Should I change trans fluid? - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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

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#1 Old 06-11-2019
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Should I change trans fluid?

I have a 99 slk230 with an auto transmission and 123K miles. I don't think the auto trans fluid has ever been changed. My question is, should I change it in an effort to extend the life of the trans or should I leave it alone since it's been 20 years? Currently the car shift fine.
Thanks in advance.
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#2 Old 06-11-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okccj View Post
I have a 99 slk230 with an auto transmission and 123K miles. I don't think the auto trans fluid has ever been changed. My question is, should I change it in an effort to extend the life of the trans or should I leave it alone since it's been 20 years? Currently the car shift fine.
Thanks in advance.
early models did not have to have the trans fluid changed at every 40k like done now
your maintenance manual probably does not even mention changing it

shifts ok...20 years...leave it
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#3 Old 06-12-2019
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I would not usually even pretend to disagree with Jeff but it seems to me that a trans service is a good thing. You get a look at the connector to the ECU which can leak and if so it will dissolve the wiring and if it shorts you can kiss your ECU goodbye. You get a look at what is in the pan and an examination of the internals along with a filter change. If the fluid is starting to look brownish then it is on its way out.
I did my first 2001 SLK320 when I got it back in 2013 and I did the current one which I got last summer and no issues have arisen but we did find the leaking connector. It's PM as far as I am concerned. This lifetime stuff they claimed has been the subject of debate and failures I understand so a few bucks and you are golden.
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#4 Old 06-12-2019
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Hi,

I can tell you all, (as a now retired Auto Transmission Specialist), and this was categorically proven on fleet vehicles ....................

If you don't change the Fluid and Filter, when the Trans gets to 100,000 miles + it's on borrowed time ........................

Before everyone yells at me (and Jeff fires me) , no not every car, too many variables, but yes as a general rule :P

Now ................. Change Fluid and Filters at 80,000 mile intervals, (do the Connector Plug too), and I have seen many 722.6 Trans go to 300,000 plus, and even on 2 of them (W639 Vito Minibuses), they only got stripped and overhauled due to a Converter Lock Up shudder problem, Clutches etc were still in very good order, and only one of the pair needed a planetary gear-set as one thrust washer was in bits in the pan and she was slightly noisy on over run in 1st gear

All Oils and Filters on any vehicle should be done regularly, I don't care what Mercedes, BMW etc etc etc say, there is no such thing as "Lifetime" Oil, a Manufacturers idea of "lifetime" is 100,000 miles, or when their Warranty expires

HTH, Cheers Dave
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#5 Old 06-12-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okccj View Post
I have a 99 slk230 with an auto transmission and 123K miles. I don't think the auto trans fluid has ever been changed. My question is, should I change it in an effort to extend the life of the trans or should I leave it alone since it's been 20 years? Currently the car shift fine.
Thanks in advance.
MB Medic says YES .. Link HERE
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I always say change at 40k but was corrected by an expert a long time ago that says early model slks did not require it so i have bitten my tongue on the subject
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#7 Old 06-12-2019
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So, it sounds like the concensus is that I should change my trans fluid. Thanks guys, now I'll for for a diy write up on the process.
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Originally Posted by okccj View Post
So, it sounds like the concensus is that I should change my trans fluid. Thanks guys, now I'll for for a diy write up on the process.
https://www.pelicanparts.com/techart...ter_Change.htm

https://www.slkworld.com/slk-r170-cl...id-change.html
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#9 Old 06-12-2019
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Originally Posted by okccj View Post
So, it sounds like the concensus is that I should change my trans fluid. Thanks guys, now I'll for for a diy write up on the process.
That link to MB Medic ^^ post #5 has a useful video.
Whilst they don't change the connector plug themselves on there, as Dave says, it's wise to do so whilst you're in the vicinity.
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#10 Old 06-12-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M4rCu5 View Post
That link to MB Medic ^^ post #5 has a useful video.
Whilst they don't change the connector plug themselves on there, as Dave says, it's wise to do so whilst you're in the vicinity.
I'm sorry, I have no idea what/where the connector plug is.
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#11 Old 06-12-2019
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Originally Posted by okccj View Post
I'm sorry, I have no idea what/where the connector plug is.
AKA the Pilot Bushing AKA Transmission Connector, there's a few posts on here relating to it and what can happen if it leaks, enter a site search using both terms

-----

CLICK

CLICK

KERCHING!


And YouTube is full of vids ..

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#12 Old 06-12-2019
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Hi,

And DO NOT go all gorilla on that tiny 7mm headed bolt, nip it and no more or you'll be really sorry

We always wipe a little Wynns or STP around the rubbers first so they don't stick when pulling it in, with good lube and a clean orifice you can seat it by hand :wink

HTH, Cheers Dave
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#13 Old 06-13-2019
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I just changed the connector plug on my transmission and noticed that the fluid wasn't the best, and I would like to change it. Is there any problem with the new fluid (not MB) mixing with the old fluid still in the torque converter and the rest of the system?
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#14 Old 06-14-2019
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Originally Posted by Scotty49 View Post
I just changed the connector plug on my transmission and noticed that the fluid wasn't the best, and I would like to change it. Is there any problem with the new fluid (not MB) mixing with the old fluid still in the torque converter and the rest of the system?

I don't know if this helps but here is a link with some info.
This is one of those tasks I find myself asking, "is this something I really need to do just to save a few bucks?" The answer was no so I got my local indy to do it. I paid.
It cost me about $340 including labour, fluid, filter, new magnet copper washer, gasket and ETC connector. They did not feel the TC needed to be done. It is smooth as glass as expected.


Maybe this might help https://www.benzworld.org/forums/w21...-question.html
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#15 Old 06-14-2019
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My 1999 SLK230 has about 150K on it. I changed the fluids and filters in both engine and trans as soon as I got it. The special synthetic oils are not cheap. (Is their ANYTHING cheap with a MB?) You can drop the pan, pull the filter which is obtainable from Advance Auto, and make sure you get the right spec trans fluid. Pan only drop is about 4-5 quarts. Full system is about 8 or so. Easy to change and fill yourself.

This is not the case with my 2006 CLK350. MB decided to be clever and really seal the trans for life. There is NO fill pipe with this trans. I almost drained the trans fluid and had no way of putting new oil in. Have to get a special fill tool to actually FILL the trans through the DRAIN hole..... (German Engineering?)

The SLK230 has a fill pipe for the trans. Do not over fill. Make sure you have the right dip stick. Buy from ebay if needed. I believe there is a plastic locking tab which needs to be broken off first to open the fill pipe. The fill pipe cover has NO dip stick attached to it. (German Engineering?). You must buy one. Mine came with one because it had many prior owners. I gave it to my son to drive to his high school now.

Use enough gasket sealer to prevent pan leaks. Top off between empty/full mark. Deciding to flush entire system has been debated, plus it is at least 8 or 9 quarts of the expensive oil instead of 4 or 5.

I advise changing it. Your trans has a filter in it. These filters collect grit and grime from the trans over the years and get clogged. Once starved for oil, the trans pump is next to go. Then you have a rebuild charge.

'Sealed for Life" transmissions: Sorry MB, BAD IDEA.
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