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E-Class (W212) 2010-present: E 350, E 550

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Old 02-28-2012, 05:16 PM   #1
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throttle delay/software update

Every now and then, someone posts about a delay in the operation of the throttle from a stop. I am one of those that previously had this problem. It was repeatable.

I am happy to say that I have had all the system software on my 2010 E550 updated for an unrelated reason, and the throttle delay is now entirely gone. Those of you who do NOT have this delay will NOT understand -- it is a period of perhaps a long second where the throttle does not respond at all. Pushing harder does not help, and in fact hurts because the car lurches all the harder when the throttle finally "catches." After the update, the car indeed immediately responds to the throttle, and is perfectly normal. No more "Oh sh*t" moments pulling into traffic.

I've noticed several other little improvements. Well, BT audio streaming is a big one. But also the backup camera comes on much quicker when putting the car in R just after starting it (as if you back out of your garage). Also, the car speakers sound the telephone ring when I get a call instead of the phone speaker. And several others. Overall, the electronics on the car just seem less "buggy" after the updates.

Hope this helps anyone with the throttle delay issue.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:19 PM   #2
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Just wondering, was that the transmission software update?
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:25 PM   #3
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Just wondering, was that the transmission software update?
Sorry, when I got the car back, every system in the car had been updated. So I can't say it was due to one particular update.
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:35 PM   #4
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I had an issue that magically disappeared after service on a totally unrelated (but serious) issue.

In the past, my 2011 550 Luxury would experience a very predictable ~brutally~ hard upshift (or downshift??) when cruising into a moderate hill at a moderate speed and then, for whatever reason, I reduced pressure, however slightly, on the gas. WHAM! the car would shift. Sounded and felt like a Sherman tank dropping into gear! I feared for my tranny!! I could reproduce the problem at will on certain hills in our area.

I squawked the problem several months ago and the dealer said they updated the tranny software, but there was no improvement.

A few weeks ago, I squawked my collapsing rear end (Oh! Not mine! The 550's!) And, low and behold, after that service, the brutal shift behavior stopped. Without any notation on the service document that a tranny software update was done.

(However, they did ATTEMPT to change the software that they said was causing my iPod to not charge. That attempt failed . . . it just sits there and empties the iPod battery! iPod support on the 2011 550 is a fraud!)
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:46 PM   #5
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so what do you need to tell them in order to have the software update? is there any common/known issue that they'll update the sw under warranty?
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:01 PM   #6
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so what do you need to tell them in order to have the software update? is there any common/known issue that they'll update the sw under warranty?
A software update apparently takes a lot of time, and bay space, if I hear the service people correctly. And there are apparently many kinds of software updates.

I get the distinct impression that you won't get a particular software update unless there is a safety issue or you complain about a symptom for which there is an update documented. The service folks apparently follow a strict formula --- this symptom? do this check; this result? take this action; etc., etc. They document what they do precisely, and MBZ won't reimburse the dealer unless the process is followed exactly. And considering the complexity of cars these days, I can understand that there is no room for freelancing by a tech.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:09 PM   #7
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I'm very happy to hear this. The delay after a brief stop is the one thing that bothers me about my car every day.

I'll call my dealer after I get back from vacation. I'm not sure what they will say since they had it in for a week trying to fix this. That was several months back; maybe there is a new software update since then.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:31 PM   #8
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A software update apparently takes a lot of time, and bay space, if I hear the service people correctly. And there are apparently many kinds of software updates.

I get the distinct impression that you won't get a particular software update unless there is a safety issue or you complain about a symptom for which there is an update documented. The service folks apparently follow a strict formula --- this symptom? do this check; this result? take this action; etc., etc. They document what they do precisely, and MBZ won't reimburse the dealer unless the process is followed exactly. And considering the complexity of cars these days, I can understand that there is no room for freelancing by a tech.
It indeed took several days in my case. Software updates like this always make me nervous, especially if the car is working ok beforehand. I am lucky that my SA doesn't treat me like a moron even if no one can replicate my problems. It's great to hear "I believe you, and I'm going to figure it out" instead of seeing the usual eye roll.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:39 PM   #9
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A software update apparently takes a lot of time, and bay space, if I hear the service people correctly. And there are apparently many kinds of software updates.

