Hello from Texas ...2006 CLK-350 Shifting Problems - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum
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#1 Old 09-07-2011
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Hello from Texas ...2006 CLK-350 Shifting Problems

Hello all...my name is Kenny, I'm new to this forum but have had several Mercedes in the past, most of which were diesels. I recently the most beautiful 06 CLK-350 I had ever seen, 53K miles, 1 owner, clean car fax,...what more could I want? Get it home, ...two days later the car begins experiencing shifting problems. Talked to my dealer where I bought the car, they agreed to split the cost of changing the conductor plate $1,200.00.

Once the conductor plate was removed and sent away from repair, I received a call from the Mercedes Dealer informing me that the "plate" was indicating there were "internal" problems within the transmission. They said they would proceed with the repair of the plate but could not guarantee this would fix the problem. I'm told a NEW transmission is around $8,000.00 ...the dealer said they could "probably" locate a previously owned transmission for around $4,000.00 and it would work fine.

I'm literally "sick" ...I can't believe I have gotten myself into this problem. I bought the Mercedes because I "thought" it was a quality car. Any suggestions? My apologies if this has already been discussed in another thread, ...I am not quite certain how to maneuver through the site yet.

Thanks!

Kenny in Texas
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#2 Old 09-07-2011
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Yes, several discussions about the "conductor plate" or transmission electronics module. Mine went out on the day I bought my car. Yep, $1,200 to replace. If you didn't get a warranty with your car and if you're outside the period that your state allows used car returns, then I would replace the "plate" and hope everything is ok.
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Sounds like you bought a lemon. I would return the car immediately for a full refund and/or take them to court if necessary. Not sure what the lemon laws are in your state but id recommend you look into it.
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#4 Old 09-07-2011
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Kenny,


Welcome to the World’s Premier Mercedes-Benz SLK Community from Valrico, Florida!


Please update your location/vehicle (model and year) in your profile as it helps the members answer your questions which usually are based on that information.
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#5 Old 09-07-2011
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Welcome from sunny Florida. I hope everything works out.

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#6 Old 09-07-2011
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Welcome from New Hampshire, keep us updated on how you made out.
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#7 Old 09-07-2011
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#8 Old 09-08-2011
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Thanks and I appreciate both of you guys advice. As far as taking the car back and demanding a refund...that's out. I've already spoken to several people here in Texas including Texas Attorney General and I'm told that virtually I'm just "screwed, blued, and tatooed." There IS no lemon law here, there isn't even a 3 day return policy. Besides that, hell the car has been in the shop for a week as it is. I'm literally "sick" as I stated earlier. I was feeling kida "hopeful" that once the conductor was repaired and replaced...this would fix the car. However as I explained, I received a call from the dealer working on it and was told that the plate had been removed and sent away to "wherever" the facility is that reprograms them or repairs them.

However, he told me that the people working on the plate called him saying that had seen plates displayng this type of code before. (Whatever the code is...I don't know) They said that in "these instances" the codes were telling them that there was a problem WITHIN the transmission. So what to do now? I told the dealer straight off I COULD NOT SPEND $5,000 ON A NEW TRANSMISSION...PERIOD! If that were the case I would simply have to "park" the car and just look it all the while my first payment will come due the 20th of this month. They suggested that we "at least" go ahead with the repair of the plate and hope for the best.

I really don't know what to do? Even if the car shifts properly when I get it back I still know I will have to SOMEDAY replace the transmission. And I am just not the type of person who can stick a "for sale" on the car 'KNOWNIN" whoever buys it will be screwed same as me.

