2001 Mercedes-Benz CLK430 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2001 Mercedes-Benz CLK430 as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

The instrument cluster display may lose pixels and need replacement. However, if the back lighting bulbs for the odometer display in the center of the cluster burn out, they can be replaced.

Cables in the convertible top tend to break. If the convertible top stops operating prior to reaching the desired open or closed position, the micro switches that sense the position of the top may have failed.

The crankshaft position sensor may fail. Symptoms of this are: The engine will crank—but not start—especially when the engine is warm. The car may start again if it is left to cool off, but it may run roughly or have poor performance.

As a way to increase braking performance, the brake pads and rotors are make of a softer material and may be in need of replacement after approximately 20,000 miles; owners should be vigilant about getting their brakes checked.

Poor AC performance may be caused by a refrigerant leak from the hose that connects the receiver drier to the AC condenser.

The mass air flow (MAF) sensor tends to fail. The engine air filter should be replaced when the mass air flow sensor is replaced; a dirty filter can allow debris to damage the new sensor.

The evaporator temperature sensor can fail, causing the AC compressor not to cycle. If the AC compressor does not turn on, the AC system will not blow cold air. If the compressor is stuck on, the air will be very cold at first, before warming up.

When the engine is running, but the vehicle is not moving, a rattle heard from beneath the vehicle could indicate that one of the exhaust catalytic converters has failed. The substrate (the internal part of the catalyst that reduces emissions) can loosen and bounce around inside the canister section of the converter—the defective unit will need to be replaced. If this problem is ignored, the substrate can break down and reduce to a size that plugs the outlet pipe, which will cause a sudden loss in power.

An engine Oil leak may develop from the PCV vent housing on the valve cover and/or the inspection plate on the front of the engine.

Leaks may develop from the differential cover and/or seals on high mileage or older vehicles. Our technicians recommend a complete reseal of the differential unit if these leaks are addressed.

A vibration felt through the center floor of the vehicle can be caused by cracked and/or shredded driveshaft flex discs, resulting in excessive driveshaft movement. If not repaired, damage to the driveshaft center support bearing, transmission, or differential can occur.

Irregular and premature tire wear can be caused by the lower control arm bushings cracking, resulting excessive movement at the control arm pivot point. Ball joints can also wear out prematurely, causing similar tire wear symptoms. I some cases it may be necessary to replace the lower control arm, including bushings & ball joint to correct this concern.

A power steering fluid leak may develop from the power steering pump or the steering gearbox. Additionally the steering shock (damper) could leak its own internal fluid. Leaking components should be replaced to restore proper power steering operation.

One or more of the following steering linkage components may wear prematurely;  tie rod ends, drag link, or idler arm. Our technicians remind us the wheel alignment should be checked and adjusted if any of these items are replaced.

The anti-lock brake system (ABS) modulator assembly may fail due to dirty brake fluid. Our technicians recommend a complete brake system flush every two years in order to help prevent this problem.