my car wont shift out of 1st gear. what would cause this? its an automatic.

Asked by Sep 14, 2007 at 05:58 AM about the 2004 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

not sure if its relevant but the battery died right before it happened. the battery hasnt been replaced yet.

43 Answers


Sounds like the transmission may have kicked into stay-alive mode because of low battery voltage. Replace the battery and see if that solves the problem.

79 of 79 people found this helpful.

The later model mercedes benz have an electronic gear shift assembly and I would not have a soda or coffee spill over the gear shift console because it will short the assembly out and your car transmission will not shift out of lower gear or will stay in a lim mode or you can manually shift to the D by depressing the buttom on the console. Good luck

64 of 64 people found this helpful.

i have the same problem with may mercedes-benz happin to 2 of them both c280 98,00, cause i let my detail man clean my car and he high pressure spray my engine now the car acts funny, it drives, but doesnt wanna shift outta of 1st gear? idk y its doing this i kno the car is wet i let dry for couple weeks & still the same thing & this is 2nd time

112 of 112 people found this helpful.

check gearbox oil level if its low it wont change up gears or will be slow to change up

56 of 56 people found this helpful.

The transmission is computer controlled a dead battery would affect it. Did you get a jump start from somebody? If you jumped the car incorrectly you could cause damage to the electrical system and possibly damaged the transmission computer and even the ECU.

50 of 50 people found this helpful.

my car wont go into ger is a clk 430 what can i do so that i can drive

55 of 55 people found this helpful.

If you have a late model c-class/clk and you can't shift it out of Park (P), try this... Open up the armrest/ storage compartment in the centre console, behind the gear shifter. Pull out the black liner thing at the front of the compartment. You should now see a hole in the front wall of the compartment where you just pulled the liner out. insert a suitably sized screw driver until you feel it stop on something inside the hole. Now, grab the gear lever and pull it out of park while at the same time pushing the screw driver against the thing that stopped it. This should activate the emergency release allowing you to drive the car but be warned, if you don't take the car to a garage to get the problem fixed then you will have to do this every time you want to drive the car.

19 of 19 people found this helpful.

Question: I have a 2007 Chevy Malibue and it wount shift out of first gear yes it"s automatic What can I check to find the problem

38 of 38 people found this helpful.

i have a Mercedes c230 model 1999 with auto electric Transmission: it's stuck in 1 gear and dose not change the gears!! when i pull on gear it shake's all the car... i'm based in kabul Afghanistan unfortunately there is no any good mechanic for Mercedes to know the problem of it!! Any one have an idea, what is the solution please?

284 of 284 people found this helpful.

My C320 would stuck at neutral when stop. Mb dealer charges 3000 to replace Transmission Control Board and Electronic Shift Module. Any comments?

56 of 56 people found this helpful.

I have a C350 and they are charging me $6,000

17 of 17 people found this helpful.

I have a C200 1.8 petrol auto. For some reason it became low on transmission fluid and the gear changes became clunky, so I took it straight to my mechanic. He filled the transmission fluid up and the gear changes were back to normal, however it will suddenly just stick in 3rd gear. When it does this it will not let me manually change gear and I cannot switch between Sport and Comfort mode. As soon as it is turned off and resets, approx 30 secs, it is fine to drive again. Anyone got any ideas please?

132 of 132 people found this helpful.

2000 Mercedes E320 has the same problem as Detailerdeb had described "Detailerdeb answered 2 months ago I have a C200 1.8 petrol auto. For some reason it became low on transmission fluid and the gear changes became clunky, so I took it straight to my mechanic. He filled the transmission fluid up and the gear changes were back to normal, however it will suddenly just stick in 3rd gear. When it does this it will not let me manually change gear and I cannot switch between Sport and Comfort mode. As soon as it is turned off and resets, approx 30 secs, it is fine to drive again. Anyone got any ideas please?"

108 of 108 people found this helpful.

Hi can anyone help me on my e500 w211 year 2005 .when I shift in D or R it give a shock and on D its dnt change gear it stuck on 1st. Speed sensor check, solenoid check, filter change, oil change.

