722.6 Limp mode when cold

rsmarais

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My C270 CDI has an intermittent issue with the gearbox going into limp mode. It only happens, or it is more apparent, in the cold winter month mornings with temperatures at a moderate 0 degrees Celsius to -4.
When starting off from standstill everything is fine. Driving slowly in the suburbs from intersection to intersection the geabox will suddenly switch into limp mode when taking off from standstill. This is after about 3km. I immediately switch off and back on again and the gearbox is fine for the rest of the day. I have tried checking for fault codes with my Torque It App but get a message that there is no codes stored.

It only ever happens in the mornings on cold startup. It does not happen every day. I have checked the fluid level and it is fine. I changed oil about 40 000km ago. This problem did however come up once before the oil change.

Two questions:
Any ideas on what could be the cause?
Will any OBD2 reader always read all codes stored?
 

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There are very few code readers other than STAR that read transmission fault codes.
 

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A low voltage battery can do this as the ECU cannot set correctly with low volts when first starting
 

Acms-Mercedes Marc

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Hi. Star is the only definate way to check your intermitant gearbox fault. But from your description of the fault, I would say you have a torque converter lock up fault. Once the car warms up above 20c the fault will disappear until the next cold start, you need to get into a dealer or Indie with a star to do a torque converter lock up test from cold, so you will have to leave the car with then over night. Hope this helps
 
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rsmarais

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Oh boy that makes sense as the car also shudders slightly when very cold and this week it started feeling as if the torque converter does not engage enough when reversing out of the garage.

What does this mean? New torque converter? The car has 270 000km on it. Exceptionally well maintained though
 
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rsmarais

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A low voltage battery can do this as the ECU cannot set correctly with low volts when first starting

I think you may be the winner here. On the first start this morning I monitored the voltage using the on board computer and it dropped to 9V only to return to 14v as the alternator kicked in.
I normally let the car idle for a few minutes to heat the cabin before leaving for work. This time before driving off I first switched off and started up again to check voltages again. This time the voltage only dropped to 11.3v approx. and the gearbox was 100% as normal.

I will be properly testing the battery before swapping it out just in case the readings shown by the car is skewed. The difference in the gearbox was very apparent though and I am convinced

I will post the result.
 

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Good luck on this and thank you :D
 

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Thanks Steve and nice to have that figure :D
 
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rsmarais

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Update, so the battery turned out to be fine when doing a proper load test. With that ruled out I don't really know where to turn to next.

The past few mornings have not been that cold and strangely there is no slip if temperatures stay above 0 Celsius. When is drops below that it is like a switch is flicked or something. Checked fluid level again and its bang on the mark.

I suppose the best thing now would be to do an oil and filter change. I have changed the out about 40-50k km ago but the filter was done about 100k km ago. There are a few posts with people experiencing the same issue but nobody has ever posted a solution. A messed up tc seems to trouble when the car is hot where this situation is the opposite.

I then want to re do the adaptations. Reading what is set during the adaptation process I think my car has much to gain from this procedure as it appears that some clutches etc are re-adjusted where the spec may out slightly due to the high mileage. To do this I am considering getting my own star reader as I don't trust the dealers or any other mechanic for that matter. When querying the adaptation procedures with them all I got was blank confused stares.........and answers like it doesn't exist or they have never done it......bother. My understanding is that the exercise is fairly sensitive and easily botched.

I will post an update after I have done the oil and filter change.
 
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rsmarais

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I finally got around to change the oil and filter. I drained the torque converter as well and got a total of about 6 liters out of the box. I will be checking over the next few days and hope the cold start shudder is gone.
 
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rsmarais

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So the shudder has disappeared since the oil change. The gearbox still jumped into limp mode one morning but its only happened once since the change and it was on a cold morning.

Shudder gone. Limp mode maybe once a week in the middle of winter, never in summer.
 

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One thing you could do is to spray the contacts on the box ECU with a non drying switch cleaner, as the CAN connections are sometime not good.

Pleased it better :D:D
 
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rsmarais

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I'll give it a try. Just sold the car to my folks, reluctantly but will take one last look. I believe it should be fine though as I recently replaced the plug pilot bush thing when doing filter and oil.
 


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