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Another 2010 ML350 Bluetec engine seized

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Another 2010 ML350 Bluetec engine seized

 
Old 05-13-2015, 08:16 AM
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Another 2010 ML350 Bluetec engine seized

Status on any related class-action, recalls, or remedies please? I'm experiencing a Mercedes nightmare currently. My 2010 ML350 BLUETEC's engine just seized at 82K miles, all after regular dealer maintenance in Montana and after several major dealer repairs since 2010 (including AdBlue heater and oil cooler seal leak @ approx. 65K miles, leading to catastrophic engine failure last week). Mercedes says they'll do nothing to assist as my 50K-mile warranty has expired, so my attorney is sending MBUSA a Demand Letter. I'm happy to join forces with others of you who are experiencing, or have experienced, similar issues with Mercedes!

I bought this car new, was my first Mercedes, and I adhered to the dealer maintenance schedule and proper steps whenever a warning light came on. Ironically, not a single warning light was on prior to the engine seizing. MBUSA has denied me any assistance in writing, as has the dealer. I'm reading everywhere of similar oil leaks / pressure issues with this engine. I have a list of major dealer repairs I had done since I bought this car new. I would expect MBUSA to accept accountability and am really disappointed so far in MBUSA. For similar experiences, see also : http://www.mbca.org/forum/2015-02-11...y#comment-form and https://mbworld.org/forums/diesel-fo...ne-siezed.html

Last edited by krd2023; 05-20-2015 at 08:47 AM. Reason: added a URL showing another similar experience
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Old 05-13-2015, 10:42 PM
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I don't think engine "seized" is a common failure. It is usaally a result of lack of oil like when the oil filter cap seal was not installed properly. Did you just have an oil filter change recently? Did you find out exactly what caused it to seize ? If its negligence by the dealer - you might be in luck (if you can prove it).

The oil cooler seal is a common failure but I havent heard of that causing a catastrophic engine failure (original seals). The original seals can leak but not at the amount that will drain your oil overnight. The oil cooler leaks will start to appear slowly by dripping in your driveway or garage (over a few months). I said "original seals" because anything can happen after the 1st repair. There are a LOT of seals/gaskets that need to be removed to get to the oil cooler seals. That means if you were unfortunate enough to get a bad mechanic - all bets are off. I'm leaning towards human error on this one.

Last edited by 20swrt; 05-14-2015 at 06:51 AM.
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Old 05-14-2015, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by 20swrt View Post
I don't think engine "seized" is a common failure. It is usaally a result of lack of oil like when the oil filter cap seal was not installed properly. Did you just have an oil filter change recently? Did you find out exactly what caused it to seize ? If its negligence by the dealer - you might be in luck (if you can prove it).

The oil cooler seal is a common failure but I havent heard of that causing a catastrophic engine failure (original seals). The original seals can leak but not at the amount that will drain your oil overnight. The oil cooler leaks will start to appear slowly by dripping in your driveway or garage (over a few months). I said "original seals" because anything can happen after the 1st repair. There are a LOT of seals/gaskets that need to be removed to get to the oil cooler seals. That means if you were unfortunate enough to get a bad mechanic - all bets are off. I'm leaning towards human error on this one.
+1
The oil cooler seals will make you loose oil but is easily noticed if you check your oil ever 2-3k like you should be doing anyway.
Would be interesting to find out what they say caused your failure.
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Old 05-15-2015, 11:36 AM
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Thanks for the two replies above. The dealer has said the engine seized due to low oil (about half-full) and some sludge. I haven't received computer readings yet to support this or why no indicator lights illuminated. I routinely check my oil along with the regular services.
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Old 05-15-2015, 04:50 PM
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KRD2023,

I would be interested to know :-

Was the oil capacity half full or showing half on the dip stick?

How long/ km was the car into the service interval ie since the last oil change?.

What brand & specification oil was the dealer using?.

What type of fuel were you using ? Any bio?

Is the car used for long or short trips mainly?

Good luck with MB.

