"Genuine" Tranny Oil In My '99 Mercedes E320?

Messages
9
Location
New York
I just purchased a '99 Mercedes E320 wagon, V6 gas engine, with, get this, 421xxx miles. I drove it around California for a week, then loaded it up with Corvair and square body Cheby Teeruk parts, and drove 3000 miles home. Before I left for the CC trip, I tried to check the tranny oil, but like the '05 Malibu I owned for a bit, this rig has no dipstick, just a plug in a 1/2 tube with curves too tite to allow the use of a typical "flat" dipstick. I tried a speedo cable my friend found lying in a junkyard, and the oil was muckky looking. I ordered a universal stick for $13 on ebay, but had to ship it home as I was leaving my friends house the next day. So I poked around on the 'net, and decided to use NAPA FEBI trans oil, $9 a qt. Some had recommended Valvoline Max Life at $7 a qt, but for the extra $15 I decided to use the German oil. I dropped the pan the day before we left, and there was very little junk floating around. Definitely metallic paint like, but that was to be expected. The tranny had been shifting well for the 2,000 miles we put on going to various pick a parts up and down Hwy 99, so I felt confidant it wouldn't bother anything putting in fresh oil. I'd heard all the horror stories about fresh oil releasing crud, but never believed them. Much more likely a weak tranny someone is trying to save w a fluid flush. This model has a tork convertor drain plug, so got 6 qts of the 8.5 total (dry fill). It's still brownish, but at least has a reddish tint. So I guess my question is, does it rally matter if I use $3 qt WW oil? Or is it really better to use overpriced oil? What qualitys does the FEBI have over the WW? I forget if the FEBI was synthetic, and my partner in junkyard crime took the car to Maine, I'll get it in a week or 2. For those with time on their hands, I vidded the entire trip, junkyards, oil change and all, it's on ytube CORVAIRWILD. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-N1OZ-QnsM
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
46,274
Location
New Jersey
MB specifies sheet numbers for their atf oils. It is important to get the right one. There is some argument as to if max life does or does not meet any of the 236.x sheets, I don't think it is officially listed on the bevo site. The febi fluid is likely listed and a good bet. I'd not just pick any $3 www atf, but max life may be acceptable. Good luck!
 
CORVAIRWILD!! Welcome to BITOG!! I watch your videos religiously and would probably need therapy if you stopped posting them,lol. Just wanted to let you know that there are many people out there that appreciate your posts and really enjoy your videos. With that said, I watched the vids for your trip and that tranny really needed that fluid change. I have personally had good results in many vehicles with Valvoline Maxlife but not sure if I have ever used it in a Mercedes of that vintage or not. I know I had to repair a leak in a pan gasket once and my guess is that it was a 2000 or 2001 CL500 and used Dexron III in it since that is what it called for (was told by a euro repair place in VA) if I remember correctly. I can't seem to get my hands on a bottle of Maxlife but if it mentions your necessary spec on the back I would not hesitate to use it. You know your cars well enough to feel if it isn't doing something right. If it ends up not shifting properly you can always do another change with the Febi stuff again and just consider the Maxlife a flush. It is very cheap at Walmart which I think is where most go to get it in big jugs. I imagine that trip did a good job of loosening any junk in that tranny but I also bet the fluid must be pretty dirty at this point. Hopefully someone will chime in about it that has used it first hand and knows if it works well or not. A lot of good people and info here on BITOG. Best of luck with it and please keep your viewers posted about the results.
 

Astro14

$100 Site Donor
Staff member
Messages
13,238
Location
Virginia Beach
I would stick with the specified fluid. Your transmission is similar to mine in the S-600. Getting the level right requires measuring the temperature and the level for that temperature. More here: http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w210-e-class/1463460-mercedes-benz-722-6-transmission-faq.html Using the genuine oil isn't expensive or hard, there are several sources to get fluid and the filter for your next pan drop, E.G. http://www.ecstuning.com/Mercedes_Benz-1...sion/ES2598669/ https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/mercedes-benz-automatic-trans-service-kit-merctranskit
 
Messages
9,808
Location
New Jersey
421,000 miles on a MB 320 the engines are good but every other part must have been replaced at least 3 times. Those are not so great i had one and the only thing worse than that is the range rover.
 
Top