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Transmission Fluid Change on Sprinter Van

Sprinter van_transmission.png
6 - How to Check _ Add Fluid to an Autom

Transmission fluid cools and lubricates a transmission's moving parts. This important vehicle fluid plays a big role in keeping your transmission in working shape. Most transmission failure is caused by overheating, a problem that is usually preventable if you regularly monitor the clarity of your transmission fluid.

In our shop you can, absolutely free of charge, check the condition of your transmission fluid.

The more you drive your vehicle, the more gunk and buildup is pushed into your transmission systems. This gunk builds over time and causes your vehicle's transmission to work harder and heat up on the road. 


To remove the buildup, auto repair professionals can service your vehicle with either a transmission fluid change or transmission flush. 

What is a Transmission Fluid Change?


A fluid change is the most common type of transmission service. In a fluid change, a large amount of the transmission fluid is drained from the machinery, and the transmission filter is then replaced.


This service helps remove a large portion of the buildup, but up to half can linger in your vehicle's transmission. A fluid change will not completely swap out the old fluid for new, clean fluid, but it will help your transmission run better. 


Generally, transmission fluid changes are done in increments whereas flushes are done at milestones like 40,000 and 70,000 miles. 



What is a Transmission Fluid Flush?


Whereas a transmission fluid change only exchanges some old fluid for new fluid, a flush completely rids your transmission of old fluid. This is especially beneficial if you have contaminated transmission fluid, as the contamination will spread to the new transmission fluid in a fluid change.


To perform a flush, a mechanic will drain the old transmission fluid entirely from transmission + from the torque converter and valve body. Then clean, brand-new fluid is added, allowing your transmission to run more efficiently.


Mechanics recommend a transmission fluid flush approximately every 40,000-60,000 miles. However, the frequency of transmission service required depends on a variety of factors like how you drive, where you drive, and what type of van you drive.


Changing your transmission fluid and flushing your transmission fluids are two highly effective services for ensuring your transmission runs smoothly. 


A transmission fluid change (OPTION 2) replaces half of the old fluid. Because of this fluid change has to be done more often than a fluid flush (OPTION 3).


A transmission fluid flush costs more but removes all of the old fluid and contaminants that have built up over time. A drawback is that a flush if done incorrectly or on vehicles with excessive mileage, can damage the transmission seals and valves. 

Remember to check your vehicle's manual to learn how often and when to service your vehicle's transmission fluid. 

How often to change transmission fluid on Sprinter?

If your van is constantly in load: like RV or plumbing or towing. Then you need to do the service more often. If you travel mainly around the city, in urban mode: there are a lot of stops, traffic jams, and traffic lights, or you have a lot of cold starts: delivery of packages, etc. then you need to change at least every 40,000 miles.

If you travel 8-12 hours a day between cities and you do not have a full load, then you can service  transmission every 50,000-90,000

To know the exact frequency, then check the color of the transmission fluid, this is the best factor.

One of our clients has many Sprinters in the fleet. And on one of the new Sprinters was a young worker who had an aggressive driving style (like a sports car). When the van arrived for service after 22,000 miles, we were shocked because the transmission fluid was burnt - dark brown. Why? The boy pressed the acceleration pedal all the way down at every traffic light and their Sprinter was constantly loaded (plumbing), so there was a huge load on the transmission. The result is huge pressure and wear on the transmission and torque converter. The fluid actually burnt and lost its properties. Do not blame the mechanic if your employee does not protect your Sprinter.

Another customer drove 60,000 miles "BABUSHKA -OldWoman-driving style" and his fluid in the transmission was still a shade of pink, we recommended that he drive another 10,000 on this fluid. The life span of a fluid depends not so much on miles, but on driving conditions: city mode, races, a lot of cold starts, "the pedal to the metal", then you need to change every 30,000. If you use"OldWoman-driving style" and daily long distances on the highway, without traffic lights and stops (for example 500 miles per day between cities) and without cargo (no load), then you can go up to 80,000. In any case, if you have made more than 80,000 miles, you must immediately change the fluid. 

If you have a Sprinter RV then your van is constantly loaded with cargo and the transmission is constantly under load.

