Mercedes-Benz E-Class: General driving tips

Mercedes-Benz E-Class: General driving tips - Driving and parking - Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 (2009-2016) Owners ManualMercedes-Benz E-Class: General driving tips

Important safety notes

Always remember that you must concentrate primarily on driving the vehicle. The driver's concentration must always be directed primarily at road traffic. For your own safety and that of others, we recommend that you stop the vehicle at a safe place and in accordance with the traffic conditions before making or accepting a phone call.

Comply with all legal requirements if you use the telephone while driving. Use the handsfree system and only use the telephone when road, weather and traffic conditions permit. In some jurisdictions, it is forbidden for drivers to use mobile phones while driving.

Only operate the audio system or COMAND (Cockpit Management and Data System) in compliance with all legal requirements and when the road, weather and traffic conditions permit. You may otherwise not be able to observe the traffic conditions, endangering yourself and others.

Remember that your vehicle covers a distance of 44 feet (approximately 14 m) a second when it is traveling at only 30 mph (approximately 50 km/h).

Drive sensibly – save fuel

Observe the following tips to save fuel:

•► The tires should always be inflated to the recommended tire pressure.

•► Remove unnecessary loads.

•► Remove roof racks when they are not needed.

•► Warm up the engine at low engine speeds.

•► Avoid frequent acceleration or braking.

•► Have all maintenance work carried out as indicated by the service intervals in the Service Booklet or by the service interval display.

Fuel consumption also increases when driving in cold weather, in stop-and-go traffic and in mountainous terrain.

Drinking and driving

Drinking and driving and/or taking drugs and driving are very dangerous combinations.

Even a small amount of alcohol or drugs can affect your reflexes, perceptions and judgment.

The possibility of a serious or even fatal accident are greatly increased when you drink or take drugs and drive.

Do not drink or take drugs and drive or allow anyone to drive who has been drinking or taking drugs.


Make sure absolutely no objects are obstructing the pedals' range of movement.

Keep the driver's footwell clear of all obstacles. If there are any floormats or carpets in the footwell, make sure that the pedals still have sufficient clearance.

During sudden driving or braking maneuvers, the objects could get caught between the pedals. You could then no longer brake or accelerate. This could lead to accidents and injury.

Rolling with the engine switched off

There is no power assistance for the steering and the brake when the engine is not running.

Steering and braking requires significantly more effort and you could lose control of the vehicle and cause an accident as a result.

Do not turn off the engine while the vehicle is in motion.

Exhaust check

Inhalation of exhaust gas is hazardous to your health. All exhaust gas contains carbon monoxide (CO), and inhaling it can cause unconsciousness and possible death.

Do not run the engine in confined areas (such as a garage) which are not properly ventilated.

If you think that exhaust gas fumes are entering the vehicle while driving, have the cause determined and corrected immediately. If you must drive under these conditions, drive only with at least one window fully open at all times.

Certain engine systems are designed to keep the level of poisonous components in exhaust fumes within legal limits.

These systems only work at peak efficiency when they are maintained exactly in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications. For this reason, all work on the engine must be carried out only by qualified and authorized Mercedes-Benz technicians.

The engine settings must not be changed in any circumstances. Furthermore, all specific service work must be carried out at regular intervals and in accordance with the Mercedes-Benz service requirements. Details can be found in the Service Booklet.

Engine oil

Vehicles with a diesel particle filter:

If the vehicle is mostly driven for short distances, it is possible that malfunctions may occur during the automatic cleaning of the diesel particle filter. This can lead to engine damage. Therefore, if you frequently drive short distances, make sure to drive on highways or inter-urban roads for 20 minutes at least every 310 miles (500 km).


Important safety notes

On slippery road surfaces, never downshift in order to obtain braking action. This could result in drive wheel slip and reduced vehicle control. Your vehicle's ABS will not prevent this type of loss of control. G WARNING
Make sure that you do not endanger other road users when you apply the brakes.

Downhill gradients

On long and steep gradients, you must reduce the load on the brakes by shifting early to a lower gear. This allows you to take advantage of the engine braking effect and helps avoid overheating and excessive wear of the brakes.

When you take advantage of the engine braking effect, a drive wheel may not turn for some time, e.g. on a slippery road surface. This could cause damage to the drive train. This type of damage is not covered by the Mercedes-Benz warranty.

Heavy and light loads

Depressing the brake pedal constantly results in excessive and premature wear to the brake pads.

It may also cause the brakes to overheat, seriously impairing their effectiveness. It may then not be possible to stop the vehicle in sufficient time to avoid an accident.

