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2001 E320 4-Matic
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81 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Leaving my office, I travel a tenth of a mile and wait 2 minutes at a traffic light. Right before the light changes, the car starts to shutter slightly, almost as if it is stalling, but no warning lights. Prior the idle was fine. The tach does not appear to falter. After this occurs usually, the light changes green and I need to go. The transmission slips and does not want to do a 1-2 shift. It revs slowly to 2,500rpm and holds it, and it goes slowly slips into two, and then drives fine.
This has occurred 3 times in 20-25 degree weather, (not 10-15 degree) only at this light after waiting for over a minute. This is after I let the car warm through the enrichment cycle and having the transmission shift 3-4 times, out of the parking lot and into the street. The car starts out fine and drives out of the parking lot perfectly.
History: Bought the car in August 2010, had 69k on the ODO, now has 74k. Had A & B Service done before I purchased and had brakes replaced, oil changed, and serpentine belt replaced. At some point, the water pump was replaced as well. Car is very clean and maintained. That said I do not know of transmission service record!
Any first steps I should take to investigate.
 

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2000 E320 4Matic Sedan
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151 Posts
Not certain about the shudder, but the engine control will run up the RPMs in first before shifting to second when cold. This is to heat up the cats when cold. Is it actually slipping (rpm increasing but no increase in speed) or just holding the 1-2 shift for a long time until it hits 2500 + RPM. This is normal.
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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31,631 Posts
At that age, the ATF should be changed, regardless of symptoms. Were I you, I'd get that taken care of first thing. It may or may not be related, but the MB fluid is designed to suspend particles, which makes it thicker...add cold temps, it's thicker still.

It sounds as though it's behaving nearly normally, but perhaps more pronounced. That's what mine did before I changed the fluid, which improved things considerably, though I'm not in any kind of really cold climate as you are.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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36,707 Posts
Don't have the answer, but my wife transmission acts very similar couple times a month. I have full ATF flush, new plug connector and new electric plate. Still happens couple times a month. What is happening the car starts on 2 or 3rd gear and converter keeps on slipping till the car gains a speed. It is funny to some degree to see rpm staying the same about 2500 rpm and the car speed change from 0 to 30 mph.
The other symptom is that at start the engine will rev high and the transmission will not engage for some time till it does with strong "dunk"
Wish both of us luck.
 

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99 E430, 01 E430 Sport, 00 SL500
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3,266 Posts
Try this to rule out some part beneath the gear shift.
Manually start at 1, as you speed up, shift to 2, 3, etc.
 

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2001 E320 4-Matic
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81 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Try this to rule out some part beneath the gear shift.
Manually start at 1, as you speed up, shift to 2, 3, etc.
I will try this tomorrow night. As a side note, I put it in park, counted to 3 and back to drive, and I took off with no problem, once it started to act up.
 

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1998 E320
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196 Posts
Good grief!

This morning my transmission seemed to slip then gently bang into gear. It was about 30 degrees. The fluid, conductor plate, plug, gasket etc... have all been replaced in the past 6 months. 210K miles. Normal gentle roll down the hill to the main street.... I did not have it in winter mode. At the cross section I accelerated and it seemed like I was in slow motion.... then in about 2 seconds the tranny seemed to thunk into proper gear and I had smart acceleration. Kind of unnerving if you ask me. I have not seen this before. It did not do it again after that. I even did some brisk acceleration away from a few stop signs after that and it did not repeat itself.

I'm concerned that my trusty sled is starting to show her age. New tires will be here next week because the Michelins with 60K on the clock are bald and the drive two days ago was SCARY! Holy cow this thing needs proper tires! I can't wait.

If anyone has experience the delayed engagement of first gear, please chime in. Thanks. Scuddog:crybaby2:
 

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'01 E320 4Matic
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54 Posts
This morning my transmission seemed to slip then gently bang into gear. It was about 30 degrees. The fluid, conductor plate, plug, gasket etc... have all been replaced in the past 6 months. 210K miles. Normal gentle roll down the hill to the main street.... I did not have it in winter mode. At the cross section I accelerated and it seemed like I was in slow motion.... then in about 2 seconds the tranny seemed to thunk into proper gear and I had smart acceleration. Kind of unnerving if you ask me. I have not seen this before. It did not do it again after that. I even did some brisk acceleration away from a few stop signs after that and it did not repeat itself.

I'm concerned that my trusty sled is starting to show her age. New tires will be here next week because the Michelins with 60K on the clock are bald and the drive two days ago was SCARY! Holy cow this thing needs proper tires! I can't wait.

If anyone has experience the delayed engagement of first gear, please chime in. Thanks. Scuddog:crybaby2:
Yes. Very similar and I'm about to take it in for a ATF change.

If my car is not warmed up, I make it to about 38mph and then it shudders...pushing thru to about 42mph...then engages the next gear.

This ONLY happens when it's cold.

I also get slow starts at times.

2001 E320-4Matic w/108k
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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Yes. Very similar and I'm about to take it in for a ATF change.

