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Old 12-21-2012, 11:17 AM   #1
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Got Conductor plate replaced

Hey all! (Sorry in advanced for the long post)
So i got the conductor plate replaced on my W203 722.9. I didn't go to Mercedes but the guy I went to has worked on MB for more then 20 years and has replaced the conductor plate many times. He replaced it and then went to Mercedes to get everything programmed (reset/clear/transfer codes etc.) However, I am now having issues with irregular shifts and down shifts (Mostly when its cold out) however after the engine and trans are warm, everything runs perfectly fine. So I went back to my guy and he checked everything out. He told me to go back to Mercedes to have them reprogram the computer because he states is a computer issue. We test drove the car together so that he could see and feel what I was talking about. He said its definitely a computer issue. Btw the check engine light is on and when he checked what the problem was he was not able to get into the trans computer. So i took it to Mercedes and dealt with Charles Estelle (who btw is a total douchebag!) I explained to him the issue and he of course was *****in because I went to someone who was not Mercedes to get the job done. So he wasn't willing to reprogram the computer because he said there is no reprogramming ( I am now questioning if he even got it done the first time). Anyhow, he said he would look at it and let me know. So I'm like fine but I need a loaner because I can't wait. He's like we dont have any. The shuttle cant take you where you need to go, so then I tell him I made an appointment, the appointment stated that I would need a loaner, of course he felt stupid and gave me one. So now he calls me while I'm at work. He tells me that the gear ratios are not what there suppose to be and that I will need a new transmission (WTF??!!!) $6500 that I don't have. So I call my guy explain everything to him and he tells me that its ridiculous, all they have to do is reprogram the computer (which they didn't). So my guy tells me, ok take it to another dealer and tell them you got some work done and you need it reprogrammed. If they comeback to you and tell you the same thing, I'll replace the transmission, no problem. Ok, fine no problem. So I have an appointment with another Mercedes dealer on saturday so we'll see how that goes.....


Now, I go to pick up my car from Mr. Charles "Douchebag" Estelle. I ask him for a print out of the ratio numbers and any other diagnostic code. He's like there is no print out, here is your service record with your summary. Here is a photo of the work order summary:
Click the image to open in full size.

Sorry for the long posts, any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:42 PM   #2
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Oh man!. They need to reset all adaptions on the transmission & see if it is possible to get them within spec. They say that many adaptions are reaching their limit but don't tell us what they did. (If after resetting this is the case it can be ominous). They also need to ensure that the TCU has the latest software flash.

The implausible gear ratio comment is usually speed sensor related. This is usually a conductor plate issue. Did your guy that replaced the conductor plate cancel all codes?

Good luck!
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:44 PM   #3
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Keep us informed & good luck on Saturday
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Old 12-21-2012, 03:20 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Glyn M Ruck View Post
Oh man!. They need to reset all adaptions on the transmission & see if it is possible to get them within spec. They say that many adaptions are reaching their limit but don't tell us what they did. (If after resetting this is the case it can be ominous). They also need to ensure that the TCU has the latest software flash.

The implausible gear ratio comment is usually speed sensor related. This is usually a conductor plate issue. Did your guy that replaced the conductor plate cancel all codes?

Good luck!
Thanks for responding! Ill make sure I let them know on Saturday to make sure that the TCu has the latest software flash. I honestly think this guy charles is out to get me only because I refused to get the work done from him (which he was charging me $2200 btw). My guy cancelled all the codes but had to take it to Mercedes to get everything reprogrammed with the STAR diagnostic. Is the car drivable once the conductor plate is replaced but not programmed? Or better yet, should the car be driven before getting the TCU reprogrammed? I'll let you all know the outcome once all of it gets done saturday. Thanks again!
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Old 12-21-2012, 03:21 PM   #5
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Keep us informed & good luck on Saturday
Thanks, Carsy! Will do!!
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:43 AM   #6
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I hate to be a negative nelly but this is why MB should be the one replacing a conductor plate. I had mine replaced last month at $1100. It took them longer to reprogram than it did to replace the plate. I have had no problems since.
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:09 AM   #7
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Thanks for responding! Ill make sure I let them know on Saturday to make sure that the TCu has the latest software flash. I honestly think this guy charles is out to get me only because I refused to get the work done from him (which he was charging me $2200 btw). My guy cancelled all the codes but had to take it to Mercedes to get everything reprogrammed with the STAR diagnostic. Is the car drivable once the conductor plate is replaced but not programmed? Or better yet, should the car be driven before getting the TCU reprogrammed? I'll let you all know the outcome once all of it gets done saturday. Thanks again!
It's OK to drive with the symptoms you describe. As long as the box is not slipping badly or banging in & out of gears.
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:51 AM   #8
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Replacing the VGS (conductor plate) without an SDS is not something that can be done. My first question for the independent, is what is the original part number of the valve body. If the the vehicle was equipped with a VGS1, then it is not possible to replace VGS only. In this case a complete valve body needs to be replaced. If it is a VGS2 or higher, then the repair kit can be used. The second question for the independent, is did he provide the old VGS to the dealer at time of "Programming"?

