Mercedes Hit With Timing Chain Issues on 2004-2006 V6 and V8 Models

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Mercedes-Benz is currently trying to recapture the number one position in global luxury sales, but a quality problem on its home turf in Germany seems to be undermining confidence in the brand. Autobild reports that the M272 V6 and M273 V8 engines used a sintered steel timing chain gear made of various materials starting in 2004, but switched to conventional steel in 2006, eliminating the problem with gear wear. The problem: nobody seems to know how many vehicles built between 2004 and 2006 are affected. Mercedes claims, based on secret internal defect tracking, that one percent, or about 1,500 vehicles, are affected. If you have a vehicle with one of these engines built between 04 and 06 and your check engine light comes on, Mercedes encourages you to visit your M-B dealer rather than an independent shop, as Mercedes is offering free repairs to affected customers. And as Autobild’s Matthias Mötsch argues, when your motto is “the best or nothing,” the only answer to a situation like this is to fix 100% of the defects for free.

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Aug 05, 2011

    Engineered like no other car in the world. Somebody had to say it.

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    • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Aug 05, 2011

      @Inside Looking Out I came up with anotherone: "Over-engineered like no other car in the world" which is actually correct for most of German cars.

  • ClutchCarGo ClutchCarGo on Aug 05, 2011

    Let's see; 1,500 engines out of 150,000 might have the bad timing chain, but M-B wants all 150,00 engine owners to bring any CE light into the dealership, where the 1,500 owners with the bad chain will get a free replacement, while the other 148,500 owners will get the hard sell on fixing whatever triggered the CE light (not to mention anything else that the service dept can find "needs doing")? Sounds like a pretty good deal for M-B dealers to me.

  • Bam210135 Bam210135 on Aug 05, 2011

    As an MB tech I can tell you we dread getting in an 05-06 vehicle in with a CEL. Its usually for another reason but theres always the chance of it happening. The "balance shaft job" is easily 30hrs of work and a major PITA, but we do it without changing the customer.

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    • Bam210135 Bam210135 on Aug 06, 2011

      Bryce I agree with you 100%. You pay 60-100K+ for a car you should be taken care of when theres a defect. Would I pay 60 grand for a new one? No. I'd wait 2-3yrs and get a CPO'd one for 30. Also while we're fixing their car, the owner gets a chance to sample one of our newer cars in the form of a loaner (just one of the ways for us to get you thinking about getting another one).

  • John Horner John Horner on Aug 06, 2011

    A bit of nitpicking. If the chain touches it, the part is called a sprocket, not a gear :). Gears mesh with other gears. Sprockets make contact with chains, like on a bicycle.