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Old 10-12-1999, 11:45 AM
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Hello everyone,

Some of you might know of the interesting little trip I've taken with mercedes in the last 12 months. I purchased a CLK430 in Sept of 98 and it had a bunch of problems. The main ones were 2
1. Transmission would go into neutral by itself and sometimes would not engage again for 5-10secs or not at all. This was with normal driving under 35 miles a hour. The tranny would be in the D position and no rowing of the gears.
2. Transmission wouldn't downshift even when accererater was pushed 3/4s to fully down. It would stay in a high gear for a couple thousand RPM and then do a abrupt downshift 2 gears. If you kept the accerator down, it would hit redline and stay there! It wouldn't down shift. This seems to be the tranny going into limp mode where it senses something wrong and automatically goes into 2nd gear and wont go to any other gear.
Question is why is it going into limp mode?

Now I thought that the first CLK I got was a lemon. Mercedes gave me a 2nd CLK which had the same problems.
Finally I got totally disgusted and got an E55.

The E55 has had the 2nd problems a couple times which I could live with, but it also had the 1st problem last weekend.

anyone who has any knowledge regarding this problem let me know. Could one of you see if its a known problem for mercedes? Also have you heard of this before?

I don't know if mercedes didn't want to spend the money to fix this intermittent problem since they were putting the new tranny into the 00 models. But if thats the case, I'm seriously pissed.
Old 10-12-1999, 02:10 PM
akry's Avatar
W140 Maniac
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Posts: 960
Since your E55 is fairly new, I suggest you go back to MB, and let them solve the problems. And at the mean time, see if there are any consumer protect association(or anything like that which protect a consumer's right), and give them a call/letter to make sure MB takes the problems seriously.

I hate to say that, but I know some MB dealers in Canada has well-known reputation of ignoring their customers especially if..

1. The customer is or looks young(like myself. I have been ignored for an hour when I took my car in for service. I was basically sit there, and doing nothing, while my car is still outside, waiting to be serviced). Who says a 20-year-old can't have a Mercedes??

2. If there's no pressure on the MB dealers and/or MB HQ in USA/Canada, they would simply ignore your problems, and leave it(or them)as is.

So, go look around, there should be plenty of place you can go, give them a complaint letter/call, and I am sure your problem will be solve shortly.....

Good luck....
Andy Kuo
'92 400SE
Old 10-12-1999, 09:19 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
Posts: 4,712
I have seen this problem with quite a few of the E's. We have had them repaired under warranty by the local Atlanta dealer. The solution is a mod to the contactor plate. They did this to one of our cars three times and the third one fixed it. Mercedes knows of the problems, but it is up to the professionalism of the service department to solve the problem for YOU. Thanks and good luck.
If you are in the Atl. GA area, I might be able to help.

1981 280GE SWB
1987 16V

Old 10-13-1999, 11:39 AM
Posts: n/a

Which problem does the that solution fix? The neutral issue or the lagging in shifting which has a hard downshift into 2nd gear?

Old 10-13-1999, 07:45 PM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
The harsh downshift could be resulting from driving style. The trans computer tries to decide the style of shifts that you want from the way you drive. If you drive slowly then ask for aggressive shifts the computer doesn't respond quickly. Try to shift the trans manualy durning your next trip & see if the car will keep up with you. The trans should never go into "Neutral"!! There has been several mods to both valve body & ECU. Try having the shop foreman at your local dealer ride with you to see the problem. To fix this type of problem a technician must be able to duplicate it. The ECU should be able to provide any slippage info.


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