Used Mercedes-Benz Atego: 12 problems you should know about
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The Atego is renowned for being a tough bit of kit, but no vehicle can possibly be perfect. It also comes in a huge variety of flavours, so it’s important to separate out those faults that are actually a problem with the bodywork rather than the truck. Those aside, here’s what we were told to be aware of by operators running the model – sometimes for many, many years.
1. Steering joints
Steering joints and drag links prone to wearing out.
Offside intercooler retaining brackets prone to snapping.
ABS solenoid valves sometimes fail, resulting in ABS warning on dash.
Mirror arms extend a long way from the sides of the cab. While this allows excellent all-round vision, it does mean the mirrors are especially prone to damage. Consider fitting protectors.
Corrosion in the engine wiring harness to the rear of the sump can cause the vehicle to fail to start. Corrosion to starter motor wiring also not uncommon with the same result.
Exhaust flexi prone to snapping. Find out whether this has already occurred and what part has been replaced.
7. Indicator-repeater lamps
Indicator-repeater lamps fitted to steps on many models very prone to being knocked off.
AdBlue injector nozzles block up due to crystallisation causing the engine management light to display.
9. Shock absorber
Nearside front lower shock absorber bushes frequently need premature replacement.
10. Coolant tank
Coolant header tank known to split causing leakage. Check carefully for early evidence.
Some 7.5-tonne versions go through their rear brakes quickly. Light pressure on the pedal doesn’t always use the front brakes, plus many of the drivers have been found to be driving on a car licence under grandfather rights, so weren’t aware of the engine brake either. Additional driver training is advisable to avoid these circumstances.
12. Warning lamp
Warning lamp for “Condensation in air system” sometimes erroneously triggers due to a wiring fault in the sensor circuit.