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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Maintenance and Repair



  • Did some tests-start car-let run a minute or so-shut it off and restart in 30 minutes. No smoke-so much for my theory.

    Took car to MB dealer. Usual and totally expected response. Customer knows nothing-never heard of this problem before-probably condensation. MB did a software update on oil pressure monitor. Maybe clue. Does MB control oil pressure with computer? If so, this could be explanation-upon startup oil pressure sometimes too high over oiling pistons resulting in blue smoke. Anyone know anything about how MB controls oil pressure in new 3.5 engine? Would make sense though I have never heard of this before.

    If it keeps it up, before warranty expires I will wave magic wand over the MB, sprinkle some foo-foo dust on it and turn it into a Lexus. That will fix the problem!
  • I bought an E350 loaded when it first came out last year. I found that there has almost no mention of the problems associated with it here. Am I in the wrong group?
  • I originally responded to an E 320 post. But the more I know about the product, the better I feel. Still torn between the LS 400 and the E 320.
    Drove an E 320 yesterday, 1999, perfect. Started it up and the engine had a tick, tick, tick. I mentioned it, guy said it would stop when it warmed up. I knew he was full of crap, but thought I would drive it for the heck of it.
    I thought about a head problem, and they said it was a head casket, leaked, or let water into the engine, so they were actually going to push it out wholesale and would not sell it.

    Still waiting. E 320 is 30% cheaper than a LS 400 of same year. I know why, I just like the price and E 320 look better.
  • :lemon:

    The climate control for this car never work.

    Outside temp 65 degrees
    Cabin temp 70 degrees
    I turned the tempurature knob to 76 degrees, then pushed Auto button, cold comes out the vents.


    Outside temp 78 degrees
    Cabin temp 85 degrees
    I turned tempurature knob to 76 degrees, then pushed Auto button, Hot air comes out the vents. Drove around for 30 minutes, Air condition never kick in.
    I have proved this to Mercedes dealership, and they said the car is at factory specification.

  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    Several days ago, my E430 with 84K miles developed a rattle that I have been hearing at take off, and at idling when the engine is warm. It sounded like some metalic bracket/hanger was loose.

    I jacked up the car tonight and with a rag held on to both catalytic convertors one at a time while engine was running.
    I did feel some rattles inside passenger side convertor. All brackets and hangers were tight.

    Are the baffles inside the convertor breaking up? The engine runs fine, no check engine light, and the gas mileage still good.

    Has anyone had this issue? Does MB have any warranty on convertors? My last car with a bad catalytic convertor was my 1977 Buick Skylark back in 1983.

    I use 92-93 octane gas only, and the engine has never misfired or backfired.

  • Joe, I had the same rattle in my 2000 E320 earlier this year and it was due to the converter broken into pieces. They need to be replaced. The converter costs $600+ material and a dealer workshop would charge $1000+ (incl labor) for it. But, I understand that Fed Law requires manufacturer to fix any catalytic converter problem if the car is less than 8 year old. I got mine fixed by MBUSA; the service manager took care of the paperwork. It may not hurt to talk to your service advisor or research about this 8 year old law that I read in some Edmund's forums.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    The extended Federal Emissions Warranty for catalytic converters is 8 yrs/80,000 miles so it appears the catalytic converter replacement will be on your nickel. The other unit probably is not far behind. Some motor oil formulations are heavy in their zinc dialkyl-dithiophosphate additive treat rate used as an antiwear agent (for which it's very effective - and cheap to boot). Inevitably any reciprocating internal combustion engine will burn at least some of its motor oil - and the rate at which it does so will increase proportionately to its age. Consequently, some zinc and phosphate ash is sent into the exhaust stream. Unfortunately, both zinc and phosphate are highly suspected catalytic converter killers since those elements can "poison" the catalyst-coated ceramic beads inside catalytic converters over time. When the clearance between beads is reduced too much from the coating effect of the ZDDP combustion byproducts, the back pressure of exhaust gas trying to "squeeze" through the reduced space will bust the support grills holding the beads. Rattle-rattle. Newer motor oils for American, Japanese, and Korean engines use reduced amounts of ZDDP along with the substitution of highly effective, but pricier boron and molybdenum as alternate antiwear agents. Virtually all American motor oils are formulated with this in mind. These newer agents are also much less of a threat to catalytic converters. So far the pricey European synthetics mandated for Euro-cars are holding fast to traditional levles of ZDDP, though. Since the European union tests motor oils to different standards than does the rest of the automotive world, substituting commonly available American oils may not be in a Euro-car owner's best interest long term. There'll be a further reduction of ZDDP in the next generation motor oils in three years for American, Japanese, and Korean engines. I guess BMW, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volkswagen, etc. reason the patrician class capable of entry into Euro-car automotive exclusivity can likewise afford the more frequent emission system component replacements.
  • bigrobnhbigrobnh Posts: 114
    The benz dealer I go to uses Mobil-1 synthetic. Is that American or one of these pricey Europeans?

