Mercedes Balance Shaft Codes 1200,1208 or 0016, 0017

Mercedes-Benz ML350

A very common problem with Mercedes-Benz vehicles equipped with M272 Engine or M273 Engine is the Balance Shaft gear. The gear wears down significantly and causes the camshafts to be out of alignment just enough that the ME (engine control module) will notice it and set the codes. What you may experience as the driver is the Check Engine Light is on. Possibly a lack of performance from the vehicle but likley not.

Check Engine Light

Most often the only symptom is the Check Engine Light being on and here in Massachusetts, that little light must go out and stay out, in order to pass the annual MA State Inspection.

M272 Engine Timing Marks, off center (out of time)

What the technician will find when identifying this problem is the timing marks will be off center in the opening. Here is a picture of what they look like. The camshaft position sensors will need to be removed to see these marks.

Here is a picture of the timing mark on the opposing bank. (I did not bother to remove the power steering pump in order to access the second camshaft position sensor which must be removed to see the timing marks) Note the position of the marks inside the opening. This side is centered as it should be.

M272 Timing mark centered

The Mercedes SI Bulletin below shows you what happens and explains what repair is needed to correct the issue. FYI, THE ENGINE MUST BE REMOVED FROM THE VEHICLE IN ORDER TO PERFORM THIS REPAIR.