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M-Class (W164) 2006-2011: ML280CDI, ML320CDI, ML420CDI, ML350, ML500, ML550

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Old 02-08-2009, 12:52 PM   #1
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06 ML350 Transmission Problems?

Hello everyone - I am a newbie and this is my first MB and so far, I have not been too impressed. I was hoping that I could get some help from some seasoned MB owners. My CPO ML350 has about 48,000 miles on it, and the main problem that I have is with the transmission shift from 2nd to 1st while rolling to a stop sign. It almost feels like when you are learning to drive a stick for the first time. The transmission shutters. I have found a service bulletin and have taken it to my local dealership, and they stated that the transmission itself is adaptive and has to be reset - which they stated they have done...lo and behold the transmission is still shuttering from 2nd to 1st. I am going to take it back in but want to have some sort of ammunition if you will. Please help it would be greatly appreciated. I am afraid that I will have to conform and take it back and get another RX330!
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Old 02-08-2009, 03:33 PM   #2
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My 06 ML350 has been back to the dealer 3 times for transmission related issues. Jerky shifting, won't shift out of 1st gear, won't go into reverse, etc. The dealer downloaded new software but this did not help. I love the car and the lease is uo in May. I have ordered an 09 ML350 and am hoping I won't be having these same issues.

If so I will document my visits as I have done with the 06 and make sure the dealer and MBUSA are aware of my frustration. In reading the reviews for the 09 from Consumer reports and several other independent review forums. the 09's shift smoothly. Problem is that they are not doing a long term test. I started experiencing issuer areung 15K. I currently have 38>

Not sure if this helps but I believe there are others out here besides us who are experiencing transmission issues. Not sure about the lemon laws in your state but you may want to investigate.
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:09 PM   #3
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An 06 ML came with a 14 06 valve body which allows the 2-1 downshift before the vehicle reaches a standstill. This down shift is very un comfortable in traffic. When the dealer checks for newer software the computer states there is no newer software available. The solution is to replace the valve body with a 13 06 or a 21 06 which accepts the new software and takes care of the shift quality. The dealer has to submit the part numbers and software levels to MB to recieve authorization to replace the valve body under warranty. Please be patient and ask for a shop foreman to be involved as many techs are not aware of these details. Hope this helps.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brakel8 View Post
An 06 ML came with a 14 06 valve body which allows the 2-1 downshift before the vehicle reaches a standstill. This down shift is very un comfortable in traffic. When the dealer checks for newer software the computer states there is no newer software available. The solution is to replace the valve body with a 13 06 or a 21 06 which accepts the new software and takes care of the shift quality. The dealer has to submit the part numbers and software levels to MB to recieve authorization to replace the valve body under warranty. Please be patient and ask for a shop foreman to be involved as many techs are not aware of these details. Hope this helps.
Wow. That's the kind of post that I stay on this board for! Fantastic.
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:52 PM   #5
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First and foremost, the information provided by brakel8 was fantastic, I printed that out and took it right to my MB dealer this evening. Today, I called them to make an appointment stating that the resetting that they completed did not work. So today, right after work, guess what happens...the check engine light came on, and that's okay I guess because I was on my way there anyway. But, I printed out the information regarding the valve body and laid it right on the counter. They were aware of the valve body problem and they have a 06 R350 in there right now with the same problem - so it sounds like this will be resolved. I agree with roadrutz - the information within this forum is great and I just wanted to say thanks again for brakel8 for the very specific information. Thanks again everyone.
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:30 PM   #6
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I agree with danlions99 this is why I too stay on this board. Thanks also to brakel8 for the info. I will be taking this to my dealer as well.
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:18 PM   #7
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wow... i am very surprised that the original owner didn't find the transmission to be a problem. My 06 ML350 had the same issues when i first got it and i bought it in for the valve body and software upgrade. after the valve body and software, your transmission will be fine.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:38 AM   #8
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2006 ML500 - still having problems

