Any Mercedes techies on here? Auto gearbox content & long story!

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  • Any Mercedes techies on here? Auto gearbox content & long story!
  • 06 CLK 320, 7 speed, 66K. Gears were playing up, as in occasionally sticking in 1st at the most un-opportune times. Took it to a local garage where the guy is an ex Merc technician himself (?) Fault was diagnosed to a faulty electrics pack in the box & the guy fitted a new one. However he couldn’t get it to code in to the valve body, so he took it to Mercedes Harrogate (18 miles in 1st gear!)to see if they’d have any joy. They then said that they couldn’t do it as the codes from the original electrics pack weren’t there (but should’ve been) & now the only solution would be to fit a new valve body with an already coded in electrics pack, which, even though the cost was ridiculous, we were just about to go on holiday & my Mrs needed the car when we got back we said to just do it. Got back from holiday & I went down to pay the local guy, car was running fine etc etc. Being an ex mechanic (not a ‘technician’) i wanted to see what I’d paid for so asked to see the old parts, so our guy gets them back from Merc at a cost of his deposit (exchange parts) of £200. Now here’s the thing, on his workshop floor is the old electrics pack & next to it in a box is the old & not faulty valve body with the electrics pack the he’d fitted. So i asked why I’d paid for the electrics pack that was on the valve body lying on the floor AND the one that was now in the car that Merc had fitted. I said I wanted my money back on an electrics pack (at least)as as far as I was concerned it was faulty but Merc are refusing to warranty it as they say it’s not faulty & they can’t verify what work was done before they got it. (which I can understand)
    Now I know my contract is with the local guy, but where do I go from here?

    Premier Icon geoffj

    Molly’s yer man* for 3 party mechanicing shenanigans.

    *this may not actually be true


    Make sure you have enough AT oil in the gearbox would be my first check, having had a similar locked in ’emergency/crawl’ mode experience with a Merc auto box. I don’t mean to be facetious, but I was also told the same story by a Merc mechanic when I took it to an independent ex-Merc ‘technician’.

    Complicated, it seems, is best.

    Dropped the gearbox sump tray, changed the filters, refitted sump tray, filled it full to the mark with the pink ATF stuff and plug it in to the firkin computer and awayyyyyyyy we went, once more smooth seamless gear changes and being cosseted in luxurious comfort back home on the motorway. Lovely car.

    As for your current situation, tricky one. You wanted the local garage to sort it as you didn’t want to pay the official Merc garage their expensive rates and OE parts costs (which you have to pay pretty much anyway for the bits they said were wrong. The local garage, in good faith and under your instruction to fix it by the time you get back, have done so, but with additional hassle because they don’t have access to the expensive Merc plug-in’s. They therefore have to follow a process of elimination. IOt also sounds like the valve and electrics pack are mated and coded together, so trying to fit one or other with a mis-matched buddy won’t work either.

    Personally, I think you are now being unreasonable with the local garage. They have done what you asked them to do and probably at less cost than if you took it to the dealer. Swallow it, pay the small business and next time think carefully about where you take your expensive to run and maintain Mercedes. I sold my E-class estate for the very reason that it was very expensive to run as it needed plugging in to some box or other to empty the ashtray of sweetie wrappers. Okay, I exaggerate, but you get my meaning?

    The very best you could possibly negotiate, is to come town agreement to share the cost of the extra electric pack, but that would be down to their gesture of goodwill. Or pay in full, take it away and stick it on ebay. Or leave it with the local garage to get their deposit back. Lots of options, do the right thing and sleep well at night.

    Personally, I think you are now being unreasonable with the local garage.
    Really? When did I say I was taking him to court etc etc. My 1st thought was get the pack he’d fitted & stick it on a Merc forum & see if it sells. When you take a vehicle to a garage, you’d expect NOT to pay twice for the same part. (or maybe not?)

    And BTW, I did tell my Mrs, ‘buy a fancy car, your’e gonna pay fancy prices’ Did she listen?


    So being unreasonable is issuing a court order?? 😉

    Not being paid for doing what is requested goes as unreasonable in my world.

    As I said, you asked that they fix it and have it fixed for when you return from holiday, knowing they were not properly able to diagnose or code the required parts, as quite frankly, Mercedes are renowned for needing all the very latest plug-in’s to plug in to so they work properly.

    If Mrs Essel is paying, then let this be a lesson to not buy a fancy car 😉

    Premier Icon tonyg2003

    I’d say that you could get the parts that you paid for, even if they weren’t fitted, then try and sell them on. You may be lucky and get a buyer. I can’t see how the local guy could object, however I think that you and the local guy have been slightly shabbily treated by Mercedes. Finally maybe you should find a local mechanic with a full STAR coding machine? Then you wouldn’t have had the trip to Mercedes mess?

    You are pretty unlucky though the Merc 7G is a pretty reliable auto.

    Slackalice, I omitted to mention that we picked the car up 2 days after we got back as it wasn’t ready on the Monday, no dramas as the Mrs didn’t eventually need it till Wednesday anyway.
    She paid the bill on collection. £2180.00. It wasn’t till I went to check out the parts she’d paid for that I realised we’d paid for 2 electrics packs.
    Between the local guy & Merc, it took 2 weeks to sort. 3 days at the local, the rest at a main dealer.


    I’m sure your OP asked whether or not you were being ‘unreasonable’ by keeping the part and asking for the money, and after re-reading your OP, I can’t see that now, so I must have read your Op incorrectly. I apologise.

    You do now however ask where to go from here and at the end of my first reply, I gave you a few options. We seen to have got hung up on one that you don’t like. Don’t do that one and do the one you like, you can then always appease any conscience with the ‘they said it would be okay’ type of thing and everything will be okay. 😀

    Premier Icon geoffj

    The central issue, is whether or not the local guy should have known that the electrics pack needed the special treatment – either the existing codes, or bought with the valve. If he’s touting himself as a genuine time served merc specialist, then you could argue that he should have known and so he should take the hit. If, however he couldn’t have been expected to know about the special requirements, then you need to at least split the additional costs with him.
    Either way, driving 18 miles in first gear shouldn’t have happened – he sounds incompetent on that basis alone.

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