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S-Class (W220) 1999-2006: S 320 CDI, S 320, S430, S 500, S 600

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Old 04-16-2007, 02:23 AM   #1
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Anyone Have This Stuck In Park Problem?

My 2001 S500 got stuck in park, so I looked at this forum for suggestions as I always do. There were no answers other than call roadside assistance and let them hammer the shifter out of park and take it to the dealer to have it repaired. The price tag was high and my curiousity got the best of me. As it always does, so I again looked at my WIS program for help in fixing the problem. There was no real help other than how to remove the shifter box.
So...I removed the shifter box. This entailed removing the center console to get to the shifter box. I had to also unattach the linkage under the car to get the shifter box out of the car.
Once out, I proceeded to unassemble the shifter box.
What I discover was amazing. There is a small plastic part ( I estimate about 10 cents in quantity) that is responsible for allowing the shifter to be taken out of park. It is activated by a solenoid that pushes the plastic part to allow the shifter to come out of park. Most of the parts in the box were metal. This particular part is plastic and very frail. Obviously a victum of very poor engineering. It is easy to see that this part will become stressed over time and fail.
My concern is that we are all good MBZ owners and take our cars to the dealer for repair most of the time. This is certainly not a DIY normal job, but my curiousity got the best of me.
The part can be replaced ( I think) although the pin that allows the part to move is pressed into the housing of the shifter box. I was not able to press it out, as space was very restrictive. The way it was engineered I suspect MBZ never intended to replace this part. In my estimation, this is certainly a candidate for a recall. Obviously when you take your car to MBZ for repair, they replace the whole box and never tell you actually what was wrong. I read that one person paid $1,300.00 for this repair. A little high for a 10 cent part that is a very poor excuse for this kind of use.
I know what you are thinking. Maybe the other shifter boxes had something else wrong with them. Could be true. However, in looking over the entire box, not much could go wrong. The design is very simple and very low tech. If you want more information post your concerns.
I am going to contact MBZ about this problem to see what their response is. Nobody should have to pay for this problem. It is definitly an MBZ problem. Not your normal wear and tear.
Oh BTW, I removed the remainder of the broken part so I could use the car while researching this problem. Everything works fine, the only thing is that you do not have to step on the brake to take the car out of park now. Operates like the old cars before steering and park lock outs.
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Old 04-16-2007, 06:17 AM   #2
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Thank you for letting us know about this.
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Old 04-17-2007, 01:18 AM   #3
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Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge. I am glad that you figured out the problem! It was often blamed on the solenoid's fault, but I guess it's the little piece of plastic that's causing the failure.

Please keep us posted!
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Old 05-06-2007, 09:29 PM   #4
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I had this problem on my 03 E-class and had the car towed to the stealership and luckily they repaired it under warranty.
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Old 09-17-2007, 08:42 PM   #5
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I think its time to operate..

My car has been getting progressively harder and harder to get out of park.

Last weekend it became annoyingly obvious that there is a problem with my shifter..

Thing is, mine is an 04...

Well, I'm not taking any chances on getting stuck somewhere while I'm out with the kids one weekend trying to earn dad of the year.

I'm going to take it apart this week and see if I can find this little troublesome piece of plastic and relieve it of it's former duty.

I just spent $2300.00 on this car on stuff, I think it's time it gave back to the community....I'll save that 700.00 for myself.
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:45 AM   #6
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I have repaired several shifter units, mostly on the S class W220 and the ML (same part), also happen on the E W211, but at least there's an emergency release device on the W211. My friend used have a Mercedes repair shop, after seeing him replace these thing at least couple times a month, I asked and offered help. Turned out that once the shifter taken out, it's a 15 min job to repair. This save his customers lot of money in replacement part & reprograming of the shifter (require StarDiagnostic to reprogram the shifter once replaced w/ new one)

You are right, it's the 5 cents plastic trigger piece that break, and cause the shifter to stuck. The purpose of this trigger is to force driver to press the brake before you can shift out of P. That's all. With heat in time, this piece eventually break, the bottom half fall in and block the shifter from moving.

The easiest repair is to remove this piece all together (the broken piece and the piece still stuck in). If I'm in the mood, then it's JB Weld and piece of metal to glue the thing together. I prefer the earlier option, since it's guarantee that it will never go wrong again . Last I checked, nobody every shift car out of Park w/o pressing the brake. Mercedes introduce this safety device, only cause lot of trouble & expensive repair ($1000-1200).

