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Old 03-26-2008, 04:23 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: egg harbor township nj
Posts: 2
91 300e automatic transmission issues

my 91 300e has 252k+ mi, and is experiencing some transmission problems. i have not yet had it checked out, and am driving it as limited as possible until i can do so. i was wondering if anyone had similar problems and could help me out with possible suggestions.

when the car is in park, it the rpms rev very high, up to 2,000rpms. when you put the car into gear (drive, reverse etc) it goes to a normal rpm. often times, when the car is put into gear, it is accompanied by an audible clunk.

when you are driving, the rpms will rev very high, up to 4,000-5,000 rpms. most of the time, it will then drop down to a normal rpm and shift to the next gear. but sometimes, you will have to hit the gas hard and then let off kind of forcing it to shift. this usually happens going in to like 2nd or 3rd.

sometimes when you are driving, and the car will be getting ready to shift it will rev high for a second, then like slowdown (or something im not sure) and then shift.

when driving long distance at high speed (only happened once, im afraid to take it far or too fast ) the car will not shift into higher gears, and then it overheats. what was happening was, whatever speed i was going, those were the rpms (65mph=6500rpms, 45mph=4500rpms) i really took it easy, and didnt go any faster than 45 or 50, as i had to get home and was 45 mins away.

so, if anyone has any suggestions, i would be very grateful!

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Old 03-26-2008, 04:48 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Topeka, Ks
Posts: 203
It sounds like the car may have several separate issues.

Has the head gasket ever been replaced? This engine is well known for leaky head gaskets. This can make the car overheat quickly. Or, you may just need a thermostat or your radiator may be plugged. Have you checked that you have enough coolant? Missing coolant can be a sign of head gasket problems.

Sounds like you have an engine idle problem as well. A mechanic can adjust this for you.

On the transmission, you may have a vacuum leak or something more serious. Fist thing to do on this is to pull the dipstick and see what color the transmission fluid is. Does it smell burnt? You can try changing the fluid/filter (easy for a do it yourself'er) as a starting point. It may be low of fluid, so check that first.

Post what you find, and we'll see if anybody can help you...

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Old 03-26-2008, 04:51 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Redondo Beach, CA
Posts: 188
I don't know why your car would "idle" at 2K rpm in park, but that doesn't sound like a transmission problem. A "clunk" going into gear from a high idle is probably to be expected.

Have you checked your transmission fluid level? It would be a good place to start.
1993 190E 2.6 135k
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:11 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: egg harbor township nj
Posts: 2
ok well my husband said that he is pretty sure the head gasket needs to be replaced. so im sure that will happen soon. as far as the fluid level, that gets checked regularly as there is a very slight leak. it is still red and doesnt smell burnt. we will change the filter and see what happens from there.

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