JC

Last edited by Carsy; 05-16-2015 at 03:18 AM.
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by krd2023 View Post
...engine seized due to low oil (about half-full) and some sludge....
Is this exactly what the dealer said ? I hope you got that in writing because it really sounds fishy. Its like your doc saying ___ died because he had cancer and diabetic at the same time. Which is it? Did you check the engine after it seized ? Was there oil gushing out of the engine ? When was the last time you checked the oil before brought/send it to the dealer ?
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by krd2023 View Post
Thanks for the two replies above. The dealer has said the engine seized due to low oil (about half-full) and some sludge. I haven't received computer readings yet to support this or why no indicator lights illuminated. I routinely check my oil along with the regular services.
Engines don't seize for no reason. Whilst sludge doesn't cause engine seizures it is a warning sign of something wrong and can contribute to oil starvation. Whilst there is sludge present you cant rely on oil level sensors, I have even seen a Merc showing oil too high on the dash whilst the oil was drained from the sump due to sludge in the sensor.

Benz engines are not known for sludging. If they sludge then you need to look at the service history, type and grade of oil used, the grade of the fuel used, coolant leaks (into the oil) and the crankcase breather system for blockages (usually only after sludging has already started). These are the main causes.

Have you ever manually checked the oil level?


These questions are a copy/paste from a previous bluetec sludge thread

How many services and at what mileages and dates were they performed?
What engine oil was listed on the invoice for each service?
Have you needed to topup the coolant AT ALL since you've owned the vehicle?
Do you do drive mainly in stop/go traffic or highways?
What do you estimate the distance you would travel for a average trip?
Have you ever had a warning on the dash to topup OR reduce the oil level?
Have you or do you use BIO diesel?
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Old 06-03-2015, 11:06 AM
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Thanks, all, for your input so far above. I check the oil in each of my vehicles at every other fueling. The oil in this vehicle showed always within acceptable levels. I heard a loud 'clacking' in the engine the day before the engine seized. Here is an attempt to answer some recent questions in this thread:


How many services and at what mileages and dates were they performed?
My answer: I followed the MB maintenance schedule at each 10,000-mile interval, with each service performed at my local MB dealer.

What engine oil was listed on the invoice for each service?
My answer: MOBILE 1 ESP is how the oil is listed for each of the changes (I have to assume the dealer used the oil specified in the owner's manual).

Have you needed to topup the coolant AT ALL since you've owned the vehicle?
My answer: no, and I'm not aware of the dealer having to top it off either.

Do you do drive mainly in stop/go traffic or highways?
My answer: my driving pattern is a fairly even mix of both city and highway.

What do you estimate the distance you would travel for a average trip?
My answer: around 10-20 miles in the city ; around 200 miles on the highway.
Have you ever had a warning on the dash to topup OR reduce the oil level?
My answer: I've had no warning lights ever appear related to the oil.

Have you or do you use BIO diesel?
My answer: I've never used BIO diesel.
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Old 06-03-2015, 04:45 PM
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There should be some evidence of damage from the "loud clacking" you mention when the engine is pulled down. ie oil pump failure, metal in the bottom of the sump etc.

Your lawyer should have all this info to present .

Where is the engine now? . Could an independent take a forensic look at it?

Good luck.
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Old 06-03-2015, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by krd2023 View Post
Thanks, all, for your input so far above. I check the oil in each of my vehicles at every other fueling. The oil in this vehicle showed always within acceptable levels. I heard a loud 'clacking' in the engine the day before the engine seized. Here is an attempt to answer some recent questions in this thread:


How many services and at what mileages and dates were they performed?
My answer: I followed the MB maintenance schedule at each 10,000-mile interval, with each service performed at my local MB dealer.

What engine oil was listed on the invoice for each service?
My answer: MOBILE 1 ESP is how the oil is listed for each of the changes (I have to assume the dealer used the oil specified in the owner's manual).

Have you needed to topup the coolant AT ALL since you've owned the vehicle?
My answer: no, and I'm not aware of the dealer having to top it off either.

Do you do drive mainly in stop/go traffic or highways?
My answer: my driving pattern is a fairly even mix of both city and highway.

What do you estimate the distance you would travel for a average trip?
My answer: around 10-20 miles in the city ; around 200 miles on the highway.
Have you ever had a warning on the dash to topup OR reduce the oil level?
My answer: I've had no warning lights ever appear related to the oil.

