190E 2.6 transmission fluid change interval + water pumps


May 29, 2013
190e 2.6 / W123 230 / W123 230E
Looking in manuals and online, there seem to be wildly varying figures being given for the transmission fluid change interval. Some suggest changing it every year or 15k, others (including the Haynes manual) say 36k, with no specified time interval. Does anyone know which is correct?

Shortly after I purchased my 190E, I changed the fluid and filter, as I had no record of when it had last been done. Reassuringly, the fluid that came out was perfectly clean and the same colour as the new stuff. That was just over 3 years and 17,000 miles ago. The fluid colour is fine and there's no problem with the gearbox - I just wondered if I need to think about changing it again soon?

On an unrelated note, the water pump in the car is going to need replacing before too long. It's been producing a slight whine for some time but this has now started to get a bit worse, there is a slight coolant leak from the pump and you can feel a very small amount of play if you rock the pulley. Genuine MB items (part number A1032003801) are about £185, whereas a pattern item from Hepu would be £100 cheaper. A Febi pump would be similar. Does anyone have any experience of pattern water pumps from these manufacturers, or is this one of those items where you really need to buy genuine?

Many thanks.

John Jones Jr

MB Enthusiast
Mar 23, 2013
London & Dublin
Mazda MX5 10AE, W201 2.5-16, W202 230K Sport man, Honda Accord & Suzuki 'Ricer'.
I use to change the trans fluid & filter on my old 2.6 every 20k miles. May be excessive to some but it's good preventive maintenance and costs little. Sold the car after 80k miles with a 134k iirc on it and the box was perfect. Other than that it only needed the kick down cable adjusted and a new g/box mount.

As for the water pump I'd be happy to fit Febi, Meyle, Lemforder etc. Check that fan coupling in good operating condition. Do a coolant flush while you're at it, flush the heater matrix also in reverse and you may aswell bang in a new thermostat and rad cap while you are there.

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