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Dealer refuses to do transmisson service

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E-Class (W211) 2003-2009

Dealer refuses to do transmisson service

 
Old 03-29-2014, 03:38 PM
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Dealer refuses to do transmisson service

I just got of the phone with Ray Cantena to schedule a service for my car. I wanted to see how much it was going to cost because I was curious. The money IS NOT an issue, but I still like to know in advance.

I need an oil change and my understanding is to service the transmission every 39,000 miles. I bought the car with 82,000 miles and it had an oil change, brakes, windshield wipers etc, but not a Transmission service. The MB dealer I bought it from said it wait until 90,000 miles.

The service adviser I just spoke to told me they only service the transmission in pre 2009 models once and won't do it again unless it needs to be repaired. He said that with such high mileage it's not good for the transmission. Has anyone else ever been told that? It seems very short sighted not to do a preventive maintenance on a transmission.

I don't want it to be flushed, I would NEVER flush a transmission, just a drain, refill and filter change. I don't think I feel very good about this.
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Old 03-29-2014, 03:55 PM
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I would talk to another advisor/dealer. I'll PM you the info for my advisor (Ray Catena Union NJ) He is a real nice and down to earth guy. In addition to that I have a friend who is a tech at Open Road MB in Bridgewater NJ, I'll ask him about that.
I don't see why you wouldn't want to service the transmission, it is the same principle as the 5 speed in pre facelift, metal to metal and clutch friction plus fluid degrading, what bad could come out of replacing the filter and fluid?
Same happened with their "sealed for life" theory on the 5 speed A/T and the same happened with VW's "sealed for life" which they are now servicing as well.
I would find another dealer who wants to do it, at the end you are only trying to add years/miles of service to your tranny.
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Old 03-29-2014, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by 65aircooled View Post
I would talk to another advisor/dealer. I'll PM you the info for my advisor (Ray Catena Union NJ) He is a real nice and down to earth guy. In addition to that I have a friend who is a tech at Open Road MB in Bridgewater NJ, I'll ask him about that.
I don't see why you wouldn't want to service the transmission, it is the same principle as the 5 speed in pre facelift, metal to metal and clutch friction plus fluid degrading, what bad could come out of replacing the filter and fluid?
Same happened with their "sealed for life" theory on the 5 speed A/T and the same happened with VW's "sealed for life" which they are now servicing as well.
I would find another dealer who wants to do it, at the end you are only trying to add years/miles of service to your tranny.
Ray Catena would be more convenient for me. Shoot me whatever info you have.I could do Bridgewater to if I had to.
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Old 03-29-2014, 04:34 PM
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I can see where they are coming from. The detergents in the fluid are powerful and might cause leaks and other issues to arise. I am NOT saying it is good advice - but I can see the concern. Could be seen as a liability for them.
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Old 03-29-2014, 04:43 PM
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Try to shoot one of the mods like "Glyn M Ruck" a PM, he's very knowledgeable on these kinds of things. He should give you a pretty clear and concise answer on what you need to know about these transmissions. Super helpful guy.
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Old 03-29-2014, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by The Thomas J View Post
I just got of the phone with Ray Cantena to schedule a service for my car. I wanted to see how much it was going to cost because I was curious. The money IS NOT an issue, but I still like to know in advance.

I need an oil change and my understanding is to service the transmission every 39,000 miles. I bought the car with 82,000 miles and it had an oil change, brakes, windshield wipers etc, but not a Transmission service. The MB dealer I bought it from said it wait until 90,000 miles.

The service adviser I just spoke to told me they only service the transmission in pre 2009 models once and won't do it again unless it needs to be repaired. He said that with such high mileage it's not good for the transmission. Has anyone else ever been told that? It seems very short sighted not to do a preventive maintenance on a transmission.

I don't want it to be flushed, I would NEVER flush a transmission, just a drain, refill and filter change. I don't think I feel very good about this.


It is an old wives' tale.


