7 Common Mercedes-Benz M260/M264 Engine Problems

Are you interested in purchasing a Mercedes-Benz with the M264 or the M260 engine? You came to the right place! Today we’re going to discuss all the common Mercedes motor problems of both these engines and we’re also going to reveal what’s the difference between the M260 and the M264 engine.

Doing research beforehand is a must! You just don’t want to buy a car that will be a headache for you. A car that will drain both your wallet and your patience. This is why we are here to help you out with your pursuit and elaborate on all of the problems this specific engine has, so you don’t make a mistake. So, what are we going to learn today?

First, we are going to cover the specs of the M264 engine and see what horsepower this engine makes. Then, we are going to learn the common Mercedes M264 engine problems and also the applications of this engine. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the topic.

Basic Mercedes M264 Engine Specs

The M264 engine is a freshly designed Mercedes engine introduced in 2017. This engine is essentially the same as the M260.

The difference between the two is that the M260 is intended for front-wheel-drive cars, while the M264 is intended for rear-wheel-drive cars. There is also the AMG version of this engine, called the M139.

This engine comes with two different displacements. Both as 1.5L and 2.0L. The main difference between the two is the cylinder bore and piston stroke size.

Both these are modern engines, which means that they implement the newest technologies. Namely, double overhead camshaft cylinder head with Camtronic system. 

The Camtronic system allows two-stage adjustment when it comes to the valve lift. And on top of that, there are also two camshaft adjusters that provide variable valve timing both on the intake and the exhaust camshafts of this engine.

There is also a direct injection system and a twin-scroll turbocharger that has an electric wastegate actuator.

In addition to this, the M260/M264 engines also have a 48-volt electrical system. The engine has a belt-driven starter-alternator and an electric water pump developed by Magna.

Nevertheless, here are the full specs of the M260/M264 engine:

  • Engine Configuration: Inline-4
  • Displacement: 1.5L or 2.0L
  • Cylinder Bore: 80.4 or 83 mm
  • Piston Stroke: 73.7 mm or 92 mm
  • Block & Head Material: Aluminum
  • Head Design: DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
  • Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
  • Turbocharger: Twin-Scroll Turbo
  • Horsepower: 181 – 295 hp
  • Torque Output: 207 – 295 lb-ft (280 – 400 N-m)

Common Mercedes M264 Engine Problems

Common M264 and M260 engine problems include:

  • Spark Plug & Coil Failures
  • Carbon Deposits
  • Engine Knocking
  • Cylinder Head Failure
  • Injector Failure
  • Camtronic Failure
  • Particulate Filter Problems

Now that we covered the common Mercedes M264 engine problems, we can move on and further elaborate on these problems.

Knowing how these problems happen is really important in order for you. You need to know how to recognize these problems with the car you own or intend to buy. This way, you will avoid a ton of possible issues and save a good penny in the long run. So, let’s elaborate on these problems in detail.

Spark Plug & Coil Failures

Spark plugs and ignition coils are the components that most frequently fail on these direct injection engines.

This is the case because the direct injection system is pretty demanding when it comes to power delivery.

This system drains the life of the ignition components much sooner compared to your standard MPI injection system.

This will cause the life of ignition coils and spark plugs to shrink significantly and these components in these engines last on average for about 40-50,000 miles. Instead of 70,000 miles like in old-school port injection engines.

Whenever these components start to fail, you will notice that there will be a check engine light, and engine misfires. The engine will run really rough and if you plug in the OBD2 scanner and you see a P0301 or a similar code, you know that these components started to create problems.

Carbon Deposits

Carbon deposits are common on these engines. They tend to create carbon in the intake ports. So, why is this the case?

Well, this is the case because these M264 engines are using direct injection. Direct injection for those who don’t know is using special injectors. Fuel is not injected like in older engines through the intake ports.

This means that the intake ports are not washed since no fuel is injected through them. In this case, you end up with clogged-up intake ports.

