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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedans

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  • I am almost 50 and have driven numerous cars in my life. From American cars to Japanese cars to European cars. My previous car was a 2002 BMW 525i sedan. And, last year I purchased a new 2006 E280 GAS w/auto trans. SInce the beginning, it has never been satisfactory for me. It went in and out of the service garage. First, a bearing was changed after doing only 500 kilometers. Second, I had the airconditiong system checked and cleaned coz there was a very awful smell of dust, just like an old house, everytime I turned on the
    aircondition. It will only go away when it has reach the cold temp. The tech told me that this is a very common problem with the E Class and other Benz models. Third, the engine knocks resulting from a bad EGR Valve, replaced but the 'VERY ANNOYING KNOCKS AND PINGS' still there. No more hope !
    Till now, It has ran only 9300 kilometers and supposed to be a very new car. But, check these problems. So, take my friendly advice. At the same price catagory, rather consider a LEXUS GS 350 or GS 460 or a BMW 525 or 530. You don't wanna go through the same nightmare I'm having, would you? :sick:
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,018
    A reporter seeks consumers who drive diesel vehicles. Please send your daytime contact information to ctalati@edmunds.com no later than Tuesday, December 11, 2007.

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • My grandmother is offering to 'sell' me her 1996 Mercedes E320 with only 15,000 miles (she can no longer drive). I am a Toyota Camry/Honda Odyssey owner and have never considered a Mercedes until now. The E320 is rear wheel drive and I live in a winter climate (roads are mostly clear) in the foothills near Salt Lake City. Any comments on the reliability of the E320, winter handling, history of problems from previous owners ... would be appreciated.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Model year 1996 was the first year of the W210 E-Class, and the E320 was the first version of that model to be released. I was working at MB-USA at the time (in Montvale, NJ) and many of my co-workers managed to put their E320s into the ditch during inclement weather. For whatever reason, the early W210 E420s didn't seem to be quite so touchy, and later E320s seemed to become as docile in the snow as did their V8 sibilings. I don't know whether it was of the rear suspension, the ESP software or some combination thereof. Regardless, you WILL need a set of winter tires if you want to drive that car around when the snow flies, other than that you should be good to go.

    In addition, that car was one of the last MBs sold here in the U.S. that used their I6 engine (the same engine that powered previous models of the E320 and 320 E), and that particular engine seems to be fond of trashing their head-gasket somewhere around the 100,000 mile mark.

    WIth those two things in mind, I would jump at the chance to buy her car were I in your shoes, it's a wonderful ride. ;)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • two questions as I shop:

    1) is MB's faux leather ok? I'm not a great lover of leather in cars, but my experience with vinyl seats is, well, not so great. They're offering 27mo leases, so it doesn't really have to hold up that well, but any opinions appreciated.

    2) the Consumer reports ratings are, frankly, pretty impressively bad. I drove and liked the car a lot, but how much trouble do folks have with their e class cars?
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,593
    I prefer leather, but Mercedes Benz leatherette (Tec vinyl) wears like iron. It lacks leather's aromatic smell and slightly softer texture, but it really holds up.

    My '07 E350 has given me no problems and is rock solid.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    The 96 E320 did not have ESP or anything remotely like it. All it had was a limited slip differential. I live in central Massachusetts and see way too much snow for my liking.. So the first thing I did was to buy a set of four really good snow tires when I bought the car used in 1998. I never really had a problem getting around with it and in fact came through a couple of really tough storms in the NY/Connecticut area on my way home from Florida in late February. I was able to make good headway on the interstates even with 3-4 inches of snow while most non-MB vehicles (including 4WD vehicles) were going much slower... Of course I've driven in snow for over 40 years so I've learned to keep a feather foot on both accelerator and brake to avoid rapid changes in torque. Keep in mind that it snows like heck in Germany too, so any German car has to know how to handle snow.

    I now have a 2001 E320 that is better in many ways because it has a first gear lockout for winter driving as well as ESP (it's first year on the E320) which is barely short of amazing in the way it controls the torque and braking on the individual wheels to help keep you out of trouble and deliver power to the wheel(s) that can handle it.

    Shipo is right about the head gasket issue. I had to replace it on my 96 at about 120,000 miles. And another less mentioned, but frequent problem, is the front suspension bushings seem to wear out around the 70-80,000 mile mark. It can be expensive. The one you may buy might have the problem at a lower mileage just due to aging of the rubber. Other than that the 96 was more durable than the 2001 which has had a failed wheel bearing, failed catalytic converters (both!), and a number of other things that did not go wrong on the 96. But it also has had the same front end bushing problem!!

