Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Transmission Fluid Capacity

The Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class has held a distinctive position in the compact luxury roadster segment since its inception. Characterized by its sleek design, top-notch comfort, and the hallmark of Mercedes-Benz engineering excellence, the SLK-Class provides a refined driving experience.

However, like with any high-caliber vehicle, maintaining its performance requires diligence in upkeep, a cornerstone of which is the management of the transmission system.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Transmission Fluid Importance: Understanding the pivotal role of transmission fluid in ensuring smooth gear shifts, reducing internal friction, and aiding in cooling the transmission system encapsulates the essence of preserving the performance and longevity of the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class.
  2. Adherence to Specifications: Each generation of the SLK-Class has specific recommendations regarding the type and capacity of transmission fluid. Adhering to these specifications is crucial for optimal performance and longevity of the transmission.
  3. Regular Maintenance: Establishing and following a regular maintenance schedule for changing the transmission fluid can prevent costly repairs, improve fuel efficiency, and enhance the driving experience.
  4. Professional Inspection: At the onset of transmission issues, seeking professional inspection and maintenance is advised to prevent minor issues from escalating into major problems.
Mercedes-Benz SLK-class R170

The transmission is the conduit through which the power generated by the engine is translated to the wheels of the car. It’s an intricate system that necessitates a specific kind of care to continue functioning optimally.

One of the essential aspects of transmission maintenance is ensuring the right type and level of transmission fluid. This fluid serves as a lubricant for the gears in the transmission, aiding in keeping the system cool and facilitating smooth gear shifts.

A well-maintained transmission significantly contributes to the longevity and sustained performance of the vehicle, ensuring the driving experience remains as luxurious as intended.

This article aims to shed light on the recommended types and capacities of transmission fluid across different generations of the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class, alongside providing guidance on how to uphold the health of the transmission system.

Through understanding and adhering to the recommended practices, owners can enjoy a prolonged and trouble-free relationship with their Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class roadster.

Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Transmission Fluid Capacity And Type

It’s crucial to adhere to the specific transmission fluid specifications provided by Mercedes-Benz for each generation of the SLK-Class to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Below are the specifics for each generation listed:

2012-2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class R172

This generation employs 7-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmissions, known for their precision and responsiveness.

TransmissionFluid capacityFluid type
SLK250 7-speed 722.9Total fill: 9.5 quarts (9 liters)MB 236.15 blue
SLK250 6-speed manual 711.6Total fill: 1.6 quarts (1.5 liters)MB 235.10 (75W85)
6-speed manual 716.71.2 quarts (1.2 liters)MB 236.24
SLK300 9-speed 725.004Total fill: 10.6 quarts (10 liters)MB 236.17 gold
SLK350 7-speed 722.9Total fill: 9.5 quarts (9 liters)MB 236.15 blue
SLK55 AMG 7-speed 722.909Total fill: 9.5 quarts (9 liters)MB 236.15 blue

Mercedes-Benz recommends using its proprietary automatic transmission fluid (MB 236.15) for automatic transmissions with a capacity of approximately 9 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
Red Line (50205) SAE 75W80 API GL-4 Manual Transmission and Transaxle Lubricant (MTL) Car Gear Oil – 1 Gallon
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE – Gear protection and longer synchro life. Recommended for GL-1, GL-3, and GL-4 applications, as well as where most special synchromesh fluids are specified
  • SAFE FOR BRASS SYNCHROS – GL-4 Gear Oil lacks the reactive sulfurs found in most GL-5 oils that cause damage. Recommended for GL-1, GL-3 & GL-4 applications
  • POPULAR REPLACEMENT FOR and improvement over GM Synchromesh 12345349 and Auto-Trak II 12378508 and Chrysler spec MS-9224
  • POPULAR GEAR OIL FOR – BMW, Honda and Acura, Ford Focus, late-model Mini Cooper, Land Rover/Range Rover LT77S, Dodge and Jeep NV1500, NV3500 and NV5600 truck transmissions

It’s recommended to change the transmission fluid every 40,000 miles or 4 years, whichever comes first.

2009-2011 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class R171 Facelift

This facelift came with improved 7-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmissions.

TransmissionFluid capacityFluid type
7-speed automatic transmissions (722.6/9, 5G- and 7G-Tronic except A89 code)Total fill: 9.8 quarts (9.3 liters)MB 236.14 red
7-speed automatic transmission (722.9, 7G-Tronic with A89 code)Total fill: 9.8 quarts (9.3 liters)MB 236.15 blue
6-speed manual 716.7Total fill: 1.6 quarts (1.5 liters)MB 236.24

Similar to the newer generation, it’s best to use the Mercedes-Benz proprietary fluid, with the same capacity of approximately 9 liters.

Mercedes Benz Automatic Transmission Fluid ATF 134 (1 Liter)
58 Reviews
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

The suggested fluid change interval remains every 40,000 miles or 4 years.

