Nag1 TECH ALERT

ksudroge

New member
Can someone on this thread comment on how to check the level? Should the vehicle be in Drive or Park? I put 8 qtrs in after service and added a tranny cooler. When I added the tranny cooler it drained the cooler in the radiator. So, I believe it is still about 1pt or so low but don't want to overfill. The level is about halfway up the dipstick when it is in Park and at operating temp. The dipstick indicates it should be higher. Please help. Thanks.
 

cahaak

New member
I check with the engine off. You need to know if it is cool or hot. I always check with it off and hot. Should be marks on the Dipstick for this.

Chris
 

talkinghorse43

Active member
I check with the engine off. You need to know if it is cool or hot. I always check with it off and hot. Should be marks on the Dipstick for this.

Chris
Of course, the '03 service manual says to check with the tranny in P and the engine running. If you really check with the engine off, you're likely running with less fluid than required as the pump (when running) is supplying fluid to tranny parts above the level in the pan and when the engine is off that fluid drains back down into the pan resulting in a false level reading.
 

GaryJ

Gary
Never heard of checking transmission fluid with the engine off.

From memory: with engine well warmed up, around 180 degrees, with the brake on, move gear selector through drive and reverse, then to park and check with an MB or other high quality dipstick.

Gary
 

tcam999

tcam999
Any chance you guys can give me the "connector plate" part number??


Hey Cip !!!!

Thanks for the thought. I really don't think it's really that big a deal - at least I hope that's the case. :smirk:

The replacement parts are relatively cheap (plastic connector/speed sensor plate - $180, new transmission control module - $136) - they are certainly far less than the cost of a replacement transmission. I was encouraged by the lack of any significant debris in the pan.

The point of posting this here was to illustrate the point of Doktor A's original post that started this thread - that this contamination does occur, it can cause all sorts of transmission misbehavior, and the potential for misdiagnosis does exist - which can be horrifically expensive. Whether contamination ultimately turns out to have been the cause here still remains to be seen of course.

Having it happen while under load certainly was quite inconvenient - and is an experience I would prefer not to repeat, but the work required to troubleshoot and fix it (should it be a wiring issue, a contamination issue, a bad connector/speed sensor board, or a bad TCM) really isn't that difficult - provided you take you time and follow Doktor A's instructions.

As pointed out by Doktor A in his original post, it might well be a wise idea, for high mileage vehicles, to drop the valvebody during a transmission service and clean things up as a preventative measure. Certainly, once one begins to experience anomalous behavior that can't be tied to other causes, this issue merits a look ..... lemme tell ya - being stuck in 2nd gear definitely ain't no fun.
 

abittenbinder

Doktor A (864-623-9110)
Any chance you guys can give me the "connector plate" part number??
The latest part# should be 140 270 11 61. List is approx. $300

It is a relatively fast moving part# so most Mercedes dealers should have it in stock.

Avoid a cheap aftermarket version. Buy it where you like, but make sure it comes in a MBenz box or is at least of German manufacture.

Doktor A
 

fsneeringer

New member
Any chance you guys can give me the "connector plate" part number??
This part can also be purchased from Europarts-SD for about 190 plus 20 dollars shipping (I didn't buy it from them, but all of the other parts for my transmission service came from them). www.europarts-sd.com

On another note:

I wanted to take a minute to thank everyone in this thread for all of the information put forth here (especially Doktor A and Sikwan who made the transmission oil change thread.)

I recently bought my 2005 Sprinter with ~126k miles, and now with 128 ish I've been getting a few limp home mode errors, some resulting in the engine going into the permanent limp home mode.

After buying the Autel scan tool I was able to read and remove the codes, but the LH< would return after a few days to a week. This only happened once more and I knew it was time to perform this service. The code I was getting was N3 speed sensor error.

I drained the oil and dropped the connector plate for a cleaning. There was a fine metal sludge over most things (quite a light coating, but noticeable once cleaned off.) I removed the solenoids and the screens looked good, but the N3 sensor that was throwing the error had some sludge built up on the hardware directly below it. After taking off the plastic section I was able to clean this and the underside of the N3.

With some fresh fluid and the connector plate reassembled, the transmission feels much better. This is the first night of it being back together but I'm hoping this will solve the issue.

On another note, the original transmission fluid seemed quite brown, perhaps somewhat burnt. I'm thinking I will perform another drain/fill operation in 5-10k miles to clean things out better.

One other thing I noticed was my donut magnet had more sludge than I had seen in other pictures here. I can upload photos if people want to see, but I would guess approximately 1/4" of sludge buildup all around the donut.

