2014 E350 W212 Transmission Clicking Noises + Hard Downshift at Higher Speeds - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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2014 E350 W212 Transmission Clicking Noises + Hard Downshift at Higher Speeds

I purchased a used 2014 E350 with 70,000km two weeks ago. Everything seems to be in good shape except I am a bit concerned about the transmission. As far as I know, it still has the original transmission fluid/filter.

I am hoping to get some help on diagnosing if there is a problem with my transmission or if this is normal behavior. I have noticed clicking noises while shifting gears from Park- Drive - Reverse. See video here: https://youtu.be/2QVWjsgOZGo

Also, I am experiencing hard/jerky downshifting when quickly accelerating while travelling at speeds above 60km/h - for example, accelerating to pass a vehicle on the highway. Typically, there is a delay between me pushing down on the gas pedal and the downshift, which seems to be harder than I would expect, then the car accelerates.

My previous vehicle was a 2000 E320 w210, so I'm using that as comparison. My old w210 with 250,000km seemed to accelerate/downshift more smoothly than my 2014 w212.

If anyone can shed some light on whether these noises and hard downshifting is normal or not I would be very grateful. If it is not normal, what should be done to fix the issue?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 03:23 PM
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Mine makes those ticking noises when you switch gears (but not as loud). Also in the family we've had various other Benzes like the 2008 ML320 CDI, 2011 ML350 Bluetec and 2014 ML350 Bluetec all of which also make those noises.

As for rough downshits - my E550 has developed a rough 5-4 downshift when the car (and the weather) is cold in the morning. The various MLs listed also had some rough downshifts like the 2-1 or 3-2.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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Mine makes those ticking noises when you switch gears (but not as loud). Also in the family we've had various other Benzes like the 2008 ML320 CDI, 2011 ML350 Bluetec and 2014 ML350 Bluetec all of which also make those noises.

As for rough downshits - my E550 has developed a rough 5-4 downshift when the car (and the weather) is cold in the morning. The various MLs listed also had some rough downshifts like the 2-1 or 3-2.
Thanks Yazovets. Glad to hear the clicking is normal.

Is your hard downshift while accelerating or decelerating? Mine will happen regardless of temperature, and it's when accelerating.

I spoke with a transmission mechanic today that said when comparing the 7 speeds to the 5 speeds, often the 7 can have harder downshift because it can drop 3 to 4 gears as opposed to the 5 speed which might drop only 1 or 2. He didn't sound that concerned but he didn't see the car. He will do a diagnostic for about $100.

Thinking I might bring it to Mercedes to give me their opinion. I assume their diagnostic will be in the same ballpark price wise.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 07:02 AM
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My rough downshifts are always when slowing down moderately. If I am accelerating and drop 5 to 4 then it's a fairly normal shift.

The thing is the car didn't used to do that until it reached about 80000km. The dealer of course said they couldn't reproduce the problem. My mechanic friend thinks the upcoming tranny fluid flush (due to be done at 120000km) should make things smoother. We shall see. It hasn't gotten worse - I've been driving with this symptom for a year.

According to what I have read the 7GTronic and the Plus variant can downshift up to 2 gears at once. In other words 6 to 4 or 5 to 3 are possible; it does not skip more than 2 gears though.

I recommend when you go to the dealer to demand doing a test drive with a mechanic or shop foreman in the car with you.

2014 E550 4Matic | Iridium Silver on Black | Premium & Driver Assistance Packages | 15% Tint | Michelin Pilot Sport AS3+ | Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 | Weathertech Floor & Trunk Liners
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
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My rough downshifts are always when slowing down moderately. If I am accelerating and drop 5 to 4 then it's a fairly normal shift.

The thing is the car didn't used to do that until it reached about 80000km. The dealer of course said they couldn't reproduce the problem. My mechanic friend thinks the upcoming tranny fluid flush (due to be done at 120000km) should make things smoother. We shall see. It hasn't gotten worse - I've been driving with this symptom for a year.

According to what I have read the 7GTronic and the Plus variant can downshift up to 2 gears at once. In other words 6 to 4 or 5 to 3 are possible; it does not skip more than 2 gears though.

I recommend when you go to the dealer to demand doing a test drive with a mechanic or shop foreman in the car with you.
Interesting, I swear I've seen the gears on my car drop from gear 7 to 3 before in a single go.

I went to the MB dealer this week. They were very nice about the situation especially considering I didn't buy it from MB. The mechanic came for a test drive with me free of charge. He acknowledged that the vehicle has abnormal downshifts during acceleration. Based on the drive he said he doesn't think there is anything mechanically wrong as there is no grinding or clanking noises. However, it definetly should be much smoother. He seemed to think it was more software related or maybe low fluid level. I am going in for diagnostic testing on Tuesday where they will scan the computer, update the software if there are updates, a hard reset on adaptations (he said the key + pedal method to reset adaptations normally doesn't work all that well) and check the fluid level for $150.

I will post an update once MB has a proper diagnoses. They told me a tranny fluid change is $550 CAD. I'd hate to see what the rebuild cost is.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 05:08 AM Thread Starter
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Had Mercedes look at the car. Found no codes, transmission fluid level ok, no signs of burnt fluid. Updated the Transmission control unit software and reset adaptations. No improvement in shift quality. They say further changes to the adaptations will be required. Not looking great so far.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 12:54 PM
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I've been reading your updates. I was really hoping you would have found a culprit like the fluid or software...

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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It seems to have improved a bit. By no means is it perfect. I test drove another 2014 e class and it shifted much smoother. Mercedes said it could take up to 2 weeks for the adaptations to learn.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 11:36 PM
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It seems to have improved a bit. By no means is it perfect. I test drove another 2014 e class and it shifted much smoother. Mercedes said it could take up to 2 weeks for the adaptations to learn.

You're lucky they were honest in admitting they have no idea what it could be. It gets expensive when they decide to throw parts at an "unknown" issue. I highly doubt 2 weeks of driving is going to resolve the hard downshifts.

Have you by chance checked your motor/transmission/rear sub frame mounts?
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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It seems to have improved a bit. By no means is it perfect. I test drove another 2014 e class and it shifted much smoother. Mercedes said it could take up to 2 weeks for the adaptations to learn.

You're lucky they were honest in admitting they have no idea what it could be. It gets expensive when they decide to throw parts at an "unknown" issue. I highly doubt 2 weeks of driving is going to resolve the hard downshifts.

Have you by chance checked your motor/transmission/rear sub frame mounts?
They still think it's software related. Going in for manual adjustments to the adaptations in a week. Yeah shocking. They are being really good about it for now. They're not going to charge me for the manual adjustments. If that doesn't work then I dunno. Maybe swap out the valve body. The service manager confirmed there were no transmission services in the first 70k so I'm the first one to find the issue.

No I have not check the mounts. You think they could be related? I've narrowed down more when the hard Downshifts happen. The worst downshift is 5 to 4. Tested it out today in manual. Driving about 60km/hr in 5th gear, step on the gas pedal about 1/4 depressed then downshift to 4 and I get a big jerk. The rest are not that bad, although Downshifts that pass down through 4 often have a jerk-hesitation-then acceleration. When driving very gently, all gear shifts are butter smooth. Downshifting while accelerating is a bad.

I was reading about "Peter Ubers" who was dealing with some serious transmission problems on his brand new 2014 E550. I hope this isn't the same case. Because he went through two brand new cars for transmission problems.
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