Mercedes Benz has been using timing chains in their engines since the 1950’s. The purpose of the timing chain is to synchronize the camshaft and crankshaft rotation so that the engine’s valves open and close at the correct time. This is how your engine manages the combustion and exhaust process. Without it, your engine will not run.
Mercedes has chosen to use timing chains instead of timing belts because they are more durable than the rubber alternative. But like all moving parts, they eventually wear out and need replacement.
The life of a timing chain can vary. The chain itself is lubricated by engine oil. If you haven’t been doing regular oil changes, dirt in the system or having low engine oil can prematurely wear your timing chain. As a rule of thumb, the timing chain will perform well for 200,000 miles with good maintenance practices.
No, there are other parts associated with the timing chain that form the complete system. Chain silencers and guides are used to keep the timing chain from vibrating. These parts also wear out and may need replacement sooner than the chain.
Since the timing chain is durable, the degradation happens slowly over a long period of time. As it wears, the chain itself actually stretches. The effect is a loss of power. When your car feels sluggish, it’s time to have a Mercedes repair shop like Perfection do an inspection. Beyond lethargic performance, your engine might have trouble starting due to the timing being off. You may also notice noise coming from the chain if the guides and chain tensioners break. It will sound like a buzzing, whine or rattling noise. If the timing chain itself breaks, a tow truck will be involved in the car repair process.
Perfection Auto Works is experienced in working with high mileage vehicles. If you are experiencing terrible fuel economy or strange noises from your engine compartment, make an appointment to bring your Mercedes Benz in for an inspection by our factory trained car mechanics. Repairing the problem early is the best way to save dollars in the long run.