Have you or do you use BIO diesel?
My answer: I've never used BIO diesel.

With those answers it sounds unlikely to be related to a maintenance issue, it sounds more like a mechanical failure.
If you are going to be chasing MB to assist then I suggest you contact them now regarding an engine replacement. If they aren't receptive to your request then I would recommend contacting a local professional engine builder or mechanical engineer to either disassemble and determine the exact cause of the seizure or preferably be present when your dealer pulls the engine down so you have an independent expert on your side in case it needs to end up in court.
You might be surprised, just the threat of having a engineer present when they pull the engine apart might be enough for them to realise you're serious and not just threatening to sue them but you're well prepared and wont be easy.

Last edited by Ausmbtech; 06-06-2015 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 06-06-2015, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by 20swrt View Post
Is this exactly what the dealer said ? I hope you got that in writing because it really sounds fishy. Its like your doc saying ___ died because he had cancer and diabetic at the same time. Which is it? Did you check the engine after it seized ? Was there oil gushing out of the engine ? When was the last time you checked the oil before brought/send it to the dealer ?
I really want to help but - can you answer my last 3 questions at least ?
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Old 06-07-2015, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Carsy View Post
There should be some evidence of damage from the "loud clacking" you mention when the engine is pulled down. ie oil pump failure, metal in the bottom of the sump etc.

Your lawyer should have all this info to present .

Where is the engine now? . Could an independent take a forensic look at it?

Good luck.
My immobilized car has been sitting at my local MB dealer lot since April 26th while I've been awaiting word from MBUSA. I may consider an independent tech perform a forensic analysis soon. Thank you!
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Old 06-07-2015, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Ausmbtech View Post
With those answers it sounds unlikely to be related to a maintenance issue, it sounds more like a mechanical failure.
If you are going to be chasing MB to assist then I suggest you contact them now regarding an engine replacement. If they aren't receptive to your request then I would recommend contacting a local professional engine builder or mechanical engineer to either disassemble and determine the exact cause of the seizure or preferably be present when your dealer pulls the engine down so you have an independent expert on your side in case it needs to end up in court.
You might be surprised, just the threat of having a engineer present when they pull the engine apart might be enough for them to realise you're serious and not just threatening to sue them but you're well prepared and wont be easy.
Thank you, your advice is very helpful and makes perfect sense. I'll consider these steps soon with my attorney.
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Old 06-07-2015, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by 20swrt View Post
I really want to help but - can you answer my last 3 questions at least ?
I checked the oil level after the engine seized, and the oil level was showing about half-full on the dipstick. There were no signs of oil leaking since the oil cooler seals were replaced by dealer last year. I check the oil every other diesel fill-up.
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Old 06-07-2015, 10:50 PM
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Copy of May 15th, 2015 Demand Letter sent to MBUSA

I'll now be publicizing more information about my issue with MBUSA since I'm not receiving any response or assistance from MBUSA. To recap my issue, the engine seized in my 2010 ML350 Bluetec with 82K miles on April 26th. Both MBUSA and my local MB Dealer declined any assistance with the engine. On May 15th, I submitted a Demand Letter to MBUSA requesting reasonable assistance while detailing the car issues leading up to the engine seizure. I've since heard nothing from MBUSA despite a requested reply by May 22nd. Meanwhile, my car has been sitting immobilized at the MB Dealer's lot since April 26th. Thank you in advance for any further assistance or direction!

(I uploaded here a copy of my May 15 Demand Letter on 6/16/2015 as I've still not heard from MBUSA, seven weeks now after my ML350 Bluetec's engine seized).
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Last edited by krd2023; 06-16-2015 at 06:21 PM. Reason: uploaded my May 15 Demand Letter (names blacked out)
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Old 06-07-2015, 11:11 PM
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Last edited by krd2023; 01-13-2016 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:31 AM
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Considering you purchased new and have a full service history you have very good grounds for getting the engine replaced free of charge. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 06-09-2015, 04:43 AM
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the oil cooler seal leak is not only on the bluetecs, i agree that there should be a class action lawsuit on this

have a 2008 ml320 135,000 miles and it has not had the oil cooler leak yet but everyone tells me it will eventually

i read several different mercedes forums and this is an issue that is discussed all the time

but the class action suit on the balance shaft issues did not help many people at all because so many were over the mileage of the settlement....

