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View Full Version : Tranny oil change or not


Wessels69p
02-17-2013, 05:08 AM
Hey all. I just bought a used sprinter with 170k on it. I'm trying to understand whether or not to change the tranny oil. I have seen documentation that says to change it every 60k. However, I have also seen documents that say to change it once at 80k and then "never" again. Can someone clarify this for me?

jackbombay
02-17-2013, 05:13 AM
The original MB recommendation was 100k, but that was lowered to 80k, but some people like to play it safe and change it every 60k.

tr4dude
02-17-2013, 05:57 AM
The best thing you can do is change it every 35K, I think there was some oil analysis tests done in one post and if i remember correctly the tranny oil starts to degrade after 35 or 40K.

I changed the oil in mine at 80K as per MB recommendations and it already had metal in the pan and it only lasted to 180K, $3800 at the dealer. Would have been cheaper just to change the fluid at lower mileage intervals. Don't forget to drain the torque converter.

icarus
02-17-2013, 06:16 AM
What's the harm in changing it?


Icarus

Amboman
02-17-2013, 07:59 AM
The "never service again" methodology was reversed after it was proving to be a bad ethos. :thumbdown:

An obvious exercise where "theory meets practice" and collides head on. :bash:

Filters still block up despite the otherwise assertions of genius's.

talkinghorse43
02-17-2013, 01:12 PM
My manual says change once at 80K and never again. The '06 manual addendum says every 60k miles. I believe current manuals say every 40k miles. I've done it every 50-55k miles. Saw a fair amount of wear products in early changes (metal flakes), very little at the last change, so it appears mine is now "bedded-in". I drain both the pan and the torque converter as well as change the filter and refill using MB 236.14 spec approved fluid.

david_42
02-17-2013, 01:19 PM
Unless you know when the last change was made, I'd say change it. If it's a 2006 or older, you might consider making the "rumble strip" modification at the same time. I didn't have the mod done last year and regret it.

jackbombay
02-17-2013, 01:28 PM
My manual says change once at 80K and never again. The '06 manual addendum says every 60k miles. I believe current manuals say every 40k miles. I've done it every 50-55k miles. Saw a fair amount of wear products in early changes (metal flakes), very little at the last change, so it appears mine is now "bedded-in". I drain both the pan and the torque converter as well as change the filter and refill using MB 236.14 spec approved fluid.

I had the numbers wrong then, I knew the recommendation changed in 20k miles chunks, but though the initial spec was 100k, but it is 80k.

alan_f
02-17-2013, 02:00 PM
I just bought a 2006 with 55k on it and am thinking of changing the tranny fluid -- what's the "rumble strip" mod?

Thanks,
Alan

Wessels69p
02-17-2013, 02:05 PM
Thanks all. I will be changing it now.

jackbombay
02-17-2013, 02:11 PM
what's the "rumble strip" mod?


Some vans make a noise that sounds like you are driving on rumble strip, it generally happens at around 35 MPH, some vans don't do it. Doktor A (abittenbinder here on sprinter source) has come up with a cure for RSN (Rumble Strip Noise) but you have to have the transmission pan off to implement the cure so if your van does have RSN it is best to do the RSN fix while you are servicing the tranny. The fix is called the DARF, short for Doctor Andy's Rsn Fix.

talkinghorse43
02-17-2013, 02:18 PM
DARF mod not to be done for '07 and newer models. If older, the good Doktor recommends calling him (412-366-6165) to determine if it will help you or not.

Wessels69p
02-17-2013, 02:23 PM
My van is still a tin can since I have not started the camper mod. I can hear a pretty loud whine coming from the back. I changed the dif fluid yesterday and it looked normal. Any suggestions on where I should look?

Would this be part of the "rumble" issue, driveshaft carrier bearing, etc? Should I start with a tranny oil change?

alan_f
02-17-2013, 05:14 PM
Wade,

Thanks for asking about tranny fluid changes -- I was just looking into this issue for my van. Hope I didn't hijack your thread too much...


Looks like I'll be doing a change as well and probably installing the DARF while I'm at it after I e-mail the Doktor.

Found a couple of treads on it here for future reference:

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8245

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11322

I've only put less than 200 miles on my T1N so far, mostly around town, but I did run across what was probably RSN a couple of times depending on how I'm driving. The previous owner said he had the brakes checked, replace wheel bearings and rebalanced the drive shaft -- I'm wondering if it was just RSN he was experiencing.

Thanks,
Alan

cahaak
02-17-2013, 06:03 PM
If the transmission service interval of teh van is unknown, then change the AFT, including the TC. The job is not that difficult or expensive. Many times the fluid change will improve shifting and any transmission vibration issues that may exist. If those do persist, then a call to Dr. A may be in line for the DARF mod, but many on the forum have found that a simple fluid change really works wonders. I purchased my van with 113K on it. Tranny howled like crazy. Change fluid, much better. Change a second time 50K miles later, issue is completely gone. Total cost of fluid changes was something like $110 (was able to get the fluid at Ryder Fleet then). Always do the simplest fix first and then go from there.

Chris

alan_f
02-17-2013, 06:05 PM
Doktor Andy got back to me almost immediately:

"Hi Alan, I would not worry about RSN in a highly loaded Sprinter such as an
RV.

Without service records I would recommend an immediate trans service. The
color of the old fluid and the date stamp on the filter will show you if had
been done before.

Drain all 8 quarts out of the sump and torque converter and replace the
trans elec. socket connector as well. Best regards, Andy"

So I'll do the service and not worry about RSN, just try to avoid it with driving technique.

-Alan

Wessels69p
02-17-2013, 06:43 PM
Alan,

Why would we need to change the trans electric socket connector as well?

Wade

Aqua Puttana
02-17-2013, 07:07 PM
Alan,

Why would we need to change the trans electric socket connector as well?

Wade

I'm not Alan.

The transmission connector body has a history of developing leaks over time. Some people just change the O-rings. That can be effective IF the plastic connector body proper has not distorted over time. The most effective method is to change out the entire connector body which comes complete with new O-rings.

Be very, very careful that the connector body is pushed into place before snugging up the center bolt. You DO NOT want to over-stress the center bolt. That can ruin your day.

A search using "connector body" from the blue bar above will get you more information. vic

Uncle Dave
02-17-2013, 07:44 PM
I find that all of my vehicles that simple drain and fills at half the interval recommended for a full change insures the seals stay supple and dont leak and that this relatively cheap strategy keeps the transmissions in good working order. This way you dont have to worry about whats in the torque converter.

I cant imagine why my sprinter trans shouldn't get the same treatment.

I avoid flushes like the plauge.

I typically use Blackstone analysis for my truck and motorhome engines and transmissions to "set the interval" then just stick with that.

Ill have Blackstone start with the sprinter at first oil and full trans change.

Uncle Dave

talkinghorse43
02-18-2013, 03:20 PM
Don't know which model you have (maybe you could add details to your signature?), but TC fluid drain on a T1N is easy.

Wessels69p
02-18-2013, 03:30 PM
Good idea. I updated my signature. Yes, it is T1N. The oil change is well within my technical ability.

Thx,