The electrical connector at the automatic transmission may leak fluid into the wiring harness. If not repaired, the oil will migrate through the wiring harness and damage the transmission control module. At that point, a new harness and control module may be necessary to correct this problem.
Transmission May Leak Fluid and Damage Control Module on Mercedes-Benz E500
Average mileage: 98,309 (65,000–144,000)
15 people reported this problem
Transmission sticks in first gear. The only way to fix is to turn the engine off and restart. Very intermittent problem. When it does happen, it seems to repeat itself for a few days, until the car sits for a day or two of no driving. Then it will not have this problem for a couple of months.
2004 Mercedes-Benz E500 102,970 mi, Visitor
Check engine light came on and transmission doesn't shift to third and higher gear
2006 Mercedes-Benz E500 144,000 mi, Visitor
Car would jerk roughly. Started out as a very small problem and over about two years it progressively got worse. Replacement cost $1100.00 but in all honesty I'm not too upset. My car has not had a real problem in about 3 years it's still a very solid car.
2005 Mercedes-Benz E500 65,000 mi, Visitor
Had transmission fluids changed. Then about three months later, I would get a hard jolt and clunking sound the first few stops I would make. After those first few stops, the problem would stop until the next day when it would recur again. I brought it to my dealer who tried to program the transmission control module but the problem continued. He suggested replacing the module. Cost, $1,700. I believe the module was exposed to transmission fluid when the transmission was serviced. Can't prove it but I believe it.
systematically replaced the control module, radiator and transmission - total cost was over $7000