so i dont know, but i am not impressed that mercedes did not step up and take care of this issue themselves

sorry you have had so many problems with your car, surely mercedes will develop some common sense and help you

do they think it is normal for one of their motors with 82,000 miles on it and dealer maintenance to sludge up so bad the motor seizes??? that is crazy
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Old 06-14-2015, 01:35 AM
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I don't know how much it would cost to replace the engine, but I bet that will be far less expensive than paying a lawyer to litigate and an engineer to inspect. As much as it pisses you off (and would **** me off if I were in your shoes), I just don't see how it will be cost effective to litigate.

If you can get results by having your lawyer write a few letters, that's one thing. But, if you start to go at it with MB, you will almost instantly be upside down with legal and expert witness fees vs what you could ever hope to win. And MB knows it so I think a few letters isn't going to get it done.

This situation is a prime example of the adage "It doesn't matter how right you are, as soon as you hire a lawyer, you lose." Sad (not to mention completely unfair), but true.
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Old 06-14-2015, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Dog hauler View Post
I don't know how much it would cost to replace the engine, but I bet that will be far less expensive than paying a lawyer to litigate and an engineer to inspect. As much as it pisses you off (and would **** me off if I were in your shoes), I just don't see how it will be cost effective to litigate.

If you can get results by having your lawyer write a few letters, that's one thing. But, if you start to go at it with MB, you will almost instantly be upside down with legal and expert witness fees vs what you could ever hope to win. And MB knows it so I think a few letters isn't going to get it done.

This situation is a prime example of the adage "It doesn't matter how right you are, as soon as you hire a lawyer, you lose." Sad (not to mention completely unfair), but true.
Thanks, Dog hauler. Your advice sounds very reasonable and accurate. The dealer quote with labor to replace the engine is around $12,500. Trade-in value via Kelly Blue Book on the car today is around $20,000 with good engine and $8,000 with bad engine. The new car value when I made the purchase in 2010 was $55,000. I worked really hard to payoff this first Mercedes in four years through MB Financial. My attorneys are superb, but as you've alluded, they're not cheap.

I'm now in Week 7 since my car's engine seized and the car sits immobilized at the dealer lot. MBUSA is still unresponsive to our legal Demand Letter and to my requests for assistance. Yesterday, I test drove a new Mercedes from the same dealer and am now waiting to hear from MBUSA of a reasonable trade-in offer for my 2010 ML350 Bluetec with 82K miles and a seized engine towards a new MB purchase. I should be able to report more on this in the next few days.

Last edited by krd2023; 06-14-2015 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:04 PM
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Hmmm. Let's see: You had an engine seize at 82k miles despite meticulous maintenance, the dealer told you go scratch and MB told you go f**k yourself and the horse you rode in on. On top of that, other diesel engine failures I'm reading about on this board involved the same scenario only some them were under warranty and MB still told 'em to buzz off.

And you want to buy another MB? From the same dealer? Holy cow! Have you thought that through?
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Old 06-15-2015, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Dog hauler View Post
Hmmm. Let's see: You had an engine seize at 82k miles despite meticulous maintenance, the dealer told you go scratch and MB told you go f**k yourself and the horse you rode in on. On top of that, other diesel engine failures I'm reading about on this board involved the same scenario only some them were under warranty and MB still told 'em to buzz off.

And you want to buy another MB? From the same dealer? Holy cow! Have you thought that through?
Yes, I'm between a rock and a hard place. As I see it, today I have two reasonable options: 1) proceed with litigation against a heretofore and still silent MBUSA despite my requests of assistance and Demand Letter, or 2) continue to demonstrate that I'm doing my best to remain a loyal MB customer. Buying another MB makes sense to me, while continuing to involve those privy to the matter for accountability purposes. I'll buy another MB if I'm given reasonable trade-in for my immobilized 2010 ML350 Bluetec. I'm certainly open to other suggested options, and thank you.
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Old 06-15-2015, 01:09 AM
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It's unlikely that the MB dealer is going to give you any more money for your crippled trade than any other dealer would, MB or otherwise. Go to another dealer...BMW, Audi, Land Rover, etc...and see what they'll do for you. And it makes sense to go to several other dealers to see what they'll give you on trade. One or more dealers just may not want to deal with it and it may take going to several before you find one that will.