People THINK changing the fluid on an old trans is bad, because sometimes a customer comes back shortly after with a bigger problem.


Of course they ignore the fact that the problem was already there and the customer did not bring it up, hoping a fluid change would make it go away.


There is simply no way a fluid change can accelerate wear. There is a VERY slight chance for it to heighten the symptoms of a failure that is already in progress.
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Old 03-29-2014, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by The Thomas J View Post
Ray Catena would be more convenient for me. Shoot me whatever info you have.I could do Bridgewater to if I had to.
PM sent
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Old 03-30-2014, 03:02 AM
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Originally Posted by N_Jay View Post
It is an old wives' tale.


People THINK changing the fluid on an old trans is bad, because sometimes a customer comes back shortly after with a bigger problem.


Of course they ignore the fact that the problem was already there and the customer did not bring it up, hoping a fluid change would make it go away.


There is simply no way a fluid change can accelerate wear. There is a VERY slight chance for it to heighten the symptoms of a failure that is already in progress.
I'm also concerned because i have a service contract with rt 66 auto. From what people have told me with claims that have to due with wear and tear parts like trannys & a motor's inner workings is that they want too see if PM's were done in a timely manner other wise the chances of denying the claim is a distinct possibility.

So if the tranny fails and I never have a service I could be screwed. If it fails after a service I would be covered. Either way the shop replacing the tranny wins they are getting paid one way or the other.
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Old 03-30-2014, 03:07 AM
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Maybe consider going to a good indie shop to have it done. We all know the service advisor is giving you a load of BS.
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by LemonSqueezy View Post
Maybe consider going to a good indie shop to have it done. We all know the service advisor is giving you a load of BS.
+1
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:17 PM
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It is an old wives' tale. We all know the service advisor is giving you a load of BS.

I didn't originate these but they make good reasoning in my book!
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:43 PM
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[QUOTE=The Thomas J;5990193]I just got of the phone with Ray Cantena to schedule a service for my car. I wanted to see how much it was going to cost because I was curious. The money IS NOT an issue, but I still like to know in advance.

I need an oil change and my understanding is to service the transmission every 39,000 miles. I bought the car with 82,000 miles and it had an oil change, brakes, windshield wipers etc, but not a Transmission service. The MB dealer I bought it from said it wait until 90,000 miles.

The service adviser I just spoke to told me they only service the transmission in pre 2009 models once and won't do it again unless it needs to be repaired. He said that with such high mileage it's not good for the transmission. Has anyone else ever been told that? It seems very short sighted not to do a preventive maintenance on a transmission.


I do not know for sure why your SA do not do the transmission services for you ?. Here in SoCal, I bought a C350 with 6X K miles (a year ago), CARFAX show no transmission services done @39K miles. I request my SA @ Fletcher Jones Motorcars in Newport Beach, CA do the transmission services (with coupon from another local MB dealer) for only $300.00, no questions asked, no problems. Just drain the fluid, replaced the filter & gasket, refill the fluid (no flush or drain the converter), just regular services (somewhere else they do the converter too, but I checked ALL the Socal MB dealers, NO ONES drain the converter), so my SA did as everywhere else in the US. I do not see the different on driving it, but for the peace of mind. Go to another MB dealer that do the services you request with NƠ QUESTIONS asked. Good luck.
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Old 03-30-2014, 10:01 PM
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The fluid breaks down from heat and collects friction material from the clutches.


Not changing is asking for trouble.


I don't think there is any "magic" to the 39K miles.
Mine was done around 52K, and will be done again around 100K (At 95K now)
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Old 03-31-2014, 10:19 AM
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For what it is worth I had a 2003 C320 that had 238K when I traded it. Never had a transmission service other than to replace a leaking Pilot Bushing. Dealer just topped it off to replace the same amount lost when they removed the leaking bushing.

