W204 / 651 timing chain issue; bump start damages

nikfantastic

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I know that there are other threads on the subject of timing chains but I am after the helpful knowledge and advice on this specific issue.

My 2010 manual C200 blue eff diesel has been maintained only at MB main dealer.

Its last service was end of June this year and all was "good/visually OK" on the Digital Service Report visual inspection sheet with the exception of 'advisory' for clutch/transmission which was the noise from DMF. This was sorted two weeks after with replace of DMF and clutch.

After a week the clutch slipped and let go oil. It was recovered to dealer and a seal (that wasn't replaced initially) was replaced and all good.

2 weeks ago I had been driving in central London, North Circular and dual carriageways at varying speeds with no noise, no performance or acceleration issues and no lights or warnings. I pulled into a car park and reverse parked.

I returned after 45 minutes and the car wouldn't start. No clunks just not starting as if a dead battery. The windows opened though. No warning lights on dash.

Mobilio arrived through RAC as agent.

Starter motor failure diagnosed. Recovery then said he'd bump/tow start the car.

Asked me to dip clutch and engage 2nd gear (manual transmission) and lift clutch and turn ignition when signalled to do so.

I did exactly as instructed and there was a juddering and noise but no start. I immediately dipped clutch and refused to try again.

The car was recovered into a main dealer who agreed starter motor was dead but they advised that the timing chain was stretched and car was 'running rough'

I was under duress of courtesy car being off hired told that I needed to authorise further diagnostics. This returned them saying the timing chain tensioner was broken and the car needed head off to investigate further. Again I felt under duress and was waiting for MB to come back with goodwill as I was adamant bump start had stretched chain.

Head off and they tell me that timing chain guide has disintegrated and the only repair is a new engine at £12,000.

I'm entirely honest when I say that the car had no performance issues, noise or warning lights on prior to parking up and being unable to turn the car over to start it so I don't get how this is the view from MB Main Dealer:

"As per our discussion yesterday the repair method we would advise is to replace then engine, this has been advised due to the following information
Valves to the exhaust inlet aren't sealing from touching the pistons
Chain tensioner guide has broken up and particles would be within the engine this in turn will cause the engine to fail / seize"

I have had helpful advice from 2 reputable indies who tell me that the sudden jerk from tow start would very plausibly caused the chain to jump and destroy guide and tensioner with knock effect of valves meet Pistons.

Mercedes UK have not at this point offered anything - even for existing work so that I can at least take the car back and get engine reconditioned (£2.5k) to cut my losses.

I would appreciate any tech/mech/engineering input into my situation.

(Again, I have read Timing Chain related threads but am after views specific to this situation).

Thank you
 

Black Scorpion

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I never bump start any of our cars for the same reasons that you have been told.

It is so easy to damage engines with the sudden jolt from bump starting.

One thing I do carry in the boot is a jump pack for such events.
 
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nikfantastic

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Hi Black Scorpion, thanks for that. Initially he tried a jump starter booster but the starter motor was done for hence him trying a bump/tow start..... I'm so angry that MB are not looking at this specific point as there was simply no timing issue present prior to the starter motor failing and it had recently been at my usual main dealer THREE times with no advice of anything 'timing' related.... and surely the damage the dealer into which the car was recovered has diagnosed would suggest that the car would not have been driveable?

The fact that the starter is dead supports my view that the tow start ruined my engine?.
 

gianton

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I can't believe Mobilo did that, cause it's 100% their fault. You should email and appeal a case to the UK's MB importer and let know of this matter MB headquarters in Germany. It's not your fault and as your car is ONLY maintained at MB dealers it's their responsibility to fix your engine at NO cost from you. Hire an attorney for an advise too.
 
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nikfantastic

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I can't believe Mobilo did that, cause it's 100% their fault. You should email and appeal a case to the UK's MB importer and let know of this matter MB headquarters in Germany. It's not your fault and as your car is ONLY maintained at MB dealers it's their responsibility to fix your engine at NO cost from you. Hire an attorney for an advise too.

