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Tips from Master Technicians of Pineville: How to Deal with Plastic Guide Rail Failure in a Mercedes

by Dutch Silverstein September 17, 2021

At first glance, a Mercedes guide rail doesn’t look like it could significantly impact the vehicle. But because of its location and role in keeping the engine going, its failure can lead to significant damage. Recent Mercedes models have plastic guide rails, which is not the ideal material for a part so close to a hot engine. It is essential for the function of your timing chain, so owners should keep an eye on the guide rail due to its vulnerability to breakage. The guide rail keeps the timing chain in its place so that the correct engine valves operate at the appropriate times.

The timing chain guide rail may not sound familiar to most car owners due to its recent introduction to the existing plethora of engine parts. Car manufacturers frequently add and revamp what they think will help their vehicles run better while lowering manufacturing costs. Plastic guide rails were introduced, and Mercedes jumped at the chance to have a cheaper guide rail and the ability to create mass amounts in a short period of time.

The Vulnerability of the Mercedes Guide Rail

Timing chain guide rails proved effective, so Mercedes made sure that their newer models came with this feature. Initially, the guide rails were made of steel. Still, for manufacturing cost and efficiency reasons, Mercedes started implementing guide rails made out of plastic.

Because it is plastic, it is less pricey to replace it as a Mercedes owner, and you should always opt for replacement. The damage a failed plastic guide rail can cause could cost you the engine. Though the plastic is strong, it is not as sturdy as steel. So if you suspect your guide rail is in need of replacement, please speak with our technicians right away.

Signs and Causes of Plastic Guide Rail Failure

Below are a few signs drivers should know that indicate the guide rail is breaking down and it’s time to replace it:

  • High engine temperatures can cause the plastic guide rail to loosen, melt, or shatter.
  • Loose or distorted plastic guide rails won’t hold the timing chain correctly because of A thrumming or loud trembling under the hood might indicate the beginnings of a loosening guide rail. This often comes before further breakage or melting.
  • An unconstrained guide rail leaves the timing chain in jeopardy. A loose timing chain can cause engine misfires, metal shrapnel scratching other parts or ending up in the oil pan, and unusual vibrating while idling.
  • A broken guide rail’s plastic shrapnel can enter your oil pan or the engine system. Detached pieces can contaminate the car’s oil and cause clogs. If they end up in other parts of the engine, it will seriously compromise the car’s working ability and leave you with a high repair cost.
  • Cracked guide rails can be harmful, but melted ones can end up clinging to various parts of the engine in a wayward manner, leaving the engine very impaired. Frequently driving fast can create more chances for a hot engine to injure the plastic guide rail through loosening, breakage, or liquefying. It is prudent to have routine maintenance performed by a Mercedes specialist to catch these signs before they become a problem.

Mercedes Plastic Guide Rail Failure Fix

How our A&M Technicians can help with plastic guide rail failure

By now, you can understand why Mercedes owners should be cautious about this integral yet susceptible part. The plastic makes it affordable for you to replace it.

A&M Auto Service provides expert care for your Mercedes. We service customers in the communities in and around Pineville, Charlotte, and Greensboro, NC. A regular maintenance plan is a proactive, preventative measure against sneaky breakage or melting of the plastic. This is why it is vital to have your Mercedes frequently inspected. If a defect can be caught early, you can have us replace it for you. Otherwise, a neglected plastic guide rail might cause irreversible devastation, specifically to the engine.

If a shattered guide rail has already wreaked havoc on your Mercedes, our auto service is the ideal place to fix what has been damaged and put in OEM replacement parts. You can get back on the road safely with confidence in your Mercedes.

* Mercedes Benz Car image credit goes to: Julie Deshaies.