On the other hand my 06 E320CDI gets changes every 30K. The first change was at 60K. currently has 118K and the transmission is smooth as glass.
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:05 PM
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Lighter cars and higher average RPM are easier on ATF.
Low RPM and high load generate the most heat, and hard shifting (Race like driving) puts the most clutch material into the fluid.
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Old 07-20-2014, 04:03 PM
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Interesting update:
I just 'inherited" a higher mileage Audi A6 (2000 with 125K miles).
I am getting the services up to date for my daughter to use and got the "The ATF is lifetime filled" answer from 2 very well regarded local indy Audi shops.
When I questioned them, they agreed that lifetime fluid "is not", but after 100K miles (Here comes the old-wives'-tale) they don't recommend changing if there is no other issue due to the chance of causing a problem.
So that sent me on a search to see what ZF has to say about it.
ZF recommends a 50K to 75K change interval, with some mention that under "normal" conditions the fluid will last the life of the transmission, and under severe conditions earlier changes are better.
The confusing part is sometimes it reads like "lifetime" is normal and 50K to 75K is for severe, and other places it reads like 50K to 75K is for normal use and some unspecified "more often" is for severe.
In several places it mentions a maximum 8 years, but again hard to tell if that is "normal" or "severe" use.
So in all this searching I find the contact page for ZF Services, North America.
So I sent then a note asking specifically what should be done with a 2000 Audi A6 (ZF 5HP transmission) operating normally with 125K miles.
Here is their answer:
Hello Neil,

There isn't any risk if you drain and fill the fluid. Sometimes flushing a high mileage vehicle can cause problems because you may disrupt settled debris. I recommend changing the fluid and filter. The viscosity of the fluid breaks down over time and the ability to maintain the features of the additives can deminish. You may notice some changes in the shift quality at first if you have a 6 speed. The module may take some time adapting to the new fluid.

Kind regards,
Joe Laubinger
ZF Services, LLC.
1-800-321-0784
Our MBs seems to be highly OEM engineered versions of ZF transmissions.
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:23 AM
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If it needs changing change it. Dirty fluid doesn't help anything. You will also be changing the filter.
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by vettdvr View Post
If it needs changing change it. Dirty fluid doesn't help anything. You will also be changing the filter.


I agree, just amazing how hard an old myth dies.
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by The Thomas J View Post
The service adviser I just spoke to told me they only service the transmission in pre 2009 models once and won't do it again unless it needs to be repaired.
Did you check your manual? Mine says to change the transmission fluid and filter (and the transfer case fluid, since it's a 4Matic) at 39,000, but I didn't look to see if it says to do it again at 78,000 miles. I would do whatever is required in the manual.
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Long Islander View Post
Did you check your manual? Mine says to change the transmission fluid and filter (and the transfer case fluid, since it's a 4Matic) at 39,000, but I didn't look to see if it says to do it again at 78,000 miles. I would do whatever is required in the manual.


(MB Mystique aside); There is nothing magic about 39K. (39k is just the 3rd 13K normal service)
Interesting how the next service (52K) is the first service that would exceed ZF's lower recommendation of 50K.


Whatever the recommendation is for the first change is probably a good (abet conservative) mileage for the next X changes.
The reason it is conservative is the initial fluid has to deal with break-in contamination, whereas future changes do not and therefore should actually last longer.


My plan is every 50K or so as convenient.
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:43 PM
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Rule of thumb if its under a 100k id do it for sure.
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Speedriven1 View Post
Rule of thumb if its under a 100k id do it for sure.
And above?
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:11 PM
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:24 PM
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My question was to Speedriven (A well respected shop) on their rule of thumb.


While I agree with you, and my MBs are not at issue since all have had ATF changes at reasonable mileages (and will continue to receive same).


However that does not prevent me from being interested in learning from those with much more experience.
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Old 07-21-2014, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by N_Jay View Post
And above?


I have done it on cars with 100k+ miles without any issues. If the customer wants a service, its his call. If the car hasn't been beat on or used for towing, id do a service if its 100k+
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