The Mercedes S63 is a luxurious full-size monster of a sedan that packs more than 500hp while also being as comfortable as a standard S-Class. Virtually all S63 models come with a V8 engine and the newest ones come with a BiTurbo V8 that can also be found in many other range-topping Mercedes AMG models.
As such, the S63 has always been the very upper echelon from the Mercedes Benz catalog, and people who tend to buy the S63 value both performance and luxury. However, with such great power comes great responsibility, and maintaining this engine takes a lot more skill and precision, otherwise, the car will start having issues.
Many S63 models are known for having oil-related issues such as increased oil consumption or even potential oil leaks. The Mercedes Benz S-Class is a really heavy car which means that the air suspension is also known to cause issues, especially on older models.
V8 engines found in the S63 are also known to get extremely hot while under a lot of stress which can potentially deteriorate nearby fuel hoses and other components. The crankcase breather valve is also known to fail, especially for the M156 AMG engine. Finally, the transmission found in the 2016 S63 model tends to grind and make the car jumpy while accelerating.
As previously mentioned, all S63 models come with larger V8 engines that tend to consume a lot of engine oil. However, some S63 models, especially the ones with the M156 engine are known to leak oil near the valve gasket covers, the camshaft solenoid cover gaskets, and near the oil filter housing gaskets.
This means that you will have to replace the valve gasket covers and the camshaft solenoid covers regularly in order not to experience constant oil puddles underneath your S63. Be sure to replace these components whenever there is a leak, if you fail to do so you are likely going to damage the nearby components such as the alternator, the A/C compressor, or the transmission cooling hoses.
Late 2000s S63 models equipped with the Active Body Control Suspension were even a part of a significant recall back in September of 2008. The recall was associated with a fault within the front axle body acceleration sensors.
Other S63 models, bar the newest ones are also sometimes prone to suspension issues, especially if they are not maintained correctly. Common Mercedes suspension system issues include leaks, loss of ground clearance, or uneven suspension levels across all four wheels.
Mercedes designed the S63 to be a lot more durable and capable of enduring heat, especially when compared to a regular S-Class model. However, some S-Class models and especially the 2014 S63 model are known to operate under extreme heat which can even damage the nearby engine components.
The worst possible scenario is tied to the degradation of the fuel hoses which could potentially even start a fire. A few owners also complained about faulty water pumps which means that the S63 is not completely free from potential overheating issues.
Crankshaft breather value issues
There are two different ways how a crankshaft breather valve tends to fail. The first one is due to the deterioration of the breather diaphragm valve. Sometimes the hose from the crankshaft tends to deteriorate a bit faster due to increased heat and overall brittleness which can also cause breather valve issues.
This issue is also mostly associated with the M156 engine and it can easily be tracked with the P0170 error code. You will have to replace these systems every 60k miles or so, but the good news is that this should not take more than 30 minutes.
Newer S63 models, especially the 2016 model is known for certain transmission-related issues such as grinding or jumping under heavy acceleration. However, the transmission in the 2016 S63 is also known to emit strange whining noises or even burning smells which are indeed scary.
The easiest and safest way to keep your transmission running smoothly is to replace the oil every 30k-60k miles. The S63 is a lot more performance-oriented and is designed to be driven hard, as such, it is extremely important to maintain the transmission regularly, especially if you often use launch control.
Which S63 model is the best?
The last generation W222 Mercedes Benz S63 is likely the best S63 model of all time because it perfectly balances comfort and performance. Some high-end performance sedans are known to become way too uncomfortable in order for them to handle well in the corners.
This is also an issue for a few S63 models, but the W222 is the one that tends to satisfy both sides of the scale. Besides being fast and comfortable, the W222 is the most powerful and most desirable S63 model, especially the one after the refresh. We are yet to see the brand-new W223 S63 AMG which is likely going to best the W222.
Is the Mercedes S63 AMG worth it?
If you are after a full-size luxury performance sedan, the S63 is the perfect car for you. Many people deem the S-Class to be the best car money can buy and the S63 is the very best S-Class model you can get. With more than 500hp and the space for five, the S63 is incredibly fun for spirited driving and highway cruising.
As such, the S63 is indeed worth it, but only if you after such a car. The S63 costs a lot of money to buy from new and it tends to depreciate like crazy. However, it is a car you can keep for decades and still be satisfied with it.
Is the Audi S8 better than the S63 AMG?
The Audi S8 is the main rival of the Mercedes S63 AMG but the S8 is a little bit more subdued and offers a tad bit less power. The S63 is more of a show stopper because it looks more aggressive and more commanding at the same time.
Both of these full-size land yachts are amazing, but you should go for the S8 if you want a sleeper full-size sedan while the S63 is a lot more attention-grabbing both inside and out.