Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Transmission Fluid Capacity

The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class embodies a long-standing tradition of luxury, innovation, and performance. Originating in the 1950s with the iconic 300SL, the SL-Class has evolved through six distinctive generations, each bringing forth advanced engineering, aesthetic refinements, and technological milestones in the automotive realm. This lineage has cemented its status as a timeless representation of Mercedes-Benz’s dedication to excellence.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Transmission Fluid’s Essential Role:
    • Transmission fluid is crucial for the lubrication, cooling, and seamless gear shifting of the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class. Its quality and level have a direct impact on transmission longevity and the vehicle’s performance.
  2. Adherence to Specifications:
    • It’s imperative to follow the Mercedes-Benz specified transmission fluid type and change intervals for each SL-Class generation to ensure optimal transmission performance and longevity.
  3. Regular Maintenance:
    • Regular transmission fluid changes, as per the recommended intervals, are a prudent investment that aids in maintaining luxurious performance, extending the lifespan, and preserving the resale value of the SL-Class.
  4. Early Identification of Transmission Issues:
    • Being vigilant for signs of transmission fluid problems and seeking professional maintenance promptly can prevent more severe and costly transmission issues down the line.
Mercedes-Benz SL-class

The transmission is the linchpin of a vehicle’s drive system, responsible for transferring the engine’s power to the wheels efficiently.

In a luxury sports car like the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, the transmission plays a pivotal role in ensuring the vehicle performs at its peak, providing seamless gear shifts, optimal fuel efficiency, and a smooth driving experience.

The transmission fluid is the lifeblood of this critical component. It serves multiple crucial functions:

  1. Lubrication: Minimizes friction among moving parts, reducing wear and tear.
  2. Cooling: Dissipates heat generated from constant gear operation, preventing overheating.
  3. Cleaning: Helps in maintaining internal cleanliness by holding any accrued debris in suspension.
  4. Sealing: Aids in ensuring there are no leaks in the transmission system.
  5. Power Transmission: Facilitates the hydraulic functions necessary for gear shifts.

Having the right type and amount of transmission fluid is indispensable. It not only guarantees smooth operation but significantly extends the lifespan of the transmission and by extension, the vehicle.

Moreover, adhering to Mercedes-Benz’s specifications and recommended fluid change intervals is a prudent practice to keep the SL-Class running impeccably for years.

The modern iterations, particularly from the R129 (4th Gen) to the R231 (6th Gen) facelift, have continued to uphold the SL-Class’s legacy of delivering superior driving experiences, merging comfort with remarkable performance.

Over the decades, the SL-Class has attracted a discerning clientele, keen on owning a piece of Mercedes-Benz’s illustrious history while enjoying modern-day luxury and performance.

Understanding Transmission Fluid’s Role

Transmission fluid is integral to the functioning of the transmission system, performing several crucial tasks to ensure smooth operation:

  1. Lubrication: The first and foremost role of transmission fluid is to provide lubrication to the myriad of moving parts within the transmission system. By reducing friction between these components, the fluid prevents premature wear and ensures the gears and other elements function seamlessly.
  2. Cooling: Transmissions generate a substantial amount of heat due to constant friction, especially during intense driving conditions like high-speed driving or hill climbing. The transmission fluid acts as a coolant, absorbing and dissipating this heat to prevent overheating and potential damage.
  3. Gear Shifts Facilitation: In automatic transmissions, like those in the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, the fluid acts as a hydraulic medium, enabling the precise and timely gear shifts that drivers have come to expect. The fluid’s pressure within the hydraulic system facilitates the movement of internal transmission components, enabling seamless gear changes, which is pivotal for a smooth and responsive driving experience.

The Impact on Transmission Longevity and Overall Vehicle Efficiency

  1. Transmission Longevity: The right kind and level of transmission fluid substantially prolong the transmission’s lifespan. Regular fluid checks and changes, as per the manufacturer’s recommendations, ensure that the fluid continues to perform its roles efficiently, thus averting common transmission problems like slipping gears, delayed engagement, or overheating.
  2. Vehicle Efficiency: The transmission fluid’s impact extends beyond the transmission system to affect the overall efficiency of the vehicle. Proper lubrication and cooling of the transmission result in better fuel efficiency as the system operates optimally with minimal resistance. Moreover, timely and smooth gear shifts contribute to a responsive and efficient driving experience.
  3. Preventative Maintenance: Keeping a close eye on the transmission fluid’s level and condition can serve as a preventative maintenance strategy. Any irregularities, like a sudden drop in fluid level or a change in color or consistency, could be indicative of underlying issues, thus providing an early warning to vehicle owners.

Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Transmission Fluid Capacity And Type

2022 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

2017-2020 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class R231 Facelift

The 6th generation facelift models of the SL-class feature a sophisticated 9-speed automatic transmission known as the 9G-TRONIC. This system is engineered for seamless shifting and enhanced fuel efficiency.

2018 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class R231 facelift
TransmissionFluid capacityFluid type
SL450 9-speed 725.011 automaticTotal fill: 10.6 quarts (10 liters)MB 236.17
SL550 9-speed 725.011 automaticTotal fill: 10.6 quarts (10 liters)MB 236.17
SL63 AMG 7-speed 722.9 automaticTotal fill: 9.5 quarts (9 liters)MB 236.15

Mercedes-Benz recommends using Mercedes-Benz Automatic Transmission Fluid 236.17 or its equivalent for optimal performance. The approximate fluid capacity is 10 liters.

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

The initial transmission fluid change is recommended at 40,000 miles or 4 years, whichever comes first. Subsequent changes should occur every 40,000 miles or as needed based on driving conditions and fluid inspections.

2013-2016 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class R231

These models also come equipped with the 7-speed automatic transmission known as 7G-TRONIC or the more advanced 9-speed variant in later models.

2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-class 231
TransmissionFluid capacityFluid type
SL400 7-speed 722.9 automaticTotal fill: 9.5 quarts (9 liters)MB 236.15
SL550 7-speed 722.9 automaticTotal fill: 9.5 quarts (9 liters)MB 236.15
SL63 AMG 7-speed 722.93 automaticTotal fill: 7.5 quarts (7.1 liters)MB 236.15
SL65 AMG 7-speed 722.9 automaticTotal fill: 9.5 quarts (9 liters)MB 236.15

Mercedes-Benz Automatic Transmission Fluid 236.15 or its equivalent is advised. The approximate fluid capacity is 9 liters.

Similar to the facelift models, the initial fluid change is suggested at 40,000 miles or 4 years, followed by similar intervals thereafter.

2009-2012 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class R230 Facelift 2

This generation primarily features the 7G-TRONIC 7-speed automatic transmission, offering smooth shifting and improved fuel economy.

2010 Mercedes-Benz SL-class R230 facelift
TransmissionFluid capacityFluid type
SL600 7-speed 722.9 automaticTotal fill: 8 quarts (7.5 liters)MB 236.15
SL550 7-speed 722.9 automaticTotal fill: 9.8 quarts (9.3 liters)MB 236.15
SL63 AMG 7-speed 722.93 automaticTotal fill: 9.3 quarts (8.8 liters)MB 236.15
SL65 AMG 7-speed 722.9 automaticTotal fill: 8 quarts (7.5 liters)MB 236.15

Utilize Mercedes-Benz Automatic Transmission Fluid 236.15 or its equivalent for all 7G-TRONIC transmissions since the mid-2010 year. The fluid capacity is around 8 to 9.8 quarts.

Initial change is advisable at 40,000 miles or 4 years, with regular changes every 40,000 miles or as conditions warrant.

2007-2008 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class R230 Facelift

2007 Mercedes-Benz SL-class R230
TransmissionFluid capacityFluid type
SL600 5-speed 722.6 automaticTotal fill: 8 quarts (7.5 liters)MB 236.14
SL550 7-speed 722.9 automaticTotal fill: 9.5 quarts (9 liters)MB 236.14
SL55 AMG 5-speed 722 automaticTotal fill: 9.3 quarts (8.8 liters)MB 236.14
SL65 AMG 7-speed 722.6 automaticTotal fill: 8 quarts (7.5 liters)MB 236.14

2003-2006 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class R230 Facelift

These models were among the first to adopt the 7G-TRONIC 7-speed automatic transmission, enhancing both performance and efficiency.

Mercedes-Benz Automatic Transmission Fluid 236.14 or its equivalent should be used. The fluid capacity is also around 7.5 to 9 liters.

TransmissionFluid capacityFluid type
SL500 5-speed 722.6 automaticTotal fill: 10.3 quarts (9.7 liters)MB 236.14
SL600 5-speed 722.6 automaticTotal fill: 8 quarts (7.5 liters)MB 236.14
SL55 AMG 5-speed 722.6 automaticTotal fill: 9.1 quarts (8.6 liters)MB 236.14
SL65 AMG 5-speed 722.6 automaticTotal fill: 8 quarts (7.5 liters)MB 236.14

As with other generations, an initial change at 40,000 miles or 4 years is recommended, followed by similar intervals for subsequent changes.

