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No disrespect to RedLiner, but from experience everyone and the dealers say everything is the MAF, even when your muffler bearings are worn out. I've never had a bad one, and once I actually changed mine in front of the MB service manager because he insisted that was my mystery problem (mine would die when put in gear, when cold). I did that b/c I wasn't paying him hundreds to replace something not broke, I was only there b/c I had failed and hoped the experts with all that equip would succeed, but nobody ever figured it out.
So I would say go ahead and try it but I'm guessing each of the four mechs already did? Not that I'm a master mech but so far any eng issues I've had couldn't tell the difference between R and D, nor P and N so are sure it's only R or does a trip to D also solve it?
So I'm leaning toward a computer issue, most likely that it's being fed bad info from some failing device. If it were some device that knows D is not R I'd be surprised. I guess I'd see how that gear shift trick is making it work, like I could trick my aforementioned mystery prob too but it took some time to figure out. Like how long does it need to be in gear, like do the clutches need to engage and drag rpm down? Does eng or ambient temp matter?
This is just the stuff I'd do to narrow down the prob so hopefully something will become more obvious.
The speaker noise is weird but I have one thought: I had an ML55 that made a random weird and very annoying noise when off, and while I can't recall for certan if it was thru the speakers, it must have b/c it was not easy to find the source and a loud fan is easy. It ended up being a little tiny cooling fan in the eng compartment all the way back on left side. It was in the very bottom of a big black, and deep, plastic box and I had to pull out all the electronics (computers?) inside to reach this F'er. Things like worn brushes on a fan can cause inconsistent and annoying RF noise, and since my fan was running with the car off it fits as a possible match to your prob. Your car will be different than an ML of course but it may have some random (dying) fan hidden away somewhere.
Outside that I guess I'd start by pulling the fuse or unplugging the stereo to ensure it's actually off. I'm certain the sound will vanish at that point, so then you'd have to figure out wth is feeding the stereo such a noise. I wonder about something that can chime in to that sys could cause it. Meaning things like your speaker phone connection or who knows what else. If say the stereo stays powered so you can continue talking after the car is off then maybe whatever electronics make that happen is failing and transmitting its death throes to the speakers. Just guesses but fyi...
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