DAMAGED TRANSFER CASE - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-24-2016, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Jun 2016
Vehicle: 2010 C300 4MATIC
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Thumbs down DAMAGED TRANSFER CASE

PLEASE HELP!
Purchased USED C300 3/17/2016, IMMEDIATELLY after driving off the lot I heard a odd noise. Within seconds I went back to the dealership to see about getting the noise looked at. Was told to make an apt with service and they would take care of it. Called service and they made an appt. 2 days later. Took the car in, and upon arriving they tell me that the vehicle purchase was AS IS and they could not do anything further to the vehicle because they do NOT have to perform a 100 point inspection on used vehicles that I would need to see my own mechanic to assess the issue-of course I'm livid. I did take the vehicle to a authorize mechanic and had them drive the vehicle and they said it sounded like road rash and the tires were "coupled", "cupped" (?). I contacted the dealership and they said they would not be responsible for replacing tires--again it was my expense. PISSED and because I travel often I had to get the car in shape to be safe for me. 3/26/16 I purchased tires according to the manufacturing specs (front and back have different sizes)--this was relayed to the retailer that sold me the tires. Paid cash for the tires, got my receipt and went about my life! Fast forward to 6/13/2016---from about mid may to June 13 I begin hearing a noise AGAIN-even after replacing the tires. Took the car to a local mechanic to see what the noise is...it took several days to assess this noise...FINALLY we get up under the car and hear an unbearable noise comin from the transfer case and rear diff. I purchased a Value Guard warranty for 2500.00 to protect my investment. Having no idea why this would happen on a vehicle with only 74000 miles I contacted the dealership who refused to do ANYTHING instead told me to contact the warranty folks to have the car taken care of. I did that and the warranty people sent out an assessor after the transfer case was tore open--major bearing damage, metal shavings and broken bearings.....assessor reported to warranty people that the wrong size tires were on the car. What I paid for IS NOT what the retailer put on the car...they put 4 245/40/17 all around the vehicle, instead of putting 225/45/17 on the front-----I never knew until this was bought to my attention. Did this cause my transmission damage? The waaranty will not over because they say its considered a modification which I did not authorize. Sorry so long but I need help!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 10:39 AM
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Not sure if you meant to post this in our section, [email protected] but we may be able to offer some insight.

I don't know what specifically caused your drive train failure, or what conditions have to be met for your extended warranty, but having 245/40R-17 sized tires on all four(4) corners was likely not the cause (assuming the tires are exactly the same, IE: brand, make, etc). AWD systems like your 4-Matic need to maintain the same rolling diameter front to rear to operate properly. Your 2010 4-Matic came equipped with 225/45R-17 tires on the front axle and 245/40R-17 tires on the rear axle; this is called staggered tire fitment. These two tire sizes maintain the same rolling diameter so the vehicle would not notice a difference with the 245's on all four corners. The only difference between these two sizes is the tire width; the 245 is ~1-inch wider when compared to the 225. The vehicle is set-up with this staggered fitment for handling purposes, but again the rolling diameters are the same so the 245's should not be the cause of the failure.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-13-2016, 02:43 AM
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Wrong size tires will not damage your transfer case. Staggered tires will. All 4 must be the same rolling tire size diameter regardless. One must be careful with a 4 matic though, because if you change tire size, you have to be mindful that the spare will not match the tire circomference of your set. Now, it's possible that a previous owner may have installed different staggered tires and wheels than what came with the car prior to your purchase, but they replaced the original set before trading the car in which damaged the transfer case. And it's also possible the transfer case just failed. Installing a tire that's supposed to fit a 9.5" wheel on an 8.5" wheel could cause the rolling diameter to change since the crown would be forced upward. Transfer case fluid change should be a regular part of maintenance but it usually gets neglected until there's a noise. I was lucky with my S430 4matic. All I needed was a fluid change and a friction modifier to cure it's ills. Good luck.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-13-2016, 03:01 AM
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The warrenty you bought was money down the drain. Very few of those companies will honour anything ,relying on you to keep the vehicle maintained. Now, the vehicle should have been looked at in=mediately you heard the sound .The dealer knows you will not go to a lawyer and get the dispute sorted in a court because of cost. Did the car come with any service books? late model mercedes are often servied at dealers where the vehicles service history is held online. if there is a decent size Mercedes dealer near you ,Ask to speak with the service manager and ask for a printout of yours service record. It can often be very revealing...such as more mileage than is shown on the odometer.
In your case,if i were the mechanic , i would be contacting the local mercedes wrecker and buying a transfer case and Diff. Most dismantlers want business so they won't be selling junk. A few hours work to install the good parts, checking the cars diagnostic readouts and resetting codes aqnd making sure the tire sizes are within spec and you are back on the road. Good luck!.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-13-2016, 03:25 AM
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Don't know if Kentucky has a small claims process or not, but in TX you can use the small claims process to sue for up to $10K and represent yourself.

Seeing as the car was defective the moment you drove it off the lot, you probably have a good case for saying the car was defective.

Now, again I don't know about Kentucky, but in the UK the law does not require YOU to be an expert mechanic, but the SELLER is responsible for the car being in "merchantable quality" and "fit for purpose" whether brand spanking new or used.. The Law makes allowances for age, mileage and such like, but if the transmission's "Donald Ducked" it's clearly not driveable and therefore not "fit for purpose" or of "merchantable quality". Only IF the seller points out such a significant problem, and has proof of that in writing, and that you agreed to buy the car in that state, is he off the hook.

Go to your local law school, see if they do citizen's advice or free consultations on Saturday mornings or something, then sue in small claims for the cost of the car or the cost of having a used replacement transfer case fitted.

"Semper In excretio, solum profundum variat" - unknown
They called me mad, and I called them mad, and damn them, they outvoted me" - Nathaniel Lee
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