Mine has been in the shop at least 6 times in 1.5 years to try and remedy the hard shift from 2-1 rolling to a stop or even slowing below 10mph. They have told me that it is related to the incline sensor which can't be turned off. All the latest valve assemblies and software have been tried. The factory rep told me there is nothing they can do now. They will give me a "good" deal (12% off msrp) on a new ML but won't commit to anything on the buyback until I work a deal for it with the dealership. I refuse to pay them another cent to get a MB that functions properly.
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:10 PM   #9
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06 ML500 Transmission shift problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by danlions99 View Post
First and foremost, the information provided by brakel8 was fantastic, I printed that out and took it right to my MB dealer this evening. Today, I called them to make an appointment stating that the resetting that they completed did not work. So today, right after work, guess what happens...the check engine light came on, and that's okay I guess because I was on my way there anyway. But, I printed out the information regarding the valve body and laid it right on the counter. They were aware of the valve body problem and they have a 06 R350 in there right now with the same problem - so it sounds like this will be resolved. I agree with roadrutz - the information within this forum is great and I just wanted to say thanks again for brakel8 for the very specific information. Thanks again everyone.
I have similar shift problem and my ML's warrenty has expired. Could you tell me roughly how much it cost you to fix the valve body, which one you went with the 13 06 or a 21 06 , and how is the ML shifting now? Thank you.
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Old 05-11-2009, 04:32 PM   #10
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My GF is having this problem on her 2006 Ml350.
I told her she should get the tranny flushed (49K miles) which was done at the dealer.

They used pn 001989680310 fluid which doesn't show up anywhere on any of the forums.
The PN I see as being for the 7 speed is 001989450313 listed most often on this forums.
Anyone know if perhaps they used the wrong fluid?

The downshift issue became most prominent AFTER the flush!
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Old 06-13-2009, 06:50 PM   #11
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Trans prob w/ my ml350

To anyone who got the valve body replaced....did it fix the problem with it not shifting out of first gear? I only have 31000 miles on mine and it only has done it twice, about 3 months apart. I haven't had the 2-1 shift problem, just the not shifting out of first when starting from a stop.
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C230 Sport Coup View Post
My GF is having this problem on her 2006 Ml350.
I told her she should get the tranny flushed (49K miles) which was done at the dealer.

They used pn 001989680310 fluid which doesn't show up anywhere on any of the forums.
The PN I see as being for the 7 speed is 001989450313 listed most often on this forums.
Anyone know if perhaps they used the wrong fluid?

The downshift issue became most prominent AFTER the flush!
Thats the new fluid that replaced the A001 989 4503 fluid. It helps with harsh shifting.

Keep taking it back to the dealer, they have to fix it eventually. I wish I was in the states and could get fix it for you, I fixed all the shift problems at my last dealership. My basic theory is "If the fault is reproducable then it's fixable"
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:15 AM   #13
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reached a deadend

my dealer in Austin has given up on my 2006 ML500. They can reproduce the 1-2, 2-1, 3-2 issues which are more severe on hilly terrain but say there is nothing more that they can do. They have replaced the valve body numerous times and updated and calibrated software. The national rep has chimed in that they are done and this is a "characteristic" of the vehicle. I'm welcome to pay extra money and trade up to a newer model they claim doesn't have this charming character, but I won't give them any more money.
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Old 06-17-2009, 01:14 AM   #14
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When the harsh shift can only be replicated under load or a incline but no at low loads then you will have distorted B1 and K1 clutch linings or the linings are burnt (inconsistant friction coefficient). Most likely they are warped.

It must be noted that it MUST be confirmed that the fault is indeed being felt during a shifting operation and not when the torque convertor clutch is being applied. The torque convertor cutch can be disabled during diagnosis on some models, on others you need to use star during a road test to verify that is a shift and not a torque convertor clutch lockup.

Replacing the valvebody, changing the oil or changing the software wont help with this particular fault.

The transmission needs to be removed, disassembled and the B1 and K1 linings checked for flatness on a sheet of glass. They are known to warp. If they are flat then the surface needs to be checked for burning. Replace the linings for both clutch packs, refill the transmission with the new A001 989 6803 fluid and you should now have smooth shifting.

MB know about this problem. I've done too many of these myself.
PM me if you need more info.

Last edited by Ausmbtech; 06-18-2009 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:57 PM   #15
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Dear Ausmbtech and other members,

I have had the same jerking issues and stuttering with my SL500 2004, 1st time to the dealer valve body TCU and software were replaced.