2005-2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class R171

This generation also featured a choice between 5- or 7-speed automatic and 6-speed manual transmissions.

TransmissionFluid capacityFluid type
5- & 7-speed automatic transmissions (722.6/9, 5G- and 7G-Tronic except A89 code)Total fill: 9.5 quarts (9 liters)MB 236.14 red
7-speed automatic transmission (722.9, 7G-Tronic with A89 code)Total fill: 9.5 quarts (9 liters)MB 236.15 blue
6-speed manual 716.7Total fill: 1.6 quarts (1.5 liters)MB 236.24

Sticking to Mercedes-Benz’s recommended transmission fluid types ensures the preservation of transmission integrity.

The recommendation stays consistent at every 40,000 miles or 4 years.

2001-2004 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class R170 Facelift

Employing either 5-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmissions, this generation laid the groundwork for the improvements seen in later models.

TransmissionFluid capacityFluid type
SLK230 5-speed 722.6Total fill: 8.5 quarts (8 liters)MB 236.14 red
SLK230 6-speed manual 716.6Total fill: 1.6 quarts (1.5 liters)GL-4 75W-80
SLK320 5-speed 722.6Total fill: 8.5 quarts (8 liters)MB 236.14 red
SLK320 6-speed manual 716.6Total fill: 1.6 quarts (1.5 liters)GL-4 75W-80
SLK32 AMG 5-speed 722.6Total fill: 8.5 quarts (8 liters)MB 236.14 red

The use of Mercedes-Benz proprietary fluid is still the best choice for maintaining transmission performance.

Mercedes Benz Automatic Transmission Fluid ATF 134 (1 Liter)
58 Reviews
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
Red Line (50204) SAE 75W80 API GL-4 Manual Transmission and Transaxle Lubricant (MTL) Car Gear Oil - 1 Quart
1,012 Reviews
Red Line (50204) SAE 75W80 API GL-4 Manual Transmission and Transaxle Lubricant (MTL) Car Gear Oil – 1 Quart
  • LONGER SYNCHRO LIFE – High-performance gear protection, satisfies the gear oil viscosity requirements of 75W, 80W and motor oil viscosities of SAE 30, 10W30, 5W30
  • OFFERS QUICKER SHIFTS – MLT Gear Oil with balanced friction control for most manual transmission synchronizers. Other synthetic gear oils are often too slippery
  • SAFE FOR BRASS SYNCHROS – As it lacks the reactive sulfurs found in most GL-5 oils that cause damage. Recommended for GL-1, GL-3 & GL-4 applications
  • POPULAR MOTOR OIL FOR – BMW, Honda/Acura, Ford Focus, late-model Mini Cooper, Land Rover/Range Rover LT77S, Mitsubishi, Dodge & Jeep NV1500, NV3500, NV3550 & NV5600 truck transmissions

Adhering to a 40,000-mile or 4-year interval for transmission fluid change is advisable.

1998-2000 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class R170

The initial models also offered a choice between automatic and manual transmissions.

TransmissionFluid capacityFluid type
SLK230 5-speed 722.6 automaticTotal fill: 8.5 quarts (8 liters)MB 236.14 red
SLK230 5-speed 717.4 manualTotal fill: 1.6 quarts (1.5 liters)GL-4 75W-80

Using the specified Mercedes-Benz transmission fluid ensures the system operates as intended.

A consistent schedule of changing the transmission fluid every 40,000 miles or 4 years remains a good practice for this generation as well.

Understanding Transmission Fluid’s Role

Transmission fluid performs a multitude of critical functions within a vehicle’s transmission system. Here’s a closer examination of its primary roles and the significance of regular maintenance.

Key Roles of Transmission Fluid:

  1. Lubrication: One of the primary roles of transmission fluid is to serve as a lubricant for the myriad of moving parts within the transmission. This helps in reducing friction, preventing wear and tear, and ensuring smooth operation of gears and other components.
  2. Cooling: The transmission fluid circulates through the system, absorbing the heat generated during operation and transferring it away from critical components. This function is vital in preventing overheating, which could lead to premature wear or even failure of the transmission.
  3. Enabling Smooth Gear Shifts: Transmission fluid aids in the seamless shifting of gears by creating a hydraulic bond that facilitates the movement of gears. A proper level of good-quality transmission fluid is crucial for responsive and smooth gear transitions, enhancing the driving experience.
Mercedes-Benz SLK

Impact of Regular Maintenance:

  1. Transmission Longevity: Regularly checking and changing the transmission fluid as per the manufacturer’s guidelines significantly contributes to the lifespan of the transmission. A well-lubricated and cooled transmission is less prone to wear, ensuring it stays functional over an extended period.
  2. Overall Vehicle Performance: The performance of the transmission directly influences the overall vehicle performance. A well-maintained transmission ensures that the engine operates efficiently, delivering power smoothly to the wheels, thus promoting better fuel efficiency and a more responsive driving experience.
  3. Cost-Savings: Preventative maintenance, including regular transmission fluid checks and changes, can save owners from costly repairs down the line. Transmission replacements or significant repairs can be expensive; hence maintaining the fluid in good condition is a cost-effective practice.