I get the distinct impression that you won't get a particular software update unless there is a safety issue or you complain about a symptom for which there is an update documented. The service folks apparently follow a strict formula --- this symptom? do this check; this result? take this action; etc., etc. They document what they do precisely, and MBZ won't reimburse the dealer unless the process is followed exactly. And considering the complexity of cars these days, I can understand that there is no room for freelancing by a tech.
guess i can't just tell them the "known" issue, throttle delay then ?
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:43 PM   #10
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guess i can't just tell them the "known" issue, throttle delay then ?
A car with a transmission lag as described is a safety issue. If a truck is barrelling down on you, you want to be able to floor the gas pedal and get out of trouble. It probably is a valid NHTSB complaint.
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:23 AM   #11
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well, i kind of remember i had a similar problem w/my bmw before but they didn't really do anything and i gave up eventually.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:20 PM   #12
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Since I posted this, I went out of my way today to concentrate on the lag and try to repeat it at the usual points in my drive that I used to get the delay. It is 100% gone! There is a very, very slight hesitation with lots of throttle on a hill -- I think it might be time needed for the hill hold feature to release. Nothing like before. In fact, it's got me wondering if the original throttle delay might be caused by a slow release of the hill hold? Everything around where I live is a hill so I wouldn't know otherwise.

I don't think the original problem would trigger a NHTSB investigation. The delay is pretty short. It's just very disconcerting to press on the throttle and have absolutely nothing happen for about a second.
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:53 PM   #13
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didn't your work order sheet show what was done on the update?
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:04 AM   #14
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i heard that some drivers in china got the similar (if not the same) update. but last time i went to the dealer in shanghai, the technician was like, "whaaat? wha cha talkin' about, willis? "

this one i have in shanghai is E200, and i sometimes experience the same throttle delay...
man, i want this software update.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:02 AM   #15
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I've owned 8 MBs and I have never owned one that did not have the hesitation, except the first two. They were European spec 5 speeds, I owned while stationed in Germany in the early 80's.

I always complained about the hesitation. In '93, after returning from a tour in Korea, I got into sports cars and left the Mercedes driving to my wife. Everyone she owned since still had the hesitation and I hated driving them.

Some folks, like my wife, can drive a MB all day long and never notice the hesitation, or very seldom notice it. I have noticed it with every single MB I ever drove, However, finally, as a result of this forum, I discovered a fix for it. It is relatively inexpensive, and 110% improvement.

When I bought this "E 350" last September, the hesitation was there, albeit much less noticeable than on all the previous models. However, now that I have installed the Sprint Booster, all hesitation is GONE! As a matter of fact, I am still teaching myself how to drive it to prevent "jack rabbit take offs," from stop lights. It is an absolute miracle mod for the MB hesitation issue.

In addition, the use of the Sprint Booster is greatly amplified when driving in "S" mode, so therefore, everytime I start the engine, I automatically push the "S" mode button. This does negatively influence the gas mileage somewhat, but the "fun factor" is far more important to me personally, than gas mileage.

The bottom line to this post is, if you want to eliminate the hesitation, install the Sprint Booster, period! DISCLAIMER: I have absolutely no affiliation with the Sprint Booster folks and am receiving nothing in return for advocating the Booster.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:12 AM   #16
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I should have mentioned this in the previous post. I sincerely believe the hesitation is an integral part of MB engineering in an attempt to improve fuel mileage and EPA issues. I am certain a smart MB technician with a high level of ingenuity could figure out how to reprogram the computers to improve the hesitation.

I have seen all kinds of things accomplished on Corvettes simply by reprogramming the ECM and other ancilliary computers. I have no doubt it could be done on the MB but finding a qualified, smart technician with the ingenuity and willingness to do it, would be like looking for a needle in the proverbial haystack.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:18 AM   #17
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is this an issue on early W212's? i have not really got on mine yet, since i just bought it. has anyone with a 2012 had this issue?
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:56 PM   #18
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I guess this update to the ecm will hurt sprint booster sales.....?lol
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:48 PM   #19
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I guess this update to the ecm will hurt sprint booster sales.....?lol
OH, I'm sure it will! Who cares, except the Sprint Booster folks. First let's see how many driver's can get the appropriate update that will actually eliminate the hesitation. Personally, I think "TTOE550" was a very lucky individual...The right time, the right place, and the right technician. Most MB technicians would rather cut off their right arm than mess with the factory settings.

