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Differential Fluid Change (4MATIC Owners)

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Differential Fluid Change (4MATIC Owners)

 
Old 12-20-2011, 01:38 AM
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I would never keep used engine oil in the car for as long as 10k miles. I know it is recommended, but there is no harm in changing it sooner. It used to be 3k for mineral and 5k for synthetic, but in fact even synthetic does it's best only for the first 1 to 3k miles depending on the brand. So I am sticking with at most 5k. The pennies you save on extra oil you pay back in gas for more friction anyway. I think longer intervals are driven by environmentalists and green initiatives and only provide for your car to last during the warranty period, same as the "lifetime" differential lubricant or "lifetime" transmission oil on VW.
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by safesphere View Post
I would never keep used engine oil in the car for as long as 10k miles. I know it is recommended, but there is no harm in changing it sooner. It used to be 3k for mineral and 5k for synthetic, but in fact even synthetic does it's best only for the first 1 to 3k miles depending on the brand. So I am sticking with at most 5k. The pennies you save on extra oil you pay back in gas for more friction anyway. I think longer intervals are driven by environmentalists and green initiatives and only provide for your car to last during the warranty period, same as the "lifetime" differential lubricant or "lifetime" transmission oil on VW.
seeing how u drive a honda, those typical oil capacity is around 4 quarts. benz has around 7.4 or 8.5 quarts. considering they use a large filter and synthetic oil, 10k isnt that much. an extended drain interval on a regular car with 3-4 quarts can be around 5K+, so with the increase capacity i dont worry much.

the diffs are highly sealed, i do not see any need to change them except to get rid of metal bits during break in. can anyone confirm about magnetic drain bolt?
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:04 AM
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Okay, so I think its settled then. The w204 4matic "transfer case" is non-existent as it has been integrated into the transmission and shares the same fluid.

Now I think the only debate is on the differentials. Should the fluid in the front and/or back ever be changed? I am never against changing something, as it can't cause any harm. My only fear is that if it wasn't designed to be replaced (filler and drain plugs), it could cause problems when you try to replace it, and may cause more harm then good if you have to start messing with seals, etc.

I'm not so upset that I provided wrong information from the e-class. It seems it has spurred everyone to do a bit of research and we have come up with great findings and stomped out any uncertainty.

Thanks for all the info and hard work!

Also, as far as changing engine oil every 5k, you are right, it can't do harm, but it offers negligible benefits and I would consider a waste of time, money, filter, oil and effort. I highly doubt that you will save upwards of $100 in improved fuel economy by having new oil every 5k as opposed to 10k miles. There are better ways to save on gas or improve fuel economy (such as driving style, making sure air filters are clean and free of debris, proper tire pressure).

Mercedes has MUCH larger oil capacities than other manufacturers. Synthetic does not mean 10k interval. My escalade uses synthetic and runs on a 5k interval. The fact that mercedes calls for fleece filters over traditional paper filters, as well as a much larger oil capacity allow for 10k oil and filter change intervals.

Last edited by jctevere; 12-20-2011 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:10 PM
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+1 This has been a great thread & got me up to date with W204 4Matics which are not produced or sold in SA due to no RHD.

Suck out and change on the diffs is a safe procedure and has always been done in areas of the world that Benz considers "torrid zones" and at max 10years or 300,000Km. I have no qualms recommending the 100K mile change for people that intend keeping their cars for a long while. They all have filler plugs. Magnetic plugs are fitted to some.

Engine oils in a Benz engine are not over stressed thanks to capacity. 10K mile changes are now conservative with fleece filters & same as ROW. They used to be 13K in the US and oils samples looked good in general terms if just slightly stressed on VI improver shear. A lot of samples I've seen had sheared out of grade & were just slightly light in viscosity but nothing to be alarmed about.

I'm told that Benz intends returning to 13,000 mile or 20,000 Km change globally with fleece filter. Diesels are already at 30,000 Km drain in some markets.

Being an oil man I think 10K miles or 15K Km changes are spot on, on gasoline engines, and that is what I will do with my CLK.

