Problems With the Mercedes Benz E Class

Updated April 17, 2017

The E-Class is Mercedes-Benz's entry into the midsize luxury car market. The E-Class series encompasses a variance in both coupes and sedans, ranging from fuel-efficient models to high performance-oriented AMG trims, with V6 and V8 engines available. The problems associated with the E-Class vehicles are relatively minor.


The biggest issue with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is with its lights. Some 1996 and 1997 vehicles are prone to headlight and parking-light bulbs burning out prematurely. A socket-and-bulb kit is available to correct this problem. The 2003 vehicles, however, are the worst afflicted with this problem. Some have the headlight bulbs repeatedly going out because they are the recipients of too much voltage. A software revision of the control unit can drop the voltage from 13.2 to 12.8 to prolong their life. Also, tail and brake lights can go out due to water and dust getting into the light housing. Proper sealing can prevent this problem.

A/C System

Some E-Class vehicles may experience rumbling noises from the A/C compressor due to a bad pulley or bearings. In other cases, the A/C system may only run in one mode of operation due to a faulty connection. The pulley or bearings can be replaced, and the A/C system can be reconnected to solve these problems. E-Class entries from the model years 2003 to 2006 are the most prone to this defect.

Alternator Belt

Some E-Class vehicles tend to have inadequate charging from alternator belts. This is due to a defective internal voltage regulator, which would need to be replaced. In other cases, the problem may be the result of a bad battery control module. This commonly afflicts 2003, 2004 and 2005 vehicles.

Ball Joints

Some E-Class vehicles may experience noises coming from the upper control arm. This is due to torn rubber covers on the ball joints, in which case the parts would need to be replaced. Be wary of such an issue with E-Class cars from the 2005 to 2007 model years.

Blower Motor

Some E-Class vehicles may have blower motors that work intermittently. This is due to a faulty internal circuit breaker in the blower regulator. This part would need to be replaced in order for the blower motor to function properly again. This particularly affects 2005 and 2006 cars.


The Sensotronic Brake Control on some E-Class cars may quit working. This is due to a weakening wiring harness connector. In this situation, the connector would need to be replaced. Watch out for this problem in 2003, 2004 and 2005 vehicles.


Rough idling, engine hesitation or hard starting can occur in some E-Class cars due to moisture getting into the crankshaft position sensor. This would require replacement of the sensor and wiring harness. Watch out for this defect in 2003 vehicles.

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About the Author

Based in the D.C. area, Andy Joseph works full-time as a data analyst and technical writer. He has been writing articles about technology, health, politics, music, culture and automobiles since 2007. His work has appeared in The Express, Congressional Report and Road & Track. He has a master's degree in journalism and technology management.