  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    Guys, thanks for all of your reponses. The car is at the dealer now. I will be very ticked off if they tell me I need to pay for all of it. I don't mind paying some of it. As I said, the last time I had a catalytic converter problem, it was with my 1977 Buick. With 14 cars/trucks since 1978, this is the second car with this issue. The problem started with a HUM when I was accelerating from 50-60mph in the left lane. Now it apears that increased exhaust gas flow was being slowed down in the converter, causing the hum.

    Your explaination with European spec oil does not explain why the car has issue with Mobil 1. Are you saying anyone using this oil will have catalytic convertor problem? Since new,when it was serviced at the dealer they used Mobile 1, I have changed the oil myself with Mobil 1 and have kept my receipt. The engine also has a cold start up tick tick noise. Is it the lifter noise? What is your thought on that. When the engine warms up, it stops.

    What about the theory that Mercedes could have had a convertor supplier problem? material batch problem from tier 2 suppliers? or processesing problem at the supplier?

    I am still not sure giving up my truely flawless 1996 Toyota Camry XLE V6 with 93K miles for this MB was a good idea. This MB is a great highway cruiser. With some 500 Ibs less weight, the Camry felt slightly light at 75-80, but ran flawlessly. The only dealer maiantenance was a $150 timing belt. In 10 years, that was IT. It also used any
    on-sale 5W-30 motor oil, and never complained.

  • revrasrevras Posts: 63
    I just took delivery on a 2007 e350 and have noticed that the heated seats do not really heat much at all, on the highest heat setting it is barely warm. I previously had a 2005 e class which would roast you if you so desired. Has anyone else experienced this situation? Could this be a bad fuse etc or has their been a change in the whole mechanism?
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    Definitely American. According to Mobil's website, "Mobil 1 0W-40" is certified to meet the MB 229.5 certification. The only American lube I know of for certain that does meet Mercedes-Benz revised 229.51 spec is "Amsoil Synthetic 5W-40 European Engine Oil". There may be others including the Mobil 1 if the website hasn't been updated to reflect a recent formulation change. I do not know what the ".51" suffix brings to the table or whether it's necessary for your model year engine - check your owner's manual on that.

    (I am NOT an Amsoil distributor - just an obsessive-compulsive, self-servicing, non-Benz, car owner.)
  • Don't know about 2007 E but my 2005 has toasters in the seats
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    The dealer determined that the left side underbody convertor was bad and they replaced it under their 8 year warranty. There are two catalytic conevertors on each side. After the fix, I took the car for a long drive; the rattle and the HUM in acceleration from 45-50mph are both gone.

    My next issue with the dealer will be the tick tick sound from a cold start that sounds like a lifter noise.
  • Hi,
    My 99 E320 kind of jerks forward or seems to not have enough gas at lower gear when I start driving in the morning and gear shift seems not correct. I do warm the car up for about 3-4mins before driving. After I drive for sometime when I slow down or stop at traffic light, I dont see this problem. What could be causing this? Bad Oxygen senor? Or is it the transmission going bad and not shifting correctly?

    I am not too worried about the other problems but worried about transi goign bad. What are the typical symptoms of transmission going bad?

