PLEASE HELP! Engine Juddering harshly when idle.

Shane Smyth

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Hello all.

Firstly, I've only just signed up and I apologise if I come across as a noob. I really require some expert advice/opinion on some issues I'm experiencing with my Mercedes 2004 C180 Kompressor SE Sport (Automatic). 82000 miles.

Long story short. I recently just had the spark plugs and x4 coil packs replaced. £300 at a local garage after I was experiencing some intermittent shaking in the car when idle. The mechanic did the work in stages. Spark plugs first, but issue still recurring so I opted for coil packs to be replaced after he said the car would "perform like a dream". In all fairness, after driving the car away, it did seem as if the car was running as new. I was very pleased. However, only a few minutes later the check engine light comes back on and the car starts juddering again. Not as bad as before, but softly present in the background. Obviously this gave me cause for concern but in my naivety I just assumed it would sort itself out as the engine was probably "getting used to the new coils". Very silly assumption.

Anyway, yesterday and today I have had major problems. It has felt as if I was going to break down. When at traffic lights and roundabouts the juddering was so harsh it felt as if the engine was cutting out and power certainly affected. I had my foot to the floor and it was barely pulling. Worst thing is, it was all steep hills home and I was stuck behind a learner driver! But I managed to get home, but the car peetty much shook the whole way.

Starting the car up today with the engine cold. I decided to just pop down to the local supermarket to see if the problem persists. With the engine cold, it seemed like no issue. First five minutes were fine. No vibrating etc. As soon as it got warm, I could feel on breaking that the car was beginning to judder harshly again and losing power. Again, driving on a flat with foot to floor and engine doesn't shift as expected. Worrying. Btw, turning on the engine idle, it just sits there shaking at 8000-10000 revs. Not too much movement on that. When going up to about 18000+ revs the shaking seems to calm down a little. So it seems the issue only occurs when slowing down.

The mechanic did originally suggest the third thing to look at was the air pressure flow, but rather than fully investigating it, just replaced the coil packs, assumed the issue was resolved, charged me and hoped for the best I suppose. I understand he probably wanted to keep the cost down and complexity simplified as I understand Mercedes are difficult to work on.

I do understand that Mercedes are notoriously difficult to diagnose issues like this. And I've been researching and seeing people in some instances spend more money on the car than it's actually worth to try and fix with no success, so I'm not expecting a concrete answer to my question, but more of a guide. Based on experience, what is this likely to be? And of course the million dollar question, how much is it going to cost me?

I was thinking about purchasing a code reader and learning and understanding the codes for myself but I'm not really from a technical background so would probably be wasted effort. I just want to know how I can get my lovely first car that I've only had for 9 months back to performing like I know it can :)

Amy help/advice would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

SHANE
 

Wighty

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Hello all.

Firstly, I've only just signed up and I apologise if I come across as a noob. I really require some expert advice/opinion on some issues I'm experiencing with my Mercedes 2004 C180 Kompressor SE Sport (Automatic). 82000 miles.

Long story short. I recently just had the spark plugs and x4 coil packs replaced. £300 at a local garage after I was experiencing some intermittent shaking in the car when idle. The mechanic did the work in stages. Spark plugs first, but issue still recurring so I opted for coil packs to be replaced after he said the car would "perform like a dream". In all fairness, after driving the car away, it did seem as if the car was running as new. I was very pleased. However, only a few minutes later the check engine light comes back on and the car starts juddering again. Not as bad as before, but softly present in the background. Obviously this gave me cause for concern but in my naivety I just assumed it would sort itself out as the engine was probably "getting used to the new coils". Very silly assumption.

Anyway, yesterday and today I have had major problems. It has felt as if I was going to break down. When at traffic lights and roundabouts the juddering was so harsh it felt as if the engine was cutting out and power certainly affected. I had my foot to the floor and it was barely pulling. Worst thing is, it was all steep hills home and I was stuck behind a learner driver! But I managed to get home, but the car peetty much shook the whole way.

Starting the car up today with the engine cold. I decided to just pop down to the local supermarket to see if the problem persists. With the engine cold, it seemed like no issue. First five minutes were fine. No vibrating etc. As soon as it got warm, I could feel on breaking that the car was beginning to judder harshly again and losing power. Again, driving on a flat with foot to floor and engine doesn't shift as expected. Worrying. Btw, turning on the engine idle, it just sits there shaking at 8000-10000 revs. Not too much movement on that. When going up to about 18000+ revs the shaking seems to calm down a little. So it seems the issue only occurs when slowing down.

The mechanic did originally suggest the third thing to look at was the air pressure flow, but rather than fully investigating it, just replaced the coil packs, assumed the issue was resolved, charged me and hoped for the best I suppose. I understand he probably wanted to keep the cost down and complexity simplified as I understand Mercedes are difficult to work on.

