190d with water in transmission

Bad things can happen to good people. I bought a 190d recently. The previous owner said I would be able to drive it home, nearly 300 miles, but common sense prevailed and I trailered it.
Upon arriving I discovered that the trans cooler line was looped back into the engine, by passing the radiator. Also the fluid was low. No doubt he knew about this and failed to mention it.
So I filled and got what I thought was foamy fluid. Off to a reputable transmission shop.
The report back was water in the fluid, a lot of water. Strawberry colored. Shop did not recommend rebuilding. No explanation of source of water, although car has been parked for several years I believe. Shop thought perhaps water ran in through the vent. Mercedes wouldnt allow that to happen would they?
I have less than 25 miles on the car, and it shifts more or less correctly with no slippage so far, so how badly damaged is this transmission? I should note that the car is not worth the price of a reman since it needs most of its numerous wear parts renewed.
When the transmission fails, will I have plenty of warning or very little? Thanks!
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It's not rainwater, it's coolant, probably due to a leak in the transmission fluid cooler, which is built into the lower tank of the radiator.
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The transmission cooler (oil) line was looped into the engine??? That's a new one!
If that's so, the water didn't drip into the box from the vent!
1. check the radiator's oil cooler circuit for a leak - that may have been the origin of this horror - and fix that leak or add an oil cooler 2. restore the oil cooler circuit to the radiator (or substituted oil cooler) 3. have the transmission, torque converter and oil cooling circuit flushed by a transmission shop, install a new trans. oil filter 4. hope for the best - you've done everything reasonable, given the car's value
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T.G. Lambach wrote:

Well I meant the loop went back to the transmission but I suppose you figured that out by yourself. Why doesnt the radiator coolant leak out the open cooler ports?
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The transmission cooling loop to the bottom (engine) radiator (cool) tank contains transmission fluid, not engine coolant. The loop inside the radiator tank is just that - to cool the transmission oil and return it to the transmission. So removing the transmission's oil lines from the radiator tank just leaves some empty pipe inside the radiator tank.
I suspect the transmission or its cooling lines had a leak and someone was fed up with adding more and more oil to it and so added water instead, knowing the car was going to be dumped and that fluid is fluid and works hydraulically no matter, if oil or water.
Suggest the "first (and only) aid" measures previously posted.
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You are on the point... if the radiator is leaking to the trans oil cooler... it would have leaked at those empty ports. Since if it is not leaking after you took a drive and engine at operating temperature... then I would say it is not radiator problem... and it would be safe to hook it back up.
Tranny will give you alot of warning when it will fail... so don't worry there. I would simply flush out the tranny a couple of times and put in new filter too... If the tranny still shift fine... then I think you are okay...
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Tiger wrote:

I'm off then... I should note here that in this neighborhood I've heard of farmers using used motor oil in their hydraulics and I once heard of a man who used kerosene in place of more expensive antifreeze; appearantly it boiled the first few times out but settled down after that-- like the man said fluid is fluid. Thanks for the input I really enjoy working on this car which is probably a good thing.....
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