Engine of the month
Mercedes 2.1 CDi OM646
If you’ve driven a diesel Mercedes from the 2000s badged 200 or 220 CDi, then it’s highly likely to have been powered by the OM 646 series of engines. The German manufacturer applied the Euro 4 compliant powerplant to its biggest selling models, including the C & E Class.
The flexible unit was tuned to produce anywhere between 87 and 168 HP, with most buyers opting for a middle ground of either the 121 or 148 HP derivatives.
Serving as the first mass-production engine to replace the woeful naturally aspirated diesels of the 90s, the new 2.1 would find its way into hundreds of thousands of vehicles across the globe; until its successor in 2010.
In 2006 the turbo was swapped out along with the glow plugs, now opting for a ceramic heating element, which improved engine starting; one of the gripes from a decerning customer base.
Despite the ageing applications powered by the OM 646, demand is still strong for what are fairly low stressed units, finally showing their age. Check out a snapshot of the FAI offering here with more online – faiauto.com
Note: There are many derivatives of OM 646, always check the exact engine code before ordering.