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1999 E320
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Discussion Starter #1
1999 E320 sedan with 114,000 miles.

Quick rundown of the problem we have.

I guess my dad's car was leaking a small amount of transmission fluid every now and then. On day when we came out of the grocery store, CEL went on in our car and the car will only shift through 1st and 2nd gear and had Leaked quarts of transmission fluid.

Is the transmission possibly done for? Could it be electrical, but the transmission fluid leak concerns me?

What do most shops charge to read the CEL on a Mercedes?

Thanks!
 

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Current 2017 GLE350, 2007 S550, 2002 S430, 1998 ML320 Deceased 74 240D, 92 400E, 97 E420, 13 GLK350
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Don't drive the car until repaired. The tranny is trying to protect itself by going into the limp home mode.

Check the stickies for excellent description on transmission woes than can be DIY fixes.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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x2 on checking stickies. I bet $2 the electrical connector plug is the issue.
Mechanically those transmissions are bulletproof, but have couple well known weak electrical points.
 

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Where did you already take it that they told you it "leaked quarts" of fluid? That is highly unlikely. Maybe one, but if it were much more than that it wouldn't move at all. What's happened is that one or more of the many sensors has triggered a code that has dropped the transmission into "limp" mode.

Read through the 722.6xx FAQ, that will give you lots of knowledge.

The connector/adapter Kajtek1 mentions is more than $2 (about $7-15 depending on where you buy it), and MUCH more than that if you're paying someone else to replace it.

The most likely scenario is that the connector started leaking, usually it's a few tablespoons at a time. With a 99, it's possible that the conductor plate has also shorted out. That piece is in the transmission and one end of it plugs into the harness through the connector. It's also possible that the fluid leaking at the connector has traveled up the harness into the TCU and shorted it out. Whether the TCU needs to be replaced or just cleaned and dried it's impossible to tell.

In short, if it's gone into limp mode, it's unlikely just to be a loss of fluid. The good news is that the immediate symptoms are unlikely to be mechanical in nature, but rather electronic. The bad news is that's still many, many hundreds of dollars, perhaps more than a thousand. Since you don't sound as though you or your parents are DIY people, the trick will be to find a good repair shop, and NOT the one that told you it leaked "quarts" of fluid. The good shop will pull codes, check the TCU for fluid incursion and then recommend a course of action.

Complete your profile for vehicle and location and perhaps another member can recommend a good shop. You could also look in the area thread/forums that discuss repair facilities by region.

Good luck.
 

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1999 E320
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks for all the input guys. Found this forum to be alot more helpful than others.

I read through the transmission stickies(some of them), particularly the issue with the Electrical connector leaking.

My dad's ex co-worker works at a transmission shop. He came by our house and brought some ramps. When we put the car up he took a quick look for us. He says that there is a leaking gasket where the shifter or shifter cable (not sure exactly what he meant) goes into the transmission. He said the gasket is faulty and is causing the leak.

He said it's just a $2 part, but needs like 3-4 hours to change because of the difficulty of getting to it. Have you guys heard of this issue? His shop runs diagnostics and will read the CEL codes for a full diagnostic, but at minimum that gasket needs replacement he says.

He's a good friend to my dad's don't think he's trying to rip us off, but any input is appreciated.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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He might be good friend and experienced mechanic, but bear in mind that W210 is computer with wheels. Even the best wrench turner will not know how to deal with it.
There is no shifter and no shifter cable going into this transmission. All it is is a harness with about 7 wires and the connector, that is known as a weak link. The connector plug cost $7-16 depends where you buy it and alone takes about 3 minutes to replace. Pulling the belly pans and rechecking the fluid will take a bit longer.
If you tilt the car front up and have cold transmission, the fluid level stays at plug hole, meaning you will not have to refill the transmission after plug replacement.
 

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Mechanic friend or not, he is not a MERCEDES mechanic and yes, there is a difference. I'll bet you $50 -- even without looking at the car -- that it is the harness connector/adapter that is creating the leak and he hasn't seen one before, which is why he's guessing it's a cable or something.

