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1995 E320 Wagon, 2006 BMW 330i
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello:

I'm a newbie, with a question about our new-to-us 1995 E320 Wagon with 116,000 miles.

My wife and I have each noticed that starting on a upgrade when in drive demands fancy footwork, or the car will roll backwards pretty dramatically--not unlike a car with a manual transmission in neutral.

It's my assumption that Mercedes autos work like everyone else's, and are designed to hold the car in place, more or less, in situations like this. If that's the case, what is the issue that we're looking at, and how much is it going to cost us? Is a catastrophic failure likely in the future?

For what it's worth, the car had its transmission rebuilt about 65,000 miles ago. We're not seeing any other issues with the transmission or driveability generally; it shifts super smoothly and quietly.

Thanks for any help!

Kris Hicks-Green
 

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It's not 'designed' this way, it's merely the way automatics work.

The "clutch" in an automagic transmission is a fluid coupling between the engine's crankshaft and the transmission's input shaft. This is a torque converter, and works similar to if you put two fans facing each other...turn one on 'low', you'll find the other doesn't move, and if it does, not much. This is idle and why some cars have more creep than others. Turn one fan to 'high', leave the other off, and you'll find the one without power moves faster. It's this concept, but with lightweight oil (transmission fluid).

I've always found it quite pleasant Mercedes cars can run at a low enough idle speed, smoothly, to not require the brakes be applied while at a stop. My wife's, then GF, '81 W123 diesel didn't need brakes applied on perfectly flat ground. It just didn't creep.

Wait...'fancy footwork' with a two-pedal car? Because of a hill in Austin?! If need be, at steep intersections, left-foot brake before you go to pull away.

My '95 has the OEM transmission (and a rebuild won't effect the torque converter's internal design specs), and it creeps a little, but I wish it didn't. However, I'm not about to adjust the idle speed for it.

That reminds me, when in-gear, at idle, what does the tachometer indicate the engine's RPM is? Should be a bit over the 500 mark.
 

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1995 E420; 1995 E320 Estate, 1995 C220 (GF)
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325 Posts
He might be bemoaning the fact that our 124 have no hill-hold feature.

My 420 most certainly _does_ creep at idle. I haven't tried to find out what idle speed is in MPH, but it does require holding back at stoplights.
 

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About a dozen 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1991 sedans, wagons, 4Matics and 1 coupe
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My 88s all hold position on hills beautifully while at a traffic light and I'll assume that 95s should do the same. I specifically noticed this shortly after buying my first 124 and liked it. If your car is drifting back I'd say there's a problem.
I'm not familar with the transmission guts but I think that the hill holding is accomplished via a spring-loaded roller clutch called a sprag. The pertinent one in your car could be worn, damaged, or even installed backwards. I know that can be done on some other make transmissions but the result is other, more extreme symptoms.
 

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1995 E320 Cabriolet, 2007 E350 Sport P2, 1995 E420
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406 Posts
Is the transmission in "D"? I recall reading that the hill holder works in the transmission is in D but not if another gear is selected. I verified that in my car.
 

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Fuck you
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my 300e-24 with 722.5 holds on hills (to a point, if it gets steep it rolls back) and it DEFINATELY will pull forward at a 650 rpm idle.
 

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W-1-2-3 Go!
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My 88s all hold position on hills beautifully while at a traffic light and I'll assume that 95s should do the same.
I believe there was a cutoff year. Maybe 1991? The later W124's did away with this feature. No idea why.

Our 1990 300TE holds hills well. Same with '89 190E. Have yet to test my sister's '92.
 

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W124 400E, W126 500SE
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All W124s should hold without brake, BUT not on very steep hill. It is not a bug.,

Creeping is also not a bug. In fact, in my experience the more it creeps the better it runs and the better tuned the transmission is...
 
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