All valve bodies are flowed on a bench to calibrate each of the 8 solenoids. This information is stored in the EEPROM data of the ETC. if this data was not transferred from the old VGS, then the new VGS is trash. If the old VGS is no longer available, you will have no choice but to replace the whole valve body. If the process was successful, then the trans will shift fine and adaptation values will be ok. If it shifts as you describe, it sounds that the EEPROM data was not transferred. If this is the case, no amount of adaptation will cure your shift complaints.

Now the service advisor you have been dealing with obviously has no clue. If you encounter that again, ask very nicely to speak with either the tech working on the car or the Shop Foreman.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:21 AM   #9
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One more thing...ask the dealer of a current control unit log from ETC.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:52 AM   #10
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Correct: Due to manufacturing variances in the valve body (not all units are blueprint)

• Each valve body assembly is individually tested
• Hydraulic pressures and electrical currents are
measured by sensors on a computerized test rig
• Test values are evaluated and corresponding
algorithms are written to control module’s
permanent memory

• This process ensures that the control module is
calibrated to mechanical and electrical solenoid
valves of that valve body
• Once this process is complete, valve body
assembly is installed in a transmission

Writing the old values to the new ECM permanent memory is critical in this process.

The OP's comment "to Mercedes to get everything programmed (reset/clear/transfer codes etc.) I believed meant that this had been done.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glyn M Ruck View Post

The OP's comment "to Mercedes to get everything programmed (reset/clear/transfer codes etc.) I believed meant that this had been done.
I would agree, but from personal experience when the VGS is replaced this way it is seldom done correctly. I would like to know step by step what processes were followed. Even he normal process seems to mystify some technicians.

If you quiz the dealer that did the data transfer for the Indy, they should tell you the following steps in DAS: drive vehicle to shop > connect old VGS > process DTC > DAS will store the EEPROM data and blackout to the initial mask > plug in new VGS > once they enter into ETC they will be prompted to perform initial startup > they may be prompted for the EHS number (if the incorrect one is entered the rest of the process will fail) > DAS will now check for newer software for ETC (it must find new software) > after software is found SCN coding takes place > range selection sensor is now taught in > transport protection is now removed and the control unit is personalized.

If they followed those steps, then your issue is not the software.

Also to the OP I can see your ETC was flashed on 11/28 with the new VGS installed. If you can get the control unit log(which is a PDF) I can take a closer look. Even better, get the EEPROM data (this is a txt file).
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:57 PM   #12
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I hear you. While I'm an oil company man I used to roll up my sleeves & help MB with some lecturing on the 722.9 in Asia. Techs in Malaysia, Vietnam & China understand the transmission better than those in SA.
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:17 PM   #13
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Sorry to hear about all the problems you're going through and hope it gets resolved!
Had my conductor plate replaced not even a week ago with out a problem.
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:13 AM   #14
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Surprised your indy could even get his hands on a conductor plate. MB is not selling them to ANYONE is my understanding.

While I am a firm believer in DIY and competent indies for repairs, but the 722.9 conductor plate replacement is better left to the dealer for the reasons MBtech 1098 posted.
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:59 PM   #15
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Since it only happens cold, it does lead one to believe that it has something to do with the
fluid.
Has it been COMPLETELY flushed with ATF 134 the latest formulation of
Mercedes fluid? If it still has the original fluid, that could be a problem.

