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Discussion Starter #1
Well, it looks like it's finally happening.

After 2 years of ownership reaching just over 200,000kms on the car, my 2007 C280 finally illuminated with the P0016 code: Camshaft Position Correlation - Bank 1 sensor A. The code goes off regularly but the computer always manages to pick it back up. This is also accompanied by P0012 and P0025.

Basically any affected M272 owner's nightmare, and I can't imagine this code just being a coincidentally bad sensor unrelated to the major balance shaft issue. I guess my question is now what should I do if it ends up being the dreaded issue? An obvious option is ditch the car, but I don't think I could sell it to someone in good conscience knowing the engine is on it's way out, and it's been a perfect car for me otherwise.

The other option is actually going ahead and fixing it. Is it even worth it to try and fix? The issue seems like it must be doing minimal damage to the engine if any so far since it runs fine. The repair costs the price of what I'd pay for a new (to me) vehicle, but in the end I'd have my car I'm familiar with where I'd no longer worry about this issue instead of a new car with new potential/unknown problems. I'd imagine a fixed m272 would be relatively reliable as well?

Didn't know about the balance shaft issue in the w203 prior to buying or I would have just got a C300 or something, but I'm kind of stuck with the car now and not in the same financial situation I was 2 years ago. If anyone has experience with this issue feel free to give feedback, likewise if anyone knows any good shops in Ontario, Canada who can do the repair at a decent price definitely feel free to let me know.
 

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CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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As I see it, you have a few options. One, if you are not required to pass a vehicle emissions test or inspection, then just rive it until it fails. The VVT system can compensate. You may hear some timing chain noise, but it will likely last tens of thousands of miles or more before the chain actually fails. Two, you can get it fixed. If you DIY, you're still looking at over US$1,000 in parts.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about your issue. I am on exactly the same boat as you. I've actually decided to fix the car and already ordered the parts. The Genuine Mercedes Benz Balance Shaft Repair Kit will run you about $362 for parts from AutoHausAZ.com and Timing Chain Kit is about $300. You will need your fluids and head gasket, etc. Parts could be had for around $1,000. The expensive part is the labor! Good luck trying to find a shop that will do it for less than $4,000. I'm trying to get someone who is a Mercedes Benz mechanic to do it as a side-job. He's still quoting me $2,500 just for the labor.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
As I see it, you have a few options. One, if you are not required to pass a vehicle emissions test or inspection, then just rive it until it fails. The VVT system can compensate. You may hear some timing chain noise, but it will likely last tens of thousands of miles or more before the chain actually fails. Two, you can get it fixed. If you DIY, you're still looking at over US$1,000 in parts.
Hmm, I'm not required any inspections where I live unless I were to sell the car. Driving it until it dies could be an option I suppose, but I travel a lot for work so the unpredictability is concerning to me. I'd love to DIY the job, however I've never done serious work to a vehicle before and I imagine this isn't the job to start with.

I reckon there's no chance Mercedes would be interested in helping cover parts of repairing this defect?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm sorry to hear about your issue. I am on exactly the same boat as you. I've actually decided to fix the car and already ordered the parts. The Genuine Mercedes Benz Balance Shaft Repair Kit will run you about $362 for parts from AutoHausAZ.com and Timing Chain Kit is about $300. You will need your fluids and head gasket, etc. Parts could be had for around $1,000. The expensive part is the labor! Good luck trying to find a shop that will do it for less than $4,000. I'm trying to get someone who is a Mercedes Benz mechanic to do it as a side-job. He's still quoting me $2,500 just for the labor.
It's a shame the defective parts are so hard to get to. Would be a cheap and worthwhile fix if it weren't for how terribly long it took. I've heard of people mentioning shops relatively close to me that have done the full repair for just over $3000, but I only read those on forum posts from several years ago and who knows if the shops are still doing it. I want to do it myself, but considering I've never taken out an engine I don't think it's a viable option lol
 

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Did this to my 2006 a couple years ago, not an easy job. Engine removal was the easiest part. Cam / chain phasing is not easy or simple. I also changed the oil pump while I had the pan off along with a new tensioner, water pump and thermostat. The 272 is a crap engine period! Overly complicated, low HP and problematic. Less than a year later intake took a crap, common issue again. My 06 has just over 100k and being a Mercedes one would think issue like these should not be going on. Oh by the way 6 months after balance shaft repair the engine at cold start makes a loud rattle noise for a second or two. Mercedes service dept claims this is normal. WTF! I would not put any money in these cars,trade it sell it burn it, get rid of it and cut your loss. Stuck with mine, to much $$ invested to dump.
 

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The 272 is a crap engine period! Overly complicated, low HP and problematic.
I understand the tremendous frustration with the balance shaft issue, but I (and most in the 164) forum would disagree with this blanket statement. I have two vehicles with M272's and they have, and continue to perform wonderfully. Luckily, neither were affected by the balance shaft problem. My ML350's M272 is at 230,000 miles (370,000 km) and still going strong.

