Although Mercedes have earned a reputation as some of the most performance-oriented luxury vehicles on the market, even these elite cars require maintenance from time to time. Preventative maintenance is key to keeping your Mercedes running at peak performance, as this prevents small issues from becoming costly and difficult problems.
In particular, Mercedes are somewhat prone to experiencing a worn or failing differential before routine service appointments. In this article, we will cover what the differential does and why this part sometimes fails, as well as what signs point to differential failure in a Mercedes.
Why does differential failure happen?
The differential is a mechanism that is made up of many parts. Every four-wheeled vehicle has one, as they keep the car’s movement consistent and stable. Your Mercedes differential directs power from the engine to the wheels so that they spin and turn. The differential also allows the wheels to spin in different amounts, which is crucial for turning.
Each of the parts in this mechanism may become faulty or worn out after a while. Differentials are a bit different for every type of vehicle, but the differential of a Mercedes typically consists of the flange, some side gears, pinion gears, ring gears, and the axle shafts.
Differential failure usually happens in Mercedes due to corrosion in some of the gears, which makes the oil of the gears dirty and creates too much stress and friction between them. Sometimes, the differential’s fluid or the gear oil cause differential failure by leaking, which also puts extra stress on the gears. This stress makes it harder for your wheels to move correctly.
Signs of Differential Failure in a Mercedes
The signs of differential failure in a Mercedes are fairly obvious, but the results of said failure can be dangerous. Should you notice any of these signs or suspect that your vehicle is due for a differential inspection, be sure to contact a qualified repair shop as soon as you can.
- Uneven Patterns in Tire Wear: This sign can be easy to miss if you do not inspect your tires frequently, but if your Mercedes differential is not keeping the wheels rotating properly, it can cause your tires to become worn unevenly. The easiest way to check for uneven tire wear is by wetting the tires and driving forward about a car length, then inspecting the prints.
- Dirt and Debris in Gear Oil: If the gear oil or differential fluid come away dirty or with debris in them, this is most likely due to the gears in the differential system grinding together and shedding shavings. Checking these fluids can be tedious and requires getting underneath the vehicle, so it is best to have a skilled service technician do this.
- Steering Issues while Turning: If your Mercedes is suddenly struggling to complete turns or refusing to cooperate at all in terms of steering, the differential probably needs to be replaced. Do not drive your Mercedes in this condition, as it is incredibly dangerous. Pull over as safely as possible if you suddenly experience this sign of differential failure while driving.
- Noticeable Vibration during Acceleration: Stress from grinding gears in the differential system can also cause your Mercedes to vibrate when you attempt to accelerate. This shaking is often accompanied by odd grinding noises from within your vehicle. You may notice this sign before your vehicle displays issues with turning, in which case it is still a good idea to pull over and contact a repair shop.
Woodinville Sports Cars Can Help
Our skilled and ASE certified mechanics at Woodinville Sports Cars have years of experience servicing European luxury brands like Mercedes, Audi, BMW, MINI, and Volkswagen. At Woodinville Sports Cars, we are dedicated to preserving the performance and style of your vehicle with our factory-grade equipment.
If you are interested in having your Mercedes brought in maintenance or an inspection due to issues with the differential and you are located in Bothell, Kenmore, Kirkland, Mill Creek, Redmond, Snohomish, Woodinville, or other nearby areas in WA, we would love to work with you. We look forward to helping you maintain your Mercedes for years to come.
* Mercedes-Benz Car image credit goes to: kurmyshov.