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Mercedes 1991 300se car won't shift higher than 1st gear.

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diegonative's picture
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HEllO,

My car starts fine and seemingly runs fine. It will just not shift higher than 1st gear.
I looked under the car at the transmission and checked the fluid. I just have no clue as to what to look for.

Any Suggestions.

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BoiseBenzes's picture
Boise, ID
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1987 300SDL
1983 300DT
Re: Mercedes 1991 300se car won't shift higher than 1st gear.

On the older 126s this problem is frequently found to be the kickdown switch/wiring/solenoid. According to the repair CD (CD1\ETM\126from86.pdf, sheet 109, page 22), your car has the same system.

Under the fuel pedal is an electric switch. When you floor it, it sends an electric signal to the solenoid on the right rear of the transmission case. Frequently the malfunction is the switch sticks or gets wonky.

The easiest way to test it is to remove the relevant fuse (should be #5). This will isolate the electrical part of the system, but if the valve is mechanically jammed it won't help.

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James Marriott 1987 300SDL (155k, mein Auto, 100% homebio 3 years) 1983 300D (221k, frau Auto, 100% homebio 3 years) 1997 Suburban (149k, gas/4WD towmaster 6000) www.engineeringworks.biz 1982 300SD junker, 265k

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Re: Mercedes 1991 300se car won't shift higher than 1st gear.

Your car normally starts out in second gear not first. A jammed downshift switch described above can cause the situation you describe and is very likely if you have had the drivers side carpet out recently. Another possibility worth looking at is the shifter rod bushings.

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Re: Mercedes 1991 300se car won't shift higher than 1st gear.

The problem is when the car is in Drive...It will not go faster than 25-30- mph...

I can drive the car in 2nd gear and third gear...the problem is getting the car to high speeds.

ANY IDEAS!!!

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Re: Mercedes 1991 300se car won't shift higher than 1st gear.

This is from the manual that covers your transmission.

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Virginia Beach VA

87 300SDL
95 E300D

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1995 S350
Re: Mercedes 1991 300se car won't shift higher than 1st gear.

diegonative;182264 wrote:
The problem is when the car is in Drive...It will not go faster than 25-30- mph...

I can drive the car in 2nd gear and third gear...the problem is getting the car to high speeds.

ANY IDEAS!!!

This sounds like a fuel starvation problem.

Your transmission ALWAYS starts out in first gear.

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New York club member since 1976.

Continuous Mercedes ownership since 1964.

1993 300SD with '99 606 engine. 111,040 miles.
1994 S350   75,238 miles
1995 S350 148,124 miles.
1996 S420 with '99 606 engine  Sold
1999 S600  one of 14 imported  Sold 
1989 Bentley 8  Sold at 40,000 miles.

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Re: Mercedes 1991 300se car won't shift higher than 1st gear.

How about reverse? How is it working?

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Virginia Beach VA

87 300SDL
95 E300D

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