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Billy, Trainer/ Master Technician
Category: Mercedes
Satisfied Customers: 3720
Experience:  Trainer 8+ years, master tech. 10+ years, SAE member
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I have a 2003 CLK55 on 125k miles that has an intermittent

Customer Question

I have a 2003 CLK55 on 125k miles that has an intermittent rubbing noise that comes from the prop shaft area directly under the shifter. The noise is temperature dependent and occurs between 20-30mph. Occurs whilst in gear and also whilst in neutral. No evidence of leaks, car drives and brakes straight. I do not think it is a wheel bearing.I have removed the heat shields to check the blue handbrake cable clips but they are still in place. Centre bearing looks OK with some very minor splitting.Are there other areas I can check?
Submitted: 6 days ago.
Category: Mercedes
Expert:  Billy replied 6 days ago.

Hello and Welcome! I'm Billy and i will assist you with your inquiry. Feel free to ask if any further info is needed.
If you get prompted for a Premium service or a phone call, please ignore that, as i don't think it is needed at this point.

My apologies for the delay, thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Billy replied 6 days ago.

The best way to test this, would be to have the vehicle lifted, secured and with the traction control (ESP) off, put it in drive and listen under it carefully to figure out where the noise is originating from.

You can first check the flectors, as those can have some fibers torn and rubbing all around, but having already taken a look, i think that you might have seen if anything looks weird.

In my opinion the most likely cause would be the center bearing, but only by checking thoroughly can we confirm this.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Is transmission output bearing a possible cause? I have lifted the car and briefly run it whilst on axle standards (wheels also removed). With the heat shield above the prop also removed, although it wasn’t bent so I doubt it was rubbing. Noise definitely comes from the bearing area / area where the blue clips are is there anything else there?
Expert:  Billy replied 6 days ago.

The transmission bearing can indeed cause such a noise. Usually this bearing is the least likely to cause this, however it can be worn and cause this.

Expert:  Billy replied 6 days ago.

Do you have the automatic transmission or the automated manual transmission (SEQ)?

Expert:  Billy replied 6 days ago.

The SEQ or automated transmission has 6 gear ratios, the automatic transmission has 5 gear ratios on this model, this should help determining which one we have.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
722.6 5 speed automatic. This car was never sold with a six speed or an automated manual transmission. Some smaller engine cars had a standard manual I believe.
Expert:  Billy replied 6 days ago.

The 5 speed automatic transmission. Thank you for the details.

Expert:  Billy replied 6 days ago.

We rarely see transmission bearings worn on this transmission, even when overhauling (clutches, seals etc..) the bearings are not replaced. I'm not saying that it will not happen, it is however, unusual.

If you double check and are sure that the noise is from the transmission output axle bearing, then this will need replacement. I will be able to get you the service procedures involved, if needed.