You got a bad product and even worse customer service from MB. Why on earth would you go back for more? The only possible way it makes sense for you go back to that same dealer for another MB is if for some reason that dealer gives you a much better deal on the trade than the dealers from other marques will give you. Anything is possible, I suppose, but I bet that doesn't happen. And if it were me, the MB dealer would have to give me a very large amount more for the trade than would a dealer from another marque to cause me to go back for more punishment from MB.

You were screwed to the wall. It seems ill-advised to give MB another chance to sell you a bad product then follow it up with more terrible customer service. Sure, it pisses you off. It would make anyone angry. But it may be time to cut your losses and be done with the miserable experience that is MB.

Another possibility is to find a used motor and have it installed. That will no doubt cost much less than $12k and then you can just keep the car as you presumably intended to do before the motor went south.

And I forgot to mention, your litigation option isn't. There is no possible way to come out ahead on that deal. Your lawyer and expert witness fees will exceed the cost of the engine rebuild in about a week. And what on earth do mean by "accountability purposes?" Neither the dealer nor MB is accountable for anything here...they told you to screw off. And then giving them the opportunity to make another profit off your purchase of a shiny new MB isn't, I hate to tell you, holding them accountable for anything.

Last edited by Dog hauler; 06-15-2015 at 01:18 AM.
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Old 06-16-2015, 11:00 AM
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Vehicle History Report attached (names blacked-out)

Well, after sending the email below on 6/15 to MBUSA and including my dealer, I've still heard nothing from MBUSA but I did get a phone call from the owner of the dealership. The owner reiterated that his hands are tied and there is nothing he can do. He stated MBUSA usually gives the silent treatment in cases like this, and that MBUSA is virtually as unhelpful to him as they are to me. MBUSA is clearly not at all interested in keeping me as a customer. What's more surprising to me, they're not at all concerned about my word-of-mouth to family, friends, colleagues, and the public. Does MBUSA expect me and other conscientious MB owners to be okay with a well-maintained diesel Bluetec engine dying at less than 85K miles?!?!? The only options remaining from the dealer where my car sits are 1) trade-in the car for around $8,000 credit, or 2) have them replace the engine for around $12,500 with labor (neither of which is reasonable to me given my investment in this vehicle and prior maintenance/ repair history). Here is a copy of my email sent to MBUSA and the dealer yesterday:

(names have been withheld to protect privacy):

"June 15, 2015

Dear (After-Sales Operations Manager
Mercedes-Benz USA
Western Region),

Even though you’ve not acknowledged my June 8 emails below, you may be interested to know I’ve still heard nothing from MBUSA regarding my May 15 Demand Letter (please see attached copy again). It’s now Week 7 since my car is sitting immobilized with a seized engine on the (dealer) lot in (city), MT. Since I’ve heard nothing from MBUSA for weeks, I’ve begun a public campaign so others understand my dilemma and may assist in my resolution, as seen here:

https://mbworld.org/forums/diesel-fo...ne-seized.html

Rest assured, if MBUSA decides very soon to reasonably resolve my issue, I’ll gladly post a positive reflection.

I’m negotiating a new MB purchase with (dealer) this week, but only if MBUSA provides me with a reasonable trade-in value for my 2010 ML350 Bluetec. If I can’t arrive at an agreeable transaction this week, I’ll be moving in other directions to reach a resolution.

Thank you,
___"
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Old 06-16-2015, 04:19 PM
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The owner's hands are tied only to the extent MBUSA won't do anything. But they're not tied with respect to giving you a reasonable deal on the trade (and the only way you'll know one way or the other on that is to find out from other dealers what they'll give you for the crippled trade) to apply toward the purchase of a new MB at dealer cost . If the dealer won't do your next purchase so that he breaks even and no more it isn't because his hands are tied. It's because he's offering the same awful customer service as does the factory. Which would bring us back to the point of wondering why you'd go back to MB and this dealer for more punishment.

Keep in mind that some of these engine failures have been under warranty and MB still denied the claim. That should make all of us think before buying our next new car.
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