If the brakes have been subjected to a heavy load, do not stop the vehicle immediately, but drive on for a short while. This allows the airflow to cool the brakes more quickly.

Wet roads

After driving in heavy rain for some time without applying the brakes or through water deep enough to wet brake components, the first braking action may be somewhat reduced. You have to depress the brake pedal more firmly. Maintain a safe distance from vehicles in front.

After driving on a wet road or having the vehicle washed, brake firmly while paying attention to the traffic conditions. This will warm up the brake discs, thereby drying them more quickly and protecting them against corrosion.

Limited braking performance on salt treated roads

The layer of salt on the brake discs and the brake pads/linings may cause a delay in the braking effect, resulting in a significantly longer braking distance, which could lead to an accident.

To avoid this danger, you should:

 - occasionally brake carefully, without putting other road users at risk, when you are driving on salted roads. This helps to remove any salt that may have started to build up on the brake discs and the brake pads/linings.

 - maintain a greater distance to the vehicle ahead and drive with particular care.

 - carefully apply the brakes at the end of a trip and immediately after commencing a new trip, so that salt residues are removed from the brake discs.

Servicing the brakes

If the red brake warning lamp lights up in the instrument cluster and you hear a warning tone while the engine is running, the brake fluid level may be too low.

Observe additional warning messages in the multifunction display.

The brake fluid level may be too low due to brake pad wear or leaking brake lines.

Have the brake system checked immediately. This work should be carried out at an authorized Mercedes-Benz Center.

All checks and maintenance work on the brake system must be carried out at a qualified specialist workshop. This work should be carried out at an authorized Mercedes-Benz Center.

Have the brake pads replaced and the brake fluid renewed at a qualified specialist workshop, e.g. an authorized Mercedes-Benz Center.

If brake pads or brake fluid other than those recommended are used, the braking properties of the vehicle can be degraded to an extent that safe braking is substantially impaired. This could result in an accident.

Vehicles with 4MATIC: function or performance tests may only be carried out on a 2-axle dynamometer. If you are planning to have the vehicle tested on such a dynamometer, contact an authorized Mercedes-Benz Center to obtain further information first. Otherwise, you could damage the drive train or the brake system.

Vehicles with 4MATIC: as the ESP® system operates automatically, the engine and the ignition must be switched off (SmartKey in position 0 or 1 in the ignition lock or Start/Stop button in position 0 or 1) while the parking brake is being tested on a brake dynamometer.

Braking maneuvers triggered automatically by ESP® may seriously damage the brake system.

Vehicles with 4MATIC: as the ESP® system operates automatically, the engine and the ignition system must be switched off (SmartKey in position 0 or 1 in the ignition lock or Start/Stop button in position 0 or 1) when:

 - testing the parking brake on a brake dynamometer.
 - you intend to have the vehicle towed with one of the axles raised.

Braking maneuvers triggered automatically by ESP® may seriously damage the brake system.

If your brake system is subject only to moderate loads, you should test the functionality of your brakes at regular intervals by pressing firmly on the brake pedal at high speeds. This improves the grip of the brake pads.

Make sure that you do not endanger other road users when you apply the brakes.

You can find a description of Brake Assist (BAS) on or of BAS PLUS on.

AMG high-performance and ceramic brakes

New vehicle brake pads and discs, and replacement brake pads and discs may take several hundred miles of driving until they provide optimum braking efficiency. Until that time, you may need to use increased brake pedal pressure while braking. Please be aware of this and adjust your driving and braking accordingly during this break-in period.

Excessive high-demand braking will cause correspondingly high brake wear. Please be attentive to the brake warning lamp in the instrument cluster and brake condition messages in the multifunction display.

Especially for high performance driving, it is important to maintain and have the brake system checked regularly.

The AMG brake systems are designed for heavy loads. This may lead to noise when braking. This will depend on:

 - speed
 - braking force
 - environmental conditions, such as temperature and humidity

The wear of individual components of the brake system, such as the brake pads/linings or brake discs, depends on the individual driving style and operating conditions.

For this reason, it is impossible to state a mileage that will be valid under all circumstances. An aggressive driving style will lead to high wear. You can obtain further information about this from your authorized Mercedes-Benz Center.

Driving on wet roads


If water has accumulated to a certain depth on the road surface, there is a danger of hydroplaning occurring, even if:

 - you drive at low speeds.
 - the tires have adequate tread depth.

For this reason, in the event of heavy rain or in conditions in which hydroplaning can occur you must drive in the following manner:

 - reduce your speed
 - avoid ruts
 - brake carefully

Driving on flooded roads

Do not drive through flooded areas.

