Mercedes-Benz 300TE 4MATIC Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Mercedes-Benz 300TE 4MATIC 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

A faulty mass air flow (MAF) sensor can cause erratic/rough engine operation and fuel economy issues. Since this sensor measures the actual amount of air entering the motor, when it fails, the engine control module (ECM) takes the wrong information and delivers incorrect volumes of fuel to the cylinders.

A rough running motor or lack of power can be caused by a failed distributor cap or rotor, ignition wires (or their resistors), or valve cover gasket leaks. If the valve cover gasket leaks, oil can pool where the ignition wire resistor connects to the spark plug. The resistor can fail and the spark plug may not fire because of a short circuit through the oil.

Failed ignition coil packs or spark plug resistors can cause a rough running motor or lack of power.

One or more blend door vacuum actuators may fail resulting in the incorrect output temperature from the HVAC system. Failed actuators will require replacement to restore proper HVAC operation.

High mileage or older vehicles commonly develop leaks from the differential seals and/or cover. Our technicians recommend a complete reseal of the differential unit whenever these leaks are repaired.

A vibration felt through the center floor of the vehicle can be caused by driveshaft flex discs, which crack and shred, causing excessive driveshaft movement. Not repairing these can cause damage to the driveshaft center support bearing, or, in the worst case scenario, damage to the transmission or differential.

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.

The emissions air injection pump can seize, causing a loud squealing noise followed by smoke from the drive belt. If the engine is not turned off, the belt will break, turning on the alternator/battery warning light.

The electronic throttle assembly may suffer an electrical failure. It is often cheaper to send the valve to a service center for repair that to purchase a new part.

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.

Due to wear, high usage vehicles can experience ignition lock and tumbler failures. The ignition lock cylinder will generally require replacement to correct this concern.

A coolant leak may develop from the water pump. When replacing the water pump, the drive belt tensioner should be inspected and most likely replaced as well.

A coolant leak may develop form the Radiator due to degradation of its plastic components. Replacement of the failed radiator will be necessary.

Internal and External engine oil & coolant leaks can develop from the head gasket and/or timing cover gasket; these leaks should be repaired before the engine oil and coolant intermix which can result in severe engine damage.

It is not uncommon to encounter premature failure of the anti-lock brake system (ABS) modulator assembly due to dirty brake fluid. Our technicians recommend flushing the brake fluid every two years in order to help prevent this problem.