Like I said...I am literally "sick" over this. The dealer told me there a is "CHANCE" the car will drive and shift OK for a while. Then there is also a chance that once the plate is replaced...it may not even make it off the lot. I'm 57 yrs old, worked my butt off my entire business life with Xerox Corporation to be able to retire at a reasonably young age last year and enjoy life with my wife of 37 years. Bought *what I thought) was a beautiful car, insisted on a car fax, ...and THIS is what I got.
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#9 Old 09-08-2011
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Kenny, I thought that I was going to be in your shoes, with the most expensive lawn ornament. Fortunately, (knock on wood so far), it was only the $1,200 module. Unless you can prove fraud, I don't think there is a state in the union that will allow a return in an as-is sale. Most 3-day rules only apply for sales at the purchaser's residence.

That said, this is NOT the end of the world! You didn't get t-boned by a 6,000 pound SUV after you drove the car off the lot. The engine didn't catch fire, totaling the car. And you didn't back into your garage door, damaging your roof mechanism. So cheer up Bunky, it could be worse!

What I would recommend is to take advantage of the dealer's offer to go halvsies on the module, (they didn't have to offer that), but I would also ask, in light of the new circumstances, if they would do the transmission replacement at cost and cover half of it as well. Talk directly with the manager of the dealership and explain your circumstances. If they give you trouble, go into a long song and dance about how when you buy from such a reputable dealership such as theirs, that you expect them to have gone over it with a fine tooth comb before the sale.

When you are dealing with the manager, always use a phrase like "reputable dealer" and how you know they stand behind their product. Always use present tense. Don't let a single "should" pass your lips. If you tell them what they *are*, then they begin to believe it themselves and want to prove that they are who you say they currently are.

When all is said and done and if all you can get is the module replaced, things are still not lost. If the car runs, great. If not, then park it in your driveway.

Either way, you'll want to get the transmission replaced. The least expensive way would be to find an indy Mercedes shop that will be willing to work with you to find a transmission from a wrecked SLK. You can save money by taking the tranny out and transporting it yourself, but it might not be worth the effort.

Bad things happen. But try and see that things could be much, much worse and try to enjoy what you do have.
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#10 Old 09-08-2011
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Welcome from NE England. Sorry to hear about your problems.



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#11 Old 09-09-2011
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Thanks Mycroft for the advice, I appreciate it. Regarding your suggestions on how to approach the dealership and what "to" and "not to" say...again, I sincerely appreciate it. For whatever it's worth, I am a retired "Marketing Manager" from Xerox...and spent 30 years in direct sales and marketing so I "do" understand the power of proper communication and choosing empowering words, trust me I could publish a book on "sales."

That said, these people are not about to lay out $4,000 to help me...or anyone else. It simply isn't going to happen no matter how I parce my words, especially in this economic climate. I am not even going to allow myself to ponder that possibility as it will only result in an elevated blood pressure reading...and I am already on blood pressure medication now.

I am convinced that "for whatever reason"...this was simply meant to happen to me. I don't profess to know why...but again, there is little I can do about it. Candidly, I don't believe the dealer knew in advance this car had this problem. Again, I believe I was simply the one standing under the "stupid tree" at the time. I am about to pay the first car note and the car has been in the shop 3 of the 4 weeks I have owned it. Truthfully, I don't even remember much about the car as I have only seen it for approximately 4 days...then I took it the shop.

In September of 2007 my wife and I lost our 25 yr old son, ...so of course you are correct in your observation that things "could" be worse. Again, at my age (57) I have learned that there is little sense in allowing myself to become angry or frustrated unless such action might effect a change in the situation...and clearly it won't in this one. I guess in wirting here in this forum I was just hoping to gain some perspective from others who perhaps suffered the same misfortune.

But again...thanks so much for your kind words. If the car doesn't run properly when I pick it up next week I will have no choice other than to park it in my driveway until I can find $4,000 to for a transmission. I am holding out a slim hope that "just maybe" with the conductor plate repaired and re-installed...the car just might run fine. I know it is a slim hope, ...but at present it is all I have. Take care and thanks again for your encouragement.
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#12 Old 09-09-2011
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Hi and welcome from Lichfield in the UK.

