Liquid in center console - car stuck in 1st gear - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
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Liquid in center console - car stuck in 1st gear

I own a 2001 E320, and last week, I spilled a small amount of water in my center console. When the water spilled, my car stopped! When I tried to restart the car, it wouldn't start. I left the car in the sun for 15 minutes, to let it dry up, and the car started again. However, it will not go past first gear, and the gear display on the dash stays blank. The check engine light is also on.

I brought it to the mechanic who tried to "reset the code." He then told me I would need to replace the entire shift kit, which is going to cost me upwards of $800.00. Does anyone know where I can locate the following part for less than $500.00?

Are there any quick fixes I can try? I am not "mechanical" at all, and don't want to fry myself trying to fix this, but I would LOVE to solve this without spending $800! It's been 6 days since the water spilled, and I've driven the car home once, and then to the shop and back once.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 09:13 AM
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Date registered: Feb 2007
Vehicle: 03 E320 4M Wagon & 97 E320
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Sorry to hear the spill but welcome to the forum, Trisha. There is a W210 forum that is specific to your car.

There is a possible quick fix but it does take some mechanical work. You could take the shifter module out and clean it thoroughly with electric contact cleaner. Sometimes, that can re-vitalize the module but there is no guarantee it would work in your case.

The W210 forum has some stickies (fixed at the top of the forum) and there are a couple DIY articles about how to remove the shifter module.

It is a common problem and it makes you wonder if Mercedes put the cup holder near the module for a reason.

After you clean the module or install a good module, "reset the code" is still required and it takes special scanners to reset the code set by the shifter module. Mercedes dealers and independent mechanic work on Mercedes have these special scanners. (Not any mechanic can reset these types of codes.)

The price quoted is probably both parts and labor. I have seen lower price for the part, if you shop around. Some Mercedes dealers have online presence and the price is usually lower online than B&M.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 08:26 PM
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Date registered: Feb 2006
Vehicle: 2001-W210-CAPRI METALIC BLUE-/ 2002-W210 E300D
Location: Los Angeles, Ca, Aberdeen Scotland, Lawrence Ks.
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Cool +1 Go to the FORUM, then W210..

Which is the real name of your car and look for the DIT section.

Please.... don't feel bad, this is a VERY common event, and it has been said that there are only 2 types of 210 owners... those who HAVE watered the shifter, and those who WILL water it.

Personally I think Starbucks should be held resposible.

I got a real good deal on one from Potomac German Auto.


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