I have a 2003 MB E320 with approx. 40K miles. I had noticed that there
is no transmission (or engine) dip stick but I figured that eventually I
would buy one. I am not that interested engine oil dip stick since the
computer can measure the oil level. I am more interested in the
transmission dip stick so this week I called the dealer and asked if I
could purchase one and how much $$. (I figured that eventually, with
years of use, a transmission will develop a leak...and...then what do I
do to determine the correct fluid level ??). Anyway, dealer said "item
not for sale to customers" (I live near the Wash. DC. area) not even if
I special order the thing. "bring your car to the dealership and we can
service your transmission when needed". OK fine !!
My question is when did MB stop putting dip sticks on their vehicles and
can I go to a junk yard and get one from an old model MB which would be
compatible with mine ?? Best--- were can I bye a new one ??
New tranny got a new way to fill. No dipstick is required and is pretty much
a no-brainer. For example on a BMW 5 speed tranny, there is two bolts... one
on bottom for drain and one near the top of the pan... this is the fill hole
and you basically fill the tranny up as much as possible until it start
leaking back out.
Then you start the car up and run it and fill again as much as possible
until it comes back out. Then you are done. I am not sure on MB but I
suspect similar instruction.
I just popped the hood on my car and noticed that there is a tube to the
top of the transmission at the back of the engine (near the fire wall).
It's about 1/2 inch in diameter, about 3 feet long and it goes down to
the top of the transmission. Looks like the old fill pipe so I could
??? pour fluid to fill the transmission. Got under the car and noticed
one small torx bolt that I could remove and drain the fluid. Not going
to drain any fluid yet (will wait until warranty is over) but I intend
to keep this vehicle for a while so I will eventually replace the fluid.
I appears that the set up for this car "might" not the same as your BMW.
I would like to know how to replace and measure the transmission fluid
on my 2003 MB E-320. ???
MB removed auto gearbox dip sticks because DIPSTICK owners kept overfilling
them and knackering the box.
The level is only accurately measured when the Star machine tells you the
ATF temp is correct (80'c).
As you won't have a star machine either, best leave it to the professionals.
If there's no leaks, there's no problem with the level.
Lee: I don't know what you mean by Star machine but I purchased a
dipstick (Measuring Stick--MB part# W 140-589-15-21-00). After running
car for several miles (80'C temp) I measured transmission fluid and it
indicated that it is over filled. Overfilling was done at the factory
since no one has added fluid to the transmission.
My problem now is that I have to take to the dealer to get the proper level.
The Star machine is the computer your main dealer uses for diagnoses.
Are you measuring the oil level correctly?
ATF Oil temp must be 80'C and not the Coolant temp. The temp of the oil is
where the Star machine comes in as it will read the Temp sensor in the
The Dipstick has Two sets of markings. MIN/MAX at Low Temp and MIN/MAX at
Are you using the correct markings?
Finally, have you got the car on level ground, in Park with the Engine
Thanks Lee...now I understand what the Star machine is for.
Ok...back to the transmission oil check. I drove 300 miles (from NC to
MD) so I know the tranny oil was up to temperature. I got home, went in
the garage (which is fairly level), car in park, and I measured tranny
oil level, It measured about 1/2 in. past MIN/MAX 80'C marking which
indicates to much oil.
So...back to my comment, factory put too much fluid !! It does not take
a rocket scientist to add/replace/remove drain plug from transmission.
No different than changing engine oil. I won't mess it up. I just
wanted to measure the level. Have not added or removed any fluid yet.
Anyway, my next trip to the dealer for 50K mile service is another 3
month. At that time I will tell the dealer to check the fluid.
Like you said. It ain't rocket science. But you'd be surprised how many
people don't know how to check it properly. Keep going on about the oil temp
as it makes a big difference. Look at the difference between the Hot/Cold
markings on the dipstick! Doesn't sound like you've got any gearbox
problems, so I wouldn't worry about your "extra" oil. It's probably the only
Free stuff you'll get from MB!
Actually. The discussion was why the Dip stick is NOT there. Also, the oil
comes in plastic bottles and NOT cans! And as the "Extra oil" refers to
aprox 1/2 litre, here's a new word for your vocabulary. "PERSPECTIVE"
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