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2003 Mercedes-Benz E320 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2003 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

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.

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

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.

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

Due to age and sun exposure, the interior wood trim cracks and the finish gets a cloudy haze. Replacement if the trim would be the most common solution to the problem.

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

Many software updates are available for the different computer systems, but if the vehicle is out of warranty, it may cost money to receive the updates (unless it is a recall). Some updates may be dealer-only, but a well-equipped independent shop can usually provide updates as well.

A knocking noise from the front end can be caused by cracked strut tower bushings.

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.

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

The relay which turns the airmatic suspension pump on may fail causing the pump to run continuously. This can result in failure of the pump motor or a dead battery as the pump motor will continue to run after the car is turned off. Also, Worn airmatic pump mount bushings can causes noises in the front axle while driving on bumpy roads or a buzzing noise while the pump is running.

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.

Vehicles with automatic level control that ride harshly in the rear (no give in the suspension) may have one or both dampening actuators which have failed. It is commonly recommended the actuators be replaced in pairs.

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.