Just hearing the name ‘Mercedes-Benz’ makes you think of luxury, and with good reason. With quality engineering and streamlined, elegant designs, Mercedes-Benz has been the staple of business people and high achievers for decades.
Always at the forefront of technology, Mercedes-Benz revolutionizes the car industry with each model they release, with innovations such as the ‘AirMatic’ suspension system showing drivers what a smooth suspension truly felt like.
One of Mercedes-Benz’s most recent innovations is the ‘guide rail’, and in this article we’ll be taking a closer look at this innovative bit of kit, finding out what it’s used for, and how it makes your driving experience better than ever.
What is the Guide Rail, and how is Mercedes’ different?
Unlike the handful of other car models which have this unique part, the guide rail in a Mercedes Benz is made of strong plastic. The guide rail works in tandem with the engine’s timing chain, ensuring that it circulates properly, remaining in line with the other systems around the engine. The guide rail is able to stop this timing chain from becoming misaligned, similar to how a splint on a finger keeps it aligned.
While there is no doubt this part is very helpful to have in a vehicle, just like any other mechanism in your car, it can be prone to damage and/or breakage. Therefore, if your car has a guide rail, it is important to know when an incident involving it might have happened.
What Can Cause Breakages?
As it is made of plastic, high temperatures can cause the guide rail to weaken and wear out. Therefore, to be on the safe side, if you’ve had any issues with overheating in recent weeks, it may be best to test the strength and condition of the guide rail, in case it has become damaged.
If this part does break, then sadly at times, the results can be quite catastrophic. The rail can shatter, spreading throughout the delicate mechanisms of your car. Alternatively, particularly if you’ve been driving at high speeds, the guide rail can melt, fusing to other parts of your car and causing the timing chain to seize up. In the most extreme cases, the timing chain can even dislodge entirely, causing further damage to your Mercedes-Benz.
How to Tell if the Guide Rail has Broken
When your guide rail is close to breaking, it is likely you will hear shaking noises coming from under the hood when driving. This is usually because the plastic has become weak and is able to over-extend and flex with the engine’s motion. When pieces start to break off, you will notice them in your car’s oil pan. These fragments can deprive your car of oil by blocking the systems that supply oil to the engine, resulting in severe engine damage.
Can I replace this myself?
As with anything involving the engine of your car – the most expensive single part of your vehicle, and crucial to its successful operation – it’s really advisable to avoid DIY repairs, as you could find yourself doing more harm than good, which can lead to needing to shell out for very expensive repairs. If you expect your guide rail may be close to failing, then the best thing you can do for the health or your car as well as your wallet is to stop driving as soon as possible, keeping speeds to a minimum in the meantime, and seek the services of a trained mechanic immediately.
If you drive a Mercedes-Benz and are worried about the status of the guide rail in your car, then it’s always better to be safe than sorry and seek maintenance services from a professional.
If you are a resident of San Juan Capistrano, CA, and other Southern Orange County areas, and are looking to have maintenance work carried out on your Mercedes, then Star Motors is the auto service garage you’ve been looking for. Proudly voted the best in Orange County for 10 years running, our dedicated team of qualified mechanics will be able to tell you quickly and affordably if your guide rail is compromised, giving you complete peace of mind and ensuring you’re able to drive away happy.
A problem in the braking system in your vehicle can have serious ramifications when it comes to the safety of both you and your passengers. With the workmanship that goes into the design and manufacture of each Mercedes, many owners never expect it to develop problems, but some, like ABS Modulator failure, may become an issue.
What is the ABS Modulator?
The Anti-lock Braking System Modulator, or ABS modulator, as it is commonly referred to, is a vehicle component that is responsible for the optimization of the brake pressure in each wheel. The ABS modulator optimizes the pressure in the brakes so as to prevent the wheels from locking up, especially in case of a hard brake. The modulator comes in handy in the event that the driver applies the brakes in a hurry with the intention to bring the car to a quick and immediate stop.
In such a situation, the driver is likely to apply more pressure on the brakes than is normal. This may cause the wheels to lock up, and the result will be that the car will skid off. Needless to say, such a situation may easily result in an accident because the driver will no longer have control of the wheels. The ABS modulator is therefore an important life-saving feature in the Mercedes.
