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Which Problems Associated With Mercedes V12 Engines?

by Dutch Silverstein January 5, 2020

Every vehicle manufacturer has their high points and their low points; it’s simply part of the trial-and-error process of creating amazing, high-performance cars. One such example which could be applied to German manufacturer Mercedes is the large amount of issues drivers experience with their V12 engines. Many drivers love this engine, but it definitely seems more prone to developing issues. With this in mind, in this article, we will take a closer look at the V12 engine, learn some of the potential pitfalls of this system, and discus what you can do about them.

What is a V12 engine?

A V12 engine is one of the most common engine configurations and due to the placement of the cylinders and pistons, which forms in a V shape. This type of configuration is popular because it allows for a more streamlined design due to the reduction of the overall size of the engine. A V12 engine has this V shape with 12 cylinders which are mounted on the crankcase in 2 sets of 6 cylinders. Most commonly, these sets are positioned at a 60 degree angle of one another, and all 12 pistons of the system work together to drive the crankshaft. This type of engine is highly balanced and is able to offer smooth power delivery, meaning that they are popular in luxury vehicles.

In regards to Mercedes, the two most recent iterations of the V12 engine, the brand has offered are the:

  • Mercedes-Benz M275 engine (2003-2015)
  • Mercedes-Benz M279 engine (2012-present)

What are the common warning signs of Mercedes V12 failure?

Below, we have listed the three most common signs of potential engine failure. It is important to remember that as each car is unique, your Mercedes may display different symptoms, so you should always be attuned and attentive to your vehicle and respond in a timely manner to any changes that you notice.

1. Hydraulic Fluid

If you notice a puddle of fluid under your Mercedes that transparent with an amber tinge, then it is likely you have a hydraulic fluid leak, which will need to be attended to quickly to ensure the health of your engine.

2. Overheating

A regularly overheating engine should never be ignored, as over time this can contribute to serious and expensive engine failure. In fact, if the overheating becomes severe enough the temperature levels can get so high they can actually warp the engine itself.

3. Misfiring

Misfiring occurs when, for whatever reason, the combustion cycle cannot be successfully completed. This is often due to part failure surrounding the engines systems, and should be investigated swiftly.

Why do Mercedes V12 engines develop problems?

The problems your vehicle experiences can often only be the very surface level of the deeper issues your vehicle is facing. To truly get to the root of the issue you’ll need to work out what has caused the symptoms in the first place.

1. Hydraulic Leaks

These are caused by damage or wear to the active body control system. Common places where fluid can leak include the seals, the hydraulic lines, and the struts.

2. Overheating

Overheating is caused by a variety of issues such as leaking coolant, a blown head gasket, radiator cracks, expired engine oil, and more. When faced with overheating at a symptom, your top solution is to seek professional diagnostic work.

3. Misfires

There are so many reasons why and engine can misfire, and there are even multiples types of misfires: lean, ignition, and mechanical. If you’re faced with regular misfires, the only way you will get peace of mind is to seek the services of an experienced mechanic.

Mercedes V12 Engine Repair

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* Mercedes-Benz C-Class image credit goes to: y_carfan.

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