Shifter Problems Or This - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Sep 2006
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Shifter Problems Or This

My 2001 S500 got stuck in park, so I looked at this forum for suggestions as I always do. There were no answers other than call roadside assistance and let them hammer the shifter out of park and take it to the dealer to have it repaired. The price tag was high and my curiousity got the best of me. As it always does, so I again looked at my WIS program for help in fixing the problem. There was no real help other than how to remove the shifter box.
So...I removed the shifter box. This entailed removing the center console to get to the shifter box. I had to also unattach the linkage under the car to get the shifter box out of the car.
Once out, I proceeded to unassemble the shifter box.
What I discover was amazing. There is a small plastic part ( I estimate about 10 cents in quantity) that is responsible for allowing the shifter to be taken out of park. It is activated by a solenoid that pushes the plastic part to allow the shifter to come out of park. Most of the parts in the box were metal. This particular part is plastic and very frail. Obviously a victum of very poor engineering. It is easy to see that this part will become stressed over time and fail.
My concern is that we are all good MBZ owners and take our cars to the dealer for repair most of the time. This is certainly not a DIY normal job, but my curiousity got the best of me.
The part can be replaced ( I think) although the pin that allows the part to move is pressed into the housing of the shifter box. I was not able to press it out, as space was very restrictive. The way it was engineered I suspect MBZ never intended to replace this part. In my estimation, this is certainly a candidate for a recall. Obviously when you take your car to MBZ for repair, they replace the whole box and never tell you actually what was wrong. I read that one person paid $1,300.00 for this repair. A little high for a 10 cent part that is a very poor excuse for this kind of use.
I know what you are thinking. Maybe the other shifter boxes had something else wrong with them. Could be true. However, in looking over the entire box, not much could go wrong. The design is very simple and very low tech. If you want more information post your concerns.
I am going to contact MBZ about this problem to see what their response is. Nobody should have to pay for this problem. It is definitly an MBZ problem. Not your normal wear and tear.
Oh BTW, I removed the remainder of the broken part so I could use the car while researching this problem. Everything works fine, the only thing is that you do not have to step on the brake to take the car out of park now. Operates like the old cars before steering and park lock outs.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-16-2007, 04:04 AM
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Date registered: Jan 2007
Vehicle: mercedes w210 e280 avantgarde
Location: southampton england
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HI ADMANY, nice to see someone got the give it a go attitude,good fix i have found over the years with mb that its made to look difficult but in fact most things are thought out methodically by engineers in a practical manner,finding the proper way in to the problem is sometimes a lengtly process though.regards alan ,southampton UK
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