2012 C350 CDI Sport Estate - gearbox rattle

Scoob

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Hi all,

I've mentioned this issues briefly on my New Merc thread, but thought it deserved it's own so I can get peoples thoughts.

The symptoms are as follows:

When travelling at over 30 mph at 1,500 rpm or above and accelerating, I get a progressively louder (with rpm) rattling noise. This noise sounds just like the gearbox rattle my old high-mileage Focus Diesel makes. It's accepted as perfectly normal for them when the miles are getting high, so not a worry. However, a 2012 C350 CDI Estate with 12k on the clock? I'd NOT expect such things.

It may well be that this is not a gearbox rattle, but some sort of resonance due to something loose. All I know is that it sounds just like my Focus, and it's getting worse.

It happens in Eco mode as well as Sport mode - I went into Sport for the first time yesterday specifically to test this - I've not tried pure manual yet.

Does anybody have any idea what this might be? I've reported it - as well as a couple of other issues - to my supplying dealer, but they've dropped off the planet as far as getting back to me is concerned.

I'm actually NOT enjoying the car any more because of this, and I'm hesitant to drive it at all in case it is something serious. Part of me is tempted to actually reject the car at this point due to these faults, as the dealership has taken no action to resolve them. I really am quite unhappy.

So, can anyone out there put my mind at rest? Is this something you've any experience with? What could this rattle be?

As the car is in warranty of course, I could just go to any Merc dealer, but I'd rather deal with the source so to speak, so I don't end up getting caught between an "it's their fault, no it's their fault/I]" type scenario.

Cheers,

Scoob.
 

television

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A loose heat shield comes to mind
 
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Scoob

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A loose heat shield comes to mind

Yeah, I'm hoping it's something as simple as that - I'd expect it to be, but with an unresponsive dealer it's a little tricky. I'm not in a position to check it myself, nor should I really, it's just so frustrating!

Thanks for your reply btw.

Scoob.
 

television

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What a sad situation when one has no confidence in the dealer where you bought it, not good is it, sad in fact
 
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Scoob

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What a sad situation when one has no confidence in the dealer where you bought it, not good is it, sad in fact

Yeah, it's a real disappointment for sure. The salesman I dealt with originally was good, but he's off this week on a course and the ball has been well and truely dropped in the interim. I'd already been down to see them (100 mile round trip) to get some missing trim sorted, but they had a stock error so it wasn't available. My additional issues were supposed to be looked at on my return visit - which I assumed would be early the following week, but I appear to have been forgotten.

Consider at the time the only parts we were waiting for were some bits of trim. When my Focus's turbo failed, the garage got in a new unit the same day and it was fitted & the car back on the road the following day.

As this "gearbox" noise has gotten louder, it's eclipsed the other issues. Just want to enjoy my car is all - I'd planned to keep this one for a LONG time so I want it perfect with any and all issues / niggles addressed promptly.

Cheers,

Scoob.

P.S. Ok, I'm a little hacked off this eve...maybe I'll cool down by tomorrow.
 

V6Matty

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anyone else thinking engine or gearbox mounts? shouldn't go at such a low milage but just something worth a check.

I would say pop to a local dealer and get them to have a look, they will do loads for you if they think they are going to get your business instead or where you bought the car from. HTH
 
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Scoob

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Morning guys,

Thanks for your replies.

@ st4: you're right of course, but since he's been unavailable, no one else has taken charge of my issues - customer service 101 really.

@ V6Matty: could be, I really don't know these cars well enough yet.

My plan is indeed to pop to a local dealer to get these issues investigated at least, though I still want my supplying dealer to address the original trim issue.

No time to chase things today, but I might try to arrange a dealer visit for Thursday.

Cheers,

Scoob.
 
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Scoob

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Quick update,

As I've heard nothing back from my supplying dealer this morning, I've gone ahead and booked my car in at a closer dealer to look at the various issues. I've even arranged a test drive with one of the technicians so I can demontrate the problem.

I'll then leave the car with them and use a loan car to attend an appointment that day, before returning for my car or leaving it with them and using the loaner until ready.

I'll be sure to post back details of what they find.

Cheers,

Scoob.
 

brandwooddixon

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The car is still under warranty and so you've probably gone the right way.

