5 Tips to Keep Your Mercedes Benz in Tip-Top Shape During the Winter

With winter approaching, there are a few service items that should be considered on your Mercedes Benz to ensure that your Mercedes Benz does not leave you unexpectedly stuck this winter.  Below are the following items:

1. Check the date and condition of your Mercedes Benz battery. Cold weather impacts a batteries ability to produce the cranking amperage necessary to start your Mercedes Benz. If your Mercedes Benz battery (or batteries as many models including select S, E, ML, and GL classes have two batteries) is more than five years old, you should have it professionally checked. With age, a battery naturally builds up deposits internally reducing the effectiveness of the battery. Stop in at German Auto Center and have the experts check your Mercedes Benz battery and charging system.

If you want to check the battery production date yourself, most Mercedes Benz have located the battery in one of three places, the left side of the trunk, under the hood by the passenger side cowling and/or under the driver’s seat. Remember many models including the Mercedes Benz S, E, ML and GL classes have two batteries, a starter battery and one for everything else. All Batteries will be marked with a date code of manufacture. This is not the same as the installation date which may often be much after the manufacturing date. You will typically see a letter and a date such as below. The “I-13” can be decoded as follows; “I” is the ninth month of the year or September, and the “13” representing 2013. Hence the battery below is a battery produced in September 2013.

Battery Manufacture date September 2013

If your Mercedes Benz sits for extended periods (two or more weeks at a time) without being started, German Auto Center recommends having a low amperage battery tender installed that will keep your Mercedes Benz battery charged and ready for use.  Automotive batteries do not do well sitting and not being charged as natural leakage of voltage draws between the battery terminals and from your Mercedes Benz onboard Electronic Control Modules will case a drain or draw on the battery. Remember that with colder weather, cold engines are harder to start due to thickening of the engine oil, bearing grease becoming stiffer and belts being harder to turn.

2. Check your coolant system components. On your Mercedes Benz, many of the coolant system components such as the radiator and expansion tank are made of plastic. With age, these plastic components become brittle due to heat and are subject to crack leaving you stranded. Similarly, rubber hoses will age showing soft spots or blisters in the rubber. These components should be checked regularly. Please stop by the experts at German Auto Center and we will be happy to visually inspect your Mercedes Benz’s coolant system.  Mercedes Benz recommends that your coolant be changed or flushed every two years to ensure effective cooling and remove any deposits that may have accumulated within the cooling system. Keep in mind that in later model Mercedes Benz vehicles, the thermostat will fail in the open position allowing your Mercedes Benz to continue to run. Although your vehicle will operate, a check engine light will be turned on and you will notice a significant decline in fuel economy.

3. Tire condition, pressure and age. It is important to visually inspect your Mercedes Benz’s tires on a regular basis. German Auto Center will be happy to inspect your tires for you, but there are a few simple inspections that you can make on your own.

(a)  Visually inspect your tires for cracking, damage to the tread or any foreign objects that might have punctured the tire. Often an object may insert itself into the outer rubber of the tire without penetrating through causing a leak.

(b)  Check the depth of your tire’s tread. It is recommended that tires be replaced when the remaining tread depth is less than 5/32 inch. Further, a tire is considered unsafe below 3/32 inch and will not pass state safety inspection.

Tire tread showing less than 3/32 inch tread

(c)  Tires are all stamped with a manufacture date. Tires older than ten (10) years should be replaced. Most tire stores will not repair a tire older than ten years. You can find the tire manufacture date stamped on the tire’s sidewall. In this example DOT U2LL LMLR 5107 can be seen. The last four digits are what you are looking for. The “51” indicates the 51st week of the year and the “07” indicated 2007; hence this tire was produced during the last week of 2007.

Tire manufacture date 51st week of 2007

4. Check the windshield wiper fluid level and windshield wiper condition. Be sure check the windshield wiper fluid level each time that you fill your Mercedes Benz with fuel. This is especially critical during winter months. Only use a fluid designed for use in windshield washer system and contains an antifreeze agent such as ethanol (or isopropanol and ethylene glycol. Take a moment and check the condition of the wiper blade(s) on your Mercedes Benz. If signs of any cracking, tearing or if they loose their pliability, they should be replaced.  Visit German Auto Center and we will be happy to inspect the windshield wipers on your Mercedes Benz and will top off your Mercedes Benz’s fluid.

5. Visually inspect all belts and hoses. The rubber belts and hoses should be inspected regularly on your Mercedes Benz. This is especially true if your Mercedes Benz is experiencing fluid leaks such as power steering or engine oil. These fluids will rapidly soften rubber components and lead to premature failure. If is also important to check the tension of all belts to ensure proper operation.

Have a question about your luxury automobile or does your model need special work? Please ask using the comment box below on our German Auto Center Facebook page and one of our experts will reply! German Auto Center is owned and operated by Len Gilmore.