5 common Mercedes A Class issues (and how to fix them)

When you’re looking for salvage cars to buy and flip for profit, you can save yourself a lot of time and energy in advance if you already know some of the most common problems that affect the model you’re planning on buying, so that you can prepare yourself with what you might need to fix them. We’ve got a huge range of seized and used cars right here in our online salvage car auctions, so you certainly have no shortage of choice! The Mercedes A Class has been a particularly popular make for both private and commercial buyers throughout 2020, so if you’re considering buying one, here’s a helpful heads-up on some problems you might encounter. 

1. Gearbox issues

Both the manual and automatic gearboxes of the Mercedes A Class can be susceptible to issues, although the symptoms can differ between each one. Issues with the gearbox in an automatic will result in the ECU giving you a prominent warning across the dashboard, along with the relevant fault code. 

This is often accompanied by a significant loss in power and a limited gear selection, forcing the car into what’s widely referred to as ‘limp mode’. As with all gearbox problems, it will also make the Mercedes very harsh to drive, and hard to reverse too. Underlying causes can be to do with the hydro electric valve body, or some kind of internal wear to the transmission. 

If the fault is with a manual gearbox, if you’re driving you’ll probably experience some kind of whining or crunching, which again will make the car noticeably difficult to drive. This might be the result of wear on a bearing, or some kind of bearing failure.

The solutions differ depending on the exact nature of the issue. Automatic transmissions might require a complete replacement of the gearbox ECU, valve chest, and solenoids, as well as the subsequent coding that accompanies this repair. The manual gearboxes will probably require a synchromesh repair, which are also relatively intensive, but perfectly achievable if you’ve got access to the right tools and experience. 

2. Diesel Particular Filter warning light

If the car has been frequently used for short journeys throughout a significant proportion of its lifetime, this can eventually result in the Diesel Particular Filter getting clogged up, at which point the ECU will show a warning on the dashboard. 

Happily, the fix on this one is a bit more simple. If the car is otherwise roadworthy, take it out onto a dual carriageway and get it up to 2500 rpm, which you’ll probably find is between 60mph and 70mph. The most important thing is to keep it in fourth gear at a healthy speed, and what that’ll do is heat up the DPF long enough for it to burn off the particles that are causing the issue. If you find that doesn’t work, then there are two other solutions you can try: the DPF might need a manual clean, or you may even need to replace the sensor. 

3. Misfiring engine

If the engine management warning sensor comes on, then the underlying issue could be a problem with the ignition coil pack. The primary function of an ignition coil is to harness the battery’s voltage to create an electric spark, which ignites the fuel mixture in the engine. Without that spark, the car won’t go. It’s as simple as that. Now, occasionally one or more of these ignition coils can fail, which is when you’ll normally be notified by the car’s ECU. The car will likely just need a replacement coil pack, but it’s also worth taking a look at the spark plugs, which are common culprits for engine issues. 

4. Sticking boot catch

A rear hatch that resists being opened might not affect the driving of the car per se, but it’s likely to be a problem that gets noticed pretty quickly. After all, there’s not much point in a hatchback that doesn’t give you easy access to storage space! A sticking boot catch is a known problem that can affect some models, but it probably only needs a replacement lock to fix the issue. 

5. Windscreen washer failure

This is one of the less catastrophic but equally pivotal issues that can affect Mercedes Benz A Class cars, and emblematic of the electrical problems that they’re sometimes notorious for. Both the front and rear washers can experience problems with the jets and hoses. In the case of the rear washer, it might be caused by the hose coming loose. Happily, it’s a simple problem with an equally simple fix - all you’ll normally need to do is reattach the hose to the jet. Alternatively, it might necessitate to buy replacement jets and hoses, especially if the problem is with the front washers. Even if that’s necessary though, it’s another that ranks up there with one of the easier and simpler repairs you’ll find yourself having to make. 

If you’ve got the skills and expertise at your disposal to deal with these potential issues, Mercedes A Class cars can be hugely lucrative cars to ‘flip’ for profit. And if that’s what you’re looking to do, you’re in exactly the right place. Here at RAW2K we’ve got a huge range of Mercedes salvage cars for sale, along with models from other leading luxury brands like Audi and BMW. Our online car auctions UK are refreshed on a daily and weekly basis, so there are always great deals to be had! Why not take a look around our site, and see what you can find?