If anything give the local dealer the details of the supplying dealer and leave them to claim any costs back from them.
 

GAD Tuning LTD

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Good afternoon,

Good chat on the phone buddy! I hope you get your bits sorted!!!

Regards

Anthony @ GAD
 
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Scoob

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@ brandwooddixon: yeah, my thoughts exactly. It's a shame as I'd hoped to form a relationship with my selling dealer. Initial experience was good, I genuinely liked the saleman I dealt with and the reception girls were lovely - bringing me hot chocolate and biscuits is usually all it takes to make a good impression lol. However, I'm doing what's right for me going to somewhere more local to me.

@ Anthony: cheers mate, fingers crossed it's resolved quickly. I have plans you know! ;)

Cheers,

Scoob.
 
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Scoob

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Hey all,

Just an update on the issues reported in this thread...car was in at MB today to get them checked out.

The gearbox rattle...

I took the technician out for a drive upon arriving so he could hear the sound for himself. Typically, it was a little quieter today - after a long-ish drive to get to the dealer - but he could still hear the sound, so knew there was something to investigate.

Once in the workshop they did a gearbox software update as the car was due one, plus secured a heat shield that was slightly loose. Car seems improved, though I was in traffic on the way back, so it was a little too noisy for me to be 100% sure the rattle had gone entirely. It did seem improved however.

The software update has certainly changed how the gearbox behaves. I noticed right away that in the "E" gearbox setting (where it spends most of its time) even under light acceleration the car holds the gear longer, also the gear change seems faster. Not tried "S" mode yet.

OSR clatter when going over bumps with the windows down - only time I could hear it...

Seems something on the parking brake was loose, they tightened this up and I could not hear the clatter when I drove up my (slightly bumpy) road outside the house. They said they removed the wheel to do this, so not just a tension thing. Seems fixed.

Non-functional parking brake...

See above.

On a related note: I've heard a couple of times that "the parking brakes all have a bit of slack", due to some sort of floating shoe arrangement. F.Y.I. for those that do not know, the parking brake operates a drum brake within the rear disc - exactly the same as my Impreza interstingly. However, I was given a new (103 miles on it) C180 Estate as a loaner while my car was in and I detected ZERO slack in that setup. Maybe they've changed something.

Oh, one final thing. Looks like my supplying dealer fitted the wrong mats in my car, that explains the poor fit. They are Merc "AMG" mats, but obviously from a different model. The loan car today had mats that were very differently tailored to mine. I popped a note reminding the salesman to order in a proper set for me. I'm not having the wrong mats in the car when they are a standard equipment item.

I do get the impression that dealers pinch stuff from one car for another on a regular basis. For example, we have my missing mats, plus the easy-pack folding box thingy went missing on mine between my test drive and purchase...they pinched one from another car for me lol.

Cheers,

Scoob.

P.S. GAD!!!! ;)
 

Pathfinder

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Glad to hear you reported back with the outcome, many do not. Sounds like Mr TV was correct with the heat sheild being loose thoughts.

Yes, many garages "pinch" parts from one car to another and also restock their tool boxes for home jobs. It's a trade secret practised widely !!!
 
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Scoob

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Hi again all, a quick update:

I managed to take the car out for a drive on quiet roads today. The “gearbox” rattle still appears to be present, though possibly slightly muted from before. It became more apparent when I needed to overtake something, so it’s certainly when accelerating (engine under load) that it’s most noticeable. Under very light acceleration (my usual driving style) I hear nothing, only when pressing on a little (not mad, just a little more progress) can I hear it. After about 2.5k rpm, when overtaking, I cannot hear the noise, however the engine would easily mask it at this point.

The technician who came out with me on the day did confirm the noise, but a combination of traffic & noise from said traffic made it difficult to prove the exact conditions under which it occurs. With the potential cause of the heat shield now being secured and the gearbox software having been updated, what would be the next option in this investigation? If the car hadn’t just been serviced (April 2013) then I’d be checking the gearbox oil as the next obvious thing. What do you think?

Clattering from NSR wheel certainly seems to have been resolved – parking brake does still appear to allow some roll when parked on my driveway though, which is only on a very slight incline. I will try with more pressure on the parking brake next time, though it’d feel like I’m pushing it too far, if you see what I mean.