I have some experience the starting rattle. I have found that on my ML it happens when the oil level is anything less than full. If the level drops to the half way point between "Fill" and "Full", I start to hear the rattle again. My theory is that the pump rapidly drains the pan and momentarily runs dry before the oil has a chance to return. I have zero proof of course and may be way off, but I DO know that when I hear that rattle, that's my cue to add 1/2 quart of oil. And when I do, the startup rattle goes away.
 

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Sorry sir your "theory" is wrong, the pan is never empty of oil unless your lets say 5 qts low. I concur it may be an oil starvation issue at first start but this would not explain why after first start and at time minutes later there is no rattle. Let it sit for a couple hours and rattle she does. You have been lucky, most have not. There are way better and more reliable engines, my 2002 c240 has a built proof v6, 350k never one mechanical issue.
 

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There are already a few shops such as EV West that convert ice cars to electric power. And the W203 would be a great candidate for an E conversion, in that it is a very nice looking and performing automobile that sold reasonably well and has a typical weakness in the engine. It's also not a terribly heavy car. In the next few years I look for these conversion shops to be more common, and even DIY conversion kits to be available for certain cars. There are already kit's for the VW Beetle (of course), and 80s mini-trucks.
 

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Sorry sir your "theory" is wrong, the pan is never empty of oil unless your lets say 5 qts low. I concur it may be an oil starvation issue at first start but this would not explain why after first start and at time minutes later there is no rattle.
Coincidentally, it just happened again yesterday. I heard the rattle for the first time in months and added 1/2qt of oil. This morning, she started up quietly.
 

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After a year, 6500 miles, with frequent engine warning lights on balance shaft this happened.
I have the same problem but my engine has reached its breakdown.
 

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QUOTE: I've actually decided to fix the car and already ordered the parts. The Genuine Mercedes Benz Balance Shaft Repair Kit will run you about $362 for parts from AutoHausAZ.com and Timing Chain Kit is about $300. You will need your fluids and head gasket, etc. UNQUOTE.
You will also need new headbolts and some other bolts. Torque is by torqueing to a specified value and then turning the wrench 90 degrees further. This stretches the bolt a quarter of the thread pitch and that can only be done once. If done one more time the bolt can pass its maximum elasticity and not keep its tension.
Don´t ask me how I know but I can tell it is a lot of work to replace the head gaskets too.
 

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My C230 balance shaft was replaced by Mercedes at 118k. Cost me 3200 since they picked up part of the repair cost. I drove it about 25k miles with the check engine light on. Mercedes told me the balance shaft gear was down to the nubs and would have failed soon. One week after I got it back the check engine light came on again. Brought it back and they replaced all 4 camshaft adjusters. Now two years later and the adjuster at bad again. It will probably be cheaper to swap the engine since you have so many miles on it. You may be able to find an engine fairly cheap and with a good VIN number so it won't have the balance shaft issue..
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My C230 balance shaft was replaced by Mercedes at 118k. Cost me 3200 since they picked up part of the repair cost. I drove it about 25k miles with the check engine light on. Mercedes told me the balance shaft gear was down to the nubs and would have failed soon. One week after I got it back the check engine light came on again. Brought it back and they replaced all 4 camshaft adjusters. Now two years later and the adjuster at bad again. It will probably be cheaper to swap the engine since you have so many miles on it. You may be able to find an engine fairly cheap and with a good VIN number so it won't have the balance shaft issue..
hmm... I've considered getting a new engine considering I also have intake manifold codes but I have no idea where I'd be able to find one for a decent price. I've never had to swap an engine on any of my cars before (owned a 190E before this), but I imagine the labour is cheaper than rebuilding the m272? Would an '08-'11 engine from a C300 still be right for a w203?
 

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Do a Google search. The engines seem to be around $1500. Just make sure you don't get one in the range of the defective VIN numbers and look for a 2007. The disassembly of the engine to replace the engine is pretty labor intensive. Never had an engine replaced in a MB but you can check with some local shops how much the r and r would be vs balance shaft replacement.
 

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I replaced the balance shaft myself.
I did not have access to WIS so I used the wrong sealant and had to do the job all over again 1000 miles later as the engine started leaking everything everywhere.
There are some special tools required that I made myself, I have a well equipped garage.
I have been repairing cars all my life but this is by far the most complicated engine I ever seen, worse than even the Mazerati V6.
There are no shortcuts, you need to disassemble the engine totally, crankshaft with pistons was the only thing left in the block when I got access to the shaft. Even a big metal part behind the flywheel had to be removed. The guiderails for the camshaft were damaged and they can not be replaced without removing the heads which requires new headbolts tightened in a sequence, first torquewrench and then degree disc.
If You can find a later engine not affected by the balance shaft issue my advice is, go for it.
The balance shaft replacement requires a lot of skill not easy to find even among professional car repairmen.
 
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