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Mercedes-Benz Gear Shift Problems

Mercedes-Benz is a brand known for their durability, longevity, and sophistication; however, even the most highly reliable brands can let us down once in a while. Whether you own an automatic or a manual transmission Mercedes, particular models have been known to undergo transmission issues—particularly with the gear selectors. When a gear selector fails, it can be frustrating to deal with the inconvenience and sometimes the problem is expensive to repair. Keeping up with ongoing vehicle maintenance can greatly reduce the risk of gear selector issues, although sometimes the cause of such issues has nothing to do with our diligence as car owners and everything to do with manufacturing and design. It helps to know how you as a Mercedes owner can help prevent such issues from occurring, but first let’s take a look at what gear selector issues look like and the potential causes.

Symptoms of gear selector failure

It’s not always easy to differentiate gear selector issues from other similar problems in a Mercedes-Benz, but it helps to have an idea of what to look for. If your gear selector is failing, you might notice grinding noises while shifting gears, or clicking sounds coming from the gear selector itself. It is also common to experience difficulty shifting smoothly from one gear to the next—which mainly occurs in automatic engines. Drivers with gear selector failure have also noticed difficulty going from drive to reverse smoothly without stopping fully in neutral.

Potential Causes

While the symptoms of transmission problems mimic the symptoms of other potential issues, these are some of the common reasons why you could be having issues with your gear selector.

Transmission is worn

Your transmission is made up of a system of intricate parts including bands, linkages, cables, and gears, all of which wear out over time. It is important to keep your Mercedes well-maintained, including frequent tune-ups and inspections, fluid changes and top-offs, and replace any parts that are especially damaged or worn. By doing these things and following your recommended maintenance schedule set forth by the dealership, you can prevent transmission wear from leading to gear selector failure.

Failing valve body

The valve body is a critical element of an automatic transmission. It is responsible for keeping hydraulic fluid flowing through the transmission so that the proper gear-shifting mechanism can be enabled while going from one gear to the next. If the valve body fails, then the gear-shifting mechanism also fails. It is important to have your automotive specialist thoroughly inspect the valve body to determine where the root of gear-shifting issues is coming from. If the valve body is failing or damaged, then it will need to be replaced by a professional.

Defective Manufacturing

Although Mercedes vehicles are exceptional, every brand has its downsides and manufacturing issues. Mercedes vehicles have been known to display some transmission difficulties, which in the past have lead to several class-action lawsuits due to customers’ dissatisfaction with faulty transmissions. Other transmission issues that have been known to come up in Mercedes vehicles are shifter module or brake light switch failure, both of which can lead to gear-shifting problems.

The importance of an accurate diagnosis

When you experience transmission issues, the best thing to do is schedule an appointment with a professional Mercedes specialist. It is imperative to employ the correct troubleshooting methods and order of operations to rule-out potential causes of the problem. To accurately diagnose an issue, it is important to have the proper equipment and specialized skills working with Mercedes vehicles—otherwise, you might end up spending hundreds in diagnostic fees alone.

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Star Motors approach

The staff of experts here at Star Motors are an essential part of why our business has remained one of the top European automotive specialty shops in the area of San Juan Capistrano and Southern Orange County for over 30 years; they are certified, and highly-trained and skilled in working with all Mercedes vehicles. If you drive a Mercedes and are having difficulty with your transmission or gear selector, contact us today to schedule an inspection or diagnostic appointment. If you have any other questions about our business including pricing and qualifications, give us a call—we’d be happy to give you more information!

Mercedes Interior image credit goes to: VladTeodor.

Mercedes Logo image credit goes to: THEPALMER.