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  #1  
Old 01-04-2002, 11:42 PM
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Location: Simpsonville, South Carolina
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1999 E300DT Transmission Trouble

The transmission in my 1999 E300DT 63000 miles is not locking up when the weather is cold, 30F or lower, and the car is cold. Upon acceleration from a dead stop, easy or hard, the motor revs and the transmission slips. At some point, 2 to 10 seconds, the transmission slams into action or gradually engages and away we go. Problem is only noted from a dead stop and when the car and air is cold. Once the car is warmed up no further problems are noted.

The last problem I posted cost 6 dollars to fix after I was armed with your knowledge. Prior to that the dealer wanted 500 dollars to fix the tail light. Thank you so much for your help.

Paul
1999 E300DT
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2002, 12:54 AM
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Paul:
As you know, this is an electronically controlled transmission. There is no dipstick in the dipstick tube to check the fluid with in the field. Has anyone added anything to the fluid? Ever has any leakage at all? Are you still under warranty? How many miles?
First step is probably to check the trans fluid level. For most folks this will mean a trip to the dealer. The trans fluid temp has to be monitored using the MB "SDS" computer, then the shop tool dipstick used to measure the level. Very critical to check only at the prescribed temp (80 C). Also the trans computer (ETC) stores fault codes and this should be checked.
If all is in order (you DO have warranty left, right?) then I would call for the trans pan be removed and checked for, ahem, tiny little pieces of the trans that wish they were home where they belong. Critical on this trans to also ONLY use the MB trans fluid for the 722.6 trans. If the transmission has not been tampered with, then possibly MB and the dealer can help you out, even if the car is "somewhat" out of warranty. But I'm sure you have lots of warranty left, right?
Gilly
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Old 01-05-2002, 10:47 AM
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The car has 63000 miles on it and to my knowledge has never leaked transmission fluid. The garage floor has no drips on it so I have to assume there are no leaks. Also MB dealer has done all of the services on the car so far and I have never pulled the sealed transmision plug. The bad news is the car is out of warrenty. Does someone know where I can pick up an extended warrenty at this point? It appears that it might be helpful.

Thanks for your reply

Paul
1999E300DT
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  #4  
Old 01-05-2002, 11:40 AM
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On a 99 with 63K on it (which I should have noticed on your original post) there are a few considerations.
First, I don't know anything about extended warranties. Only thing I knw is that they aren't "true" warrantys, more of an insurance policy. Don't know about picking one up mid-stream like this. It's a gamble. Couldn't they call it a "pre-existing condition"? If so you could really get screwed, but how do you find out? "Excuse me, the tranny in my Mercedes is possibly junk, can I get an extended warranty at 63K miles?" Or you just ask and get a warranty, then wait a week or 2 and the dealer calls them up "You know that extended warranty you just sold Mr so and so? Well, the funniest thing just happened....".
One thing that may or may not work in your favor is if the dealer you are taking it to has been servicing the car since new. It helps to have a dealer on your side. It'll help to have a "helpful" dealer in general, because what I'm suggesting is to have the car checked out as I've suggested, and if the trans is lunched, as I suspect, possibly the dealer can go to the region zone manager and have MB help with the cost. It's under 4 years old and true it's over the 50K miles for warranty, not by a huge number.
No, you should not be removing the dipstick tube cap, there is nothing there anyways, it's just a tube, as I already stated.
Take it to the dealer, have the oil level checked (it'll "look" better if the cap lock is still in place), have the trans control unit checked for codes, and if nothing else have the trans pan removed and check for indication of wear. Maybe they should test drive it first. The dealer will probably want to do all this first, actually you could just take it in and tell them what it's doing and let them take it from there. The thing to keep in mind is if it ends up being the trans itself (it's rare, but it happens) to talk to the service manager, (I'm sure he'll be expecting you) and be nice about it, tell him "hey, it's only 13K out of warranty, can you talk to the zone manager for me and get MB to do something". Just be real cordial about the whole thing, you need the dealer to be willing to "go to bat" for you in a case like this.
Gilly
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Old 01-05-2002, 10:47 PM
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Thank you so much for your time Dan. I appreciate your help very much. I will make an appointment Monday and use your be kind policy when I take the car in. Who knows with a big batch of luck the tranny will only be low on fluid, ha ha. At the very least maybe the zone manager will help defrey the cost of this repair.

I will let you know in a few days what became of this. In the mean time all donations are greatly appreciated. Have a great weekend.

Paul

1999 E300DT
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  #6  
Old 01-19-2002, 06:04 PM
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Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
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searaypaul,

Just curious, how did you make out? I have noted a similar kind of effect in my 1998 E300D TurboDiesel. It happens once in awhile when I leave my driveway - the car seems not to want to move, even if the engine revs go up. I usually just let it creep along for a second or two and then give it some more gas (Diesel) and it takes off without any clanging and banging into gear. But it is is wierd when it doesn't seem to respond, as this car usually jumps when you step on the go pedal.

If you found out something, let us know. Thanks, Jim
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Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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  #7  
Old 01-20-2002, 08:31 PM
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To be honest I have not done a thing about the problem yet. I am worried I am going to get nailed for a giant bill. So far I have not had the problem but I am sure it is still there.

I am going to have to stop procrastinating and take the car in before I run up more miles on it and stand no chance of getting any help with the bill.

Just like most people these days I just need more hours in the day to accomplish everything. I will post what I find out when I take the car in. I have printed the replies from everyone and am waiting until I have I can get by without a car for the day.

Have a great day

Paul
1999 E300DT
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  #8  
Old 02-11-2002, 09:55 AM
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I finally had time to take my car in to the shop. As Gillybenz suggested I use the cooperative approach at the dealer. The dealer was very nice about the transmission problem and checked the transmission fluid leval. It was OK. Next they looked for error codes and found none. At that point I had them pull the pan to look for particles and they found none. The dealer then wanted to disassemble the transmission and I did not OK that as that was going to be a biiiiiiiiiig bill. Also on the day I took the car in the repair shop could not duplicate the problem.

The service writer disscussed the problem with me and he thinks we may have a seal that is not sealing correctly since the problem mainly occurs on very cold days and goes away after the car warms up. Remember with the CHALLENGER tradgedy one o ring brought the entire rocket down. My solution so far has been to start the car five or ten minutes before I am ready to leave so that it can warm up some.

Thank you everyone for your suggestions and I apologize for not getting back quicker.

Paul Cleary

1999E300DT
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  #9  
Old 02-11-2002, 10:11 AM
Fimum Fit
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Rather than subject your motor to such a long warm-up --

have you tried starting your first drive of the morning with the selector in "L" for a few meters?? (I hope I didn't miss something in your first post.) The "L" technique will bypass simialr symptoms in many brands of automatics, but I've never owned anything new enough to have a true electronic control system.
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  #10  
Old 02-11-2002, 10:40 AM
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Your transmission behaviour may be quite normal. I have a '93 300E and the transmission will not not go into 3rd gear until the engine temperature has reached 100 degrees. MB designed the car that way so as to ensure a quick engine warm-up. Check your owner's manual, you should find a reference to this.
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