    Thanks much in advance.
  • What is that all about? I have looked at or test driven five of them, and they all tick tick when they start up for a moment. Sounds like a lifter issue, I agree. One of them started up and made that noise, very noticeably, and the guy said it would go away when warmed up. It didn't, and he told me he would have it looked at inside and call me. Then called me to tell me it was off to auction as it had a head gasket problem or leak...and they thought moisture got into the engine (water.) Why do they all do this tick thing upon start up?
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    )) "Why do they all do this tick thing upon start up?" ((

    Oil drainback from the top-end to the sump overnight. With overhead camshaft engine designs, upon cold start, there's a brief delay circulating c-o-l-d motor oil back up to re-pressurize the top end mechanicals. Tick-tick-tick... As long as the noise clears within a minute or so, it's not considered problematic. (Or you could always drive a Hyundai Accent with mechanical lifters that require periodic adjustment maintenance... ;))
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    When I dropped off my 2001 E430 with 84K to have them replace the catalytic converter, I told them about the cold engine noise what I describe as lifter noise. The service manager told me that a Mercedes with 84K miles does not develop a lifter noise. He said it was carbon build up around the valve seals, and they run some GM-made cleaner through one of the vacuum lines, and that fix always quiets the noise.

    The car does not make that noise anymore. They never mentioned what I said in work order write up, and never said what they did. I just now they did something to the engine. I would have heard the noise when I start the car in the garage if they did nothing.. I still think this MB's V-8 does not come close to my 96 Camry's V-6's smoothness. Some of you may think I am crazy for saying this, but it is true.

  • I have noticed a very small amount of oil drops on my garage's floor. It's on the passenger side. My '96 E320 has only 75K miles. Question (1) is this a sign of head gasket leak or something else? (2) Can a good independent MB fix this problem? (3) rough cost? (4) any guaranty that the newly designed head gasket from MB permanently fix this problem?

    Thanks for any input and suggestions
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    A head gasket leak could cause exterior oil dripping under certain conditions. But, before I assumed the worst, I'd be looking at the more likely possibility of a benign (if somewhat messy) valve cover gasket leak. You might remove the radiator or purge tank cap before starting up in the morning to inspect whether there's any oil floating on the surface of the visible coolant. If not, that's a reasonably good sign that your head gaskets are OK. If you do see an oil slick on the surface of the coolant, you got trouble. If oil's in the coolant, that means coolant's very likely also in the motor oil. Antifreeze contamination in motor oil is a serious matter because its presence leads to rapid erosion of the softer tin, copper, and lead bearing metals if not attended to quickly.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508

    I haven't logged in for a few weeks and I've missed a lot of good stuff that I can relate to. First, there are some generic things to worry about on a used MB. Both of mine needed front end rubber bushings on tie rod ends and sway bars in the 70-80 K miles range. Since both of my cars had Starmark, that repair was free. It can run as high as $1100 for replacement of ALL bushings in the front end. Symptom is a thunk in the front end as you go over small pavement cracks, etc.

    Others have mentioned brakes and rotors. I think I've found a solution to the fast wear and the excessive dust on the wheels. A year ago I bought PB brand pads and rotors for the front end and they work as well as the MB brake parts and with almost NO dust. I've only had to wash my wheels every 3-4 months instead of every 2-3 weeks..! And the parts cost about half what the MB parts cost. I bought them from Smitty's Parts Service on the web. I just put the same stuff on the rear and expect the same results. I don't know yet if they will last much longer than the OEM parts, but for the lack of dust and for the lower cost, I am happy so far.. I had all the brake parts installed by a local mechanic for a lot less than the MB dealer's labor charge too..!

    And since you're looking at a 99, you shouldn't have to worry too much about head gaskets. My 96 needed a head gasket at 115K miles which was 30K miles earlier than normal for the straight six. (It is a design defect on that engine!) As far as I know, the V6 is very reliable; I've heard nothing bad about it so far..

    My '01 does have a few more gremlins of the electrical type than the 96 did, but it does have more stuff to go wrong. Nothing serious so far but every once in a while when I open the drivers door, the alarm goes off even though the door was NOT locked!! And gee, even if it were locked how would I be able to open it? This has happened 6 or 7 times in the last year and the dealer replaced a door switch, but it has done it 2 more times since then.

    Good luck on your hunt for a clean one..!

