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Mercedes Engine Misfire Problem

srs warning lightEngine misfires are one of the most common problems in many Mercedes-Benz cars. Honestly, it is not because MB cars are weak in this area but because most owners forget that spark plugs are worn items that must be replaced at the recommended intervals. As soon as an engine misfire occurs on a Mercedes-Benz, you will notice poor engine performance and strange vibrations that can sometimes be felt even in the driver’s cabin. The first thing that comes to mind when you get an engine misfire is: “This is going to be expensive.” Please take a deep breath because, in most cases, it doesn’t have to be. This article discusses Mercedes Engine Misfire problems, the most common causes that trigger misfires, and how to diagnose an engine misfire on Mercedes-Benz cars.

What does it mean when you have Mercedes Engine Misfire

recommended mercedes spark plugUnder normal operation, the fuel and air mixture entering the combustion chamber of your Mercedes-Benz engine ignites. When the fuel/air mixture doesn’t get ignited, one or more cylinders don’t provide any power to turn the engine, which gets detected by the Engine Control Unit (ECU) and triggers an engine misfire code.

Common Engine Misfire Symptoms

Depending on the type of misfire and what caused it, you will notice one or more of the following misfire symptoms:

  • Engine Vibrations
  • Loss of power
  • Shaking / Vibrations Noticeable at Low RPMS and idle
  • Vibrations go away at high RPMS, typically over 3000
  • Engine Stalls in some cases
  • Poor Engine Performance
  • Check Engine Light
  • Fuel / Gasoline smell from exhaust
  • Blinking Check Engine Light

How to Diagnose Mercedes Misfire Problems

mercedes benz fault codesMany mechanics and car owners dislike working on Mercedes because they believe MB cars are difficult to diagnose due to the large sensors and electronics. If you have the proper tools, diagnosing Mercedes cars is easy. Luckily, the misfire codes are stored in the ECU and are very easy (and inexpensive) to retrieve. To diagnose an engine misfire on a Mercedes, all you need is a generic OBD II code reader that can be bought in some cases for under 20 at your local auto parts store or on Amazon’s Best Selling OBD II scanners list. If you would rather invest in an advanced OBD II scanner for Mercedes, then read our article on Top 10 Best Diagnostic Scanners for Mercedes Benz.

Steps to diagnose Mercedes Engine Misfire

1. Turn the ignition to position II. All dash lights should be on. Don’t start the car.
2. Locate the OBD-II port under the dashboard.

OBD II Port Scanner Mercedes Benz Star Diagnostic
Location of OBD II port used to retrieve Mercedes-Benz fault codes.

3. Plug your OBD II scanner and let it turn on.

check engine light
Use an OBD II scanner to check why the Check Engine Light is ON.

4. Hit the Read button to retrieve the fault codes from the ECU. You will get a code such as P0301. These are called diagnostic trouble codes (DTC).mercedes benz fault codes

For more help, watch the following video.

What is the Best OBD-II Scanner for Mercedes-Benz vehicles?

The YOUCANIC full system diagnostic scanner is an essential tool for Mercedes-Benz owners and technicians looking to troubleshoot problems with their vehicles. This diagnostic scanner can help diagnose issues with the engine, transmission, brakes, airbag, ABS, steering systems, and more by reading and interpreting fault codes stored in the car’s computer system. With this information, you can make informed decisions about repairs and maintenance, saving time and money.

In addition to diagnosing problems, the YOUCANIC scanner can also reset maintenance reminders and service indicators, ensuring that your vehicle is properly maintained and preventing potential issues from occurring in the future. This feature is especially useful for Mercedes-Benz owners who want to stay on their vehicle’s maintenance schedule without visiting a dealership or a mechanic. Overall, the YOUCANIC full system diagnostic scanner is a valuable tool that can help you keep your Mercedes-Benz running smoothly and reliably for years.

Now what?

