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Injector problem causing gear change issues

Discussion in 'Engine, Drivetrain, Fuel and Exhaust' started by XL5man, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. XL5man

    XL5man New Member

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    Hi everyone.
    This is my first post here. I recently bought a 2003 E320 CDI estate. It had an issue with heavy smoke, especially on hard acceleration. This could sometimes cause the engine to go into limp mode. The injectors were checked and found to be OK. However, the signs of "black death" were visible around the tops of the injectors and on the wiring loom. The injectors had been removed by a garage and double washered when in the ownership of the previous driver. My son reseated the injectors with a single washer and the car ran perfectly with no obvious smoke. We thought the problem was resolved. however, there was a hint of "chuffing" and black oily residue was apparent once again. Obviously we didn't want to leave the car in this state, so the injectors were removed once again, cleaned and double washers were fitted. This completely cured the "chuffing", but the black smoke returned, quite dramatically. Coincidentally, the ABS and ESP fault lights are now on. We assume a sensor has failed, but haven't checked for a fault code, as yet.
    The other big issue is that, for the first time, the gearbox is behaving erratically. the car appeared to be stuck in 2nd gear on it's first test run tonight. I performed a gearbox reset, as in a Youtube video (15 seconds with accelerator fully depressed). The car then drove normally, I was relieved because I thought the gearbox must be OK. However, when I accelerated hard out of a 30mph limit, the car smoked very heavily and the gearchanges became erratic. I tried to join a roundabout engine revs raised to 3,500 by the car only slowly moved onto the roundabout, as if in some sort of limp mode, yet still revving quite high. I found that the manual gear selection, by pushing the gear lever to the left would not work and neither would the S/W selection button. This strange drivetrain behavior appeared to be brought on by the hard acceleration and consequent heavy smoke production. I performed another 15 seconds gearbox reset and the car drove normally again. I am confident that firm acceleration would bring on heavy smoke and erratic gearbox behaviour once again.
    I apologise if this description of events is not ideal. My son has the technical knowledge of cars, I am merely a driver.
    Could anyone confirm my suspicions that the injector fuelling problems (and hence heavy smoking) is causing the gearbox issues, I am assuming (maybe incorrectly) that the gearbox behaviour is unrelated to the ABS fault.
    Also, should we be using single washers on the injectors (and if so, how do we avoid the "chuffing" black death problems), rather than double washers?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Frontstep

    Frontstep Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
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    Double washers are not needed.

    Clean seats, clean injectors and annealed washers fixed mine.

    New washers are too hard without annealing.
     
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  3. OP
    XL5man

    XL5man New Member

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    Thank you for this reply.
     
  4. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    Honda Accord sealing washers are a common recommendation. Slightly thicker and softer than MB ones.
     
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  5. Doug1234

    Doug1234 Senior Member

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    I have used one of these on my om642 they are much softer and about 1mm thicker.
    They also are near enough ‘flat’ compared to the stock Mercedes ones which have a slight dish to them.

    I think the gearbox issue is separate from the other fuelling and abs and esp problems, probably a speed sensor plate issue
     
  6. Frontstep

    Frontstep Senior Member

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    If the engine runs badly the gearbox ain't happy either, fix engine first.

    When you say the injectors were tested, was that when out of the engine ?
     
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  7. OP
    XL5man

    XL5man New Member

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    Yes. My son got the injectors out and they were taken to a highly respected local injector specialist. They tested them and to their credit, they said that refurbishment was not necessary.
     
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  8. mersum1es

    mersum1es Senior Member

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    double seal will cause injector sit higher and this will make somedisturbance to correct spray pattern, if spray hits to hole edge that alone may cause insufficient burning.

    When cylinder pressures are not as ECU wants, that may cause some erratic gear box behavior but not tranny limp mode (2nd gear only). I would check asap oil level of gear box, and then ensure there is no oil in TCU connector and inside TCU.

    What is battery voltage car run/stopped? All kind of electric gremlins will appear if voltage goes down.
     
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  9. Steve@Avantgarde

    Steve@Avantgarde Forum Supporter Authorised Forum Supporter

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    Probably just another poor injector repair. I would like to see some photos of it before I give my 10p worth.
     
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  10. OP
    XL5man

    XL5man New Member

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    I would like to thank people for the much appreciated, helpful replies. I now have the Honda Accord sealing washers. When I told the parts guy at the Honda dealership I wanted six, he immediately knew they must be for a Mercedes. He's had people ask for them before and he asked me if there was advice on a internet forum regarding using Honda seals.

    What torque setting should the injector retaining bolts be set at? We really want to make sure everything is right.

    Thank you.
     
  11. mersum1es

    mersum1es Senior Member

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    7Nm+90deg+90deg is official
     
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  12. OP
    XL5man

    XL5man New Member

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    Thank you for these figures.
     
  13. OP
    XL5man

    XL5man New Member

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    My son changed the injector sealing washers for the suggested Honda Accord ones. I am pleased to say that this seems to have cured the smoking issue.

    However, I'm afraid the gear selection issues remain. Whether there is a link, the ESP and ABS warnings are on with the ABS light constantly illuminated. I thought the car was driving perfectly, but when I reached approximately 50mph, twice now the manual 4,3,2 push gear lever to the left selection has stopped working, the car pulls away only very slowly from rest, despite revving quite high (quite dangerous) and to select R or D from the car being stationary is accompanied by a slight "thump", not normally present when the gearbox is working correctly. Also the W/S selector becomes inoperable. I can reset the gearbox (15 seconds) and have just driven the 5 miles home gently not exceeding 35mph without bringing on the gearbox problems.

    I wonder if these gearbox issues (which appear to be speed related) are linked with the ABS fault?

    Thanks, once again, in advance.
     
  14. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    It needs code read on an appropriate code reader. Without the codes it's all guesswork and that can be expensive very quickly.
     
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  15. OP
    XL5man

    XL5man New Member

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    I will try to get the fault code. I think it could be linked to an ABS sensor fault on a front wheel as the gearbox fault seems to be triggered by a road speed of around 50mph. This problem has only happened since the ABS light has come on.
     
  16. bembo449

    bembo449 Senior Member

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    high revs on an auto ? reads like a torque convertor issue ?
     
  17. OP
    XL5man

    XL5man New Member

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    We'll know more when we get the he code read. I really think (and very much hope) this related to a front wheel abs sensor fault. As I said, the abs light is permanently on, with the ABS/ESP malfunction messages showing. The revs aren't really excessive, around 3000rpm max. To cause the fault, the car has to reach around 50mph. By keeping to around 40mph Max, I got the car home without triggering the erratic gearbox behaviour. Once this has happened, it appears that the only way to resume normal gearbox operation is by the full accelerator pedal down engine off 15 seconds reset procedure.
     
  18. bembo449

    bembo449 Senior Member

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    could possibly a reluctor ring problem in the end , they tend to rot off the hub and break free so they don't read off the sensor , repaired one for a customer a few years ago
     
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