Transmission whining noise first thing in the morning - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum
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#1 Old 03-29-2010
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Transmission whining noise first thing in the morning

I'm a newbie to the forum. I just purchased a 2000 SLK230 with the 5-speed automatic and noticed that it has a fairly loud whining or whirring noise that I think is coming from the transmission when I first drive it after it has sat overnight.

It disappears, however, after driving less than a few hundred yards upon accelerating on the roadway and doesn't reappear throughout the day.

Looking for a tech or someone with a similar experience to tell me whether I have a problem. The car runs outstanding otherwise and shifts excellently.

I also would like an opinion about the settings for in-town driving. Do I leave the transmission overdrive engaged for in-town driving? Also, there is a switch next to the shift lever labled "W - S". I'm not certain what this is for and what position it should be in because I had to order an owner's manual. It is presently in the "W" position.

Any help would be appreciated.
thanks
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#2 Old 03-29-2010
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Hi, Ive heard the W-S switch is for winter summer, I think its to do with whether you pull away in 2nd or 1st gear. I think it pulls away in second (W) to reduce the torque so the traction control can function better with less wheel spin. Not entirly sure though, would like to hear if anyone knows a bit more, also does the WS affect my fuel economy in any way.
Sorry can't help with the whining.
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#3 Old 03-29-2010
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IIRC, the W = winter and S = summer settings, which is equivalent to C = comfort and S = sport settings respectively.

C setting in the current R171 automatic transmission starts at second gear. I'm not familiar with the R170, however.

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#4 Old 03-29-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beanie View Post
Hi, Ive heard the W-S switch is for winter summer, I think its to do with whether you pull away in 2nd or 1st gear. I think it pulls away in second (W) to reduce the torque so the traction control can function better with less wheel spin. Not entirly sure though, would like to hear if anyone knows a bit more, also does the WS affect my fuel economy in any way.
Sorry can't help with the whining.
You are correct, as far as the whining noise i would check the power steering fluid and the tranny fluid first they may be low.
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#5 Old 03-29-2010
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#6 Old 03-29-2010
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In normal condition the switch has to be on "S"... "W" is just for snowy or icy days... In that case with switch on "W" the car starts on second gear as normally done on snow or ice with a manual gearbox...
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#7 Old 03-29-2010
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All the above comments on the W-S transmission program mode selector switch are correct..when in "W" it causes the car to start (or reverse) in 2nd gear. In the R170's, it also causes the car to upshift sooner under acceleration to help avoid wheel spin when its slippery. Not sure if the short shifting happens on other types of MB's while in the "W" mode.

And technically, MB refers to the "S" mode as standard mode, but summer mode seems appropriate too.

I don't know what is causing the whining sound you are getting, but the suggestion to check the fluid levels is a smart first step. I would also look at a drop or two of trannie fluid on light colored paper and determine if it is unusually dark or contains particles suspended in the fluid. Your car is approx 10 years old, and if it has never (or not in the last 5 years) had the trannie fluid changed you might want change the fluid too.

