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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in Regina Saskatchewan Canada. It is currently -45 C. I am a nurse so can't be running it every 2hrs. I have owned my 2016 GLA250 for 3yrs and this is the 3rd winter the SUV has basically frozen up. Each time I take it in to the dealership but they can't find anything.
This is what happens... It starts, the check engine light comes on, it sounds TERRIBLE, I let it warm up for 10 mins, I put it into gear and it will make a clunk noise. It is extremely stiff to drive of course. I go slow but the shifting is so bad I am afraid it is going to stall. It then jerks and shakes like I'm riding a Harley and sounds like a tractor. 2 winters ago they said it was the exhaust freezing because I am not driving it far enough at a time. It lost power 30 mins out of my city and I had it towed back to the dealership. They said the fix was to drill holes in the exhaust pipe to let out the moisture. Well this hasn't fixed it because it continues to do this. When I get home I let it run for a half hour in my garage and it seems to be better after that. Seriously though, how can that be a fix? Such a waste of gas. Dealership has no ideas! I have looked for a winter grill cover but can't find anything. I going back to old fashion cardboard on the front to see if that works! I am scared to go to work tomorrow for fear the same thing will happen when I go home.
I have had 10 vehicles in my life and lived in Saskatchewan and Alberta, NOTHING has ever done this! My son's 2000 Saturn car is more reliable than this MB.
Has anyone else had this issue? I am desperate. I love this thing but I am seriously looking at trading it off. I can't stand this stress anymore...
Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!!!
 

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In our USA far-sub-freezing locales (Minneapolis comes to mind) we often plug in oil-dipstick or engine block pad heaters when parked outside for long durations. Many downtown parking areas have receptacles for such plug-in convenience. Is there such a provision at your hospital parking?

Blocking the grille to reduce wind sheer enhanced freezing is also a good idea.

German luxury marques are pretty good at testing in and for the cold but of course you're at the extreme end of the scale.

Thanks for all you do for your patients and here's hoping a reasonable solution presents itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi. Thanks for the response. I do plug it in at home. Unfortunately I don’t have plug in parking at work. I do go start it when I can. At least once or twice. It starts ok. It the driving and chugging. Someone mentioned the turbo. Dealership tells me the exhaust but now its “fixed” and they haven’t run into anyone else with problems. And I know a couple ppl with MB and no issues. I had a golf diesel and no issues at all leaving it unplugged. Just worry some as I don’t want to cause other damage. I am hoping the cardboard works!
 

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Drilling holes in your exhaust? Uhm, That’s a head scratcher…

Anyway, -45* on either scale is COLD. Do you have any inclination that it’s an engine/mechanical issue vs electronics? From what you’re describing it sounds like the engine itself is having troubles, but do you get anything else like your dash going out/flashing/etc, any messages from the car, or anything else like lights going dim while it’s happening? I guess what im getting at is if you’re not having electronics issues and you think it’s engine/mechanical, could there be anyway to find out if the last oil change was with 5w40 versus 0w40? There’s a discussion going on over on the CLA forums where people are talking about a difference between the two because both can be used, and 5w40 is only good down to -30*C. I think the people discussing were fellow Canadians so seemed to be ‘real’ cold they were talking about lol.
 

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Just throwing an idea or two out there ... water in your gas. Or garbage in your station's tanks causing filter problems. High pressure fuel pumps required for direct fuel injection can be quirky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just throwing an idea or two out there ... water in your gas. Or garbage in your station's tanks causing filter problems. High pressure fuel pumps required for direct fuel injection can be quirky.
I thought of the gas too... but with it doing it every year I'm not sure. The service rep didn't have much for ideas at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Drilling holes in your exhaust? Uhm, That’s a head scratcher…

Anyway, -45* on either scale is COLD. Do you have any inclination that it’s an engine/mechanical issue vs electronics? From what you’re describing it sounds like the engine itself is having troubles, but do you get anything else like your dash going out/flashing/etc, any messages from the car, or anything else like lights going dim while it’s happening? I guess what im getting at is if you’re not having electronics issues and you think it’s engine/mechanical, could there be anyway to find out if the last oil change was with 5w40 versus 0w40? There’s a discussion going on over on the CLA forums where people are talking about a difference between the two because both can be used, and 5w40 is only good down to -30*C. I think the people discussing were fellow Canadians so seemed to be ‘real’ cold they were talking about lol.
Yes it is REAL cold here! Even one that has been here for 50yrs is REAL sick of it!!
I know! We were very shocked with their "fix" as well. My husband knows vehicles and put the pressure on the dealership but this is what they came up with.
The electrical seems fine. The only thing is the push button start won't work sometimes but I have friends that say it happens to them. The cruise use to hold the speed exactly but now it bounces around a few up or down. Dealership says its normal. I've never had a vehicle do that though... In the last 8 months or so it has been shifting much rougher and doesn't seem to shift down properly and then chugs along in 6th gear going 40-50km/hr. Again they find nothing.
I've looked at my service records and it is 5W30 oil used. I'll try and find that discussion and see what they say.
The dealership says the only thing is my battery tested a little bit low. Which is questionable... A friend who has a Ford said theirs was doing something similar and it was the turbo. My husband said the same thing with the summer chugging issue too.
I'm just so frustrated that nothing is found.
Thanks for your comments...
 

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Spec oil is 0-40. In your cold weather 5-30 does not sound right. That cold, thicker oil could be causing some turbo problems.

There are a number of OBD II plug ins that interface with your phone for active tracking. I've been working with 9xxresearch.com with my Porsche. They have a $20 unit available on Amazon that tracks fuel rail pressure and a bunch of other things on my 997. They claim it works on MBs as well, although I haven't tried. Anyway, there are a lot of options out there. It might be time to look deeper.