Carbon deposits start to stick to the intake valves and once the deposits become so large, they will prevent the valves from opening and closing correctly.

In this case, you will start to experience engine misfires and check engine light.

The solution to this problem is to use a method known as walnut blasting. With this method, walnut shells are blasted in the intake ports and this cleans the carbon. This method should be done every 50,000 miles (ca. 80,467 km) in order to avoid big headaches in the long run.

Engine Knocking

Engine knocking is another very common problem with the Mercedes M264 engine. Why is this a problem, and why is this happening?

Engine knock is happening because you add low-grade fuel to the gas tank. These engines require premium gas.

This is a high-octane gas that has a higher resistance to compression. In other words, the gas ignites at the end of the stroke.

If you add low-grade gas, you will experience a situation when the gasoline ignites much sooner. This will result in unequal explosions.

This way of work will damage the cylinder and the piston. It can cause the piston to crack and cause a lot of problems. That’s why you should always add premium fuel.

Cylinder Head Failure

Cylinder head failures were also noted on these engines. The cylinder head is the component mounted on top of the engine block.

This component contains the intake and exhaust valves. What happens on many of these engines is the situation where the valve guides fail.

The valve guide is the component that guides the valve. And there is a play that develops inside the guide.

This play will make the valve move and not seat properly. Whenever this happens, you have a loss of compression and engine problems like the check engine light, engine misfires, and rough engine work.

In many of these situations, a replacement of the cylinder head is the only viable option. Since refurbishment often costs a lot of money and also it takes a long time to do.

Injector Failure

Injector failure is also common on some of these engines. These engines are using direct injection, and this way of injecting fuel requires beefier injectors that often tend not to last.

These injectors are very complex and expensive. So, it is frequently a pain to replace them. They can be very sensitive to fuel and also as the mileage increases, they simply start to fail.

When they fail, they often start to leak fuel or end clogged up. So, somewhere at 100,000 to 150,000 miles (ca. 241,402 km), there is a high chance that you will have to replace or rebuild these components in order to regain proper engine work.

Now let’s continue with the next Mercedes M264 engine problems.

Camtronic Failure

Issues with the Camtronic mechanism are expected. There are a lot of actuators and other components that make this system work.

So, whenever there is a poor performance of one of these components, there will be symptoms like the check engine light, engine misfires, low engine power, poor fuel economy, and limp mode.

Particulate Filter Problems

And last but not least are the particulate filter problems. This engine uses something known as a particulate filter to further cut down on emissions.

This is the same as DPF in diesel cars. This particulate filter collects dust particles and when it starts to regenerate, it will start to burn these particles off.

Sometimes people forget to regenerate these systems and they end up clogged up. Resulting in expensive replacements.

Which Models Have The Mercedes M264 Engine?

Now let’s take a look at the models that have the M264 engine.

  • Mercedes W205 C180, C200
  • Mercedes W206 C180, C200
  • Mercedes W213 E180, E200, E300, E350
  • Mercedes C257 CLS260
  • Mercedes C257 CLS 350
  • Mercedes V222 S350
  • Mercedes X253/C253 GLC 200, GLC 300
  • Mercedes W464 G350

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Mercedes M264 or M260 engine problems?

This engine has problems with low-octane fuel. These engines tend to knock a lot if you don’t run premium gas, and when this happens, there will be cracks on the piston.

Other problems include spark plug and coil failures, carbon buildup, cylinder head failures, injector failures, Camtronic failures, and particulate filter clogging up.

What is the difference between M260 and M264?

The difference between the M260 and M264 is that the M260 is intended for front-wheel-drive cars, while the M264 is intended for rear-wheel-drive cars. Aside from that, the engines are essentially the same.

Is the M264 and M260 engine reliable?

The M264 engine is pretty reliable but also an engine that can often have very expensive repairs. Especially in situations when the cylinder head fails or the pistons start to knock if low-octane fuel is added. Also, there can be frequent issues with the Camtronic system that can be pretty expensive to fix.

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