I have a 2001 CLK 320 which I purchased new in 2000.
Before, I purchased it I would read this forum and read stories of coffee getting in the gear shift and it would kill the car. Well I couldn't believe something that simple could disable the car.
Well, you can guess what happened.
My girlfriend spilled some lemonade from a bottle into the automatic gear shift. I saw it happened and knew the possible consequences and immediately went to wipe it up. Literally, only about 2 sipfulls spilled into the outer casing and some lemonade evidently got into the gear shift.
I drove 50 yards and the car locked up totally. I wasn't even able to put the car in Neutral for the tow truck.
Nightmare...Mercedes dealer said "there was an electric problem with the gear shift and I would need a new gift shift." Very expensive, I'm certain. Still waiting on the quote. Car has 57,000 miles so it's BEYOND warranty.
Lesson to all: this is a REAL problem ie- coffee or juice in the gear shift will kill your CLK. I can go on for days about this poor design by Mercedes with a few 4 letter words injected but I'll hold off.
This matter is not over. I will be talking with Mercedes main national center regarding this ridiculous gear shift design.
ACHTUNG: COVER YOUR GEAR SHIFTS WITH SOMETHING, ANYTHING.
Semi- good news. Spoke with Mercedes dealer and they said it would be about $900 with labor. This includes "extra cost because they have to remove my after- market Alpine DVD system."
$900 - still alot of money but I was thinking $3000.
I did NOT tell them lemonade spilled in the gear shift. They told me this happens alot and newer Mercedes have a boot over the shifter now.
For future reference if this should happen to you- do NOT say something spilled in it. Just say shifter went dead. If you say you spilled something then it will not be covered under warranty. However, the tech did say that if Mercedes finds liquid remnants on the shifter than you are responsible even it it's under warranty.
They even have the part in stock "because people spill stuff in the open shifter all the time." What a racket Mercedes has going on with this "open shifter" business!
Thank goodness ONLY $900 (yes still alot of money but...)
sorry about the shifter, every time someone puts a starbucks coffee in my cupholder, it spills over the first bump I go. I guess that's why we only get one cupholder now and it is way over on the right. Now I just tell my passengers to hold the coffee in their lap. Haha better them then my car.