If you are not going to do this yourself, then take it to a good MB indie shop (or a transmission shop that works on MB transmissions). Either that or sell it. Do NOT let a mechanic LEARN on YOUR car. Period.

The other reason is that you should go ahead and have the fluid changed at this point. No one that doesn't know these transmissions should be doing that job, either. If the harness is a cable, then dexron is fluid, right? Sure, that'll work just fine. :rolleyes:
 

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Wow! An awfull lot of mis-information here. Drop the ego and try giving sound advice. If you dont know, dont speculate. What good does that do anybody? There most definately is a cable going in to the back of the transmission that commonly leaks fluid. I believe mercedes refers to it as the shift interlock cable. I've had to change many of these seals and it takes all of 10 minutes on a lift. There is also a common leak at the main electrical connector on the front passenger side of the transmission. Both are very easy to fix and are very inexpensive. PM me if you need repair information.

And for the record, low fluid levels CAN cause the transmission to go into limp in mode. This rarely happens because the trans. generally begins to slip very bad due to low fluid long before it goes into limp in mode. People typically address the problem before it gets that bad. And another, for the record. I've seen multiple Mercedes be several quarts low on fluid and never show any driveability symptoms.

I'm sorry to burst everyones bubble but the trans in the car in question is no different than any other transmission used in passenger cars today. In fact, Chrysler uses the very same transmission in many of their vehicles in order to cut production costs. This is rapidly becoming a popular trend with automotive manufacturers.

You would do well in the future to disreguard the notion that mercedes has some special transmission (or any other componant for that matter) that requires a specific mercedes technician to repair. Thats just plain silly. ANY competant technician can handle the repairs for you. Especially someone who specalizes in transmissions in general. I've been fixing these common issues on a wide variety of mercedes for several years with no specific Mercedes training :eek:.

If you need any more correct information, let me know, I'll be happy to help.
 

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1999 E55, 2001 E320, 1990 560 SEC, 2004 ML350, 2001 ML55, 1995 S500, 1998 SL500, 2010 E550 Sport zoo
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Back the truck up MGW... you don't know the forum members who are posting, and quite frankly if you are a newbie I would hold your rush to judgement.

1st - the mechanic "friend" obviously did not have MB expereince - what I mean by that nowhere is it mentioned he had the means to judge the fluid level in the tranny - since you need a dipstick either pre-calibrated or using the DIY stickies marking off a cable.

2nd - For the W210 the far-far more common leaks is at the tranny adapter plug - and internal seepage on the original plug (updated design now) would cause other communication problems both at the plug and as weeps up the cable harness into the transmission control module. Therefore a NEW TRANNY PLUG is the 1st line of defense. ONLY to be replaced with genuine MB plug, not off-brand China replicas - and most affordable replacement is the Chrysler Crossfire tranny adapter plug either at a Chrysler dealer or order thru Amazon for like $14 delivered. MB dealer prices for that plug in some instances will be as high as $35.

3) Yes - there is a parking lock cable linkage - sortof a German thing which some people call interlock cable. Leakage at that gasket/boot is much more common in other 722.6 series especially the W163 - and much rarer on W210. I have seen it happen with the W210, but especially as compared to the W613 commonality for a W210 is rare, but not impossible. Requires dropping the pan and filter/fluid change anyway - short form instr:

Changing the park lock cable linkage:
1. Get surgical - get parts and replacement filter/correct fluid. Drop pan
2. Grab beige connector at end of cable, turn counterclockwise about 30 degrees, pull back.
3. remove torx off the black plastic linkage piece that goes into tranny housing.
4. Take a sharp blade screwdriver and a hammer, put screwdriver between tranny housing and the tapered end of the pin that's holding the lever that the plastic linkage attaches to, and give it a gentle wack to dislodge the pin.
5. Remove pin enough to free the spring and lever, disconnect linkage and remove from tranny housing. Replace leaking gasket/bellows
6. Reassemble with new linkage. Place linkage through housing, then attach to lever, then place pin through lever not forgetting the spring, only then attach linkage to housing with torx screw. Press black button on cable end to retract cable, then attach to linkage by inserting and turning clockwise till it clicks. You are done with cable.