Last edited by Glyn M Ruck; 12-20-2011 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jctevere View Post
Okay, so I think its settled then. The w204 4matic "transfer case" is non-existent as it has been integrated into the transmission and shares the same fluid. ( !)

Now I think the only debate is on the differentials. Should the fluid in the front and/or back ever be changed? I am never against changing something, as it can't cause any harm. My only fear is that if it wasn't designed to be replaced (filler and drain plugs), it could cause problems when you try to replace it, and may cause more harm then good if you have to start messing with seals, etc. (My 350 4-Matic does have the service plugs on the rear differential only and yes, the rear differential fluid needs to be serviced even though it is not on the official service interval... (please see your Maintenance Schedule Booklet)... Inspect every 4 years or 50,000 miles. If it's contaminated or smells burned, I would replace it. The front differential on my 4-Matic is not serviceable.. there are no drain or filler plugs. )

I'm not so upset that I provided wrong information from the e-class. It seems it has spurred everyone to do a bit of research and we have come up with great findings and stomped out any uncertainty.

Thanks for all the info and hard work!

Also, as far as changing engine oil every 5k, you are right, it can't do harm, but it offers negligible benefits and I would consider a waste of time, money, filter, oil and effort. I highly doubt that you will save upwards of $100 in improved fuel economy by having new oil every 5k as opposed to 10k miles. There are better ways to save on gas or improve fuel economy (such as driving style, making sure air filters are clean and free of debris, proper tire pressure).

Mercedes has MUCH larger oil capacities than other manufacturers. Synthetic does not mean 10k interval. My escalade uses synthetic and runs on a 5k interval. The fact that mercedes calls for fleece filters over traditional paper filters, as well as a much larger oil capacity allow for 10k oil and filter change intervals.
Please see above!
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:22 PM
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Do you know whether the front diff drain plug has now been removed from W204 4Matics & if so from when?
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:01 PM
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Hmm, seems odd that the rear would have plugs and the front wouldn't... Perhaps they are just hard to access and/or see?

Glyn, hopefully you can solve another mystery of mine. A friend of mine has a 2008 c300 4matic and it has a "kickdown" switch on the accelerator where when you put the pedal to the medal, you can press a little further to make the car downshift. This feature is missing on my 2009 c300 4matic and my 2011 c300 4matic. What gives?
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by jctevere View Post
Hmm, seems odd that the rear would have plugs and the front wouldn't... Perhaps they are just hard to access and/or see?

Glyn, hopefully you can solve another mystery of mine. A friend of mine has a 2008 c300 4matic and it has a "kickdown" switch on the accelerator where when you put the pedal to the medal, you can press a little further to make the car downshift. This feature is missing on my 2009 c300 4matic and my 2011 c300 4matic. What gives?
Hmm, I know Merc redesigned the accelerator for 2010, but wouldn't of guess it would of been that way for 2009. My 08 has the button, and all other Mercedes that my dad has owned has had it, they must of redesigned it.
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Old 12-20-2011, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Glyn M Ruck View Post
+1 This has been a great thread & got me up to date with W204 4Matics which are not produced or sold in SA due to no RHD.
+2 learned a lot from this thread and had fun researching it.
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by jctevere View Post
Hmm, seems odd that the rear would have plugs and the front wouldn't... Perhaps they are just hard to access and/or see?

Glyn, hopefully you can solve another mystery of mine. A friend of mine has a 2008 c300 4matic and it has a "kickdown" switch on the accelerator where when you put the pedal to the medal, you can press a little further to make the car downshift. This feature is missing on my 2009 c300 4matic and my 2011 c300 4matic. What gives?
The plug on early cars is not difficult to see. It's a pity if it's been deleted because that is more planned obsolescence.

The kick down switch removal was market specific. e.g. retained in Canada, deleted in USA. What the rationale was other than cost saving I do not know. Will try and find out.

This was done on many models. See from 2009 CLK owner’s manual for NA. Some sense from TPS hall sensor input & some with hard switch. All AMG have kickdown switch.



