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Old 07-19-2002, 07:44 PM
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Question A seasonal 4Matic strategy?

I was wondering if it would be possible and good idea to switch the 4Matic system off during the summer, and back on during the winter, thus reducing wear and prolonging its life. Are there any problems with driving long distances with the 4Matic switched off? I've just bought an 88 300TE and am so far very happy, apart from discovering that the front left universal joint needs replacing.
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Old 07-19-2002, 09:15 PM
blackmercedes's Avatar
Just a guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
I don't have an answer to your question, but I do have a question of my own:

What were the symptoms of the U-joint failure?
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K
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Old 07-19-2002, 09:28 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 118
Personally, I would not do it. In my car, 1992 300TE 4matic wagon, if you disconect the 4matic, you also disconnet the hydraulic self leveling suspension, which will affect handling, etc. Plus, because the car is so damn heavy, I doubt you'll see much of an improvement in gas mileage. Plus, any "wear" you save may result in a loss of lubrication somewhere, (guessing), which might cost more to fix. (For example, in older, pre-1980 4x4's, it was important to run them in four wheel drive every month or so to lubricate the front differential; failure to do so would inevitably cause problems later). Here, you should do a "4matic" search in this forum and you will find lots of discussions about this idea and others that you will find informative. Good luck, and if you decide to try it, please report your success/failure and any improvement in acceleration or gas mileage. All us 4matic devotees will be waitng to hear what you have to say.

1962 Mercedes 220SEb "Fintail" Sedan
1963 Vespa Scooter VNB4T
1992 Mercedes 300TE 4Matic Wagon
1995 Subaru Legacy Wagon
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Old 07-20-2002, 04:59 PM
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Arrow The symptoms were:

A cracked boot and oil splattered over the wheel arch. Nothing noticeable while driving however. When the mechanic had a look, the U-joint (I'm not sure that this is the right word for it, I live in Switzerland and they call it a cardan in French) was history, its teeth were stripped.
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