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W220 wont go into first gear on its own

Discussion in 'Engine, Drivetrain, Fuel and Exhaust' started by klovaaxel1000, Oct 15, 2020 at 3:46 PM.

  1. klovaaxel1000

    klovaaxel1000 New Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    w220/1999/320
    Hello, new around here so not quite sure if this is the right spot, but am grateful for any help.

    So I bought a mercedes w220 some time ago and ever since the car has been dying at stops, not allways but sometimes, I think I have narrowed it down to it not going into first gear on its own, I think its this becasue when I stop and feel it start to die I can, if im fast enough, shift it to first gear manually and then it recovers, if i dont it dies and has to be restarted with the key. I don't have any OBDII codes and the car isn't displaying any errors on the dash, it idles well, I think the transmission oil has been changed in the past as the tamper proof cap dosen't have any red plastic left but i don't know much more about it. Has anyone had a simmilar issue?

    When I have googled this issue I only find problems where the car is stuck in a specifick gear or that it wont shift to one manually or automatically.

    I do have a apointment with a mecanic on the 4 november but the mechanic said that he outrigth couldn't say what was wrong as he had never had that issue before and im hoping this thread maybe could help with diagnosing.
     
  2. pgh13

    pgh13 Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    E320CDI 2004 - straight 6 diesel
    Hi and welcome.

    Standard questions..... Mileage?Wondering if it's something like the torque converter clutch sticking. Sounds as if you don't know if/when the transmission was serviced, so that would be my shot in the dark first job
     
  3. OP
    klovaaxel1000

    klovaaxel1000 New Member

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    w220/1999/320
    24 0000 km, about 150 000 miles, but the transmission feels fine in all other gears and shift well, maybe a bit harsh but yes that would probably be the first things to check but I would assume it would have trouble shifting to first gear even when doing it manually with the shifter if the torque converter is bad or the clutch is sticking, am i wrong in thinking so? don't know much about automatic transmissions.
     
  4. pgh13

    pgh13 Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    E320CDI 2004 - straight 6 diesel
    Well, in no expert but the way I understand it, the clutch locks under certain conditions to eliminate tc slipping to improve fuel economy. If it isn't releasing, that could maybe put too much load on the engine causing it to stall. Possible, a sticking solenoid valve may be stopping it from releasing but manually selecting first may 'blip' the pressure and free things off.

    I'm sure more expert comment will be along shortly. Is it the 5 speed or 7 speed? I think both types were used at different times.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020 at 8:01 PM
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  5. OP
    klovaaxel1000

    klovaaxel1000 New Member

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    ok, seems reasonable, thank you for answering and will defenately be checking those things at the mechanics if he dosen't suggest anything else
     
  6. Paul1948

    Paul1948 Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    S320 CDI 2003
    What mode are you using, if C, comfort mode first gear is rarely selected. if S, sport mode first gear will always be selected, see car manual, this is standard on S class mercs. I very rarely use C mode unless on motorways, as S is more economical for me. Hope this helps find the problem.
     
  7. OP
    klovaaxel1000

    klovaaxel1000 New Member

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    Hi, I don't think the w220 has a "C" mode but instead "S" and "W" modes, and as far as I have understood they stand for Summer and Winter mode with Winter mode being the one that starts in second gear, I have had both selected and had the issue, but I do primarily use the "S" mode. I have also tried resetting the gearbox with the key at postion 3 and foot on the accelerator with no avail.
     
  8. Botus

    Botus Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    S500/2010/500
    5 speed in my fathers w124 would ONLY use First if its in S, (otherwise always a 4 speed box)
    all 7G boxes only use First if its in S, (otherwise always a 6 speed box - you also get 2 reverse ratios in S)

    if you stand on it off the line in C, it will pull away in Second, around the 10 yard mark it work out you are trying to go for it and make a messy / noisy change down to First (usually wobbles as its just banging 320bhp at the road in an instant, so the TC groans in to action and 8 yards after that it will have decided it needs Second again anyway (clearly not good for the box or the diff mounts).

