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Mercedes-Benz M-Class Transmission Fluid Capacity

Mercedes-Benz M-Class Transmission Fluid Capacity

The Mercedes-Benz M-Class, often recognized as the pioneer in the luxury SUV segment, has carved a significant niche in the automotive world since its debut. Launched in the late 1990s, the M-Class was Mercedes-Benz’s first venture into the SUV domain, blending the brand’s hallmark luxury with the ruggedness and versatility of an SUV.

Key Takeaways:

  1. ransmission Fluid’s Role: Transmission fluid is vital for ensuring smooth gear shifts, reducing wear and tear, and preventing overheating in the vehicle.
  2. Fluid Types and Specifications: Different M-Class generations have specific transmission fluid types, capacities, and change intervals. It’s crucial to adhere to these specifications for optimal performance.
  3. Recognizing Transmission Issues: Symptoms like delayed gear shifts, unusual noises, and warning lights can indicate transmission problems. Regular fluid checks can prevent many of these issues.
  4. Cost Considerations: The average cost of changing the transmission fluid in an M-Class can vary based on factors like location, service provider, and the specific model year.
Mercedes-Benz M

Over the years, with multiple generations and facelifts, the M-Class has evolved, offering enhanced features, performance, and aesthetics, solidifying its position in the Mercedes lineup.

However, beneath the opulent interiors and the iconic three-pointed star emblem, lies the heart of the vehicle – its engine and transmission. And ensuring the seamless operation of the transmission is the often-underestimated hero – the transmission fluid.

This vital fluid plays a multifaceted role, from lubricating the moving parts to preventing overheating, ensuring that the vehicle delivers the performance and smooth driving experience that Mercedes-Benz is renowned for.

Proper maintenance and understanding of this fluid are paramount, not just for the longevity of the transmission but for the overall health and performance of the vehicle.

Transmission Fluid Basics

Transmission fluid is more than just a lubricant; it’s the lifeblood that keeps the transmission system of a vehicle functioning optimally. Here are its primary roles:

  1. Lubrication: At its core, transmission fluid minimizes friction between the gears, bearings, and other internal components, ensuring they operate smoothly without wearing out prematurely.
  2. Cooling: The transmission system can generate significant heat, especially during intense driving conditions. The fluid helps dissipate this heat, preventing the transmission from overheating and potential damage.
  3. Transmission Clutch Operation: In automatic transmissions, the fluid assists in the operation of the clutches, ensuring smooth gear shifts.
  4. Protection: The fluid also contains additives that prevent rust, corrosion, and buildup of contaminants, ensuring the transmission’s longevity.
  5. Power Transmission: In hydraulic systems, the fluid is responsible for transmitting power from the engine to the transmission.

A Brief on the Various Transmission Fluids Available

Transmission fluids aren’t one-size-fits-all. Depending on the vehicle’s make, model, and transmission type, different fluids might be recommended. Here are the primary types:

  1. Dexron/Mercon: These are the most common types of transmission fluids used for most older cars and trucks with an automatic transmission.
  2. HFM Fluids: High Friction Modified (HFM) fluids are like Dexron/Mercon but with added friction modifiers. They’re designed for specific vehicle models.
  3. Synthetic Fluids: These fluids offer better performance, and longevity, and can withstand higher temperatures than their non-synthetic counterparts. They are often used in high-performance or heavy-duty vehicles.
  4. Type F: Initially designed for Ford vehicles, this fluid has a different frictional property and is not typically used in modern vehicles.
  5. CVT Fluid: Specifically designed for continuously variable transmissions, this fluid is different from regular automatic transmission fluids.
  6. ATF+4: A special type of fluid designed for specific car models, including some Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

For the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, it’s crucial to use the manufacturer-recommended transmission fluid to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Always refer to the vehicle’s manual or consult with a Mercedes-Benz specialist when choosing the right fluid.

Mercedes-Benz M-Class Transmission Fluid Capacity And Type

2012 – 2015 W166 (3rd Gen)

2013 Mercedes-Benz ML-class

TransmissionFluid capacityFluid type
7-speed automatic 722.9, 7G-TronicTotal: 9.5 quarts (9 liters)
Drain and refill: 6.9 quarts (6.5 liters)
MB 236.15 Blue
9-speed automatic 725.0, 9G-TronicTotal: 10.6 quarts (10 liters)MB 236.17 Gold
Hybrid transmission 722.550Total fill: 13 quarts (12.3 liters)MB 236.41
RAVENOL J1D2163-001 ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) – M 9-G Series Fluid MB 236.17 Approved (1 Liter)
  • Please see Product Description regarding the California Proposition 65 Warning
  • Designed specifically for use in the Mercedes-Benz 9G-TRONIC NAG3 automatic transmission
  • Provides excellent lubricating ability even at low temperatures along with a high, stable viscosity index
  • Protects against corrosion and foam formation while providing a high thermal and oxidative stability, and an excellent cooling capacity
  • Transmission fluid type: For the 7-speed automatic transmission (722.9, 7G-Tronic), the recommended fluid is MB236.15 (blue). For the 9-speed automatic transmission (725.0, 9G-Tronic), the recommended fluid is MB236.17 (gold). For the Hybrid transmission (724.2), the recommended fluid is MB236.15 (blue).
  • Fluid capacity: For the 7-speed automatic transmission, the service fill capacity is 6.5 liters, while the overhaul fill ranges from 8.0 to 9.0 liters. The 9-speed automatic transmission has a capacity of 10.0 to 11.0 liters. The Hybrid transmission has a capacity of 9.0 liters.
  • Recommended change intervals: Specific change intervals may vary based on driving conditions and regional specifications. It’s essential to refer to the vehicle’s owner/service manual for detailed intervals.

