Transmission Slipping in Cold Weather-'01 E320 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 09:36 AM
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Transmission Slipping in Cold Weather-'01 E320

Leaving my office, I travel a tenth of a mile and wait 2 minutes at a traffic light. Right before the light changes, the car starts to shutter slightly, almost as if it is stalling, but no warning lights. Prior the idle was fine. The tach does not appear to falter. After this occurs usually, the light changes green and I need to go. The transmission slips and does not want to do a 1-2 shift. It revs slowly to 2,500rpm and holds it, and it goes slowly slips into two, and then drives fine.
This has occurred 3 times in 20-25 degree weather, (not 10-15 degree) only at this light after waiting for over a minute. This is after I let the car warm through the enrichment cycle and having the transmission shift 3-4 times, out of the parking lot and into the street. The car starts out fine and drives out of the parking lot perfectly.
History: Bought the car in August 2010, had 69k on the ODO, now has 74k. Had A & B Service done before I purchased and had brakes replaced, oil changed, and serpentine belt replaced. At some point, the water pump was replaced as well. Car is very clean and maintained. That said I do not know of transmission service record!
Any first steps I should take to investigate.
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#2 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 01:10 PM
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Not certain about the shudder, but the engine control will run up the RPMs in first before shifting to second when cold. This is to heat up the cats when cold. Is it actually slipping (rpm increasing but no increase in speed) or just holding the 1-2 shift for a long time until it hits 2500 + RPM. This is normal.
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#3 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 01:36 PM
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At that age, the ATF should be changed, regardless of symptoms. Were I you, I'd get that taken care of first thing. It may or may not be related, but the MB fluid is designed to suspend particles, which makes it thicker...add cold temps, it's thicker still.

It sounds as though it's behaving nearly normally, but perhaps more pronounced. That's what mine did before I changed the fluid, which improved things considerably, though I'm not in any kind of really cold climate as you are.

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#4 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 09:55 PM
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thanks! Sounds like ATF fluid/filter change is in my near future!
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#5 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 11:29 PM
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Don't have the answer, but my wife transmission acts very similar couple times a month. I have full ATF flush, new plug connector and new electric plate. Still happens couple times a month. What is happening the car starts on 2 or 3rd gear and converter keeps on slipping till the car gains a speed. It is funny to some degree to see rpm staying the same about 2500 rpm and the car speed change from 0 to 30 mph.
The other symptom is that at start the engine will rev high and the transmission will not engage for some time till it does with strong "dunk"
Wish both of us luck.

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#6 (permalink) Old 12-12-2010, 09:58 AM
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Try this to rule out some part beneath the gear shift.
Manually start at 1, as you speed up, shift to 2, 3, etc.
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#7 (permalink) Old 12-13-2010, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbvis View Post
Try this to rule out some part beneath the gear shift.
Manually start at 1, as you speed up, shift to 2, 3, etc.
I will try this tomorrow night. As a side note, I put it in park, counted to 3 and back to drive, and I took off with no problem, once it started to act up.
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#8 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 01:13 PM
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Unhappy Good grief!

This morning my transmission seemed to slip then gently bang into gear. It was about 30 degrees. The fluid, conductor plate, plug, gasket etc... have all been replaced in the past 6 months. 210K miles. Normal gentle roll down the hill to the main street.... I did not have it in winter mode. At the cross section I accelerated and it seemed like I was in slow motion.... then in about 2 seconds the tranny seemed to thunk into proper gear and I had smart acceleration. Kind of unnerving if you ask me. I have not seen this before. It did not do it again after that. I even did some brisk acceleration away from a few stop signs after that and it did not repeat itself.

I'm concerned that my trusty sled is starting to show her age. New tires will be here next week because the Michelins with 60K on the clock are bald and the drive two days ago was SCARY! Holy cow this thing needs proper tires! I can't wait.

If anyone has experience the delayed engagement of first gear, please chime in. Thanks. Scuddog

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#9 (permalink) Old 01-10-2011, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Scuddog View Post
This morning my transmission seemed to slip then gently bang into gear. It was about 30 degrees. The fluid, conductor plate, plug, gasket etc... have all been replaced in the past 6 months. 210K miles. Normal gentle roll down the hill to the main street.... I did not have it in winter mode. At the cross section I accelerated and it seemed like I was in slow motion.... then in about 2 seconds the tranny seemed to thunk into proper gear and I had smart acceleration. Kind of unnerving if you ask me. I have not seen this before. It did not do it again after that. I even did some brisk acceleration away from a few stop signs after that and it did not repeat itself.

I'm concerned that my trusty sled is starting to show her age. New tires will be here next week because the Michelins with 60K on the clock are bald and the drive two days ago was SCARY! Holy cow this thing needs proper tires! I can't wait.

If anyone has experience the delayed engagement of first gear, please chime in. Thanks. Scuddog
Yes. Very similar and I'm about to take it in for a ATF change.

If my car is not warmed up, I make it to about 38mph and then it shudders...pushing thru to about 42mph...then engages the next gear.

This ONLY happens when it's cold.

I also get slow starts at times.

2001 E320-4Matic w/108k

Last edited by grateful_e320; 01-10-2011 at 02:08 PM.
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#10 (permalink) Old 01-10-2011, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by grateful_e320 View Post
Yes. Very similar and I'm about to take it in for a ATF change.

If my car is not warmed up, I make it to about 38mph and then it shudders...pushing thru to about 42mph...then engages the next gear.

This ONLY happens when it's cold.

I also get slow starts at times.

2001 E320-4Matic w/108k
That sounds more like a weird form of limp mode. I think you'd redline the engine badly before you hit 38 MPH in 1st gear, that sounds more like second. And if you're revving a cold engine that high, set aside some money for a replacement, they're simply not designed for that.
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