The jerk is now gone (the dealer also replaced some of the worn discs after opening up the tranny to rebuild it)

I now still have the stuttering issue (when accelerating gently the car feels like there's no power its almost like the tranny is upshifting then downshifting again so power comes back like the feeling of a manual car when not properly driving it).

Dealer told me it should be the Torque converter and having it replaced.

Do you think its the T/Q or could be something else?
After all those repairs may I encounter anything else (dealer is garanteeing tranny for 1 year).

One last question do I need upgrade ECU software since all this tranny work was done and TCU was updated or no need. And about the torque convertor lockup clutch adaptation procedure Dealer says he can't do it since its very time consuming and won't be free to have it done until in like 2 weeks but he said "it should adapt anyway to ur driving and you won't need to have the procedure done" is it true??
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Old 06-17-2009, 01:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ausmbtech View Post
When the harsh shift can only be replicated under load or a incline but no at low loads then you will have distorted B1 and K1 clutch linings or the linings are burnt (inconsistant friction coefficient). Most likely they are warped.

It must be noted that it MUST be confirmed that the fault is indeed being felt during a shifting operation and not when the torque convertor clutch is being applied. The torque converotr cutch can be disabled during diagnosis on some models, on others you need to use star during a road test to verify that is a shift and not a torque convertor clutch lockup.

Replacing the valvebody, changing the oil or changing the software wont help.

The transmission needs to be removed, disassembled and the B1 and K1 linings checked for flatness on a sheet of glass. They are known to warp. If they are flat then the surface needs to be checked for burning. Replace the linings for both clutch packs, refill the transmission with the new A001 989 6803 fluid and you should now have smooth shifting.

MB know about this problem. I've done too many of these myself.
PM me if you need more info.
Why do'nt you live in Europe man?! We need you here! You can open a "Clinic" of MB ML transmmissions, or have appointments and move with a special SERVICE-DOME around the world and make lots of money with what you can do!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just think this!
I promise you summer, sun, sea, good sea food, and fun (and I will also pay the repair bill) if you could fix my car too!

(Thessaloniki - Greece)

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Old 06-18-2009, 08:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmerhebi View Post
Dear Ausmbtech and other members,

I have had the same jerking issues and stuttering with my SL500 2004, 1st time to the dealer valve body TCU and software were replaced.

The jerk is now gone (the dealer also replaced some of the worn discs after opening up the tranny to rebuild it)

I now still have the stuttering issue (when accelerating gently the car feels like there's no power its almost like the tranny is upshifting then downshifting again so power comes back like the feeling of a manual car when not properly driving it).

Dealer told me it should be the Torque converter and having it replaced.

Do you think its the T/Q or could be something else?
After all those repairs may I encounter anything else (dealer is garanteeing tranny for 1 year).

One last question do I need upgrade ECU software since all this tranny work was done and TCU was updated or no need. And about the torque convertor lockup clutch adaptation procedure Dealer says he can't do it since its very time consuming and won't be free to have it done until in like 2 weeks but he said "it should adapt anyway to ur driving and you won't need to have the procedure done" is it true??
Firstly, I would repost this in the R230 forum as the shift issues of the W164 and R230 are different.

Do you have the M113 engine or the M273 engine? The M273 is identifiable by the engine control unit in the center of the engine cover. You most likely have the M113 engine with the 7 Speed transmission. This engine/transmission combination is noticibly less "compatible" for lack of a better word. Basicly they don't seem to communicate as well as the new engines and have some very minor and intermitant slighly harsh shift or not quite the right gear. It is very minor and usually only noticed by owners who "concentrate" on the shifting. If you just drive the car it's almost never noticed.

Having said that, if you can reproduce the fault during a road test with the dealer and it's deemed to be non-std then they can follow normal diagnosis steps. The torque convertor really should be re-adapted before replacing it just to give it another chance to prove itself, but definately they should do it after replacement. The adaption process isn't very hard, but allow about 2000km of various driving after the dealer re-adapts it before starting to determine if it has fixed the fault.

There is unlikely to be any newer software for the engine, but worth checking.
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Old 06-19-2009, 07:15 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ausmbtech View Post
Firstly, I would repost this in the R230 forum as the shift issues of the W164 and R230 are different.

