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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just had my van in for 45,000 mile service. I went to a different dealer this time because the original one never returns calls or emails and I needed service done soon, before a upcoming trip.

As part of this service they did inspection and reported that transmission fluid was "excessively contaminated/burnt". As part of 30,000 mile service I was told transmission service was needed and I did this...it supposedly involved new filter and fluids. I was told next service for transmission would be at 105,000 so I was quite surprised at this latest report.

What could cause fluid to be in such bad shape so soon? I plan to keep this van for a long time and treat it as such. I am not hard on it, have never towed anything, do not overload it.

I hate to sound suspicious, but worry if original dealer did service as they claimed...and charged for. I know no one can answer the last part of this, but if anyone has experienced anything similar it would be good to know.
 

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Many, MANY years ago, I had a dealer not do what I had expected to be done, yet did charge for it. It was not a Benz dealer. My impression has been that although the charges were high, the services charged for were actually performed. That being said, my question is how did the second dealer examine the transmission fluid as there is no dipstick or even a filler opening? The fluid is drained and filled from the drain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Many, MANY years ago, I had a dealer not do what I had expected to be done, yet did charge for it. It was not a Benz dealer. My impression has been that although the charges were high, the services charged for were actually performed. That being said, my question is how did the second dealer examine the transmission fluid as there is no dipstick or even a filler opening? The fluid is drained and filled from the drain.
That is a good question!

I wrote back to dealer and asked if they felt this was something I should address and/or if it was a sign of a problem or misuse and they said..."Our fluid get dark very quickly, it’s nothing you did". I am confused by this response as it didn't really answer my question and sort of seems like a "never mind". No really feeling very confident that dealer A and/or dealer B was fully forthcoming. Not a good feeling when service is this costly.
 

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I'm sure they changed it. The consequences of a branded dealer charging for a service they did not do this day and age with social media is suicide. I have doubts about the burnt smell part....probably makes the customer feel like they really got their money's worth. I changed my BMW trans fluid at 160,000 it was in good shape. I'll be doing my van at 40k. But it's going to be a while. And, it's not as easy as it used to be. There is a sequence you have to go through. Used to be...pull the plug and fill through the dip stick. Not anymore. One thing I've noticed over the years, the service advisors have less knowledge now than ever. I'm not sure they could identify spark plug.
 

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BS!
Other cars have their initial change at 70k for "the blue fluid" (722.9 later model fluid is blue). The red fluid gets changed at 40k
They may be thinking it's red fluid time. Either way, tell them to buzz off.

Also this is where the extended warranty comes into play. If it is burned up, let the SOB melt and get a brand new one. >:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
BS!
Other cars have their initial change at 70k for "the blue fluid" (722.9 later model fluid is blue). The red fluid gets changed at 40k
They may be thinking it's red fluid time. Either way, tell them to buzz off.

Also this is where the extended warranty comes into play. If it is burned up, let the SOB melt and get a brand new one. >:D
Haha...I like your thoughts regarding the warranty. I figure as long as I have the receipts for things getting done when they should I am good on that front.

The whole thing just caught me a bit off guard. As I wrote, I didn't feel good being left wondering if dealer A charged me for work they didn't do, or dealer B was trying to get me to pay for work I didn't need. The point someone brought up regarding how they would even check fluid to find it burnt and discolored makes me even more confused, especially about dealer B. I noted they had a set-up to check alignment as you came into the service drop off bay. They'd attach these things to your wheel and in the few minutes I was there getting my paperwork processed, every single car, including mine which had an alignment at 30,000, needed an alignment.

Is there any way they could check the fluid as they claim to have done? Everything I read seems to suggest there is no way to check fluid without draining it, which dealer B did not do.

Thanks for all the replies!
 

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Sure, they could have checked it as it was on the alignment rack. Possible yes, probable no.
 

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Does it mean I don't need to change ATF until my van has 70k milage?
BS!
Other cars have their initial change at 70k for "the blue fluid" (722.9 later model fluid is blue). The red fluid gets changed at 40k
They may be thinking it's red fluid time. Either way, tell them to buzz off.

Also this is where the extended warranty comes into play. If it is burned up, let the SOB melt and get a brand new one. >:D
 

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You can do what you want, but Hans and Franz said for this application to change the fluid at 30k, so that's what I'm going to do. If I were as smart as them, I wouldn't be in the shop working on cars.
What's 40k anyway? Change it early at 30k, then enjoy until 100k
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sure, they could have checked it as it was on the alignment rack. Possible yes, probable no.
I guess anything is possible, but I am guessing the latter simply because when I expressed concern over the contaminated and burnt fluid, and informed them it had been serviced at 30K, they said not to worry about it. Regardless of when I had it changed if it was truly excessively contaminated and burnt it is something one wouldn't want to just forget about.

Reminds me of a time years back when the local inspection place said my car failed because front brakes were down to backing. When I told them I had put new pads and rotors in a few weeks earlier the car was out a few minutes later with a new inspection sticker. I was not surprised at such behavior from a chain store service department, but am a bit upset that a MB dealer is doing something like this. I doubt I will return to this place. On to dealer #3 next time I guess.

I don't mean to put you on the spot or solicit further comment on this RobbMeeX, as I know you work for a dealer but appreciate your thoughts on this group.
 

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Yeah, no worries. I do like to show both sides when possible. Sometimes you will get a tech that just skims through. Its a shame, but its reality.
 

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I'm just throwing in my 2 cents after researching it by myself. You can get transmission fluid, filter, and gasket from RockAuto. Their fluid is listed on MB BEVO site http://bevo.mercedes-benz.com/bevolistenmain.php?language_id=1

I've asked an European parts dealer and was told the bolts that holds the tranny is made of aluminum and therefore is one time use.

AMSOIL also sells 7G-Tronic fluid but not listed on BEVO with free shipping within USA.
 

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I found Shell ATF 134fe for $6/litre at ryder fleet services. I ordered 12, received today. Shipping was $7.50.
This is listed on bevo.
 
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