M273 v8 - 2009 w211 e500

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Dec 8, 2010
R500 SWB + W211 E500 + ST220 estate + E46 330ci convertible
Good afternoon,

I am looking at a 2009 E500 with the 5.5l M273 in it.

I know that some had idler gear issues but it seems to suggest that was only until 2008. It may be that 2009 was the last of the line and actually that is what they meant?

Does anybody know if the issue was rectified for a 2009 car?

Thank you.
Check your engine number

According to this website, the problem disappeared after
M273 Engine Serial No. 2739..30 088611

But.... the Internet is full of bogeymen stories, so be wary of believing that engines are doomed to die. Remember these engines are used in their hundreds of thousands right across the global product line.

Anyway...."Here's the link:"

Mercedes Benz balance shaft engine issues. How to check by VIN. M272/273 - MB Medic
I have the m272 V6 version, which is within the range for the bad balance shafts. Personally it doesn't concern me too much, it might need dealing with at some point (currently on 76k miles) and it might not. In the meantime, it's a fantastic engine and I really like the car.

'Doomed to die' is overstating it I think, if it does happen it's not like it immediately blows up the engine. You get loads of warning and plenty of time to deal with it one way or another. I've read of people ignoring the CEL for up to 10,000 miles before getting it sorted (although I'm sure that's not recommended!). Put some money aside for a potential fix and forget about it.

BTW when I have discussed this with the indie I use, he did say he'd seen a couple that were in theory outside the affected range, so although it's rare, that can apparently happen.

I just enjoy the car, but I can also see why others might not want to roll the dice.
I think the balancer shaft issue on the M272 V6 is more prevalent than the idler gear on the M273 V8; it is certainly what the internet would have you believe. That said, you tend to only hear bad news on the internet.

I absolutely get that any issue can happen to any car but with a known issue I am trying to understand what mitigation, if any, can be put in place.
From all I've read, I think you'd be very, very unlucky if you suffered from this in a 2009 car.

I think you're also right about it being more prevalent in the V6s, but that may simply be because there are more of them than the V8s and so more people talk about them. I honesty don't know if the problem is more likely in a V6 or a V8, I doubt it, but I'm sure someone here knows more than I do.

In terms of mitigation, I really don't think there's anything you can do aside from get quotes from people who know what they're talking about and put some money aside just in case. It's not a job I'd trust to general mechanics. If the gear is from the bad batch, no amount of preventative maintenance will have any effect. I guess driving like an old lady might put it off for a bit but is that worth it? ;)
If you're looking at the sliver car on auto trader it's quite overpriced.

Dealer cars have sold in the last few months for between 6k and 8k. All were face-lift albeit were 2007 or 2008 cars and many with much lower mileage.
Hi Texasjohn,

Were you selling an E500 at some stage on Pistonheads? It seemed like a lovely car but I missed out.

I have spoken to the chap about the silver car on Autotrader and he seems nice and the car appears to have been well looked after.

I also think it is overpriced, it has steadily been reducing, but it is hard to articulate a realistic price with sellers sometime. A balanced equation here as there are not lots of others for sale so perhaps even weighted in a seller's favour?

What did you think of the E500 if indeed you did have one? It could be destiny if I do get it as I am also a Southampton naitive!
Yep I was, I sold a W211 07 plate about two years ago for £9.5k. It had 33000 miles at the time. More recently, a E500 C207 Coupe on 59 plate for £15750.

FMSH car.

He is reducing it but very slowly!

Why not put the reg into various 'we buy any car' type websites and offer him that number plus £1k (noting that they will also knock him down a bit for minor issues).

Usually about right for a private sale value.

It's difficult to articulate a value as there is little else out there to compare with other than a load of 09/59 E500 coupes. Completely different model.

I was probably being a bit harsh on the value above, but I'd say something 7500-8500 is about right. It'll be perceived as 'high mileage' by many once you put another 10k-15k on the odometer.
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Thanks for the reply.

How did you find your W211? I am looking for something to do a bit of M4 work with the occasional ferry of kids.

I have an E39 530i at present which is great but will need a few bits doing to it soon.
Fine, but a lot of maintenance (repair) issues cropped up and this was on a car with FMBSH and low use when purchased. I guess at the end of the day it was an eight year old car and stuff crops up. I spent just under a couple of thousand (about a third of this cost was having the alloys fully refurbed as one was unsafe as were two cracked tyres that I also replaced) but it didn't really depreciate much in the six months or so that I owned it. If I bought one again I'd make sure it got plugged into STAR machine before I offered to purchase it. From a dealer I suppose you have some redress but of course I bought privately.

It's probably the heaviest on fuel out of all the V8s I've owned too. Averages below are over a total of 5 to 10 thousand miles.

E500 coupe - 25.9
E63 5.5 - 24.4
W211 E500 - 23.1

You can see the difference that aerodynamics and weight make, comparing the two cars with the M273 in the list above.
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I must say that I am really interested but, and I think you are right, the price needs to be more favourable and a full bill of health required.

The obvious answer is but a Honda Civic if you don't want bills but that is simply not going to happen!

I do fancy a Lexus LS460 which should, in theory, throw up less bills but some are fantastic such as £5000 for a steering rack!
I looked at the LS460 and there was another potential £4000 bill for something but I forget what now exactly.

It might have been something to do with ATF cooling, or lack of, leading to a substantial failure.
Measuring life threatening disease.

The internet is full of bogeymen stories about life-threatening disease. Look at Howmanyleft.co.uk if you want to get an idea of how many cars get sent to the knackers yard early.

Big Lexuses are ridiculously reliable. But Lexus aren't so easy to "love."

250,000 E class are sold globally every year. it's a reliable car.

For all older cars: expect insignificant depreciation compared to something newer, but if you buy a properly maintained car, expect "the occasional" non-routine maintenance issue.

The worst issues are usually a combination of high mileage (sometimes due to clocking), skimped maintenance, and dodgy / effusive driving.
I went to look at the 09 plate E500 discussed in this thread, I happened to be 5 minutes drive away yesterday so I went partly out of interest and also to report back to help Lynx.

It's a lovely example. Needs one alloy tidying, a bit of kerb rash. That's about it.

Fundamentally the car is great and certainly a good buy; chap is honest and has looked after it well, all scheduled servicing done on time.

Great spec too, harman kardon, ventilated seats, COMAND.

If it was a 320CDI I'd have bought it. Even though I really need an estate lol!

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