Hi, thanks :)

I have raised the issue with MB Customer Care here in the UK and it is like talking to a brick wall.
The MB Dealership just keep dropping in the car's age and mileage but that shouldn't be a consideration surely? The simple fact is that the starter motor was dead and a bump/tow start has caused the chain to jump and the other issues are as a result...

MB UK are not interested in helping or taking responsibility.

My insurers are helpfully going to support me suing MB and/or RAC but ideally I don't want the stress of a prolonged litigation event.....

Outside of MB everyone has concluded that bump start is the cause.....
 

gianton

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Send every emails exchanged with MB Uk to MB headquarters in Germany. Try to get an independent experts report and send this to MB Germany. Mobilolife should transport your car on a track directly to the dealer and not try to start it by pushing it.
 

Tuercas viejas

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I know that there are other threads on the subject of timing chains but I am after the helpful knowledge and advice on this specific issue.

My 2010 manual C200 blue eff diesel has been maintained only at MB main dealer.

Its last service was end of June this year and all was "good/visually OK" on the Digital Service Report visual inspection sheet with the exception of 'advisory' for clutch/transmission which was the noise from DMF. This was sorted two weeks after with replace of DMF and clutch.

After a week the clutch slipped and let go oil. It was recovered to dealer and a seal (that wasn't replaced initially) was replaced and all good.

2 weeks ago I had been driving in central London, North Circular and dual carriageways at varying speeds with no noise, no performance or acceleration issues and no lights or warnings. I pulled into a car park and reverse parked.

I returned after 45 minutes and the car wouldn't start. No clunks just not starting as if a dead battery. The windows opened though. No warning lights on dash.

Mobilio arrived through RAC as agent.

Starter motor failure diagnosed. Recovery then said he'd bump/tow start the car.

Asked me to dip clutch and engage 2nd gear (manual transmission) and lift clutch and turn ignition when signalled to do so.

I did exactly as instructed and there was a juddering and noise but no start. I immediately dipped clutch and refused to try again.

The car was recovered into a main dealer who agreed starter motor was dead but they advised that the timing chain was stretched and car was 'running rough'

I was under duress of courtesy car being off hired told that I needed to authorise further diagnostics. This returned them saying the timing chain tensioner was broken and the car needed head off to investigate further. Again I felt under duress and was waiting for MB to come back with goodwill as I was adamant bump start had stretched chain.

Head off and they tell me that timing chain guide has disintegrated and the only repair is a new engine at £12,000.

I'm entirely honest when I say that the car had no performance issues, noise or warning lights on prior to parking up and being unable to turn the car over to start it so I don't get how this is the view from MB Main Dealer:

"As per our discussion yesterday the repair method we would advise is to replace then engine, this has been advised due to the following information
Valves to the exhaust inlet aren't sealing from touching the pistons
Chain tensioner guide has broken up and particles would be within the engine this in turn will cause the engine to fail / seize"

I have had helpful advice from 2 reputable indies who tell me that the sudden jerk from tow start would very plausibly caused the chain to jump and destroy guide and tensioner with knock effect of valves meet Pistons.

Mercedes UK have not at this point offered anything - even for existing work so that I can at least take the car back and get engine reconditioned (£2.5k) to cut my losses.

I would appreciate any tech/mech/engineering input into my situation.

(Again, I have read Timing Chain related threads but am after views specific to this situation).

Thank you

I have read your post/testimony.
I can offer some comments from experiences like yourself.
Not as an owner of an MB failed product but as an attorney's technical engineering expert witness, who was acted twice against MB on behalf of his clients as plaintiff versus MB USA!

First I will state from experiences that MB as a company will vigorously defend their position and spend a huge amount of money in litigation defence which from my perspective as a past zone engineering rep for two big Euro/Brit manufacturers defies logic (financial logic) would have adopted a much more reconciliatory position/approach hoping for the garnering customer loyalty.
In MB's posture there can be no fault with their product, its the best or nothing which quite frankly is BS.

