Buying review Mercedes-Benz GL-Class (X164) 2006-2012 Common Issues Engines Inspection

Welcome everyone to another buyers review, today the Mercedes-Benz GL Class. Today we will review the first generation GL Class that was built between 2006 and 2012. This was Mercedes fullsize luxury SUV, mainly popular in the United States and Asia. It was the biggest SUV Mercedes had at the time, the assembly took place in Alabama. Good thing to notice it that the paint job and rust protection are good on these cars, Mercedes came back from the decision to use paint on a waterbasis around this time. I would say from model-year 2008 for all Mercedes cars there was much improvement, now let’s focus on the X164 which was the internal code for this car. Overall the build quality for these cars are good.

Early production models have various problems, mostly electronic issues. Most commonly know are the doorlocks, the tailgate lock and the tailgate mechanism itself. Then there were some issues with the steering rack, power-steering and oil leaks from the hydraulic pump. Smaller issues are for instance sluggish multi-media systems and batteries that drained faster than you expect. If you car has a sunroof, there is chance that water might leak into the interior, so make sure you check the seals and look for wet spots on the upholstery.

This being a heavy car with many powerful engines, the suspension has quite a hard life. As this being a Mercedes it can be equipped with airride, when it works its a beautiful system. But airride tends to be not very reliable over time. The shocks can leak oil, the compressor can break and the level sensors can fail on you.

If you want to remove this problem, replace all shock by normal springs, just notice that this will change the driving dynamics of the car, so do your research on firmness and comfort of the various brands of springs. Normal maintenance and spare parts tend to be more quite expensive. I am sure Mercedes Europe has some spare parts laying around but it might take a while to get the part you need since production takes place in the United States.

Interesting in buying the GL, do a pre-buyers inspection and avoid the early production models, they tend to be less reliable than the later models.

There was a facelift in 2009, and I would recommend you go for a 2009 up to 2012 model.

The two v8 petrol engines are overall reliable with a long track record. Issues with this petrol model are the usual issues you might face with any petrol engine, like for instance oil leaks, coolant leaks, worn out spark plugs, defective engine coils, worn out timing chains especially in the early production models. Since these cars are full of sensors, the sensors itself can become defective, this will light up your dashboard like a christmas tree.

The diesels consist out of regular CDI diesels with the addition of the blue-tech diesels that came after the facelift of 2009. In the basis vary reliable technology, Mercedes and diesel is quite a good marriage but also here there are common problems you will find on many diesels, like for instance; oil leaks, oil leaks around the turbo, injector contamination problems, this is common on the CDI, coolant leaks, contaminated EGR valves, trouble with the glow sparks to ignite the diesel, and trouble with the DPF filter to reduce emissions.

Mercedes recommends you change the oil frequently, between 10 and 15.000 kms, and again, I said it before, early production models can suffer from worn time chains. If you hear a rattle at a cold start than you should make an appointment at the garage as soon as possible, same as VW, these chains if they break, it will destroy your whole engine.

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