Do you have the M113 engine or the M273 engine? The M273 is identifiable by the engine control unit in the center of the engine cover. You most likely have the M113 engine with the 7 Speed transmission. This engine/transmission combination is noticibly less "compatible" for lack of a better word. Basicly they don't seem to communicate as well as the new engines and have some very minor and intermitant slighly harsh shift or not quite the right gear. It is very minor and usually only noticed by owners who "concentrate" on the shifting. If you just drive the car it's almost never noticed.

Having said that, if you can reproduce the fault during a road test with the dealer and it's deemed to be non-std then they can follow normal diagnosis steps. The torque convertor really should be re-adapted before replacing it just to give it another chance to prove itself, but definately they should do it after replacement. The adaption process isn't very hard, but allow about 2000km of various driving after the dealer re-adapts it before starting to determine if it has fixed the fault.

There is unlikely to be any newer software for the engine, but worth checking.
I will repost this as a thread in R230 Forum, meanwhile I got the car back, the stuttering or humming is gone (torque converter was replaced) and this was the issue dealer also said he changed B1 and B2 in tranny (no idea what it means)

All problems solved tranny is smooth exept for a tiny jerk from 1st till 2nd gear. Dealer said it should get better with time and its a tiny jerk that wont affect or deteriorate tranny. Now I paid 3500$ in repairs and Dealer is giving me a 1year transmission warranty. But I'm still afraid this small 1-2 jerk will wear tranny parts over time and will have to fix in 2 years again. Feedback is greatly appreciated on wether this 1-2 jerk cant really be fixed 100%.
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Old 07-13-2009, 02:41 AM   #19
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Thanks for the Great info Gentlemen. Now can someone be nice enough and help me out with a question regarding the Valve Body?

If they change the Valve Body does this mean they will change the Tranny Fluid? Will I get a free tranny oil change?
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Old 07-18-2009, 12:25 AM   #20
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incline sensor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ausmbtech View Post
When the harsh shift can only be replicated under load or a incline but no at low loads then you will have distorted B1 and K1 clutch linings or the linings are burnt (inconsistant friction coefficient). Most likely they are warped.

It must be noted that it MUST be confirmed that the fault is indeed being felt during a shifting operation and not when the torque convertor clutch is being applied. The torque convertor cutch can be disabled during diagnosis on some models, on others you need to use star during a road test to verify that is a shift and not a torque convertor clutch lockup.

Replacing the valvebody, changing the oil or changing the software wont help with this particular fault.

The transmission needs to be removed, disassembled and the B1 and K1 linings checked for flatness on a sheet of glass. They are known to warp. If they are flat then the surface needs to be checked for burning. Replace the linings for both clutch packs, refill the transmission with the new A001 989 6803 fluid and you should now have smooth shifting.

MB know about this problem. I've done too many of these myself.
PM me if you need more info.
Mine is really noticeable in inclines/declines. They have tested with the incline sensor off and the abrupt 3-2 2-1 shift goes away. It just feels like the rev matching that normally takes place just doesn't happen and the car jerks until the engine adjusts to the revs for the new gear. Very consistent and repeatable.

Is this indicative of warping? It just seems like software mapping that they are not willing to modify.
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:59 AM   #21
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It can still be a physical cause, but I would be checking all electrical causes first (ie. software) as these are easier to do before disassembing the transmission.

The incline recognition is just a calculated angle (calculated from acceleration sensors, drive toqrue vs spped change, etc). On an incline it uses the calculated inclination angle to speed up (apply clutch pressure in a smaller time, shift comfort is less important) gear shifts which makes the distorted clutch linings more obvious.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:12 PM   #22
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Thumbs down

