Protecting the A-Class Grenade a.k.a Automatic gearbox

Discussion in 'Engine' started by TheJoker, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. TheJoker

    TheJoker Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Guys,

    I was wondering if there's any voodoo procedure, or even normal maintenance, or anything really, that one can do to make sure the W168 A-Class' automatic gearboxes stay intact.
    My box has had a recent something-something-something done to it for £2k, and I'm hoping that it would be good from now on.

    So, does anyone know any good stuff to do to it?
    Regular oil changes?
    Careful driving?
    Switch to neutral whilst stuck in traffic lights?
    Chuck some salt over your shoulder to the back seat before starting?

    :thumb:

    It does seem a bit jerky when I slow down to traffic light, especially when doing it slowly. It seems it really wants to keep going, and then when I've almost stopped it gives in to my commands. :dk:

    Thanks!
     
  2. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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    Just drive the car sympathetically as you would a manual car . As you accelerate when you get to the revs you would normally change up - lift off the throttle slightly this will often cause the box to change up.Its a sort of gear change by throttle if you like. Likewise when changing down try not cause the car to over rev and slow the car down on the gearbox clutches---- rather use the brakes more - brake pads are a lot more accessible than gearbox internals. Hope you got a warranty with that repair- should be 2 years if its was by Mercedes or a year with a reputable gearbox specialist . If you feel it is still out of adjustment- take it back and get it set up correctly.
     
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  3. OP
    OP
    TheJoker

    TheJoker Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Thanks for that! :thumb: :rock:
    Mechanical sympathy it is then! :cool:

    I've only had the car for almost 3 weeks, so the repair bill came out of the previous owners pocket. I'm considering contacting the garage where the gearbox repair was handled, apparently the gearbox "was sent to expert" (I believe it says in the receipt). :dk:

    Thanks again!
     
  4. dulayj

    dulayj Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I would make sure that it has correct level for starters! Wouldnt always believe receipt !
    Should be about £40 at the local dealer-or if visiting Horndean contact Olly at PCS-he did a great job changing wifes A210 auto box fluid-its smooth!
     
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  5. OP
    OP
    TheJoker

    TheJoker Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Thanks! I was going to buy a dip stick and check it out, unless I can find a good independent garage near here (North Oxfordshire). I was planning on doing an oil change too. However, the procedure described on Lofty's site is quite intricate, but I guess it'll be good TLC therapy.:cool:

    Horndean is a bit far away from me, but I'll keep it in mind if I have my ways past there. Thanks! :rock: :bannana: :thumb:
     
  6. removed

    removed Guest

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    I got mine A160 two weeks ago and am taking it to Olly tomorrow for a proper check-up :thumb:
     
  7. OP
    OP
    TheJoker

    TheJoker Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Please let us know how much and what was done. :thumb:
     
  8. BlackC55

    BlackC55 Authorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

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    My advice is try and avoid the autos. They are very problematic. Change the fluid, drive it carefully and hope it does not go wrong.
     
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  9. OP
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    TheJoker

    TheJoker Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    This would obviously be easy if a) one would like a manual, or b) there would be another model of the auto box. :doh:

    Thanks! :thumb:

    Lofty's site says that the oil level should be done very carefully to a very specific level and specific temperature. (Bert Rowe's-Mercedes-Benz 'A'-class info. Changing full Automatic Gearbox fluid on Mercedes- Benz 'A' Class ACS transmission Some 2/3 down the page.) Anyone got any opinion on this? :dk:

    I wonder if there's a usage pattern that follows with a failure, such as city driving, loads of cold starts, motorway miles, etc? :confused:
     
  10. area51

    area51 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I particularly wanted an A class, and after having had knee surgery twice (successful at the second attempt), I had to have an auto as operating a clutch pedal was out of the question.

    I gather having a new clutch fitted to a manual A class is not especially cheap. You pay your money,make your choice...

    You can blame me for the procedure for the transmission fluid/filter change on Loftys' excellent website. I changed the fluid/filter on my own car but struggled initially due to a lack of info. I found some of the info I needed on WIS and supplied this to Lofty along with other relevant bits and pieces.Lofty has since added much more to the info,adding pictures etc.

    I did find that the fluid level varied quite a bit dependant on transmission temperature (a good 15 miles or so was needed to get the 'box up to temperature). Also, it was worth the extra time spent getting the fluid level exactly right as the gear change quality seemed much smoother.

    I understand that the 1st gear clutch drum is weak and known to crack, I wonder if too many harsh standing starts may contribute to this? I try to pull away from a standstill as gently as possible!

    Hope this helps
    Chris
     
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  11. DSM10000

    DSM10000 MB Club Veteran

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    Does this apply to all MB automatics or just the A class? My W203 320 is slightly smoother when warmed up and allegedly the ATF was changed in February 2010 but I have no record just the previous garages say so but have no reason to disbelieve them.:dk:
     
  12. Howard

    Howard MB Club Veteran

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    Just the A class.

    MB autoboxes are the best in the world ( except the A class :D )

    Olly changed the gearbox oil on mine ( V8 CLK ) last year , and the difference is night and day , changes are so much smoother.
     
  13. removed

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    Well, back from PCS, completely knackered (guess what - there are no motorways in Nassau) :cool: over 6 hours back and forth and more miles than I do in a week... Still, it was well worth it.

    Really glad Olly didn't send my car to a scrap yard LOL, apparently it's not that bad at all :bannana:

    Just as many before me, very impressed with Olly and the team, great service and a very reasonable price :thumb: so - a BIG THANK YOU!
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
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  14. OP
    OP
    TheJoker

    TheJoker Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Big thanks, Chris!

    I didn't particularly want an A-Class, but I particularly didn't want a small car that was a small car. I wanted as small as possible car, but I didn't want to compromise on the luxury and the ride (even if the A-Class is bumpy compared to a full-size car, it's a lot better than, say a Clio). I've never owned an auto, and I'm a bit fed up with shifting gears, especially as my commute can include a lot of stop-starts. Hence the automatic gearbox.


    No blame, just a big thanks! :thumb: :cool: If it weren't for Lofty's site, and every contributor, I wouldn't have bought the A-Class. So far I've figured that pretty much everything except for a blown engine or grenaded gearbox, I can pretty much do myself, at least for the next 3-4 years. :D

    I'm now thinking that I should put a gearbox oil change quite high up on the TLC list, and my mind wanders over to the practicalities of it. I don't have a car lift (surprise! :p) so it'll probably be ramps and other faffing about. :) Unless someone can recommend a good independent in North Oxon.

    Again, thanks for your input Chris. :rock:
     
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