mercedes' offering of any free service.

Finally, the 722.6 is one of the most durable automotive automatic transmissions ever produced in the world. No less than 27 different vehicles have used it with some still using it today. It's simple for me; I just follow EXACTLY what the factory manuals say -- whether it's no-flush, or flush once at a certain mileage, or whatever. I've owned Mercedes' cars for over 40 years, and I've NEVER encountered a problem by following factory recommendations. BUT, if you feel better by flushing your transmission repeatedly, go for it. If you have a problem later and want Mercedes to take care of it, just be prepared to explain to Mercedes why you had your neighborhood shop do something that wasn't recommended.
 

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2007 is a different c-class. I was told at my dealer to change my fluid in my '05 cclass with 40k miles on it.

and even the shop guys and mech reps told me, all trannys built before '10 are junk.

i lost my beloved '98 to a plug that failed, and it killed the tranny. My '05 is starting to shift hard, cant tell if its a bushing, or maybe a tranny mount? or the tranny.....

flush these damned trannys!!!! save them all....
 

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2007 is a different c-class. I was told at my dealer to change my fluid in my '05 cclass with 40k miles on it.

and even the shop guys and mech reps told me, all trannys built before '10 are junk.

i lost my beloved '98 to a plug that failed, and it killed the tranny. My '05 is starting to shift hard, cant tell if its a bushing, or maybe a tranny mount? or the tranny.....

flush these damned trannys!!!! save them all....
I'm pretty sure your 05 is the 722.6xx. Have you done a fluid and filter service on it? The transmission mount is easy to do, just don't buy the crappy URO brand replacement.
 

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Well, since someone else offered their treatise regarding leaving the transmission alone, I may as well reiterate a summary of some of the opposing views.

There is no question that Mercedes has never backtracked on their original claim of no routine maintenance needed for most of the model run for the 722.6xx transmission. However, the fact that virtually every indie and dealer out there recommends it is meaningful evidence, though not to some who figure that once the manual was printed, it's like the bible, no changes allowed.

Mercedes can't officially recommend a change at this point, if for no other reason than it would open the door to litigation -- and probable liability -- for lots of failed transmissions.

Another salient point: MB *did* change their recommendation for the last couple of model years for the 722.6xx transmission. To most people who own the earlier iterations, that means, "yes, I should change mine too, since it's just an earlier version of the same transmission." Again, that holds no sway with the manual-as-bible crowd.

But Mercedes was absolutely correct in saying that the fluid was good for the life of the transmission...whenever it blows up, that defines it's life. Sure, there was plenty of engineering and science behind the first ever automatic that purportedly would not require routine maintenance, but that doesn't mean they were correct in their prediction, regardless of testing and engineering. Did they foresee the pump failures? Nope. How about the bearing failures? Nope. Pressure springs that broke? Conductor plate issues? Nope and nope. The ubiquitous leaky adapter/connector/pilot bushing? Hardly. Each of these parts was redesigned, some more than once (and all but the last also required a fluid change to fix). My guess is that not many years passed before the engineers would have recommended service (if it was entirely up to them), but egg-on-the-face aside, that would have caused a huge potential liability and plenty of the transmissions were getting over 100k miles without major problems, so they stood by their original recommendation.

Only time will tell whether those who performed a proper fluid change at some reasonably early point (say under 75,000 miles?) and maintain some manner of a schedule for it will see a longer life than those who don't, but considering that nearly everyone who does it reports how bad the fluid looked and how much better the transmission functions afterward, there has to be something valid there.

The final point is that some have also sent old fluid into labs to have it analyzed. Not surprisingly, the labs report the breakdown of the fluid, many contaminants, etc. Search the forum for Blackstone and you'll find them; a good one is in the general forum, posted by longtime member Musikmann.

Taken together, that's a tremendous amount of logical and anecdotal evidence to support regular fluid changes.

On the other side, the only arguments are, a) that is how it was originally marketed (and MB never changed the "official" position on the earlier years of production) and b), some people who never touch it don't have problems.


For those who care, there are innumerable threads discussing this issue and a search will turn up enough to keep you reading for hours. However, the bottom line for each of us is not to win an argument, but to consider all of the evidence and to be satisfied -- for ourselves -- that whichever way we come down, we are maintaining the car properly.

Good luck.
 

