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