How many miles can a Mercedes Benz S 550 last?

This blog will answer the following questions: How many miles can a Mercedes Benz S 550 last? What are the technical specifications of the Mercedes Benz S 550? What are the common problems in the Mercedes Benz S 550? 

How many miles can a Mercedes Benz S 550 last?

A Mercedes Benz S 550 can last for 250,000- 500,000 miles if the vehicle is serviced regularly. The S class is a top-of-the-range model in Mercedes Benz and offers great performance and luxury. The annual maintenance cost is expensive but it ensures the S550 keeps performing at the same level despite high mileage.

The interior seats and dashboard have Nappa leather and it can look as good as new even after 10 years. Mercedes Benz dealerships also offer products that can keep the seat upholstery clean.

The reliability of the components used in the manufacturing of the S class is good. Mercedes Benz is known to replace any components in field service measures if a fault is discovered in it. There is also a standard warranty for the Mercedes Benz S 550 is also 5 years and 50,000 miles and customers can even buy an extended warranty for up to 8 years.

The Mercedes Benz S 550 is a US-specific model, in other international markets it is sold as a Mercedes Benz S 500. The S550 is the sixth generation of the S class based on the MRA-I platform. The model series is W/V222 as it is available in extended wheelbases in countries like India and China.

Although the Mercedes Benz S550 can last for many miles and the service life of the vehicle is 10-25 years. The customers of S550 usually sell the car after 3-5 years and upgrade to newer models.

This is one of the reasons for the high depreciation of the Mercedes Benz S class. It is possible to buy a used Mercedes Benz S 550 and experience the same luxury and performance as a brand-new model for half the price.

What are the technical specifications of the Mercedes Benz S 550?

The technical specifications of the Mercedes Benz S550 are explained in the table below:

Technical specifications Mercedes Benz S 550
Engine 4663 cm3 V8
Transmission9 Speed Fully automatic
Maximum power450HP
Top speed 250 Km/h or 155 Mph
0-62 mph4.8 s
Wheelbase303.5 cm
Width 189.9 cm 
Height 149.6 cm
Curb weight1995 Kg


The Mercedes Benz S550 has the M278 V8 petrol engine. It is bi-turbocharged with liquid-cooled turbochargers. The wastegate is operated by a vacuum transducer controlled by the engine control unit.

M278 is one of the most reliable Mercedes Benz engines, it has a complete aluminum build and the cylinder walls are lined with Mercedes Benz’s Nanoslide coating. It is extremely resistant to wear and the coating reduces friction by 50 percent.

There is variable valve timing on all the camshafts so the maximum torque of the Mercedes Benz S 550 comes early at 1800 rpm and it stays up to 4000 rpm. The peak power is produced between 5000-5000 RPM.

The fuel consumption of the Mercedes Benz S 500 is 20 MPG in the city and on open roads is 36 MPG. There is no mild hybrid technology in the S550, the fuel tank can hold 17.6 gallons of fuel. The range of S550 on a full tank of gas is 592 miles.

The charge air intercooler is liquid-cooled and it sits between the two cylinder banks. There is a separate coolant reservoir tank for the auxiliary coolant circuit. The electric pump of the auxiliary pump is used to circulate the coolant in the charge air intercooler and the transmission oil cooler.


The transmission in the Mercedes Benz S 550 is the 7G-Tronin plus with a torque converter. There is a lock-up clutch inside the torque converter and it is engaged to minimize the power lost in the transmission fluid.

Although the 7G-Tronic is not as good as the latest 9 G-Tronic it is very reliable and can handle 700NM of torque. The auxiliary electric oil pump is located on the torque converter housing, it reduces the load on the internal mechanical oil pump.

The 7G-Tronic transmission is only capable of performing acceleration downshifts. The gear changes are sequential in nature, it cannot skip the gears like the 9G-Tronic transmission. The shift quality is good and any complaints can be rectified in the transmission adaptation.


The Mercedes Benz S 550 is based on the MRA-I platform. The interior room is huge as the height is 1494mm. There is plenty of natural light from the panoramic sunroof, sun blinders are present on the sunroof, rear windshield as well as rear doors.

The ground clearance is 128mm and drivers can increase the ground clearance with the help of airmatic suspension. There are four airmatic struts, the S550 does not use airmatic bellows on the rear axle.

Despite airmatic struts on the rear axle, the luggage space is not compromised as the length is 5255mm. The trunk capacity is 530L and 4 passengers can sit comfortably on power seats with built-in massagers.

The rear wheel and tire are wider than the front wheels, it offers better traction to the Mercedes Benz S550 as it is only rear-wheel-drive. The dimension of wheels and tires in the front and rear are 245/45 275/45 R19 respectively.

What are the common problems in the Mercedes Benz S550?

The common problems in the Mercedes Benz S550 are explained below:

  • Abnormal noise from the engine

The M278 V8 engine in the Mercedes Benz S550 has camshaft adjusters on the intake as well as exhaust camshafts. The camshaft adjusters are controlled by the engine control unit and the position of the camshafts can be varied with respect to the position of the camshaft.

The adjusters are connected to the timing chain and when the mechanical springs in the adjuster fail it makes a grinding noise at the time of cold starting of the engine. The vehicle also takes a long crank and it can drain the battery.

  • Coolant leak

The S550 uses a secondary coolant system to cool the intake air that is compressed by the two turbochargers. This intercooler is located within the intake manifold and it leaks the coolant that is not visible in regular engine inspections.

The plastic coolant pipes used to carry the hot coolant from the water pump also get weaker as the mileage on the vehicle increases. It is very hard for coolant to leak from the cracks in the pipes.


The Mercedes Benz S 550 is one of the most popular models in the S-class product range. It offers lots of features and customizing options to the customers. The S550 is a good buy even in used condition but the annual maintenance and spare part costs can be very high.