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Mercedes-Benz C350 4MATIC Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Mercedes-Benz C350 4MATIC 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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25
Known Problems

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

Inside grab handles, the upholstery on the center console cover, and door trim panels can delaminate. Most commonly replacement of the affected part is necessary.

The engine in the C350 4Matic 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.

The CD changer may suffer from an internal mechanical problem. Replacement of the faulty unit is generally required to correct this issue.

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 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 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 knocking noise from the upper front strut area can be caused by the hold down nut for the strut coming loose and can be repaired without removing the strut assembly.

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.

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.

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 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.

The 2006-2012 Mercedes Benz C350 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.

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.

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