Tips to Fix Plastic Guide Rail Failure in a Mercedes Benz
- December 7, 2019
- Mercedes Repair
- Posted by Frank Dischinger
- Comments Off on Tips to Fix Plastic Guide Rail Failure in a Mercedes Benz
Mercedes has been at the forefront of German luxury car manufacturing for decades. It is not surprising to learn that the Mercedes Benz brand has developed their own unique innovations to consistently improve the performance, handling, and design of their vehicles. Innovations such as the AirMatic suspension system revolutionized the way we think about suspensions, not to mention the way driving feels.
However, some innovations are not as overtly present as the AirMatic system and instead perform their integral roles quietly, without the driver ever noticing. One such example of this is the plastic guide rail. In this article, we will learn more about this crucial part, discuss the causes of failure, look at some signs of problems, and point you in the right direction for repairs.
What is the plastic guide rail?
The plastic guide rail is not solely unique to Mercedes. A handful of other manufacturers have since adapted their own interpretations of the component. However, this part was originally developed by Mercedes as an alternative to the previous metal iterations of the part. The guide rail is made of a strong plastic and works almost as a splint for the engine’s timing chain, ensuring that it circulates properly and remains in line, stopping it from slipping or becoming loose.
What can cause the plastic guide rail to break?
While plastic is a more effective material to use for guide rails than metal, it does have some weaknesses. High temperatures can cause the guide rail to become weak and likely to break, meaning that issues with your vehicle overheating can directly impact the health of your guide rail and should be investigated accordingly.
High speeds are also known to cause your guide rail to deteriorate faster than predicted. Excess speeds increase the heat of your engine and will expose your guide rail to potential damage. Heat can even cause it to melt if the high temperature occurs for an extended period of time.
Minor impacts or jolts that involve the front of the vehicle can also cause failure, as it can put sudden undue pressure and strain on the guide rail. Meaning, if it has been weakened previously by a collision or jarring motion, sudden breakage can occur.
What happens to my Mercedes when my guide rail breaks?
A broken guide rail can vary from a minor problem to a catastrophic incident. If your guide rail snaps or fractures in one place, then it’s likely that the damage caused will be minimal and that the rail will simply need replacing.
Alternatively, if your guide rail has been weakened over time and a sudden impact or strain occurs, then it can shatter, potentially spreading numerous shards of plastic throughout your engine system. This can possibly cause extensive damage to multiple components inside your engine.
Potentially worse still, if your engine gets very hot, the guide rail can melt entirely and fuse with other parts and systems, creating a difficult and costly repair or even rebuild.
Fixing My Guide Rail at Glenwood Foreign Car
Whether or not you can repair your guide rail yourself really depends on multiple factors. First, it depends on the type of break. If it is simply a crack or a clean break with no other damage, then it may be possible to replace the rail yourself. However, if it has shattered, then you need to go through your engine systems with a fine-toothed comb looking for all the pieces, which is really best left to the professionals.
If you’re handy when it comes to fixing up cars for a hobby and the break isn’t severe, then it is possible you can replace the guide rail yourself. However, if the most DIY mechanics you’ve done is replace a flat tire or a headlight bulb, then it really is best to seek professional help.
Either way, you should remember that your guide rail is an integral part to the healthy running of your Mercedes and is located close to the engine. Therefore, if you are in any doubt at all as to your ability to repair guide rail failure, then it’s really not worth running the risk. It is best to bring your Mercedes into a trusted repair shop.
Luckily, Glenwood Foreign Car is on hand to help, servicing Mercedes drivers living in or around Upper Makefield Township, Yardley, Newtown, and Morrisville, PA. Our technicians will investigate your guide rail failures and repair any and all parts necessary to get you safely back on the road.