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Automatic Transmission Fluid and Filter Change
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Automatic Transmission Fluid and Filter Change

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$100

Talent:

**

Tools:

T30 Torx socket with ratchet, 4mm Allen head socket, drain pan, transmission oil dipstick tool

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz E320 (2004-09)
Mercedes-Benz E500 (2004-06)

Parts Required:

Transmission Fluid, transmission fluid filter

Hot Tip:

After filling select each gear for 1 minute then recheck oil level

Performance Gain:

Extend life of transmission and improve shift quality

Complementary Modification:

Change engine oil at the same time
Your automatic transmission uses fluid to drive your torque converter and hydraulically clamp down on clutch baskets inside your transmission. Unlike engine oil it is not subject to combustion chamber blow by and can last a long time. As you drive clutch packs wear and clutch material gets removed from the clutch plates and circulates with the transmission fluid. This clutch material can cause solenoids to stick and may effect shifting. You can change your transmission fluid and filter to remove a good percentage of the overall transmission fluid by dropping the transmission pan. The over-all job is not that difficult and you can do it in an afternoon. 

Mercedes Benz now recommends changing your transmission fluid every 40,000 miles.

In order for you to service your transmission fluid and filter you need to lift and support your vehicle and remove the lower splash shields. See our tech article on jacking up and supporting your vehicle and lower splash shields removal. Always remember to wear safety goggles anytime you're working under your car.

Unclip the oxygen sensor from the spring-loaded brackets (green arrows) they are held in and move them out of the way.
Figure 1

Unclip the oxygen sensor from the spring-loaded brackets (green arrows) they are held in and move them out of the way. You do not have to unplug them but I have done so for photographic purposes.

Remove the 5mm drain plug screw (green arrow) and allow the transmission fluid to drain into a drain pan.
Figure 2

Remove the 5mm drain plug screw (green arrow) and allow the transmission fluid to drain into a drain pan.

Remove the T30 Torx fastener (green arrow) that holds a heat shield onto the transmission mounting bracket (yellow arrow).
Figure 3

Remove the T30 Torx fastener (green arrow) that holds a heat shield onto the transmission mounting bracket (yellow arrow).

Loosen the six T30 Torx fasteners but do not remove them.
Figure 4

Loosen the six T30 Torx fasteners but do not remove them. Here I am only showing one being loosened. Even though you have drained the pan there is still oil in the pan. If you remove them all at once there is a chance you can have a large spill if the pan falls.

Here are the positions of the six T30 Torx fasteners (green arrows), the yellow arrow points to a fastener currently hidden behind the pan.
Figure 5

Here are the positions of the six T30 Torx fasteners (green arrows), the yellow arrow points to a fastener currently hidden behind the pan.

Remove the T30 Torx fastener at the front right of the transmission.
Figure 6

Remove the T30 Torx fastener at the front right of the transmission. Then, move the heat shield out of the way to pull out the transmission pan-mounting bracket (green arrow). Each fastener has a mounting bracket, note the position of each before you remove them.

Remove the other fasteners on the front, sides and the one rear mounting fastener.
Figure 7

Remove the other fasteners on the front, sides and the one rear mounting fastener. The one pictured here is the left front. Notice the transmission pan mounting bracket. Note its position for installation.

I like to leave one bracket attached in the rear corner.
Figure 8

I like to leave one bracket attached in the rear corner. As I loosen the remaining bracket, I can slowly bring down the pan to avoid a transmission fluid spill.

Hold the pan up as you remove the final fastener (green arrow).
Figure 9

Hold the pan up as you remove the final fastener (green arrow). It is hidden behind the pan. Remove it with its bracket. Lower the transmission pan out of the way.

Grab the filter with your hand and pull down to remove it from the valve body.
Figure 10

Grab the filter with your hand and pull down to remove it from the valve body. It is held in place with the O-Ring seal on its neck.

Peel up on the transmission pan gasket and fit the new one in its place.
Figure 11

Peel up on the transmission pan gasket and fit the new one in its place. Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. Fit the filter into place. Install the oil pan and tighten down the six fasteners with their brackets positioned as you took them off hooking onto the pan. Install and tighten the heat shield mounting fastener. Tighten the drain plug.

This picture illustrates the back of the engine compartment.
Figure 12

This picture illustrates the back of the engine compartment. Locate the transmission oil fill tube. Use a pick to lift up on the transmission locking tab. In our case the tab is broken so we had to push down on it to remove the transmission dipstick tube cover. Remove the cover and fill the transmission from here. It is best to measure the oil transmission fluid in and empty container and fill with the same amount of new fluid. If you have the Mercedes Benz special dipstick tool you can insert that to check the fluid level. Mercedes Benz wants the transmission fluid level checked at 30 degrees Celsius so run the engine for about 2 to 3 minutes. Run the gear selector through all the gears keeping it in each gear for about a minute to equally distribute the transmission fluid throughout the valve body. Now you can use the dip stick tool to check the fluid level. Make sure it is between the two lines on the tool.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Dana Teresa Comments: Just for your edification. Unlike the 5 speed in the E-320, the 2005 ***E-500** has a 7 speed model 722901 transmission, it has no dip stick tube. I have not done it yet, but all sources I've found so far say that the fluid is pumped back into the transmission through the drain plug hole. There is a raised tube in the hole that is above the pan level, and when fluid runs back out in a finger sized stream, the transmission is full. The drain plug does not actually drain the fluid like it does in the 5 speed transmission. In this 7 speed, you have to drop the pan while full and drain it over the side of the pan. Sounds like a Mercedes engineer had his head firmly planted up his ass when designing this. Repeat, I have not opened the transmission yet, so I can not give first hand observation but I can tell you that there is absolutely "NO" transmission dipstick tube anywhere on the vehicle, nor any opening at all on the transmission itself except the so called drain plug.
August 15, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Geno Comments: In tools required the 4mm Allen Head Socket should read 5mm