If you're due for transmission service, schedule an appointment online with us.

Remember to check the manual to learn your vehicle's transmission service needs.

price transmission fluid

OPTION 1 (Not good)

Transmission Fluid Adding 40 min

Some shops offer this method. They only draining the old fluid by opening drain plug and adding new fluid (NO opening pan and NO new filter!). 

(we do not recommend this method!)

(only 50%-55% Change)


OPTION 2  (Not good. But if you are desperate and there is no honest, decent mechanic around.)

Partial Fluid Change  1.5 hours

This way is used by most shops in USA (95%) and MB dealership, (check your mechanic)! Open the plug and drain only half of the old liquid and then unscrew the pan and pour out the remnants. (Attention: no drain fluid from torque converter). We are not doing this fake service, it is just replacing half of the old fluid.

Check your MB dealership or shop and you will find that they drain only half.
(we do not recommend this method!)

(only 50%-55% Change)



OPTION 3  (Better)

Transmission Fluid Deep Flush 2 hours

the same as OPTION 2 + unscrew and flush the oil from the torque converter and unscrew/flush from the valve body. 

(93%-97% flush) Keep in mind that the dealer and most shops don't do this, they have only a partial, half replacement.

5-speed transmission 2002-2006   $639 - $699 *

5-speed transmission 2007-2012   $699 - $799 *

5-speed transmission 2013-2018   $699 - $699 *

7-speed transmission 2014-2021              $699 *

9-speed transmission 2014-2021              $949 *


+ with Side sills/skirts +$60 

+ RV+$30 

OPTION 4 (Best) 

Transmission Fluid Deep/Double Flush  2.5 hours 

The best option is to flush 2 times. Completely flush the old liquid and fill in the new fluid for the first time. Then we drive 2 miles and flush completely for the 2nd time and then clean, brand new fluid is added  (see Option 3) (double volume of transmission fluid required!).

(98%-99% flush)

Call for price*

We use FUCHS premium German transmission fluid (approved by Mercedes). Please be aware, the transmission is one of the most important parts of your van, do not allow to fill the low-quality chip fluid. It may cause damage.

* All prices are subject to change without notice.

Call to check the price.

Blur of transmission fluid

Blur of transmission fluid from Sprinter service in San Diego CA and Vista CA

We check the color of the transmission fluid in each Sprinter, and each of our clients will receive a photo: a blur of transmission fluid.
We do not recommend everyone to change the transmission fluid, only if the fluid color is darker.


Sprinter van transmission fluid.jpeg
transmission fluid color sprinter.jpg
when to change transmittin fluid
Why transmission connector plug leak?
sprinter Flushing fluid cheaper than reb

We understand that our whole life is like a big race with shortstops. And it is important for you that your Sprinter works like a Swiss watch. But during the race of life, every minute counts. Therefore, we understand that you can only afford a short pit stop during the rally. We are pleased to provide you with the best San Diego Sprinter service.

Why transmission connector plug leak

on Sprinter Van?

leak_sprinter_ Mercedes_Transmission_Connector_Adapter_Plug_O-rings

And sometimes we need to replace transmission pan... as well

sprinter transmission pan.jpg
sprinter van transmission pan.jpg

Yours sprinter expert

Top reasons for Sprinter Van transmission problems.


Trouble Shifting Gears 

Gears cannot be changed.


Transmission seems to be slipping

A common symptom would be if you move the selector for your automatic transmission to "Drive" and the engine seems to be racing ahead (high RPM) faster than your transmission.


Transmission fluid leaking

If you see low fluid levels, you may have a leak.


Vehicle is inoperative

It could be your transmissions or something else, our experts will be able to diagnose the problem.


Noise in the transmission

Normally transmissions are virtually noise-free, if you hear noise coming from your transmission, it may indicate that transmission parts are contacting each other abnormally.


Check engine light is on

Check engine light is on It could be your transmissions or something else, our Sprinter Service & Repair experts will be able to diagnose the problem with Sprinter van.

Did your transmission break down?

We will remove the broken transmission and install

the Remanufactured Sprinter Transmissions.

Warranty 3 years or 100,000 miles.

Remanufactured Sprinter Transmissions.
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