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Old 03-29-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default 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.
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Old 03-29-2010   #2 (permalink)
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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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Old 03-29-2010   #3 (permalink)
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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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Old 03-29-2010   #4 (permalink)
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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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Old 03-29-2010   #5 (permalink)
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benzer101,

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Old 03-29-2010   #6 (permalink)
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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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Old 03-29-2010   #7 (permalink)
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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 08:17 PM. Reason: typo correction
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Old 03-30-2010   #8 (permalink)
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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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Old 09-05-2010   #9 (permalink)
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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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Old 01-04-2013   #10 (permalink)
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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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Old 01-13-2013   #11 (permalink)
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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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Old 01-14-2013   #12 (permalink)
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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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Old 01-14-2013   #13 (permalink)
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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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