Mercedes-Benz vehicles are a popular choice for those in search of a pre-owned vehicle. However, these vehicles, like any others, have their fair share of areas that can benefit from proactive care. Preventive maintenance can help head off any potential problems that could put a damper on your ownership experience. The following information covers several common vehicle systems that can benefit from preventive care and maintenance.
Select Mercedes vehicles utilize an advanced air suspension system that provides two important functions. The air springs feature automatic adjustments for load leveling and overall comfort along with active damping for improved handling. The air springs can develop cracks and tears throughout their service life. This issue leads to a slow leak, causing the vehicle to settle on its stop dampers after a short period.
Check the front air suspension spring struts along with the rear spring bags for any cracks, tears, or other physical damage. Replace any air suspension components that appear damaged or worn beyond their service life. Have your technician examine and test the air compressor pump and its related relay. If the vehicle settles to one side, have your technician check and replace the load level sensors.
Another common area of concern with certain Mercedes models is the transmission oil cooler, which is integrated into the coolant radiator. The partitions separating the transmission oil and coolant chambers can develop cracks, allowing coolant to mix with the transmission fluid. The resulting fluid contamination can shorten your transmission's lifespan unless the problem is caught early on.
Have your service technician thoroughly check the radiator and transmission cooler for any signs of leaks and fluid contamination. Later revisions of the stock radiator eliminated this design flaw, so replacing the original radiator with an updated version should help prevent this problem from occurring.
Engine and Transmission Mounts
Some Mercedes vehicles use oil-filled engine and transmission mounts to reduce noise, vibrations, and harshness. These mounts can leak oil late into the vehicle's life. Failed mounts can let more noise and vibration into the cabin and cause both the engine and the transmission to move significantly under acceleration and during spirited driving.
Check the engine and transmission mounts along with the rest of the chassis in accordance with the manufacturer's maintenance schedule. During a close inspection, your technician will check the state of your mounts and, if necessary, replace the aged or damaged components.
With an ever-growing list of electronic features, today's vehicles need extra power to handle the growing energy demand. That's where the auxiliary battery comes into play. Used in conjunction with the main battery, the auxiliary battery runs a number of convenience features, lessening the load on the vehicle's primary battery.
Like most batteries, the auxiliary battery can lose its ability to sustain a charge after 5 years of service. The absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery is also more prone to damage from overcharging. Check the battery for any signs of physical damage and have it tested to see if it holds a charge. A failed auxiliary battery can prevent the clock, radio presets, sunroof, and power windows from working.
The electro-hydraulic Sensotronic Brake Control system (SBC) is another area that's worth inspecting. On some vehicles, the ground wire harness connection can loosen over time, causing the system to default to its backup hydraulic braking. The SBC pump can also fail with age, leading to reduced braking performance and SBC warning lights. Have your technician make the appropriate repairs and replacements as soon as problem areas are found.
Contact your local Mercedes-Benz service center for more information.