The Mercedes-Benz C Class—also called the W202—was manufactured from 1993 all the way until 2000. It was initially designed to fill the compact executive car niche vacated when production of the 190—or the W201—ended, and they shared some of the same design characteristics. Although the C Class has become a Mercedes stable, some W202’s experienced some problems with damper pulley breakage.
During the normal operation of the car, a tremendous amount of vibrations are occurring within the engine and the crankshaft. At a certain point, the amount of stress caused by these vibrations is more than the crankshaft can handle, and it would soon break if it were not for the damper pulley. The damper pulley takes these vibrations and distributes them around a rubber seal, enabling the car to operate at higher speeds with less noise and less danger to the crankshaft.
Unfortunately, over time the damper pulley begins to wear down do to exposure to the elements, extreme heat and cold, and general old age. As it goes, the sound coming from the engine may increase dramatically, and the crankshaft may begin to exhibit signs of excessive wear (such as a more erratic running and idling). If the damper fails completely, the crankshaft is in danger of developing cracks along its surface, rendering it inoperable as well. If your crankshaft goes, you could be in for some serious trouble and expense.
Preventing all of that from happening is a primary concern for W202 owners, and in order to save you from some horrible headaches in the future, we suggest that you swing by a nearby Mercedes-Benz repair garage. The people here will take good care of your car and make sure that you stay safe when you get back on the road.
Search for a local, independent Mercedes-Benz repair shop with Mercedes-Benz mechanics that have dealer-level expertise at a fraction of the expense.