2009 – 2011 W164 (2nd Gen) Facelift

TransmissionFluid capacityFluid type
7-speed automatic transmission (722.9, 7G-Tronic, with A89 code)Total: 9.5 quarts (9 liters)
Drain and refill: 6.9 quarts (6.5 liters)
MB 236.15 Blue
7-speed automatic transmission (722.9, 7G-Tronic, except A89 code)Total: 9.5 quarts (9 liters)
Drain and refill: 6.9 quarts (6.5 liters)
MB 236.14 Red
Hybrid transmission 722.550Total fill: 13 quarts (12.3 liters)MB 236.41
Mercedes Benz Automatic Transmission Fluid ATF 134 (1 Liter)
  • Automatic Transmission Fluid (1 Liter)
  • (ATF 4134) MBZ Approval: 236.14
  • NOTE: This is a high performance fluid designed to optimize shifting performance. For use with the 5-Speed 722.6 & 7-Speed 722.9 Transmission.
  • Mercedes part# 001 989 68 03 13, Genuine Mercedes
  • Transmission fluid type: The recommended fluid for the 7-speed automatic transmission (722.9, 7G-Tronic) is MB 236.15 or MB 236.14.
  • Fluid capacity: The service fill capacity for the 7-speed automatic transmission is 6.5 liters, with an overhaul fill ranging from 8.0 to 9.0 liters.
  • Recommended change intervals: As with the W166, intervals can vary, so it’s crucial to consult the owner/service manual.

2006 – 2008 W164 (2nd Gen)

2007 Mercedes-Benz ML-class

TransmissionFluid capacityFluid type
7-speed automatic transmission (722.9, 7G-Tronic)Total: 9.5 quarts (9 liters)
Drain and refill: 6.9 quarts (6.5 liters)
MB 236.14 Red
  • Transmission fluid type: The recommended fluid for the 7-speed automatic transmission (722.9, 7G-Tronic) is MB236.14 (red).
  • Fluid capacity: The service fill capacity is 6.5 liters, and the overhaul fill ranges from 8.0 to 9.0 liters.

1998 – 2005 W163 (1st Gen)

TransmissionFluid capacityFluid type
ML320 5-speed 722.6 automaticTotal fill: 7.9 quarts (7.5 liters)ATF 134 red
ML350 5-speed 722.6 automaticTotal fill: 9 quarts (8.5 liters)ATF 134 red
ML430 5-speed 722.6 automaticTotal fill: 9.9 quarts (9.4 liters)ATF 134 red
ML500 5-speed 722.6 automaticTotal fill: 9 quarts (8.5 liters)ATF 134 red
ML55 AMG 5-speed 722.6 automaticTotal fill: 9 quarts (8.5 liters)ATF 134 red
Mercedes Benz Automatic Transmission Fluid ATF 134 (1 Liter)
  • Automatic Transmission Fluid (1 Liter)
  • (ATF 4134) MBZ Approval: 236.14
  • NOTE: This is a high performance fluid designed to optimize shifting performance. For use with the 5-Speed 722.6 & 7-Speed 722.9 Transmission.
  • Mercedes part# 001 989 68 03 13, Genuine Mercedes

Recognizing Transmission Issues

Common symptoms indicating transmission problems:

  1. Delayed or Erratic Gear Shifting: If your M-Class is hesitating when trying to shift gears or is doing so at unexpected times, it’s a clear sign that there’s an issue with the transmission.
  2. Unusual Noises: Hearing grinding, whining, or clunking sounds when the vehicle is in gear can indicate transmission problems.
  3. Transmission Slipping: If the vehicle unexpectedly changes gears without the driver’s input or feels like it’s struggling to stay in gear, this can be a sign of a slipping transmission.
  4. Fluid Leaks: Transmission fluid is crucial for the proper functioning of the transmission. If you notice red or brownish fluid pooling under your vehicle, it’s likely a transmission fluid leak.
  5. Warning Lights: Modern vehicles, like the M-Class, are equipped with sensors that can detect issues within the transmission. If the transmission warning light or check engine light illuminates, it’s essential to get it checked immediately.
  6. Unpleasant Odor: A burnt smell coming from under your car can indicate overheated transmission fluid, suggesting potential transmission issues.

