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:confused:I was given a 1991 2.3L 190E, 214,000 miles owned by a friend trying to help me out financially after Hurricane Katrina. He had bought it for himself, used, and put some money into it, primarily on cooling system. When I received it, the only major problem was a defective heating core which made for cold winter driving. A lesser problem, was a relatively hard-shifting AT. (This was the first AT vehicle I have owned in over 40 years.) I topped off the AT fluid to full, with a Lucas Oil AT product.....it took less than a pint to fill. After doing this, and driving for a relatively short while, the shifting smoothed out nicely. On highway trips I was getting about 26-27 mpg which I considered excellent for an AT older vehicle.

After driving it for about 6 months, I took the vehicle to a neighbor who rebuilds old Mercedes as a hobby, primarily to see what he thought about the heater core problem (and balky high-speed windshield wiper performance.) While doing this, he asked me to start the motor so he could look at some other things. The engine idled in P for about 15-20 minutes. When I left, I backed out of his driveway and drove off, but the transmission suddenly would not upshift and it has remained that way ever since and is parked. Is this a common problem, and if so, what is usually the fix? The sudden breakdown is puzzling, so, I was hoping for a simple solution since "everyone" has been telling me it's not worth putting in a rebuilt transmission or perform an extensive transmission repair.

I am going to go the route of changing the AT fluid first before giving up on problem, but, am having problem finding drain plug locations, repair manuals,etc., among other things.
 

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2002 C320 Wagon, 2004 C320 Sedan
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Push it hard up into higher RPMs and then left off the pedal quickly and see if that forces an upshift.....if so maybe he loosenesd the shift cable while under the hood?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I really don't think we touched anything substantially under the hood....if anything. Since the problem, I have checked, pulled, and reseated 2-3 relays that I thought may have had something to do with AT shifting from research. I have done. A very nice Mercedes shop owner in the area (he gave me link to this site) suggested I pull a switch-relay underneath the accelerator pedal to isolate a possible problem, but, there was no change in the condition.

I have accelerated under existing low gear engagement to about 4000 rpm and decelerated in hopes that would cause a shift, but, nothing changed. Reverse operates normally. I have tried manual shifts, but, they have resulted in some delayed engagements, but, no higher gear.

Thank you for your quick reply.
 

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1992 190E 2.3L
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Have you checked the filter?

I have a similar problem with my 190e. Sometimes when it starts, it won't shift up for a few minutes. It doesn't matter how high I get the rpms, I can't force it to shift. Even shifting manually doesn't do anything.

I took it to a mechanic who said that one problem could be a clogged transmission filter. Sometimes the filter develops a clog where the ATF fluid doesn't pass through. You might try changing the filter--filters are $200 or so and the task is relatively simple.

Ron
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was also told that (about the filter) from the Mercedes mechanic I talked to. He said draining the fluid, taking the pan off and changing filter and replacing fluid, could possibly be the cheapest attempted fix with a real possibility of working.

I'm still lacking basic information about drain plug locations, etc. I've looked at a possible plug where two fluid lines are connected ( a metal block about 1 in. x 2 in.). There quite possibly is a place in Benzworld that might have diagrams, but, I realize a lot of times there are copyright problems with Mercedes. I havn't found a Chilton or Haynes book for my model for even simplest repairs.
 

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I have the same problem as Mikey1 but I changed the filter & fluid about 15,000 miles ago @ 135,000 miles. That didn't solve my hard shifting out of 1st, but I find out today it could be my modulator. So I'm glad to hear that, but I'm on hear today because it won't shift out of 1st. so if you have any other suggestions other than the filter I'd love to hear them.
Thank you... & Thank You guys your a big help!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I have a similar problem with my 190e. Sometimes when it starts, it won't shift up for a few minutes. It doesn't matter how high I get the rpms, I can't force it to shift. Even shifting manually doesn't do anything.

I took it to a mechanic who said that one problem could be a clogged transmission filter. Sometimes the filter develops a clog where the ATF fluid doesn't pass through. You might try changing the filter--filters are $200 or so and the task is relatively simple.

Ron
I was able to find several sources for a filter/gasket kit....locally and online. Even the Mercedes dealership close-by had an OEM filter for about $55 and the gasket for $11. I bought a filter/gasket kit from NAPA for about $35, so, you probably shouldn't spend $200 for a filter.

Thanks to maineman, his suggestions, and source material, I went ahead with draining the tran-pan (by loosening the pan bolts on one side and letting the fluid seep out around the pan perimeter into a drain pan) removed the fluid pan after the flow stopped, and removed the Torque Converter, hex-insert drain plug, which luckily, was already positioned at 180 down without my having to rotate the cranskshaft, and drained the TC.

When I removed the AT filter, there was a sudden gush of more trans fluid which made me think the filter might indeed have been blocking fluid flow. That may not be anything but normal, but, I was looking for any good sign. I will follow up with results of filter replacement and refill.

I did not see any metal in the fluid fluid pan except for about a dozen very small flecks.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OK.....I've changed filter and fluid....Full Monty with surgical cleanliness. Symptoms are the same though I will have to say this: It is virtually impossible to read the fluid-level dipstick. I was having difficulty before I changed the fluid and filter, and now I can't even see anything with new fluid. Hopefully Mercedes has developed a better method, OR, perhaps they didn't want Homers, or ANYBODY, to read the levels in the first place; any tranny problem should be taken to dealership and let them drain and replenish the fluid before they even try to look at a tran problem....am I wrong?

My fill guideline had to be based solely on the stated fill capacity and by measuring the fluid that left the pan to make sure I put in AT LEAST what came out.

Still works fine in reverse and manual down-shifting to 3 & 2. It almost seems as D (4th?) is not working.

Anybody with ideas from here? Getting ready for the junkyard with a new set of tires...
 

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1993 190E 2.6, 1990 300SEL, 1992 300SE, 1992 400E, 1987 190E 2.6 murdered by my brother.
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Sounds like you have contamination in your transmission. Have you tried Auto Rx? I dumped that in my engine and tranny. Its an organic metal cleaner and works wonders. Got really good mileage on my car after using it 26.7mpg going to Utah from Las Vegas with a full load of passengers and luggage. If it was a vacuum issue it wouldnt shift into any gear when the car was cold. But it sounds like it works on certain gears. A lot of people say Auto Rx cured their tranny problems when they car started to slip or shift rough or make grinding noises. I put some in mine and it smoothed out the shift shock the 190E 2.6 was so famous for. Now my car shifts smoothly from 2 to 3 to 4 like a Japanese car. i was and still am amazed at the results. Only thing is Auto Rx is online only and costs $26.00 a bottle. The transmission only uses about 4 ozs and its a 12 oz bottle.
 

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Checking the linkage on a 1991 190e?

How do you check if the linkage is set right on a 91 190e? My car will not upshift. It will shift in reverse and will go forward without shifting. It was fine until the mechanics changed my fuel pump. I do not know if they did anything, but they removed all the plastice panels underneath the car. Runs great just will not shift up. [email protected]
 
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