Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

41 - 54 of 54 Posts

·
Registered
1983 300TD turbo, 2006 E350 wagon, 2012 GL350
Joined
·
2 Posts
Follow UP OM 642 timing chain and leaks

Good morning! I'm one of those silent readers of this forum. Even though I read through this pages very often (maybe too often!), I've stayed in the sidelines...until now!
My wive and I decided to mortgage a few years of our income and bought a very low mileage '11 GL350 a year ago. The deal was done at a non-MB dealer and no ext warranty was purchased at the time. Right...I mean...wrong...
I thought that the one think I could trust MB with was this OM642 motor. I've owned Sprinters before (currently own one) and never had even a hiccup. There issues, yes, but internal engine problems, never.
Two weeks ago I decided to park the car. I've been noticing the timing chain slap at startup and decided to consult this forum and my heart sank when I found out! Not only that, but I've had an oil leak for a few weeks now, which my mechanic (former MB, now independent) traced to a main rear seal. But after reading some more he might be wrong and it could very well be another case of the O'rings.
Also, I have to fix the urea heater element AND the tank level sensor. All in all I'm looking at spending around 7K in a car that has not reached 43K miles!
BTW, I've already replaced struts with Arnott's, speed sensors and other smaller "stuff". This is the type of thing I would expect from a Kia Sorrento, but not from a top of the line SUV from a premium manufacturer.
I'm upside down (value, vs equity) here, so don't have much choice but to run a couple credit cards and get this done. My biggest concern (after cost....) is the quality of the new O'rings, seals and more importantly the new timing chain. Is there a verified TSB or similar that specifically talks about a change in material, specs, etc? Is there a change in part # (old vs new)?
My mechanic is very good, but he is submerged in his shop and does not have much time to play around with the computer figuring this out.
I just don't want to dump all this $ and have the issue reappear 15-20K miles down the road.

Also, others have talked about doing something as a group. I now believe this is a more serious issue that most people think. I'm sure there are thousands of owners out there who have this issue and don't even know about it.
Is there a lawyer in the group who would be willing to start gathering info to present a formal complaint?

Your comments are obviously welcome!
 

·
Registered
2011 E350 Bluetec
Joined
·
41 Posts
I have never heard of the O Rings being an issue with this engine. My short list of expensive OM642 problems are: timing chain and oil cooler. Other things tend to not be as pervasive. I have (as noted earlier in this thread) been hit by the timing chain. My findings were that the timing chain was defective for a range of these ending around MY2012. The new chain was a different part number which can only mean it's different in some way. I'll tell you in another 60,000 miles.

The new purple oil cooler seals appeared somewhere in the 2010s and I think they fixed that. I recently had an oil leak and was quite disappointed and assuming oil cooler seals immediately - BUT it turned out to be the oil filter housing seal which was a cheap fix at $250 (P&L).

To me the bigger issue here is that you are upside down. I am also upside down on my diesel. The reason why I suspect both of us are upside down are due to the greatly tarnished reputation and resale value of diesels as well as a the rumors (and action) that Merceds also cheated on emissions. For that there are several lawsuits pending. If you google "om642 class action" you can find some of them and they are pending.
 

·
Registered
2009 ML320 Bluetec
Joined
·
25 Posts
Reading this post is getting me concerned. I have a 2009 ML320 Bluetec with 160,000Kms. Is the timing chain failure prone for this year. Also in the first post it is mentioned to check through the oil fill hole for the tensioner. I did not get exactly what to look for or does it need trained eyes/experience. Can somebody elaborate on what exactly to see for the problem.
 

·
Registered
2011 E350 Bluetec
Joined
·
41 Posts
It depends. There are different versions of the OM642 engine. If you open the oil cap and can see the chain then you can just follow it down to where the tensioner is pushing it from the outside in. However, at some point, they placed a metal part blocking the view of the chain (and tensioner). If you open the oil cap and see a piece of metal then you will be able to see the tensioner without some kind of camera probe to get around the metal. You cannot remove the metal (well - you cannot reasonably remove the metal).
 