57 of 57 people found this helpful.

It could be your transmission module......

18 of 18 people found this helpful.

Hi All. thanks for this blog it helped alot, I have MB C200k Avantgarde petrol 1999, I have some weird and strange problem, Every day after few minutes of driving, The Rpm raves by itself with out me touching the accelator(in neutral) and the other problem is when i switch off the car the , its like i switched off the car 4 times in a row ,, i mean all the electronics go of on off on of on for in am tter of sec....i hope i an get some advices...many thanks

19 of 19 people found this helpful.

I got a Mercedes you can start it and put it in gear and it won't go what could be the problem any body have a clue

58 of 58 people found this helpful.

240 c class 2002

24 of 24 people found this helpful.

Before anyone spends too much money at a Dealership to have a shift problem looked at, check your battery. If it is weak (still may start car and lights are fine, but lacks sufficient volts/amps) it will send error codes to the computer and cause shifting (stuck in 1st or 2nd) problems. Change the battery and reset ALL of your error codes (usually requires a technician not just disconnecting your negative Batt. connection) and your car will be back in shape. If this doesn't work, then the problem could be with the transmission control module. Sometimes the trans. leaks fluid on the module and ruins the circuits. Usually it is just the battery that causes this issue....

47 of 47 people found this helpful.

Plz guys I need help I have a Mercedes c180 coupe auto for some reason my car drives but won't go over 3rd gear sports or normal mode button won't work and trip tronic does not aswell plz could help me

38 of 38 people found this helpful.

I got a 2001 c320 that wont go past reverse. Will go to park tho.did I break some or is it my transmission

17 of 17 people found this helpful.

Hi thanks for this forum its really helpful. I am having a problem with my C230, 2006 model it has a v6 engine 272 and manual transmission. Now the car starts and idles but does not rev. On the cluster there are two messages that are popping up. .. 1. It says check coolant level 2. Alternator not charging Now coolant is there and the battery is actually full. What can cause the problems of not revving on this car? Please help

26 of 26 people found this helpful.

What can i do to fix my mercedes Benz. E500 it turns on but wont run

12 of 12 people found this helpful.

Hi i have a 2006, C280 it stuck in 2nd gear, also I have change the transmission module and it still truck in 2nd. can some one help me please

17 of 17 people found this helpful.

Try resetting your transmission. 1- turn key to third position 2- Push gas pedal to the floor and hold for 1 min. 3- turn key back to off position 4- leave key in ignition and wait for dash lights to go out completely with out opening door. 5- reset should be complete. 6- this will put your transmission back to factory settings. new MB's have the capacity to learn driving habits, and your transmission will shift according to your driving habits. when resetting your transmission be sure to be on open road. the first 45 shifts will be your new shift patterns.

19 of 19 people found this helpful.

how can you manually move the gearshift in 1999 clk 320, there is no pin hole on top or under cover, or no yellow tap or button on back on mechanism to push. Its stuck in park.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

My 2011 dodge won't shift out of first gear

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

My 2006 Mercedes C180 Kompressor auto went strange today, Battery alternator light came on, radio went off indicators didn't work interior lights didn't work, ABS & SRS lights and coolant light came on and car wouldn't change gear, every so often it would rectify itself. Got it home turned engine off and back on and it was ok

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

ok guys i know im kinda late but my mercedes is stuck in 2nd gear limp mode wont go from there or change the driving modes its stuck in sport ive chaged the conductor plate oil filter oil pan it was shifting for a 5 mins and it stopped again i also checked the tcm on it and it was good and my battery is brand new can it be that the small battery is low and it doesn't let it shift or should i check my ecu

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Same trouble here

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I fixed mine replaced conductor plate erased all the codes and bam shifts like a brand new car doesn't slip anymore

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

i have a c330 cdi auto 2004.stuck gear one dosent shift. i replaced battery but didnt work. i went to mercedes for Diagnostic test they found floor shift module. i just would like to know what to do?


