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Grace Ciavarella ASKED THE GUIDE

C200 timing chain stretched

I have owned my 2008 Mercedes-Benz C200 since new and have always had the dealer service it. It was last serviced in September 2016. It subsequently broke down and was towed to dealer, the problem being the timing chain stretched and caused damage to the engine. No warning was given! Surely this is a major fault with the car. It has only been driven only 120,000 km in eight years! What should I do?

Normally I would have expected the car to run roughly when the chain stretched. They stretch progressively, not overnight, so there should have been some warning that all was not well. But it is low kilometres for a chain to stretch, which might mean you have a case for a goodwill claim against Mercedes, although I wouldn’t fancy your chances of success.