Mercedes are known for their exceptional performance and luxury comforts. Even with being held to a higher standard than most, they are not immune to system failures, specifically differential failure. Below you will learn more about the differential in Mercedes, why it fails, and what warning signs to be on the lookout for.
All vehicles that are manufactured with four wheels are made with a differential mechanism that is responsible for controlling and allowing the wheels to rotate differently at the same time around corners and turns. Your outside wheels have more ground to cover than the inside wheels in a corner. The differential allows the wheels to spin at different speeds to accomplish this.
A Mercedes differential is known to malfunction or experience premature wear. The failure of the differential mechanism poses an extreme risk to the safety of the vehicle and the driver, as it is the main source of communicating power from the engine to the wheels.
The differential mechanism is made up of several components. While it is reported that the Mercedes differential is known to experience premature wear, it is often caused by nature as corrosion and natural wear, or it can be a failure of one of the parts that make up the differential itself including:
There are a number of possible causes of premature differential failure. As you drive, your vehicle experiences normal wear including the gears grinding to an extent. When the gears become corroded or grind down too much it taints the differential fluid creating too much friction between the gears.
Every differential system is fueled by differential fluid. It is responsible for cooling and lubricating the differential and all components of the mechanism. If your Mercedes experiences a differential fluid leak, the gears are not well-lubricated like they should be, and therefore, excessive gear grinding occurs.
As with any vehicle malfunction or part failure, there are several warning signs that are associated with differential failure in Mercedes. Drivers have reported experiencing:
Mercedes promotes using a “lifetime” differential fluid, meaning it never needs to be changed throughout the average ownership span of a vehicle. Unlike other fluids in your Mercedes, the differential fluid is not equipped with a filter to keep it clean. As your gears grind, small metal shavings are left behind in the differential fluid making it dirtier and dirtier. Although they advertise this fluid as this specific fluid as being a lifetime fluid, it is recommended to treat it as any other fluid in your vehicle and change it with a longer service interval, approximately every 60,000 miles. If you trade out your car before that mileage mark, the “lifetime” claim seems valid for you. If you keep your Mercedes for a long while, then the differential fluid will need maintenance.
It is imperative that drivers do not ignore warning signs that there is a problem with their vehicle, especially signs pointing to differential failure. Differential failure can leave drivers stranded with damaged wheel bearings, misaligned wheels, suspension problems, and uneven tire tread wear. Because the differential mechanism is key in your vehicle handling curves, without it you are left with an unsafe vehicle.
Tanner Motors is the most reliable dealer alternative European auto shop in Phoenix, AZ. Our ASE-Certified and factory-trained technicians specialize in the service and repair work of Audi, BMW, Lexus, Mercedes, Mini Cooper, and Volvo.
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Whether you have found yourself in need of emergency repair work or routine maintenance, give Tanner Motors a call.