Try resetting your codes it may help but the code is gonna come back eventually than you replace the part thats broken and reset codes again and thats it thats what i did to mine P.S find somebody who has like professional equipment for check engine light reset


my car can change to gear 3..only 1and2.....what could be the cause

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Same answer conductor plate or just erase the codes


I have a 2003 c230 kompressor hatchback. Car goes into limp mode. Changed trans conductor plate a few yrs ago on something unrelated. Recently had the transmission taken apart, cleaned out, etc and put back together. Cost like 2200. Mechanic says if it happens again it needs a whole new transmission. I don't believe him. Cages not been driven heavily and onl had like 140k Mis. I am thinking it's something small an he doesn't want to take the time to investigate and would rather just replace it all. Any ideas?

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Check your speed sensors idk what else man trannys don't die on these cars that easy. And btw find a mechanic that only works with the transmissions he has all the right equipment and also check your battery voltage and make sure its tge right battery for your car nothing smaller and nothing bigger. Also check you tcm (transmission control module) that might be a problem. Idk what else man it took me a few days to figure my car out. So have fun with it it's just a piece of german garbage lol. Im fixing my alternator right now i can't drive this piece of junk for couple of days without him breaking some stupid shit for no reason. So anyways do as i said check everything it's gonna take time and nerves but it's worth it after its fixed


My merc want change gears when inn drive

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Good Morning, I am having the same problem in the changes of my car mercedes CLA 220 auto amg. The car made a noise when it was driving and it went down. Then I called and when I made changes it made a strange noise to scratch, but now it does not shift. Mercedes does not know what to say, the panel shows problems in the gearbox, the car turns on but it does not leave the parking lot, that is, it does not make changes. He said it was the electric plate of the gearbox, I changed it and the problem remains, the car does not walk because it does not make shift.


1999 slk230. Stuck in nuetrslChanged fluid, filter, conductor plate and 13 pin connector. Shifted great for 300 miles. Then stuck in 1st. Changed tcm, shifted for 50 miles, now its stuck in first again does anyone really know the answer to this problem?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Try changing your shifter buddy my merc had same problem i took off the shifter and replaced it and it works now. But something is really wrong w the whole car now the key won't turn when i put it in ignition and i just gave up and bought a new car mercedes sucks ass big time

what is the SW Baton in Mercedes benz next to the shifting geer


the sw button is for summer and winter driving. in winter mode, the car starts off in second gear so the tires don't spin so easily

Your Answer


Looking for a Used C-Class in your area?

CarGurus has 25,229 nationwide C-Class listings starting at $1,950.


Mercedes-Benz C-Class Experts

  • #1
    Lorne Grandison
  • #2
  • #3
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class
422 Great Deals out of 20,570 listings starting at $1,999
Used BMW 3 Series
902 Great Deals out of 32,870 listings starting at $1,000
Used Mercedes-Benz S-Class
112 Great Deals out of 7,201 listings starting at $1,980
Used Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class
45 Great Deals out of 2,130 listings starting at $6,000
Used BMW 5 Series
370 Great Deals out of 16,014 listings starting at $1,650
Used Audi A4
190 Great Deals out of 12,329 listings starting at $1,700
Used BMW M3
20 Great Deals out of 1,725 listings starting at $5,495
Used Mercedes-Benz CL-Class
17 Great Deals out of 520 listings starting at $4,000
Used Ford Mustang
278 Great Deals out of 38,285 listings starting at $1,995
Used Honda Accord
535 Great Deals out of 92,557 listings starting at $1,495
Used Mercedes-Benz M-Class
249 Great Deals out of 5,898 listings starting at $1,595

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class For Sale
134 Great Deals out of 2,602 listings starting at $23,991
2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class For Sale
29 Great Deals out of 841 listings starting at $20,495
2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class For Sale
169 Great Deals out of 3,860 listings starting at $14,890
2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class For Sale
84 Great Deals out of 1,480 listings starting at $12,500
2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class For Sale
54 Great Deals out of 1,323 listings starting at $10,962

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.