Mercedes is known for its superior designs and technical innovation. They are at the top of their class with beautiful vehicles that are a symbol of success. Mercedes tries to improve on their designs and update components, and in their newer models, designers have replaced the old guard rail with a plastic guard rail, but this rail is susceptible to failure.
The plastic guide rail is also known as the timing chain guide. Its purpose is to keep the timing chain aligned while moving smoothly in a repeating motion. The guide prevents the chain from slipping or straying from its proper position.
Symptoms of Guide Rail Failure
If the guide rail fails, you may experience a few different symptoms. These will all come from under the hood. These include:
- engine idles roughly
- grinding noise when starting the car
- clicking sounds
- rattling sounds
What causes plastic guide failure in a Mercedes?
The guide rail is constructed from strong plastic. They use plastic because it is soft and does not damage the timing chain. However, over time, the plastic will wear out and fail.
- Excessive Engine Heat: Excessive heat from the engine will damage the plastic and cause it to melt and warp. An overheating engine or driving in hot temperatures can lead to plastic guide rail failure. If you have ever had your engine overheat or live in a hot climate, we recommend you have the plastic guide rail examined. If the plastic melts and gets on the timing chain, it can cause damage to even more components.
- Driving Fast: Driving at high speed will cause the engine to run hotter than normal. This excess heat can damage the guide rail.
- Rough Driving Conditions: Driving on rough roads or over potholes can weaken the plastic guard rail.
- Accidents: Car accidents can damage the plastic guard rail. It does not even have to be a bad accident, as a simple fender bender can break the component.
- Age: Everyday wear and tear can make the plastic weak, leading to failure over time.
- Poor Maintenance: Your maintenance schedule was designed to prevent failures. Poor maintenance will cause components to wear out quicker.
Is it safe to drive with a failed guide rail?
You should not continue to drive your Mercedes if the guard rail is failing. Pieces of the rail can break off, damaging the engine and block oil flow. Your mechanic may find pieces of the guard rail in the oil pan during an oil change.
If the plastic shards do not damage the engine first, the rail will completely fail, damaging the components surrounding it. Continuing to drive your Mercedes with a failing plastic guide rail can lead to an even more expensive service bill as more parts can become damaged.
Hire Mercedes Professionals
The plastic guide rail is an inexpensive part, but it is a complicated component to replace. You need the knowledge and proper tools to take care of the job correctly. At Heynneman European, our mechanics know the Mercedes brand inside and out. We will repair your car quickly without causing any additional damage.
Benefits of hiring Heynneman European for your Mercedes needs:
- AAA Certified Service Center
- Complimentary Loaner Cars
- 24-Month/24,000-Mile Warranty
- BOSCH Certified Service Center
- ASE Certified Mechanics
- Straightforward, Honest and Friendly Customer Service
- We are Your One-Stop Shop
- Comfortable Waiting Area
- High-quality Service
- Over 70 Combined Years of Experience
Schedule Your Plastic Guide Rail Service Today
Our shop is committed to providing high-quality service with an honest and straightforward approach. We have the latest tools and equipment to get your job done right the first time, from scheduled maintenance to plastic guide rail replacement. When you need your Mercedes serviced, we have you covered.
Call us today to schedule your service appointment. Heynneman European is conveniently located to Larkspur, Kentfield, Corte, Mill Valley, San Anselmo, Fairfax and San Rafael, CA. You can reach us on 415-499-1234 or come see us at 3155 Kerner Blvd., San Rafael.
* Mercedes-Benz C-Class image credit goes to: teddyleung.