Maintaining the right level and quality of transmission fluid is pivotal for the health and longevity of the transmission system. The fluid acts as a lubricant, preventing friction between the moving parts, and as a coolant, preventing the transmission from overheating. Over time, the fluid can degrade, lose its essential properties, or become contaminated.

Neglecting transmission fluid maintenance can lead to:

  1. Increased Friction: Old or low-quality fluid won’t lubricate the transmission parts effectively, leading to increased wear and tear.
  2. Overheating: Without proper lubrication, the transmission can overheat, leading to significant damage.
  3. Contamination: Over time, dirt, metal shavings, and other contaminants can mix with the fluid, causing further damage to the transmission.

Regularly checking and changing the transmission fluid as per the manufacturer’s recommendations ensures that the transmission operates smoothly, reduces the risk of costly repairs, and extends the lifespan of the vehicle. Proper fluid maintenance is an investment in the vehicle’s health and performance.

Cost Implications

Changing the transmission fluid for a Mercedes-Benz M-Class typically falls within a range depending on various factors. On average, for the M-Class, you can expect to pay between $150 to $350 for a transmission fluid change.

This estimate includes both the cost of the fluid itself and the labor involved in the service.

Variables affecting the overall cost

  1. Labor Rates: Depending on your geographical location and the specific auto service center you choose, labor rates can vary significantly. Dealerships might charge a premium, while local mechanics might offer competitive rates.
  2. Fluid Type: The specific type of transmission fluid required for your M-Class can influence the cost. Synthetic fluids, which are often recommended for luxury vehicles like Mercedes-Benz, tend to be more expensive than conventional fluids.
  3. Additional Services: Some service centers might recommend additional services during a transmission fluid change, such as replacing the transmission filter or performing a transmission flush. These added services can increase the overall cost.
  4. Vehicle Condition: If there are existing issues with the transmission that need to be addressed, or if there’s a need for additional parts or labor, the cost can rise.
  5. Quantity of Fluid: The amount of fluid required can vary based on the specific model and generation of the M-Class. A complete fluid change might require more fluid than a simple top-up.
  6. Dealer vs. Independent Mechanic: Dealerships often charge a premium for their services, given their specialized knowledge and original parts. In contrast, independent mechanics might offer a more economical rate, but it’s essential to ensure they have experience with luxury vehicles and use the recommended fluid type.

While there’s an average range for the cost of changing transmission fluid in an M-Class, individual prices can vary based on several factors. It’s always a good idea to get a few quotes and ensure that the service center uses the correct fluid and follows the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions

Mercedes-Benz ML-class

1. How often should the transmission fluid be changed?
The recommended interval for changing the transmission fluid in a Mercedes-Benz M-Class varies based on driving conditions and the specific model year. As a general guideline, Mercedes-Benz recommends checking the transmission fluid every 40,000 to 60,000 miles and replacing it if necessary.
However, always refer to the owner’s manual for the specific model year of your M-Class for the most accurate recommendation. It’s also wise to have the fluid inspected during regular service appointments, as severe driving conditions, such as towing or frequent stop-and-go traffic, can necessitate more frequent changes.

2. Can alternative fluid types be used?
It’s crucial to use the transmission fluid type specified for your particular M-Class model. Mercedes-Benz vehicles are engineered with precision, and using the correct fluid ensures optimal performance and longevity. While there are aftermarket fluids that claim to be compatible, using an alternative can lead to decreased performance, and potential damage, and may void any warranties.

3. How to identify low or deteriorating transmission fluid?
Several signs can indicate low or deteriorating transmission fluid in your M-Class:

  • Transmission Slippage: If the vehicle is struggling to change gears or there’s a noticeable delay, it could be due to low fluid levels.
  • Unusual Noises: Grinding or whining sounds when the vehicle is in gear can be indicative of low or contaminated fluid.
  • Delayed or Hard Shifts: If the vehicle hesitates when shifting or the shifts feel harder than usual, the fluid might be low or deteriorated.
  • Transmission Overheating: Overheated transmission fluid can give off a burnt smell. Overheating can be due to low fluid levels or deteriorated fluid that’s lost its effectiveness.
  • Discolored Fluid: Healthy transmission fluid is typically a translucent red color. If the fluid appears brownish or has a burnt smell, it’s a sign that it’s deteriorating and needs replacement.

References

  1. Various online platforms, such as MBWorld and BenzWorld, have dedicated communities of Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts who share their experiences, tips, and insights on vehicle maintenance.

Author

Last update on 2024-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Dan Hoffman

Dan is a co-founder of Engineswork. He knows everything about internal combustion engines. Ask your questions in comments down below this article - he will be glad to help you anytime.

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