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Clunky gearbox :(

Discussion in 'Engine, Drivetrain, Fuel and Exhaust' started by richiel_7, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. richiel_7

    richiel_7 Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    a160 2000 1.6
    Hi,

    Am new to this so first of all, hi all!!

    I'm hoping some of you Merc boffins may be able to help.

    I recently bought a Merc 2000 plate A160.

    Usually when buying a car I'm very meticulous but was having an off day and have been stung by not doing the correct checks. Firstly I've recently found out that the car is a Cat D having been shown a fake hpi report (now i know why they couldn't find it when car was handed over)

    Secondly, I stupidly did all the checks but never actually test drove the car (i know, I know - stupid). I checked all around, engine, fluids and gearchanges while stationary and all seemed well. Drove the car home and noticed a very bad clunk when changing down from 2 to 1. It's hardly noticeable if I have stopped the car before change down, but if the car is moving, it's an immense clunk.

    I'm hoping someone will tell me that the gearbox hasn't gone and it's a simple fix (I'm no mechanic) but am guessing it's a new gearbox job.

    Any opinions gratefully received, along with potential costs.

    Thanks all!

    Oh can I also add that the V5 says the car is an auto, so clearly it's been changed over at some point. Is this legal?
     
  2. WG M-B

    WG M-B Senior Member Authorised Forum Supporter

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    Your Mercedes:
    C63 Wagon in black
    Get the car to a local mercedes specialist and have them check it out for you. It is quite likely to have an internal issue with the transmission. The a class tranny is quite troublesome
     
  3. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    If the car is that far out from what it should be you can take them to court, was it a dealer
     
  4. OP
    richiel_7

    richiel_7 Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    a160 2000 1.6
    Thanks for the reply.

    Afraid it wasn't a dealer. It was a private "buyer beware" sale.

    I've punched myself in the arm a few times but I still feel like a schmuck!

    I've always been an Alfa man so am used to car troubles lol but needed a little MPV and have always fancied a merc.

    Should I always go to a main dealer for work or are there any good indies out there? I'm in Bedfordshire....

    Oh and has anyone had a similar prob....or anyone know likely costs for an issue like this?
     
  5. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Hertsmerx in Letchworth is a very good indie, MB are too expensive
     
  6. OP
    richiel_7

    richiel_7 Member

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    Ok thanks I may check them out. Btw my V5 says auto but it's actually a manual, I'm guessing the DVLA need to be made aware? Any idea?
     
  7. Xtractorfan

    Xtractorfan Senior Member

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    You should go along to your local Citizens Advice Bureau and see what they have to say about your concerns..also ring up Trading standards and get their take on the dealings..
    The changed gearbox from auto to manual is not a good sign...
     
  8. OP
    richiel_7

    richiel_7 Member

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    a160 2000 1.6
    Apparently as it's a private sale I have little recourse. I was told that if the car was dangerous or I could prove the hpi was fraudulent (I don't have it, so they must have known it could condemn them if it was handed over), then I don't really have a case....

    But seeing as a cat D is not illegal and the car has valid MOT etc I'm kinda stuck.

    I guess I could go round their house and pour acid over his new beamer??

    (Just kidding - although the thought brought me some satisfaction!)
     
  9. OP
    richiel_7

    richiel_7 Member

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    Anyone have any idea on potential costs for gearbox repair/replacement?
     
  10. Frontstep

    Frontstep Senior Member

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    Subject to the detail of the sale, the seller may have misrepresented the car and you would then have recourse,
    it may be though that the car needs some thing not too bad read expensive.
     
  11. brandwooddixon

    brandwooddixon Senior Member

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    I think you'll find that the DVLA class these semi-automatic gearboxes (no clutch pedal) as an auto.
     
  12. OP
    richiel_7

    richiel_7 Member

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    It's not a semi automatic. It's fully manual with clutch.....
     
  13. OP
    richiel_7

    richiel_7 Member

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    Ok. I've taken the car to two garages and it looks like one of the engine mounts has gone which is making the clunk worse. The reason I say worse is because hey also tell me that the clunk is normal on theses mercs as the first gear is for maneuvering only, so when changing down gears the vehicle should be stationery before going from 2nd to 1st.

    Is this correct? My gut feeling is no but two unrelated people have said it to me now??
     
  14. ernieh

    ernieh Senior Member

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    The broken / worn engine mount makes sense. However, it sounds like the syncro on first has worn to the point where engagement on the move is not possible hence the explanation given by the garages. While being able to engage first on the move is useful, unless you are prepared to pay for a gearbox strip / overhall to replace worn parts, I would probably live with it as it is.

    Hopefully when the engine mount is replaced, you should at least be able to engage first smoothly at a standstill, and maybe even at slow speeds if you give it time. If even this remains a problem, it might be that there is a bit of clutch drag which the synchro is struggling to overcome before the gear will engage cleanly.

    Ernie
     
  15. OP
    richiel_7

    richiel_7 Member

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    Thanks Ernie.

    I've had the mounts done. The gearbox clunk is still there. It's perfectly smooth from two to one at standtill but an almighty grind/clunk if moving

    Two garages have told me that it is like that by specification and nothing is wrong with it. They said it's similar to some Nissans, you are not supposed to drop down to first whilst moving.... as first gear is for maneuvering only.

    Am I being told incorrectly? From what you are saying, there is an issue with the gearbox and something has worn. The reason I need to know is because when I sell it, I don't want to tell an untruth and would ideally like the car to be spot on....

    Thanks
     
  16. ernieh

    ernieh Senior Member

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    The garages are telling you a half truth because I think basically they don't want the job of fixing it! It should be possible to engage first silently on the move, albeit at low speed. The bottom line is that there is a fault in the 'box and that, for a 12 year old A Class, the repair cost could easily exceed its value, hence the reluctances you are finding.

    I'm not an expert on A Class's, but as far as I know, there should be synchromesh on first gear, as on all modern manual gearboxes which allows you to access first on the move. Depending how strong (or weak) the sychro is, the gear may be engaged silently at a higher (or lower) speed. In your case, the synchro is knackered and hence the clunk at any speed. That said, unless something breaks up and grinds its way through the box, it could go on that way for long enough, if you are prepared to live with it.

    I'm sorry that I'm not really helping you too much, but if there is any good news it is that the clutch seems OK from what you say.

    Hope you get it all sorted out to your satisfaction.


    Ernie
     
  17. OP
    richiel_7

    richiel_7 Member

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    Thanks Ernie!

    I guess I'll live with it!
     
  18. OP
    richiel_7

    richiel_7 Member

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    a160 2000 1.6
    Hi again. Just a quick question. Are mercedes obdII compatible? If so does anyone know where I can buy some software?

    I think the change from semi auto to manual has "confused" the ecu as I have a big "F" on my dash even though the car runs ok....
     

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