As I stated previously, some drivers may never notice the hesitation, but it's there on every single Mercedes with automatic. It all depends on how aggressive you get with the accelerator. Not that I'm a "Parnelli Jones" type driver, but when I notice it, for example, I was attempting to pull out in heavy traffic and needed a little extra acceleration and it would always hesitate. In that instant, it makes you panic and want to pump the accelerator, and cuss!

I can even list mine in sequence from very dangerous to not so bad: 1( '91 Baby Benz, 2) '96 C Class, 3)'01 C Class, 4) '84 280SE European Spec Grey Market car we brought back from Germany in '85, 5) '06 ML350, 6)'11 E350, I am currently driving and have added the Sprint Booster to eliminate it.

Most folks will never notice it as long as they are making gradual take offs, like senior citizens or individuals concerned about fuel mileage. When you WILL notice it, is when you find yourself in an emergency situation where you need more acceleration than normal and it will not be there.
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:05 PM   #20
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OH, I'm sure it will! Who cares, except the Sprint Booster folks. First let's see how many driver's can get the appropriate update that will actually eliminate the hesitation. Personally, I think "TTOE550" was a very lucky individual...The right time, the right place, and the right technician. Most MB technicians would rather cut off their right arm than mess with the factory settings.
I just want to emphasize that I did not complain about or even mention the hesitation at my last visit. I figured there was no point. So nothing special was done to my car to get rid of it.

I had different issues that necessitated the software update. In that update, the unresponsive throttle was fixed.

I have convinced myself that the original problem had something to do with the hill hold -- the brakes held on to the car for "too long" at a quick stop-and-go. I didn't think of it until yesterday, but the delay is very similar to that you get with the hill hold feature, except it lasted much longer. Maybe the software update made the hill hold operate faster and it's not a throttle issue at all.

Now I understand what the "push harder" folks mean in regards to Sprint Booster.
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:03 PM   #21
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What am I missing? Mercedes automatics start in second unless you override it with the Sport setting. If you give it enough throttle, the transmission will start in second and then downshift to 1st. isn't this what we're talking about?
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:25 PM   #22
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Yes, that's exactly what I'm talking about. I can't speak for the others who are experiencing the hesitation. However, I am willing to bet it's the same issue.

When I bought my new '84 280SE (European spec car) in Weisbaden, Germany, I complained about the hesitation during the first 30 days of ownership. The service manager explained it to me in explicit detail then. He said all MB were designed to take off in second gear. That is why you only notice it when you make a quick or emergency takeoff. It is that hesitation, during fast takeoffs, when it downshifts from second back to first that gets your attention. Depending on individual driver techniques, it can be a nuisance.

On today's modern W212, it doesn't matter if you are in "E" or "S," you still get the hesitation, depending on how hard and quick you press the accelerator.
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:36 PM   #23
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Yes, that's exactly what I'm talking about. I can't speak for the others who are experiencing the hesitation. However, I am willing to bet it's the same issue.
The issue I am talking about is not that of starting in second gear. Starting in second is a slower takeoff than starting in first, but the car still moves when you press the accelerator (just not as much as you like). The delay issue is a completely dead and nonresponsive throttle for a longish second after a quick stop - the car does not move AT ALL. None, nada, zilcho. Not slowly, not sluggishly, but not at all.

As I mentioned in my first post, this issue is hard to understand if you don't have it.
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:54 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by ttoE550 View Post
The issue I am talking about is not that of starting in second gear. Starting in second is a slower takeoff than starting in first, but the car still moves when you press the accelerator (just not as much as you like). The delay issue is a completely dead and nonresponsive throttle for a longish second after a quick stop - the car does not move AT ALL. None, nada, zilcho. Not slowly, not sluggishly, but not at all.

As I mentioned in my first post, this issue is hard to understand if you don't have it.
I agree...We may well be mixing "apples" and "oranges" in this thread. I guess any hesitation on acceleration is a nuisiance and can be dangerous in certain situations. I just know the starting in second gear hesitation has always been my pet peeve about the Mercedes. After adding the Sprint booster to my E350, htat cured it. I guess I got talking about it on this thread that I kinda hi-jacked your thread, or at least the purpose you were seeking. My humblest apologies for getting it side tracked. I am glad they were able to get yours functioning properly.
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:13 PM   #25
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Most folks will never notice it as long as they are making gradual take offs, like senior citizens ....
Wait a minute! You're a senior citizen.

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Old 03-01-2012, 06:13 PM
 
 
 
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