W211 estate judder.

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Apr 20, 2008
I have a 53 plate w211 320 cdi estate that has always had a slight judder when accelerating hard or under load. This has not been a problem as my car is much loved and has a pretty easy life.
A couple of weeks ago. (the day of the Eurotunnel fire). I towed a trailer to France to pick up some building materials. With a fair weight on the draw bar the juddering under acceleration was very noticeable. I have taken it to my local garage who cannot find any play in the transmission and it has just passed its MOT. It has full MB history and has done 87000 miles. Any ideas.

Thanks Geoff
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Glycol contamination of the ATF due to cracked radiator.
Get the ATF tested and the radiator inspected at a dealership. There was a bad batch of valeo radiators which caused this problem.
Mercedes MAY make a contribution toward the repair.
Thanks Dieselman. Will book her in at Tonbridge Mercedes.

Does anyone know how much this will cost if MB dont chip in.
Ask that when you know, then press them for a contribution.

There are varying degrees of contamination requiring varying degrees of fixing.

The worst case is new gearbox, rad and torque converter at about £4.5k.
Hm. Whilst looking at the Honest John website had a look at the W211 entry and has deeply alarmed to see the entry on glycol contamination has changed thus:

"The transmission oil cooler of automatics is sited in the radiator matrix, so failure can lead to coolant entering the transmission and destroying it, leaving the owner with a bill of £4k - £6k. MB responded that this fault only occurred in cars manufactured between 2000 - 2003 and only when a Valeo radiator is fitted, but has occurred in later cars. By August 2008 there was an epidemic of failures with fresh reports every couple of days, dealers quoting £11k to fix and MB usually refusing to pay which effectively writes off a 2003 E Class as scrap. Also affects 2004 registered E Class."

W, if I may make so bold, TF is the story here?
OK now looking for donations for "Save Geffs car from the scrap yard"

Is there anyway of checking this out without the help of a main dealer. Maybe the gearbox and converter are still OK. (slight panic in voice as I write this) Could I just have the Auto Fluid changed and if it drove ok after that. Would that mean I could change the Rad(s) and get away with that? Or do you think I am just hoping. Or if I change the fluid regularly and the Rad how many miles can I run it for before the auto trans packs up. £11000 for a repair might just be out of my pocket. Not sleeping a lot Geoff.
It's not good speculating, just get it checked.
There may be another reason for this anyway.

I know of a case recently on a W203 where MB made an 80% contribution after initially saying bad luck.
i thought the rad problem was sorted on that year? :confused:
Rad at £250, gearbox at £2087 + vat, Torque Converter at £857 + vat and ATF at £72. Fitting at £400
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I am not fluent in German but know enough to get by. This is not offering a recon dox for €299. It is offering to specially flush the gearbox for €299 and if that does not fix your problem then they will re-build your box for a fixed price of from €2000 and they will credit the €299 already spent against the final bill. In other words there is no harm in trying the €299 solution first.
I would follow Dieselman's advice to the letter and not even attempt to try a cheap option.

By that I mean if your first port of call is a specialist of either good repute, or bad, then will they offer a good will repair? Will they even offer to pay a percentage? I note how you tow a trailer and no doubt you never overload it, and never put the transmission under stress, but please be aware you might not have the 'Valeo' problem. If I were a gambling man, then I know where I would put my money, but until you get the thing checked we will never know.

How long have you owned the car? Is there a warranty still in force?

Hopefully you bought the beast from a main dealer and have had the car regularly serviced with them, I say this because it will help with any good will repair and even a 50% contribution will have justified keeping the car maintained by a main dealer. My own thoughts are this should be a free replacement IF IT IS A VALEO fault.

Good luck
Have it booked in for Monday at MB. Still losing sleep. This really is bad, never had this sort of thing from my Omegas. Thanks everyone for there help.

MB say it is just the torque converter that has gone. Rad seems OK but have asked them to check the make. Should get it back Monday, so I will know then.
So, is this not glycol contamination at all, and has that been checked. If not, that's sort of good news.:crazy: :)

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