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How to Check Transmission Fluid in a Ml320 Benz

by Josh Baum

On many cars, checking the transmission fluid level is a two-minute process just like checking the engine oil level. But with the Mercedes Benz ML320, there's an important extra step. The ML320 is designed to require no maintenance, so it doesn't ship with a dipstick as standard equipment. If you want to check it yourself, you'll have to obtain it from a Mercedes dealer.

Look up your local Mercedes dealership in the phone directory and give their service department a call. Inquire about ordering your own transmission fluid dipstick for the ML320, and be sure to tell them your model year. They should be able to quote you a price and help you arrange the purchase over the phone.

Drive the car for about ten miles or 20 minutes. Be sure to take your dipstick and rag along with you for the ride. If possible, spend part of the drive on a high-speed road so that you can cycle through all of your gears during the trip. This is to warm up the engine and transmission, lubricate the entire transmission and bring the transmission fluid up to warm volume levels.

Park the car on a flat surface, put it in neutral and apply the parking break. Pull the hood release lever and leave the engine running.

Open the hood and prop it up with the support arm.

Look just to the right side of the air filter compartment, which is the long black plastic compartment just behind the engine. You should see a small plastic tube with a red plastic cap. This is the transmission fluid dipstick tube.

Move the red plastic cap to the side, then carefully feed the dipstick all the way into the tube. When it's all the way in, carefully pull it all the way out. Be careful of the tip, which should be covered in transmission fluid.

Check the reading on the dipstick. The proper line to read should be clearly marked as "WARM FULL."

Replace the red cap on the dipstick tube and close the hood.

Tip

  • If your transmission fluid level is too high or does not register at all, you should take your ML320 to an authorized service shop. If it is only slightly low, you can add transmission fluid a little at a time by pouring it through the dipstick tube with a funnel. If you do this, you should keep the engine running the entire time and should allow each small dose of fluid to cycle through the system before checking the level again with the dipstick. It is very important that you do not overfill the transmission, so take your time with this.

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