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The dreaded M272 Balance Shaft

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The dreaded M272 Balance Shaft

 
Old 04-04-2012, 01:40 PM
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The dreaded M272 Balance Shaft

New member here, looking forward to jumping into this forum. I realize this subject has been beaten to death, but I'd like some positive feedback (if any out there) on the M272 Balance Shaft failure 'epidemic'. I just purchased a 2006 e350 4matic with approx 64k on the odo. Not sure I would have purchased this car had I known about this balance shaft issue. Regardless, my question to fellow M272 members is: Is balance shaft failure inevitable? Are there any of you who are driving M272 powered benz'es who have NOT experienced this condition and if so, how many miles do you have on your ODO at this point? As stated, I've got 64k on my '06 e350 4matic and so far, so good. I know there are plenty of horror stories out there, but are there any out there that are immune to this point? Wondering if I should be driving around simply expecting this (balance shaft) to fail ... or if I stand a ballpark chance of escaping unscathed? Thanks for any/all replies.... and again, looking forward to MBWorld experience.
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Old 04-04-2012, 02:12 PM
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From what I am told, the problem is not necessarily inevitable. The stats I hear are that the issue arises in about 10-20% of the affected vehicles. Generally it arises, if it is going to, by about 60K miles or thereabouts in the majority of cases, with a few exceptions.

So that is probably better than a ballpark chance of not having it in your case.
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Old 04-06-2012, 02:45 AM
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Did you have the repair cost quoted yet?
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:00 AM
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No quote / no repair needed (yet). That was the nature of my OP, just simple concern (paranoia) due to the wide-spread (or seemingly so) publicity that this infamous M272 balance shaft has garnered. 64k on the ODO and so far so good. I'm encouraged by the 10-20% affected rate as stated in the reply above... that's the kind of reassurance that I was looking for . My 06 e350 4matic is running great so maybe I found a 'good' one.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:25 AM
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Very good =D perhaps I will read more carefully next time.
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Old 04-06-2012, 03:18 PM
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It is a very expensive repair costing around $4K. I had to have the repair done on my 2007 E550 and fortunately the warranty covered it. I could be wrong but I think people have been able to convince MB to cover this out of warranty since it is due to an obvious flaw...
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:33 AM
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I'm looking at an 06 e350 with 90,000 miles. It's being offered for sale at an MB dealer. Sounds like I might be rolling the dice on this balancer issue. Any tips on how to protect myself or should I just avoid the 3.5 liter?
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:18 AM
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I honestly think that if such a problem was affecting every single M272 Engine with the Balance shaft, those models would never be sold, or sold at a heavily discounted price, they would be blacklisted.

But yea they count on people's ignorance and then people get ripped off later down the line.
slj33 Make sure to check the VMI of the car, get a mechanic to inspect it and maybe get a warranty to be on the safe side.

I've read somewhere that since the balance shaft wears over time, you will feel that the engine is not what it should be, slower acceleration and such.. This is what i read :p
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Old 05-28-2012, 01:07 PM
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M272 balance shaft problem

Well.. the CEL came on the 2006 R350 and drove it to the dealer; and yes Houston we have a problem... The balance shaft needs to be replaced as well as the intake manifold. 10+ day repair and the cost is approx. $$6,500 to repair. Thankfully, I have the extended coverage. The miliage on the R350 is 101,000 and is very well maintained. The big question I have is... once this repair is completed, are we through the storm; or can I just expect general maintenance going forward or is this begining of the continued large dollar repairs?

Thanks,

Bruce
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Old 05-28-2012, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by PortAxePlayer1 View Post
I honestly think that if such a problem was affecting every single M272 Engine with the Balance shaft, those models would never be sold, or sold at a heavily discounted price, they would be blacklisted.

But yea they count on people's ignorance and then people get ripped off later down the line.
slj33 Make sure to check the VMI of the car, get a mechanic to inspect it and maybe get a warranty to be on the safe side.

I've read somewhere that since the balance shaft wears over time, you will feel that the engine is not what it should be, slower acceleration and such.. This is what i read :p
I can confirm that at least with my E550 there was no degradation in performance. All I noticed was that the check engine light was on. My dealer fixed this in 4-5 days.

