Limp Home mode on 97 W210 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 11:51 PM
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Limp Home mode on 97 W210

Recently purchased a E320 at a great price or so I thought. Only $1,500. Drove it for 3 to 4 months and drove great, but slowly started having dash lights pop up and various issues.

1) started noticing my ABS/ETS dash light coming on intermittently for about a month. Looked it up here and read it could be due to brake light switch. It made sense to me because it would usually light up after pressing on the brakes. Did not replace it as I thought it wouldn't be a huge deal!

2) transmission was slow to shift out of second gear (currently on W- winter mode). Didn't think anything of it because I actually enjoy driving a stick due to the fact that you can hold the revs higher. Would usually do it when it was cold. After the tranny would warm up it would shift perfect.

3) then started noticing the temp gauge would climb above midway. Never went above that, but it seemed odd to me and thought it was worth keeping an eye on.

I have an obd ii and no codes came up.

4) One day after a one hour drive, I parked and listened to music while waiting in the car. Possibly draining the battery slightly. and when I had to drive it again about 5 to 10 minutes later I started hearing a whiney sound coming from what I thought was the transmission.

A) drove about a mile and sound went away
B) arrived at destination 3 miles away, then shut off car for 5 minutes
C) drove off and about half a mile later "LIMP MODE" !!!!!
D) Dash light came on saying "Check engine electronics"

5) after some reviews of OBD ii I got code P0700 and p0730.
6) Replaced the transmission electronic connector/plunger (had ATF in it)
7) removed TCU and it too had a slight bit of oil on it. Sprayed it with MAF spray and let it dry.

8) ATF I drained looked like a milky red. Def not the normal transparent red I'm used to seeing. Did not see any signs of metal scaps after filtering the old oil through a white rag.

9) Replaced fluid with MB ATF
10) Drove it to my local MBZ indy shop and they said they would clear the codes free of charge as long as they didn't have to do any diagnositcs. I said no diagnostics needed. Just hoping the wet plunger/connector and the oil on TCU would have been the cause of the issues.

11) Mechanic started the car to check transmission fluid level and it looked good.

12) I get in the car to drive off and the car was once again in limp mode

is it possible that he did not clear the transmission codes and only cleared the engine codes? He first went through the codes such as rear tail light out, abs/ets and after I mentioned p0700, then he looked into the transmission sector of the diagnostics.

anyhow, I was watching the entire thing and was quietly taking notes.

The codes that came up where:
P1584, P0730, 055, 116, 118, 119, 136, 147.

The mechanic told me to start by replacing the brake light switch and said that often causes a limp home mode due to it interacting with the wheel speed sensors and sending faulty signals.

The shop owner told me that the oil in the transmission could be mixing with the antifreeze coolant and that I needed to change my radiator and flush my transmission a couple times.

also a couple of those codes pointed to the right and left rear speed sensors, however the mechanic said to first try the brake switch sensor since this might interfere with those sensors. He said its a cheap DIY fix and it might fix the issue.


My next step will be replacing the brake light switch since it is so inexpensive and was directly recommended by the mechanic.

Does any of this sound like the conductor plate/valve spring may be bad? Would that cause the transmission to make a loud whiny sound? Any solenoid contamination/plug possibility?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. First post here and not sure if I'm posting to the correct section. Would like to fix this all myself if I have to. My next option is getting a transmission from a 70K vehicle that suffered a front end fender bender. Guy is selling me the tranny and computer for $550. Might be able to negotiate. Question is how long until that conductor plate goes out? Might be better off adding these new components to my existing tranny and extending its life if possible. Or does it sound like its shot? Was shifting perfect except for the occasional prolonged shift between 2nd and 3rd gear.

Please help, forum gods!