·
Registered
2010 Ml 350 Bluetec
Joined
·
8 Posts
I tend to think this issue revolves around engine oil and change intervals. With the release of the DEF equipped engines the oil change intervals were increased and the oil spec changed to an oil with a lower TBN and sufated ASH content then before. 10,000 miles is way to long to run the oil in this engine especially with the extreme heat and soot loading. Couple that with the fact that most owners are running a 5w30 oil which Benz specs solely for fuel economy reasons and its a recipe for disaster. It all leads to dirty gritty broken down oil near the end of the change interval causing wear on components such as timing chains that are highly loaded and only lubed by splash. Im sure many people run past the interval as well as going 1,000 over on a 10K oil change does not look as bad as going 1k over on a 3k mile change as a percentage of overage but it is much worse. I have no good proof of this but ive been in the diesel engine industry for 18 years and that my theory. Personally after the job I did on mine I am running 5w 40 European formula Amsoil and will be changing it every 5K miles max. I only drive mine about 5K miles a year so it will be a long time before I know if this theory will work. You could clearly see on the chain I removed that the issue is the bushings in the chain were worn. They dont actually "stretch" the bushing wear and cause the chain to get longer. Ill tell you what though, when this engine is running correctly it is one of the best things I have ever driven, shame it has so many issues.
 

·
Registered
2011 ML350 BlueTec, 2008 ML350 4Matic
Joined
·
311 Posts
Add another Car to the Timing Chain Issue.

2011 ML 350 BlueTec, just 2 month out of (extended) Mercedes Benz Warranty.
Mileage: 72000
The Noise started just as we exited the warranty. Just 2 seconds at Start-up, then it is gone.
I suspected a problem with the Timing chain or the Tensioner, or both. Did some Research.
Independent Shops do not want to touch this problem, because they don't have the Tools.
Call the Dealer, they want $3500 for the Job. I left my Car there yesterday, stay tuned and I'll tell you what I told the Service Manager.
(Not the Service advisor.)
 

·
Premium Member
02 ML320 06 ML500
Joined
·
16,844 Posts
Add another Car to the Timing Chain Issue.

2011 ML 350 BlueTec, just 2 month out of (extended) Mercedes Benz Warranty.
Mileage: 72000
The Noise started just as we exited the warranty. Just 2 seconds at Start-up, then it is gone.
I suspected a problem with the Timing chain or the Tensioner, or both. Did some Research.
Independent Shops do not want to touch this problem, because they don't have the Tools.
Call the Dealer, they want $3500 for the Job. I left my Car there yesterday, stay tuned and I'll tell you what I told the Service Manager.
(Not the Service advisor.)

They know exactly when these engines will "tap out".
 

·
Registered
2011 E350 Bluetec
Joined
·
41 Posts
Yes - I'd put a very high probability that this is a timing chain replacement. I'd encourage you to further investigate independent shops and even consider traveling to get to one. You would save a substantial amount of money. Mine was replaced at $2,200 (independent shop) and I have about 15,000 miles on the car since then without any related issues.

Add another Car to the Timing Chain Issue.

2011 ML 350 BlueTec, just 2 month out of (extended) Mercedes Benz Warranty.
Mileage: 72000
The Noise started just as we exited the warranty. Just 2 seconds at Start-up, then it is gone.
I suspected a problem with the Timing chain or the Tensioner, or both. Did some Research.
Independent Shops do not want to touch this problem, because they don't have the Tools.
Call the Dealer, they want $3500 for the Job. I left my Car there yesterday, stay tuned and I'll tell you what I told the Service Manager.
(Not the Service advisor.)
 

·
Registered
2011 ML350 BlueTec, 2008 ML350 4Matic
Joined
·
311 Posts
Add another Car to the Timing Chain Issue.

2011 ML 350 BlueTec, just 2 month out of (extended) Mercedes Benz Warranty.
Mileage: 72000
The Noise started just as we exited the warranty. Just 2 seconds at Start-up, then it is gone.
I suspected a problem with the Timing chain or the Tensioner, or both. Did some Research.
Independent Shops do not want to touch this problem, because they don't have the Tools.
Call the Dealer, they want $3500 for the Job. I left my Car there yesterday, stay tuned and I'll tell you what I told the Service Manager.
(Not the Service advisor.)
Ok, I got my Car back today. Total Cost out of my Pocket = $1726.51

The Story:
My Car had the MB extended warranty, and it ran out this January 1st. 71500 miles on it.
A Week before(!) they replaced a Gasket on the Turbo that was leaking. Luckily I caught it just in time.
Anyways, a few Weeks out of the warranty, I noticed that sound at startup, like the Tensioner isn't all full of Oil, and it goes away after just a couple of seconds.
I talk to my Service advisor, try to reason with him, he said $3600 for the Job. Nothing he could do.
I am getting pissed.
I drive to the Dealership, ask specifically for the Service Manager. (Later on I find out there are):
Service Advisors
Service Managers
Service Directors

So, I get to talk to the Service Manager, a friendly Man, I explain to him that I have been driving Mercedes for over 30 years.
No, I didn't buy them at your Dealership, but I left a lot of money here maintaining them,alright?
Also, I ask him "would you expect a Mercedes Benz with a Timing Chain failure after only 72000 miles?"
He said no, that is not what we stand for.
Mind you, I do all my own Oil-changes, Filter changes, etc.