So your tack has to be to meet them with engineering fact and demolishing their defense perhaps in a court of law and convincing the man in a black robe and maybe a jury.
This can be expensive as a plaintiff!

Even if you hire an attorney on a contingency basis there will be costs.
Fact #1
I/We know the timing chain is questionable on that engine and there are numerous incidences to bolster that argument --MB timing chain arrangements on that engine are questionable. In workshop terms a pile of sh!t pooh!
Now to produce the killer punch in a court of law you now will need expert INDEPENDENT engineering analysis of the chain power transmission design and execution on that engine condemning EWIS chains ( as the chain manufacturer sub contractor) & MB as the vehicle manufacturer and maybe the nylon polymer rail failure material producer including all structural failure analysis.

Once you have such a report at great cost to you that has irrefutable evidence, then, you can move forward with your dreadnought guns.

Forget suggested letters to MB UK, MB Germany,, UK dealers and to Uncle Tom Cobbly 'n all! .Take the MB nice driving gloves off this is war! !
Just like MB USA, MB UK dealer's tech types are not automobile engineers, they are mechanic tech types who have at best vocational certification !:fail
(Dumb Sh1ts they are !. )

You have to have someone who has a degree in engineering from a prestigious university to carry any weight of derogatory evidence in front of a judge .At that stage MB will tend to capitulate and settle out of court in about 90% of cases.

Fact #2 You will need to replace your engine at your cost & hold on to the displaced engine with ALL the damaged components for failure analysis activities & evidence to bolster your case.

Fact #3
MB employs by retainer some very good attorneys, so be prepared to come up against some "slim customers" (American for slick ba====rds )

I can proffer some more info for you if you want just PM me !
I will state as an automobile engineer with a degree in engineering from French university that the timing chain shouldn't break being bump started.
Something else was going on to make it fail!

All I can say is when you win against this giant like this, its like coming back from a cup final !
Most of you will.think of football, but I will always think of Wales verses England ! Rugby--a good analogy--a gentleman's game played by ruffians !
Its the same in a court of law with aggressive tackles being the normal; like the Denver Broncos that win! You have to act like an American, be nasty, down right dirty, and deviously aggressive to win in a fight! .
A bit like rugby bit not the same!
All the best
Tuerca Viejas
 

KennyN

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The car was recovered into a main dealer who agreed starter motor was dead but they advised that the timing chain was stretched and car was 'running rough`

So they got it started without replacing the `dead` starter motor as they said it was running rough , so how did they manage that ?

If the timing chain guide was `disintegrated`then would it have started at all due to the amount of slack in the chain ?

Have a look at the physical size of the chain guides , if one or more of these were "disintegrated" then there would have been a massive amount of slack in the chain causing it to jump over the cam sprockets and preventing the car from starting : http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TIMING-CH...s-Benz&hash=item5d7411b057:g:QrYAAOSwcB5ZHzB9

Kenny
 
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Ted

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I really feel for you, and hope you get this sorted at least partly to your satisfaction.
But how could a bump start cause the timing chain tensioner to disintegrate or the chain to stretch? (genuine question to the wider community).
I know that the engine will be suddenly turning over quickly - but it does that on startup, so I can't see much difference between the two.

As I say - best of luck with this. Not a good thing to happen.
 
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Petrol Pete

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Hi, thanks :)

I have raised the issue with MB Customer Care here in the UK and it is like talking to a brick wall.
The MB Dealership just keep dropping in the car's age and mileage but that shouldn't be a consideration surely? The simple fact is that the starter motor was dead and a bump/tow start has caused the chain to jump and the other issues are as a result...

MB UK are not interested in helping or taking responsibility.

My insurers are helpfully going to support me suing MB and/or RAC but ideally I don't want the stress of a prolonged litigation event.....

Outside of MB everyone has concluded that bump start is the cause.....
If you do not want prolonged litigation scrap the car walk away now.
Any type of legal action will drag on for months, possibly years.

The choice is yours. This is a sorry tale and I agree with you that the bump (non) start is to blame.