And in response to the other question, you will not see this problem again after it is fixed because the new gear is made of a harder allow and will not wear out. As for the other components...
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Old 05-28-2012, 02:11 PM
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PS: I feel very bad for the really unlucky people who are going to end up buying a car with this issue for around $10-$15K in the near future and be hit with a $4-5K repair.

Ouch!

That is a whole year of depreciation for a brand new E350. They are going to feel so ripped off as for the same cost of depreciation they could be driving a brand new car

It's a shame that these cars seem to be designed to be only driven when while under warranty...
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:19 PM
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Are there any symptoms to this? Aside from the CEL.
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:27 PM
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Easy to tell, if your engine is within the range. If its not, no problem.
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:56 AM
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Originally Posted by fila0220 View Post
Are there any symptoms to this? Aside from the CEL.
Like was suggested, check the engine serial number. If yours is in the range and you see the CEL this could be it but it could be a myriad of other things as well. Personally I would be very weary of owning an affected serial number engine without a warranty...
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:24 AM
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what is the serial number range?
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:50 PM
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so this has been really bugging me lately. I tried using that russian vin site to get the data card on my car, but it turns out empty. I also used this russian site http://www.neoriginal.ru/cat/mb/ but no luck either.

The vin is WDBUF90X18B340824 Can any kind soul PM me

I also read somewhere quote

"The V8 engines that were affected were M273's. They didn't appear until the 2006 model year so your engine isn't affected.

V8's don't have balance shafts, only V6's. Your mechanic doesn't seem to know what he's doing so maybe you should have a dealer look at it"

anyone can confirm this?
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:58 PM
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V8s do not have the balance shaft, but it still has the gear that acts like a idler gear. And, it wears out also if within the affected range.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by fila0220 View Post
550 affected up to engine # 30 08861, your # is 30 25507 so you are fine PM your email address if you want a copy of your datacard.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:27 PM
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serial # or engine #?

Hello. New member here. I have a 272 engine in my 2007 e350 and the engine # is 30 617xxx. Can anyone confirm that should be okay? Another thread suggests the cutoff is Serial #468993 but I don't know whether that's engine # or VIN. If mine is okay, any idea why I would have the engine light come on at 75,000 with the same symptoms others have described for this problem (slight loss of power when passing, electronics lose power and then pop back on a second later)? Thank you.
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:12 AM
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Originally Posted by fila0220 View Post
so this has been really bugging me lately. I tried using that russian vin site to get the data card on my car, but it turns out empty. I also used this russian site http://www.neoriginal.ru/cat/mb/ but no luck either.

The vin is WDBUF90X18B340824 Can any kind soul PM me

I also read somewhere quote

"The V8 engines that were affected were M273's. They didn't appear until the 2006 model year so your engine isn't affected.

V8's don't have balance shafts, only V6's. Your mechanic doesn't seem to know what he's doing so maybe you should have a dealer look at it"

anyone can confirm this?
I have never heard of this issue on the M273, I was talking to an MB mechanic when I took my car in to get the headlamps replaced (call me dumb for not doing it myself, but when the labor is free I enjoyed some refreshments in the waiting area and didn't have to get my hand's dirty) and he was saying for the most part the M273 has been issue-free in the long term. Logically, also, I would say that less strain is put on this component in daily driving due to the fact that it is an 8 cylinder and likely won't rev as high for the same acceleration.
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:23 AM
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Response to 801

I recently purchased a black E350 4 matic (2006) with 121,900 on the odo. I have since put 1,100 miles on the car over the last 2 weeks without any issues. That is, except for the CEL which was on when I purchased the car. I know, I know, why did I buy it with the light on? the dealer stated it was a simple oil change reset issue where during the last oil change the cpu wasn't reset. (This happened to me years prior with a BMW 3 series and since the E350 is nearly flawless in appearence, I dismissed it)
Anyway, I took the car in for testing at a local reputible import mechanic as the nearest MB dealer is over an hour away. I rec'd the p0017 code for right bank camshaft position sensor failure. I replaced the sensor ($210) and the light is still on. The mechanic stated the left bank sensor was almost new and had been replaced not all that long ago. And from the looks of things, the engine has been removed once before. I am unsure what that means but I assume there are factory seals that have been broke and he noticed them?

