eddornigeddornig Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Mercedes-Benz
The car has 120,000 and suffered a broken cam. I have been working on cars (shade tree)for 35 years and have never ran into this. I called MB and they didn't even want to talk about it. Since mine broke I have heard about two others. Has anyone heard about this being a problem? Any secret recalls?


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    Sorry about your problem! It happens now and then, usually some kind of internal stress crack. Did anyone recently work on your timing belt/chain? (I think yours is a chain on that engine....please correct me if I'm wrong).

    Anyway, at 120K there's certainly no recall. Your car is nearing the end of its life (or at least has spent the best part of it's say 150K potential) and these types of fatigues can pop up, statistically speaking. It's not common but it's very possible on any 120K car.

    Aside from all that, the 2.3 was not Mercedes finest effort. Unless the car is pristine in all other respects, you may wish to consider patching it up with a used cam and getting something else.
    I wore out (not broken) a cam at 80K and put in a good used one, and it worked out just fine. I didn't go for the new cam and a valve job and all that, because my car wasn't worth all that much...about the same as yours I think. Another course would be a used engine of lower mileage, if you could find one. I'd guess a rebuild would cost more than the car is worth, and a new cam/valve job probably an easy $2,500.

    So I'd say you have some thinking to do, and consider all the alternatives. But really, any compensation from Mercedes is hopeless. Forget that one, sorry.
  • mike348mike348 Member Posts: 9
    I hear you with that cam.

    When you pay so much for a car, there is an expectation of durability. The Benz dealer I recently spoke to offered that 200k is ordinary for their gas engines.

    Since a cracked shaft is not a wear problem, but a latent manufacturing defect, I would think you should get 120/200ths of the cost of a new cam.

    Of course, you never will.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    I guess there's no harm in asking.

    It rather irritates me that a dealer or salesperson just tosses off "oh, yes, they are good for 200,000 miles" as if they REALLY knew that or had any evidence of it. A casual survey in any high class wrecking yard would show you that between unfortunate accidents, theft, and normal wear and tear, not all that many cars actually make it to 200K. If that were "expected" then you'd think the factory would warranty them for that. Obviously, the factory "expects" the car to go about 30K-60K on most cars, and 100K on a VW and I guess now Hyundai.....if the factory isn't warrantying the engines for 200K, then what does that say about the odds?

    I agree, though, unless there was some abuse or a stupid move by a mechanic, the camshaft shouldn't break. But with all the variables going on in an engine, and all the variables of owner maintenance, how could you prove such a thing? Hire an expert mettalurgist? Could he/she even prove it?

    Another sure way to break a camshaft (one I've personally proven) is drop it off a workbench. They are actually more fragile than one might suppose, IF they are stressed in the wrong way.
    I've also seen them break on a sudden, violent mistaken downshift.
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