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How to Read Mercedes Engine ID Numbers

Updated February 21, 2017

All Mercedes vehicles made since 1959 come with a number stamped onto their engine block that will tell you just about everything you need to know about the car (this number matches the VIN). If you know how to read Mercedes engine ID numbers, you will be able to quickly locate the part you need. Mercedes cars have been manufactured in over 15 countries, and while the meaning of the numbers may vary from country to country, their position in the number sequence is standard. Knowing what part of the engine ID number to enter into a parts search engine is half the battle to finding the correct piece for your engine.

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  1. Open the bonnet of your Mercedes. Locate the stamped engine ID number on the top or side of the engine block, towards the rear of the engine.

  2. Write down the letter or letters that begin the engine ID number. These letters indicate the style of motor (sedan, touring, roadster and so on) installed. See the chart listed in the resources below for a comprehensive definition of the letters and their meaning.

  3. Write down the first three numbers. The first three numbers correspond to the type of engine that you have (diesel, oil and such). For example, an M116 type engine would have an engine ID number that begins with "116" and an M114 type engine would begin with "114."

  4. Write down the next three numbers making sure to leave a space between this set and the first set you wrote down. This set of numbers indicates what version of motor it is (i.e. 2.2 lt, 2.3, 6 cyl, 8 cyl and so on). One type of motor may have many different possible versions.

  5. Skip a space and write down the next two numbers. These two numbers will tell you where the engine was installed, what side driving it was for (left or right) and the type of transmission associated with it. After 1983, the second number in this set was replaced with a letter. A series of letters (like A,B,C,D,E) was assigned to each factory. For a partial list of the assignations of these numbers, see the charts listed in the resources below.

  6. Write down the remaining set of numbers. This is the specific serial number of your engine.

  7. Tip

    Save yourself time and headache by using the automated Mercedes engine number lookup available at the link listed in the resources below.


    Always verify that the number stamped on the engine block matches the VIN number attached to the frame of the car. If the engine has been replaced with a different model and you just refer to the VIN, you could waste time and money getting parts that will not work.

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About the Author

Cassandra Tribe

Cassandra Tribe has worked in the construction field for over 17 years and has experience in a variety of mechanical, scientific, automotive and mathematical forms. She has been writing and editing for over 10 years. Her areas of interest include culture and society, automotive, computers, business, the Internet, science and structural engineering and implementation.

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