By on October 6, 2013

They don’t call you guys the Best&Brightest for nothing, I tell ya.

When I complained that Mercedes-Benz was using Renault-sourced diesel engines in its small cars, one of our Deutschland-based readers disagreed with my “facts”. Which is fair, because I got my facts from a variety of US-based auto media, and he’s getting his from, well, Germany.

diesels

The “OM651″ referred to in that image is the new-ish family of four-cylinder Benz diesels, which appears in at least three different variants across the A-class range. The “OM640″ diesel is the Renault one, available in the A180 hatchback as a relatively low-output one-and-a-half-liter. Alright, so it turns out that you can still rock in America get a Mercedes diesel in the cheap Mercedes sedan. Where things get a little strange, however, is with this fact: the E250 diesel that’s arriving on our shores now packs a 2.1-liter OM651 and is fully EPA-compliant. So this isn’t even a matter of figuring out how to make the engine work over here; it’s simply a matter of adding a urea tank somewhere in the CLA.

How about the trunk?

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28 Comments on “Correction: Not All A-Class Diesels Are French...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Kudos for the transparency, JB. I’m not sure a certain predecessor would have been so forthcoming.

    • 0 avatar
      imag

      I agree. I clicked on the page just to provide a page view to a correction. Good journalism involves updating information as it becomes available, and open discussion is much more interesting than dogmatism.

      In fact, I am generally finding that the team is living up to their promises. The site is so much more enjoyable now.

  • avatar

    But that car has no trunk, it’s a hatch… Oh wait

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    I don’t care who makes the diesel; don’t buy it.

    The emission stuff is killing these engines. I see it / work on the stuff everyday. I had hope the DEF system would do away with some of the problem “advance-EGR” caused, but instead it just created a lot more problems.

    Example; last month a truck’s DEF tank was ran to empty then parked. If you’ve ever been around the stuff it crystallizes/hardens fast when spilled. Where, after sitting there a few days empty the remnants hardened around the shaft for the float for the tank level sensor. So the driver comes back, fills up before we leaves with his load; and the tank still reads empty, which therefor shuts down the truck.

    A lot of these systems, at least on the big engines, also have filters for the fluid that need to be changed every so often.

    Then there are the DPF/Regen systems…..

    Just stay away from the diesels for now. Hopefully they’ll end up getting them right as they did gasoline engines, but now, the added BS of Urea systems, regen systems, etc. is not worth it. The engines might last longer, but all the crap attached to them sure as hell don’t.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      +1. I work with these things on a different level, your advice is sound and mirrors my own.

    • 0 avatar
      Numbers_Matching

      AMC – I’m surprised it would shut down the truck and not just do a 50% de-rate of power. That would go against the ‘stranded school bus on the rail crossing test’ that every manufacturer wanted to wanted to have.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        They’re mandated by law to go to an idle derate once the DEF is empty. Certain manufacturers manage it differently, Ford gradually reduces down to a 5mph limit, Ram will give you bells and whistles then 5mph derate on the next key cycle.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I’ve seen some comments made on how Mercedes Benz is going. Is this vehicle the right decision by Mercedes Benz?

    Going down market, or value adding on a brand name?

    It seems they are making some good decisions.

    http://www.news.com.au/business/companies/mercedes-has-record-sales-in-september/story-fnda1bsz-1226734104830

  • avatar
    Manic

    To complicate things further, OM640 is not Renault made, it’s MB made.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_OM640

    Seems that Renault made engine in MBs will be Renault R9M family based. It probably has MB code too but what it is, I don’t know.
    http://blogautomobile.fr/renault-moteur-16-l-dci-energy-ira-chez-mercedes-benz-191098

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    But all French diesels are front wheel drive hatchbacks.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    “Why not engage in a value-driven co-branded marketing value chain with Starbucks? You really only “lease” their coffee before turning it into a water-based product with urea supplements. Given that most of the CLAs will be leased, it should gain traction in the market with the Millenials.”

    Somedays it’s really nice to cast a web of complete line of tauro-scatological marketing jargon.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    I think I’ll just keep my three W-123 Diesels , their OM616&617 engines are all going quite well indeed thankyouverymuch ~ only one has needed rebuilding thanx to some stupid @$$ hippies in Sta. Monica who ran it on all manner of unfiltered waste oils until it chugged to a halt @ 300,000 miles .

