Is a gearbox filter service worth it?

jshodgson

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I’ve had my e320 (w211) for 3 years and covered 40k miles. The car has done 137k in total. I’ve never had the gearbox oil/filter changed and am wondering if it is worth the expense? I’ve started to get a bit of vibration when the car is cold from what feels like the gearbox but it goes completely when everything is warmed up.
 

OneForTheRoad

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some boxes were sold as sealed for life , others say change oil at intervals of i think 37500 miles ( guess ) . the oil runs very hot and will lose its properties over time, of course you can just leave it until the gear changes become a problem or spend around £200 to have the thing serviced , its your choice at the end of the day .
 

W1ghty

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As above , getting an Indy to read the cars fault codes and doing an atf and filter change is the cheapest thing you can do to the gearbox .
The shudder may be low oil , which when warmed expands and then gets closer to being the correct oil level or it may be early TC failure signs ?
The gearbox failing because it’s full of sludge is going to cost big time .
It depends how long you intend to keep the car and what mileage you do as to wether you risk not doing anything at all
 

noogieman

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If you want smooth gear changes, it's worth doing the oil service.
you could also damage the transsmission if oil was never replaced?

This is costly at the dealer.
 

markjay

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^^^^^^
As everyone said.
 
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jshodgson

jshodgson

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My local Indy has just quoted me £294 for new fluid, filter and gasket including the torque converter. Sounds a lot to me.
 

AltonAnt

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My local Indy has just quoted me £294 for new fluid, filter and gasket including the torque converter. Sounds a lot to me.
Is your indy open to fitting parts you supply? Mine is luckily and I pick up parts for upcoming jobs when the discounts are best.
 

W1ghty

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My local Indy has just quoted me £294 for new fluid, filter and gasket including the torque converter. Sounds a lot to me.
Give Steve at Avantgarde Mercedes (Indy) , Clevedon near Bristol a ring for a quote , you will have a comparison price then
 

Chrishazle

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Sounds about right to me, 18 months ago I paid £300 at my local indie for that on my S204 (5 speed box including TC). Make sure he knows about setting the fill level with the ATF fluid at correct operating temperature (80C from memory, may not be correct) as if he fills it to the level cold it will be too high when warmed up, which causes problems.
 

350cls

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I’ve had my e320 (w211) for 3 years and covered 40k miles. The car has done 137k in total. I’ve never had the gearbox oil/filter changed and am wondering if it is worth the expense? I’ve started to get a bit of vibration when the car is cold from what feels like the gearbox but it goes completely when everything is warmed up.

If you plan on keeping the car long term it's a no brainer to have a transmission service. Also it would work in your favour if you did sell the car on as it's with the history of the car you had it serviced.

What year is the car. As our s211 had the Valeo rad contamination and we had to have a second hand gear box and torque converter fitted to the car. The vibrations you are experiencing are not right and you should get the car looked at.

Do you experience any other oddities with the gear box. Harsh shifts or not changing when you would expect it to.

Automatic transmission specialist should be able to put diagnosis on the car and give you a good idea of what is causing the issue.
 

grum71

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I had mine done at the last service (it was advised with the age/mileage). It was more expensive than I thought but, the oil is the costly part.
The gears seem to change that bit more smoothly (maybe placebo) but, the other half also noticed it was smoother.
As advised above - prevention is better than cure and, if it does go POP, you'd be kicking yourself for not doing it.
If you're experiencing 'issues', this would be my 'starter for 10' and then go from there if it doesn't cure the vibration.
 

jasonh

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If you find somewhere that specialises in Mercedes or gearboxes they'll get the oil at a price you won't be able to beat. They can then in turn offer a very competitive price for the job. They'll also know what they're doing. I wouldn't let a regular local garage do the job your gearbox is too expensive to replace.

£200 is about as cheap as it gets - but actually some places at that price are highly reputable and will do a proper job. However that only works if they're local to you. If not apparently prices range up to about £350. Even at the £350 price it might not be that the garage is ripping you off, if they aren't getting the (expensive) oil at bargain prices and because they don't do it day in day out it takes a few hours then the £350 could be a fair price for them.
 

DSM10000

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My local Indy has just quoted me £294 for new fluid, filter and gasket including the torque converter. Sounds a lot to me.
How much is a gearbox re-build or a reconditioned replacement?

Would you choose to not have the engine oil changed because you perceived it as being expensive?

Gearboxes and especially automatic ones are highly engineered and complex pieces of equipment, why would you not want it serviced correctly?
 

Bobby Dazzler

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My local Indy has just quoted me £294 for new fluid, filter and gasket including the torque converter. Sounds a lot to me.
Whereabouts are you? Members in your area may be able to recommend a garage and provide an idea of pricing.
 

greenmanslk

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My local Indy has just quoted me £294 for new fluid, filter and gasket including the torque converter. Sounds a lot to me.
What do think is a fair price, given the parts alone are probably £150.
 

Teego

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greenmanslk

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I’m sure some people think changing the gearbox oil is just like changing the engine oil...open a sump plug, spin on a new filter and refill..,
 

jasonh

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There's a lot of mystique given to it but it is a service procedure and therefore designed to be as straightforward as possible.

The official times given to the job by Mercedes themselves varies from 0.9 hours to 1.4 hours depending on the exact model of car.
 

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