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2006 Mercedes-Benz CLK350 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLK350 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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23
Known Problems

The engine in the CLK350 is known by Mercedes Benz to have issues due to a poorly manufactured gear on the balance shaft (also known as the counter-rotating assembly). Since the balance shaft gear is driven by the timing chain, which keeps the engine rotating synchronously, when it fails, the timing of the engine will change causing:

-Illumination of the Check Engine Light

-Rough Running Conditions

-Stalling

-Loud Rattle or Slapping Noise

-OBD Trouble Code P1200 and P1208

Correction for this issue is replacement of the balance shaft, or balance shaft gear. Replacement of the timing chain and tensioner should be done as well. The Mercedes Benz dealer may cover some or all of the repair cost on select vehicles as a result of a class action settlement.

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.

The sway bar end link joints may wear and cause a knocking noise over bumps. Loose or warn links should be replaced to correct this type of noise.

The heating, ventilation and AC (HVAC) heater box is susceptible to mildew buildup. This can result in a musty odor from the HVAC system, most noticeable when the system is first turned on.

The hold down nut for the upper front strut area can become loose, causing a knocking noise. This can be repaired without removing the strut assembly.
The heater case for the center vents can crack near the stop sensors. If the stops break, the control motor will not know when to stop and will run continuously.

A repetitive clicking noise from behind the center area of the dash panel is usually caused by a broken stepper motor actuating arm. The actuating arm controls the direction of air flow in the climate control system. Disassembly of the center console will be required to access and change the broken arm with the updated, reinforced part.

The Mercedes Benz CLK350 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 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.

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.

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.

Going over large bumps in convertible models may cause the roll bar to deploy, rendering the roof inoperative. Special tools are generally required to return the roll bar to its stowed position.

The camshaft adjuster solenoid (which is related to the variable valve timing system) may fail or timing chain/balance shaft components may wear, resulting in illumination of the Check Engine Light and various drivability issues. Mercedes-Benz has released a service bulletin outlining specific repair instructions depending on fault codes stored.

Vehicles equipped with a 7-speed automatic transmission may develop a rough shifting condition, most commonly going up from first to second gear and going down from third to second or second to first gear. Our technicians tell us this is due to an internal component failure. Mercedes has released updated parts; the transmission will need to be removed and disassembled to complete the necessary repairs.