What are the problems with the 2010 Mercedes Benz C300 4 Matic?

This article will discuss the problems in the 2010 Mercedes Benz C 300 4matic and explain their causes and remedy. In this article, we also answer the following question: which engine is used in the 2010 Mercedes Benz C 300? Which gearbox is used in the 2010 Mercedes Benz C 300 4MAtic?

What are the problems with the 2010 Mercedes Benz C300 4 Matic?

The problems with the 2010 Mercedes Benz C 300 4Matic are as follows:-

  • ABS/ESP Malfunction message in the instrument cluster with ABS light active.
  • Check Engine light ON in the instrument cluster.
  • An abnormal noise from the engine

Let’s take an in-depth look at each problem and its possible remedies:

ABS/ESP inoperative

The ABS and ESP systems become imperative due to malfunction in the wheel speed sensors at the front left and right wheels. The wheel speed is monitored by the ESP control unit and it must be within a specified range of 0-250 kmph. Due to the fault in the wheel speed sensor, incorrect wheel speeds were registered on the front left and right wheels. 

The only remedy was to replace both wheel speed sensors on the front wheels. Mercedes Benz also updated the part numbers of the RPM sensors. Replacing only one wheel speed sensor would not rectify the concern as identifying which rpm sensor malfunctions were not possible in the ESP control unit.

Another fault in the ESP control unit caused the ABS and ESP to stop working, there was an internal malfunction in the ESP control unit located on the hydraulic body of the brake system. Updating the control unit software did not rectify the issue and a new ESP control unit was installed to rectify the problem.

Engine light malfunction

M272 has a variable intake manifold with hot air mass flow sensor installed before the throttle valve. The air mass sensor measures the air going into the intake manifold and as petrol engines are quantity controlled the fuel injected was determined by the air mass and engine load.

The intake manifold is connected to the intake ports and a gasket is installed between them which leaks as the mileage starts to increase. The leak in the intake manifold gasket causes un-metered air to enter the intake of the engine and affect the mixture formation.

The remedy was not expensive as the cost of the gasket was less and once the fault was rectified the vehicle was good for thousands of kilometres.

An abnormal noise from the engine

Many C 300 reported cases with abnormal engine noise with cylinder misfiring in multiple cylinders. The problem came due to worn-out gear on the balancer shaft which led to the incorrect position of the crankshaft to the position of the camshafts.

Only a certain number of engines were affected but the timing chain and balancer shaft are critical engine components and usually, they should not wear out.

Mercedes Benz engines are known to last long without any major repairs but the balancer shaft issue in the M272 damaged the reputation. Mercedes Benz quickly rolled out work instructions and rectified the issue by replacing the entire balancer shaft and setting the basic position of the camshaft. In some markets, the entire repair work was complete without any cost to the customer.

Which engine is used in the 2010 C 300 4 Matic?

The Mercedes Benz C 300 used a 3.0 litres V 6 cylinders M272 engine. The M272 was a newly designed Mercedes Benz V 6 engine launched in 2004. Unlike its predecessor M112 engine, M272 had 24 valves and single spark plugs for each cylinder. The output stage of the ignition coil was also individual for each cylinder.

Fuel was injected into the intake manifold but direct injection was also introduced in limited markets. The fuel pressure in the fuel system is 4-6 bars with a non-return valve on the fuel pump. The 3.0 litres M272 produced 230 horsepower and 320 Nm of torque. 

Some of the special systems in the M272 are as follows:-

  • Camshaft Adjustment

There is camshaft adjustment on both intakes as well as exhaust camshafts that can advance or retard the opening and closing of the valves by 0-40 degrees. The camshaft adjustment gives the M272 a very flat torque curve and the engine produces its peak torque as early as 2500 RPM.

  • Variable intake manifold

The M272 is also naturally aspirated, there is no forced air induction by a turbo or a supercharger. Hence, the power delivery is very linear. The intake manifold of the M272 is variable; there are long and short air tracks and guide vanes operated by a series of vacuum-actuated linkages that can direct the airflow inside the intake manifold.

The variable intake manifold improves cylinder charging and gives the M272 an effect similar to forced air induction.

  • Secondary air injection 

There is a secondary air injection electric air pump that pumps air into the exhaust system to bring the catalytic converters to operating temperature more quickly and reduce exhaust emissions during cold starts.

 It is only activated for 40 seconds after the engine starts, secondary air injection is no longer used as most modern engines are directly injected and turbocharged so exhaust gases are heated more quickly.

The engine and cylinder heads are made up of aluminium metal, camshafts are mounted over the cylinder head and driven by a single timing chain connected to the crankshaft. 

The engine oil pump is also driven by the crankshaft via an independent chain and supplies engine oil to the lubrication oil circuit consisting of oil spray nozzles that spray engine oil under the iron-coated piston skirts.

The angle between the two cylinder banks is 90 degrees therefore there is a need for a separate balancer shaft in the engine block. The balancer shaft is connected to the same timing chain on one end and a counterweight on the other end.

Which gearbox is used in the 2010 Mercedes Benz C 300 4MAtic?

In the C 300, the M272 was mated to the newly developed 7Gtronic 7-speed gearbox and a transfer case. The transfer case is connected to the output side of the transmission. It has the most crucial task of dividing the output of the transmission between the front and the rear axle. Apart from distributing the power between the front and rear axle transfer case also synchronises the wheel rotation and the wheel speed can vary between the axles.

Other articles about Mercedes Benz you may be interested in

What causes engine light malfunction in the Mercedes C 300?

What to do if my car engine shuts off when stopped?

What are the things to check before buying a used Mercedes Benz C Class?


The 2010 C 300 4 Matic offered better handling and road grip as it had a full-time all-wheel-drive system. The M272 was powerful enough for the C class but the cost of the drivetrain and the reliability issue led customers to pick the C 200 kompressor model.