1998 E320 Transmission problems - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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1998 E320 Transmission problems

I have been using my mother's 1998 E320 that only has 73300 miles on it after my VW stopped working properly.

A few weeks before the holidays, the Mercedes would jerk forward during initial acceleration. I would let off the gas and the car would eventually shift to the next gear. If I didn't let off, it would continue to jerk forward. I went out of town and the car sat for two weeks. When I got back, it was still having shifting issues, so I took it to a Mercedes repair place (not a dealer) to get the oil changed and to look into this jerking issue. The car had only one past problem - a jerking issue that happened when the car hadn't been driven in a month or so. Other than that, the car has never had any problems.

The repair place kept the car for two days while they "ran diagnostics" trying to figure out the problem. There were no codes/lights coming on, so they finally concluded it needs a new transmission. A new transmission for a car with under 75K miles?? Can that be right?

The day after I took the car home, the transmission stuck in first or second gear while getting on the highway. I drove home and put the car in the garage. When I started it later in the afternoon, the check engine light came on. It hadn't come on prior to taking it to the repair shop.

I am wondering if they did something while "running diagnostics" to make the car no longer switch gears and the CEL to come on. I have read some of the other posts about 1998 E320 transmission problems, but the ones I read have a lot more miles on the car. Seems strange that after years of no major problems, it suddenly needs a new transmission at 73K miles.

Any thoughts/advice are greatly appreciated.

Last edited by starterfish; 01-09-2011 at 03:31 PM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 03:46 PM
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Welcome aboard.

First, please click user cp and add the vehicle and location information to the profile, that's useful.

Second, the general forum is for general topics about mercedes; specific chassis have their own forum, in this case the W210 forum in the sedans section.

If you navigate to that forum you'll find a bunch of stickies at the top, one of which has drivetrain info in it and in there is an excellent 722.6xx FAQ that is about this transmission.

That said, it seems most likely that either liquid has been spilled in the center console, the adapter/spacer/bushing has failed and allowed ATF to flood the TCM, or the conductor plate has failed. All of these are discussed in the FAQ.

If you're not doing the work, you need to find a better shop. A good indie shop or a good trans shop that works on MBs would be ideal.

And no, running diagnostics wouldn't have this effect. It's just plugging a computer into the diag port and checking temps, pressures, codes, etc. That they couldn't figure anything out simply means they don't know the transmission and are a shop to be avoided since it's a waste of money.

Good luck.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you. I added the info to my profile.

I am clueless about cars but want to learn and don't like being ripped off. I know no liquid was spilled, but will check the other things in the FAQ. In reading past messages, I hadn't seen anything about low mileage transmission failure, so I was wondering if this is common. Sounds like I just need to get the car to another repair place.

I have plugged a hand-held computer into my VW to check codes, and it doesn't take more than a few minutes, so two days of "running diagnostics" sounds fishy to me, making me wonder if they took apart the transmission or did something else to cause this sudden failure. It's a family-run shop that specializes in Mercedes, so they *should* know what they're doing, but something isn't adding up.

Thanks.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 04:43 PM
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This is different from the OBD-I or II code reader. It's a 38-pin diag port under the hood that ties into all of the car's systems.

There are various tests that can be run and various conditions under which the tests should be run. That doesn't take two days. My guess is they simply sandwiched it between other jobs and simply spent two days to run them. I'd check the connector first and see if there's fluid in it, if so check the TCM for the presence of fluid.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 07:59 PM
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You clearly need another shop. The one you are using sounds like they employ a bunch of yahoos. These transmissions are quite complicated and they require a sophisticated scanning device to properly diagnose your symptoms.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 08:09 PM
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I would think it is either oil in the TCM or the electronics plate issue. But you really must find a good Benz workshop.

ERIC.

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