Date registered: Feb 2010
Vehicle: 1998 E320 & 2002 ML 320
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1998 E320 Engine Shuts Down Suddenly
I have a 1998 E320 with almost 200k miles. I am the original owner. The car has been always running smoothly.
About 6 months ago, one time when I was making a slow right turn (a little bumpy since there was a small curb) coming out of my work parking lot, the car suddenly stopped with all the lights off and steering wheel and the gear got all locked up. I immediately turned on the emergency light hoping other cars wouldn't hit me. I turned the key to the off position and turned it back on. The car restarted immediately. I took it to a mechanic, who couldn't find any problems with the car since there wasn't any coded registered.
After the engine stopped like that for 4 times, I finally decided to take it to the dealer 2 weeks ago. The merchanics there couldn't find the problem since there wasn't any codes. They asked me if their mechanic could take it home that night and drove it around. They called me the next day saying that the mechanic was able to replicate the problem 3 times that night. I only experienced the problem 4 times in 6 months!.
They told me the transmission conductor plate and the electronic module were both failing, and it would cost me $1,500 to get them replaced. I took the car home without fixing it since I wanted to think about it first. But I still needed to pay $170 transmission diagnostics charge! When I was driving my car out of the dealer's parking lot, the "check engine electronics" message came on. As I was driving home, the transmission was acting up a little bit, but not a big deal. The next day, I drove the car to work. After driving about 7 miles, I realized the transmission was stuck in the second gear. I was so scared on the freeway, where everybody was driving at 70+ mph. I immediately took it to a MBZ mechanic. He tested out my car and told me my transmission was gone. He showed me the transmission oil which was totally black. I went ahead and replaced the entire transmission ($3400) plus engine mount, rear main seal, rear brake pad, as well as the engine oil. My car was ready 2 days later, and I did a test drive with the mechanic. Everything seemed to be running great until I started driving home. The transmission was stuck in the second gear again. I drove back immediately, and the mechanics looked at the code, and told me the valve body was defective. He called the vendor and had it fixed immediately. I got back the car the next day. Guess what, the engine stopped again when I was making a slow bumpy turn the next day. I took my car back to my mechanic, and he looked at all the electric connections and tightened them up. I took the car home again, and guess what, the engine stopped again when I was driving out of a parking lot again. I just took the car back to the mechanic again today, and he is checking other possibilities.
My questions are: 1) Did the dealership ruin my transmission so that they could make more money? 2) Was my transmission not salvagable? 3) What is really wrong with my car? I have read other threads here say ML have similar problems. 3) How come all the Service A or B doesn't include flushing the transmission oil?
Your help is highly appreciated!
Last edited by coollaw; 02-23-2010 at 10:59 PM.