This is basically the note I sent to the dealer moment ago. My drive home that afternoon was in fairly heavy traffic, so I gave up trying to listen out to the various sounds of the car. I just put some tunes on and pottered home.

Scoob.
 
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Scoob

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Hey all,

Further update for those still reading...

I spoke too soon when I said the NSR "clatter" was fixed...well, it IS gone, however now I get a rubbing noise when first setting off. I assume the parking brake is now sticking slightly so possibly it's been adjusted a little too far. The noise does go away once you get up to speed, and doesn't come back when you slow down again. But it IS there every time after I've used the parking brake. Frustrating.

As mentioned previously, the gearbox rattle is still there, however I think it mow requires more engine load than before for it to trigger - does suggest something a little loose somewhere.

Finally, after going from the garage and driving to a mates, he noticed that my OSR alloy has been scuffed! Absolutely not done by me, and definitely not there before - we have the photos my friend took a few days earlier to prove it. It's not a deep scuff, but it goes pretty much the entire diameter of the wheel - it looks like it's just broken the laquer (or whatever it is) that coats the wheel. Most annoying, and I'd not noticed it until my friend pointed it out. Sadly, as it wasn't spotted when I picked the car up - I didn't even check the wheels that side, just the one they said they took off - there's no proof they did it *sigh*

I'm getting quite disheartened by how much hassle I'm having since getting this car. Nothing has been simple or straight-forward and I've been doing crap loads of running around trying to get things sorted.

I'm hoping that getting my missing trim fitted this Thursday (4th July) will go smoothly and no other problems occur. I also expect the correct mats to be ready and waiting for me.

I have no choice but to go back the the other (not supplying) dealer to get the rubbing looked into - another day without MY car - plus the "gearbox" rattle still bothers me, though I'm convinced it's just something loose rather than anything mechanical.

I want to get things moving and just enjoy the car without these worries playing on my mind. When I momentarily forget these things, I DO love driving it & it's great on my broken back.

As always I welcome any comments / opinions.

Cheers,

Scoob.
 

malcolm210

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Sorry to hear that problems are still with the car after letting the supplying dealer try and sort it.

Probably tiime to be a bit more assertive and tell them that as they have not fixed the car and given a proper diagnosis they should keep it until it's sorted.

When the dealer says it is sorted and asks you to pick the car up do a quick test drive and put it straight back into the dealership if the problem is still there.

You should ask for an equivalent car to yours as a loaner while this is going on.

That should help to focus their minds on the problem as it's probably a gearbox out and inspection that's required.

Hope this helps!
 
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Scoob

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Thanks,

I'll be seeing them Thursday so will have a chat. I actually had the issues looked at by another (closer) MB Dealer as my selling dealer didn't get back to me, despite repeated calls. You're right of course re: loaner of exact same spec, but I want to drive my car of course, plus I want to do things with it as I plan to keep it for an extended period.

I will have words with them Thursday and we'll see what happens.

Cheers,

Scoob.
 
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Scoob

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Hey guys,

Been doing some reading this evening - dangerous I know - as I'd been pointed in the direction of Fuel Injectors in regards my "gearbox" rattle. I'd happened to mention whether diesels were prone to "knock" like petrols - as the noise also sounds like the "pinking" my old MR2 used to make when going up hills at about 30mph - this lead to Fuel Injectors and this evenings google-fu.

So, I've come across many threads talking about injector issues on earlier models than mine ('09 and '10) mostly on 250's and smaller, but equally a fair few for the 350 CDI. In several cases they perfectly describe the rattle I experience, down to the rpm range and engine load.

I've also read about the DPF purging its self autmatically, if normal driving conditions don't allow it to do so naturally. I've been enjoying pottering in my car thus far, sitting in "E" and seeing what sort of range I can get, so maybe my DPF is purging a lot? I've also noticed how sometimes my car seems quiet and refined at idle, yet at other times it's a bit more agricultural - irrespective of engine temp, not that it's been cold of late.

Any more thoughts people? Are injectors worth investigating on a March 2012 C350 CDI? Really, the dealers should be suggesting stuff & trying it, but I can't let things go so have to do my own investigation as much as I can.

Cheers,

Scoob.
 
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