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  #1  
Old 09-10-2008, 02:02 PM
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Location: Bucharest, Romania
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E320 W210 transmission issue - stuck in 1st?

Hello everyone

The transmission on our E320 4Matic (2001 model) has gone nuts today out of the blue:

- it appears to be stuck in 1st gear (it won't drive past 70 km/h regardless of rpm);
- the small display in the dash where the active gear is shown (P-R-N-D-4-3-2-1) shows nothing - completely yellow, no symbol;
- after driving with the lever in D it will go to N but not to R or P. After switching engine off, it does slide to R or P;
- R can be engaged from P and it will drive finely in reverse, then any position can be selected and the car will drive as usual, but no faster than 1st gear;
- manual selection doesn't appear to work, but without the small display I can't tell.

As the transmission worked as usual without any sign of bad shifting, hesitation, clunking etc previously, I find it hard to believe in a malfunction of the gears, valve body etc out of the blue, I suspect an electronic problem. (Some Cola had been spilled around the shifter recently).

The car will be subject to a dealer's inspection, to diagnose and hopefully solve the problem, together with other minor issues (sometimes it idles poorly, rear interior light does not function although bulbs are fine, one of the two ignition keys is burnt and has to be replaced etc etc). The transmission fluid will be also changed if it looks suspect upon inspection.

What should I expect, given that Romanian "stealers" are even more greedy than Western counterparts and will, most possibly, recommend transmission rebuilding?...

Thank you,

~Nautilus

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1990 260E Sportline (that's 300E 2.6 for our American friends) -> sold
2001 E320 4Matic Elegance -> my Dad's daily drive
2005 Seat Leon FR 1.8T
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  #2  
Old 09-10-2008, 02:23 PM
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Location: Walnut Creek, CA & 1,150 miles S of Key West
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Liquod in the electronic shifter is probably the problem. They're sensitive.
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Terry Allison
N. Calif. & Boca Chica, Panama

09' E320 Bluetec 77k (USA)
09' Hyundai Santa Fe Diesel 48k (S.A.)
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  #3  
Old 09-10-2008, 02:34 PM
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Electronic shifter = the box-like device around the selector lever? there was no sticky residue on and around it, only a bucketload of dust and fluff

~Nautilus
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1990 260E Sportline (that's 300E 2.6 for our American friends) -> sold
2001 E320 4Matic Elegance -> my Dad's daily drive
2005 Seat Leon FR 1.8T
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  #4  
Old 09-10-2008, 02:46 PM
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Transmission fluid in the TCM works wonders too. Check for that.
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  #5  
Old 09-12-2008, 12:30 AM
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How many miles on the car
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1998 E320 150,000
1980 300SD 240,000
1965 190D 79,000
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  #6  
Old 09-12-2008, 03:36 PM
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Converted from kilometers to miles about 125,000

~Nautilus
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1990 260E Sportline (that's 300E 2.6 for our American friends) -> sold
2001 E320 4Matic Elegance -> my Dad's daily drive
2005 Seat Leon FR 1.8T
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  #7  
Old 09-13-2008, 01:30 PM
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The first thing to do is to ask it what is wrong.
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Continental Imports
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  #8  
Old 09-24-2008, 12:20 PM
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Dealers inspected the car yesterday, fixed the gear selector and recommended the change of:

- electronic gear selector;
- engine ECU;
- full exhaust together with catalytic converter;
- Lambda sensors;
- cylinder #2 ignition coil pack;
- spark plugs;
- window regulator and motor;
- other minor things.

Total amount if the job was done could have hit $5000 easily.

Now, I understand they have to make a living and that ignition coil and gear selector can be necessary, but changing the ECU and full exhaust of an engine which runs well does sound a bit like robbing the customer, leave alone the spark plugs which have been changed barely 10,000kms ago

~Nautilus

PS they said nothing of transmission rebuilding or fluid change, though
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1990 260E Sportline (that's 300E 2.6 for our American friends) -> sold
2001 E320 4Matic Elegance -> my Dad's daily drive
2005 Seat Leon FR 1.8T
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  #9  
Old 10-30-2008, 04:50 AM
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After some more problems (stopping in traffic, impossible to start again, slight rattles at idle) went to the dealer. The following parts were changed:

- Electronic Gear Selector
- Crankshaft Position Sensor
- all 12 sparkplugs (there were barely 11,000kms on them, but dealer insisted all should be changed)
- Cylinder #2 ignition coil;
- 4 spark plug wires
- engine hood release cable and handle.