Now I'm off to find a solution for one of the transmission pan threads I stripped on the bolt - still holding in place, but during torquing I definitely noticed it going past the point of overtightening. I checked for leaks and haven't found any, but I will make sure to replace before it becomes a problem.

Thanks again for everyone's help and info!
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Not that you asked...
...

On another note, the original transmission fluid seemed quite brown, perhaps somewhat burnt. I'm thinking I will perform another drain/fill operation in 5-10k miles to clean things out better.
My experience is that the fluid will lose the red color quite quickly. If it didn't smell burnt I would not let the color worry you.

...
Now I'm off to find a solution for one of the transmission pan threads I stripped on the bolt - still holding in place, but during torquing I definitely noticed it going past the point of overtightening. I checked for leaks and haven't found any, but I will make sure to replace before it becomes a problem.

Thanks again for everyone's help and info!
The bolts are not under great stress. The rubber compresses to form a seal. The fasteners only need to pull the clamp assemblies up against the transmission casting.

Were I you, rather than going to great lengths for repair, I would get some braided picture wire to use as a fix.

The method.

Cut a piece of wire long enough to bend 90 degrees and extend out of the hole after inserted. (I often use a hairpin shape with the "U" in the bottom of the threaded hole.) Grease the bolt. Holding the wire in place, thread the fastener up into the damaged hole. In a blind hole I always keep the end of the wire up a bit from the bottom because the wire can creep down a bit as the fastener threads in. Snug the bolt tight enough, not too tight. It will not vibrate loose.

For many stripped fasteners this works because the braided wire forces the bolt threads over into the remnants of the stripped threads. A hairpin shape of thin regular solid wire may work, but I find braided wire to work best. The braided wire will conform to the old threads to form a bit better repair.

:2cents: vic

ADDED:
Never check the transmission fluid with the engine not running. The drain back to the pan is inconsistent. An engine off reading has little value. The reason it is recommended to shift to drive and reverse before a transmission fluid level check is to assure that the fluid is properly distributed to the components before a level check.

Some checking information is here.

”HOT” Check the Transmission Fluid Level without Temperature Readings

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?p=515704

This may save someone the expense of a dealer visit, or the effort needed to obtain the transmission temperature. It is also posted in my Stoopid Things thread.

”HOT” Check the Transmission Fluid Level without Temperature Readings

Mercedes Benz recommends knowing the transmission temperature reading before checking the fluid level. The transmission temperature information is not readily available to most people. There have been many discussions about how the transmission level should be checked. My opinion is that an "in the range" fluid level reading is safely obtained by getting the engine and transmission "HOT" like most all other vehicle manufacturers specify in their operator manuals.

Background information follows. You may skip down to my procedure below if you don't want to bother with my copied, pasted, and modified ramblings.
*******************************
Everyone who owned a Detroit iron vehicle has been checking their transmission fluid level using the operator manual instructions since they began to care. Never did you see anything but "Hot" so nobody questioned that there might be an important associated critical level change which required graphing fluid height vs temperature. And there isn't a critical level change when the transmission is "hot".

JD's question about checking the level cold made me more aware of that. The delta T (change in temperature) at ambient can range in my area from -10F to 95F depending upon the season. A normal "hot" Sprinter transmission around the 180F engine temperature mark (which mine hangs around under normal driving conditions) has a much tighter delta T. That, and making certain the transmission fluid is distributed properly in the operating transmission, is why transmission fluid is measured idling "hot" with the transmission typically having first been shifted to reverse, forward and then back into neutral or park.

Discussions on the forum indicate that the Sprinter transmission temperature in typical normal operation runs within 10F range of the engine coolant temperature. Thanks mostly goes to TH43 for that info. As I show below, in the "Hot" range that is a 2.5 mm or less than 1/8" possible dipstick level error.

Here's a chart that Dick Autostaretx was so kind to provide. If you look at the possible measuring error at 176F as opposed to +/- 10F (around 180F) I think you will see that it is a very small potential error. The change from 170F to 190F (a full 20F delta) is around 5 mm (approx. 3/16"). Please look at 3/16" on a ruler scale to help remind you how little distance that is.

View attachment 81964


I don't recommend "flying blind". I recommend getting the engine temperature up to the 180F range "HOT" and then checking the transmission fluid level per the procedure.

The MB engineers and marketing people are smart. Smart enough to know that specifying a transmission temperature and having an associated graph is good business.

