12 Mercedes-Benz Common Problems
Just like all vehicles, Mercedes-Benz vehicles have their fair share of problems from time to time. In this article, we will go over some of the common issues found in the Mercedes-Benz models including E, C, S, MI, SLK, CLK, CLS, GL, and G Class.
Mercedes does have issues caused by rusting. Although not all Mercedes models are affected, there are enough that we felt it should be addressed. Most of the vehicles affected are models from the 1990s and earlier causing rust, especially in high-wear areas. After the 90s the manufacturer made corrections to address this issue for no other reason than the rising cost of purchasing these cars.
We discovered that earlier on, Mercedes used cheaper steel and less paint in order to remain competitive. In turn, that led to thinning in various areas causing rust to set in.
Unfortunately, there are new models of Mercedes-Benz that have the same issues as well. We suggest you take a flashlight and carefully inspect the car. You should look under the wheels and rear bumpers for signs of rust. Check the front fenders and rear quarter panels as well. One place that is often overlooked, remove the license plate and see if any rust is forming. Keep in mind, that once rust sets in, it’s expensive to repair. If shopping for a previously owned Mercedes, stay away from cars that show signs of rust, it can be very expensive to get rid of.
Issues With Engine Mounts
Older models of Mercedes used solid rubber for the engine mounts. The design was meant to reduce vibration from the engine and for the car’s occupants. Although the design seemed to work well, as the mounts started to age, they would also rot away and split. You can probably feel if the mounts have gone bad as there should be a noticeable vibration and a clunking sound when under-accelerating.
Newer models used oil-filled mounts which worked really well but would start to fail after 100,000 miles and start leaking fluid. Even though the issues are the same in both older models and newer models, they are not particularly expensive to replace. If the engine mounts start to go bad, you will experience excessive vibrations on the seats, in the cabin and on the steering wheel.
Damaged Thrust Link & Control Arm Bushings
Bushings are small rubber mechanisms found in the front suspension. They are filled with fluid and have a tendency to crack open when they age. If these parts are damaged, the suspension will not function properly and will cause a mess.
If you start experiencing a rough ride and discover strange tyre wear, it can be caused by these parts and should be looked into. These parts are likely to affect ball joint wear, sway bar links, and other issues. If you are looking to purchase a Mercedes that is close to 100,000 miles, you should know about these issues. Some reports suggest that anything over 60,000 miles might be prone to these issues.
Failing Electric Windows
Issues with windows are not just with Mercedes-Benz but the window regulators have a habit of failing. Window regulators work very hard when you press the button to lower or close the windows. They have a tendency of failing more often on the Mercedes-Benz ML-Class and C-Class.
Like other brands, BMW and Audi have issues with the electric windows. There are several parts to a window regulator but in many cases, it’s the pulleys that wear out and will become detached. Check for slow or non-operating windows when you are looking for a previously owned car.
Problems With Suspension & Steering Mechanisms
Ball joints, sway bar link, and control arm bushings will wear out sooner than you might think, especially on used Mercedes. If you take a Mercedes for an MOT, it is likely to fail due to suspension issues, especially if the car is over 100,000 miles.
After 2000, Mercedes started using air suspension in some of its models. While the system can provide a very high-quality ride it’s not without issues. Issues can happen with the air suspension bags and the relays. The struts can fail completely leaving one section sitting lower than the rest of the car.
This means it is not safe to drive a vehicle in this condition and should be repaired as quickly as possible. Leaking air struts can be very difficult to notice if it’s a very small leak. Over a long period of time, a small leak will lead to problems with the compressor.
Catalytic Converters Issues
Even though this is not a common problem, there have been reports that the converter has failed on Mercedes cars that are only at 60,000 miles which is actually a low mileage. A catalytic converter can be less adequate or become clogged causing the oxygen sensors to set off the check engine or service engine light. As the converter’s condition gets worse, you may notice various performance issues.
Some problems may include misfiring, sluggish acceleration and general performance. Adding to that, replacing the converter can actually be quite expensive depending on the model of the car.
