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Old 12-31-2018, 01:11 PM   #1
2012 Solera
 
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“Rumble Strip Noise”

A new issue with our 2012 MBS Solera. On our December trip from CA to and from Ft Collins Colorado, we encountered multiple instances of vibration and noise essentially identical to driving over a pavement “rumble strip”. The first couple instances I thought it was a rumble strip. Seemed to first occur after we filled up with “winter blend” diesel. Did not use any marked biodiesel on the trip.

Noise stops immediately on easing off the throttle. Downshifting seemed to allow some more throttle before triggering the noise, but the problem would occur in fourth gear in addition to in drive. Most frequently occurred on moderate climbs at high speed (65 mph+) in cold temperatures (teens and twenties). Also notable, I worried about the multiple summits through the Rockies in Wyoming and Donner summit in the Sierras, but the problem never occurred while climbing to a summit. During the last ~100 miles here in California the issue never occurred.

No MIL light. No codes recorded per my Autel scanner. Search of Sprinter forum identifies “Rumble Strip Noise (RSN)” and ties it to torque converter lock-up issues. Seems like that should throw a MIL code; also, the Sprinter forum seems to tie the issue to an earlier Sprinter transmission than what I have.

Any experience or thoughts?
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Old 01-01-2019, 02:45 AM   #2
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Are you keeping the RPMs at 2000 or above? Below that the engine may lag. It works best and smoothest in the 2000-3000 range. Usually the AT is very smart and will shift as needed but sometimes using the manual shifter will help avoid lag spots and having to step on the gas just to downshift when you don't need to go faster.
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Old 01-01-2019, 02:49 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response. Engine rpm was typically 2800 when the problem occurred; as stated also occurred after I downshifted to 4th and engine speed was around 3500. Often at about 70 +/- mph.
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Old 01-01-2019, 12:39 PM   #4
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Could something be loose and rattling or shuddering in the wind? Maybe a storage compartment cover or A/C or vent cover on the roof?
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Old 01-01-2019, 01:05 PM   #5
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Not sure what your drivetrain is but I had the same problem with my 2015 GMC with the 6.2L and eight speed trans. Finally took it to the dealer and they diagnosed a bad torque converter. Since it was still under warranty, G.M. service told them to flush the trans and all the lines and install a new filter first. They did and it cured the problem. They also programed the trans module. Been about 3K miles and no problems and shifts better than ever.
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Old 01-01-2019, 10:34 PM   #6
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T.Kott - your experience is very consistent with what I found on the Sprinter forum (my vehicle is a Mercedes Benz Sprinter, six cylinder diesel with Mercedes “electronic automatic transmission “ (5 speed, I believe, with locking torque converter). Sprinter forum does recommend complete transmission and torque converter fluid and filter change as first try at a solution.

Chroniekon - Thanks for your thoughts. Problem is pretty certainly a drive train issue, unfortunately. Sure wish otherwise...
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:06 PM   #7
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Very sorry to hear this Jim. Almost certainly this is a lock up issue with the torque converter. A change of tranny oil may help. There is a more major change where you get deeper into the tranny to drain the clutch pack as well. I've read about it, but haven't had it done. I will be getting a tranny fluid change soon, as I'm at 85,000 km now.
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Old 02-15-2019, 08:12 PM   #8
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“Rumble Strip Noise”

On our trip to Colorado over Christmas our 2012 Solera with 93K miles developed an intermittent noise and vibration that felt and sounded exactly like driving over a pavement warning section (a “rumble strip”). Search here and on the Sprinter forum indicated likely a torque converter lock-up problem.

Dealer reports they (after a couple of days) duplicated the problem and have determined vehicle needs a new transmission. Rebuilt transmission, parts and labor, about $6500.

I have had all the maintenance done at Mercedes or at Freightliner since about 20K miles. I don’t remember ever paying for a transmission service. Not sure transmission service would have avoided this problem, but suggest others check your maintenance records - I sure will pay closer attention on this replacement transmission.

Jim
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Old 02-15-2019, 08:21 PM   #9
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Update - Dealer has decided we need a complete replacement transmission. In process now. About $6500 parts and labor for a rebuilt transmission (same warranty as a new one, about $2k cheaper).
Of note, while I have had all my services performed on time, and all since ~20K miles (now at 93K) performed by Freightliner or Mercedes, I don’t remember a transmission service (complete fluid and filter change). Plan to pay more attention on this replacement transmission.
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Old 02-15-2019, 08:57 PM   #10
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What warranty comes with the rebuild ,Jasper tranny most come with 3 yr 100,000 miles
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