Good luck moving forward and please keep our group advised of your findings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for your help... I am going to see what they say about the oil and check out the website you recommended. If I find something and don't trade it off, I'll post it... appreciate the input.
 

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I live in Regina Saskatchewan Canada. It is currently -45 C. I am a nurse so can't be running it every 2hrs. I have owned my 2016 GLA250 for 3yrs and this is the 3rd winter the SUV has basically frozen up. Each time I take it in to the dealership but they can't find anything.
This is what happens... It starts, the check engine light comes on, it sounds TERRIBLE, I let it warm up for 10 mins, I put it into gear and it will make a clunk noise. It is extremely stiff to drive of course. I go slow but the shifting is so bad I am afraid it is going to stall. It then jerks and shakes like I'm riding a Harley and sounds like a tractor. 2 winters ago they said it was the exhaust freezing because I am not driving it far enough at a time. It lost power 30 mins out of my city and I had it towed back to the dealership. They said the fix was to drill holes in the exhaust pipe to let out the moisture. Well this hasn't fixed it because it continues to do this. When I get home I let it run for a half hour in my garage and it seems to be better after that. Seriously though, how can that be a fix? Such a waste of gas. Dealership has no ideas! I have looked for a winter grill cover but can't find anything. I going back to old fashion cardboard on the front to see if that works! I am scared to go to work tomorrow for fear the same thing will happen when I go home.
I have had 10 vehicles in my life and lived in Saskatchewan and Alberta, NOTHING has ever done this! My son's 2000 Saturn car is more reliable than this MB.
Has anyone else had this issue? I am desperate. I love this thing but I am seriously looking at trading it off. I can't stand this stress anymore...
Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!!!
Are you letting it warm up sufficiently before trying to drive it? That is really crucial in these cold temperatures. I am in Northern Saskatchewan and I start mine and let it warm up for at least 20mins before driving. It also helps to get it up to highway speeds regularly. Condensation and moisture can build up in the systems if you don't run it for long enough in the cold temperatures. Hope this helps. Best wishes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for your post. I have discovered that I need to drive it on the highway more when it gets this cold, at least for 15 - 20 mins a couple times a week. We are warming up this week, hope you are too!
 

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...I am a nurse...3rd winter the SUV has basically frozen up. Each time I take it in to the dealership but they can't find anything. Natie > Confirm you are speaking of MB Regina at 777Broad St., Yes?
...the check engine light comes on...*Can you check for codes?
...I let it run for a half hour in my garage...Caution : Fire & CO poisoning dangers
...Dealership has no ideas.. *Did MB Regina check for codes - If so, what were they?
...I am desperate..I can't stand this stress anymore...Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.. Calm. You have entered the GLA OR.
.. I do plug it in at home...I don’t have plug in parking at work...What are you plugging in and is it effective?
Natie > About a month ago JhazRN created a similar subject "GLA 250 2018 model block heater"
I am going to ask JhazRN to comment here.
Anyway, I phoned the Service Supervisor at MB Anchorage, AK and he suggested trying a Silicone Heating Pad at the bottom of the oil pan, (Kat brand is available on Amazon and elsewhere)- suggest professional installation.

 

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It gets cold up here in Maine, but -49C is insane! I would say your problem is fluid-based.. Mechanical systems aren't really affected by the cold, (sure the tolerances will change) but any large swing in temperature is going to affect the fluid systems primarily .. You've got engine lubricant & coolant, you've got transmission lubricant and you probably have the all wheel drive version so you're going to have a rear differential fluid.. I don't know if you have the double clutch, but the fluid in it has a narrow band of tolerances and a large number of your issues seem to revolve around some sort of mechanical jolting and shuttering, which is probably clutch related.. I'm not sure if there's a MB recommended low temp transmission fluid or low temp rear Diff fluid, but I'd be looking into those before I would start drilling random holes into the exhaust system.. Keep an eye on your temp screen and Watch what the transmission temperature gauge reports when some of these issues are happening.. Perhaps a universal block heater can be extended somehow to keep the transmission warm? A simple piece of cardboard behind the grill in front of the radiator & oil cooler could help (make sure it doesn't interfere with the fan) but newer cars have a simple thermostat system so that once the oil has reached a certain temperature, then it will be fed through the radiator.. In your case, untill the engine is really warmed up, there will be no oil cooling happening and I think it's the same for the main radiator and coolant fluid.. Therefore blocking airflow to the radiators will not have an effect until the car is warmed up anyways..
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Natie > About a month ago JhazRN created a similar subject "GLA 250 2018 model block heater"
I am going to ask JhazRN to comment here.
Anyway, I phoned the Service Supervisor at MB Anchorage, AK and he suggested trying a Silicone Heating Pad at the bottom of the oil pan, (Kat brand is available on Amazon and elsewhere)- suggest professional installation.
LOL! GLA OR!
Yes that is the correct dealership. The check engine light came on for a few seconds but they said it didn't throw any codes. I just had a service/oil change yesterday but they didn't say any fluids were low. My husband had them check the battery and its at 3/4 cranking amp capacity left so we'll probably change that out. Still am skeptical on that since it does this every winter. Went we with the hillbilly winter front and put a piece of cardboard on, its pretty nice! Cut out for the MB emblem and everything! But the weather has warmed from -40C to -2C! So we'll see once the deep freeze hits us again! I've tried to search a winter front out to buy but nothing...
My husband's co-worker drives one too but he is commuting on the hiway 20mins each way so likely why he is not having the issues I am. I just don't think my princess is cut out for this harsh weather we have and I'm not sure I am anymore either!

I appreciate everyone's comments and help!
 
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