Attached Thumbnails Differential Fluid Change (4MATIC Owners)-w209-kick-down.jpg   Differential Fluid Change (4MATIC Owners)-4matic-front-diff-plug.jpg  

Last edited by Glyn M Ruck; 12-21-2011 at 05:18 AM.
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Glyn M Ruck View Post
The plug on early cars is not difficult to see. It's a pity if it's been deleted because that is more planned obsolescence.

The kick down switch removal was market specific. e.g. retained in Canada, deleted in USA. What the rationale was other than cost saving I do not know. Will try and find out.

This was done on many models. See from 2009 CLK owner’s manual for NA. Some sense from TPS hall sensor input & some with hard switch. All AMG have kickdown switch.



but i rather pay the price of a camry to drive a benz with less features. not worth the 20% premium to drive a benz in canada compared to usa.
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:08 PM
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Most places in the world pay double or more the US price for a Benz including Europe. Yes they are better appointed but not by that much.

Don't complain - you don't know what expensive is. Move to the US if you don't like Canadian car prices.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Glyn M Ruck View Post
The TC holds nearly half the fluid in the transmission. Make sure they drain it at service & replace the plug with a new microencapsulated one.
Taking my car to my mechanic for this tomorrow, worried he doesn't know to do this, and don't want to be "bossy"

Noticed when he did my dads S's 7 speed he only used 8 of Mercedes Benz fluids, I don't know what size they were sold in, I'm assuming quarts. According to the manual, my dads transmission uses 10.36 quarts, so there 2 quarts of old oil in there? I hope that isn't a problem....
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by LandSeaAir View Post
Taking my car to my mechanic for this tomorrow, worried he doesn't know to do this, and don't want to be "bossy"

Noticed when he did my dads S's 7 speed he only used 8 of Mercedes Benz fluids, I don't know what size they were sold in, I'm assuming quarts. According to the manual, my dads transmission uses 10.36 quarts, so there 2 quarts of old oil in there? I hope that isn't a problem....
the manual might state full fluid level as in required for a rebuild. change usually requires less.
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:11 PM
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Here is a DIY thread about automatic trans oil change ... informative. He speaks of changing the TC oil too.

DIY 722.9 7G-tronic 7-speed Automatic Fluid Change

Glyn, do you recommend the new atx flushing service?

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Old 01-11-2012, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by kevink2 View Post
Here is a DIY thread about automatic trans oil change ... informative. He speaks of changing the TC oil too.

DIY 722.9 7G-tronic 7-speed Automatic Fluid Change

Glyn, do you recommend the new atx flushing service?

.
Johnand's thread is definitive & TC must be drained to get all the oil out of the system.

See Sticky version here:

https://mbworld.org/forums/clk-class...ce-thread.html

Flushing is only necessary on 722.6 transmissions after 1999 that have no TC drain.

Last edited by Glyn M Ruck; 01-11-2012 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:47 PM
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Dropped my car off to my mechanic this morning, he finished already and I'm picking it up tomorrow. I trust him, and I'm sure he knows he has to drain the TC, he's been working on imports for over 15 years. I feel pretty good I got it done, only for ~$300. I know we came to the conclusion of 100,000 miles, but I'm gonna ask him what he thinks about the differential fluid just for kicks.
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by LandSeaAir View Post
Dropped my car off to my mechanic this morning, he finished already and I'm picking it up tomorrow. I trust him, and I'm sure he knows he has to drain the TC, he's been working on imports for over 15 years. I feel pretty good I got it done, only for ~$300. I know we came to the conclusion of 100,000 miles, but I'm gonna ask him what he thinks about the differential fluid just for kicks.
Even good mechanics can have black holes in their knowledge base. ASK HIM before picking it up.

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Old 01-12-2012, 10:20 AM
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I vote Sticky (with possible rename) on this thread due to the vast information available, and all the usually unavailable pdf's from Glyn and others.