However, when the ABS modulator senses the excessive pressure that the driver applied to the brakes, it immediately sends out an impulse into the brake calipers that are then released very briefly. This brief release in turn prevents the wheels from locking up. Simply put, the ABS modulator helps to increase and decrease the brake pressure automatically in order to maintain the traction in the wheels.
Causes of ABS Modulator Failure
One of the major causes of the ABS modulator failure is contaminated brake fluid. Because the ABS modulator is made up of metal and rubber parts, it can be affected by contamination in the brake fluid. The most common contaminant in this case is moisture that finds its way into the brake fluid over time. This then causes the metal parts to be corroded and eventually the brake calipers will break down.
In addition, the corrosion can cause the valve in the modulator to get stuck. This makes the modulator’s operation to be largely impaired since the valve is no longer able to open and close and instead it remains open.
Another possible cause of an ABS modulator failure is the inevitable wear and tear that occurs in moving parts. This wear and tear can be accelerated by leaks in the brake fluid that result in increased friction between the moving components in the modulator.
Signs of ABS Modulator Failure
Some of the tell-tale signs that your Benz could have a problem in the ABS modulator include:
ABS light is illuminated
One of the obvious signs that point to a problem in the ABS modulator is the warning light that comes on on the dashboard. This is because of the computerized system through which the modulator functions that is connected to the car’s computer. A problem in the modulator will likely be diagnosed by the computer and an alert will be created through the ABS light on the dashboard.
Poor brake pedal response
Because of the relationship between braking and the ABS modulator, the entire braking system of the car may be compromised by a problem in the modulator. This is because the pressure that is applied during the braking process is transmitted through the modulator, which then triggers a reaction in the wheels. As a result of the breakdown in the ABS modular, the car may not respond to the braking command in time. You may also have to exert more pressure on the brake pads to get a response than you would regularly.
One of the functions of the ABS modulator is to prevent the brakes from locking, so if they do not work correctly, the brakes might lock, causing the car to skid and possibly result in an accident.
In the event that you experience any of these symptoms in your Benz, you should immediately take your car to a licensed shop for a proper diagnosis and resolution of the problem.
Here at Star Motors, we have the experience and qualifications to help get your car back in good shape in record time. All you need to do is give us a call if you live in the areas around San Juan Capistrano, CA and other Southern Orange County areas.
Understanding common problems in your Mercedes may help you save money and know what preventative measures you should take in order to ensure a long-lasting vehicle. The Mercedes is an excellent car, but it can still be susceptible to issues that could be costly. The better you know your car, the more confident you will be when a problem arises.
It is important to stay up to date on maintenance and keep detailed records of the work performed on your car. Make sure to read through your manual for recommended maintenance procedures. You can also consult your mechanic to see if you should be aware of any other work needed. Regular maintenance, not only helps keep the car’s performance consistent, but it can also help prevent many issues that may be associated with your vehicle.
What are common issues in Mercedes?
Like most cars, the Mercedes can experience some transmission issues from time to time. It is most commonly known for having issues with a faulty 13-pin connector. This issue is most commonly seen on Mercedes models produced from the year 1998 to 2008. It will present itself as an oil leak in the connector, which can be internal or external where the rubber O-rings are located. The 13-pin connector can cause a transmission slip, which causes transmission fluid to leak and can create problems with the valve body.
When the connector leaks, it is possible that this simple issue could cause potential worse issues for your car. The sooner the connector is replaced the better. The leak could damage the control module or the harness. If damaged, these also would need to be replaced. When dealing with a transmission issue, it is better to deal with the problem quickly in order to avoid one small issue snowballing into more costly problems. In addition to this problem leading to more serious issues with your car, it should be addressed quickly to ensure you have no issues when driving to help ensure both your safety and the safety of those around you.
While a faulty connector pin is a common problem in the Mercedes, under-trained mechanics regularly misdiagnose it as a transmission issue. Usually the assumption is that the owner will need to replace their entire transmission, or they will need to replace the valve body. These replacements are both costly and labor intensive.