MGW - I hope you choose to stay on this fourm - or you can go, its your choice.

But understand some of the other replies are from dedicated long term members of this forum who go to great lengths to encourage and help all...

I can say with positive certainty I am not a 722.6 "expert" - just here to read and help where I can - it's your choice what you do..

To the OP - this particular problem most likely will NOT lead to a tranny rebuild/replacement - however it should lead to sensible tranny service - identify the problem including indication your tranny needs at minimum a fresh adapter plug, fluid and filter change - and a closer visual inspection will show you whether or not you need a gasket/bellows change out.

Good luck !
 

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Mr. Goodwrench...thanks for contributing to the misinformation.

You don't, perchance, happen to own a W210 diesel, do you? ;)
 

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I'm sorry if I offended anyone but if you find the truth offensive, you may want to rethink your standpoint. Or consider a career in politics. Why would I leave the forum? Were all in this game together, helping each other when we can is what its all about.

One thing to add to the replacement procedure for the interlock boot, make sure the transmission is left in park when re assembling. The spring tension may adversely effect where the bellow boot is positioned if this is not done.

And no, I've never owned (and probably never will) any Mercedes products. I'm an ASE, GMAC, and Honda gold master certified technician and have worked on more of these cars than I can count. I have 2 in my shop right now. One for transmission replacement at 160k because the fluid was never changed, and the other for a leaking shift interlock boot. They seem like great cars when properly maintained. Change your fluid every 60k!!

One thing I can assure you all of, the information I share with you is 100% correct. I didn't learn these things from reading on the internet. You cant beat hands on experience.
 

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One thing I can assure you all of, the information I share with you is 100% correct.
That only shows your ignorance. Would you have real hands on experience, you would know the things ALWAYS can be done in several ways and you can't call any of them 100% correct as that would make the other incorrect.
Regardless doing the same job in several different ways, they all can work just fine.
 

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1999 E55, 2001 E320, 1990 560 SEC, 2004 ML350, 2001 ML55, 1995 S500, 1998 SL500, 2010 E550 Sport zoo
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Well, MGR in most cases if the interlock cable boot is leaking - if it is not outright torn many times it can be readjusted/remounted and not require boot replacement.

With the active participating members of this forum - we get a better picture than most general mechanics on the "likeliehood" of a particular problem, - which is exactly what rolled out in reply to the OP's original post...
 

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fabbrisd1 Has this
it can be readjusted/remounted and not require boot replacement.
been your personal experience? Ive never seen one of those seals leak without cause. Usually its because someone has incorrectly serviced it, or the seal is just plain worn out. I did see one Mercedes trans. that had a plugged up vent from a rodent nest. The plugged vent caused several seals to leak with the extra pressure build up and such.

Either way, seals dont just start leaking for no reason. Something had to have occured to cause the leak. Too often the result of the problem is fixed and the cause of the problem is overlooked.


Mr. Goodwrench...thanks for contributing to the misinformation.
And what information exactly are you referring to? Perhaps you are misunderstanding me......

That only shows your ignorance. Would you have real hands on experience, you would know the things ALWAYS can be done in several ways and you can't call any of them 100% correct as that would make the other incorrect.
Nearing 25 years hands on and going strong. Sure things can be done several different ways, but in most cases, there is only ONE right way. Opinions may vary.......

Not sure how insulting me contributes to helping the OP but by all means, carry on. Might help the bruises heal faster..........:surrender:
 

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park lock cable linkage

So I have the leaking park lock cable leak. I've got the 4 quarts of transmission oil from merc, got the filter, new gasket. I started to remove the connector as stated above but broke off the end on the old one.... no biggie.... still trying to figure out how the new one will go in though.

I sure am glad to find this procedure though, very helpful! I am attaching a picture of mine removed (broken...) hopefully this helps.
 

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thanks MAVA

thanks martin, that was just what I needed. the PDF was good and the pictures were amazing. Once I get the new PLIL in I should be all set (I hope). :bowdown:
 
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