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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi and thank you in advance for looking at this post.

I have a 2001 Mercedes A class A140 with a automatic gearbox. The car has been running great but the gearbox goes into "limp" home mode and F is displayed in the dash where the gear number should be. Sometimes it will run great and other times it will rev really high and will not move then the dreaded f is displayed. My wife is currently refusing to drive the car as she has had a few near misses at junctions when the car refuses to move or moves really slowly as it is stuck in a high gear. The problem used to go away for a while if you turned the engine off and on but this wasn't ideal.

The problem is now happening more frequently and the car is constantly going into f so I took it to my local independent Mercedes specialist and after scanning it they said that the gearbox ECU has gone and to replace would be around £1300 as the part alone is £1000 plus labour costs and vat. I then took it to a local garage that does all my other cars and they tested it and found several fault codes and said if the independent Mercedes garage with their star diagnostics found the gearbox ECU unit at fault they could send my old unit off for a repair at a cost of around £325 including labour and fitting.

The unit went off to ECU testing in Nottingham (highly recommend using this company the did the air mass ECU on this car and are very efficient a lot cheaper and give a 2 year warranty) and when they tested it they found no faults so just charged a test fee. This was really good news in a way as the other garage would have charged me £1300 for a part that was not faulty and the other garage was excellent and only charged me 2 hours labour and the test fee. The car is still in the garage and I am at a loss of what to do next and what could be the fault. I have below the fault codes read by a Snap-on scanner that the garage gave me if they are of any help to find the real fault.

Fault codes from Snap-on scanner.

P1889 Frequency Travel Control Shock Absorber (FTC) Module Faulty or stored code.

P1856 ECU Transmition Range REC/Touch Function Stored Code.

P1872 CAN: Ewm Communication or Selector Lever Implausible Stored.

Hope you can help guys

James
 

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this forum doesn't move as fast as the others - if you read around you will see that overall, the technical level here isn't the same. A Class owners don't seem to be take-apart freaks like the other model crews are!

Besides, your post failed a couple of basics, irrespective of what model we are talking about. One is that you sounded like you didn't need help - the other is, you did a recommendation with a link. Whatever your reasons for doing that, you have to admit that it's hard to tell the difference between your post, and a classic web shill.

Which has nothing to do with how well-intended you are, or how busted your Car. So what was the problem? fluff in the shifter, or the dreaded Valve Body?
 

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Your problem seems to be like mine.

I replaced only the floor shift mechanism and the whole transmission.

The floor shift inside has an ECU built-in which is the FTC fault you are getting.

And the selector switch you are getting most likely to pointing towards your floor shift as well.

Floor shift and auto transmission are very common faults for A class.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well I feel like a tit sorry for the last post but i was getting major earache off the wife. Thank you for both your replies it was very appreciated and helpful.*

LondonThing I am sorry if my post was a bit poo. I really really need help and if it looked like an advert that wasn't my intention, I believe that if you get good service to tell others so they don't get ripped off.

The story so far..............

Since my last post I thought I sorted the problem by changing the gear floor selector in the car with a secondhand one from Dronsfield mercedes. The car worked at first perfectly (more responsive a smooth gear changes) but after a couple of days the dreaded "f" started to appear. If you turned the engine off and then on again it would go away for a while but would return after a couple of days. *I phoned Dronsfield and they sent me another gear floor selector unit as they give 3 months warrantee. The unit was fitted and after driving for a few miles went into "f" but again turning the car off and on would keep it at bay for a while. Each time the units were replaced the fault codes were deleted from the cars ECU.

With what you guys know, do you think it's just the gear floor selector inside the car that needs replacing with a new one from mercedes? I only ask this as Hellgrace5 above says to replace this part as it's throwing up these codes and me being a cheap ass bought a second hand one that might also be faulty. A new unit from mercedes is around the £350 - £450 mark but I don't fancy paying that if it's something else at fault.*

LondonThing you mention the valve body sorry for my ignorance but don't know what that is? Could that be the problem?