Here's the pix of the W220 shifter unit, and the piece that broke and cause the shifter to stuck

Click the image to open in full size.
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Last edited by zam2000; 09-18-2007 at 12:51 AM.
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:33 PM   #7
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THank you sooo much for your input.. I plan on doing exactly that. Removing the piece all together. Who needs it anyway?

Also concerning the CEL when you disconnect the connector. IF you place the shifter back in park After removing the bottom cable, you can turn off the key and remove it. Then when you disconnect the connector and complete the job, there is no CEL as long as the ignition is off and the key is removed while the connector is disconnected from the unit.

I plan on doing this job this Thursday or Friday. I'll try to post the entire procedure since I'll have time to do it.

BTW.
Removing this piece qualifies as an official Benz MOD.
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Old 09-24-2007, 10:16 AM   #8
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This is my first post on this web forum, and I like to say Hello to everyone.

I had this same problem with my S500, that it wouldnt shift out of park. I removed the shifter from my car and also found that same little plastic lever broken. I removed the lever from the shifter assembly and everything is now working fine.

The repair took me about 4 hours to do, and as a benefit I found .85 cents in the car.
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Old 09-24-2007, 03:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by bimmerhead View Post
This is my first post on this web forum, and I like to say Hello to everyone.

I had this same problem with my S500, that it wouldnt shift out of park. I removed the shifter from my car and also found that same little plastic lever broken. I removed the lever from the shifter assembly and everything is now working fine.

The repair took me about 4 hours to do, and as a benefit I found .85 cents in the car.
I did this job on my car this weekend removed the fractured (now broken) lever from my car here are some pics of the job in case anyone wants to do it.

There were no alarm issues you just have to remember not to turn on the ignition with the module unplugged. Once you remove the Keylock cable, you can remove the key with the car out of park while you perform removal of th e module. this saves the hassle of the mfd alarm.

Also, my ever was held in by a little circlip that kept it on the shaft. Maybe that is different than earlier years but I did no have anything to press out.

Third observation was that I did find a part number on the plastic lever. unfortunately the parts guy was unable or unwilling to research the number to find the vendor. I have a friend with a CNC shop, I am going to try to get this piece reverse engineered in a more durable material if it is cost worthy.. I'll keep you guys posted.
Attached Thumbnails
Anyone Have This Stuck In Park Problem?-im000081.jpg   Anyone Have This Stuck In Park Problem?-im000084.jpg   Anyone Have This Stuck In Park Problem?-im000085.jpg   Anyone Have This Stuck In Park Problem?-im000087.jpg  
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Old 09-24-2007, 08:14 PM   #10
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Whoever removed this part successfully,

Please post the step by step procedures with photos (if available) for all of us.
I am sure all of us in this forum will appreciate.
By the way, do you need to put the car on the lift? I hope not.

Thanks.
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Old 09-24-2007, 11:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by winmaw View Post
Whoever removed this part successfully,

Please post the step by step procedures with photos (if available) for all of us.
I am sure all of us in this forum will appreciate.
By the way, do you need to put the car on the lift? I hope not.

Thanks.
I'll post the WIS tommorrow. Yes, you need the car on the lift to remove the lock cable.
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Old 09-24-2007, 11:53 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by zam2000 View Post
I'll post the WIS tommorrow. Yes, you need the car on the lift to remove the lock cable.
Its already been posted.. search for "car stuck in park" you will find it.

No need for a lift..You just need to jack up the car on the drivers side then you can get access to the cover and cable.

Thats how I did mine. Simple and easy...
Attached Thumbnails
Anyone Have This Stuck In Park Problem?-im000091.jpg   Anyone Have This Stuck In Park Problem?-im000092.jpg  

Last edited by my06clk; 09-24-2007 at 11:56 PM.
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Old 09-30-2007, 04:46 PM   #13
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I was able to remove the shifter with out going under the car. I was able to get the transmission linkage into the car to remove the shifter assembly from it.
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Anyone Have This Stuck In Park Problem?-p9230023.jpg   Anyone Have This Stuck In Park Problem?-p9230025.jpg  
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Old 10-13-2007, 11:43 AM   #14
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Stuck in Park

I have the same problem with my 2002 s500. Are any special tools needed? Is there a way to temporarily get it out of park?