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Quote: On the other side, the only arguments are, a) that is how it was originally marketed (and MB never changed the "official" position on the earlier years of production) and b), some people who never touch it don't have problems.

and c) If you now own a 2012 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, or Jeep Grand Cherokee with 100K miles on its 722.6 transmission (mileage accumulation unlikely, of course) -- and if you've been following Chrysler's current factory recommended maintenance schedule for normal service (not frequent heavy towing, etc.) -- you would not yet have changed your ATF.
 

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I'm pretty sure your 05 is the 722.6xx. Have you done a fluid and filter service on it? The transmission mount is easy to do, just don't buy the crappy URO brand replacement.
does the 05 and 02 c-class use the same tranny? 722.6xx?

i am saving up for tires, then a flush is next, then a trans mount and front sway bar bushings if i can do that myself.

funny a 7 year old car doing these things on a car with 40k miles.

is the tranny mount a DYI?

the dealer told me the front tranny mount melts.

and what is the mount to buy? dealer? I use URO for my porsche parts, and a lot of it is just fine. but yes, some can be bad.
 

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Interestingly the W203 factory Service DVD provides procedures for doing both the pan drop and filter change, as well as the full flush. How odd!
A truly 'sealed' transmission certainly would never require a fluid change procedure, right? :)
More "logical and anecdotal evidence to support regular fluid changes. "
If you do a full flush however and don't own a lift, ignore the disconnection of the banjo bolt and disconnect the fluid connection at the radiator, connect a plastic tube and drain 2 quarts at a time..

Diesel search on mercedes epc.
Sign up for a free account, look up your pn's.
Perhaps order your parts from getmercedespart.com which is the Annapolis dealer.
They have the lowest prices currently of any dealer online.
PN's on EPC have an "A" in front of them. Don't use the A when you
search prices.
Also, rmeuropean, autohauzaz and probably others too, there's lots of threads on best places to buy parts online, but guaranteed all are much less expensive than the local dealer.
 

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does the 05 and 02 c-class use the same tranny? 722.6xx?

i am saving up for tires, then a flush is next, then a trans mount and front sway bar bushings if i can do that myself.

funny a 7 year old car doing these things on a car with 40k miles.

is the tranny mount a DYI?

the dealer told me the front tranny mount melts.

and what is the mount to buy? dealer? I use URO for my porsche parts, and a lot of it is just fine. but yes, some can be bad.
Front tranny mount? Is your car a 4matic? If so please update that in the profile, it makes a difference in a lot of things.

The MY 02 W202 was a 722.6xx as should be the 05, assuming it was built for the NA market.
 

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Front tranny mount? Is your car a 4matic? If so please update that in the profile, it makes a difference in a lot of things.

The MY 02 W202 was a 722.6xx as should be the 05, assuming it was built for the NA market.

not a 4 matic. im not sure, a service rep is who told me a tranny mount melts. i thought he said top mount, or front mount.

yes, a USA car. otherwise it would be a diesel wagon... :)


has anybody done these mounts? it feels like a mount. its just random.
 

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Rear transmission mount

This reply is probably late, but i changed out my trans mount last weekend and the hardest part was jacking up the car! The swap took me about 8 minutes once I could get under the car and slid my floorjack in place to support the transmission. I was dreading the job, but so far, it's the smoothest DIY I've done on this car It went so smoothly I felt like I'd stolen something! haha. It immediately cured my 1800 RPM rolling vibration.

The other mounts you are referring to are the engine/motor mounts. Shouldn't be too tough, but have to do it from underneath again. I'll get around to those soon.

Good luck!

05 C230 Sport Sedan W203
 

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well... while checking for engine leaks and other stuff..

the workshop dropped my transmission to check potential problem areas too..

anyway.. they're charging me about $320USD for 20 litres of transimission oil...

as for sealsand labour.. car dealer will pay...

does that sound about right? driving a w203 c230 sport year 2006.

thanks guys!

btw.. the transmission fluid was pitch black!!!!

as was the newly changed engine oil!!! have to pay another round of fresh engine oils!
 

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Hi BKK,

I had my Transmission done a few Months ago, they didn't report black fluid or anything like that, though it would be a concern. I'd be more worried about what was in he filter (ie Metal Shavings etc). I recall the major expense was the volume of Fluid they replaced though. "Pitch Black" oil or fluids must be a symptom of something not quite right though.