Thanks in advance for any help.
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#2 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 06:45 PM
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ordered parts

I purchased the conductor plate, brake light switch, filter and gasket. Going to open up the tranny cover and take a look at the spring. I have a supply shop down the street will go pick it up in the morning. Hopefully all the solenoids are working fine.
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#3 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 07:10 PM
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So now you expect us to search the codes meaning?
Those cars don't like to be neglected on long run. They can take abuse, but small errors in the system make bigger and bigger loop.
On computer you can turn it off, turn it on and the software will work like new.
NOT ON THE CAR. Don't even try the trick with closing and opening the door .
So one step at the time >>> milky ATF indicate failed radiator.
Welcome to the forum BTW

Last edited by Kajtek1; 12-14-2012 at 07:13 PM.
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#4 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 08:08 PM
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Thanks Kajtek1

Thanks alot for the advice! I looked up the codes and they are:
116- trans starter lock out contact y3/681 not functioning
118- right rear wheel speed sensor
119- left rear wheel speed sensor
136- communication to insturment panel fault
147- gear implausible or transmission slip

55- gear comparison incorrect or target selection not achieved.

and of course the generic p0730 transmission code and the P1584 was stop lamp switch.

I appreciate the info on the radiator. will look into that asap! and hope to have it all installed and ready for code clearing soon!
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#5 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 09:27 PM
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There is nothing more expensive than a cheap mercedes.

1997 W210 (E320) - 151,000
2002 Chrysler Town and Country - 140,000
2007 Volvo V70 - 78,000
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#6 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 10:28 PM
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@newbnz
Aint that the truth! I purchased all the parts$175.00. OEM too! from a local wholesaler! Still need to pick up the radiator tomorrow, but its a little over $100 at the same wholesaler. Lucked out big time, just need to install and hope that it isn't too late for this mighty 722.6. The first thing I fixed on the car was the ignition. Wasn't turning with key in. Removed the cylinder and filed down the pins. Turns every time now. Hope this is the issue, otherwise I'll have to pick up the used trans and swap all the new parts over. So far the most expensive purchase has been the MBZ ATF at $25 a quart from the local Mercedes Stealer!!!
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#7 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbnz View Post
There is nothing more expensive than a cheap mercedes.
How has your w210 been treating you? I've heard they are great cars once the little things are updated and the maintenance is consistent.
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#8 (permalink) Old 12-15-2012, 05:11 AM
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As you already know, the leaking radiator is the source of most of your woes. Use MB coolant and distilled water for refill. The original leak was probably caused by galvanic corrosion from the previous owner using tap water or some non-MB approved coolant.

Recommend taking the MB ATF back to the dealer for a refund, and order 2 full drain and refills from AutohausAZ. (Brand - Fuch Titan which is around $14 L) Since your car has a torque converter drain plug, it is easier to get two complete drains if you do not want to flush and you can order spare drain plugs and washers (two different types).

Sourcing a transmission dipstick is usually best from ebay for competative pricing.

For a last resort, if you go the route of buying a used 722.6xx trans - beware. The xx designates all of the different varients. Stick to only those used trans for make and models of your car (closer in year the better). Otherwise, you may wind up with an unresolvable mismatch for engine, differential or TCU (like this - http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w210...djustment.html).

Electric Limp Home error codes cannot be reset thruough the ECU - it takes a STAR or equivalent to reset those Transmission error codes.

Good Luck

Last edited by atmsmshr; 12-15-2012 at 05:24 AM.
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#9 (permalink) Old 12-15-2012, 06:43 PM
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Thanks for the info atmsmshr,
I went out and purchased the radiator today. Was lucky to find the place open and to find a great price on a brand new radiator. Going to start flushing the coolant and the tranny tomorrow morning. If I need to purchase the other transmission it should be a direct fit. It came from an exact model and year.

After the procedure of flushing and installing fresh parts I'm going back to my local indy shop to get the codes cleared from the TCU with the Star diagnostic system. Hopefully they will be gentle on price this time around as well. They basically did the clearing of the codes free last time because they expected to have me leave the car once they told me what was wrong. I'll have to drive over and hopefully they will only charge the 30 min to 1 hour labor to remove the codes. Really takes less time then this, but they are going to go out of their way and I'm sure they will want to charge this time around. I wonder if Aamco has the correct tools to clear the codes? They say they will diagnose for free. Perhaps they can clear them as well.
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#10 (permalink) Old 12-15-2012, 08:33 PM
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I check AAMCO in Bay Area and they do not have scanner for MB transmission but
"They would be happy to take the car for few days for testing"
You are trying to act against this forum wealth of experience.
Good luck with that.
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