Mercedes-Benz E500 4MATIC Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Mercedes-Benz E500 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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24
Known Problems

The Mercedes Benz E500 4Matic 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.

Water can damage the weight sensor in the front, passenger seat, causing the SRS (airbag) light to illuminate. There is an electrical component in the seat cushion susceptible to fluid damage. Any spills should be dried up immediately in order to try and prevent damage to the sensor.

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. Communicating these specific symptoms to your technician can save diagnostic time.

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.

The mass air flow sensor tends to fail causing poor fuel economy and Check Engine light illumination. 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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

The release tab for the center console can fall off unexpectedly.

Lack of audio or cell phone functionality may be related to the failure of the audio gateway module.

A failed digital heater control valve can cause a lack of heat output from the climate control system.

Irregular and premature tire wear can be caused by the front thrust link bushings cracking and causing excessive movement in the suspension. The thrust link bushings are fluid-filled (to help reduce vibration), so if they crack, they will leak oil.

The early versions of the central gateway module (which allows different systems to communicate with each other) have software problems.