I do understand that Mercedes are notoriously difficult to diagnose issues like this. And I've been researching and seeing people in some instances spend more money on the car than it's actually worth to try and fix with no success, so I'm not expecting a concrete answer to my question, but more of a guide. Based on experience, what is this likely to be? And of course the million dollar question, how much is it going to cost me?

I was thinking about purchasing a code reader and learning and understanding the codes for myself but I'm not really from a technical background so would probably be wasted effort. I just want to know how I can get my lovely first car that I've only had for 9 months back to performing like I know it can :)

Amy help/advice would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

SHANE
Where do you live so someone can recommend a decent MB Independent who knows these cars and importantly has the correct diagnostic equipments without subjecting you to an expensive series of parts replacement guesses
 

Blobcat

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Hello and welcome,

Has the timing chain been checked? Think you have the M271 engine which can suffer with can chain stretch which then jumps on the gears and knocks the timing out
 

mioba

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Personally I say your mechanic doesn't know what he is doing. Changing things till he gets there and not changing the cause.
I would be asking for my money back.
As mentioned where are you based and find a proper merc indy.
If you carry on you will fall out with the car!
it could be gearbox or engine mounts
 

LostKiwi

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Hello and welcome,

Has the timing chain been checked? Think you have the M271 engine which can suffer with can chain stretch which then jumps on the gears and knocks the timing out
Totally this.
Since it has an engine management light light what codes is it logging?
 
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Shane Smyth

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Thank you all for your swift replies. I live in the Bath area in Somerset. Any suggestions on a local Mercedes expert would be greatly appreciated. Unfortunately I do not know the error codes that are being produced as I don't have a reader and the mechanic in the garage did not advise on the Errors. I suspect that you are right with the mechanic not really knowing how to deal with the situation. I definitely feel as if I have been ripped off. With respect to the timing chain not being checked, is this something I should ask the mechanics to Check first? Thank you.
 

Wighty

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Thank you all for your swift replies. I live in the Bath area in Somerset. Any suggestions on a local Mercedes expert would be greatly appreciated. Unfortunately I do not know the error codes that are being produced as I don't have a reader and the mechanic in the garage did not advise on the Errors. I suspect that you are right with the mechanic not really knowing how to deal with the situation. I definitely feel as if I have been ripped off. With respect to the timing chain not being checked, is this something I should ask the mechanics to Check first? Thank you.
Steve at Avantgarde Mercedes , Clevedon , near Bristol :D
 
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Shane Smyth

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Thank you. I'll reach out on Monday and have it booked in :)
 

gassed up

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Welcome to the forum.
As has been said classic timing chain issue. You may feel you have been poorly served by your current mechanic but you can take solace in the knowledge that new plugs and coils are never a bad idea for a 15 yr old car.
 

NBurns

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Question for the guys. Would his car be at 8000-1000 revs at idle or has he added another zero by mistake? hope you get this fixed though.
Good luck.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

McDonald

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Steve at Avantgarde Mercedes , Clevedon , near Bristol :D

This is good advice. The order of events should be diagnosis, then correction. Your man has played process of elimination. With a complex car, that can be expensive and demoralising.
 

alexanderfoti

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Good advice above. I would bet money on an air leak, as it runs OK at certain times.
 
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Shane Smyth

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Update: I've been corresponding with Steve and he's given me a few potential issues and prices.

Quote:
If it’s just the top air pipe it will be about £120+vat. If it’s the lower pipe it will be about £400+vat (the inlet manifold has to come off). It’s a timing chain with the gears around £1500+vat. Don’t frighten yourself with anything. Let’s get it diagnosed.

Little nervous about the latter one as that will be more than what I paid for the car and with being made unemployed a month ago it's not an expense I can justify!

Cars huh?
 

McDonald

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Update: I've been corresponding with Steve and he's given me a few potential issues and prices.

Quote:
If it’s just the top air pipe it will be about £120+vat. If it’s the lower pipe it will be about £400+vat (the inlet manifold has to come off). It’s a timing chain with the gears around £1500+vat. Don’t frighten yourself with anything. Let’s get it diagnosed.

Little nervous about the latter one as that will be more than what I paid for the car and with being made unemployed a month ago it's not an expense I can justify!

Cars huh?

Stay optimistic, it's not always worst case scenario. At least with Steve at Avantgarde, you're dealing with certainties. Diagnosis first, then correction. Hope it turns out inexpensive and hope a new job comes up quickly.
 

LostKiwi

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If anyone can sort it Steve can. He's very highly respected on here and a regular contributor.
 
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Shane Smyth

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Only time will tell.. he seems like a thorough bloke. I've got it booked in and will post an update then.

Thank you so much for all the helpful comments and the recommendations :)
 

V6Matty

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Only time will tell.. he seems like a thorough bloke. I've got it booked in and will post an update then.

Thank you so much for all the helpful comments and the recommendations :)
He certainly is a thorough person, it’s why he looks after a number of SLR’s for people,
 

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