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2001 E430 4-Matic
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2001 E430 4Matic

Anyone know what the W/S (Winter/Sport) rocker button next to the shifter does? How does it help and what are the best times to use W mode & S mode? The manual did not have an elaborate answer. In these times of high gas prices - will one give me better mileage than the other? (My brother in law told me that the W would give me better mileage because it shifts at lower RPMs).

Should be W button be used only on snow when trying to get unstuck as the dealer told me?

Any insights would be appreciated!

ForaBot's answer is created from summarizing the responses in this thread.

According to information provided by members of the community, the W/S button by the shifter on a 2001 E430 4Matic is used to switch between Winter and Sport modes. Winter mode is designed to provide better traction in slippery conditions, while Sport mode is designed to provide better acceleration and performance. It is recommended to use Winter mode in slippery conditions, such as snow, and Sport mode when better acceleration and performance is desired. It is unclear whether Winter mode or Sport mode will provide better mileage, as this will depend on the driving conditions and the driver's preferences.
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236 Posts
I read the car takes off in 2nd when in W mode and this aids in improved initial traction.

As far as improved mileage the old ways work here, air up and check tire pressure often and drive like you got an egg under the gas pedal.

For me, I really don't care much about gas prices, all I am concerned about is availability, and the negative effect that high fuel prices has on our overall economy.

33 Posts
Amen to what E55PVAN said. Let me add that the S is not for "sport". It stands for "Standard". You are either in winter shift mode or standard shift mode. I would not recommend using Winter mode unless you are in slippery conditions. Maybe it was just my car, but my E420 used to occasionally shift hard into gear if I did so. Never happened in standard.

CL500, E430, SLK, Subaru...
649 Posts
not true on AMG models though. If you put a C43 into "S" mode then it won't shift into 5th, and it always starts in first. My E55 lives in W mode all the time - S is for drag-race takeoffs, and not much else.

The rule about "S is for standard" applies to non-AMG mercs.
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