If my car is not warmed up, I make it to about 38mph and then it shudders...pushing thru to about 42mph...then engages the next gear.

This ONLY happens when it's cold.

I also get slow starts at times.

2001 E320-4Matic w/108k
That sounds more like a weird form of limp mode. I think you'd redline the engine badly before you hit 38 MPH in 1st gear, that sounds more like second. And if you're revving a cold engine that high, set aside some money for a replacement, they're simply not designed for that.
 

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'01 E320 4Matic
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That sounds more like a weird form of limp mode. I think you'd redline the engine badly before you hit 38 MPH in 1st gear, that sounds more like second. And if you're revving a cold engine that high, set aside some money for a replacement, they're simply not designed for that.
No, not redlining.

I roll out and incraese speed slowly getting up to around that speed and it feels like a sputter - not the engine so much as the tranny slipping and regaining immediatly. it does this thru to about 42mph.

I could redline it up, but I don't and wouldn't.

It only happens when the temp is below about 36deg. The other day it was about 40ish out in the morning and all was fine.

Two fellows at work(one worked on race cars and the other works on his own) said to change the fluid. A local tranny shop wanted to bring it in and test it - free of charge to test.

If I warm it up and the engine temp is near 80....everthing is fine.
I'll double check that tomorrow.

The car as 108k and I don't know if any ATF fluid was replaced. I've had the car since 86K.
 

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'01 E320 4Matic
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54 Posts
Update:
When I moved the car yesterday, I noticed some bright yellow 'spots' under the car, in the snow.

Hmmmm. Could be a number of things.
I'll be taking it into a shop to have it looked and the levels checked.
I also need to get a list together for items I'll need to do some preventative maint..

Sorry for the thread jack...I'll start a new one if need be, or update this if it relates. Thanks!
 

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'09 CLK550 Cabr. w/ AMG sport package, '02 E320 4MATIC wgn, '12 CLS550 4MATIC
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33 Posts
Ive also been having similiar transmission trouble with my E320 in frigid temperature conditions. The tranny does hold 1st gear a lot longer after taking off when the engine isnt warmed up fully, and the tranny is actually designed to do this so it's normal, but lately stranger things have been happening. For instance, when I take off from a stoplight the engine will rev up to about 2000 rpm, however the car wont move. Then it will suddenly give a harsh jerk into gear and start to accelerate. The pattern ive noticed is this only happens in seriously cold weather. If I wait until midday to take my car out (when outside air temp has gotten above freezing), the problem is inexistent. Weird.
 

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W210.265/2001, W220/S500/2000, Porsche 997 C2S/2006, GMC K1500/1992
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2,157 Posts
Check your fluid level, if it is on the low side, that may create delayed shifting, that will be more obvious in low temp.
 

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'01 E320 4Matic
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Check your fluid level, if it is on the low side, that may create delayed shifting, that will be more obvious in low temp.
Yes...that's what I found out when I had it checked. I was down 2qts.

I'll update my other thread...but basically...after draining, new filter, fluid, elec. plug with o-ring and new coller lines it is running very well.
 

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'09 CLK550 Cabr. w/ AMG sport package, '02 E320 4MATIC wgn, '12 CLS550 4MATIC
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33 Posts
How do you guys check your transmission fluid levels? I suppose you had your car taken to the dealer or some sort of specialized Mercedes technician? Because my '02 doesnt even have a dipstick that you can actually pull out. It seems as if it's locked and only a dealer has the tools to use it. Besides, when I first bought the car back when it was practically new the dealer informed me the 5-speed's tranny fluid was "sealed for life".
 

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2001 E320 2011 E350c
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158 Posts
Not certain about the shudder, but the engine control will run up the RPMs in first before shifting to second when cold. This is to heat up the cats when cold. Is it actually slipping (rpm increasing but no increase in speed) or just holding the 1-2 shift for a long time until it hits 2500 + RPM. This is normal.
That is good to know because that has happened to me on occasion leaving me with a ruined day feeling.
 

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2001 E320 2011 E350c
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158 Posts
How do you guys check your transmission fluid levels? I suppose you had your car taken to the dealer or some sort of specialized Mercedes technician? Because my '02 doesnt even have a dipstick that you can actually pull out. It seems as if it's locked and only a dealer has the tools to use it. Besides, when I first bought the car back when it was practically new the dealer informed me the 5-speed's tranny fluid was "sealed for life".
You need to purchase a dipstick tool and locking pin. The car came with a black locking pin. Use a screwdriver to break the tab and push out the remaining piece and the cap comes off. Then use the dipstick tool to measure after a healthy drive of course. Replacement locking pins are red so that's how you know if there has been service performed on it.
 

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Premium Member
2001 E320 4-Matic
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81 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
So it is not just me...

4MATICbenz

This was (is) exactly what I had happen when I posted the original question. I am ordering a new filter kit, 9qts. and tools to measure. A couple hundred $ is better than several thousand!
 
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