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  #1  
Old 12-07-2001, 12:13 AM
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C230 trans

MB doc and Benzmac diagnosed the need for an updated valve body and trans controller. MB Doc - diagnostic champ! .

The problems came back and slowly got worse as we exceeded the 800 miles that the dealership said was needed for the car to re-learn our habits/driving style. The techs drove it, agreed there was a problem, checked the fault codes (which included high fill times for k3-8). So they went in and found "chatter marks on freewheel units and shaft the cause of slips". They "replaced freewheel units, sun gear and shaft, adjusted all clutch packs to specs with snap rings and clutch plates, replaced all seals as necessary. Erased codes, reset adaptation and readapted transmission. Test drive found transmission to be shifting as designed after repairs." Parts last time around included the updated controller and valve body. This time it was sealing comp; trans fluid; sun gear 210-270-11-44 and 210-272-08-07; freewheel; 5 snap rings; 1 gasket set; 1 trans oil FI; 4 rings, general, 007603-014104; 1 disk spring; 2 outer disk; 2 cleaner. they also said a faint noise I heard from the rear was a diff mount, and a new one had been ordered.

So, the warranty ends in January, and as I understand previous posts, so does the coverage on these repairs! Does all the above sound likely to have been needed work on a trans with 27,000 miles, a way to nail DC on warranty work, or a way to encourage me to buy an extended service plan? The dealership people were very nice, they gave me a new E320 to drive while they did the work, and the service rep is known by my independent tech (who once worked for this dealership). Is a service contract worth while on a car that has already needed a trans rebuild? Any advice appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2001, 09:39 AM
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As I have posted many times, these transmissions as well as all others will fail. ONE of the problems is the MB recommends not changing the fluid & filter. However as most people realize fluid will fail no mater who makes it. SHELL makes this fluid for MB!!
However in your case I believe that the valve body & trans computer has led to early failure.
THE cost $$$ of a retrans is very high, at least $3,500.
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  #3  
Old 12-07-2001, 09:53 AM
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the warranty is good for 12k/1yr miles is it? transmission problems are so frustrating. reading your post is scaring me into leaving mine alone. hope you have smooth shifting from this point on...
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  #4  
Old 12-07-2001, 01:38 PM
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AS far as MB is concerned the warranty ends at 4 years or 50,000 miles.
If warranty work is done at 49,999 there isn't any extension of the original warranty.
Part warranty is 1 year from date part was installed ONLY if you purchase the part!!
If a recent warranty repair fails & now the car is out of warranty, the servicing dealer must ask for goodwill to make the repair under warranty.
Read the fine print in any "LIMITED" warranty booklet that comes eith the car!
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  #5  
Old 12-07-2001, 02:15 PM
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Thanks for the info! I should have a decent transmission with fresh fluid at this point, and I am probably going to get MBs extended warranty package. I have never owned or worked with anything but manual transmissions before I bought the 300E and the C230, so this is a new area to me - all the help and insights are appreciated.
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  #6  
Old 12-07-2001, 02:48 PM
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John,

We have the Signature Class Warranty on both our MB's. It's like your Starmark. The E300 already had it on it when we bought it.

It was an excellent deal compared to any aftermarket warranty. We paid $1575 for the 3 year full warranty on the C230, and it covers most everything on the car (same as factory bumper-to-bumper) for the first two years or until 120,000 kilometers. Then it's a major component warranty that covers lots of stuff until three years or 160,000 kilometers. The warranty period kicks in at the end of the factory warranty.

There's no deductible and the process is identical to getting "regular" warranty work, which is easy.

It also included the "uprated" road-side assistance package, complimetary loaner cars, and some other goodies like trip insurance and so on.

We haven't used the warranty yet (touching wood) on the C230, but just had our first visit on the E300. An odd repair, the thermostat failed, and Helen had no heat. Not expensive, but a few things here and there and the warranty cost is easily saved.

As to your tranny, you might remember my friend Kevin having the EXACT same problem with his C280/722.6.

The dealer did NOT repair the transmission. They ordered a NEW one, and swapped them out. Shortly before his appointment, the tranny failed completely. It made some awful noise, and went into limp-home mode. He cleared the limp-home by turning the car on-off, and then drove right to the dealer. They had a new transmission air-freighted in, and swapped it in.

They kept his car for a few days to make sure everything was fine. It drives like a dream now, and he's hoping things are fixed for good.

He's also considering the Signature Warranty, after signing the $5500 warranty bill for his car...

...guess MB lost money on both you guys!
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  #7  
Old 01-13-2002, 04:55 PM
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Angry Transmission Again!

The trans started slipping again. I took it to the dealer last Monday, who said it was fine because there were no fault codes, and gave it back. On Friday while my wife was driving up the ramp of a parking garage at about 5mph, it slipped again! The engine surged, tach needle climbed briefly, forward motion fell off, then everything caught and the car continued as normal. Her passengers all noticed it as well, so we took it back to the dealer on Friday afternoon (Factory warranty expires today!).

They said they didn't understand why their could be a problem if there were no codes. I told them that I had once diagnosed and repaired a computer that had perfectly normal POST codes and diagnostics, but still had a delaminating mother board, and that if OBDII was perfect, no one would be developing OBDIII and OBDIV - all software has a bug, glitch, or blind spot!

Problem is, the warranty is over today - once I pick up the car they are likely to be done with my problem in their eyes. I have seen several threads about the 5 speed auto on the C class having some problems - one even requiring a new transmission from Germany. Is this what I should hold out for, since they have had 2 shots at repairing this one? I have the extended warranty that the dealership sold me ("you'll never notice the difference between this and the factory as long as you come here"), but Saturday afternoon they were saying that coverage may not be the same and I need to get this resolved.

