E320CDi W210 stuck in park

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New Member
Apr 24, 2007
Mercedes S320CDi
Id like to pass on this bit of info which might save someone a few hundred quid, My E320 broke down in York last Saturday the engine started but I could not get the auto gear lever out of park, i prized out the window switch facia and used a pen to operate the selector solenoid, which got me home in second gear in the limp home mode. After studying the forums on the web, 2 common causes came to light, the brake pedal switch, which had only been replaced the year earlier and the selector mechanism, I decided to look at the selector, before giving in and taking the car to my local indi garage, the WIS manuals state that the selector should not be stripped down, but no way was i giving in without trying, I carefully prized out the summer/winter switch with a screwdriver, underneath which was a printed circuit board, the switch is not connected by wires, it has a flap that covers a photo cell on the circuit board when operated, what i found was the circuit board was coated with years of dust which was probobly mixed with whatever cleaning fluid had been used to clean the facia over the years, with the key removed from the ignition switch, i sprayed the circuit board with electronic contact cleaner, and used an artiste brush to carefully remove the gunge, I left it to dry for a few hours. then as a precaution used a hair dryer to make sure it was completely dry, i refitted the S/W switch, and turned on the ignition, the park indicator on the display came on which was a good start, as this was not on whilst the fault was present, i pressed the brake, i was able to select Reverse Neutral and drive, then a test drive proved that the gears were were changing.
A week later and every thing is still fine. I wonder how many selector units have been replaced due to this problem in the past.
i dont think you have to remove the switch panel to get it out of park.. you can shove the pen down the slot thats already there.. or maybe thats just on the tiptronic versions.
^ You are correct, and of course the op has that box. But a very useul post anyway. Thanks Bigdw.
Excellent investigative and diagnostic work, very innovative.
thanks for this useful post I will ask my three year old son not to put biscuit/bread crumbs on the selector s/w or to more truthfully I have to control my son better in future.

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