Let's see... If we put out a tight temperature specification (which can only be read by our sophisticated scan tool) for transmission level testing then the customer will need to come into the dealership for that service. Oh wait...:doh: if they have a dipstick then they may just wing it. Call production and have them eliminate all transmission dipsticks. Design some sort of red security tab to seal the tube too. That should scare them away from messing with it. Have Helga submit the U-CAN-HELPII cost reduction saving form for dipstick elimination. Inform the dealerships we found a way to increase repeat business by having them come in for the fluid level checks. :dripsarcasm::dripsarcasm:

If one is concerned about getting the transmission fluid level up to the top of the range then an ambient temperature of 60F to maybe 75F "Hot Test" should be ideal. For those willing to be happy with being somewhere within the range then the ambient becomes less critical. Remember, 20F delta is only 3/16" error.

I can't argue that, if you possess the means, the best way is to access the temperature. That said, a "Hot Test" is better than no test at all.
For those interested more discussion and detail is provided in this thread.
https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14804

Should you have any discussion or comments about my "Hot Check" please take it over to that thread.

*******************************


HOT Check Procedure

Take your Sprinter for a drive until the engine temperature has been operating at around 180F for a time. That will assure that the drivetrain is up to a "Hot" operating range. Find a level area to park. You can then follow the MB transmission fluid level test instructions.

This method will also work in lieu of the MB instructions.

After warming as described above, idle your engine for a bit. Don't shutdown the engine. Without actually moving the vehicle shift into reverse for a bit, into drive for a bit and then back to Park. This assures that the fluid is distributed in the various sections and passages. Check your transmission level while the engine is running. If you are within the acceptable 176F Hi/Low (Max/Min) range on the dipstick then replace the dipstick cap (after over 80,000 Sprinter miles I know that the red seal is not necessary) and close the hood. If you think that the level needs to be at exactly the tip top then you should acquire the temperature information. FWIW. vic

DIY dipstick reading tip: A DIY dipstick may not show fluid level as clearly as the OEM $$$ unit. I find that if I wipe the stick well immediately before inserting it into the dipstick tube, carefully draw it out, and then press the end flat against a flat piece of paper towel the fluid is easily read by what wicks onto the paper towel. I also find that after filling the transmission via the dipstick tube it is best to wait for quite some time before doing a level check. Otherwise the fluid hanging in the inside of the tube gets on the DIY dipstick as it is pushed in which makes seeing the level on the stick more difficult.

This is one type factory style dipstick.

View attachment 81965
 
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fsneeringer

New member
Thanks Vic, I'll give that a try.

The problem of N3 speed sensor error has returned.

One thing I noticed was that the connector to the electro-hydraulic unit had some transmission fluid in it, so I ordered and used some contact cleaner on the plug as well as the inside. I also replaced the plug adapter and have noticed no leakage since doing that.

To get the symptoms to show, I find that if I drive around and warm the engine/transmission up with about 10 minutes or more of 5th gear driving/maintaining speed, then do some lower speed driving in 2nd/3rd/4th gear the problem will return. Not an immediate DTC and LHM, but some strange shifting from the transmission and a N3 speed sensor error when I read the trouble codes.

It sounds like a similar story to rlent's experience much earlier in this thread. I'm also wondering if there were specific spots on/near the N3 speed sensor I could have cleaned better, or if it's more likely that this sensor is just kaput and I need to order another electro-hydraulic unit. My thought is unfortunately the latter. There is one hinge area for the N2/N3 speed sensors that I didn't pay much attention to when the unit was out, and now thing that it might be an area that could be cleaned better. That being said, if I'm going to drop the unit again I will probably just replace it. Any thoughts?

I will go ahead and check the TCM side connector to make sure oil hasn't migrated up that way, but I feel like I might have more consistent problems if that were the case. Anyway, I figure it's worth a try before I order 200 dollars worth of parts.

Thanks,
Frank
 

fsneeringer

New member
OK, I pulled the TCM after disconnecting the negative battery terminal and cleaned the TCM with contact cleaner. Oil had migrated up the wiring loom to the connectors, pooled in the female portion of the connectors on the TCM but didn't appear to have migrated inside of the TCM when I took it apart.

I cleaned all of the parts and reassembled them, and now am getting more DTC's than I was before this cleaning. I have a couple of theories, but right now I'm more confused than anything. Theory one is that the cooling effect of the contact cleaner caused some condensation on the TCM, and even though I wiped it clean after there may still be enough moisture there to cause issues. Theory two is that in the cleaning process of the wire looms and plugs that one of the plugs may have been jostled loose from the terminal, but I think that is a reach. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

The codes I read with my Autel scanner - is there any reason I would need a different scanner than this? I have successfully read and reset codes before with this scanner.

