Understanding A Mercedes Timing Chain And The Replacement Cost
What Is A Mercedes Timing Chain?
Firstly, understanding what a Mercedes timing chain is, will help you to understand just how crucial it is to the operation of your car. The timing chain is an integral component in your Mercedes engine and plays a critical role in ensuring optimal engine performance and fuel efficiency.
A timing chain is a robust, heavy-duty, hardened metal chain that is fitted inside the engine casing and loops around the gear wheel in the camshaft and crankshaft to help keep the pistons and valves synchronised.
Timing chains are typically installed on more modern vehicles and high-end vehicles like Mercedes Benz vehicles because timing chains offer greater strength and durability over a traditional timing belt and are therefore better suited for these more powerful engines. They are inherently more resistant to heat and friction and can stand up to these pressures without wearing down as much as a timing belt would, ensuring less frequent replacement.
What Does A Mercedes Timing Chain Do?
A timing chain is responsible for synchronizing the rotation of the crankshaft and camshaft(s) as well as controlling the pistons and engine valves, known as intake and exhaust valves, ensuring they operate efficiently and safely inside the engine cylinders. These valves are responsible for allowing the correct amount of fuel to enter the engine, and for the exhaust to exit the engine. The movement of the chain allows for engine cylinders to produce the exact amount of internal combustion and power to drive the vehicle at the required speed.
How Often Does A Mercedes Timing Chain Need To Be Replaced?
There is no specific date or time at which a Mercedes timing chain needs to be replaced because it is assumed that it will last the lifetime of the car, or at least as long as the engine does, due to its incredible durability and longevity. In fact, timing chain replacement is not even part of any Mercedes Benz service schedule, because it’s assumed that it will only need to be replaced if damaged!
If a timing chain is looked after extremely well, it can last a lifetime as it is made of metal and is pretty robust but they are not indestructible. A lot will also depend on mileage, how you drive, and the pressure you put on your car’s performance.
Even if you don’t need a timing chain replacement, it is still important to keep a routine check on it. The chain also requires regular and suitable lubrication to keep it well-lubricated and this must also be attended to regularly. It is best to use the oil that is recommended by the manufacturer for your Mercedes' requirements.
When Should You Consider Timing Chain Replacement?
The best time to consider timing chain replacement is when you first start to see, feel or hear symptoms that something may be wrong. At the first sign of any of these problems, it is important to act right away to prevent significant damage to your engine.
Symptoms Of A Failing Mercedes Engine Timing Chain
- Check Engine Light Illuminates
- Inability to Start Engine
- Rattling Noise Emitting from Engine Bay when Starting the Car or Idling
- Misfiring Engine
- Significant Increase in Fuel Consumption if the Timing is Off
- The Engine Could Feel Sluggish/ Reduced Power Output
- Contaminated Engine Oil - Metal in the Oil
Is Driving With A Broken Timing Chain Unsafe?
It can be dangerous driving with a failing timing chain, but the main risk here is the enormous damage you will cause your engine should it break completely.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Mercedes Timing Chain?
Mercedes replacement chains vary in price according to the age, make and model of the car - have a look at our website: Mercedes Benz Timing Chain which will give you an indication of the range of prices and the various Mercedes timing chain kits available.
The timing chain is a major component in your engine and there are several special tools required to perform the repair, so it is recommended that this repair be done by an experienced mechanic. Labour costs will be a major contributor to the cost of the repair as changing a timing chain is a lengthy process. It can take an experienced mechanic, with all their supplies and parts readily accessible, between 5 - 8 hours.
The mechanic will need to remove covers and accessories in order to access the timing chain which is fitted in the front of the engine and release the tension on the chain. They will then remove the camshaft and crankshaft gears and should install new tensioner and guides and ensure they are aligned. All covers and accessories are reinstalled and replaced and the engine is then tested.