  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    When I got my first E-class ( a used 96) I couldn't believe how bad the AC was and complained to the service dept. at my dealership. The simple fix was to make sure that the center vent outlets on the dashboard were NOT aimed upwards, but aimed horizontal or downward. When the vents are sending air UP, the air is aimed directly at the cabin temperature sensor mounted above the rear view mirror and totally fools the system's computer..! Once I aimed the center vents horizontally, the AC worked great!!!

    This might be a big part of your problem..
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    I had the same rattle on my 2001 E320 a few weeks back and drove to the dealer as soon as I could get there. I was afraid something was about to fall off or otherwise self destruct. As soon as the service manager walked up the car, he smiled and said it was a converter. They checked it out with some fancy gizmo a few days later and said the other converter was alright but the right hand one had gone bad and would not pass inspection unless replaced. They quoted $970 and I screamed in pain.. I too thought that all emissions parts were covered under federal law to 100K miles. So I went to my local mechanic who replaced it for about $830 even though he had to pay the MB price for the converter itself.

    I had searched the internet for cheaper converters and asked my mechanic about them. His advice is to stay away from them because the 3rd party ones don't have the full load of precious metals needed to last for a reasonable time. He did a cheap one for a customer last year and in 3 months it had gone bad and then the customer had to pay for the OEM part anyway.

    I had forgotten that the left side converter was replaced by the dealer under warranty at around 65K miles. My 96 had never needed a converter when I finally sold it at 140K miles. Converters are just one more item that MB has chosen to cheapen up...!
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    How many miles do you have on your 01 E320? After looking at the catalytic converter assembly..I call it assembly since there are two converters one undeneath and one by firewall, I would only use OEM part. I don't care how much they charge. Aftermarket is good for oil filters, bulbs, but not this item.

    The service manager said that just because one was bad that does not mean the other one will go bad....Oh well, both of yours went bad. I am glad they replaced mine under warranty.

    I need to start saving my money for the time when the other one goes bad!! I doubt MB cheapened the part. The part supplier could have had raw material/processing issues.

  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    Yes, the converter is an assy of two converters and connecting pipes. My 01 E320 had approx. 84K miles when the second assy had to be replaced.

    You mention aftermarket bulbs; I just discovered yesterday that NAPA dealers carry a lot of the weird bulbs for MB's. You can save enough for 2 cups of coffee on each bulb..
  • Thanks Ray h1... I checked and saw no oil floating on surface of coolant, oil level seems unchanged for months, I also checked trans oil dip stick and observed no change... So where is oil leak coming from... Any suggestion? Maybe I should take it to my indy master mechanic to check it out. Thanks
  • Micro, you've mentioned in the past the good luck you've had with your Boston-area MB dealer. I'd appreciate it if you would let us know who it is. What town is your indy master mechanic in?
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    )) "So where is oil leak coming from" ((

    Having a trusted mechanic check it out for you is likely your best bet. My own guess is that you've got a relatively minor gasket leak somewhere. Nuisance stuff - maybe even somewhat involved* to get to and fix, but nothing catastrophic.

    *Hey, it's a Benz - if there's a more complicated way to do something simple, Daimler-Benz will eventually discover and implement it... ;)
  • I have now sold my 2002 E320. So relieved. It has been nothing but trouble that car. I kept taking it back to the dealer for repairs and replacement of parts. Luckily I hadn't needed to pay a cent as repairs were covered under warranty. But the inconvenience of taking it there so often, on average once or more every 2 months, the receptionist learnt my first name for seeing me too often. I will never ever buy a Mercedes :sick: .
  • latest on smoking E-350. since software update was installed on oil pressure monitor, no sign of smoke. admittedly haven't driven the car that much lately, but looks promising. again the software folks bite; seems to be the story of my life. :)
  • Confirmed by my mechanic that's a head gasket problem (normal for '96 E320 at around 80-120K miles)... Mine is only 77K. Two dealers want $2000-2200... My MB mechanic quoted $1500-$1800 , but he does not know the final $$$ until he opens the engine. Have my car scheduled for next Tuesday with my MB indy, he told me that it probably takes 3 days... and this guy is very good, he also has a machine shop just in case that he needs to planarize the head... Will let you guys know when it's done
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