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Transmission: Safe Mode When Cold

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Old 11-08-2009, 01:01 PM   #1
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Transmission: Safe Mode When Cold

This only happens when cold and returns to normal when warmed up. It started last year and I had the ECM (the one above the valve body) and the connector adapter replaced and had the same problem the next day, and then it was dormant when the warm weather set in. I find that when I start out in 4th instead of drive it is much better but still not perfect and I am told there is a communication problem but I don't know what the next step should be. I read a post last year that thought it could be the switch in the shift lever console but I can't locate that post. The trans. was rebuilt and updated 60,000 miles ago and the rebuilder, who only does MB and BMW units, said it was OK. There seems to be 2 switches in the shift console, one with all the lights and one without. Perhaps one or both of these need changing but considering the expense I don't want to guess. Any suggestions?
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Old 11-08-2009, 01:28 PM   #2
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Scan

to locate causing the issue.
If it is a comm error issue you need to get it on an sds scanner and have the trans codes pulled (p0700 range) before you even begin to guess at the problem.
Seems temperature related so start looking at those sensor values and conditions.
A good indie shop with an sds scanner and a good operator should be able to get you out of the dark and into the light.
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Old 11-08-2009, 03:56 PM   #3
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Len,

I don't think you said in your post exactly what the problem is.

RonJ
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Old 11-08-2009, 07:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronaldkjones View Post
Len,

I don't think you said in your post exactly what the problem is.

RonJ
When I start out in the morning in Drive it appears to start in 1st gear and stay there so I have to shift into 4th and in will eventually shift through the gears after a delay in first gear with high RPMs. If I put it in Drive again it goes into safe mode and starts and stays in 2nd gear, so I have to shift to 4th again and it will shift through to 4th gear and then I shift to Drive for the extra gear. I have to do this each time until it warms up (maybe 5 minutes) and then it is OK. I notice that when I shift to drive the indicator light won't come on and I can jiggle the shift lever sometimes and the light will blink, That's why I thought there might be a bad switch. I hope this helps. I think Ohlords suggestion is a good idea to have the codes checked by an Indie with the proper equipment as my Harbor Freight Reader doesn't show any codes at this time.
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Old 11-08-2009, 08:34 PM   #5
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Your range recognition

maybe shot in the shift module.Have you tried to just start the car and idle it for several minutes and see if it operates fine without doing all the contortions
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohlord View Post
maybe shot in the shift module.Have you tried to just start the car and idle it for several minutes and see if it operates fine without doing all the contortions
Yes, I have and the results are the same.
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:41 AM   #7
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I had the same problem with my 99 E430. Wouldn't shift out of 1st until warmed up. Once it shifted it was fine the rest of the day no matter how much or how little you drove. This of course made it difficult to diagnose. Anyway long story short, code 135, communication with engine control unit. After two mornings of cold starts sds showed when cold transmission control unit was not able to read in gear shifter position when in drive. If shifter wiggled slightly value would read. Replaced switch inside shifter. Problem solved. Part # 210 545 13 32, $91.70.

In the mean time try putting the transmission in winter mode ( w ). That will start you out in second and make it a little more drivable until you have a chance to get it repaired.

Hope this helps,

RonJ
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronaldkjones View Post
I had the same problem with my 99 E430. Wouldn't shift out of 1st until warmed up. Once it shifted it was fine the rest of the day no matter how much or how little you drove. This of course made it difficult to diagnose. Anyway long story short, code 135, communication with engine control unit. After two mornings of cold starts sds showed when cold transmission control unit was not able to read in gear shifter position when in drive. If shifter wiggled slightly value would read. Replaced switch inside shifter. Problem solved. Part # 210 545 13 32, $91.70.

In the mean time try putting the transmission in winter mode ( w ). That will start you out in second and make it a little more drivable until you have a chance to get it repaired.

Hope this helps,

RonJ
I would love to be so lucky, where did you buy that part so cheaply?
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Old 11-11-2009, 11:50 AM   #9
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That was the price charged to me by my independent. That was for the part only. The labor was $308 which comes to $399.70.

Hope this helps,

Ron J
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Old 11-11-2009, 11:56 AM   #10
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You can

get a guaranteed unit the whole shifter module and install it for less than that. $250 total. Diy shifter r/r on www.benzworld.org w210 diy section
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Old 01-14-2010, 05:43 PM   #11
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Problem Solved!

I had an MB Indie read the codes and he could not make a determination as to how to resolve the problem so I finally decided to change the Gear Recognition switch (the one with all the leds) inside the shift lever module and that resolved the problem. Oh happy day! I was able to remove the shift lever module and disconnect the linkage without going under the car.

Thanks for all your help, guys.
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:19 AM   #12
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Does it work much better? Thanks...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palermo Len View Post
I had an MB Indie read the codes and he could not make a determination as to how to resolve the problem so I finally decided to change the Gear Recognition switch (the one with all the leds) inside the shift lever module and that resolved the problem. Oh happy day! I was able to remove the shift lever module and disconnect the linkage without going under the car.

Thanks for all your help, guys.
Does it work much better?
Thanks...
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1995, 1999, 2nd, benz, code, e320, e420, gear, mercedes, past, po700, porblems, problems, shift, trans, w210


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