But I am not a judge. I wish you the best of luck ,whichever path you choose.
 

grober

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My only comment would be that because the timing chain on the OM 651 is at the rear of the engine its a distinct possibility that your description
Its last service was end of June this year and all was "good/visually OK" on the Digital Service Report visual inspection sheet with the exception of 'advisory' for clutch/transmission which was the noise from DMF. This was sorted two weeks after with replace of DMF and clutch.
was an indication that the "noise from the DMF" was a misdiagnosis and in fact an audible clue that there was a timing chain/tensioner problem? Impossible to prove at this point unfortunately.

You are now faced with some difficult decisions. The main factor to take into account is the present market value of the car [ when repaired] versus the cost of possible litigation and any repair. I would venture that the replacement by an entirely new engine at £12,000 is not commensurate with the likely market value of the car once repaired- leaving an engine strip down -also quite expensive - or the most economic solution a second hand unit from a breaker with some form of warranty/exchange- as your best repair option.
 
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nikfantastic

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My only comment would be that because the timing chain on the OM 651 is at the rear of the engine its a distinct possibility that your description
Its last service was end of June this year and all was "good/visually OK" on the Digital Service Report visual inspection sheet with the exception of 'advisory' for clutch/transmission which was the noise from DMF. This was sorted two weeks after with replace of DMF and clutch.
was an indication that the "noise from the DMF" was a misdiagnosis and in fact an audible clue that there was a timing chain/tensioner problem? Impossible to prove at this point unfortunately.

You are now faced with some difficult decisions. The main factor to take into account is the present market value of the car [ when repaired] versus the cost of possible litigation and any repair. I would venture that the replacement by an entirely new engine at £12,000 is not commensurate with the likely market value of the car once repaired- leaving an engine strip down -also quite expensive - or the most economic solution a second hand unit from a breaker with some form of warranty/exchange- as your best repair option.


Hi Grober,

Thank you for your reply.

The 'noise' was when the clutch pedal was released - was the DMF as noise disappeared after clutch/DMF was replaced.

I have a price to recondition/repair engine that is an economically viable option :)
 

supermonkeyman

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Personally I would claim from the insurance company but they may refuse to cover as it will be seen as mechanical failure. Next best option would be a reconditioned engine.

I personally think it would take a lot of time and effort taking MBUK to court and theres no guarantee of success. You could complain to the motor ombudsman and see what they say.
 
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nikfantastic

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Insurance is for Unisured Loss.
RAC have admitted bump starts are not their policy.
 

grober

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There are many reasons why its usually not a good idea to bump start a modern diesel.

1. The engine fuel supply may need to be primed by an electrical pump back in the car tank.
2 It may require electrical glow plug activation to assist cold starting.

3. If fitted with a dual mass flywheel this will be asked to function in reverse from its normal action where its springs are compressed to absorb power takeup [ engine driving wheels] - in this case they will be stretched [wheels driving engine]

4. And possibly the crucial one- if the timing chain tensioner is oil pressure piston activated- and oil pressure has not been built up by the engine turning over then the timing chain may be too slack and jump several teeth
 

gianton

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There are many reasons why its usually not a good idea to bump start a modern diesel.

1. The engine fuel supply may need to be primed by an electrical pump back in the car tank.
2 It may require electrical glow plug activation to assist cold starting.

3. If fitted with a dual mass flywheel this will be asked to function in reverse from its normal action where its springs are compressed to absorb power takeup [ engine driving wheels] - in this case they will be stretched [wheels driving engine]

4. And possibly the crucial one- if the timing chain tensioner is oil pressure piston activated- and oil pressure has not been built up by the engine turning over then the timing chain may be too slack and jump several teeth

Exactly my thoughts at first... all modern diesels should not be pumped started at all. ECU is a crucial part in these cars and without it giving the correct orders, only bad things will happen.

RAC should've not tried this method of starting the car at all! They should load it on a truck and transport it to the nearest MB dealer.
 

Ted

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Three weeks on - any news or updates?
 

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