Home Technical Discussions Mercedes-Benz E-Class 1986-1995 (W124)

Mercedes-Benz E-Class 1986-1995 (W124) Advice on transmission


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Last Post: Aug 3, 2013 9:52 AM Last Post By: Lattat
iancorrado

Posts: 7
Registered: 05/09/06
Advice on transmission
Posted: Nov 12, 2007 12:37 PM
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Hey I need the advice of an MB gear head I've got a 95 E320 coupe with about 207k miles. Lately I've noticed that it requires more and more effort from the engine to get the car moving from a dead stop. But the car is fine on the highway, shifting is getting a little rough though. As far as I can tell the last time the car had routine scheduled maintenance performed was at 97,000 miles. So I'm guessing that was the last time the trans fluid was changed. I take the car to the dealership to get the oil changed when ever its due, they've recommended changing the brake fluid (which was done) but they've never said anything about the trans fluid needing to be changed. So I guess my question is would you guys recommend changing the fluid or leave it alone due to the high miles and just wait for the tranny to die and get a rebuilt one? I've heard that changing the fluid on a tranny that hasn't seen a fluid change in some time can often be worse for it. Something to do with the old fluid leaving a varnish on the seals and the new fluid causing the seals to fall.
thanks Chris
RickW

Posts: 718
Registered: 02/16/05
Re: Advice on transmission
Posted: Nov 12, 2007 4:55 PM   in response to: iancorrado in response to: iancorrado
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My only advice is to start simple... check the fluid level. If the fluid is low... it will likely cause the trans to act up.

As for the old fluid theory - I've heard it also, but thankfully, have never been in a position to find out.

Over the summer, I had a junker 1985 300D to play around with. Needed a full servicing (fluids and filters, valve adjustment...). I decided to change the ***-knows-how-old auto trans fluid, as the car shifted a bit slugglishly.

New fluid and filter, and that transmission felt like new, despite 230K miles on it and 22 years of age. Of course, I was lucky.

There's probably no way for you to know for sure without changing the fluid and hoping for the best. Only you can make that choice.

budpalumbo

Posts: 1,454
Registered: 12/09/03
Re: Advice on transmission
Posted: Nov 13, 2007 5:27 PM   in response to: iancorrado in response to: iancorrado
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I know that theory as well. I've had some trannies fail within a few miles of a change, and some still going despite being so long between flushes. With that mileage, and the fact its already acting up, have the level checked, and it its ok, drive it until it breaks.

The dealer didn't recomend a flush since m-b considers the tranny to be lifetime filled, and no service needed. Did I mention another German car company considers 100k to be a lifetime for a tranny? Funny how thats past the warranty period....
pttkacik

Posts: 22
Registered: 04/25/07
Re: Advice on transmission
Posted: Nov 13, 2007 11:35 PM   in response to: budpalumbo in response to: budpalumbo
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I would change the fluid and filter. the torque converter has a drain plug also. On mine, I replaced the shift modulator which allowed me to adjust the harshness of the shift. It went hard and banged at every shift and now its between normal hard shifting and soft at max throttle & redline; which seems to be the balance.

I rebuilt it at 130,000 and its now at 285,000 so I guess changing fluids can't be too bad. Mine runs great; however, 150,000 miles since I rebuilt it means the clutches might be thin. mine does not leak a drop (knock on wood).
kswyatt

Posts: 154
Registered: 08/29/06
Re: Advice on transmission
Posted: Nov 26, 2007 9:49 AM   in response to: iancorrado in response to: iancorrado
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Change the fluid and filter. Draining the torque converter as well.

Run it a few hundred miles and do it again. It sounds like you're gummed up. The truth is, if it is going to fail, it will fail regardless.

Clean Dexron ATF is quite a cleaner, but it does have a life.
kswyatt

Posts: 154
Registered: 08/29/06
Re: Advice on transmission
Posted: Nov 26, 2007 10:00 AM   in response to: budpalumbo in response to: budpalumbo
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The dealer didn't recomend a flush since m-b
considers the tranny to be lifetime filled, and no
service needed. Did I mention another German car
company considers 100k to be a lifetime for a tranny?
Funny how thats past the warranty period....

The argument is that people and techs can do more damage changing fluid and filters, than leaving a sealed unit untouched. Since most people DON'T change the ATF who are using quickie lube shops, or let them change it - perhaps there is some argument there.

MB is getting particularily bad at dealer serviceable items these days. The latest one is the urea tank for the Blutec injection which has to be serviced at the dealer only.

I've driven MB diesels for almost 35 years, but this 95 I currently have will probably be my last MB. My 96 Audi has better fit, finish, quality, and had a lower price. Actually, my last two vehicles have been Chevy trucks (00 Tahoe and a 07 Silverado diesel). Neither have had problems or anything to be repaired in or out of warranty. But I will buy another Audi!!
iancorrado

Posts: 7
Registered: 05/09/06
Re: Advice on transmission
Posted: Jul 13, 2009 8:12 PM   in response to: kswyatt in response to: kswyatt
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Changed the fluid+filter @ approx 230,000. The car now has 257,000 on it and I'm pleased to report ZERO tranny problems!!!
Bresha

Posts: 433
Registered: 02/23/09
Re: Advice on transmission
Posted: Jul 13, 2009 8:40 PM   in response to: iancorrado in response to: iancorrado
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Hi guys, here is what is written in my book.
Older vehicle using dextron or equivalent trans fluid, transmission service every 30.000 miles, after those vehicle when the car makers came out with the life time transmission fluid, i just could not swallow this, what? life time, no kidding, for my customer life time trans fluid has to be changed every 60.000 miles and i'm doing so, and no one has an issue with the transmission.
I dealing with a lot of transmission concerns and you just have to see it, transmission fluid condition after a 100.000 miles. Do your transmission service. Do not take any risk. Dealers have a lot work just replacing the faulty transmission, you tell me why?

Bresha

Lattat

Posts: 1
Registered: 08/03/13
Re: Advice on transmission
Posted: Aug 3, 2013 9:52 AM   in response to: RickW in response to: RickW
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I have a e320 sedan ,and I can't get reverse, and my car will not move at a normal speed in drive.

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