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1998 E320
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196 Posts
Discussion Starter #21
Good point

Winter mode... good point. It starts the car off in second gear I heard. It makes for a slower start but I'm not convinced that this will reduce wear on the tranny. First gear is made to pull from a stopped position. I'm thinking that second gear may slip slightly until the car gets up to a few mph... would love to hear from some mechanics on this though..

On another note... I had the symptoms of a problem with the tranny. It would slam into first gear from park and stay in first like it was in limp home mode. Then after I stopped and put it back in park, it would be okay. It would only happen about once every few days. I just got back from my MB certified Master Mechanic indie shop. This guy got tired of the politics at the dealers and is now the resident expert for MB in this area. He is incredible and loves MB. It's refreshing to see someone actually like their job. Anyway, he has worked on my car for about the past 50K miles so he knows it well. I told him the symptoms... and my suggestions... 13 pin connector.. bushing... conductor plate... flooded ECT (Checked this myself and nothing there by the way.) He pulled me into the shop and told me that there was no leak... my rear main seal had a slight oil leak but nothing to be overly concerned about. We spent some time under the car. He recommended a flush with conditioner... I agreed and he said that if this doesn't fix the issue, it could be the conductor plate. I'm satisfied and have had no issues so far. Someone in the past replaced the 13 pin connector which he said has had 4 revisions.

He went on to talk about how the 722.6 tranny was used in various forms for C E and S class sedans. He said mechanical failures are rare and that electrical issues are most of the culprits. He drove the car for a while and also noted a torn steering knuckle boot in the firewall. He said that it could kill me... (with a smile of course) if I get an exhaust leak but that it is not that big of an issue because my exhaust is good to go. Maybe I'll get it fixed next time.

Anyway, I'll update this thread as my miles continue to roll on my 1998 E320. I will cross 200K by July. The car runs great, A/C is cold as hell and my mileage is averaging 26+ in mixed driving with over 30 on the highway.

Great cars if you take care of them. It's a shame that my sled has a book value of about $4500 on a good day. More to follow.

PS - my mechanic has said repeatedly that the 210 is perhaps the best car MB ever made. He likes the big S class early 90's models as well because they too don't have too much electrical crap on them that can go wrong. Long live the 210!;)
 

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W210
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13,885 Posts
Has anyone's original E320 transmission lasted beyond 200,000 miles?


I'll let you know in another 100K miles if I don't end up selling it.:D
 

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'99 E320 Wagon, ‘71 280SL, '97 SL500, '96 E300D, ’11 E350D
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69 Posts
very interesting inquiry regarding W mode.......would love a follow up
 

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500E, E320, 190E, E55
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Well I had a W124 w/ the older 4 speed auto box that lasted me 214K on the O.E. trans. (1992 400E) you would think the newer 5 speeders on the W210's could do the same?
I sold the car and it was still fine (not sure if new owner had any problems down the road)

my 2 cents
 

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1985 300D - 1997 E320 - 2004 E55 - 2007 ML320
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812 Posts
Knock on wood ! My 97 E320 with the 5 speed auto 722.624? has over 217k on it. If you look thru my previous post you'll see that I bought the car with transmission problems. The previous owner never changed the fluid or filter in it and it had 193k at the time. The car did drive but once the fluid heated up the trans slipped and eventually would not go into gear. I changed the fluid and filter first. The trans readily went into gear but from previous attempts with the bad fluid the car was in 'limp home mode". I cleared that out and she ran fine for about 2 months. Then I had got stuck one day with the same problem. Changed the filter and fluid again and cleared the "limp home mode" again and she was fine. I think the problem was I couldn't get all the fluid out of the cooler and some of the old fluid killed the new fluid. That was back in Sept 08. Both times I did not use the MB spec fluid. Although I did use a fluid that is suppose to be safe for electronic tranmissions. I have another filter and the MB Fluid in the garage for the next change. I was able to find the fluid pretty cheap a while back for only 11 bucks a quart. I will also say this, if you haven't changed the adapter plug, where the wiring harness plugs into the trans, I would highly consider it. I noticed that my wiring harness was full of fluid and have heard stories from other owners on here that fluid has reached all the way up to the TCU under the shifter and ashtray and shorted it out. Also, if its a good leaker your fluid level can go low pretty quick. Running it with just enough fluid to shift is not good(worse then putting the wrong fluid in it), because the fluid will never cool down the trans due to the lack of it, and an overheated trans is not good. It will definately fail with out indication if it over heats.

