Used Mercedes-Benz Atego: 12 problems you should know about
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.
Used Scania P Series Tipper: 11 issues to look out for
Scania vehicles, and particularly Scania rigids, always present a challenge when it comes to finding points used buyers should look out for. Scania prides itself on reliability, after all, and the fact that it is a struggle to identify faults backs that up. Indeed, several operators told us it was precisely because they never had any problems with their Scania 8x4s that they kept on buying them, one going on to say: “You pay a lot more up front but the uptime is unbelievable – no ABS faults, no broken springs, no chewing through brakes or anything.”
Bearing this in mind, here are the issues we have been alerted to, some of which, in fairness, are more to do with used tippers in general.
1. Tipping body floor
Tipping body floors need particularly close inspection to ascertain whether they need to be replaced – or whether they have been already – especially if the bodybuilder in unclear. Problems in this area not uncommon once vehicles reach five to seven years old, depending on what they have been doing.
2 Mirror arms
In common with other P-series trucks, older examples with aluminium mirror arms are vulnerable to corrosion, resulting in the mirrors themselves rattling around.
Quality of brackets used by bodybuilders to attached side guards etc varies considerably, some being far better than others. Best to check before purchase.
The gear linkages and universal joints are prone to failure in models fitted with manual gearboxes.
Reports of odd pairs or batches of trucks as recent as 16-plate needing ECUs, or generally having “unreliable electrics”. Check history where possible – vehicles that have had these problems tend to keep having them.
6 Second steer pivot bushes
Trucks on muck-away or quarry work sometimes show problems with second steer pivot bushes if drivers forget to regularly grease them. Close monitoring recommended.
7 Steering idler arm
Steering idler arm prone to problems due to lack of grease, caused by awkward positioning, which means it often gets missed.
8 Shackle pins
Along similar lines, the shackle pins close to the exhaust sometimes cause issues as their position means that the grease is melted out by the heat.
Generalised AdBlue faults, including pump issues, NOx sensors and erroneous warning lights displaying on the dashboard.
Examples of diffs needing replacement once vehicles reach four to five years old if they have been on particularly rough work.
As with many vehicles used in the construction sector, 8x4 tippers are often maintained in-house by operators and never see a Scania dealership. It is, therefore, vitally important to ensure that all software updates have been done and to continue to present the truck for further updates from time to time.