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Mercedes-Benz E320 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 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

A worn steering dampening shock can cause a fluid leak at the front of the vehicle. If a leak is noted from the dampening shock, our technicians tell us that it should be replaced.

The rubber bond in the harmonic balancer can decay, which causes the balancer to move and work its way toward the timing cover. If the balancer comes into contact with the timing cover while the engine is running, it will fracture and damage the cover and potentially other surrounding parts. The harmonic balancer should be inspected at every service.

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.

An engine Oil leak may develop from the PCV vent housing on the valve cover and/or the inspection plate on the front of the engine.

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.

One or more of the following steering linkage components may wear prematurely;  tie rod ends, drag link, or idler arm. Our technicians remind us the wheel alignment should be checked and adjusted if any of these items are replaced.

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

The brakes may begin to squeak at about the 50 percent wear point. This is due to the size and material used for the brake pads and rotors.  The brake rotor surfaces become uneven, causing a lip to form at the outer edge. This will generally require replacement of the rotors when the pads are worn (pad life varies depending on driving style and terrain).

Leaks may develop from the differential cover and/or seals on high mileage or older vehicles. Our technicians recommend a complete reseal of the differential unit if these leaks are addressed.

A vibration felt through the center floor of the vehicle can be caused by cracked and/or shredded driveshaft flex discs, resulting in excessive driveshaft movement. If not repaired, damage to the driveshaft center support bearing, transmission, or differential can occur.

As brake fluid becomes dirty over time, it can cause a failure of the anti-lock brake system (ABS) modulator assembly. Our technicians recommend a complete brake system flush every two years to help prevent this issue.

The mass air flow sensor can fail, resulting in poor fuel economy and Check Engine Light illumination.

A malfunctioning HVAC blower motor regulator can cause the blower motor to operate below the requested speed or not at all. Updated regulators are available; the blower motor and cover need to be replaced at the same time to upgrade the system.

Mercedes Benz E320 models manufactured between 2005 and 2009 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.