can't find where to replace differential fluid - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

SLK R170 General Discussion SLK 200, SLK 230K, SLK 320, SLK32 AMG

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#1 Old 04-12-2013
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can't find where to replace differential fluid

i got 2002 slk320, after reading and print out the pdf guide for differential fluid exchange (guide for 2001 slk320). i thought that would be easy but for 15 minutes under, can't locate where is it
can someone point out where it is?
thanks
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#2 Old 04-12-2013
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If its anything like the the 230 the fill plug is on top of the diff, the drain plug would be at the 9 o'clock postion. Before you remove the drain plug make sure the fill plug can be removed first.
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#3 Old 04-12-2013
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Not sure what guide you found. I think there's one floating around along the lines of 'flying slk.' Here's an old link (thus the wayback machine) for the slk32.
This is something I'm actually going to be doing in the next month using this guide on my 2001 slk320.

http://web.archive.org/web/200906081...oilchange.html
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#4 Old 04-12-2013
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Great info! I'll definitely put it on my summer maintenance list =)
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#5 Old 04-13-2013
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thanks for the link. for the life of me, 15 minutes and could not locate where it is. i will to go under and look for it again. thanks
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#6 Old 04-14-2013
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Well had more time than expected this weekend and went ahead and replaced my differential fluid.

The link I posted prior mentioned that you didn't necessarily need to jack the car to do this.. while most likely technically true.. I don't see how it would be easy at all so up the car went and I taught my slk how to fly =)



On my 2001 320 the differential fluid housing is located almost directly in the middle of the car between the rear wheels.

This is the housing right below the exhaust. The fill hole is located on the top left (driver) side and the drain is on the bottom right (passenger) side.



Here's a pic of the drain location, to the left of the fuel filter. (Which I also replaced, pain in the butt original clamps btw).



And finally the fill hole.



Wish I had taken a photo of the color of the oil that came out vs. the color that I put in

Overall not that tough of a job, take your time if you 'fly' your slk and a fluid pump is almost required to fill everything back up.
Most important, make sure you can open your fill plug before you empty your fluid
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#7 Old 04-14-2013
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Wow! Great DIY!
Did you have any pic of the pump you used or any link to the ebay, amazon?! How do I know how to fill it up? Or I just fill it till it's full?!

Did you use Mobil 1 75W-90? The least expensive is $20 per quart... and not $7 as it was described!

Do you know if 320 and 230 use the same fluid?
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#8 Old 04-14-2013
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Is it something like this?
http://www.amazon.com/Lubrimatic-Fluid-Quart-Pump-4cc/dp/B000BQW5LK/ref=pd_bxgy_auto_img_y
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#9 Old 04-14-2013
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That is the exact one Jayson!
If i planned on needing the pump for more than this one job I would get a different one.
For one reason only.. The height of the pump. That pump only gives you about a 3-4 inch 'pump' so the amount of times you have to go up and down is much greater than I expected. This coupled with the fact of laying on your back under a car with minimal clearance makes things a bit difficult.

The hose on that pump does not reach the bottom of the quart but it's really not a problem since you'll need 2 quarts anyway I just switched to the next bottle and didn't bother with trying to get every drop out of the first bottle. (combined into 1 bottle after)

Brief steps

1) Open fill plug! If you can't do this don't drain the fluid!! (keep it open)
2) Get a decent sized drain pain and position under, and to the right, of the drain plug.
3) Undo the drain plug and let old oil drain.
Note on this step: Normally you would open slowly so that the oil drips slowly - for me this had the opposite effect. Since the oil will be coming out in every direction, once you see the first drip I would advise to undo quickly. Why you ask.. because then you know which direction the oil will be going.. rather than going in every direction. (second note.. old differential oil does not taste that good...). Plus you can grab the cap out of the drain pan, it's not going anywhere when you drop it.
4) Let it drain for 10 minutes - It only takes about 4-5 minutes but that gives you an extra 5 minutes to stretch and go get a cold brew
5) The guide I linked to mentions using thread sealant but I did not use any. (to each their own) I drove for 25+ miles after, let it sit for a few hours, checked and have no drips.
6) Put drain plug back, I'm sure these have a MB approved tension spec but basically tighten until you start to need real effort then stop.
7) Open new oil, attach fluid pump, into into fill hole and pump away (The tank takes about 1.5 quarts so you'll need the second bottle)
8) Pump until the oil starts coming out from the fill hole (You should have moved your drain pan to be under your fill hole by this point). Make sure at this point you move the hose to the very start of the fill hole so that you get every last drop possible in there.
9) Wipe away any excess with your favorite oil rag and put fill plug back
10) Get out from under the car and smile at a job well done =)

I did use Mobil 1 75-90 and got it off Amazon for $15 a Q. I have prime so not sure if that changes the $ but if you find it cheaper.. get it there.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Not sure what the 230 takes but I would be surprised if it's different.
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#10 Old 04-15-2013
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i did fuel filter late last year and thanks so much for your pictures, now i know where it is to look for it, the differential fluid.
btw, autozone selling these mobil 75-90 for 10.99each
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#11 Old 05-03-2013
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Rear wheels need to be on the ground or at least level with the differential as if they were on the ground. Otherwise you may overfill the differential. I haven't looked on mine yet, but on other older Mercedes there used to also be a vent for the rear axle located near the differential. If there is still such a thing, it's a good idea to remove it and make sure it isn't clogged.

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#12 Old 05-13-2013
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Just changed mine today! Pretty easy job. I put rear wheels on ramps and used jack stands in the front to make it level. The fill plug is pretty awkward to get to. Used my long bar wrench with flexible head. The drain plug is very easy. I followed the advice, inserted 14mm hex socket (tapped it lightly with the hammer to make it sit tight right into the bolt; since there's some dirt on the bolts over the time that prevents it from sitting tight all the way in) and first unscrewed the filler bolt and then the drain one. Drained the fluid. Then used some compressed air to get another 70-100 ml out.
The stuff that came out has a very strong and awful smell and it's dark as night! Didn't notice improvements so it's just a preventive measure. From the MB stealership brochure given to me by my friend it says: "Rear differential service: Recommended every 40,000 miles - $139.95"

Total money spent:
1) 14mm hex socket - $5.39
2) 2 quarts of Mobil 1 75W-90 $13.97 X 2 = $27.94
3) Fluid Pump - $7.97
Free shipping =)
Total: $ 41.30

Waaaaay cheaper than any indy or even stealership!
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