Kind thoughts on getting this issue resolved.
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#13 Old 09-09-2011
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#14 Old 09-09-2011
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Our condolences on the loss of your son....we cannot imagine your grief. I hope in time the weight of it will lessen somewhat.

As to the car, did you buy it from this same dealer. If so, have you/did you look over the car's maintenance history (specifically for transmission related issues). If it had a track record, they should have been forthcoming...and might be persuaded to "help out" with the transmission repair. That said, fingers crossed the new plate will do the trick.
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#15 Old 09-10-2011
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I bought the car from a very large, very old and well respected Ford Dealer in Houston. I insisted on a carfax, it was pristine, showed only one former owner and cited no indications of transmission or other problems. I just saw no reason to suspect or question anything out of the ordinary...I really thought I had found a great car.

I really don't know what to expect at this point. The car has now been in the shop for 3 weeks, it is being worked on a by a "certified" Mercedes Service Facility in Beaumont Texas. (where I reside)

I am waiting on the conductor plate to be re-installed after being repaired and "hoping" this will take care of the problem although I have been fore warned that the plate is displaying certain "codes" that point to internal problems with the transmission itself.

So...truthfully, I don't know what ti expect this week.
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#16 Old 09-11-2011
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First, Welcome from Indy!
Second, sorry for the loss of your son. I buried my 9mo. old daughter in '74. I KNOW your pain...
Third, is your car a CLK or an SLK?

I bought my SLK from a Hyundai dealer, and didn't have it inspected by an MB dealer, and I wish I had. It had trans problems also, and luckily I have an after market warranty that covered ~2/3 the cost.

Welcome to the MB $$$$ pit...

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#17 Old 09-14-2011
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Hi from London,

Best of luck resloving this situation,


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#18 Old 09-14-2011
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welcome from Houston!
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#19 Old 09-14-2011
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**UPDATE** Thanks to all of you for your kind words and support through this situation. After replacing and repairing the conductor plate my car was returned to me yesterday from the Mercedes Service Center. So far... all is well. I've put approximately 100 miles on it since it was returned to me and (fingers crossed) ..."so far" no problems at all. The Mercedes Service Center was very "up front" in letting me know that while the conductor plate has been repaired and reinstalled...this "may not" fully resolve the problem in it's entirety. They suggested I take the car and "drive it" normally all be it very easily for a while and monitor it's progress. So far...(about 100 miles) the car seems to be shifting perfectly. Hopefully I'm living right and this will have resolved the problem. If not... I'm sure I will find out in due time and be looking at a replacement transmission.

One thing that "did" cause me a little concern was something the mechanic told me. He said; "Ken, I've worked on Mercedes Benz for more then 30 years, I know these cars inside and out. I'm TELLING YOU SIR, YOUR CAR'S TRANSMISSION HAS BEEN REMOVED BEFORE AT SOME POINT. I don't when, ...but I can tell by looking at the torque converter and other factors, this transmission has been OUT of this car before."

He suggested this might not necessarily be a BAD thing, only that it HAD been removed at some point before. He suggested I take the vin # and contact Mercedes Benz and run what is called a "Vehicle Inquiry" on the car. He said that "possibly" the transmission could have been removed and reinstalled during the initial warranty period of the car. It was just impossible to tell.

At any rate... thank you all for your kindness and advice through this trying ordeal.
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#20 Old 01-23-2012
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Well...this past weekend my transmission finally "committed suicide" as it appears to be stuck in either 2nd or 3rd gear and will not shift. Thought for sure I was in the clear but no such luck. My prayers are that NO ONE ELSE suffers this terrible problem. I'm told to expect to pay anywhere from $4,000 to $6,000 to resolve the problem. So...I can assure you, ...I'm 56 now, I will be DRIVING this car when I'm 80. Only way I will ever recoup my investment. If anyone can offer any words of wisdom...you would be my friend to help me with whatever you know. Thanks...God Bless.
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