In order to prevent a serious and expensive misdiagnosis, it is wise to research your vehicle and to communicate with your reliable mechanic about this common problem. Having a basic understanding of your car and how it functions can be the difference between a simple, cheap fix and a fix that may cost you thousands.
What is the solution to a 13-pin connector leak?
The simple fix to a connector problem is to purchase a replacement part and replace the connector pin. Mercedes has designed an updated connector pin for this common problem, which is available for purchase. This can be a finicky repair, so it is recommended to see a qualified service technician.
When replacing the part it is important to replace the transmission oil and to have a dipstick to check the oil level. The transmission in the Mercedes is sealed without easy access because it is electrically controlled. When changing the transmission fluid it is recommended to use transmission fluid produced by Mercedes, but you can ask your local mechanic or auto store what they recommend.
Experts You Can Trust
At Star Motors, we can help you identify if you are dealing with a connector pin issue in your Mercedes. Located in San Juan Capistrano, CA and easily accessible from other Southern Orange County areas, we have expertly trained mechanics to help service your vehicle. Trained in various European auto repair services, we will quickly be able to determine if you are dealing with a faulty pin connector. We specialize in luxury vehicles and are knowledgeable in new technologies that help us diagnosis and repair your car.
With decades of experience, Star Motors is dedicated to quality customer care and service. It is important to be able to have mechanics you can trust to maintain your vehicle and to fix problems with your car. Call today to schedule an appointment to get your vehicle inspected.
* Red Mercedes-Benz C63 image credit goes to:kurmyshov.
Mercedes cars are built durably, which is only one of the reasons why they have such a strong clientele all over the world. However, although Mercedes cars are typically durable in general, certain parts tend to fail over others in particular models. For instance, in aged Mercedes cars with automatic transmissions, it is common for the chassis flex disc to fail and require replacement. If you’re not sure what a flex disc is or does for your car, you’re not alone—most drivers aren’t aware that this part even exists! In this article we’ll go over the basics of the chassis disc function, how to spot issues, and what you can do to prevent problems from occurring down the line.
What is a Chassis Flex Disc, and What Does it Do for Your Mercedes?
There are two chassis flex discs in your Mercedes that are responsible for uniting the differential, the transmission, and the driveshaft, all of which in combination with one another power your Mercedes’ wheels. Chassis flex discs can wear significantly over time. Since they are made of a rubber combination material, they tend to expand and contract upon exposure to high heat temperatures, which can lead to cracking and premature wear. Additionally, the flex discs are also exposed to plenty of suspension activity, which under certain conditions can lead to a speedier wear process. This leads to nuts and bolts falling out or becoming stripped. When not working well, the chassis flex disc can cause significant performance deficits.
Typical Signs of Damage or Premature Failure
The Chassis flex discs are designed to last hundreds of thousands of miles before degradation occurs. However, as we mentioned before, certain conditions can speed up this process. Chassis flex disc failure is a serious problem that must be attended to right away. When the chassis flex disc fails, it is common to experience the following concerning symptoms in your Mercedes:
Gear Shifting Issues
Gear shifting issues are one of the symptoms of chassis flex disc failure, but could also be related to a transmission problem or other engine issue. Normally if the problem is related to the flex disc, the driver might notice difficulty shifting from park to reverse or from park to drive.
Intense Vibration and Ride Discomfort
When the chassis flex disc is failing or not functioning properly, it can cause intense vibration and overall ride discomfort. This is not only concerning, but highly inconvenient for drivers. Usually these symptoms are produced due to the driveshaft not being adequately secured and moving around abnormally. The issue is worsened when more than one of the flex discs are damaged.
How to Prevent Problems From Occurring
Keeping your Mercedes in good condition makes it more reliable, more enjoyable, and will extend its longevity significantly. In order to properly maintain the chassis flex disc, here are a few general maintenance tips to keep in mind:
Stay On Top of Routine Maintenance
The maintenance and service tasks recommended by your Mercedes manufacturer are suggestions that consider the age and life of every component within the vehicle. Keeping up with these suggested maintenance guidelines can keep the parts that connect to the flex disc in good working order, and it also offers your Mercedes specialist the opportunity to address problems early on before they get out of control.