1990-2002 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class R129

Mercedes-Benz SL-Class R129

The later models of the R129 generation continued with the improved 5-speed automatic transmission, known for its robustness and reliable performance.

The early R129 models were equipped with a 4-speed automatic transmission, which was the standard during this period.

TransmissionFluid capacityFluid type
SL500 5-speed 722.6 automaticTotal fill: 8.7 quarts (8.2 liters)MB 236.14
SL600 5-speed 722.6 automaticTotal fill: 8.7 quarts (8.2 liters)MB 236.14
500SL 4-speed 722.3Total fill: 9.1 quarts (8.6 liters)
Initial fill: 8.1 quarts (7.6 liters)
Dexron III ATF
600SL 4-speed 722.3Total fill: 9.1 quarts (8.6 liters)
Initial fill: 8.1 quarts (7.6 liters)
Dexron III ATF

Like the later models, an initial transmission fluid change at 40,000 miles or 4 years is recommended, with similar intervals for future changes or as necessitated by driving conditions.

Utilize Mercedes-Benz Automatic Transmission Fluid 236.14 or its equivalent.

Choosing the Right Fluid

For optimal performance and longevity of the transmission system, it is recommended to use specific transmission fluid for each Mercedes-Benz model and generation. Adhering to these recommendations is crucial as the transmission fluid plays a pivotal role in ensuring smooth gear shifts, reducing friction, and preventing overheating.

Utilizing the recommended transmission fluid guarantees that the fluid meets the quality and performance standards set by Mercedes-Benz. This assurance is vital for maintaining the integrity of the transmission system and by extension, the overall performance of the vehicle.

Using non-recommended or off-brand transmission fluids can potentially lead to serious transmission issues. These fluids may not provide the necessary lubrication or cooling properties, which can result in increased friction, overheating, and even irreversible damage to the transmission components.

In some cases, the use of non-recommended transmission fluids can void the warranty of the transmission system. This scenario can lead to expensive repair or replacement costs borne by the vehicle owner.

The performance of the vehicle can significantly diminish with the use of incorrect transmission fluid. Issues like delayed gear shifts, slipping, or jerking movements during gear changes are common symptoms of using the wrong type of transmission fluid.

The resale value of the vehicle can also be adversely affected if there are records of non-adherence to manufacturer-recommended transmission fluid specifications. Potential buyers or dealers may view this non-compliance as neglect towards vehicle maintenance, impacting the vehicle’s resale value negatively.

Recognizing Transmission Issues

  1. Delayed Engagement:
    • One of the initial signs of transmission issues is delayed engagement. This is when there’s a delay before the car starts to move despite being shifted into Drive or Reverse. Observing such delays should prompt a check-up.
  2. Slipping Gears:
    • If the transmission slips between gears while driving, or it falls back to the previous gear, this is a critical issue that needs immediate attention.
  3. Unusual Noises:
    • Hearing whining, clunking, humming or buzzing coming from the transmission is typically a bad sign. While some noises can be benign, it’s essential to have them checked by a professional to avoid escalating issues.
  4. Fluid Leaks:
    • Transmission fluid should never leak, and spotting a leak underneath your vehicle should be a cause for concern. Transmission fluid is typically red or green, making it distinguishable from other types of fluid leaks.

Seeking Professional Maintenance

  1. Routine Checks:
    • Having regular transmission checks as part of your vehicle maintenance routine can help catch issues before they escalate.
  2. Prompt Action:
    • At the first sign of any transmission-related problem, it’s wise to seek professional assessment and repair to prevent more extensive and costly damage.
  3. Certified Technicians:
    • Ensure that your vehicle is inspected and maintained by certified technicians familiar with Mercedes-Benz systems. This expertise guarantees a higher chance of accurate diagnosis and appropriate remedial action.

Understanding the importance of a functioning transmission can help ensure a long and trouble-free service life for your Mercedes-Benz SL-Class vehicle. Being proactive in recognizing and addressing transmission issues is not only financially prudent but also essential for ensuring safe and enjoyable driving experiences.

Cost of Fluid Change

The cost of a transmission fluid change can range anywhere between $200 to $450 depending on several factors including the model of your Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, the labor rates of the service center, and the region in which you are getting the service performed.

This cost typically covers the labor, the new transmission fluid, and often a new transmission filter if applicable. It’s advisable to obtain a detailed quote to understand what’s included.

Regular transmission fluid changes are a form of preventive maintenance that can save you from far more costly transmission repairs or replacements down the line.

Keeping fresh and adequate transmission fluid in your vehicle helps ensure that your transmission operates smoothly, which in turn contributes to better overall vehicle performance and fuel efficiency.

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Last update on 2024-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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