You most likely will get one of the following codes

  • If you are reading fault codes such as P0301 through P0312, that means that, most likely, the problem is with one of the cylinders misfiring. This is due to a bad spark plug, spark plug wire, or ignition coil issue.
  • If you are reading a P0301 through P0312 code plus another code, let’s say P0100. Likely, the P0100 fault code, which refers to a malfunction in the mass air flow sensor circuit, is also causing the misfire codes and even a limp home mode. Lime home mode means the transmission gets stuck in gear, typically in second gear.

The bottom line is that you must research all the codes your OBD-II scanner retrieves from the ECU. Now let’s talk about some of the most common reasons that cause engine misfire and check engine light on in a Mercedes-Benz car.

Common Causes of Mercedes Engine Misfire

Spark Plugs

mercedes spark plug engine misfireThe #1 cause of Mercedes engine misfires is old spark plugs. Spark plugs don’t last forever. They are wear-and-tear items. Standard copper spark plugs last up to 30k miles, while iridium and platinum spark plugs can last over 60,000 miles. If your Mercedes-Benz has over 80,000 miles and still has the original spark plugs, it makes sense to change them before you pour money on any other repair. New spark plugs will make your engine run smoother, and you will even see an improvement in gas mileage. Remember that Mercedes-Benz V6 and V8 engines utilize two spark plugs per cylinder. That is typical in Mercedes-Benz engines such as M112, M113, M272, and M273 found in E, C, S, CL, CLK, ML, GL, G, R, and SLK Class. For example, if you have an E320 (M112 engine) or an E350 (M272), your car has six cylinders but requires 12 spark plugs.

Replacement spark plugs for your Mercedes-Benz can be purchased on Amazon to save money on parts.

Ignition Coils

Location of Mercedes ignition coil packsIf you replaced all the spark plugs but are still getting an engine miss fire code, the next item to check is the ignition coils. Mercedes uses one coil per cylinder. In some cases, each coil may power two spark plugs. Ignition coils are easy to replace, and you don’t necessarily need to replace all of the ignition coils if one has failed. Replacing the ignition coil is very straightforward. You must unplug the coil, remove the bolt, disconnect the spark plug wires, and reinstall in reverse order. If you need a replacement coil, you can get them on Amazon for much less than the dealer.

Mass Air Flow Sensor

mas air flow sensor engine misfireThe mass air flow sensor is one of the most critical sensors in a Mercedes-Benz car. It measures the temperature and volume of air entering the engine. This is crucial because if the mass airflow (MAF) sensor is bad or failing, you will have poor fuel economy and performance and may also get misfire problems and other symptoms. Pay close attention to the codes and look for the following codes related to the MAF sensor.

Fault Codes related to MAF sensor

If you do find out that the MAF sensor is defective, don’t panic. It is not an expensive repair if you are willing to get your hands dirty. You can get an aftermarket sensor, but we recommend using the OEM MAF sensor whenever possible.


Spark Plug Wires

spark plug wireWhen we talk about spark plug wires, you may be thinking spark plug wires are a thing of the past. My Mercedes doesn’t have a distributor. But hold on! Mercedes uses wires between the ignition coil and spark plug on most V6, V8, and V12 engines. You don’t have to worry about spark plug wires if you have an engine that utilizes an ignition coil installed directly on top of the spark plug.

While spark plug wires fail less often, we have seen a few cases where those short spark plug wires were either defective or damaged during improper removal. Remember this, especially if you change the spark plugs in your Mercedes and are still getting an engine misfire.

Fuel Pressure

test fuel pressure at schrader valveFuel pressure can cause engine misfires as well. We haven’t seen too many cases where the fuel pressure was the cause of the misfire. Generally, when Mercedes owners experience fuel-related problems, the fuel pump fails. If that’s the case, your Mercedes won’t even start getting that fixed before you throw parts and money on your Mercedes.

If you suspect fuel-related issues, checking the fuel pressure on a Mercedes is very easy. As shown in this picture, you must connect a fuel pressure gauge to the fuel test port.

