Q: 1999 Mercedes ML430 starts, I can move the shifter, but it doesn't go into gear. Just stays in park.

asked by on

My 1999 Mercedes ML430 was working perfectly one minute but then when I went to start the car again, it starts up perfectly fine, the shifter moves freely, but the car stays in park and doesn't do anything no matter what gear I try to put it in. I took it to a mechanic today and they're saying that the rear differential went when the car showed absolutely no signs of differential failure previous to this happening. From what I'm reading it sounds like the shifter cable has broken. Does this sound more like the problem?

My car has 180000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A differential can indeed fail without warning, but there are usually some ugly noises associated with it. As for your shifter, I believe your model still uses a lever connection between the shifter and the transmission. It should be easy enough to check if you are in a position to crawl under the car. The lever will be on the left side of the transmission. Sometimes the plastic bushing will fall out and the lever with it. Be sure to take measures that the car cannot roll while you are underneath. Further checking to see if the driveshaft is turning could be dangerous with the car on the ground. So I recommend you have a professional backup that differential diagnosis. To get some help with that, contact Your Mechanic. They can send a trained technician to your home or office to check out your ML and see why it doesn’t want to move.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. 1999 Mercedes ML430 starts, I can move the shifter, but it doesn't go into gear. Just stays in park.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Antenna not going up

If the antenna is inoperative and is still getting power from the relay, then the antenna motor assembly would need to be replaced which is the common solution for this issue. A certified mechanic can check your electrical compenents to...

Q: My car start jerking while driving and will not start. It is a 1999 Mitsubishi

You could have a fuel pump failure or failure of a major ignition system component such as the coil or the cam or crankshaft position sensors could have failed. If you request a no start diagnostic the responding certified mechanic...

Q: Q: Power window off track

Sometimes a motor slowly fails and a hard spot makes it stop all together, sometimes all it needs is a little spray of dry lube. Have a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, inspect and take the door panel...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.