Choosing the Right Fluid For Mercedes-Benz SLK

Mercedes-Benz’s transmission fluid recommendations are tailored to meet the specific needs of their transmission systems. By following these recommendations, owners ensure that their SLK-Class vehicles operate at peak performance.

The correct transmission fluid contributes significantly to the longevity of the transmission system by providing the necessary lubrication and protection against wear and tear.

Many vehicle warranties require adherence to manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedules and product specifications, including the type of transmission fluid used. Failure to comply with these recommendations may result in the voiding of the warranty.

Risks associated with using non-recommended or off-brand fluids:

  1. Performance Issues: Non-recommended or off-brand transmission fluids may not meet the necessary specifications for the proper operation of the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class transmission system. This can lead to shifting issues, decreased fuel efficiency, and a generally less smooth driving experience.
  2. Potential Damage: Incorrect transmission fluid can cause damage over time, including premature wear, corrosion, and the buildup of sludge and deposits within the transmission.
  3. Costly Repairs: Damage caused by the use of incorrect transmission fluid can lead to costly repairs or even the need for a complete transmission replacement. This could result in expenses that far outweigh the initial savings from using a cheaper, non-recommended fluid.

The critical nature of using the correct transmission fluid can’t be overstated. Adhering to Mercedes-Benz’s fluid recommendations is a small step that can lead to a significantly more enjoyable driving experience and a longer-lasting vehicle.

Recognizing Transmission Fluid Issues

Common Signs of Transmission Fluid Problems:

  1. Delayed Engagement: If there’s a noticeable delay before the car engages into drive or reverse, this could be a sign of low or degraded transmission fluid.
  2. Slipping Gears: Transmission fluid that’s old or insufficient can cause the transmission to slip between gears, or even slide back to a previous gear.
  3. Rough Shifts: When the vehicle is shifting, especially into the first or second gear, it may shift very hard.
  4. Gear Shudder: If gears shudder, jerk, or making a whining noise, it may be due to old or dirty transmission fluid.
  5. Transmission Overheating: Old or insufficient transmission fluid can cause overheating due to increased friction and lack of cooling properties.
  6. Transmission Fluid Leaks: Puddles of red liquid under your vehicle indicate a transmission fluid leak and a need for immediate maintenance.

When to Seek Professional Inspection and Maintenance:

  1. Routine Checks: It’s prudent to have a professional check your transmission fluid level and quality during routine maintenance visits.
  2. Upon Detection of Issues: If you notice any of the common signs of transmission fluid problems, it’s essential to get your vehicle inspected by a professional as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
  3. Following Manufacturer Guidelines: Mercedes-Benz provides specific guidelines on when to have the transmission fluid checked or changed in the SLK-Class vehicles. Adhering to these guidelines can help in ensuring the proper functioning and longevity of the transmission.

Understanding and recognizing transmission fluid issues early can significantly save SLK-Class owners from facing severe transmission damage, which could result in costly repairs.

Regular check-ups and adherence to the Mercedes-Benz maintenance schedule is a proactive approach to vehicle care that ensures the SLK-Class continues to deliver the luxury and performance drivers have come to expect.

Cost Implications of Transmission Fluid Change

  1. Labor Costs: The labor cost for a transmission fluid change in the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class could range anywhere between $100 to $200, depending on the location and the workshop.
  2. Fluid Costs: The cost of the transmission fluid itself can vary based on the type and brand but expect to spend between $50 to $100 for the required amount.
  3. Additional Costs: There could be additional costs for replacing the transmission filter or gasket, which might range from $30 to $50.
  4. Total Estimated Cost: Combining all the elements, a transmission fluid change could cost somewhere between $180 to $350.

Long-term Financial Benefits:

  1. Prevention of Major Repairs: Regular transmission fluid changes help in preventing major transmission issues which could be extremely costly to repair. A well-maintained transmission system requires less repair and is less likely to face severe issues.
  2. Improved Fuel Efficiency: Clean and sufficient transmission fluid facilitates smooth gear shifts and reduces friction, leading to better fuel efficiency, which saves money in the long term.
  3. Resale Value: Vehicles with well-maintained transmission systems are likely to have a higher resale value as compared to those with neglected transmission maintenance.
  4. Extended Vehicle Longevity: Regular maintenance extends the life of the transmission and the vehicle, thereby providing more value over the vehicle’s lifespan.

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

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