Date registered: Mar 2010
Vehicle: 2003 S430
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2003 S430 - Wont Come Out of Park - hasn't been in park for 3 weeks...
I'm new to this forum and I have a problem I think you guys will be able to help me out with. Its a 2003 S430 with 56,000 miles. I am the original owner.
About a month ago, a buddy wanted to take my car for a drive, and started the car normally. When he was putting the car into "R", I think I noticed his foot wasn't on the brake and he put the car into reverse with a reasonable amount of force. I didnt think it was a big deal at the time, and thought nothing of it. The next day, while I was trying to get out of park and my foot was on the brake, I noticed I had to pull a bit harder than usual. Again, thought nothing of it and continued on my way. By 2 days, I literally had to put full force on the gear shift to get out of park. I took the car in to my local Mercedes mechanic, and he told me the fix would be about $1200. He didnt give me any details as to the parts break down and labor charge, but I'm assuming, based on what I've read about the issue in these forums, that its a $1,000 part and $300 for labor.
Anywho, I was hesitant there as I know he is a rip off mechanic, and thought he was doing more than what was needed. He's ripped off a few of my friends before, so I asked him what a workaround is. Basically, ive been doing this for a month:
1) Leave the car in neutral when I want to park somewhere and put the parking break to the max.
2) Taken the mechanical key out of the keyfob to use to lock/unlock drivers door.
3) When I want to leave the car, I press the lock button on the dash. That locks all the doors except for the drivers, which I lock with the mechanical key.
4) I realize the key is in the ignition all the time, which is why I got a club and sun shield screen to put around the steering wheel so no one can see the key is on the car.
Its been working for now, but its getting annoying and I think the car is gonna give me other issues long-term if it stays like this. Ive read alot around this forum, and read somewhere that someone with an S55 took apart his transmission box and took out a plastic piece that makes the car need to push on the brake before changing gears. Im not concerned about the fact that the car will change gears just by pulling on the lever, as I have no small children. Im wondering what the procedure is or even if you think it will help me in the first place. Has anyone tried this before or fixed the wont come out of park issue some other way? Any suggestions would be great. Thanks for reading this long thing and your feedback is greatly appreciated!
P.S. If none of that is going to work, I would be forced to change the part everyone is mentioning, but would like to order it myself. A part name or number would be great.