E-Class (W211) – MY2003-2009

Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG (W211)
Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG (W211) – photo by Rich7333

Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W211)

This page is still under construction and information here may not be complete.

The W211 underwent a facelift in MY2007 which resolved many of its numerous electrical issues, removed the troublesome “Sensotronic” braking system, and gave it brand new engines. The community considers it worth spending the premium for the post-facelift cars because of how much more reliable they are than those produced from MY2003-2006.

Avoid E350’s, E550’s, and MY2007+ E500’s which have engines produced prior to October 2006. They are susceptible to major engine issues that can cost thousands of dollars to resolve. See the engine list below for more details.

E500’s produced from MY2003-2006 with the “M113” engine do not suffer from these issues.

Engines

  • M112 (E320)
  • M113 (E500 MY03-06)
  • M113K (E55 AMG)
  • M156 (E63 AMG)
  • M272 (E350)
  • M273 (E500 MY07+, E550)
  • OM642 (E320 BlueTEC, E320 CDI MY07+)
  • OM648 (E320 CDI MY05-06)

Problems

All Vehicles

Mechanical

  • Catalytic converters often fail around 80k miles
  • Engine and transmission mounts generally fail around 100k miles, causing noticeable vibrations at idle. Parts are cheap but repairs aren’t easy.
  • Front control arm bushings wear out around 100-125k miles

Electrical

  • The “brake hold” system may stop functioning because of a bad signal on the battery sensor network
  • Halogen headlights may burn out prematurely from overvoltage; there is a software update for the control module which reduces voltage to prolong bulb lifespan
  • A clog in the air intake drain valve may cause water to leak onto the fuse box
  • Alternators may have bad internal voltage regulators, which can cause them to not charge the battery adequately
  • A “Battery – Visit Workshop” message may require replacement of the battery control module
  • Nonfunctional steering wheel buttons may be because of damage to the steering column module from electrostatic discharge
  • Window regulators
  • Auxiliary batteries have a lifespan of about 5 years; replacement is easy
  • Climate control issues:
    • A faulty internal circuit breaker in the climate control blower motor may cause it to stop working or only work intermittently
    • Rumbling/squealing from the A/C compressor may be because of a bad pulley or bearings; an updated part is available
    • A poor connection on connector C1 may cause the climate control to only run in one mode
    • Climate control may only work in emergency mode because of a bad connection at the signal acquisition module

Body / Cosmetic

  • A bad gasket seal on the taillights may cause water and/or dust to enter the housings

Certain Vehicles

  • MY06 and earlier: Issues with the Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC) system:
    • Many components in the system can fail, resulting in a warning message of “Brakes Defective – Stop Vehicle.”
    • Repairs can cost upwards of $1500
    • Avoiding purchasing an SBC-equipped car unless the pump was replaced, or budget for the repair yourself
    • Vehicles produced for MY07 and later do not have Sensotronic
  • MY03-05: The Valeo-produced radiators can develop cracks between the engine coolant and transmission oil cooler chambers, causing coolant to enter the transmission oil cooler section. This allows coolant to travel to the transmission, which causes catastrophic damage to the transmission.
  • Vehicles with air suspension: Air springs/struts (especially the front ones) wear out from age and eventually fail
  • Vehicles without air suspension: Rear springs can break