Does it sound unreasonable to demand a new trans, get the regional rep involved, Bureau of Atomotive repair, or whatever? I am at a loss on how hard to push tomorrow at the dealer, and what my options are. Any advice would be appreciated!
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  #8  
Old 01-15-2002, 09:22 PM
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John,

How did this go???
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  #9  
Old 01-15-2002, 10:56 PM
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It is still going on! They still have the car, and the 'shop foreman' has driven it 'extensively' without seeing a problem. (They are looking at other things as well, and decided the rattle I complained about before requires a new rear anti-sway bar and attachments (!!??!!). )

They said after they do that I can pick up the car. I said no, it came in for the Trans under the original warranty, now expired, and if I take it back, then how will I guarantee it will be fixed under factory goodwill? I pointed out that it is intermittent, that 3 different drivers/passengers have seen it happen, and I will pick it up after it is fixed.

They said maybe it was an engine problem that made it sound like the Trans was slipping. I reminded them that the engine revved, the tach needle climbed, and the car lost momentum all at the same time, then everything 'caught' and worked normally. They said 'we rebuilt the Trans twice'. I said that was as may be, yet it still slips - maybe it is a bad Trans/torque converter, keep driving it and I will talk to you again on Friday.

I will ask MBUSA area rep and special problems tech to look at it before I take it back if it still hasn't been fixed by then. I told them to take their time, and just so there was no rush, I turned in the new E class they gave me for a loaner as I won't need a car for a while, and for their convenience I was giving back the loaner. (I prefer negotiating from any high ground I can find)

Thanks for asking!
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  #10  
Old 01-18-2002, 08:46 PM
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Update:

Talked to the service rep today "your car is fine, we couldn't find the problem, but it is documented for Goodwill in the future". I said 'MAY goodwill' wasn't the same as 'IS warranted', and as far as I was concerned there were 3 options:

1) If they think there is no problem, and that all of us are imagining the slipping, then give me the equivalent of a starmark warrantee on the trans and torque converter (that they have repaired twice before 25,000 miles).

2) If they can't document the problem, but choose to believe us, then get us a new trans from the factory and dump the one that they have dissected twice.

3) If the above aren't acceptable, I will call in the MBNA regional rep and 'special problems' tech and let them keep the car until the problem is seen and fixed.

He didn't like these and told me to talk to the manager on Monday, and the shop foreman would drive the car over the weekend trying to hope the problem comes back, but that "it is normal for these electronic transmissions to shift hard and strangely, they all do this". I said I would talk to the manager Monday before I called MBNA, but I wasn't taking the car back and 'closing the ticket' on this issue until it was fixed, and that I had never owned a car that needed trans surgery even once by 25,000 miles.


Does anybody have any other suggestions for my 'evil twin' persona to employ as this process unfolds? (Short of walking back and forth in front of the dealer with a sign - that comes later )
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  #11  
Old 01-18-2002, 11:53 PM
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I can't believe all the run-around the dealer is giving you.

If they are so confident that the transmission is properly repaired they shouldn't hesistate to honour their repair in some form or another.

I really don't understand why they didn't put in a new tranny right off the bat.

Of course, I'm just restating everything that's been said on this thread. Hoping to give my good friend some "in thought" support...
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  #12  
Old 02-23-2002, 03:15 AM
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Still at the dealer!

After a month (5 weeks) The regional rep finally called, to say that if the dealer techs couldn't replicate the problem, there was nothing to fix (no matter how many people we bring in to verify it occasionally slips, and no matter that the dealer has been in the guts of this trans 3 times). Plus, he was snotty about my writing to the dealer complaining that it had been over a month without hearing anything from the rep! But no worries, he said MB takes care of their customers, and would 'probably goodwill it if anything happened within a reasonable time frame'!

Also, the dealer service people who told me I should buy their Heritage service contract with 'wear and tear' and 'zero deductible' options to cover the trans after the factory warranty ran out, are now saying that the trans "would have to fall out of the car before the Heritage warranty would cover it"!

So today I dropped off another letter to the general Manager of the dealer, saying that if MBUSA wasn't going to replace the trans, then the dealer could repair it properly, or give me a letter saying that it would be fixed at their cost when it fails (as a supplement to the Heritage warranty), or they could refund the Heritage money and I would take the trans to another dealer, or we could get all formal and legal. I mentioned that this was a safety issue (I was nearly rear ended the last time the trans slipped while accelerating away from a light), and that I wasn't taking back the car until this was fixed.

To get things moving, I then went to the Credit Union which handles the MC card I used to buy the Heritage warranty, and put a hold on the payment for the Heritage service contract (The car has been in the dealer's possesion since before the contract was due to start, I haven't used it, and it apparently won't cover what they said it would do for my trans problem).

Any other suggestions would be appreciated - I haven't started picketing the dealership yet. So far MBUSA and the dealer aren't showing to very good advantage. Maybe Chrysler bought MB instead of the other way around.
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  #13  
Old 03-01-2002, 02:50 PM
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Latest Update

No answer from the dealer to my letter of last week. (MB did send me a recall notice on the potential battery fire problem.) I had thought that stopping payment on the Heritage service contract they sold me to 'cover the problem' (it doesn't) would have gotten some action, but apparently not. Since the "Mercedes Benz of Mercedes Benz Dealers" won't return calls or answer letters, Monday I spell everything out to MBUSA and see where they go with it.

My friends and I typically got this type of 'service' on our Acura problems, but this is a first for MB! The local Acura dealership had owners picketing out front last week - maybe that is what it will take!
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