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How to Overcome the Gear Selector Problems in Mercedes

by Dutch Silverstein July 5, 2018

Both manual and automatic Mercedes have been known to have gear selector issues. It can be stressful and expensive to deal with gear selector failure, but keeping up vehicle maintenance can help reduce the chances of your Mercedes experiencing gear selector issues. Below are some symptoms to watch out for and some ways to help keep your car in good health.

Symptoms of Gear Selector Issues

It is important to know what to look for if you suspect you may be having problems with your gear selector. One of the first symptoms you might notice is a grinding or clicking noise when switching gears. In automatic vehicles, your car may have trouble shifting gears, and you might notice some jerking as it struggles as you accelerate or decelerate. Additionally, there may be issues with going from drive to reverse.

Causes of Gear Selector Problems

Transmission issues may have similar symptoms to other automotive issues and may be hard to recognize. For a more definitive diagnosis, get your car to a garage as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Worn Transmission

The bands, linkages, cables, and gears of your transmission get worn out over time. It is important to take your Mercedes to get regular tune-ups and inspections. This can help to prevent gear selector failure.

Valve Body Failure

The valve body is important to an automatic transmission. It keeps hydraulic fluid flowing properly which allows you to change gears. You should have a specialist inspect the valve body to see if that is where the gear selector issues are coming from. If the value body is damaged, it will need to be replaced.

Defective Manufacturing

Manufacturing issues can cause many issues including gear selector failure. The shifter module is another part that commonly has manufacturing issues that can cause some similar issues.

Importance of Proper Diagnosis

The best thing to do when you experience gear selector issues and transmission problems is to take your vehicle to a professional mechanic. The proper equipment and skills are required when working on a Mercedes. Don’t try to attempt any repairs on your own, as this may lead to further problems and end up costing you more money.

Gear Selector Cable

The gear selector is connected to the transmission by a cable. Automatics have one cable while manuals have two. The cable engages the transmission in the proper gears which are indicated by the driver. Manual transmissions have two cables because the shifter can be moved both vertically and horizontally.

If the gear selector cable bind or seizes, it can make it hard to change gears. However, if the cable breaks the transmission won’t be able to shift gears at all. Manual transmissions are more likely to have gear selector cable problems because they are used more often than automatics.

Signs Your Gear Selector Cable Needs to be Replaced:

  • The transmission doesn’t engage when you change gears
  • The shifter has to be shimmied for it to go into gear
  • The gear indicator needle doesn’t line up with the selected gear

White Mercedes-Benz C180

Gear Selector Indicator

The gear selector indicator shows which gear your transmission is in. However, only automatic vehicles have an indicator. The shift indicator is attached to a shift indicator cable. The indicator cable moves the shift indicators position to reflect which gear you are in.

Many mechanical-style indicators have a needle that moves along a track. If the needle breaks, the shift indicator won’t be able to display the proper gear your transmission is in. If you gear selector indicator is not working properly, your transmission should be able to still function normally, but it will be harder for you to operate your vehicle. If your shift indicator is digital and stops working, you may need wiring repair or a transmission sensor replacement.

Signs Your Gear Selector Indicator Needs to be replaced:

  • The readout doesn’t change when the shifter is moved
  • The gearshift doesn’t reflect the actual gear you’re in

There are many things that can cause gear selector issues. It’s important to have an understanding of the causes and symptoms of these issues so that you can have them repaired as soon as possible. If you are in or near Pineville, Charlotte, or Greensboro, NC, contact one of our specialists at A&M Auto Service to find out what service option is right for you.

* White Mercedes-Benz C180 image credit goes to: joephotographer.

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