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2017 to Bring Android Integration to New Benz Vehicles

If you have an Android phone and you have used the “OK, Google’ function to ask it a question or have it complete some task, you already understand just how neat and powerful the technology can be.

All of that utility will be getting integrated into new Mercedes-Benz vehicles come 2017, which will allow for some awesome connectivity between all your tech at home, at work, in the car and on your phone, if you so wish. The possibilities are staggering with this new addition to Mercedes-Benz cars, and considering the speed at which developers can build and release new apps these days, it’s probably not going to be long before we can do things with Google-connected cars that people never dreamed of. I’d offer an example here, but there’s no way I’m giving away my billion-dollar app idea! 😉

One thing I do wonder about, though, is just how deep the connectivity is going to go. It would be truly amazing if it could, on its own, discover an issue and let you know that you need to order a new Mercedes-Benz transmission for your vehicle.

Honestly, though, I look forward to turning on the heat in my car before I get in by telling my phone to take care of it and during the commute home tell my car to get the heater in my house running so it can be comfortable inside right when I get there.

 

Mercedes-Benz today announced the integration of the Google Assistant on Google Home. Google Home, a voice-activated personal assistant, makes it possible to interact with the Mercedes-Benz vehicle from home. The feature will be available to Mercedes-Benz customers in 2017.

The collaboration with the Google Assistant is part of Mercedes-Benz long-term goal of creating an intelligent ecosystem around cars, and leveraging cutting-edge technology to make everyday life more convenient for their customers. With this integration, Google Home users can send destination to their Mercedes-Benz Cars; set and activate heating and cooling systems within their vehicles; find out fuel and charge levels; check lock status as well as interact with their cars in order to lock doors and many more—all from the comfort of their home. Continue Reading

New Luxury Car Brand Genesis Has a Ton of Potential

(And Should Probably Scare the Heck Out of Other Luxury Manufacturers)

It looks like Hyundai really isn’t messing around when it comes to getting their new luxury brand Genesis off the ground. The new subsidiary car company already has somewhere around 350 dealerships across the country where the vehicles are available new and while that’s all well and good, there are some neat promises that will accompany the brand to up their luxury game.

For one, they intend on making most trips to the dealership a thing of the past when it comes to getting scheduled maintenance or repairs taken care of. Instead, they are planning to bring a loaner car right to the customer’s home and take the owned Genesis with them. Likewise, they’ll deliver the car back to the owner when the work has been completed. Where this differs from other brands is that it is a company-wide effort to offer this level of service as opposed to one that may or may not be offered from dealer to dealer.

What is crazy to think about is just how quick Hyundai began their move into luxury automaking. As pointed out by Chris Woodyard for USA Today, “Other luxury brands had years to plan the spinoff of their luxury brands. Hyundai did it in nine months.”
That also meant a heck of a lot more work than just designing and building the cars themselves, which Woodyard explained further, saying, “It’s fallen to a veteran auto executive Erwin Raphael to try to create a separate identity around the brand called Genesis. That has meant trying to get the word out and educate the dealer network about what it’s going to take to please luxury customers.”

Now, this move into the Luxury market by Hyundai should be more than just a little scary when it comes to other luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Acura, Lexus and others. In recent years, Hyundai has proven ridiculously capable when it comes to marketing and rebranding. Starting from scratch with a new brand should mean it is just that much easier for them to quickly build a reputation and a following.

Let’s look at what they did with the core Hyundai brand. Although they have been making cars since the late ‘60s, Hyundai didn’t really come into its own in the U.S. until the company started aggressively marketing here in 2000. Previous to that, they were barely regarded as decent when it came to bargain car companies were concerned, and honestly that view of them is generous considering they were not even close to being a recognizable household name at the time.

Since then, Hyundai has seen one of the most impressively meteoric growths ever witnessed in the automotive industry, and their growth is still going.

Less than a decade ago in 2008, the Hyundai Motor had barely broken into the top ten car manufacturers in the world. By 2012, they had made their way to the number five spot and currently they are the third largest car manufacturer on the planet, behind only Toyota and Volkswagen. They even own the single biggest car factory on Earth, which can be found in South Korea and builds more than one-and-a-half million cars every year in that one location alone.

