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1999 SLK230K
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

Anyone ever experienced stiff gear changes in extremely cold weather? Manual 5 speed gearbox. 1999 R170.

We're having very cold and minus temperatures here for the first time since I bought the car. (-10°C) And I've noticed first thing in the morning or when she's stone cold, the gearbox is really stiff changing up and hard to change down. After she's warmed up - no problem.

Do I need to check the oil level in the gearbox? Any other advice or suggestions? Anyone had anything similar? Is it normal?

Thanks for any feedback,
Jo
 

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For me, it's perfectly normal. I don't know if this is your first manual trans but I have been driving them since the 60's and they all pretty much do that. Though my 01 is stiff like you say; but after maybe a mile or so it is just fine. Just be slow and purposeful in your shift with pause when you clutch, then move from the gear into neutral, a bit of a moment in neutral and then up to the next gear. The same downshifting. DONT JAM THE THING INTO THE GEARS..........The worst for me ever was the early 70's BMW motorcycle. It was like trying to cram an artillery shell into a Krupp howitzer and getting the bolt to engage to fire........Maybe a bit overemphasized but the same engineers that designed the mechanisms for Krupp got work with BMW after the war............

IT'S A JOKE MY EURO BROTHERS AND SISTERS....but the advice about the shifting is true.....God bless.......Dennis
 

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1999 SLK230K
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Dennis, that's funny ?

Good to know and thanks for your feedback. Makes me feel a bit better.

I've been driving manuals for nearly 30 years and never noticed it before - at least not so noticeably. Our golf doesn't do it so I thought I'd ask the forum for reassurance. And got it.
Thanks ?
 

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2003 SLK230
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681 Posts
Manual trans oil is really thick and when it's cold it's even thicker. In this part of the world where it can hit 30 below (f) you have to slowly let the clutch out after a morning start or the drag on the engine is often enough to kill it. Let it idle for about a minute before settng out and you should be fine.
 

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2007 SLK350 "fastdawg"
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Even my "Dawg" (R171) is a bit stiff'ish when moving the gears around on a cold morning. Should be nothing unusual, unless its stiff and never loosen's up when it gets warmed up after a few minutes of driving.
 

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2006 SLK200
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633 Posts
Anybody know how to bleed the cluck? I noticed there is a black rubber cover with a knob on it under the car, does one just pull the rubber cover out at the knob? What then? Your feedback will be much appreciated.
 

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2002 SLK320
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159 Posts
Anybody know how to bleed the cluck? I noticed there is a black rubber cover with a knob on it under the car, does one just pull the rubber cover out at the knob? What then? Your feedback will be much appreciated.

I may be wrong but, I thought I read on this forum somewhere that the brake and clutch lines share the same reservoir / fluid. So bleeding the clutch would be same process as bleeding the brakes except with the clutch pedal,, I would think. If i'm wrong I'm sure others will chime in and correct me.
 

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2006 SLK200
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I may be wrong but, I thought I read on this forum somewhere that the brake and clutch lines share the same reservoir / fluid. So bleeding the clutch would be same process as bleeding the brakes except with the clutch pedal,, I would think. If i'm wrong I'm sure others will chime in and correct me.
Thanks RR, yes I know it's the same brake fluid, however I wanted to know about the rubber cover, how to get it off. Do I just pull the knob on the cover?
 

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Sold my SLK
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Thanks RR, yes I know it's the same brake fluid, however I wanted to know about the rubber cover, how to get it off. Do I just pull the knob on the cover?
Hi Beppi,

When I did it to my R170, the cover simply pulled off. I would assume the R171 is the amuse and you shouldn't hurt anything.
 

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Registered 2016 SLC43
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315 Posts
Hi guys,

Anyone ever experienced stiff gear changes in extremely cold weather? Manual 5 speed gearbox. 1999 R170.

We're having very cold and minus temperatures here for the first time since I bought the car. (-10°C) And I've noticed first thing in the morning or when she's stone cold, the gearbox is really stiff changing up and hard to change down. After she's warmed up - no problem.

Do I need to check the oil level in the gearbox? Any other advice or suggestions? Anyone had anything similar? Is it normal?

Thanks for any feedback,
Jo
It's normal but you may benefit from a gearbox oil change and slightly short fill it , sounds odd but when I read up on it that's what other people did so I followed suit . It was a little better afterwards and not so stiff from cold but don't expect mx5 style smoothness . It's also an easy job to do .
 

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2002 SLK320
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159 Posts
MT oil change help

It's normal but you may benefit from a gearbox oil change and slightly short fill it , sounds odd but when I read up on it that's what other people did so I followed suit . It was a little better afterwards and not so stiff from cold but don't expect mx5 style smoothness . It's also an easy job to do .
Paul,

Nice to hear from someone who has actually done a MT oil change. I've looked allot and can only find reference to automatic trans oil change. Is there a write-up on a MT oil change you used? I'd love to hear how you did it, what oil you used, how to know the proper level of oil to fill to, etc. Plus, does a Manual Trans box need to drop a oil pan or just drain/fill through plug holes? Location of plug holes (approx is OK). Any transmission filter need changing on a MT (like on the auto box)?

Thanks in advance,
Rob
 

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It's just basic mechanics , car up in the air on a lift or axle stands so it's somewhere near level and drop the plastic shield off then look for the 2 large plugs , one on the bottom and one of the side of the gearbox . Always remove the filler plug first , the one on the side , then remove the bottom plug and let the oil drain . Replace the bottom plug and re fill using a basic small pump until the oil dribbles out of the filler plug and replace the plug .
I short filled mine slightly as it's supposed to improve the change quality but I don't think it really made any difference , I used red line mt but I can't remember the grade .
It's not even an hours work and by taking out the filler plug first your safeguarding yourself against a problem , nothing as annoying as watching all the oil drain out then discover you can't get the filler plug out !
Sorry I don't have the quantities or oil grade but I'm sure I found them on here somewhere , it's an easy job to carry out and nothing to be scared of .
 

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Registered 2016 SLC43
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315 Posts
No filter , the drain plug is usually magnetic , I can't remember if it was on the slk but it is on most cars , it looks like a small oily hedgehog when you unscrew it , remember , remove the filler plug first , if you can't then leave the drain plug alone !
Good luck with the job and you'll have the satisfaction of doing it yourself .
 

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I have just recently obtained my 1999 SLK 230, so I cannot personally attest to how well Redline synthetic transmission oils will work in this car.

However, I have put it in several other manual transmission cars. It works great: better shifting, better cold weather performance.

It ain't cheap, but its worth it.

My (new to me) SLK 230 will be getting Redline in the transmission soon.
 
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