- P2203 Speed sensor '3' is faulty (this is what I had before.)
- P2602 The voltage supply of the valves is faulty
- P1926 CAN communication is faulty
- 2225-1 Fault of control module A4 (ETC [EGS] control module) The voltage supply of the speed sensors is faulty
- 2224-1 Same as above

I'm going to try and re-clear the codes again tomorrow morning and if I have no luck start troubleshooting the wiring/connections (as much as I can by myself.) If there are any suggestions or if anyone has seen this behaviour before and direction is appreciated.

Thanks,
Frank
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
...

- P2203 Speed sensor '3' is faulty (this is what I had before.)
- P2602 The voltage supply of the valves is faulty
- P1926 CAN communication is faulty
- 2225-1 Fault of control module A4 (ETC [EGS] control module) The voltage supply of the speed sensors is faulty
- 2224-1 Same as above

...

Thanks,
Frank
A problem with the regulated power supply voltage(s) could result in various codes, but they might all trace back to the voltage not being correct.

Are there any aftermarket electronics tagged on to the Sprinter electrics?

Sorry I can't offer more.
 

Dougflas

DAD OWNER
It might be a good reason to call Silver Star transmissions in OK. They do answer questions and give advice.
 

Neil2

Neil
Good question:Upscale (highly recommended on many forums repeatedly) price for transmission service was 1/2 from Ron Tonkin quote,big mistake on my part """"very sorry""""
I can't tell if you mean Upscale was twice Tonkin's or vice versa. :hmmm:
 

fsneeringer

New member
A problem with the regulated power supply voltage(s) could result in various codes, but they might all trace back to the voltage not being correct.

Are there any aftermarket electronics tagged on to the Sprinter electrics?

Sorry I can't offer more.
I don't know of any aftermarket electronics.

As of a few days ago, I have replaced the electrohydraulic unit, filter, and filled with new fluid and have had no problems at all since the change out - although I've only driven about 50-60 miles. The problem was manifesting itself quite quickly though. I will update if I experience symptoms again.

Thanks again to everyone for all of your help.

Frank
 

Yendormiller

New member
I hope this isn't a dumb question but should I clean the transmission conductor plate, solenoids, sensors, etc. with a certain product or with brake parts cleaner/carb cleaner/mass air flow cleaner? And how do I go about cleaning? Thanks so much
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
I hope this isn't a dumb question but should I clean the transmission conductor plate, solenoids, sensors, etc. with a certain product or with brake parts cleaner/carb cleaner/mass air flow cleaner?
Other posts have indicated that some members have used brake cleaner and some have used carb cleaner. Personally I wouldn't choose/go to mass air flow cleaner, but maybe it would be fine. It must be ok for plastic and electrical parts.

And how do I go about cleaning? ...
I my opinion, that may be the dumb question. (No offense intended.)

Unless you have symptoms my recommendation would be to leave things alone. There are possible pitfalls to messing with the conductor plate and cleaning. Even Doktor A backed away from his periodic cleaning recommendation.

If you have no symptoms I would do a TC/pan drain, filter, and refill with proper transmission fluid.

:2cents: vic
 

abittenbinder

Doktor A (864-623-9110)
Unless you have symptoms my recommendation would be to leave things alone. There are possible pitfalls to messing with the conductor plate and cleaning. Even Doktor A backed away from his periodic cleaning recommendation.

If you have no symptoms I would do a TC/pan drain, filter, and refill with proper transmission fluid.
Yes! Save the cleaning of the speed sensors and electrical board for serious symptoms only.

Doktor A
 
Help Doctor help! My 2003 sits a lot. I took it out for a warm up drive of about 200 miles. I had a slight rumble as I stopped. When I pulled out it did not downshift. I was 60 miles from, home and on limited access road. It came up to speed slowly as I did not want to screw anything up. It would not shift with the paddle. I got home. Turned off the motor. Restated and everything worked. Drove a little and did it again. Did the same drill, off and on, then was okay again. I bought used and have never had the transmission serviced. Could I expect that service is the issue?
 

abittenbinder

Doktor A (864-623-9110)
Have someone with a high end diagnostic tool communicate with the TCM. There will be a fault code(s) that was generated by your repeated recent transmission LHM.

If the code(s) involve issues related to low fluid levels, service the transmission and replace the harness socket connector which may be seeping fluid during your prolonged periods of unuse.

Doktor A
 
What are considered "serious symptoms"? Maybe a better question is, what are the symptoms that this tech alert will address?

Would a compromised speed sensor cause a hard shift? Hard downshift? Hard upshift? Specific to one gear?

Is there a shop in Seattle that is familiar with this procedure?
 

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