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1997 Mercedes-Benz E320 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1997 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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30
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.

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.

 

The cup holder in the center console may break.

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.

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.

Cup holders break easily, especially if sticky liquids are spilled into the cup holder mechanism.

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.

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.

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.

The cooling system hoses may fail unexpectedly. The hoses can look good on the outside, but the rubber can degrade and erode on the inside. If not carefully checked, the hoses can burst at any time.

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

The bushings for the shifter lever wear out to the point where they break and fall out. This causes excessive movement (loose feel) in the shifter lever and a clanging-type noise when changing gears.

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

The electrical connector at the automatic transmission may leak fluid into the wiring harness. If not repaired, the oil will migrate through the wiring harness and damage the transmission control module. At that point, a new harness and control module may be necessary to correct this problem.

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