    Some of my buddies have the M-B Sprinter Vans and are very pleased even after 300,000 hard Commercial Service miles~ the vans (panel trucks) are dented up and look like New York City Taxicabs but always start and haul full loads economically and reliably .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      Numbers_Matching

      I have had a very good expereince so far with the OM642 in my Jeep GC. 150,000 so far without issue – although this is pre urea, and my dpf filter … has been mmm ‘removed’ – for testing purposes, you know..

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        You are right around the time when your intake ports will clog up and oil cooler is probably already leaking or will be very soon. When you do one, be sure to fix the other. (You have to remove the intake manifolds to get to the oil cooler)

        In my opinion there are just to many things in the valley of the engine and it causes to many issues.

        • 0 avatar
          Numbers_Matching

          Ports should ok since EGR is also..disabled..Oil cooler so far seems to be OK. Eliminating EGR and internal dosing cycle really helps keep things cooler in the valley. The bottom end of the engine should be good for 500K (anecdotally).

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      You are the first to mention a reliable life with the Sprinter vans. My friend has one as contractor, and we have several at work. All of them are constantly in for one kind of repair or another. Too bad because reliability aside, they are great.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        I think the ones he mentions are all the older M602 5-cylinder, not the M642 V6

      • 0 avatar
        psychoboy

        The dealership I work for bought a 5cyl 06 long/tall Sprinter new for wholesale parts delivery purposes. We’ve got about 350,000 city miles on it now, and the motor is fine. The driveline makes the rumble strip noise, we’re on our third driver’s door, and it’s eaten two turbos, but it runs its heart out every day.

        Meanwhile, I bought a 5cyl 05 long/tall Sprinter used with just under a quarter million miles on it last spring. Three LeMons races, four house moves, and a handful of cross-town and/or -state car hauls later and it’s given me zero issues (except it throws random check engine lights for no apparent reason from time to time).

        My dealership bought a V6 08 short/short used with 150,000 on the clock last summer to back up the big one. No issues, either, and it feels like its better built (less industrial, more consumer). it also feels weaker, despite the larger motor and lighter weight.

        I’m sure, at some point they’ll fail and cost a bunch to fix, but until then, i’ll take the 20+ mpg and giant-car like handling.

  • avatar
    bam210135

    Jack, it’s not that they can’t find room to fit a tank in the trunk. They can’t fit the nozzle for the def or the new type of cat under the car. There’s just not enough room for it. The e class is built to swallow a big dohc v8 with turbos, so a little 4 with an scr cat finds the needed space easily. The cla/gla on the other hand have small engine bays. As a Mercedes fan (and tech at a dealer) I would have liked to see a diesel powertrain offered in that.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      Have you seen how much room there is in the tunnel of the CLA? More than in an E-class or GLK, because there is no drive-shaft to get in the way. Assuming the front wheel drive 651 mounts the turbo in the front of the motor in the same way as the 270 gas engine, there would also be plenty of room in the back of the motor. Now a 4-matic CLA might run into space concerns for the particulate filter because there will be a drive-shaft in the way.

      • 0 avatar
        bam210135

        MBella you bring up a good point. 4matic would be out but I still don’t think there would be enough room get it close enough to the turbo outlet. Mercedes could figure it out if they wanted to, but why waste the money on a low margin car?

  • avatar
    wmba

    “The OM640 diesel is the Renault one”

    No, it is not. How about getting things right for once?

    The OM640 was the old four cylinder Mercedes diesel from 2001. The OM651 from 2009 is the one they’re shoving in the upper C class E class, and upper A and B class cars.

    The OM607 is the Renault one Mercedes is shoving in the stripper C, A, B and CLA. Five minutes on Google to find this info, it’s hardly a secret. And Mercedes want you to know they were in charge of the application changes needed to fit it in their cars. They didn’t rely on Renault for that! Gottin Himmel – ve have our pride!

  • avatar
    Vega

    The OM640 is a Benz engine. The OM607 is Renault-based. It has 1.5l and is currently used only in the manual gearbox versions of the A160CDI and A180CDI as well as the B160CDI and B180CDI.


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