Crank Sensor Issues
This can be a little technical but there are a few common problems with starting the Mercedes engine. It all comes down to a sensor in the engine that measures if the engine is in the top dead centre position or TDC. If this happens, chances are the engine thinks it’s not aligned and therefore won’t turnover. There is evidence that you do get a warning but sometimes when it won’t start it can happen more frequently. This could possibly be one of the more difficult issues to spot.
The Automatic Gearbox
While the Mercedes automatic gearbox is considered an excellent design, the 13-pin connector and the valve body are not always up to par and are considered the weak link. If the connector or valve body breaks down, it can cause problems shifting into gear. In general, this is not a big issue to repair. Just make sure to check the shift from park to drive a few times and make sure it’s working properly.
Mercedes is known for making great engines but misfiring is actually quite common when the engine is over 100,000 miles. Issues can include coils and spark plugs having to be replaced which is pretty general maintenance but there seem to be quite a few Mercedes engines that need coils and spark plugs being replaced at much lower mileages. Many cars will experience misfires and bad spark plugs at 60,000 miles which is something you should not expect to happen from a Mercedes-Benz.
The Check Engine Light
The engine light coming on is actually a very common issue. It can be caused by the fuel cap not being tightly in place. When you fill up your gas tank, be sure the fuel cap is on correctly and is tight, or chances are the check engine light will come on. If you know the fuel cap is on tightly but you get the check engine light, you should use an OBD II scanner to read and remove the engine fault codes on your Mercedes-Benz.
There is no doubt that Mercedes-Benz is leading the pack when it comes to car engineering and technology, whether good or bad. One of their biggest downfalls, they are continually adding new technology that, in some cases, will not allow a car to age well. You can debate whether Mercedes-Benz, as a luxury car, is designed to be a perfect choice and usually purchased when the car is new.
When these cars hit 100,000, and become affordable for everyone else, most of the technology has become older and new technology is taking over. The systems are much more complex when first designed but can often lead to problems as they age. The overall driving experience is still considered absolutely amazing which has been contributed to the complex mechanicals and impressive technology.
But, on top of aging, this complicated technology is still very expensive to repair when the car breaks down for one reason or another. The overall driving experience is incredible and is contributed to the complex mechanicals and impressive technology.
Looking For That Perfect Used Mercedes
It is very important to be aware of all the pros and cons of the Mercedes-Benz. As most people are aware, Mercedes makes incredible cars that are also very reliable, but they come with a pretty large price tag for servicing, repairs, and general maintenance.
You must know how the car was treated, whether it received good, on-time servicing, what its MOT history was, and so many other must-know facts. You want this Mercedes-Benz to be with you for a very long time so make sure you do your homework and find out if this particular used car is the right choice for you. This article should give you good insight into the pros and cons of owning a Mercedes-Benz so keep this information in mind.
If you believe you have an issue with your Mercedes or are considering a service, repair or MOT for you can book your vehicle in to one of our 4 branches by using the simple form below or give us a call at Oldham 0161 624 5060, Heywood on 01706 622633, Bury 0161 761 3030 and our Oldham Van Centre 0161 628 5270. We also offer a Vehicle Inspection service if you are considering purchasing a Merceds-Benz we can provide peace of mind.
Arranging Your Service
Drop your car off
Simply drop your car off with us between 8am and 10am and in most cases your vehicle will be ready for collection the same day between 3.30 and 5.30. Outside these hours you are welcome to park.
Wait with your car
Most servicing and repair work can be done while you wait. If this is your preference we have a superb waiting area equipped with free hot and cold drinks and a interesting viewing area where you can watch our trained technicians working on your vehicle.
If your vehicle needs to stay with us for 1 day or longer then you are able to pre-book one of our courtesy vehicles to keep you mobile.
Pick up / drop off
The ultimate hassle free solution; one of our drivers will arrange to collect your vehicle from your home or place of work at a pre-arranged time and then return your vehicle when the work is complete. Our service advisors will contact you when the vehicle arrives on site during the day to discuss the progress of the work and then advise you of the time you can expect your vehicle back. Contact our service advisors for more details.