Transmission fluid leak

I lease a 2006 Mercedes 350 4matic. Last month the automatic transmission shifted erratically on several occasions. Dealer checked and found and repaired transmission fluid leak.I don’t know how long this had been leaking. Is there likely transmission damage? Should I buy this car at lease end in June?

Damage is possible but unless the dealer tried to sell you a new transmission, it is most likely not damaged. You apparently got it in time. Now adding to that idea ,what kind of warranty would remain on the car in June. That warranty should cover and work for some time to come and I would think it is not likely that even if there was some damage that it would not show up before the warranty was up. However, no one can say for 100% sure. If you are the type of person who is going to worry about it for the next five years, I would pass and walk away, the worry is not worth it. If it were mine, I would likely buy it unless the buy out price was too high.

Note: If transman stops by and his advice conflicts with mine, I would go along with his.

I agree with Joe. Unless you were driving it while it was slipping, you should be fine. The erratic shifting was most likely just the first symptoms of low fluid level. The real damage ocurrs when the clutch plates start slipping together, that creates heat from friction. Heat will destroy an automatic quickly.

I think you caught the leak just in time.


Many thanks for your excellent and timely response.

Agree; if you caught the leak in time, no damage was likely done.

As for buying it at the end of the lease, I would strongly advise against that since you will be liable for all upcoming repairs once the remaining warranty runs out and this model is very trouble-prone as it ages and repairs are extremely expensive.

If you had an equivalent Lexus or Acura model, I would strongly recommend in favor of buying it at the end of the lease, since these cars have both high reliability and long life.