As if all of that wasn’t scary enough to their competition, Genesis Motors has some real heavy hitters on their side when it comes to the luxury car manufacturing industry. Specifically, this is Genesis senior vice president Manfred Fitzgerald and brand designing lead Luc Donckerwolke. Fitzgerald used to be the director of brand and design for a little car company called Lamborghini. Donckerwolke was the design director for Bentley, Audi and Lamborghini.

Nevertheless, there is one thing that us Mercedes-Benz lovers can always be happy about no matter how the probable Genesis vs. Mercedes-Benz battle plays out: We have access to an incredible selection of beautiful and powerful classics that no new company could ever hope to compete with. Sure, that may not offer much peace of mind to Daimler, but it sure is for us. There really isn’t much more in the world that is nearly as cathartic as replacing a classic Mercedes-Benz transmission and taking a spin in a 35-year old car that rides like it’s brand new.

baby-on-board

Although they have received quite a bit of mockery and spoofing over the years since they were first created, those yellow “Baby on Board” signs are designed to actually serve a couple of purposes. However, there are also some urban legends that have been born from the signs, too.

For the most part, people put these signs up in their car to let other drivers know that there is a small child in the car (obviously). Theoretically, this is supposed to help trigger something in other drivers in the hopes that a natural instinct to protect babies kicks in and causes people who see the sign to drive more carefully. And this does work… for some people. They will see the “Baby on Board” sign and immediately question how safely they have been driving and will become more aware of their surroundings as they introspectively take a deeper look at the way they have been handling their vehicles.

On the other hand, some people view the “Baby on Board” signs as a warning to other drivers. In this line of thinking, the sign’s intent is to inform others that there is potentially something overtly distracting (a baby) in the car with the driver. Seeing as most people have at least some kind of experience with babies, when they see that sign they might automatically think about what the driver might be dealing with. Little kids will scream, yell, cry, throw things, make messes and do pretty much anything in their power to get the attention of their parents. That doesn’t make for a very ideal driving situation… Not in the least. Because of this, some drivers might opt to put up the “Baby on Board” sign just to let other drivers know that, “Hey, I’ve got a little hellion in here flipping out, I might not be the safest driver on the road right now.”

Another group of people altogether have a different take on the matter. These people just want to take pride in the fact that they have recently produced an offspring. That’s it – they just want others to realize they have the ability to reproduce.

There was also once the belief that having these signs posted in a car helped EMTs better deal with situations and collisions that included small kids, but that has long since been debunked.

If you’re thinking of getting one of these signs to stick to your Benz window for safety, you might actually want to consider replacing the transmission for your Mercedes so you can accelerate and decelerate more easily.

Does Anyone Pay Attention to “Baby on Board” Signs?

 

mercedes-benz-logo-hood-ornament

Mercedes-Benz Sales Soared Last Month

For yet another month in a row Mercedes has led in the sale of luxury autos in the US, seeing the competitor BMW take a swift fall this november. While overall Mercedes sales grew by 1.1 percent this month, their competitor BMW AG saw an 18% drop in sales leaving BMW to eat Mercedes’ dust.

Not looking to help their vehicle sales but want to keep your classic running smooth, you may want to consider replacing your Mercedes-Benz transmission.

 

Mercedes-Benz sold the most luxury autos in the U.S. again in November, virtually guaranteeing that the Daimler AG brand will take the full-year title from BMW.

Sales of the Mercedes GLC sport utility vehicle more than tripled while C-Class car deliveries held steady, giving the brand a 1.1 percent increase for the month to 30,363 autos, according to a statement Thursday. Toyota Motor Corp. said Lexus slipped 1 percent to 29,050 vehicles, and BMW AG reported an 18 percent drop to 26,189 for its namesake marque.

Mercedes is offering more SUVs and in a broader price range, said Rebecca Lindland, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “They have a sense of how to make them attainable without losing that sense of luxury,” which is giving Mercedes a competitive advantage, she said. Continue Reading

Sporting the latest AMG SPEEDSHIFT transmission, the 2018 GT R from Mercedes-AMG is going to offer one of the best rides from a sports car ever built. Seeing as every year these transmissions are even further perfected by Mercedes-Benz engineers, the 7-speed dual clutch coming with the 2018 GT R is one of the most exciting things we’re looking forward to on that model.

Click here to see our currently-on-sale Mercedes-Benz transmissions.