Hellgrace5 you said you*replaced only the floor shift mechanism and the whole transmission. Does that mean you replaced the gearbox and the*gear floor selector to sort yours out?

Any imput would be greatly appreciated.*

James
 

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Hi Tigger441,

Yes what I've replaced are just the new floor shift and whole rebuilt transmission.

Problem solved and still driving the car until today.

Have you scan your car with MB Star or any relevant OBD2 scan tools ?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanx for you super fast reply.

I have had the car tested on the mercedes star diagnostics and a Snap-on. The star diagnostic said it was the gearbox ECU but i have had this tested and it not faulty. The codes on the Snap-on are listed on the top post if that helps.

Just to clarify did you replace your gearbox as it was part of the problem or did you need to replace it for another reason. Also did you buy a new gear floor selector from mercedes or a scrap merchant.

Thank you so much so far

James
 

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I bought the whole gear box because my scanner sometimes could not read the code from it. (transmission ecu built in gearbox) and sometimes when i was driving the car just suddenly "bang" and just stays on 2nd gear.

The floor shift I bought it from authorized Mercedes part dealer.

I changed both of them just to save my time repairing and guessing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanx again for the info matey.*

When my*car goes into "f" it revs really high and then goes into second gear until you turn it off and then back on.

When you changed your parts did you have to get them coded? I was told that both the gear floor selector and the gearbox ECU need to be coded to the car once fitted or is that a mercedes's way of getting your cash. I didn't do this with the secondhand gear floor selector and it seamed to work fine at first I have spoken to mercedes and they have said that the gear floor selector has been updated 4 times since it was originally put on the car. Makes me think that they knew it was poo from day one.

Thanx again sorry to be a pain

James
 

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James,

Once the parts are installed, just have it scan and clear any faults that are appearing.

Also notice to remove the battery when trying to have the parts replace.

Removing the auto transmission require to put down the engine.

Removing the floor shift is abit challenging.

Cheers.
 

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I had this limp mode on my 94 s600' after changing so many parts,all that was really the peoblem was the ecu unit costing $$$$, before the ecu was changed the car just goes on the asr mode, limping and will not run faster than 10 kph and stuck in one gear, then i turn off the engine and it becomes ok again but the problem worsen and the turning off did not help anymore, until one day its always on the limp mode nomatter what i do, so is pretty much the same with what's happening with your car, so i guess try to borrow an ecu from a fellow a class owner and see if it will work, thats what i di to try on my friends ecu borrowed it and checked it , the car is still working fine now when i bought the ecu from a local wrecker in hongkong,
 

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Trigger,
If an MB independent said that the gearbox CU needed replacing why did you sent the ECU for test
As I understand it the auto gearbox has a brain box that in part is located by the sector module in the cab, the ECU/combined MAFS as you would expect is in the engine bay
In addition to the PCB on the selector module there is a very complex valve chest on the bottom of the gearbox it's that, as I understand it that costs £1000 approx plus fitting,
The selector module is approx £470.00 and can be fitted yourself.
also as far as I'm aware none of the codes you mention imply that the ECU was suspect but tthe lower one points to the gear selector module

The repair cost of the ECU (engine control Unit ) is now less than £250. £1300 new for MB coded to your car 7-14 days delivery, as it has to be coded in Germany although this has been known to cause the 'F' and the car toi go into get you home mode, read on a diagnostics tool would not be thoughs that you have indicated.

Had your Problem been The ECU , there is no advantage over fitting a New ECU/mafs against repaired the repaired unit has a two year warrantee whereas the new one will be 12 months.

