M272 E35 and E30 - Balance shaft diagnosis questions

Discussion in 'Engine' started by kenam, May 14, 2019.

  1. kenam

    kenam New Member

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    Sorry to dig up an old thread - but having had a look at a few CLKs - I would like to know if you can guide me on deciding on taking a risk with M272 E30 or M272 E35 (As used in CLK280 or CLK350).

    From the complete M272 thread, I know how to check vin and engine number and there are 3 classes of issue (Balance shaft worn plastic cog, balance shaft solenoid and balance shaft solenoid leak).
    Issues 1 and 2 are more serious - but I don't really know how to asses the risk of catastrophic failure.

    As far as I can tell there is no way of knowing from a test drive (other than if the engine management light happens to come on).

    Specific Qs:

    - Can a engine management computer be plugged in to see the history or do the codes just get reset?
    - If it was repaired, what am I looking for in the service book?
    - What sort of mileage to failures start to happen?

    ---------
    I am having to do a lot of remote research before looking at cars in person and want to make sure I am getting the right answers.
     
  2. Codger49

    Codger49 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I always thought the worn balance shaft gear issue was down to improperly hardened (or not hardened at all) metal gears, and that the solenoids are all on the ends of the camshafts.

    The classic codes to show the gear issue are P0016 and P0017 at the same time. Very unlikely that any vendor aware of the issue would not have cleared them.

    Likewise for the solenoid issues, which from memory can be any one from P0010 to P0025. Solenoids are not a problem, around £20-25 each and all 4 are mounted at the top front of the engine and take only minutes to change. MB introduced an modified version around 2007 with an updated part number.

    The mileage for the wear issue can be anything, not all cars seem to suffer it and manner of driving will be a large factor.
     
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    kenam

    kenam New Member

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    Ah ok, I picked up it was plastic.. but that doesn't really make sense (ie even the best plastic would be rubbish).

    But that is reassuring.. ie if it's the second issue with the solenoids, it's a case of wait for engine management light and 100£ tops plus labour? That's really just normal servicing price!

    With regards to the engine management codes, I didn't know if it was normal for the computer to keep a log of past codes or if it only shows current ones.

    Sent from my Moto G (5) using Tapatalk
     
  4. amazighman

    amazighman Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    German reliability ?
     
  5. Borys

    Borys Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    You can check if car in question is affected via engine number - mercedes medic website describes the whole issue in detail. Also after 2nd part of 2007 that issue was no longer a concern, rectified. I had s350 from September and was free from it but I did check engine number before purchasing


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    kenam

    kenam New Member

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    You can check the engine number (see opening post) and there are 3 issues - but as far as I know you can only check to see if the engine 'could' have the issue.
    Other factors like driving style and millage will make the issue more or less apparent (This is my understanding).

    My question is more "Assuming I test drive a car that I know is in the engine number ranges quoted, how can I tell if it likely to casue an actual issue".
    I think for the cog wheel (original issue) - there is no way of actually knowing without an impractical/expensive inspection of the cog.
     
  7. Codger49

    Codger49 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    There is a simpler check which involves inspecting the timing marks on the camshaft adjusters reluctor rings. This will only tell you if the timing is aligned (or not) at the time of inspection.

    This video refers to them (about 7 mins in):



    An indy I have used (Steve Garlick) once told me he came across more balance shaft issues in 350s rather than 280s and that chunks of rubber or plastic in the engine oil when it was drained often accompanied occurrences.

    None of which are of any real use when you are looking at a prospective purchase, hence most just avoid vehicles with engine numbers shown as at risk in the tech bulletin.
     
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  8. Borys

    Borys Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Only certain engines are affected
    As I had one trust me I went through all horror scenarios
    Just check engine number against given references on web.
    Even Mercedes themselves released article about m272 - issue was rectified later in production


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    kenam

    kenam New Member

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    ye cheers all - I think I will avoid the real early ones and will consider taking a risk on one that has "only" the solenoid issue - since they can be done relatively cheaply (Or have I got that wrong as well?)
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
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  10. Codger49

    Codger49 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    No, that's about right.
     
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  11. PobodY

    PobodY Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I don't want to think about it... o_O
     
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    kenam

    kenam New Member

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    I feel there is a story here lol.. and probably not one I want to hear!
     
  13. PobodY

    PobodY Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Only that I've got the large M272 in the wrong engine range just waiting to give me a large repair bill.
     
  14. OP
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    kenam

    kenam New Member

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    Ouch - hopefully not!


    With the rarity of the CLK350 coupe my options are quite limited - There is a chance I will say f--k it and just go for the same and we can swap tales of misery and cry into our beer at some point in the future!
     
  15. clk208

    clk208 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Some independents were offering this repair a while back in the £1600 range inc parts and labour.

    Compare this to the cost to rectify any of the regular fails on many CDI engines MB and others- turbos, DPFs, injectors and it starts to look like not such a big deal.
     
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    kenam

    kenam New Member

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    Out of interest - when you bought the 350 did you try out any of the smaller 280s? I'm wondering how much of a difference there is (I have yet to test drive a CLK280).
     
  17. anderoo

    anderoo Active Member

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    I've spoken to the merc specialist garage I use about this, as my car is in the range. The first you'll know is a check engine light, there aren't any clues beforehand. Last time I checked the going rate for the repair was about £3k.

    I don't think the term 'catastrophic failure' is correct really, yes if the issue arises you'll need to get it fixed but the car doesn't just explode. I've read about people continuing to drive for many thousands of miles after the CEL lit up before fixing it. Not really recommended, but you get my point!

    My car is now on 90k miles and hasn't needed the repair yet. It probably will at some point, and if/when it does, £3k is still cheaper than buying a new car.
     
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  18. Codger49

    Codger49 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    For CLKs the difference is 40 bhp, 228 v 268.
     
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  19. OP
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    kenam

    kenam New Member

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    Sorry should have been clearer- how noticeable is 40bhp. How is the driving experience in the 280?

    I'd rather the 350, but due to issues finding them it might be quicker to get a 280.
     

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