What are the torque specs for Drain Plug and Pan Bolts?

What is the estimated amount of Transmission Fluid needed for the above procedure? That is with a pan drop and filter change.

Thanks for the helpful tutorials.
July 6, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: 6.9 qts

I don’t have torque information.

I would suggest you grab a repair manual, you should own one. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Fuchs Comments: Hi Nick. My Mercedes is a, 2006 E320 CDI Auto, VIN:WDB2110222A999419. It went into limp mode and I can't seem to locate the transmission fill port/tube in the engine bay or around the transmission unit. Is it possible that it is design without a fill port? How do I refill this type of transmission?
April 28, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There should be a bolt on the bottom of the trans pan. Above it is a tube that allows the level to be filled and for it to overflow out if overfull. We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.


I would suggest you grab a repair manual, you should own one. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Joao Marío Comments: It's a v6 turbo diesel, I forgot to mention that in last comment. Trying to locate fill port in engine bay. If it's not possible, I'll take to dealer for transmission service. Everything else on maitance I can do.
March 29, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Your trans may be different than the one shown. If so, the fill plug will be on the trans and the procedure is different. I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Joao Marío Comments: Is it possible to change transmission fluid on 2008 e320 bluetec yourself? Can't seem to locate fill port in the engine bay.
March 29, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Your trans may be different than the one shown. If so, the fill plug will be on the trans and the procedure is different. I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Abubakar Comments: What is the quantity of transmission fluid used in V8 E500?
February 21, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I do not know. But if you look in the owners manual in the fluid capacities section you will probably find that information. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
Flyer295 Comments: I am suspecting a problem with the transmission on my new to me E320. It appears that the oil level is way above the maximum on the dipstick. What, if any, problems would this cause?
November 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Foaming, possible wear and poor shifting, - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Lucas Comments: Hello Nick,

I believe this article shall be right. Thanks for the clarification.
November 8, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Lucas Comments: Hello Nick,

It's unproven theory caused by a bunch of W211 facing the tranny get into limp mode, and then somehow concluded the valves, PCB of tranny would be damaged when the new with normal temperature tranny fluid fill into tranny right after the used fluid flahsed once engine is warm, so that such damages cause the tranny get into limp mode in low speed state. So, is it ok fill the tranny fluid right after the used fluid flush when engine is warm?
November 2, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I have never heard that. It is not mentioned in MB literature. If you suspect something in the article is not right, check with the MB factory procedure to confirm all steps. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Lucas Comments: Hello Nick,

For changing the tranny fluid, has it to be waited till engine cool down such as 20 or 30 centigrade? It is a theory I heard to change the tranny fluid without engine cool down could break the valves or PCB of transmission because the significant temperature differences in between tranny fluid in room temperature and engine/ transmission temperature, though I'm pretty doubt it.
October 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Where did you read this advice? Draining warm is OK. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ksg Comments: Thanks for this and other articles - very nice photos especially. I checked the level first using a stiff clean teflon tube about 5 mm outside diam which worked fine as a dipstick. I measured the amount drained, close to 4 liters, replaced the same amount and the level came up as before. The MB spec I have says 10-21 mm cold and 54-64 mm hot. Mine fell within this range with the engine running. The level was near 85 mm cold with engine not running.
September 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your installation process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
E 55 V8 KOMPRESSOR Comments: Thanks Nick got a time June 27 for replacement Rear Subframe Bushings + Diagnose Tranny.
Will let you for sure, thanks for the interest.

Your guides are awesome so easy to follow thanks for the efforts
June 15, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks! - Nick at Pelican Parts  
E 55 V8 KOMPRESSOR Comments: Thanks Nick so a valve maybe. Ok gotta get a diagnos thanks
June 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Let me know what you find. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
E 55 V8 KOMPRESSOR Comments: Can hard shift be fluid need be changed ?
My E 55 w211 when in manual it changes to S mode sporadic so strange.
Sometimes when flooring kickdown it won't change unless I let go of gas pedal slightly.

I don't know when it was changed last but due to your thread I believe is a good question for others to use as reference to.

I will get it changed in 2 weeks of course but want hear your opinion?
June 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not likely. More likely a pressure issue. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mosaab Comments: i need to ask about the fluid type of automatic gear
February 21, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What is the year and model of the vehicle?



Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Sun 8/20/2017 02:34:05 AM