Albert Rowe, Lofty's homepage. A-class info, wine making, solar panels, Scotland, Canada Rockies, orchids.

had you visited my site page 59a you would have seen this and on page 38 you could have got a discount on the repair /test of your Engine Cotrol Unit .(ECU)
 

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Dranrebdy
I astounded that an ECU from another A class wrecked or not worked on your car as it is claimed that the ECU is coded to the individual car, normally if it goes duff it's the MAFS section which is integral of the ECU that's duff, This can be replaced for about £250 in the UK
A new ECU/MAFS unit claimed by Mercedes to be coded to your car will cost approx £1300.00 and has to come from Germany which takes 10 -14 days
For more information see my page 38 go Google; lofty's homepage
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi guys,

Thanx you all for your input and help so far, your help has been greatly received and taken on board and hopefully will help me get the car sorted.

Lofty I think I got you a little confused with my post so I am sorry about that. *The garage sent the gearbox ECU off for test not the combined mass air flow ECU (this also went off for test and got repaired pity I didn't have your site discount code) This ECU lies in the bottom of the gearbox near that complex valve chest you mentioned. To gain access to this unit you have to take the bottom gearbox sump off and remove the valve things (told this by the mechanic who removed it and sent it off)*

Just to let you know how we are getting on so far......

The garage staff have told me that this little car is becoming a big problem as it's driving them just as mad as me. They have done there own research on what could be causing the "f" problem and they think its the gearbox floor selector unit so I am waiting for a brand new one from Mercedes cost of £320+ vat. The garage said that it should be in by Thursday this week and they said it will be ready by the end of the day once it is in. As soon as I get some more input and get the car back I will let you know how I get on.

Lofty your site is amazing very well presented and loads of useful information. If you would like I have lots of photos of the gearbox ECU unit and selector if you would like them for future readers. Just let me know.

Thanx once again guys and watch this SpAcE...................
 

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well lets hope the extra expence cures you problems .
How MB can allow these problems to consistantly arise without coming up with a positive soloution I don't know , quite frankly it's a disgrace that so many owners some with very low mileage suffer these problems and it is world wide.

Yes I'd very much appreciate your photos, I'll add them to page 59a to assist other owners overcome their problems

They do need to be of good quality for posting on the net and close ups need to have been taken using macro otherwise the details are lost .

[email protected]

Please note I do not answer PM's from forums I get too many please see my site and read the details your answer may already be there!

Albert Rowe, Lofty's homepage. A-class info, wine making, solar panels, Scotland, Canada Rockies, orchids.
 

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For those of you with fully automatic transmissions where the ecu fails in the box ECU Testing are now able to undertake repairs, You do need to be able to remove the part which is not straight forward unless you are into advanced DIY But at least now they can be repaired for £288.00 less 10% if you mention my site 'Lofty's Homepage'
The repair comes with a two-year warrantee
For further details go to my page 59a,
Lets hope this starts to reduce the problems of which I'm aware thousands of owners have experienced, with many cars being scrapped because owners could not afford the repair costs of £1000 + which more often than not was more that the value in monetary terms of the car

Bert Rowe's-Mercedes-Benz 'A'-class info. Changing full Automatic Gearbox fluid on Mercedes- Benz 'A' Class ACS transmission .
I hope to have a list of codes shortly that indicate the transmission ECU is at fault, ECU Testing will always check your unit before attempting any repair and contact your as required.
 

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A 190L benz 2001 auto

Hi ,
I have this codes: P1872, P1873, P1874, P1876, P1877, P1878 and P1895. A 190L benz 2001 auto. I'm tired looking somebody to solve this in my country (Macedonia). I can drive in 2 gear only and ESP/BAS and Check Engine lights on. Do you have any idea? Thank you. Mile [email protected]
 

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FTC

Thank you. This is the electronic plate inside the gearbox? But this is very expensive part. Is there some other possibility for repairing or something? What is your opinion for replacing auto with manual transmission? They told me they will replace everything and I will not have any problems in the future for 500 Euro. Mile
 

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the option of replacing auto to manual is widely popular, but not so popular in the UK because of the cost and the value of the car.
 
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