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  #1  
Old 11-10-2003, 11:34 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Abilene, TX
Posts: 6
Question 1992 500SEL Transmission Odd Behavior

My recently acquired 1992 500SEL with 77,000 miles has developed an annoying little habit of not wanting to shift from 1st to 2nd, and so on when first driven on these now cooler mornings. Previously, it shifted rather abruptly, almost like the old auto transmissions in the W123 Turbodiesels. Fuel mileage is excellant, 21+ MPG on the highway, cruise set at 2500 RPM, or about 72 MPH. Once the transmission gets past that first or second upshift of the day, it works as it should. (Do these things need a cup of coffe to get going sometimes?) Transmission fluid level seems to be correct and fluid doesn't appear to need attention. While I didn't get any receipts, I did get the original service book, and all was done on time by a dealer during warranty and stamped by an independant shop at the proper mileages thereafter. Reply here, and please CC to my AOL address as well, if you can. Reach me at TexasStarMan1@aol.com.

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  #2  
Old 12-21-2003, 03:41 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: California
Posts: 12
I believe this is a built in feature that allows the catalytic convertor to come up to temp before allowing the transmission to shift from 1st to 2nd. I have the same situation with my 92 500 SEL and my mechanic assured me that this is normal. Now I just warm the car up a while longer in the morning and it has become a non issue. I could be wrong about it being the Cat Convertor, although it is surely some other heat sensitive device.
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Old 12-21-2003, 06:14 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 962
Yes, this is an engineered-in feature to warm up the catalytic converter quicker. 1-2 and 2-3 shifts (at least) are delayed until the system warms up a bit. This is described nicely in the owner's manual. If you didn't receive one with the car, you can call 1-800-FOR MERC and they'll sell you one. It's really essential and helpful.
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'93 400E
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  #4  
Old 12-21-2003, 09:13 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Abilene, TX
Posts: 6
W140 V-8 Transmission Delayes Shift

Thanks so much for your kind help. Yes, I did find a description in the owner's manual and now do as one other reader suggested. I sit a bit longer in the car port and let it warm up a bit more. Funny the things you can miss even after reading the manual numerous times, and the alarm it can cause (I know what a rebuild/new tranny can cost) when you miss even a small paragraph.

My sincere thanks to the respondents and the site owners. What a fabulous site!

Cliff
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  #5  
Old 12-21-2003, 09:32 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 962
Welcome aboard! I know just what you mean about assuming the worst when one of your MB's systems hiccups ...
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'93 400E
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