    On mine with controls on the wheel, I just use C, but if I need to cut across 4 lanes to pick off some idiots and get back to the correct lane, I can pop it in first whilst waiting, then make good progress, never activating TC because you just modulate the pedal movement in line with the grip you can see/feel is available... the only issue, within 3 seconds I need to do 6 pointless clicks with my right hand to get it back to being a grown up auto again
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020 at 10:17 AM
  9. Botus

    Botus Senior Member

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    there was a recent update to a post about that specific fault Alexander Foti contributed... the Torque converter needs to be replaced


    the electro mechanical clutch inside the TC is dead - common fault on Mercedes boxes (been inside most modern autos since 1986 - saves fuel when cruising - yours sounds like it wrongly in play when stationary - thus its turned it in to a manual but you can't dip the clutch)

    https://forums.mercedesclub.org.uk/index.php?threads/autobox-stalls-when-cold.177837/
     
  10. OP
    klovaaxel1000

    klovaaxel1000 New Member

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    OK, was hoping for a simple fix but I gues it is what it is, Thanks for contributing, will definetly get back with more info in this thread if my mechanic finds something diffrent, could i by any chance get a link to the post?
     
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  11. Botus

    Botus Senior Member

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    its there now (I added in-between you replying)
     
  12. OP
    klovaaxel1000

    klovaaxel1000 New Member

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    After looking at the mentioned post, whilst our issues may be simmilar I don't think they are the same, I dont have trouble starting my car in cold or warm climates, and my car stalls when stopping suddenly/normal (not when stopping super slow). The other post apparently has no isssues after getting the car started and in to gear. But I admitt the tourqe converter/clutch could still be the issue
     
  13. V6Matty

    V6Matty Senior Member

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    Just hold the up shift selector and it will shift all the way back to D on its own no need to keep stabbing at it
     
  14. RhodieBill

    RhodieBill Senior Member

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    W208 CLK320 182U ALMANDINE-BLACK METALLIC
    Just to alleviate the symptom, (not cure the issue) as you are coming to a rest/stop slip it into N and then back into D - should stop it stalling. Then just drive off as normal.
     
  15. Botus

    Botus Senior Member

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    I'm afraid I don't trust Mercedes electronics and the column stalk to make the right move... I use buttons on the wheel, I can imagine 95% of the time it picking Reverse or P twice as often as it finding D correctly

    the trouble with todays worlds is people write software for how their defective brains have been wired. I was just on a call ranting about apple.... typing a message the phone's whatsapp answer screen pops up for a second... before I can answer it vanishes, found 3 incompetent bugs in one call. Life is just a stressful game of cat and mouse as you start to realise the programmers are still in nappies

    I devised a name for apple programming years ago.... Randomware.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020 at 1:08 PM
  16. OP
    klovaaxel1000

    klovaaxel1000 New Member

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    Thanks for the tip, that's one of the things I have been doing, it also works if I manually shift to first before it dies or slow down smoothly enough for it to keep it alive in second gear. I can se in your footer you have owned a w220, just to clarify the w220 doesn't have a "C" mode but has "S" and "W" modes for the transmission or am i mistaken?.
     
  17. RhodieBill

    RhodieBill Senior Member

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    Hi. You are correct, just "W" (Winter) and "S" (Standard).

    What model have you got?

    Here is a nice Video on the W220.



    This was mine:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020 at 1:28 PM
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  18. OP
    klovaaxel1000

    klovaaxel1000 New Member

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    Will definitely be watching the entirety of that video later! I just have a 99 s320, it does however have most of the options :)
     
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  19. V6Matty

    V6Matty Senior Member

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    I forgot yours are buttons, the principal is the same though just press and hold it will go all the way back to D on its own
     
  20. Paul1948

    Paul1948 Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    S320 CDI 2003
    Just to clarify w/s and c/s, w/s gearbox is the first of the w220 and MK2 2003 on the gearbox is c/s as mine which I have had for the last 8 years, there are other differences between the 2 gearboxes but nothing relevant to this problem.
     
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