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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm getting my transmission and differential flushed this week, so I am considering just having the dealership go ahead and replace my transmission conductor plate as a preventative maintenance...

Any thoughts on this? Do they all fail eventually? Or is it 'rare-enough' to leave to chance?

Edit...
From what I have now researched, they will all fail eventually, and the new part is actually improved and more heat-resistant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Being here for a while, I do not recall a ton of member owned AMGs reporting an issue with that. It seems it was always a 280/300/350 usually years 2006-2008 that was reported. My 2 cents.
http://www.slkworld.com/slk-r171-ge...-slk55-transmission-problem-not-shifting.html

SLK55. Not intending to be argumentative, but it seems this happens to 2005-2007 SLK55's as well

I also read a post from 'Etyu' that says he had his replaced as well and it's a 2008!
http://www.slkworld.com/slk-r171-general-discussion/23019-weird-transmission-behavior.html

2006 SLK55 http://www.slkworld.com/ask-dansslk/17132-conductor-plate.html
 

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You're correct. My bad. It just seemed most lately were not amgs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Why dont you have the engine replaced just in case ?

Or the drivers seat belt buckle thats common or or ........ :wink:
LOL, as funny as that is, it's not an absurd notion to remove a potentially 'weak' part with a new improved one. Not to mention, if the conductor plate fails, it can cause problems with the valve body, which can lead to worse issues.

It's also not that far-fetched to work on the transmission, when it is already being serviced, why pay even MORE money to go back in later and replace the part, when it is likely going to fail at some time in the future? (also money for towing, time lost etc.)

I drive my AMG very hard, and I rarely let the car shift for me, so I like having the peace of mind.

You don't make a strong or even 'valid' point regardless... So shall I WAIT until my engine runs out of oil before changing it??? Shall I let my sparkplugs gum up to failure, THEN change them?

Maybe I should WAIT until my tires are bald-enough to give me a nice blowout on the interstate and smash into another vehicle....
 
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I just replaced mine, and it had been getting progressively worse for over a year. I was never in danger when it balked, as it always exhibited itself after coming to a stop. It also never failed to correct itself after shutting off the car and restarting.

If it was me I would wait until I saw a fault. It's only a day at most to swap it out. My tranny fluid was $400 and the conductor plate was $1,100.

If they give you both for $1,100 then it might make sense. See what kind of guarantee they'll give you.

Best wishes
 

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Of course Delucas was only joking as indicated by the :wink:
 

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It's still rare enough that I wouldn't replace it preventatively, although I personally did have to replace mine when it failed. The symptoms of this part failing are not sudden and catastrophic but rather intermittent, and progressively more frequent.

If you notice the gear box not wanting to shift (by itself or using the paddles/gearshifter), and the problem goes away when you shut off the engine and then start it up again, you've got the first signs of it. When it happens and second time and a third time, it's probably time to get it fixed. I waited much longer until it finally happened predictably every time I pushed the throttle down in anything but the gentlest possible way. But it took a few months to get that bad.
 

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Boris, it's just the Scottish in me (notoriously frugal - to a fault). Yes my last tires were almost bald at the end.

You make a good point about the valve body damage - do you have some knowledge that the plate failure causes damage to the valve body (that would explain why sometimes you have to replace both, other times just the plate).

I just can't bring myself to think of these components as "wear items". Obviously there were design or manufacturing shortcomings.

I guess if I could hassle the dealer on price, and could get it done for, say $500, I would bite.

If you do have it done, hang on to the old ones!
 

· **Registered 2009 SLK200K - From Kent, UK
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You don't make a strong or even 'valid' point regardless... So shall I WAIT until my engine runs out of oil before changing it??? Shall I let my sparkplugs gum up to failure, THEN change them?

Maybe I should WAIT until my tires are bald-enough to give me a nice blowout on the interstate and smash into another vehicle....

Oil is changed / checked regardless
Tyres are very important its the only thing that keeps you on the road so to speak so a visual check once a week is important .
And i would not change them now if i knew they would need replacing or go defective eventually .

You wait for the tell tell signs .
Or you would be buying tyres every month just in case .

If you have gearbox issues etc
Pull some codes off and yes then change it .

But your plate may last you years .
Prob something else would go before that like srs fault ie seat belt buckle .
Susp coil springs

Many things can fail on a car
If you think like that you. Will end up changing everything on her .

