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1998 ML320
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've got a 1998 ML320 with 130,000 miles. For the last couple weeks it's been shifting funny.

If I stopped at a light or stop sign it would get stuck in first gear. I could put it in neutral after getting up to around 25 mph then back in drive and it would shift fine again for a while.

Since last week now it won't shift past 1st Gear. Goes from Park to First and Reverse just fine but won't shift out of First Gear while driving. (in drive or manually)

Autozone pulled codes with ODB2 and got just code 815 (speed sensor). I read somewhere on here last week that if that was the only code that the trans computer was offline? (speed sensor wouldn't send signal with the computer offline??)

I ordered a MB Transmission Dipstick Tool and got that a few days ago. Fluid is at the bottom of the cold mark when warmed to 80*. (Fluid is really low)

Today I picked up a transmission filter/gasket and fluid. I plan on replacing the filter tomorrow and refilling with fluid to the correct level. If I understand correctly even if I fix the problem the tranny still won't operate until codes are cleared. (which there is an indy near my house I can drive to and have that done.)

I have not checked the 13 pin yet and will do that when I get under there to change the filter.

Is there anything else I should be doing or looking at? This is my first Benz and have had it since Feb. without any issues. We do drive ALOT and have put on about 20,000 miles in the last 6 months...

Thanks for all the help in advance!
 

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2002 ML320
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323 Posts
Just out of curiosity do you have service records? Sometimes buying a used car at 100k and then putting that quick 20k on can cost you.

There is a reason some folks ditch em, get a clean run and say good bye :)

A transmission service and 13pin is not very costly at a dealer. You may want to take it in, I do it all the time. They love to tell you everything that is wrong, along with how much it will cost. The cool part about that is, you can get free coffee and basically a overview for free. If you play your cards right. Oh, well you would have to pay for some servicing.

Cheers.
 

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1998 ML320
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Don't have to service records.

The engine light is on and the only code that autozone got with ODB was 715, speed sensor code. (not 815, typo) I have an indy I can take it to that has the mercedes scanner too, probably do that in the next couple days. Just looking for suggestions here as well.
 

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2001 Mercedes Benz ML55
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8 Posts
you have a p0715 for turbine speed sensor. it will need a conductor plate and trans connector seal pan gasket and fluid. i t will have to be done at the mb dealer they have to code the information for the trans. any questions email me [email protected]
 

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2001 Mercedes Benz ML55
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8 Posts
i dont think your indy can get the conductor plate you have to submit the dtc to MB and they release the coding and the part.
 

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Purple Moderator
99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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22,126 Posts
The conductor plate is available to anybody that wants to by one.
It is the valve body for the 7g transmissions that is unobtanium.
They were not used until the W164 for the ML class.
 

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2001 Mercedes Benz ML55
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8 Posts
either way the speed sensor on the conductor plate is the problem. you wont know if there is any other damage until the pan is dropped and you may want to get the conductor plate so you dont replace the fluid twice.
 

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Premium Member
02 ML320 06 ML500
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17,101 Posts
i dont think your indy can get the conductor plate you have to submit the dtc to MB and they release the coding and the part.
I agree with Noodles. Hundreds of conductor plates have been purchased and replaced by members on this forum. There is no coding necessary after replacement of the conductor plate. Coding is only necessary when replacing the entire transmission.

When dealers perform warranty work on costly parts, M/B requires that they send the DTC printout along with the faulty part to them so they can test & verify that the replacement was required. If they find that it wasn't the part and the labor cost will be debited to their (dealer) account. See example below for MAF Sensor replacement claim.
 

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Premium Member
02 ML320 06 ML500
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17,101 Posts
Don't have to service records.

The engine light is on and the only code that autozone got with ODB was 715, speed sensor code. (not 815, typo) I have an indy I can take it to that has the mercedes scanner too, probably do that in the next couple days. Just looking for suggestions here as well.
Usually these problems are caused by fluid in the 13 pin connector on the right side of the transmission. Remove the heat shield and then separate the two halves and if their is fluid between, the 13 pin connector/pilot bushing must be replaced.