I bought a 2008 ML350 with 9,500 miles in November of 09. After driving the car for 3 days, I noticed the vehicle had a faulty transmission. They have made 4 attempts to fix the sudden acceleration problems Iím having with this vehicle, as well as the abnormally harsh shifts that occur when the automatic transmission shifts from 1-2 and 3-2 and 2-1. I road tested the car with numerous service personnel (5 employees) and my salesperson and they all acknowledged the downshift/upshift and sudden acceleration problems I'm having with the vehicle, as I can repeat the problem at will. They have tried to repair the vehicle 4 different times at two of their authorized dealers and the car has been in the shop in excess of 40 days in total. The last time it was there they actually scratched the front door and now it's been in the shop for 7 days and counting just to have a small deep scratch painted. The dealership is refusing to fix the transmission problem I'm having claiming it's a normal condition of the vehicle. After researching my problem on the web I've learned that I'm not the only one with this problem, as stated by many people here, it is a problem with many of the 07' and 08' ML's. MB Corporation is aware of the problem but because of the financial implication resulting from a total re-call on this vehicle, they are refusing to repair it. I know this because filing a complaint with MBUSA.com also did absolutely no good.
Anyone who is thinking about buying an ML you better think twice and buy an SUV from the competition. It has been a horrible experience dealing with this for so long, having my car in the shop for practically more time than it's been in my garage.
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Old 03-26-2010, 10:33 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Lore View Post
I bought a 2008 ML350 with 9,500 miles in November of 09. After driving the car for 3 days, I noticed the vehicle had a faulty transmission. They have made 4 attempts to fix the sudden acceleration problems Iím having with this vehicle, as well as the abnormally harsh shifts that occur when the automatic transmission shifts from 1-2 and 3-2 and 2-1. I road tested the car with numerous service personnel (5 employees) and my salesperson and they all acknowledged the downshift/upshift and sudden acceleration problems I'm having with the vehicle, as I can repeat the problem at will. They have tried to repair the vehicle 4 different times at two of their authorized dealers and the car has been in the shop in excess of 40 days in total. The last time it was there they actually scratched the front door and now it's been in the shop for 7 days and counting just to have a small deep scratch painted. The dealership is refusing to fix the transmission problem I'm having claiming it's a normal condition of the vehicle. After researching my problem on the web I've learned that I'm not the only one with this problem, as stated by many people here, it is a problem with many of the 07' and 08' ML's. MB Corporation is aware of the problem but because of the financial implication resulting from a total re-call on this vehicle, they are refusing to repair it. I know this because filing a complaint with MBUSA.com also did absolutely no good.
Anyone who is thinking about buying an ML you better think twice and buy an SUV from the competition. It has been a horrible experience dealing with this for so long, having my car in the shop for practically more time than it's been in my garage.

Quit fuming and try another dealership. I have had a similar problem and was fixed under warranty about a year ago. The car has been flawless since. Anyone who is thinking about buying an ML you better pull the trigger and buy what you want and ignore posts such as the one above!
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:01 AM   #24
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So nice to hear I am not crazy...

I have a 2006 R350 with 72,000 miles. I love it when it doesn't nearly have me killed.

1st: About 7 months ago: The gas pedal wouldn't accelerate. Had the car towed in and MB couldn't find a problem & apparently the car reset itself by turning it off.

2nd: A couple of days ago: Out of know where the car gets stuck in fourth gear after stopping at a red light. Put the car into neutral, park and then back into drive, the car is now stuck in 1st. Turned the car off and back on, it resets itself.

After the first time Mercedes could find a problem after 3 weeks. Basically told me it was my problem because they could reproduce the problem. One of there employees actually asked me if by any chance I may have had my foot resting on the break pedal. He educated me on how the gas won't accelerate if you rest your foot on the break. Are you *%#@ kidding me.

Any suggestions on my R350's problem? I am really afraid of this car. What will be next?
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:05 AM   #25
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I have a 2006 R350 with 72,000 miles. I love it when it doesn't nearly have me killed.

1st: About 7 months ago: The gas pedal wouldn't accelerate. Had the car towed in and MB couldn't find a problem & apparently the car reset itself by turning it off.

2nd: A couple of days ago: Out of know where the car gets stuck in fourth gear after stopping at a red light. Put the car into neutral, park and then back into drive, the car is now stuck in 1st. Turned the car off and back on, it resets itself.

After the first time Mercedes could find a problem after 3 weeks. Basically told me it was my problem because they could reproduce the problem. One of there employees actually asked me if by any chance I may have had my foot resting on the break pedal. He educated me on how the gas won't accelerate if you rest your foot on the break. Are you *%#@ kidding me.

Any suggestions on my R350's problem? I am really afraid of this car. What will be next?
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:05 AM
 
 
 
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