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 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.
* Mercedes-Benz GLC image credit goes to: teddyleung.