"I'm not looking for a Free-bee, if you understand what I mean. The Car is clearly out of warranty, I know that but how about a little help?"

After 5 minutes talking to him, he says "we can do a 50-50, how about that?"
The Man is obviously a real Human Being that you can talk to and bargain with. I hand him my Key and tell him to take care of it.
I just saved myself around $1900 by talking to a Service Manager, without screaming, Name calling, just a nice little conversation.

The car now runs perfect, a bit more responsive, stronger, can't really figure out what it is. Perhaps it's just that "new Car feeling" lol.
I got 2 ML's and can't afford losing them. One of them (2011 BlueTec) is used in my Business. These Cars are my Investment.
I feel like I have done the right thing.
Of course I wish that Timing chain failure would have happened during the valid warranty, but it could have been worse.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2011 E350 Bluetec
Joined
·
41 Posts
Congratulations! I am glad that some of us have dealerships that are willing to do those kinds of things and help people out. I'd stay with them and maintain that good relationship. I did not have that kind of response from my dealership and I have a similar background with MB (6 daily drivers, 3 parts cars, 9 total).

Yes, mine ran a lot better after replacing the chain (around the same milage also). The engine felt "tighter". I paid a independent shop around $2200.
 

·
Registered
W211 E320 CDI V6 FL Avangarde Sports Package Wagon
Joined
·
39 Posts
Hi,
Does anyone had measure the chain stretch? There's a special tool for this.
This tool needs to be put like a tensioner, then you turn your crank pulley couple of times to read the results.
If you notice the sound in early phase, there is a good chance, that timing chain tensioner replacement will do the fix.
Worth, to know, that new MB tensioner supposed to be a 5mm longer than a previous one ( part last numbers 211 vs 311), so don't bother buy from other manufacturers.

https://www.motor-talk.de/forum/320-cdi-v6-steuerkette-t5628569.html?page=1

Also, independent shop for MB in Poland, needs 5h of labor to replace only the timing chain and a tensioner.
Without removing the engine.
 

·
Registered
2011 E350 Bluetec
Joined
·
41 Posts
Also, independent shop for MB in Poland, needs 5h of labor to replace only the timing chain and a tensioner.
Without removing the engine.
Please invite this mechanic to our forum.
 

·
Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
Joined
·
18,991 Posts
FYI, the official timing chain replacement procedure is to remove the right head cover and draw in a new chain. Removing the head cover is the big job - book rates are for tat are listed at 3.8 hours. Drawing in a new chain is (with the head cover removed) is listed at 1.8 hours. Replacing the tensioner is simple, but listed at 0.8 hours (I'd say an extra 20 minutes in conjunction with the chain replacement). So, 5 hours as a top-end job is very reasonable.
 

·
Registered
2012 C-Cass coupe 180 cgi and 2015 SLK 200 with tuning box.
Joined
·
10 Posts
The tensioner has a check valve at the rear and a pressure relief at the front, should not leak oil when squeezed by hand. The reason most of these get louder when you replace the tensioner is because the old tensioner gets broken due to over extension with the stretched chain. When you replace the tensioner the new one wont properly reach the guide so the chain slaps all the time. For those of you ignoring this and driving it good luck. As the chain stretches it will start to wear on the gears, balance shaft, guides ect and eventually cost way more to fix. If you are unlucky enough to have it skip a tooth or break your entire engine will be only worth its weight in scrap. It will make the 22 hours of labor to replace it look cheap. I really wish everyone who has this issue could pull together and push this back at benz. My wife and I test drove a 2013GL bluetec with 60K on it and the chain was slapping way worse than ours, they have a problem and I think most people just dont know.
And that 2013GL Bluetec had stop/start technology, 600,000 life time starts as against 60,000, could there be a link.
 
41 - 54 of 54 Posts
Top