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2008 Mercedes-Benz E350 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2008 Mercedes-Benz E350 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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22
Known Problems

The engine in the E350 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.

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.

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 is known to break.

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

The engine may develop a stalling and/or no start condition due to a failed crankshaft position sensor.

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.

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 Mercedes Benz E350 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 ESP and BAS warning lights may illuminate due to a failed brake light switch. Replacement of the failed switch should correct this concern.

Due to the size and material used on the brakes of these vehicles, the brakes may start to squeak around the 50 percent wear point. The brake rotor surfaces become uneven, causing a lip to form at the outer edge of the rotor. Because of this, the rotors are usually replaced when the pads are worn (pad life varies depending on driving style and terrain).

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.

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.