Your Mercedes-Benz has a reliable, well-built automatic transmission. However, like any other type of vehicle, it is not immune to trouble when it is not properly cared for. Most of the time, these problems are minor, but they can become more serious, such as when your fluid levels are too low or too high.
Chronically low fluid is a sign of a leak and should be fixed. Then, putting in too much fluid happens when you either misread the dipstick or you add fluid when you don't actually need any. Your transmission is designed to run with a certain amount of fluid and pressure. If it's not exact, then you may experience some of the following four problems.
1. Transmission Goes Into Limp Mode
Whenever your transmission sensors feel that there is an unusual change in fluid levels and pressure, then your Mercedes will go into limp mode. This is when the transmission won't shift, and you are unable to drive in anything other than second gear until you shut off and restart the vehicle. You will also see the "service engine" light come on in your car.
Although your car may appear to be working normally after you restart it, you should have it checked out as soon as possible because continued driving may cause more damage.
2. Delayed Shifting
Delayed shifting when your car has completely warmed up is another common sign that your transmission fluid is too low. Your car will rev up higher than usual until it reaches a certain pressure point and changes gear. You may also feel like your transmission isn't catching when you try to start it.
While some delay is normal if you are driving with a cold engine, it should be barely noticeable. If adding a small amount of fluid doesn't improve the problem, then you may need a mechanic to check it out.
3. Rough Shifting
Rough shifting is different from delayed shifting in that you often feel a sharp jolt or clunk whenever you change gear. While this is a sign that the fluid is either too low or too high, it could also mean that you are in need of additional service.
You may need something as simple as a fluid change, a minor part change or regular transmission service. Although it's less common, your car may also have internal damage and will need to be rebuilt.
4. Failure to Go Into a Gear
Failing to go into gear is different from your car going into limp mode. It involves your car repeatedly slipping into neutral or failing to go into gear at all. If this only happens occasionally, then your fluid levels are the first thing that you should check. If your transmission fluid is too low, then there will not be enough pressure to change gears.
If checking and filling the fluid doesn't solve the problem, then you should check and adjust the shift linkage. Keep in mind that you will need a mechanic to check things out because there could also be serious underlying issues with your vehicle.
Transmission fluid that is too low or too high can cause a variety of problems that may appear more serious than they actually are. Not knowing your fluid levels can put your car at risk. If you don't have a dipstick for your Mercedes, then you may want to invest in one.
If you are having problems with your transmission, contact the team at Corporate Auto Works. Our qualified auto technicians provide comprehensive auto repair services for a variety of European vehicles, including Mercedes-Benz. Let us keep your car running at peak performance.