Everything has a self destruct / wear so to speak its just matter of when ?
But you might have got rid of it before some components fail .

Its your money go spend :)
 

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For what it's worth, I would wait to change it. Not all fail. An Indy mechanic would do it for half what the dealer would.
An example, My 2006 slk350 has 75,000 miles on the clock. The balance shaft sprocket is of great concern to me. If it goes south, the repair bill will be $6,000.
BUT, trade for another car would cost more than the repair. I do not intend to sell this car for a very long time so that's not an option. Change it before it goes bad? Once again, a $6,000 bill. The stories will scare you to death, but the reality is about 15% fail, and there is an 85% chance it will never happen.
The old saying goes, If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That's what I'm doing and that's how I would handle your conductor plate concerns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the insights, I appreciate it.

The service manager states they are going to check first to see if the conductor plate and valve body have ALREADY been replaced, then they will inspect for any possible signs of weakness. If they find evidence of weakness, then they will discount the total price and do the work.
Normally, I avoid dealerships like the plague, but the Service Manager is a good friend, and they have taken really good care of me since acquiring the AMG.

I really did not spend very much buying a used 2007 with 35,000miles on it, and I have the title, so an extra $1000 for a true fix to the problem isn't a big deal.

It'll be replacing the ROTORS, pads and brake fluid that will be the worst of the maintenance items on this car! LOL

What DOES upset me, is that this problem is widespread, and happens across the entire R171 platform... it should be covered by MBUSA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
For what it's worth, I would wait to change it. Not all fail. An Indy mechanic would do it for half what the dealer would.
I have 2 indy mechanics here that are FANTASTIC and they care for my other cars. HOWEVER: Mercedes Benz needs to re-code the transmission after they re-install the valve body and the plate.

Indy's do not have access to that software. Unless you know something I do not know. 0:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Boris, it's just the Scottish in me (notoriously frugal - to a fault). Yes my last tires were almost bald at the end.

You make a good point about the valve body damage - do you have some knowledge that the plate failure causes damage to the valve body (that would explain why sometimes you have to replace both, other times just the plate).

I just can't bring myself to think of these components as "wear items". Obviously there were design or manufacturing shortcomings.

I guess if I could hassle the dealer on price, and could get it done for, say $500, I would bite.

If you do have it done, hang on to the old ones!
:smile: I guess it's the German in me to fix the problem, before there is a problem :wink:

What I have researched on this, and discussed with the service manager, is, that the original plate is prone to failure. That is why they created a new plate that is used on the 2009 models. I have not found any 2009+ R171's with this issue. The new plate is thicker, harder and more heat-resistant.

In one case, the plate can fail, causing an error that malfunctions the valve body to activate unnecessarily or not-at-all. When this happens, it can actually damage the GEARBOX. This did happen to an SLK owner who had to have the entire transmission replaced.

I will pay $1,000 for that piece of mind.
 

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Correct on the coding -- the transmission control unit is considered "theft relevant", and to replace it, one must be online with MB. That's not out of the realm of possibility for an Indy though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Correct on the coding -- the transmission control unit is considered "theft relevant", and to replace it, one must be online with MB. That's not out of the realm of possibility for an Indy though.
Yes. Indeed I did find an indy shop that services heavy duty European trucks (Dump trucks, Concrete etc) who have access to Benz software for alignment and such. However, as far as getting into the transmission, they said it would take someone VERY unique and savvy to get everything necessary for cracking the TCU and transmission software. >:D

I'll keep you all updated as more relevant info is acquired and the service is complete later this week.
 

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I had a discussion with my indy mechanic about this when I had my transmission fluid changed about a year ago. According to him, it wasn't among the top issues he sees in MB cars of the age of the R171 that use the 7G transmission. He didn't recommend replacing the conductor plate on a preventative basis.

I decided to follow his advice and leave it alone. It's difficult to tell how common the issue is based on the forum alone. It seems like a large portion of owners have the problem because they are the only people who bring it up. The outside perspective was enough to convice me. I will bring it in at the first sign of trouble, but my mind is settled until then.

That said, if you can get a deal on the work and it would bring you the peace of mind, I would say do it. There is nothing worse than driving around with nagging doubts all the time.
 
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