These tranmissions are actually pretty simple... If you look past the gears in it for gearing, the electronics are what control the shifting, not the hydraulics like older transmissions. The only real electronic part in it is the conductor plate and solenoids. If the trans isn't shifting I'd check the conductor plate first.
 

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1998 E320
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196 Posts
Discussion Starter #26
Conductor plate is my next try.... it did the slam into drive and held first gear on me again. I put it in park and it was good to go after that. Strange. I'll bite my lip for a few more weeks then will make the call to have the plate worked on.
 

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2001-W210-CAPRI METALIC BLUE-/ 2002-W210 E300D
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908 Posts
takes a licking and keeps on ticking..

This is the bad filter from one of three changes. The other 2 were clean.

300,000 with 3 filters and 2 flushes.

So far I think Flushing the fluid completely ( 15 quarts ) has saved this tranny.

THose little metal specks concern me but so far tight and smooth.

B
 

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1996 E320
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132 Posts
Any idea what it *does* to the inside electrics on a '96 4-speed if the harness is shorted out for a few years? I'm losing my aversion to buying new, especially if the "1-owner" is really the second owner...
 

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1985 300D - 1997 E320 - 2004 E55 - 2007 ML320
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Any idea what it *does* to the inside electrics on a '96 4-speed if the harness is shorted out for a few years? I'm losing my aversion to buying new, especially if the "1-owner" is really the second owner...
I don't think it the problem is what it does to the "inside electronics" its the tcu rather. The interior of the transmission isn't really all too electronic, its mostly electric. The physical electronics to the tranmission are in the TCU. The conductor plate is merely just a plate plate with copper in the middle to act as wiring to the actual sensors and solenoids.
 

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1996 E320
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132 Posts
In the process of getting the turn signals fixed, the backup lights came back and it looks like all my lighting is good.

Your answer is why I called it the "electrics" instead of "electronics". My understanding is that the transmission has only sensors and switches, like you say any "brains" are in the control modules under the hood. By all appearances, nothing was damaged by the current flows. I was most worried about the periodic high current from the starting cycle. Still don't know if two of my terminals in the harness are reversed or not, but I'm leaving it alone now.
 

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I'm knocking on the door of 200K miles on my 1998 E320. I have done the maint schedule as it should be done. My concern is the tranny.... properly maintained, how long can these reasonably be expected to last? I get an ever-so-slight faint shudder when engaging second gear from time to time. Not comforting. I'm wondering if anyone out there has a high mileage W210 chassis that is in the 250K mile category with the original transmission.

I'm facing some maintenance... brakes mostly... and may be at a decision point if the tranny is showing weakness.

Any comments would be welcome. Thanks to all.
Scuddog
I have a 1996 Mercedes e320 6cylinder with 225,000 miles on it . It's still going but don't know how much longer . I am changing transmission fluid this weekend since l got the car a few months ago and don't know when last service was done.
My 97 e320 had the tranny replaced at around 270,000 (I put in a used one instead of a rebuilt). The previous owner had the service done at an indy and the last service records showed that they found some metal shavings in the pan on the last transmission service. No problems with the used tranny so far (15,000 + miles).
I have Mercedes e320 1996 6cylinder.
225,000 miles
Do you think the transmission should be a problem at this point?
Any suggestions much appreciated!!
Thanks
 

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Premium Member
97 E-420 (180K miles), 97 SL500, (93K miles) 2015 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD CC/SB/4x4 Duramax(55K)
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My 97 E420, which has been driven pretty aggressively most of it's life is now at 190K. Tranny still seems fine. Fluid changed every 250K or so. Only thing it has suffered is the infamous broken valve body spring at about 120K. Sonnex spring and everything running fine.
 

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1996 E320
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132 Posts
I bought a used one whose transmission was rebuilt for hard shifting somewhere near 100K by


Midas. I bought it some time later and the transmission behaved just fine.


It lost the first-gear clutch at way, way less than 200,000. I guess the rebuild should count as "service"? I monitored the transmission fluid religiously, it never went discolored or smelly or anything, nor did it leak.

