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Nelson Garcia
Nelson Garcia, Mercedes Technician
Category: Mercedes
Satisfied Customers: 1094
Experience:  6 Years Mercedes Benz Dealer Technician, 5 Years Master Certified
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my 1997 C230 will not shift out of 1st gear, is it in safe

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my 1997 C230 will not shift out of 1st gear, is it in safe mode? How can I ge t it to shift?
Has anything been recently done to the vehicle? You should check to see if there is a code in the engine or trans. This will tell you if it is in safe mode. You may have a problem with the trans electrical plate which would normally trigger a code for the speed sensor in the trans.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Nothing has been done to this car regarding the transmission or engine. Can I reset the system by removing the battery. There is no check engine light lit. Would a transmission problem cause the cel to lite?
The transmission problem with the electrical plate may or may not cause the engine light to light up. There may still be a code even if the light is not on. Removing the battery terminal probably will not erase this code if it is stored but it won't hurt to try it out. Checking for codes with a scanner is the best option to spend less in the repair to be honest.
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.


I checked for codes and got a P0700 ... improper gear ratio

I don't know where to go from here tho.

This code sounds like it is the one that causes this problem with the trans electrical plate. My recomendation would be to check the speed signal in the transmission while driving with a scanner to make sure it is not working or inaccurate. However i am aware this may not be possible due to lack of tools on your part, so if you don't wish to take it to someone to test this i would go ahead and replace the transmission electrical plate located in the the transmission above the valve body. You must drain the trans pan then remove it. Then remove the trans electrical plug from the right front of the trans. Then use a 7mm 1/4in socket with short extension to remove the bolt holding the electrical plug then remove the electrical plug housing. Remove the torx screws holding the metal valve body directly above where the pan was. Then gently pull it down being careful not to snag any plastic parts. Place the valve body on a bench or workspace clean from dirt and debris. Then you will see the electrical plate on the top of the valve body. It is a black plastic plate with electrical connections and solenoids. Remove the solenoids by removing the torx bolts holding the metal clips down. Place them in order or label them to ensure the correct installation and direction of installation. Remove the electrical plate once finish by unclipping it from the valve body. Install the new one in the reverse order. Install a new electrical connector housing because they leak. Note: there should be two o rings when you remove the old one...make sure they are accounted for and on the old plug or remove them from the hole. It will now fit if one remains in the hole. Good luck.

Edited by Nelson Garcia on 7/16/2010 at 4:09 PM EST
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for the detailed description. I have not had an oportunity to try this, since we were on vacation when it failed. I had the car brought home on a trailer(500 miles). AAMCO wanted to rebuild it(of course) for $2k. I paid $1500 for the car. This car has also had a problem shifting under load. I've bought the spring for the solenoid valve body that might correct this but haven't installed it yet either.
If you have any other thoughts on this please let me know.
Thanks again
I will let you know if there is anything else i can think of. Thank you for your payment. If you decide you need the instructions to remove the plate let me know and i'll see what i can come up with for you.

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