Mercedes GLK Problems: Should Be Aware Of

Mercedes GLK Problems – The Mercedes-Benz GLK stands tall in the world of rugged-looking German SUVs. Renowned for its reliability, this vehicle gained widespread popularity, even making a memorable appearance in the “Sex in the City” movie. Its distinctive design, boasting rugged sharp lines, sets it apart from the SUV crowd.

However, beneath its impressive facade lie a few faults that owners should be aware of.

As the predecessor to the current Mercedes GLC, the GLK350 holds the mantle of a compact family luxury SUV within the Mercedes lineup. Derived from the C-Class, it embodies the essence of the C-Class within the SUV spectrum.

Mercedes GLK Problems

The GLK, following the footsteps of the widely successful C-Class, also experienced considerable sales success. Nonetheless, this doesn’t discount the fact that the GLK350 harbors its fair share of issues, especially considering its debut in 2006.

Let’s explore in-depth Mercedes GLK problems and practical solutions to address them effectively.

Mercedes GLK Problems

Mercedes-Benz GLK350, a robust and esteemed SUV in the German automotive lineage, embodies luxury and functionality.

Despite its appeal, the GLK350, spanning various model years, has encountered an array of issues—ranging from minor nuisances to critical malfunctions—raising concerns among owners worldwide.

Mercedes GLK Problems

Major Faults: Fuel Injectors, Transmission, Timing Chain, and Power Steering

Between 2009 and 2011, an issue with Delphi fuel injectors surfaced, mainly affecting the 220CDI and 250CDI diesel models.

This incompatibility with the Engine Control Unit (ECU) led to cars unexpectedly halting or displaying persistent “check engine” warning lights.

Mercedes acknowledged the error, offering free replacement of faulty injectors and the ECU.

Some GLK350 owners reported problems with the 7G Tronic automatic transmission, stemming from oil leaks causing transmission failure due to insufficient oil levels.

Additionally, the petrol-fueled GLK350 faced premature timing chain wear, potentially resulting in severe engine damage if left unattended.

Another issue, observed in GLKs made between 2009 and early 2010, was an unsealed power steering system causing complete power steering shutdowns.

Other Faults: Transmission Oil Changes, Diesel Engine Fuel Leak, and Brake Wear

The automatic transmission demands oil changes every three years or 30,000 miles (50,000 km). Failure to comply leads to severe damage, although this frequent interval deviates from other brands’ standards.

All diesel engine variants encountered fuel leaks at the fuel filter, promptly resolved for free at Mercedes dealerships. Several owners reported accelerated brake wear, a concern for maintenance costs.

Body, Interior, and Electronic Issues

Rust spots on OEM wheels, attributed to subpar wheel bolts, were highlighted by some GLK350 owners, and overlooked by Mercedes.

Interior components in pre-facelift models generated unpleasant noises, affecting driving comfort.

Electronic glitches encompassed sporadic issues like problematic automatic boot openings and intermittent Bluetooth connectivity. Some experienced rapid battery drain when the car remained unused for extended periods.

Airbag Recalls, Fuel System, Electrical, Suspension, and Engine Cooling Problems

The Takata airbag recall affected numerous Mercedes models, including the GLK series. Deployment irregularities or failure to deploy in necessary instances prompted lengthy repair times, cautioning potential buyers to verify a GLK’s recall status before purchase.

Fuel system issues, signified by potent fuel odors post-refueling, indicated potential fuel leaks, posing safety hazards and incurring substantial repair costs.

Electrical malfunctions ranged from startup failures, dashboard cluster issues, and key recognition problems to unexpected steering wheel locking and lighting malfunctions, commonly reported by older GLK models.

Suspension troubles plagued GLK350s, with traditional coil spring setups revealing irregular driving experiences. The AIRMATIC air-suspension system, if not adequately maintained, led to leaks and premature air shock deterioration.

Engine-related concerns included unpredictable stalling, and oil leaks (particularly in higher mileage models), which seeped into radiators, causing compounding issues.

Is the GLK350 better than the GLC?

No, the GLK350 is not considered better than the GLC. The GLK’s design was critiqued for its boxy appearance, which some felt was more suited for an older demographic. Many found the boxy design to be peculiar on a smaller SUV.

Mercedes addressed these concerns with the GLC by implementing smoother lines, enhancing its appeal, and attracting a younger audience.

Additionally, the GLC boasts a more modern and superior interior compared to the GLK, which relied on an outdated previous-generation interior design.

Are Mercedes GLK 350 expensive to maintain?

The average annual cost for repairs and maintenance on a Mercedes-Benz GLK350 is estimated to be around $859. In comparison, this cost aligns with the average maintenance expenses for luxury compact SUVs, which also stand at $859 annually.

However, when considering all vehicle models, the GLK350’s average annual cost is slightly higher than the general vehicle average, which stands at $652 for unscheduled repairs and maintenance across all model years.

Is the GLK350 a reliable car?

Surprisingly, the Mercedes GLK350 ranks above average in terms of reliability, particularly in its later generations. This places the GLK350 among the more reliable models within the modern Mercedes lineup, which is noteworthy.

Despite the potential for higher maintenance costs inherent in owning a Mercedes, the GLK350 tends to be less expensive to maintain compared to many other Mercedes SUVs.

Consequently, a well-maintained GLK350 has the potential for a prolonged lifespan without excessively burdensome maintenance costs.


Exploring the Mercedes GLK350’s intricacies reveals a mixed bag of attributes. While the GLK350 showcases commendable reliability, especially in its later iterations, it isn’t deemed superior to its successor, the GLC, due to its boxy design and dated interior.

Despite this, the GLK350’s reliability stands out among Mercedes models, offering a balanced equation of longevity and maintenance expenses.

However, a range of issues spanning fuel injectors, transmission, timing chains, power steering, and various minor faults have been reported across different model years.

These problems encompass issues with the fuel system, electrical components, suspension, and engine cooling, requiring careful attention and maintenance to prevent exacerbation and ensure a smoother ownership experience.

Understanding these facets becomes crucial for both prospective buyers and current owners, emphasizing the need for regular maintenance and proactive troubleshooting to mitigate potential Mercedes GLK problems and ensure a more enduring and enjoyable driving journey.

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