In this guide, you will learn how to replace the timing chain tensioner on a Mercedes-Benz E, C, S, CLS, ML, GL, R Class from 2006 to 2012 equipped with the V6 and V8 gasoline M272 and M273 engines.
Common symptoms of a bad timing chain tensioner include:
- Rattling noise at startup
- Check engine light on
- Engine misfire
- Engine noise at idle
What you will need
- Park vehicle on level ground and set the parking brakes.
- Allow the engine to cool down.
- Pull the hood release under the dashboard and open the hood.
- Disconnect the battery negative terminal. The battery will be in the trunk, under the passenger seat, or engine bay. Depending on the model.
- Create a simple drawing of the route of the serpentine belt.
- Use a 27mm socket and ratchet to turn the crankshaft clockwise. Set the crankshaft at 40 degrees. Turn crankshaft clockwise only. Crankshaft degrees are stamped on the inner side of the crankshaft pulley.
- Use a 17mm socket and ratchet to loosen the serpentine belt tensioner.
- Remove the serpentine belt.
- Use the E12 socket to remove the four bolts that secure the alternator.
- Remove the ground, positive and main connector from the alternator.
- Move the alternator out of the way. You can lower the alternator. It should give you enough room to access the timing chain tensioner. If you prefer remove the alternator from the engine bay.
- Place an oil pan directly below the chain tensioner for catching the oil.
- Remove the timing chain tensioner using a 19mm socket.
- Install the new timing chain tensioner. Using a torque wrench, torque the tensioner bolt to specs. Typically 80 Nm. Verify by calling your Mercedes-Benz dealer.
- Reconnect alternator wires. Reinstall alternator bolts.
- Remove the rubber cap (behind the last ignition coil, driver side) at the back of the engine and insert a T60 wrench.
- Extend the timing chain tensioner by turning the crankshaft counterclockwise while holding the wrench. This will open the timing chain tensioner. When the timing chain is installed, it is in the closed position. You must carry this step so that the timing tensioner releases.
- Reinstall the serpentine belt.
- Do not start the engine yet. Double-check the installation by turning the crankshaft in a full 360 turn using a 27 mm wrench at the crankshaft bolt. Do not start the engine, if you are not able to rotate the crankshaft by hand.
- Reconnect the battery.
Frequently Asked Question
How do you know your timing chain tensioner is bad?
- One of the common symptoms of timing chain tensioner problems is a tapping noise when you start the engine in the morning which goes away after a while.
Can you drive a Mercedes-Benz with a bad timing chain tensioner?
- It is not recommended to drive with a bad timing chain tensioner. If the tensioner or timing chain fails, it can cause catastrophic engine failure.
Mercedes-Benz vehicles equipped with M272 and M273 engines.
- 2005–2007 W203 C 230
- 2007–2009 W204 C 230 (renamed C 250 in 2010)
- 2005–2009 W211 E 230
- 2008–2011 CL203 CLC 230
- 2010–2012 W639 Viano (Chinese market; known as the M272 924)
- 2010–2011 W639 Vito (Chinese market; known as the M272 924)
- 2004–2010 R171 SLK 280
- 2005–2010 W219 CLS 280
- 2005–2010 C209 CLK 280
- 2005–2007 W203 C 280
- 2007–2009 W204 C 280 / C 280 4MATIC
- 2009–2011 W204 C 300 / C 300 4MATIC (C 300 2012 USA)
- 2008-2012 X204 GLK 300
- 2005–2009 W211 E 280
- 2009–2011 W212 E 300
- 2005–2009 R230 SL 280
- 2005–2013 W639 Vito
- 2006–2009 W251 R 280
- 2007–2013 W221 S 280
- 2013–2015 W639 Viano (Chinese market; known as the M272 939)
- 2013–2015 W639 Vito (Chinese market; known as the M272 939)
- 2004–2011 R171 SLK 350
- M272 IN SLK R171.jpg
- 2004–2010 W219 CLS 350
- 2005–2010 C209 CLK 350
- 2005–2007 W203 C 350
- 2007–2011 W204 C 350 / C 350 4Matic
- 2011–2015 W204 C 350 BlueEfficiency / C 350 4MATIC BlueEfficiency
- 2005–2009 W211 E 350 / E 350 4MATIC
- 2009–2011 W212 E 350 / E 350 4MATIC
- 2005–2013 W221 S 350
- 2005–2012 R230 SL 350
- 2006–2017 W251 R 350
- 2006–2011 W164 ML 350
- 2005–2014 W639 Viano (known as the M272 978 in China)
- 2006–2013 NCV3 Sprinter
- 2008–2011 CL203 CLC 350
- 2008–2012 X204 GLK 350
- 2006–2011 E 500 / E 550
- 2006–2010 CL 500 / CL 550
- 2006–2010 CLS 500 / CLS 550
- 2006–2012 GL 500 / GL 550
- 2008–2011 ML 500 / ML 550
- 2006–2009 S 500 / S 550
- 2007–2012 SL 500 / SL 550
- 2006–2009 CLK 500 / CLK 550
- 2006-2015 G 500 / G 550
- 2007–2012 GL 450
- 2007–2013 S 450
- 2007–2011 ML 450