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toytech 01-15-2001 07:10 PM

Hi Folks,

I'm back, this time with a question about my dad's newly-acquired 1988 560SL. Just a quick bit of background here - I am an ASE/Toyota Certified Technician. I know about Toyota transmissions and NOTHING about Mercedes-Benz automatics :)

Anyways, my dad called me up today and told me that:

1) His ATF level did not register on the dipstick when checked according to the owner's manual. He was prompted to check the fluid due to the following symptom:

2) Intermittent lack of upshift from 1st gear to 2nd gear.

This only occurs when cold, but not immediately. This will happen after driving several blocks and after normal upshifting.

The symptoms do not occur in the afternoon after the car has sat all day long, only after a cold soak period and after driving a few blocks.

Do these transmissions use a vacuum modulator?

Is this an electrical/solenoid problem?

Is this something I can repair with the transmission still in the vehicle?

From my Toy. experience I'm guessing that it is either an electrical fault or vacuum related.

Any input is greatly appreciated.

Thanks! :D

- Jim

Benzmac 01-15-2001 09:49 PM

This tranny uses a vacuum modulator to control shift QUALITY. The bowden cable is used to control shift points.

There is also a valve on the rear of the tranny with a single wire going into it. It is for kickdown and first gear start with the shifter in the 'b' spot if it has this.

I would start by topping off the fluid to the bottom line on the stick when cold and unplugging the small valve. IF this cures the problem, it may have a switch under the gas pedal sticking or a problem of the sort.

Mike Michalek 01-15-2001 09:52 PM


Unfortunately I cannot help you with your problem, but I have a question about a 91 Camry. If you could be so kind to maybe help me.

The warning light on the dash for the lights. This light comes on as soon as you push on the brake pedal and will not go out. If you turn the lights on the light does not come on. Its only when you push on the brake pedal even if you are just sitting there and not have shifted into gear yet. All bulbs are good. I replaced the brake light switch behind the brake pedal, didn't help. I also found a tail light relay which is located by the fuses up front, inside, on the driver side. There are two relays one is for the tail lights and the other one is for the heated rear window defroster. They are both marked (ser. #) the same I tried swapping them and the rear heater worked OK shutting off after a period of time. Is there a sensor or another relay? Any help would be appreciated.



toytech 01-15-2001 10:06 PM


Check your e-mail.

- Jim

toytech 01-15-2001 10:09 PM


Thank you for the quick reply. Is there an adjustment for the Bowden cable that I can check/perform?

What puzzles me is that the problem doesn't occur immediately, but takes a few minutes of driving.

I will check the other items you mentioned and report back.

Thanks for the advice! :)

- Jim

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