Not sure about 722.9 but in 722.6 when the engine is cold the computer tells it NOT to shift as it would when it's warm to decrease the time for the engine to warm up, forces it into higher rpm which is part of the emissions controls.
Warm engine = less emissions. Higher rpms get it warmer faster.

For now, let the engine warm up a little and see if that helps.
Like Glyn said clear the adaptations.
Just curious what dealer that is....Smyth?

Since apparently your mechanic doesn't have an SDS,
he likely never cleared the original errors.
You need to find an Indy with SDS if they are going to repair
Mercedes they need it. The dealers only want one thing.
Your money. It's just amazing how low they will go to get it time and time
again on this forum. 1600 dollar alternators for C Class...
20 hours of labor performed on days they weren't even open...
I love that one.
Guy drops off his car on Sat at 4pm. Picks it up at noon at Mon.
Gets billed 20+ hours when the place was closed.

Where are you located?
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Last edited by C230 Sport Coup; 12-24-2012 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:04 PM   #16
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Yeah, a little fishy.
MB will sell him the CP but he doesn't even have
SDS.
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnand View Post
Surprised your indy could even get his hands on a conductor plate. MB is not selling them to ANYONE is my understanding.

While I am a firm believer in DIY and competent indies for repairs, but the 722.9 conductor plate replacement is better left to the dealer for the reasons MBtech 1098 posted.
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:37 PM   #17
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If you guys were referring to me than, I still have extended warranty and had it replaced at the dealership.
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:41 PM   #18
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The VGS repair kit (conductor plate) no longer is restricted for sale.
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:44 AM   #19
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The VGS repair kit (conductor plate) no longer is restricted for sale.
Thanks for that information! Curious as to your understanding of why it was restricted for a while?
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:46 AM   #20
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Yeah, a little fishy.
MB will sell him the CP but he doesn't even have
SDS.
Yes, and to properly replace it you need a genuine SDS, clones will not work for the procedure.
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Old 12-25-2012, 02:14 PM   #21
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I'll guess its the American "Right To Repair" Law that basically made MB-USA un-restrict the sale of this item. I wonder if this item is restricted sale outside of USA?

When I had my ECU issues, I could buy the ECU vin-code (serial# coded) from Mercedes-Benz dealership in Canada,... and then it needed to be installed and SCN (Software Calibration Number) coded but my Canadian Mercedes Indy could not connect to the Mercedes computer in Germany. Whereas an American Mercedes Indy could,... thus my Canadian Mercedes Indy had to connect to an American Mercedes Indy (ECU expert) to get the connection to the Mercedes computer in Germany. Basically, in the USA there's the "Right To Repair" law which allows indy to fix cars like the dealership (access to parts, software, tools, etc,..),... whereas in Canada, dealerships like Mercedes put too many restrictions on indy & DIYers so that they'll get as much repair business as possible.
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:29 PM   #22
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The repair kit was part of the diagnostic repair verification. It has since been removed from the program. If a certain part is replaced time and time again yet when tested by the manufacture shows to be ok then the part is entered into the program. This is done to prevent depletion of part stock to ensure its availability for vehicles that need it. The documentation requested by MBUSA must come from the dealer so part replacement can be verified.

So in the end basically a bunch of people were replacing valve bodies and VGS kits where they were not needed.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:45 AM   #23
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Hey everyone,
happy holidays! sorry, for not responding sooner, apparently hiding in your room from annoying family members is frowned upon in my household. But I took the car to another Mercedes shop on Saturday. I waited three hours for them to do the reprogramming. I wasn;t able to get any of the logs since I had already left the dealer by the time I read the post. However they were able to succesfully reprogram everything and transfer the codes and all that other fancy stuff. The second I drove out of the dealership I noticed the diffrence. The car drove and shifted a lot smoother. I took it out the next morning to make sure that it drove well after a cold start as well and its driving as good as new. I honestly think that the guy from the other dealer was out to get me. I will be writing a letter to the president of the dealership to let him know how I was treated and make sure this service person doesn't do the same to the other customers. Anyways, thank you all for your responses. Happy Holidays and New Year!
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:07 PM   #24
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Great news. I'm pleased it's fixed.
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:40 PM   #25
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Is the conductor plate usually covered under the extended warranty anyone have luck with that?

Is draining the trans fluid a part of the conductor plate repair?
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:40 PM
 
 
 
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