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I just bought a 1997 C 180 with 130,000 Km on it. (78k miles). When started cold, it has a rattling sound that quiets considerably as the car warms up yet with the hood up and idling warm, you can still hear it somewhat. It runs fine otherwise.

I am no expert but I am guessing this is a timing chain noise with perhaps the tensioner not quite working right. Is this normal for this mileage? Should I get the timing chain replaced? If yes, is this something any good mechanic can perform or is it best paying the extra $$ and taking it to the dealership.

If not a timing chain, any thoughts on other possible causes of this "front of engine" noise?

Thanks ever so much
 

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It is more likely to be the serpentine belt tensioner. These are fairly notorious on m111 engines. It is a noise that any MB tech would instantly be able to tell you if that was the problem.
 

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Is that the tensioner that works on the external rubber belt that powers various attached items? if so, the noise certainly seems to be coming from an internal component however, I will listen again and really appreciate your input.

Are either the tensioner or the timing chain tensioner difficult ie expensive to replace?
 
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