 

It’s arrived, AMG’s latest weapon, the very Green 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R, designed to go head to head to head with Porsche’s 911 GT3 RS. At its heart is a handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 Biturbo with output of 577 hp, which is 74 hp more than the previous top-of-the-range engine in the GT S. Peak torque of 516 lb-ft is available between 1,900 and 5,500 rpm.

The increase in performance was achieved with the help of new turbochargers with modified compressor machining, a smaller wastegate and new engine mapping. Boost pressure supplied by the turbochargers has been increased from 17.4 psi on the AMG GT to 19.6 psi. In addition, the exhaust ports have been optimized and the compression ratio modified.

The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission has been extensively revised by AMG, with modified hardware and software to make the transmission even more suitable for the racetrack. First gear in the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission has a longer ratio, while seventh gear and the final drive have shorter ratios to allow for more rapid acceleration. Continue Reading

Taking a quick break from talking about things like Mercedes-Benz transmissions, we saw that the Smart ForTwo Cabrios are going to be the cheapest convertibles available in the US with a price tag of under $20,000. Well, under $20k for the completely basic package – if you pick up one of these neat little economy cars, you’ll (likely) add enough options to get it a thousand or two more than you were expecting. Though, that still leaves it a super-affordable convertible.

 

You don’t normally associate Mercedes-Benz with a low MSRP — even its used cars are expensive, once maintenance is taken into account. Yet, starting this fall, the least expensive convertible — hell, the only convertible starting under $20,000 — will be a German, although it won’t have the three-pointed star on the hood.

After taking a gap year to find itself, the Smart ForTwo Cabriolet is returning for the 2017 model year. With an all-new look inside and out, this diminutive runabout will rock a starting price of $18,900.

That’s with a manual, though — spring for the dual-clutch gearbox, and you’re looking at $19,890, before options and tax and all that.

Its automatic canvas soft top is capable of stopping early and acting like a sunroof, or going all the way back for more of a proper top-down feeling, and you can remove the roof bars for even more airiness. Continue Reading

Image via Motor Trend

Though it only affects 28 Mercedes-Benz SLK roadsters in all of Australia, you may want to keep your ear to the ground if you have one in the US, too. While recalls like this are usually isolated to one country, Mercedes-Benz Korea has also implemented a recall for their SLK class vehicles. Australia’s recall is due to some steering issues and the one in South Korea is due to a malfunction that keeps the rear tires’ from aligning properly.

Should Mercedes-Benz recall SLKs on this side of the Pacific for any reason be it transmission, steering or anything else, you can rest assured that we’ll be there to let you know.

 

Mercedes-Benz has recalled its SLK roadster this week, due to a potential steering safety issue.

The carmaker has identified a weakness with the nuts fitted to the vehicle’s tie rods on the rear axle, which may be the incorrect size.

Should this be the case, the nuts may be allowed to loosen, which could alter the steering characteristics of the vehicle.

Unpredictable steering may cause a hazard to the vehicle occupants and other road users. Continue Reading

image via themotorreport.com.au

Self-driving cars are all the rage right now, at least that’s what a look at the R&D section of most major automakers reveals. What’s really cool is that our favorite car manufacturer (Mercedes-Benz, obviously) is one of the leading companies in this new realm of technology. I personally can’t wait for the day where the only thing I’ll have to worry about with driving is something like replacing the transmission and other maintenance rather than dealing with other drivers.

 

Automakers have spent the majority of 2016 announcing their plans for self-driving and the future of automation, but while some just begin to prototype systems, others are soaring ahead of the pack.

Research and advisory firm Lux Research has charted the 12 major automakers on business execution and technical value, and noted if the company has a positive or negative view on the advent of self-driving.

Toyota, Honda, and Mercedes Benz are ahead right now, as you can see in the graph above. Tesla and BMW aren’t far behind, but the report claims that the two companies have a “wait and see” attitude to self-driving, rather than actively pushing for its arrival. The attitude is based on investments, partnerships, and demonstrated capability. Continue Reading

Alright, so there’s not really much of a matchup when it comes to a Mustang Shelby GT350 versus a Mercedes-Benz CLK AMG. Still, that doesn’t make this video any less fun to watch – the Shelby ultimately comes out victorious (as is expected), but the CLK AMG has a killer start that must’ve put some fear in the GT350 driver. Check it out:

Feel like putting some work into your car’s acceleration yourself? See our Mercedes-Benz transmission parts to get started.

image via Mercedes-Benz

image via Mercedes-Benz

It seems there is a peculiar problem hitting a specific group of Mercedes-Benz SLK300s. From this model, those built between June 2 and July 14, 2015, might not have the backup power supply connected properly. In the worst situations, the vehicle will not be able to shift into park nor apply the e-brake, making for a dangerous fiasco, including rolling away when the driver thinks it’s secure.

