Mercedes-Benz E320 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Mercedes-Benz E320 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

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.

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.

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.

Mercedes Benz E320 models manufactured between 2005 and 2009 may have engine oil seeping or leaking from the back of the cylinder heads. This is commonly misdiagnosed as leaking valve covers.

On the back of the cylinder heads there are three, in total, plastic expansion plugs that plug access ports to the camshafts. These plugs are well known for seeping oil, and leaking if left unattended. The oil will run down the back of the engine and eventually make it to the ground. 

Replacement of these three plastic plugs is extremely simple, and should be done as regular maintenance. The recommended interval for replacement is every 60,000 miles.

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.

This vehicle has sensotronic brake control (SBC). If the SBC light on the dash illuminates, have the brakes checked. If the SBC is not working, limited brake pressure is delivered to the front brakes, increasing the distance it takes to stop. The SBC hydraulic unit has a specific service life programmed into the control module; follow the manufacturer's recommended service procedure for proper maintenance of the SBC.

Failed spark plug wires and/or ignition coils can cause intermittent misfires (rough running); the Check Engine Light may also illuminate. Diagnoses of the ignition system will be necessary to determine which components are at fault.

Motor mounts commonly fail, causing engine vibrations to be transferred to the body. Failed motor mounts should be replaced in order to prevent damage to the transmission mount.

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

Rear air springs (bellows) may develop leaks, which causes the air pump to run more often to maintain ride height. Our technicians recommend that leaking air springs be replaced.

The cup holder in the center console may break.

A malfunctioning HVAC blower motor regulator can cause the blower motor to operate below the requested speed or not at all. Updated regulators are available; the blower motor and cover need to be replaced at the same time to upgrade the system.

The ESP and BAS warning lights may illuminate due to a failed brake light switch. Replacement of the failed switch should correct this concern.

PSE system, voice control module, or Tele Aid module failure can cause a lack of audio. These same modules can also cause dead battery conditions when they fail to "time out." Many electronic control modules are active even when the engine is off. If these modules stay active, they will drain the battery, which is why they have a timer built into the modules. The timer shuts down the modules after a preset amount of time (timing out). If a module does not time out, it will stay active and drain the battery.