Produced from 1997 to 2005, the Mercedes-Benz M Class W163 received the highest possible marks in its insurance industry crash tests and was the first SUV to feature electronic stability control. Occasionally, owners report that the engine on their W163 shuts off randomly during operation.
Your Mercedes should run as smoothly as the day it rolled off the assembly line. If it doesn’t, you know there’s a problem. When owners experience strange engine shut-offs, they usually happen after a few minutes of running. The engine turns over, and the car starts, but then it conks out after four or five minutes, and it takes some time before it will start again—upon which time the engine promptly dies once more. This problem may occur in cars with 100 miles or 100 thousand miles, and it might be the result of several things.
In the worst case, the fuel pump needs to be replaced. The pump is what ferries gas from the tank to the engine, and when it begins to malfunction, or when it breaks down completely, the supply of fuel is erratic and often non-existent. More likely—and less severely—the source of the problem is the crankshaft position sensor. This sensor makes sure that your crankshaft is where it should be, running as it should, and when it breaks it cuts off the flow of fuel to the engine as a safety precaution. Irritating as it is, this feature prevents your W163 from running into much greater trouble.
The best way to pinpoint the exact location of the issue is by having the codes read. At a specialized Mercedes repair garage they have the equipment and the expertise to read the codes and fix your car, whether the issue be with the fuel pump or the sensor. The sooner you make an appointment, the sooner you can hit the road like you used to.
Search for a local, independent Mercedes-Benz repair shop with Mercedes-Benz mechanics that have dealer-level expertise at a fraction of the expense.