The transmission just puked. I don't trust them to last. If you have the coin, get it rebuilt soon, by someone who knows those machines. That huge, heavy, over-built looking thing has internal problems, so stay ahead of them!
 

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1996 SL500, 2000 E430
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3,710 Posts
I'm "assuming" that the transmission on my late W124 300E is the same as the early transmission on the W210 - mine went 250,000 miles and then the pump failed - so technically it wasn't "worn out" - I have heard of the 722.6 (5 speed) going over 300,000. In both cases change the fluid and filter on a timely basis.

I change my 722.6 (both SL and E430) at 50,000 miles. Changed the earlier one per maintenance schedule at 30,000 miles.

If you have to change the transmission that industry is a jungle. There's "rebuilts" and then there's "rebuilts". Some of the rebuilts are pure crap.

I put a factory rebuilt in both my 300E and SL500. In both cases everythingde the case is new. Don't have to worry about it.

My goal is 200k miles. 131k and ticking, same great tranny...knock on wood. Great to hear you have made it!

My reward, personally, is a 2009 or 2010 S550 when I hit 200k.

Saw it on Top Gear and it 'had me at hello' when I saw it had radar cruise control and night vision.


Be careful what you wish for. A friend of mine wanted an S Class for years; got a 2 year old one recently and he has grown to hate it. Calls it "The Beast".

I drove it and it drives amazing for such a large car. But the electronics will tend to irritate you (at least my friend and I) rather than "help",

Like a seat whose bolsters inflate when you make a 30 mile an hour turn. And instrument panel that goes berserk when you end a turn near the edge of the road. Automatic perfume dispenser! (I'm looking at this stuff and seeing just more crap to go wrong),
 

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1998 e430
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383 Posts
nearing 270k miles and still good!

probably about due for another fluid filter change though...
 

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2000 E 320 Wagon + 2002 ML 500 SUV
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Our 722.6 Tranny in our 2000 w210 wagon is going strong @ 220,000 miles.
Occasional towing a 2000# trailer too.

I'm keeping an eye on the 13pin Tranny electrical harness connector though.

I check it each oil change to see if still dry - they can leak & cause issues.

The same 13 pin plug on our w163 (ML500) just began leaking & we changed it out.

FYI, My maintenance drill on our 2 722.6 Trannies:

1 Drop the full amount of drain-able fluid, 4 quarts ish, [on ramps left over night] - done annually

2 Every other year, drop Pan, swap filter & do the full 12 quart drop / add.

3 I use Mopar / Chrysler 'ATF +4' Full Synthetic as it's the same fluid DamlierChrysler used as these trannies were shared across all Mercedes & Chrysler RWD vehicles circa 1998-2005.
Same fluid spec as Mercedes 236.10 'Approved ATF' but 1/4 the cost, as it's made by 40+ manufacturers & sold at every auto parts store, even Walmart.

4 Drive with 'Gentle Vigor' - I don't do hammer drop starts, but do shift manually quite a bit.
I'd rather not win the "stoplight drag & race to the Transmission Shop" too, if you follow !

Cheers - David in Texas
 

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2000 E320 4Matic Wagon (AKA family Ski Sled)
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75 Posts
My 2000 E320 Wagon has 190K miles and never serviced.

I have the fluid gasket and filter ready to go so that I can service it in a couple nights
 

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98 E430, 02 E55 AMG
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40 Posts
Well
My 98 e430 has the original drive train and runs GREAT @ 322k miles. 5 or 6 flushes in that time.
Florida car in my family since new.
Since 120k miles or so regular gas only.

Sent from my LG-H918 using Tapatalk
 

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Outstanding Contributor , SDS Guru
1998 MB E300TD, 1997 MB E36 AMG, 2001 MB E55 AMG
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3,648 Posts
98 E300 305k original drivetrain, regularly serviced
97 E36 AMG (really E320, but retains the original E320 transmission) @ 207k per my memory. Serviced, no issues.
01 E55 AMG also original trans, unknown service history, but the serial number matches up. 272k on clock.
01 E320 also original, unknown service history (assuming shoddy), serial number matching, 273k as of now. I'm DDing this one. No issues beyond a 3-4 flare, and that can be rectified with a sonnax valve body kit.
 
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