E430 different transmission problem - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Nov 2006
Vehicle: 1999 E430
Location: Kansas city, Missouri
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E430 different transmission problem

I have a 1999 E430 with 68,000 miles. I back it out of the garage and drive a block to a stop sign. The transmission usually upshifts at least one gear before I get to the stop sign. When I start to go forward after the stop it will have a jerk as if it is taking up slack in the u-joints or rearend. I think the transmission is not engaging until the motor revs up just a little and when it engages that causes the jerk. It is like it hesitates before the transmission engages It always does it in the winter when it is somewhere below 50 degrees. It didn't do it in the summer until this last summer and then it was very slight.
Anyway, after that I drive it to a second stop sign which is 4 or 5 blocks away and it doesn't do it again. The transmission acts perfect after that.
I took it to the Mercedes dealer when it was still under warranty and of course it was warmed up and when they drove it they couldn't find anything. They checked the transmission oil and even smelled it saying it was ok. they did add just a little oil, the service guy said he liked it when it was completely to the very top.
After it was out of warranty I took it to an independent where I knew the son of the service manager. They checked it for codes and found none except for interruption which probably came from when I changed the battery.
I asked about changing the transmission oil and filter and he said they didn't recommend doing that. He said if there is a problem it can make it worse by cleaning up all of the parts in there with new fluid. They also added just a small amount of fluid saying they found the transmission works best when a little over the full mark. It didn't take care of the problem. I have just kept on driving it being careful to not give it too much gas the first time pulling away from the stop sign.
I would like to think I have some mechanical ability and with the help of this site have replaced both rear window regulators and the MAF.
Any suggestion would be appreciated.
Thanks, Meyer
PS: I am learning this site and mistakenly posted on the W210 AMG forum the first time. I will try to delete that post.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 06:21 AM
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Date registered: Oct 2007
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Both mechanics second-guessed the dipstick reading, as this is a classic low fluid level symptom. Expect much hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth about the proper fluid level... As long as it's still within the normal fluid level range or only just a hair above the line it won't be a problem. It becomes a bigger problem when the fluid level climbs high enough to get aerated by the gears.

If it were my car, and if nobody chimes in with another diagnosis I would try changing the filter - if it's partially plugged the line pressure could be low. It's cheap and you already have a malfunctioning transmission so there's nothing to loose. 68,000 miles is certainly not too high of a mileage to do a fluid and filter change.

Back in the olden days they would have hooked up a pressure gauge to the test ports on the transmission and figured it out pretty quickly. I doubt the 722.6 has any test ports though.

I know a local transmission guy and he's surprisingly familiar with these transmissions as they're used in Chrysler products. If all else fails you might talk to a local transmission shop - they tend to know the things that go wrong with each type of transmission better than a general mechanic does.

One thing he did mention is that the fluid will always turn black in these transmissions due to the carbon in the clutch material, so don't freak out about the fluid color.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 09:42 AM
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It sounds like you fluid level might be too high. A MB tech I know says these 722.6x trannys are happier running on the normal/low dipstick range.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-08-2010, 10:46 AM
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Vehicle: 2002 E430 Base model
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Try a soft reset. The adaptive learning feature tends to get side ways after a while. I have the same issue, don't worry about it. This car was born to run, give it a little more gas. When it's cold it's trying to figure out what you are doing.
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