The Actron CP7818 Fuel Pressure Tester Kit works very well. The Schrader fitting is required to connect to the MB fuel test port.  It allows you to test fuel pressure regulators, weak fuel pumps, and leaking injectors.

Bad Catalytic Converter

damaged catalytic converterA catalytic converter that is clogged and restricting the exhaust gasses from leaving the engine can also trigger multiple cylinder misfires. If your catalytic converter is clogged, you will notice a drastic drop in fuel efficiency and a real struggle getting your Mercedes to accelerate. If the cat is completely clogged, your car won’t even start.

Bad Car Battery

The car battery on your MB is very critical, and if it fails, you can experience a list of electrical malfunctions, including engine misfire in some cases. If you must jump-start your MB regularly, it is time to replace the battery.

Internal Mechanic Issue

Mechanical engine problems can also cause an engine to misfire. A Burnt valve or blown cylinder head gasket can definitively trigger misfire code and symptoms. If a particular cylinder is not generating the required compression, the fuel mixture on that cylinder may never get ignited. You must perform a compression test and pay attention to unusual engine noises.


If your Mercedes-Benz has developed an engine misfire, always scan the codes via the OBD-II port. In most cases, a cylinder misfire is caused due to old spark plugs that need to be replaced. A failed ignition coil or a bad spark plug wires. If none of the above fixes your misfire problem, carefully analyze the fault codes; another problem in the engine may indirectly cause the misfire.

Please use the comments section below to report your engine misfire symptoms. If you have already fixed this problem, let our readers know what the cause and solution were in your case.



  1. After add park plug change on my 07 c230 i have two current and 4 in the gray. Two are p0170 0173. The gray 0746,0750,2096,2092. Needless to say the car runs fantastic no misfire ir feels like a new car and yiu can barely hear the motor its so quiet. I do need an oil.change and always use mobil 1 adavanced syn

  2. My 2006 ml350 has random misfiring I have change spark plugs, coil, check compression ok. But still the misfiring is still there.

  3. Hello my name is Cody and I have a 2009 Mercedes-Benz e350 85,XXX miles. So I purchased it just last month and about two weeks into owning it. Ended up throwing P0301 cylinder 1 misfire replaced the spark plugs and turns out the ones I pulled were the original factory MB plugs. Drove it, light came back on same thing P0301. Now I went and purchased factory OE coil packs also new air filters and replaced everything. I do have a alright scanner which runs a health check indicating green, yellow, red for the overall running condition.

    So anyways I started it up and ran GREAT took for a ride drive great I felt good about the repair. Also just so I’m clear the vehicles always ran really well. The issue is when you’re in drive you let off the gas it has like a putter until you hit the gas and start going and it goes away. Like if you pulled up to a stop sign let off the brake it would putter a little bit until you accelerate it and then it’s smooth. So I didn’t have any of that going on after I replaced the coils and double check everything in the engine bay for tightness and making nothing was loose.

    Now I get back after the drive run the health scan on the vehicle and I get a green light telling me everything’s running perfect. Then I shut the vehicle off started back up run another health check and I get a yellow light. So I turn the vehicle off again turn it back on while it’s running into another health check I get a red light. Then the putter is back you let off the brake let the car do its thing and it like jitters and then you hit the gas drive off and it goes away. Besides that it’s more of an annoying feeling in the car until you hit the accelerator and everything’s fine. Just very confused on what to do I’m thinking I might be a faulty cylinder 1 fuel injector.

  4. 2000 SL500 P0305 P0303 Misfires constantly, new catylitic convertors, new plugs and wires

  5. My 2000 E55 developed a misfire and threw a code about 10000 miles after a dealer tuneup. I swapped the coils and it still would occasionally throw a code. Decided to do plugs and wires. Turned out that one of the rear plugs that threw the code was loose from when the dealer had done the previous tuneup.

    • My 07 s550 with 200,000 miles is missing on cyl 3 and 4 when not under load. Soon as load applied smooth, and powerful. Have replaced plugs and coils, and compression is good.

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