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Old 01-12-2012, 11:51 AM
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I Stickied on the CLK forum a while back looking after personal interests. Will do it here.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:04 PM
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I'm glad I found this thread. My car is at the dealer and they were trying to upsell me on front and rear diff fluid change, claiming it needs to be done every 40K miles. The car has 52K miles right now. Transmission fluid was previously changed at 38K miles.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:23 PM
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The only thing that bothers me about treating all the 3 differentials the same on a 4MATIC is the clutches inside the center differential. Here is a description from Motortrend:


"Integrating 4MATIC's transfer case and planetary-type center diff into the transmission centralizes mass, exploiting the full benefit of Mercedes' longitudinally mounted engines. A double-plate "breakaway" clutch in the C-, E-, and S-Class 4MATIC transfer cases acts as a pseudo limited-slip diff, capable of changing front to rear load distribution (up to 70 percent frontwards or backwards) when there's less traction available. After the clutch, electronics like 4ETS and stability control can intervene when necessary. "

The basic front rear percents is 45% / 55%. If there is substantial heat generated by the preloaded (~ 80 ft-lbs) clutches, perhaps in the 70% mode, that would be a reason to change the center diff oil more frequently. But I suspect the 70% occurs in low torque low grip conditions.

Food for thought.

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Old 05-30-2015, 12:50 AM
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Service Frequency

Originally Posted by jctevere View Post
Not filled for life. Word of advice, never second guess Glyn, haha.

To summarize:
1) Front and rear 4matic differentials are advised to be flushed every 100k miles.

2) Change engine oil and filter every 10k miles (duh!).

3) Perform transmission fluid flush (which simultaneously flushes transfer case for 4matic, as they are connected) and replace filter (also make sure torque converter housing is drained via separate drain plug) every 39k miles.

4) Perform brake fluid flush every 2 years.

Some of the above maintenance is not "required" but HIGHLY recommended. And no, not recommended like your dealer trying to get a few extra bucks, but recommended as in will save you numerous repair bills and headaches down the line/out of warranty.

I would also like to add that at the same time the brake fluid is performed, I would also do a laser alignment and 4 wheel road force balancing. In my experience, in my areas (with the terrible condition of the roads) 2 years is just the right amount of time when I start to feel vibrations and my alignment starts to get out of wack. While these may seem "extra" or not needed, if your alignment is off it could give you uneven wear, making even new tires worthless and garbage in a matter of miles 10-20k.

Glyn has also previously recommended to install fluted bolts so you will be able to adjust castor or camber when performing alignments. (This will get rid of slight pulling to right by having a 1 degree additional positive castor on the RHS (so LHS = 9.6, RHS = 10.6 degrees) due to camber in the road surface, even if your alignment was just done and is good).
May I ask why, in your note following item 4), you don't think it important to distinguish between what you refer to as "required" and "HIGHLY recommended"?

In addition, do you believe that those of us driving on on pristine roads should align our 4Matic cars every two years, as you do? Honestly, your indicator appears to be, "....when I start to feel vibrations and my alignment starts to get out of wack," right?
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Old 06-01-2015, 10:29 PM
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Gentlemen I have a question I have a 2011 w204 4matic and I just bought at 41k mile and I have NO past service history. so what can I do take it to a dealer and ask them to check? I mean this is very important to me I dont want to tell them to change the fluids and it doesnt need it.
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by craiger13 View Post
Gentlemen I have a question I have a 2011 w204 4matic and I just bought at 41k mile and I have NO past service history. so what can I do take it to a dealer and ask them to check? I mean this is very important to me I dont want to tell them to change the fluids and it doesnt need it.
I am not suggesting my experience is typical, but I took my '10 C300 4Matic to the local dealer for a post-purchase inspection. The dealer identified signs of fluid leaking from the transmission and the transfer case.

Tomorrow i have an appointment to visit with the manager of the dealer where the car was purchased to discuss any resolution they'd be willing to offer.

Since they owe me absolutely nothing, but appear to be conscientious, I have asked the sales manager, "If I pay for the required fluids, would consider replacing the leaking seals?"

Granted, my experience is unrelated to your question. If I were you, I think I'd just schedule a post-purchase inspection. Any good dealer, or independent shop that works on German cars, and Mercedeses (What's the plural of Mercedes? ) in particular, should serve you well. I know that shops that service these cars know far more than I about the car I purchased.

All that aside, good luck with your endeavor, and I'll look forward to hearing of your experience!
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