If you’re having problems with the transmission on your Mercedes-Benz, click here to check out our transmission parts.

 

“In this situation, without the backup power supply, the only way to keep the vehicle from moving is to press the brake pedal,” the recall documents note. “As soon as the driver attempts to exit the vehicle, the vehicle may roll, increasing the risk of injury.”

The issue appears to be limited to vehicles equipped with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Service technicians will be instructed to correct the switch wiring and perform a software update to restore proper behavior.

It is unclear if the defect has been associated with any accidents or injuries. Read More

image via Daimler

image via Daimler

The company that owns Mercedes-Benz – Daimler Chrysler – has begun producing a nine-speed automatic transmission at their factory in Sebes, Romania. That being said, it shouldn’t be long before top-of-the-line models from Mercedes come equipped with the units installed. This addition should make for interesting modifications and new dynamics when replacing a transmission.

 

Daimler has begun production of its 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission at its Sebes factory in Romania. The production is being handled by its Romanian subsidiary Star Assembly.

The German luxury car-maker has invested about €300m to expand the production capacity at the facility and creating 1000 new jobs in the process. The facility will spread across area roughly ten times that of a football pitch.

The production at Seres facility was officially inaugurated by Romanian Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Costin Borc and Mercedes-Benz Cars member of the Divisional Board Markus Schäfer and other members. Continue Reading

ford-focus-via-ford

image via Ford

Ford ended up giving the public a lemon as far as the 2012 Focus was concerned. The problems with the vehicle were due to it having a double clutch, which was an absolute headache for a large portion of the people who bought the car. Additionally, Fiestas and Focuses released between 2011 and 2015 had some notorious shifting problems.

On a somewhat related note, if you are working on the transmission for a Mercedes Benz, head over to our transmission page for any parts you might need.

 

It’s always a gamble for an automaker to try new things. When that gamble fails it usually results in a big loss. Car companies will normally man up and take some responsibility, but not always. In 2012 Ford released a lemon, the Focus, and one option was Ford’s PowerShift dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission.

The models of Fiesta and Focus from 2011/2012-2015 respectively were infected with a horrible issue where the transmission would shudder while going from first to second gear, with the issue sometimes continuing into third gear. Continue Reading

stickshiftEven if you are a diehard fan of manual transmissions, there is no denying that the only benefit these days to having a manual transmission is that it is a lot more fun to drive with. Otherwise, modern transmissions are more fuel efficient and actually cost less than the manual alternative. Still, that fun factor goes a long way, especially when driving a Mercedes Benz, right?

 

My wife and I have been driving Japanese cars with manual transmissions for decades. They’re fun to drive, more fuel-efficient, and they never break. Plus, the once-in-a-lifetime clutch repair is a fraction of the cost of repairing an automatic transmission, if the horror stories I’ve read are any indication. My wife has started to look for another vehicle to replace her aging Subaru Forester, and we both are stunned to find that:

    It’s hard to find cars with manual transmissions now.
They’re more expensive.
They aren’t as fuel-efficient as modern automatic continuously variable transmissions.

So, our big question is this: If we go with an automatic transmission this time, what regular maintenance will we have to do in order to avoid those very expensive transmission repairs? Continue Reading

dorsch-transmission--via-autoweekA grad student and PHD candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology named Dan Dorsch has designed a clutchless transmission that continues to move the vehicle while shifting is taking place. It’s also designed to work flawlessly with hybrids, giving it an even greater focus on efficiency. It’ll likely be years before we see Dorsch’s design available for sale to the public, so if you’re in the market for a Mercedes Benz transmission, you might want to take a peek through our selection to at least keep your car running until Dorsch’s transmission is available.

 

Dan Dorsch, a second-year PhD candidate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, recently won the Lemelson-MIT “Drive it!” award for his high-performance, clutchless hybrid transmission. Dorsch and his team worked to develop a transmission that blended both aspects of hybrid technology: crushing total performance, like we can see in the Porsche 918 and in Formula One, and the efficiency of a Toyota Prius. Continue Reading

Image via Autoweek

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