After replacement, the code/s must be erased from the ECM (code P0715) and then also erased from the ETC Module/Trans. Control Module (codes 011-014) as previously supplied.

If there is no fluid then by all means visit the mech. with the M/B scanner to narrow down which code (011-014) it is.
 

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2001 Mercedes Benz ML55
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8 Posts
FYI i had my conductor plate replaced through a dealer in dallas texas and they had to submit the data from my car for the dtc p0715 on my ml55 and my car isnt under warranty or extended warranty. all of that doesnt really matter though. the original posting is about what the problem is and i posted the correction that repaired mine.
 

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1998 ML320
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Changed out the conductor plate today and connector. Added 5 qts of fluid and still low, barely registers on the dipstick... have to get more... There is no engine light on now but it STILL doesn't shift into 2nd gear and up.

I did not have the codes cleared. Do i have to do that even though there is no engine light on now??
 

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Purple Moderator
99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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22,126 Posts
Yes codes cleared from the ETC and the ECU or it will remain a problem.
Make sure fluid is at full operating temp when checking levels.
 

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1998 ML320
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Yes codes cleared from the ETC and the ECU or it will remain a problem.
Make sure fluid is at full operating temp when checking levels.
Thanks!

I'll get the codes cleared in the next couple days.
 

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1998 ML320
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
The mechanic said there is no communication from the transmission. I'm guessing this means the tranny computer is bad.

He told me sometimes they can be dried out and will work fine, other times they need to be replaced. I haven't researched this yet. If anyone has suggestions that would be great!
 

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2002 ML55 AMG, 2005 Chrysler Crossfire Coupe Limited, 1999 C280
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4,714 Posts
The mechanic said there is no communication from the transmission. I'm guessing this means the tranny computer is bad.

He told me sometimes they can be dried out and will work fine, other times they need to be replaced. I haven't researched this yet. If anyone has suggestions that would be great!
Hello there,

I am not one of the Forum experts but I have had transmission problems similar to yours and have changed out my conductor plate.

I don't believe that your transmission computer is bad.

I believe that having changed the transmission conductor plate, you must also ensure that the 13pin transmission plug referred to by a member in this thread is not bad (i.e. has oil in it) or is properly installed.

If you have not already done so, purchase the plug from a Mercedes dealer - DONOT PURCHASE THE URO MANUFACTURED PLUG!

If you have already purchased and installed the correct plug then it is likely that it is improperly installed or still has oil in it.

Revisit the plug - Ask me how I know all this....:)
 

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1998 ML320
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Hello there,

I am not one of the Forum experts but I have had transmission problems similar to yours and have changed out my conductor plate.

I don't believe that your transmission computer is bad.

I believe that having changed the transmission conductor plate, you must also ensure that the 13pin transmission plug referred to by a member in this thread is bad (i.e. has oil in it).

If you have not already done so, purchase the plug from a Mercedes dealer - DONOT PURCHASE THE URO MANUFACTURED PLUG!

If you have already purchased and installed the correct plug then it is likely that it is improperly installed or still has oil in it.

Revisit the plug - Ask me how I know all this....:)

I did replace the conductor plate and 13 pin connector. I'm going to pick it up from the mechanic tomorrow and remove the ETC to check for fluid in that.
 

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1998 ML320
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Checked for fluid in the ETC. It was clean.

Any ideas why the transmission computer would be offline? It's not communicating with the scanner at the repair shop. (I don't know what scanner he has but he does have the mercedes cartridges and it's a foreign car repair shop)
 

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2002 ML55 AMG, 2005 Chrysler Crossfire Coupe Limited, 1999 C280
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4,714 Posts
Checked for fluid in the ETC. It was clean.

Any ideas why the transmission computer would be offline? It's not communicating with the scanner at the repair shop. (I don't know what scanner he has but he does have the mercedes cartridges and it's a foreign car repair shop)
Kindly revisit the plug as I said earlier.:rolleyes:

I had the same issue you had and it turned out the plug was improperly seated.
 
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