Last edited by Santamonica SLK32; 03-29-2010 at 09:17 PM. Reason: typo correction
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#8 Old 03-30-2010
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Hi benzer101- Welcome from another new member. I have the same initial noise from my 230 Kompressor with a manual box & feel sure my noise eminates from the rear of the car ........ my prime suspect being the diff. Currently I have a 14mm allen key on order to check the oil level, however extenal weeping makes me expect to find it below normal. Can anyone confirm I'm ok to use EP80 or EP90 for the expected top up & whether the car has a limited slip diff (Posidrive) because if so I need to be cautious with any anti-friction additive I consider adding. Hope this thought helps - Regards, rogerv8
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#9 Old 09-05-2010
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Hi again Benzer101, I hope by now you've fixed and forgotten this issue but if still outstanding the following maybe of interest. My noise, as I thought at the time, was coming from the rear of the car and putting a dose of Forte differential additive in the diff, which was a bit low on oil in any event, cured my problem after about 25 miles. I've been slightly concerned that the noise will return (hence this protracted update) but this summer we've used the car a lot and its as quiet as when we first had it. Hope that gives you food for thought but I'd also mention that I do not believe Forte make an additive suited to auto trans. Regards
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#10 Old 01-04-2013
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Hello everyone, something about tranny whining. I have the 5-speed automatic transsmission and noticed that when driving about 50 miles a hearable whining sound comes from behind my car, like from the tranny. When my foot is on a pedal, it is OK but decelarating brings that whine again and the sound dissappears upon slowing down. Am I paranoid listening to every noise or is it a normal automatic tranny related noise? My mileage is about 30000 miles only...
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#11 Old 01-13-2013
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Hi, your post reminded me that I had not updated my experiences with first-thing whining ....... turned out to be the centre prop-shaft bearing which not only cured the problem but relatively cheaply too! A result!
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#12 Old 01-14-2013
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Hi, I visited the local dealer, gave him a ride and was told that the noise is normal and is prop-shaft related sound which occurs when the train of gears is releaved :-). I personally guess that the whine is made by the bearing as Rogerv8 stated :-)
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#13 Old 01-14-2013
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I have the same problem with my 2003 SLK 230 K...I'm going to change all the fluids n then check again...by all i really do mean ALL..Engine, Transmission, Diff, Brakes, Radiator...Let's wait n watch..
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#14 Old 08-14-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benzer101 View Post
I'm a newbie to the forum. I just purchased a 2000 SLK230 with the 5-speed automatic and noticed that it has a fairly loud whining or whirring noise that I think is coming from the transmission when I first drive it after it has sat overnight.

It disappears, however, after driving less than a few hundred yards upon accelerating on the roadway and doesn't reappear throughout the day.

Looking for a tech or someone with a similar experience to tell me whether I have a problem. The car runs outstanding otherwise and shifts excellently.

I also would like an opinion about the settings for in-town driving. Do I leave the transmission overdrive engaged for in-town driving? Also, there is a switch next to the shift lever labled "W - S". I'm not certain what this is for and what position it should be in because I had to order an owner's manual. It is presently in the "W" position.

Any help would be appreciated.
thanks
Hi, benzer 101, new member here.
Did you find out what the problem was for this noise?
Any advice gratefully received, thanks, john

Last edited by jimmyx; 08-14-2014 at 03:39 PM. Reason: wrong name used
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#15 Old 08-14-2014
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#16 Old 08-14-2014
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bump this up

hi, I might be wrong but did anyone actually find out what the problem was?

My lovely if scruffy car makes a loud whine if I drive off straight away on starting engine, goes in a few minites. If I do what I usually do and let the engine warm up for a minute or two then the whine is just audible on driving away and gets less when the engine is up to temp. I'm fairly certain its in the autobox and i suspect it could be down to oil pump but anyone who has had a similar problem and solved it could help me big time, jimmyx

already done a fluid filter change. lifetime gearbox oil, lovely idea

Last edited by jimmyx; 08-14-2014 at 04:25 PM. Reason: adding to message
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#17 Old 08-16-2014
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Our 99 (76K) transmission was whining when we first started it up and drove it for a few blocks. It really did concern me. Things got better after we did a full transmission service (first one on the car!). Now it sounds much better. Hopefully your problem is as simple as that.

Never played or paid attention to the "S" and "W" setting until today. I switched the trans to "S" and the car seems to be much faster from a dead stop!! Better performance - almost a different car. Thanks for letting us know.
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#18 Old 08-17-2014
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Hi, already had new atf and a filter, which made it a bit smoother this was at 81000 miles. When i was researching the oil change there was a school of thought that said at that mileage it might be better to leave it as was. the consensus seemed to be that it was marginal benefit, at 100,000 the wisdom was to leave as is, I decided to go for it and the gunk in the pan seemed to be acceptable.

Worth mentioning, and mine needs doing, that the flex joint at the engine propshaft end is worth changing, they seem to last for about 80 to 100,000 miles and when they start breaking up there will be a clunk in the drive at the gear change.

Thanks for your reply and I am considering doing the atf and filter change again just to make certain it's all as clean as possible, I think a gearbox rebuild is around £1200, I could get another car for that, probably with another set of problems. I love old cars

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