Hutcho
 

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If your car has done anywhere around 80 to 100,000 klms the fluid will be very dark brown/black in colour. That is normal.
These impurities can block the filter,resulting in oil starvation and overheating,which deteriorates the fluid even more.
That is why you change the fluid,clean the sludge out of the pan and fill with new MB fluid.
$16 usd per litre is about the normal retail dealer price,but 20l seems too much in my opinion. The pan yields 3 to 4 litres. Total capacity is 8.5l if they do a full change.
 

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Hi BKK,

I had my Transmission done a few Months ago, they didn't report black fluid or anything like that, though it would be a concern. I'd be more worried about what was in he filter (ie Metal Shavings etc). I recall the major expense was the volume of Fluid they replaced though. "Pitch Black" oil or fluids must be a symptom of something not quite right though.

Hutcho
If your car has done anywhere around 80 to 100,000 klms the fluid will be very dark brown/black in colour. That is normal.
These impurities can block the filter,resulting in oil starvation and overheating,which deteriorates the fluid even more.
That is why you change the fluid,clean the sludge out of the pan and fill with new MB fluid.
$16 usd per litre is about the normal retail dealer price,but 20l seems too much in my opinion. The pan yields 3 to 4 litres. Total capacity is 8.5l if they do a full change.

thank you both for the reply.

i am so glad i did some research and asking around... i suspect the car dealer may have tried to convince me it was 20litres... to over charge me and then say that he will pay a portion using my own money... sneaky sneaky all around the world i see.

anyway.. did some studying.. and watched videos online from eric the car guy on automatic transmissions, and torque converters..

very interesting indeed.

some cases the new oil is so clean that seals may leak because there are not enough impurities to thicken up the oil..

anyway.. as the workshop had already removed my transmission... they will be replacing all the oils... 7 litres in transmission and 3 litres in torque converter.

1. it is true we should be using ATF 134 oil? what's the approved oils? i'm a bit weary of the repairs now that the dealer is in contact with the workshop doing the repairs...

hopefully they have also fixed other joints,tubes/seals that was leaking engine oil...

anyway still love my w203... oh and unrelated.. but anyway.. the bad smell from the car.. may have been coming from the two 10 year old carbon filters under the front glove box...

it smelt horrendous.. and replaced it with a compatible brand filter box..

i think they're charging me about $80usd for that.

thanks again guys!
 

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Yes you must use transmission oil that meets MB 236.14 spec. MB genuine,or SHELL ATF134,Mobil ATF134,Fuchs Titan 4134 are also ok.
Check bevo.mercedesbenz.com
The smell would have been the carbon filters if you run the a/c in recirculation mode.
Otherwise,try not running recirc. and change the cabin air filter which is above the battery and usually costs about $30 and literally takes 5 mins to change.
 

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thanks Diesel 10!

if only i knew about replacing the carbon filters earlier.. i was having a hard time driving in the car for a couple of weeks..

then again.. if the filters didn't drive me to suspect some gas/engine oil leaks...

we would not have discovered and fixed all the leaks... so blessing in disguise..

i will check the workshop tomorrow and see what transmission oils they will be using.

cheers!
 

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just wanted to add my experience after first oil change after 10 years...

no regrets. smoother.. and feels pretty good..

no issues so far.
 

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People a lot smarter than me have weighed in on this issue and you can read about it in just about every enthusiast magazine. Before major manufacturers came up with "free service" or "lifetime service" when you buy a new car, every fluid was scheduled to be changed at some point in time during the "life" of the car. The free service was nothing more than a marketing ploy and in order to make it affordable (for them, not you), manufactures came up with the "lifetime/sealed" transmission, differential, brakes, cooling system, etc., etc. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, fluids, oils, et al, have improved immensely, especially since the introduction of synthetics; however, even they don't last forever, or for even a lifetime. Simply put, manufacturers didn't care once the car ran out of warranty. They know their best customers trade their cars every couple of years and once the warranty runs out they have no obligation whatsoever. In most cases, you could run a car 100,000 miles on the same transmission fluid and you would not be aware that anything was deteriorating with the unit itself and in all likelihood it would operate just fine. The problem is if you want to keep a car well beyond 100,000 miles. It's hard to say when the fluid will fail, and it will fail, but as it is failing your transmission will be wearing at an ever accelerating rate and it too will fail at some point. Therefore, if you plan on keeping you Merc forever or for a "lifetime" then you most certainly should change the fluids, all of them and at regular intervals. If you buy a used Merc with something north of 60,000 miles do it as a matter of course straight away. A $125-$250 transmission service is cheap insurance compared to a $7,500 transmission. That's just my opinion and I could be wrong.
 
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