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E320 Gearbox Whine

Discussion in 'Engine, Drivetrain, Fuel and Exhaust' started by AndrewPotter, Jun 28, 2020.

  1. AndrewPotter

    AndrewPotter New Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    W211 2013 E320 Estate 160000 Miles
    Dear All,

    A few weeks ago I bought a 2003 E320 estate, 160000 miles. It has a definite whine, and I suspect it is coming from the gearbox. This was present when I bought the car, but I just assumed it was a noise from an enthusiastic engine.

    In character, the noise is quite similar to the sound a milkfloat makes. It is most pronounced from the first couple of gears in the first few minutes of driving, and starts at about 1800 revs, disappearing at just over 2000. It sounds ok at motorway speeds, although it is difficult to tell because of road noise etc. The car drives well with no jerkiness or juddering, has a good service history, and seems to be in good condition overall..

    In amongst all the receipts etc that came with the car was one for an ATF and filter change and diagnostics, this being at 130000 miles, five years ago.

    I spoke to a local indie, who instantly said that the gearbox was probably b*ggered. The ATF level was checked by one of his chaps and found to be 'a bit low', but he assured me that this wouldn't account for any sort of noise. He hadn't looked at the car himself, and suggests that I drop it off at some point. With all the CV19 stuff it's been quite difficult to find a garage that isn't booked up for weeks, otherwise I'd have had someone look it over before now.

    I've bought some ATF from Mercedes, and have made a dipstick from curtain wire as advised on here. First attempt was too floppy (they don't make it like they used to!), so I've stiffened the curtain wire by threading a copper wire up it and will attempt a measurement and top-up today. When I used the first dipstick, I was surprised to see the fluid was a honey colour, similar to fresh engine oil..

    Any thought/advice most welcome!


     
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  2. Wighty

    Wighty Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    W211/E320cdi/2009 and CLK200k 2009
    Are you checking the gearbox ATF level , when the oil is hot , engine running , level surface , gearbox in “P” ?
    The whine could be coming from the rear differential , with low oil
    You get a dipstick from eBay for a few quid for the 722.6 gearbox .
     
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  3. Mark A

    Mark A Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    08 ML-420CDI, 58 ML-320CDI, 66 CLS-220d
    Water pump??
     
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  4. matthew k

    matthew k Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    2005 320 cdi Sport 7 seat estate
    My w211's 722.9 gearbox can be a bit whiny at low speed, sometimes quite pronounced but not recently. It's been exactly the same for 13,000 miles so I'm not that worried.

    You're lucky in that you've got a dipstick, you can check fluid level/condition and it's easily changed. If it's changing smoothly, not slipping or having selection issues I'd probably not worry too much. Although I'd probably have a look at the pan, see if there's any evidence of it ever having been removed. I guess if someone has just drained and refiled it without dropping the pan and changing the filter etc it's possible it could be a bit blocked.

    Diff issues won't be RPM dependent, but will respond to changes in road speed and loading, often more pronounced on the overrun.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
  5. Jim2

    Jim2 Senior Member

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    MB Automatic transmissions need to have the fluid level spot on,,,a little bit low or a little bit high, can and do give sometimes alarming symptoms. But while they are not as easy to check as conventional manual transmissions, they can be checked and adjust the ATF level up or down. I'd be inclined to get that done anyway ( regardless of anything else, its good practice ) and it will maybe even solve your whine problem?
     
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  6. alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti MBO Forum Supporter Authorised Forum Supporter

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    If they are really low, they get whiney, but then mostly stop moving as well.....

    If its definitely coming from the gearbox, its probably a one way bearing on its way out.
     
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  7. OP
    AndrewPotter

    AndrewPotter New Member

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    Thanks - that sounds ominous! How would that be determined? Is it a big job?
     
  8. OP
    AndrewPotter

    AndrewPotter New Member

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    Thanks Jim, will check the level, once it stops raining
     
  9. OP
    AndrewPotter

    AndrewPotter New Member

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    Thanks Matthew, it drives very well, with smooth changes. It makes the noise when parked and in neutral so probably not the diff Can be pretty noticeable though, like an emergency vehicle in the middle distance.
     
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  10. matthew k

    matthew k Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    2005 320 cdi Sport 7 seat estate
    If it's that loud it does need looking at, those are good boxes from what I understand though, unlike my 7g Tronic unit.
     
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  11. Jim2

    Jim2 Senior Member

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    If its doing it in Park and neutral, its definitely not the diff, because it ( and all its parts ) are stationary as well... BTW, ( in case it has not being mentioned before , or has it? apologies if it has ) have you had an OBD scan done eon it? If not, then it would be highly advisable to have it done ASAP. At least if it shows a stored fault, you will have pointer, and if it shows no fault code's, then that will be reassuring too in its own way, ( even if the detective work has to continue) but if it's as loud as you describe,,,,should not be too difficult to diagnose. A good Indy should be able to help you there.
     
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  12. OP
    AndrewPotter

    AndrewPotter New Member

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    Thanks Jim, hadn't heard of that, will ask for that. Trying to find an indie to take it that isn't miles away from me (Hull-York area) or booked up for weeks. Contacted a couple of gearbox companies, one in Huddersfield and one in Sheffield, but if it turns out to be the engine then that's a waste of time!
     
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  13. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    Try dropping off the serpentine belt (the one that drives alternator, water pump etc) and trying again. A failed bearing on the belt can be very noisy.
     
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  14. OP
    AndrewPotter

    AndrewPotter New Member

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    Thanks, that's a good idea. That one will have to wait until the weekend though.
     
  15. Jim2

    Jim2 Senior Member

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    The OBD scan cover's engine / gearbox and a host of other parts and systems ( all of the car in fact) But even so, an MB experienced indy will have a pretty good idea when he / she hears the noise. There is even a stethoscope type probe, which can be used to pin point the source of the noise, and help diagnose it.
     
  16. OP
    AndrewPotter

    AndrewPotter New Member

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    WillHWill getjget somewhere booked tomorrow. Just did a quick search on Google and found quite a few cheap ODB scanners. Are they worth looking at?
     
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  17. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    The cheap ones will only scan generic codes for the engine.
    You'll need something MB specific.
    The usual on here is an iCarsoft i980 if on a budget or MB-II/MB v2.0 if budget less of a concern.
    I've just been trying an Autel AP 200 and it seems ok and at £50 or so cheaper than the other two. Just be aware they'll probably ship from China.
    The AP200 connects to your phone for reading codes etc.
     
  18. OP
    AndrewPotter

    AndrewPotter New Member

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    Maybe something to get for general use in the future then. Will have a look though - thanks.
     
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  19. Jim2

    Jim2 Senior Member

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    Thats good advice from Lost kiwi.. I originally bought the iCarsoft MB 11, and it is a good scanner. Then a few mths ago I upgraded to the iCarsoft MB CR PRO, and it not is only MB specific, but scans other makes too. So all in all, a good scanner, if thats any help to you.
     
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