Auto 'slipped' out of drive - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

SLK R170 General Discussion SLK 200, SLK 230K, SLK 320, SLK32 AMG

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#1 Old 11-08-2017
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Auto 'slipped' out of drive

Hi, I wonder if anyone can advise me please. I was out in my 2003 slk 230 auto today and all was going well until at one point I lifted off the throttle for a corner and then throttled again. Instead of the drive being picked up and the car accelerating as I re throttled the revs just picked up without corresponding increase in speed of the car. It was for all the world as though it had slipped into neutral. I lifted and then pressed the throttle a couple of times and the car just revved freely with no drive. Then, just as quickly as all this happened, it cured itself. Throttling resulted in the car accelerating and driving as it should. At no point had I touched the auto shift lever. I drove over 100 miles during the day and this problem,occouring about half way through, was the only one I had. The car has done 69,000 miles. Has anyone any idea what went wrong? Thanks in anticipation, Dave
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#2 Old 11-08-2017
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Originally Posted by fillpoke View Post
Hi, I wonder if anyone can advise me please. I was out in my 2003 slk 230 auto today and all was going well until at one point I lifted off the throttle for a corner and then throttled again. Instead of the drive being picked up and the car accelerating as I re throttled the revs just picked up without corresponding increase in speed of the car. It was for all the world as though it had slipped into neutral. I lifted and then pressed the throttle a couple of times and the car just revved freely with no drive. Then, just as quickly as all this happened, it cured itself. Throttling resulted in the car accelerating and driving as it should. At no point had I touched the auto shift lever. I drove over 100 miles during the day and this problem,occouring about half way through, was the only one I had. The car has done 69,000 miles. Has anyone any idea what went wrong? Thanks in anticipation, Dave
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#3 Old 11-08-2017
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when was transmission service done last?


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#4 Old 11-08-2017
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I don't think the transmission has ever had a service!
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#5 Old 11-08-2017
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Usually r170 transmission is sealed which means no service but most agreee it should be done every 40000 miles


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#6 Old 11-08-2017
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Have had automagics do odd things over 100k before. Usually add a can of Seafoam Transtune, drive 100-200 miles, and perform a service. Can't hurt.

Have had GM transmissions do that at stops - feels like in neutral for a bit. Usually a sticking solenoid and TransTune frees up.


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#7 Old 11-08-2017
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I had this happen to me in my 02 230K. It's something to do with a connecting "dog" in the box which slips out and disengages the gears from the TC. Common fault with MB auto boxes according to the auto box specialist I took mine to. It's a complete box strip down in order to access it. I didn't get mine done.....over Ł1000. While I was there they changed the electrical plug underneath so as to cure the oil leak ...then they topped up the fluid and I've not had an issue since...an Ł80 fix.

It's proper scary when it happens though. All those revs and no drive. Once the revs die down and the torque converter picks up the ATF the drive comes back.
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#8 Old 11-08-2017
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A few questions:
How many miles on your car?
Any sign of leakage on the ground?
Do you have a trans dipstick to check fluid level?

For some reason, 170s don't come stock with a dipstick to check fluid level. If you don't have one, get one and check it. You could just be low on trans fluid. If it's never been changed, it's probably time to do it. It's not hard to do it yourself and not too expensive if you have someone else do it. While it's being done, change the pilot bushing as these nearly always fail at some point and can cause leakage and even ruin the control module. After you've done that, reset the trans (google mercedes slk adaptive trans reset).

I wouldn't drive it much till you've done this. It didn't cure itself and the more it happens, the more likely you'll burn up the clutches which can be pretty expensive.
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#9 Old 11-11-2017
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When I bought my SLK 230. When cold it would "slip" out of gear . Bought a dipstick to find the fluid was over 2 quarts low (car had some front end body part work, they must have replaced the trans cooler and never checked the fluid level) Filled it to the marks, and it's been fine since.
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