Total costs (including labor and taxes): $2035

Sparkplugs were clearly overpriced, most possibly all parts were much more expensive than counterparts bought from a shop

Dealer offered 2 year warranty for the repair

~Nautilus
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1990 260E Sportline (that's 300E 2.6 for our American friends) -> sold
2001 E320 4Matic Elegance -> my Dad's daily drive
2005 Seat Leon FR 1.8T
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  #10  
Old 10-30-2008, 07:31 AM
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In these worst of economic times, posts like this bring a warmth to my heart. My shop is just finishing the two biggest months by far in our thirty year history on pace for an all time high year. I have talked on the phone to customers with similar stories who have been exposed to the thousand gauge shot gun approach, who then accepted the service after being brought back to a simple 12 gauge shot gun approach.

Lemmings eventually realize that doing business with someone who can be talked from $5000 repair strategy into a $2000 strategy is a long term poor business choice. They do move on. How anyone does business with someone who will change a price in such a way amazes me. One of my calls was for a quote on an alternator. I quoted $600 and the reply was the dealer wanted $1300. They were going to tow it. The next day they called and said the dealer lowered the price to $800 and they let them do it. Does one continue to deal with someone who has to be slapped around to get an honest relationship.

As it turns out, NO is the answer and business is great. The real difference in the price of repairs is often whether one actually spends the time to find the real problem out of a buschel basket of possibities. So what was the real problem in this case, a pair of plugs, a spark plug wire, a coil. What the heck do them all and throw in a few more for good measure.
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  #11  
Old 11-07-2008, 06:21 AM
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The car has run fine for days, but after a 48-hour break, the battery seems dead. As it has been discharged and poorly recharged while attempting to start the car in the last few days prior to the repair, it was expectable.

If the battery has been toasted by too many repeated discharges, which replacement would be better, a deep-cycle battery or one with high starting power? The original piece is a Bosch Silver (80Ah rating).

Talked to a local Optima dealer, the answer had been they were to drop the Optima brand since it sold poorly, and anyway they had only 45Ah Yellow-tops. Stinger dealers seem better supplied

~Nautilus
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1990 260E Sportline (that's 300E 2.6 for our American friends) -> sold
2001 E320 4Matic Elegance -> my Dad's daily drive
2005 Seat Leon FR 1.8T
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  #12  
Old 12-05-2008, 05:24 PM
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New Varta battery fitted 2 weeks ago, everything fine.

After a trip, the gearbox again became stuck, this time in P - it refused to get out of P, regardless of attemps - brake depressed, engine on, it remained in P, with electronics apparently in working order (small display on).

Phoned local M-B 24hr service, they said the panel around the selector should be raised and a small release catch pushed by hand. Just what kind of catch should it be, and why did it get stuck like this?...

Thank you,

~Nautilus
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1990 260E Sportline (that's 300E 2.6 for our American friends) -> sold
2001 E320 4Matic Elegance -> my Dad's daily drive
2005 Seat Leon FR 1.8T
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  #13  
Old 03-01-2009, 03:11 PM
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Problem has been solved by the same dealer a while after my previous post, it was the Brake Light Switch, on which many W210 users had complained in the past. Now the car runs as it should

~Nautilus
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1990 260E Sportline (that's 300E 2.6 for our American friends) -> sold
2001 E320 4Matic Elegance -> my Dad's daily drive
2005 Seat Leon FR 1.8T
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  #14  
Old 04-16-2009, 10:40 AM
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brake light switch

"Problem has been solved by the same dealer a while after my previous post, it was the Brake Light Switch, on which many W210 users had complained in the past. Now the car runs as it should"
i have a 200 E320 that is acting just like your at the first of the post, sometimes its perfect and then at times it acts like this and wont shift, it also has the ruff idle but performs great, gas mileage is perfect but ruff idle. so to fix the prob ended up being only the brake light switch? is that correct?
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  #15  
Old 04-18-2009, 01:20 PM
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The switch itself is very cheap and has a short life anyway, so it can be replaced for safety

~Nautilus

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1990 260E Sportline (that's 300E 2.6 for our American friends) -> sold
2001 E320 4Matic Elegance -> my Dad's daily drive
2005 Seat Leon FR 1.8T
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