Don’t Let Symptoms Go
If there’s anything you’re going to take away from this article, it’s this: don’t let symptoms go on any longer than they need to. We know that automotive repair and maintenance can be expensive, but you’ll be glad you addressed the flex disc issue sooner rather than later; the longer such problems persist, the more damage they do and the higher your repair bill will be.
What We Can Do to Help You
The skilled Mercedes technicians here at Star Motors have helped numerous Mercedes clients address and remedy chassis flex disc failure. In San Juan Capistrano, CA and other Southern Orange County areas, auto reliability is critical to get on about your daily life smoothly. Therefore, we make it our mission to provide reliable, trustworthy, and affordable automotive care for cars like Mercedes that require specialized services. To learn more about our shop or to schedule an appointment with us, please contact us through our website or give us a call.
Mercedes-Benz cars are some of the best in the world. Known for their resilient design and sound engineering, Mercedes vehicles are reliable and consistent across time. Owning a Mercedes comes with the responsibility of upholding the integrity of the brand, which is why ongoing maintenance is so critical for ensuring its longevity and performance. When your Benz runs into problems, however, it’s time to switch gears into diagnostic and repair mode.
Steering issues in Mercedes vehicles are not uncommon, and there are a few steering problems that Mercedes drivers tend to experience more so than others. It’s critical to pay attention to your Mercedes’ steering condition and report any troubling symptoms to a Benz specialist immediately to avoid hazards, further damages, and costly repairs. If you’re experiencing steering trouble in your Mercedes, you’ll benefit from reading about the various symptoms to look out for and what you can do next.
Power Steering Fluid Leaks
Using the correct power-steering fluid that your Mercedes requires is essential. So when your Mercedes springs a leak in your driveway, finding out if it’s filled with the right fluid is the first thing to address. Power-steering leaks can occur due to a number of different issues, most commonly because of a damaged seal somewhere. Usually you’ll have an idea of the general region that the fluid is leaking from. If not, you can go for a drive and park in a new spot, monitoring where the fluid leaks.
Vibration or Shaking While Driving or Steering
Vibrations experienced while turning or driving are common amongst all drivers, and once again, the issue could be due to any number of problems. Usually when you experience vibrating while driving it is related to the suspension; however, it could be related to your wheels, tires, steering column, brakes, or other areas of concern. The next step is to look out for other symptoms of performance issues in your Mercedes that could point to the source of the vibration, such as excessive bouncing after going over dips or squealing brakes.
Steering Feels Off-Centered
If your steering wheel feels off-center or your car drifts or pulls in a specific direction, you’ll need to do a little more testing to be sure where the issue is coming from. Wheel alignment is usually to blame for off-centered steering, and you can test this by driving in a straight line on a flat surface, such as in a parking lot to determine if your car is pulling on its own or being guided by the camber in the road. You might also look at the emblem in the middle of your steering wheel while driving straight; if it stays centered then your wheel alignment is most likely fine.
Stiff-Feeling While Steering
Usually this symptom is related to the hydraulic or power-steering fluid in your car. Since Mercedes cars are built for performance, it’s common for the steering to feel like sport steering. However, if your Benz feels abnormally stiff, or more so than usual, it’s likely because your power-steering fluid needs to be checked or filled. There could also be an issue with other suspension components or a lack of pressure buildup in the fluid system.
Why a Differential Diagnosis is so Important
Many of the symptoms of steering issues in a Mercedes occur simultaneously and can have a chain reaction of problems that arise. It’s critical to have the source of the problem accurately assessed by a Mercedes specialist with the proper tools, experience, knowledge, and equipment. Isolating the source of the issue is the first most important step in repairing your Mercedes’ steering.
How We Can Help You
The Mercedes experts here at Star Motors have served a clientele of Mercedes drivers with diverse needs for over 30 years. We provide Mercedes-specific services and maintenance procedures for drivers in the areas of San Juan Capistrano and Southern Orange County, CA. Steering problems can put a dent in your driving experience, and they can also affect your safety. It’s important to get your car evaluated by a professional as soon as possible. If you’re experiencing steering issues, please contact us directly to schedule an inspection.