Mercedes-Benz of Stevens Creek - 2047
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Mercedes-Benz of Stevens Creek - 2047

Mercedes-Benz C 300 4MATIC Problems - How To Troubleshoot and Fix

What Is Mercedes 4MATIC?

The Mercedes-Benz C 300’s biggest draw is its 4MATIC technology or all-wheel-drive system for improved road handling. The way 4MATIC-equipped vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz C 300 provide superior performance and handling.

The 4MATIC is the brand name assigned to Mercedes’ all-wheel-drive system technology, which provides excellent traction on slippery roads. Its Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is paired with an Electronic Traction System (ETS) to regulate each wheel’s drive torque individually, distributing it 40/60 between the front and rear wheels — long considered an optimal ratio for traction.

When the system detects a slippery road, sensors will detect excess spinning with one or more of the wheels. Its ETS  automatically applies brakes to the affected wheels and applies drive torque to unaffected wheels for nice and balanced control.

The magic of 4MATIC lies with its ETS, which works to distribute power to each wheel or across the front and rear axles to maintain traction. It is even capable of applying brakes independently if the car blasts off from a stop. Unlike regular four-wheel-drive systems, 4MATICS use a center differential, which helps distribute power to each wheel, as opposed to it being stacked on top of a regular two-wheel drive system.

If wheel sensors detect increased handling limit pressure or additional instability, a dashboard indicator lamp alerts the driver to exercise caution and slow down if needed.


Some Common Mercedes C 300 4MATIC Problems

Excessive Noise

One of the more popular 4MATIC complaints is excess noise. This excess noise may be generated by a faulty center driveshaft support bearing or defective splined connectors from your transmission’s output shaft. This part is prone to heavy spline wear and tear under abnormal driving conditions. If not treated in time, couplings can degrade, causing the vehicle not to start.


Fluid Leaks

Other common problems with the 4MATIC are transmission, transfer case, and differential fluid leaks. Oil leaking can build up around the seam between your transfer case and automatic transmission. Failure to treat differential transfer care leaks can prevent the vehicle from starting.

Note: All 4MATIC vehicles use specialized automatic transmission fluid that is specific to the brand. Be sure to consult with a licensed Mercedes-Benz mechanic or shop on the Mercedes-Benz national store for the correct fluid.


Excessive Vibration

Another Mercedes C 300 4MATIC problem is center floor vibration caused by driveshaft flex discs, which may crack with heavy wear and tear. This causes your driveshaft to sway too much, which can break the driveshaft center support bearing, transmission, or differential.


Defective Modules and Sensors

4MATIC systems have a complicated array of modules and sensors all interacting with one another to achieve the desired result of locking in differentials to each wheel for the best ride possible. Sometimes, these modules can experience low voltage, which can become worse over time. Modules rely on one another to transmit and receive data. One broken module could create a ripple effect for other modules.

Given the complexity, we highly recommend using a certified Mercedes-Benz technician/dealership to troubleshoot common problems with the 4MATIC. We also recommend shopping on the Mercedes-Benz national store for replacement components.


Fixing the Mercedes 4MATIC System?

4MATIC technology consists of an exhaustive and complex intelligent system that works with several different safety features in tandem, including your ESP, 4-ETS (4-wheel ETS), and your ABS (Antilock Braking System). A specially crafted 7- or 9-speed gearbox helps manage each wheel’s output based on driving conditions. 

If loss of traction is suspected, there may be an issue with your 4MATIC system. We recommend taking your Mercedes to your local technician as they will be able to run proper diagnostic tests to determine what is causing problems with your 4MATIC system and will have solutions to fixing it.