OT: Automatics that have done a lot of towing

ISTR from the dim and distant past (40+ years ago) the advice was to
avoid buying second hand automatics that had done a lot of towing.
After all these years I can't recall what the reasoning was and am
hoping someone can bring me up to date on this one as I'm viewing a
2003 Mercedes E270CDI auto estate tomorrow that's done a fair bit.
It's current mileage is 130k miles. The owner (a keen caravaner) says
he's kept on top of the maintenance and it's recently had new shocks
fitted. I don't plan to do any towing with it, however.
Should I be wary or avoid altogether?
Reply to
Mike McLeod
I seem to recall that in the old days auto boxes used to have a dipstick and a sniff of that would tell you if the brake bands had been slipping and burning. Slushboxes are pretty reliable though and as long as it shifts okay and you don?t get any sensation of clutch slip in the drive train (revs staying higher than expected after an up change) it?s probably okay.
I?m no expert though so you might well get better advice elsewhere.
Tim
Reply to
Tim+
Different types of auto are more prevalent these days, it is a slushbox, a dual clutch, or a variomatic type?
p.s. looked at wikip to see what names Merc give to their gearbox types, didn't realise some of them have two reverse speeds
Reply to
Andy Burns
"Six-speed manual gearboxes from the C Class and SLK are standard on the E200K, E220 CDI and E270 CDI, with the option of MB's excellent 'Tipfunction' 5-speed auto. "
formatting link
which is useful as it also lists faults to watch for:
"The transmission oil cooler of automatics is sited in the radiator matrix, so failure can lead to coolant entering the transmission and destroying it, leaving the owner with a bill of £4k +. Apparently this fault occurred in cars manufactured between 2000 - 2003 and only when a Valeo radiator is fitted. Two other well known faults which might cause expensive damage are failure of the oil seals to the wiring looms from the top of the cam cover and to the autobox which is electrically operated."
I can't see anything that would be affected by towing - the engine has probably run slightly harder, but these are big engines and are likely designed for it. I can't imagine this one has got near the top speed of 144mph unless it's been on the autobahn.
Theo
Reply to
Theo
In article , Mike McLeod writes
Could it be to do with the fact that long ago autos for towing were fitted with an optional oil cooler?
Reply to
bert
I don't know either. I wonder if the fact that they were normally 3 speed has something to do with it.
Reply to
tabbypurr
In article ,
It's a 2003 car so likely an MB made slushbox. BMW don't make their own boxes so tend to try out the new types early on. MB are (or were) more conservative since they make their own.
Reply to
Dave Plowman (News)
In article ,
Most autos on larger engined cars have a transmission oil cooler. A larger one may be needed for heavy towing. I'd hope that would have been done at the same times as fitting the tow bar and heavy duty rear suspension, if needed.
Reply to
Dave Plowman (News)
We towed a caravan for ten years and quite a few tens of thousands of miles across 4 makes of unmodified car all with auto gearboxes and never had an issue. Scotland, Wales, West country ... all the long uphill drags you can think off.
I suspect as with most things, it's not the car. It's the driver ....
Reply to
Jethro_uk
In article ,
You'd normally lock it in a suitable low gear manually for ascending or descending a serious hill. Same as you'd do with a manual?
Reply to
Dave Plowman (News)
It's 17 years old, with lower than usual average mileage.
Get it it cheap enough with a new MOT and it could be a bargain.
Andrew
Reply to
Andrew
4 cars over 10 years is about 2.5 years per car. You didn't keep any of them long enough to get any problems. Ask the next owner(s) that you sold on to if they had any problems ?
Reply to
Andrew
In article , snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com writes
We're talking ancient history here though. My first 4 speed auto was an Austin 1100.
Reply to
bert
In article , "Dave Plowman (News)" writes
Pretty standard in the sort of time frame we are talking here. This goes way back. 1970s ish.
Reply to
bert
In article ,
Do buck up. Rolls change from a 4 speed fluid flywheel box to a 3 speed torque convertor one in the 60s. The early 4 speed box had a poor choice of ratios - due to its design.
Reply to
Dave Plowman (News)

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