So, I am unsure if I am heading down the balance shaft replacement road or not. I would have to say no given the mileage. The majority of balance shaft/gear failures occur at 35k-80k. A car with 122k on the odo is most likely either never experienced the problem, or it was dealt with a long time ago and I will be trouble free. The mechanic said it was probably fixed and the sensors or the computer is simply not recognizing the repair. Either way, I hope you remain trouble free, as I have read that the problem doesnt effect every single car.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by bmw87us View Post
I recently purchased a black E350 4 matic (2006) with 121,900 on the odo. I have since put 1,100 miles on the car over the last 2 weeks without any issues. That is, except for the CEL which was on when I purchased the car. I know, I know, why did I buy it with the light on? the dealer stated it was a simple oil change reset issue where during the last oil change the cpu wasn't reset. (This happened to me years prior with a BMW 3 series and since the E350 is nearly flawless in appearence, I dismissed it)
Anyway, I took the car in for testing at a local reputible import mechanic as the nearest MB dealer is over an hour away. I rec'd the p0017 code for right bank camshaft position sensor failure. I replaced the sensor ($210) and the light is still on. The mechanic stated the left bank sensor was almost new and had been replaced not all that long ago. And from the looks of things, the engine has been removed once before. I am unsure what that means but I assume there are factory seals that have been broke and he noticed them?

So, I am unsure if I am heading down the balance shaft replacement road or not. I would have to say no given the mileage. The majority of balance shaft/gear failures occur at 35k-80k. A car with 122k on the odo is most likely either never experienced the problem, or it was dealt with a long time ago and I will be trouble free. The mechanic said it was probably fixed and the sensors or the computer is simply not recognizing the repair. Either way, I hope you remain trouble free, as I have read that the problem doesnt effect every single car.
Did you get the codes cleared from the computer?
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by jimbo1763 View Post
Did you get the codes cleared from the computer?
Yeah, I believe he tried clearing it and the fault code kept popping back on. Doesn't make sense to me. If the code says the problem is the sensor, and the sensor is new, then why would keep lighting up the CEL? Has to be a cpu issue because there is no way the defective shaft gear would have held up this long.
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Old 07-24-2012, 01:51 PM
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Hi BMW87 my 2006 R350 had 100k when I had the balance shaft problem. I wouldn't use that as one of your perameters for dismissing the issue. Having gone down this path with the CEL and having the dealer say it was this or that it was my experience that the CEL was foretelling of the things to come and it was dismissed several times at the lower miliage. But ultimately, it was when the balance shaft was in 100 % default that the dealer believed the P1000..??? Code and the car was returned to me 5 weeks later fully repaired. All covered by extended warrentee. I would really push the issue with MBUSA. The BShaft issue can be traced by VIN number as well. I hope this helps.
.

Last edited by bruce01; 07-24-2012 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bruce01 View Post
Hi BMW87 my 2006 R350 had 100k when I had the balance shaft problem. I wouldn't use that as one of your perameters for dismissing the issue. Having gone down this path with the CEL and having the dealer say it was this or that it was my experience that the CEL was foretelling of the things to come and it was dismissed several times at the lower miliage. But ultimately, it was when the balance shaft was in 100 % default that the dealer believed the P1000..??? Code and the car was returned to me 5 weeks later fully repaired. All covered by extended warrentee. I would really push the issue with MBUSA. The BShaft issue can be traced by VIN number as well. I hope this helps.
.

Thanks for the reply. Since I'm not experiencing any problems with performance or handling I'm not going to take it in and have it disassembled. I work in marketing and just don't have the time to deal with a motor tear down, phone calls to MBUSA etc etc. Unless it goes kaputt, I'm going to keep on driving it. If I had a gun to my head I would be willing to bet that the job has already been done. There are a few telltale signs that the motor has been removed (despite a clean 2 owner carfax) such as lower front facia misalignment, scars on the engine mount bolts etc. Besides, according to my research, if the problem is just now occurring with the shaft, it would set a record for most miles before gear failure. I do however have a 3000 mile powertrain warranty with the lot I bought it from. I have 1900 miles to go on it. So I will keep my fingers crossed.
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