Last edited by aalx1; 10-13-2007 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:13 PM   #15
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I have the same problem with my 2002 s500. Are any special tools needed? Is there a way to temporarily get it out of park?

Thanks Gang,

I had the same problem with my 2002 S430 Mercedes Benz. No special tools needed ...just ***** to take on the Mercedes Benz mystique.
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Anyone Have This Stuck In Park Problem?-dsc_5896mer.jpg   Anyone Have This Stuck In Park Problem?-dsc_5898mer.jpg  
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:19 PM   #16
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Thanks Gang,

I had the same problem with my 2002 S430 Mercedes Benz. No special tools needed ...just ***** to take on the Mercedes Benz mystique.

Congrats..!!! Good Job!
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Old 08-19-2008, 03:10 AM   #17
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Thank you very much for sharing this guys.

I hope this will never happend to me because i'll be scared of doing that kind of work on my car !

As asked already, maybe someone could post a step by step with picture ?
Removing the wood/plastic/leather parts scare me already :s
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Old 08-19-2008, 11:52 AM   #18
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Excellent writeup!!!!


This issue has plagued W220s and W215s for far too long from that friggin plastic part.
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:45 AM   #19
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oh wow this happened to me a couple of months ago and payed 950.00. Samething shifter got stuck.
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:32 PM   #20
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Stuck in Park...

This just happened to me and of course I called Mercedes and they told me that this never happens and is very rare! I was told that someone must have spilled some thing on the center consule causing the problem and that it would cost me approx. $1,400.00 to repair!

Now my son found this site and I'm pissed off big time at Mercedes for telling me what they stated to me!!! $1,400 for a $0.75 part!! What a ripoff by Mercedes!! Plus I just went out of warrenty and spent over $100K for my car!! This kind of thing should be a recall item!!

Thanks to all for opening my eyes to the real problem!!
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:42 AM   #21
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Hi guys just bought a 02 SL55 amg which has got the same problem its stuck in park, I have not yet collected the car for fear of being ripped off bu the transporter company and the damage they may do,
as such I have not driven the car yet
My questions are
can this be done outside the sellers house is it a qiuck job
should i be worried about the condition of the gearbox other than that it wont come out of park are they troublesome or not
any advise would be great
is there any way of just yanking the lever back into drive just to get it home so as the work can be done there
thanks Rob
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:49 AM   #22
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Don't know if this is an issue that could be reported to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) because technically it is not a safety issue.

On the other hand, it would be very interesting to find out how many of these have been replaced over the past couple of years at an average cost of $1400 dollars.

This is beyond ridiculous and almost criminal that MBZ will not step up to the plate. Then again I understand that it would be a very expensive fix for them if they did a recall on every vehicle that has this part installed.
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Old 11-24-2008, 09:04 AM   #23
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Don't know if this is an issue that could be reported to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) because technically it is not a safety issue.

On the other hand, it would be very interesting to find out how many of these have been replaced over the past couple of years at an average cost of $1400 dollars.

This is beyond ridiculous and almost criminal that MBZ will not step up to the plate. Then again I understand that it would be a very expensive fix for them if they did a recall on every vehicle that has this part installed.
Lol..the gear box is only 450.00 average plus 2 hours labor. There hvae been millions of items that mercedes should have recalled over the years.. the 98-2002 ML fuel pumps, this gearbox issue, ALL of the 200-2001 w220's etcc.. but they are ust like all of the others... "know but don't tell".

Anyway, Search this forum and no one should be csught blindsisded by a stuck in park issue. THose that choose to ignore it, well, your time is coming.. A simple extraction is the fix for this. No need for a new gearbox.
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Old 11-24-2008, 02:46 PM   #24
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anyone know a reputable shop in southern California that could do this?
im not about to take apart my center console.
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Old 11-24-2008, 03:17 PM   #25
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I've been going to this shop in Irvine (Orange County). Super honest guy.

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Old 11-24-2008, 03:17 PM
 
 
 
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bmw, class, h2, hummer, ignition, key, mbz, mercedes, park, plate, remove, s500, shift, stuck, suv, uk, unable, x5



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