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Is there any easy method for checking and changing the transmission fluid? I can never get a really good reading on the actual level in the transmission, because of the contortions in getting out the dip-stick.

Access to the transmission dipstick in the C34 is nearly impossible. I ended up with a method... I took a turkey baster, put a short (12") piece of clear plastic tubing on the end, and sucked the fluid out that way. To use this makeshift contraption, I usually ended up on my back lying across the stuffing box upside down. I emptied the baster into a large plastic cup, and used a similar cup to measure out the amount to be replaced. I found that the turkey baster / plastic tube contraption worked pretty well in terms of sucking out all the used fluid. USING the contraption was another matter....

As for checking the level, it's tough..... once again, upside down in the bilge seemed to be the easiest position... with a handful of paper towels to wipe off the stick. It usually took me two or three tries before I could get a reading that I would trust. Norm Bernstein

The EASIEST WAY to check the level is to remove the dip stick, wipe it off, reinsert it but do NOT screw it in, pull it out and roll it on a piece of paper towel so you can see the level.