Check the depth of any water before driving through it. Drive slowly through standing water. Otherwise, water may enter the vehicle interior or the engine compartment.

This can damage the electronic components in the engine or the automatic transmission. Water can also be drawn in by the engine's air suction nozzles and this can cause engine damage.

Winter driving

Important safety notes

If the vehicle becomes trapped in snow, ensure that snow is kept away from the exhaust pipe and from around the vehicle as long as the engine is running. Otherwise, poisonous carbon monoxide (CO) may enter the vehicle, resulting in loss of consciousness and even death.

To assure sufficient fresh air ventilation, open a window slightly on the side of the vehicle not facing the wind.

At the onset of winter, have your vehicle winterproofed at a qualified specialist  workshop, e.g. at an authorized Mercedes- Benz Center.

Vehicles with a diesel engine: do not cover the radiator, e.g. with a protective cover. The measuring function of the Onboard Diagnosis System may otherwise provide inaccurate values. Some of these values are required by law and must therefore always be accurate.

Winter tires

At temperatures below 45 °F (+7 °C), use winter tires or all-season tires. Both types of tire are identified by the M+S marking.

Only winter tires bearing the snowflake snowflake symbol in addition to the M+S marking provide the best possible grip in wintry road conditions. Only these tires will allow driving safety systems such as ABS and ESP® to function optimally in winter, as these tires have been designed specifically for driving on snow.

Use M+S tires of the same make and tread on all wheels to maintain safe handling characteristics.

M+S tires with a tread depth of less than 1/6 inch (4 mm) must be replaced immediately.

They are no longer suitable for use in winter.

Always observe the maximum permissible speed specified for the M+S tires you have mounted.

Once you have mounted the winter tires:

•► Check the tire pressures.
•► Restart the tire pressure monitor

If you use your spare wheel when M+S tires are mounted on the other wheels, be aware that the difference in tire characteristics impairs cornering ability and reduces driving stability. Adapt your driving style accordingly.

Have the spare wheel replaced by a normal wheel with an M+S tire at the nearest Mercedes-Benz Center.

Snow chains

For safety reasons, Mercedes-Benz recommends that you only use snow chains which have been specially approved for your vehicle by Mercedes-Benz, or are of a corresponding standard of quality.

On vehicles with AIRMATIC, you must drive at raised vehicle level if snow chains have been mounted. The vehicle may otherwise be damaged.

There is not enough space for snow chains on some wheel sizes. Observe the information under "Tires and wheels" in the "Technical Data" section to avoid damage to the vehicle or the wheels.

 - Only use snow chains when driving on roads completely covered by snow. Do not exceed the maximum permissible speed of 30 mph (50 km/h). Remove the snow chains as soon as possible when you are no longer driving on snow-covered roads.

 - Local regulations may restrict the use of snow chains. Applicable regulations must be observed if you wish to mount snow chains.

 - Snow chains must not be mounted on emergency spare wheels.

If you intend to mount snow chains, please bear the following points in mind:

 - you may not attach snow chains to all wheel-tire combinations; see the information under "Wheel and tire combinations" in the "Wheels and tires" section.

 - mount snow chains only in pairs and only to the rear wheels. Observe the manufacturer's installation instructions.

If snow chains are mounted on the front wheels, the snow chains could grind against the bodywork or components of the chassis. This could result in damage to the vehicle or the tires.

Vehicles with steel wheels: if you wish to mount snow chains on steel wheels, make sure that you remove the respective wheels' hubcaps first. The hubcaps may otherwise be damaged.

You may wish to deactivate
ESP® when pulling away with snow chains mounted. This way you can allow the wheels to spin in a controlled manner, achieving an increased driving force (cutting action).

Slippery road surfaces

The outside temperature indicator is not designed to serve as an ice-warning device and is therefore unsuitable for that purpose.

Indicated temperatures just above the freezing point do not guarantee that the road surface is free of ice. The road may still be icy, especially in wooded areas or on bridges. G WARNING
On slippery road surfaces, never downshift in order to obtain braking action. This could result in drive wheel slip and reduced vehicle control. Your vehicle's ABS will not prevent this type of loss of control.

Drive particularly carefully on slippery road surfaces. Avoid sudden acceleration, steering and braking maneuvers. Do not use cruise control or DISTRONIC PLUS.

If the vehicle threatens to skid or cannot be stopped when moving at low speed:

•► Shift the transmission to position N.

For more information on driving with snow chains

Make sure that you do not endanger other road users when you apply the brakes.