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Mercedes-Benz E320 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Mercedes-Benz E320 based on complaints from 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

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 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.

A squeak from the steering column is often related to a rubber boot in the column or a seal in the power steering rack.

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.

Bad spark plug wires can cause misfires; the Check Engine Light may illuminate.

Catalytic converter failure is common and may cause a Check Engine Light to illuminate.

The mass air flow sensor can fail, resulting in poor fuel economy and Check Engine Light illumination.

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.

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.

High mileage vehicles may develop a leak from one or more of the transmission oil seals.

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 seat springs and padding break down over time, causing a lean, tilt, or sag.

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.