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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My car originally had a problem with the shifter stuck in only D or N, would not move into P or R. This caused the key to be stuck due to not being able to move to P. Other than than, the car drove fine and still shifts good. Drove it to the dealer to figure out what the problem is and now they are saying the gear shifter assembly needs to be replaced. $1,500! Even worse, they don't have any in stock and it is on back order even in Germany. So basically I'm kind of stuck. The dealer recommended i try to find a used part and they would install it (which I didn't even think they would do) but here comes my question.

I am considering ordering the shifter and installing it myself. It doesn't seem like too big of a job, but does the new shifter have to be programmed to my car before it will work? I hate to do all the work and still have to take it back to the dealer to program.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

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My car originally had a problem with the shifter stuck in only D or N, would not move into P or R. This caused the key to be stuck due to not being able to move to P. Other than than, the car drove fine and still shifts good. Drove it to the dealer to figure out what the problem is and now they are saying the gear shifter assembly needs to be replaced. $1,500! Even worse, they don't have any in stock and it is on back order even in Germany. So basically I'm kind of stuck. The dealer recommended i try to find a used part and they would install it (which I didn't even think they would do) but here comes my question.

I am considering ordering the shifter and installing it myself. It doesn't seem like too big of a job, but does the new shifter have to be programmed to my car before it will work? I hate to do all the work and still have to take it back to the dealer to program.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
The shifter does not need to be programmed. There is a transmission controller that is located inside the trans, but it is only for the functioning of the actual transmission.

Check LKQ at LKQonline.com. The shifter may not be a part they show on their web site as it is not a typical wear out item. But, you can call their customer service line and they can tell you which of their 100's of dismantling yards have SLKs. Then you can call the individual yards (have customer service email to you each of the car VINs and the yard phone numbers as there will be many to cull through) that have the actual car and inquire on the shifter. There can be a significant price difference between yards so you may want to check with more than one yard that actually has the shifter. You should get the MB part number before hand so you can confirm they have the correct part.

Send me a PM with the VINs and I can tell you which cars have automatic transmissions (most will). Good luck.
 

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he cannot send any pms until he gets to 15 posts. he can send the pm to me and i will forward to you :D
 

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I could look up the vins also or you could pm him your email address and then commo between emails. either way! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Finally picked up my car from the dealer yesterday. Of course they weren't able to fix anything because they said the part was on back order and they had no idea when it was going to arrive. I still hadn't received the shifter I bought, so I decided I would just tinker around and see if I could temporarily fix the problem so I could at least get the key out of the car. After about an hour of removing the shift assembly and disassembling it, I am proud to say that I found the culprit for my problem and now the shifter is working like new again. The problem ended up being a piece of plastic about half the size of a dime that broke off from somewhere and was lodged in the bottom of the shifter assembly. I haven't seen very much detailed info about removing the shift assembly on the R171 so I took a bunch of pictures and I will be posting them later today. Thanks guys for all your help! I guess now I will have an extra shift assembly, just in case!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'll start with after I removed the gear knob and cover at center console. Three nuts to remove, which frees the assembly.
http://www.slkworld.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=269121&thumb=1

Removed two electrical connectors from the back.
http://www.slkworld.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=269129&thumb=1
http://www.slkworld.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=269137&thumb=1

Detached ignition switch control cable from the back. This comes off with a twisting motion, I believe twist to the left to remove. (if I remember correctly)
http://www.slkworld.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=269145&thumb=1

Close up of the ignition switch control cable
http://www.slkworld.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=269153&thumb=1

I was now able to lift the assembly enough to see the clip that attached the assembly to the shift rod. The clip just slides out, be careful not to drop it down the hole! I used needle nose pliers for this.
http://www.slkworld.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=269161&thumb=1

Using a wire hanger I was able to secure the shift rod after removing the shift assembly.
http://www.slkworld.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=269169&thumb=1
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Now I brought the assembly inside the house and I could start taking it apart. Shifter still will not move into P or R at this point.


Removed two screws that hold the casing together.


This part was tricky, because it still did not want to come apart after I removed the screws. The yellowish part was glued to the black part on the bottom. Used a small flat head screwdriver to pry the two parts apart. I put the screwdriver between the two yellow piece and the black piece and and tapped it with a hammer and it popped off pretty easy.


There is an electrical connector hiding under this black tab. You need to remove this before the yellow plastic piece will come off.



This is what it looked like after the top yellow plastic was removed.


Removed a small black plastic piece that seemed to be a lever the the solenoid pushed against. Sorry, I missed the picture on this piece... came off easy as it was only attached with a small metal clip.

Now I could start to hear something rolling around in the bottom of the casing, but I couldn't see it. Removed the solenoid so I could get a better view. Two screws and one electrical connector.



After removing the solenoid I was able to reach my screwdriver down in there and out pops a little piece of plastic! Tried the shifter and it now will shift into all gears with ease! Needle nose pliers for scale.


Put everything back together in the reverse order and the car started and shifted like new. Dealer quoted $1500 to replace this shifter. Can't believe I fixed it for free. Hope this helps someone else, because I was really nervous to take everything apart.
 

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Since this thread has been resurrected, I thought I would clarify something I posted in post #2 . While the new gear shifter/selector will not need to be coded, if the old selector actually failed (not as it is discussed in this thread where something foreign jambs the selector) then the old selector probably would have set fault codes and those codes will need to be cleared before the replacement selector will function correctly. Hope that helps.
 
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