    If her car has only 15K miles, you can still get 70-80K wonderful miles. It is a terrific car. Maintenance is a little higher than with the Asian cars; it will need brake pads and rotors at least every 40K miles, but I've never replaced shocks before the 110K mile mark and the E320 is fairly easy on tires for such a big heavy car.

    Enjoy the great ride !!! :)
  • Correction. ESP was available on 1999 E cars. Ordered a E300 Turbodiesel with ESP. It was a rather rare AND expensive option.
  • legisnewlegisnew Posts: 1
    After I took delivery of a new 2007 E350 I notice a rattle in the chassis. The dealer has replaced all of the shocks and struts but now has a problem because the front of the car is too high. They say they don't have parts for this chassis. The car has been at the dealer for two months.

    I served a lemon law notice on MBZ and we are negotiating a new car. Has anyone else had a similar problem?
  • geostacgeostac Posts: 1
    We purchased a 1976 280. last week. Looks like it sat for a while.
    The gas guage was working fine, until Monday. It started bouncing then just quit. Any ideas?
  • ajusticeajustice Posts: 3
    Mecedes wants to charge me $2600 to repair my 2004 E500. I brought my car in for an oil change and to check-out message that was some time appearing on my console and dissapearing. the message stated the the auxiliary battery convert was unavailable, after having the car inspected, I was told that the 300 small aux batery (failed midtronic test); 560 batery voltage regulator (faulty & puting out unsufficient output volts), and 1600 rear differential seals (leaking rear diff fluid). the car is weel taken care of and only has 30,000 miles. garage kept and in perfect physical condition. always keep to service maintainence schedules. Sounds to me like this car has some defective parts. What do you think?
  • ajusticeajustice Posts: 3
    I brought my Mercedes in Jan. 2004, so the warranty is expired by three months. Some dealers and the manufacturer have a special adjustment program that they call the after warranty expiration (listed in the Service and warranty booklet) where they will cover the cost of repairs, or some of the cost. Their option, usually to assist their loyal customers, and those that maintain they maintainence schedules. Battery power and seals should not be failing on a car with so little mileage and has not been damaged in any way.
  • tcdttcdt Posts: 1
    I just purchased the C Class w/leatherette...... I am not sure if that was a wise choice. My concern .....is the leatherette dangerous to your health. I did not think of this until I read an article stating vinyl flooring may cause cancer.
  • I have an older E300 (1986) and my A/C wont come on if the engine is hot. Sometimes if I turn the ignition off and on again it will work but most of the time no. If the A/C is working I can drive all day - it wont quit when the car is running but if I stop and turn off the ignition I can be sure it wont work when I start up again (or until it cools). Does anyone know what might be causing my problem? PS: I live in Phoenix where A/C is critical. Thanks
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,593
    Just had my car in for an oil change and filter which was to be $110. I asked to have the service reminder light (for service C) be re-set. The car is an '07 E350 being leased for 27 mos. and due to be returned in 3 mos.

    When I went to pay my bill, the dealer charged $35 to re-set the service light. I protested but they said I authorized it when I signed permission to do the service when I dropped off the car. Note: THEY NEVER TOLD ME THERE WOULD BE A CHARGE FOR THIS and frankly I've never heard of this being done before. They also charged $6 for window washer fluid.

    Remember, I was ONLY in for an oil change and filter, not the "service". It's not the money as much as them doing this.

    Has anyone ever heard of this or have it happen to them?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    You asked them to turn off a diagnostic light. Normally i would say that they can charge because you asked them to do it, however shouldn't it be under warranty if there is a service light? If you aren't having the service provided, wouldn't your warranty be void for fairlure to maintain? Weird situation.

    -mike
  • eliaselias Posts: 1,923
    no you should not be charged for that. it's ridiculous.
    first I-drive. then they take away the dipstick and rely on software to check the oil. then no manual trans on the 335d for USA. who is in charge over there? who ever it is, s/he should be choppered to that rock where the monkey is and left there with a 5 year supply of government cheese. Then chopper the monkey back and install it behind the BMW CEO desk.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    FWIW, as I understand it, BMW doesn't build any 335d cars with manual transmissions, regardless of which market you live in. I suppose it could be that they don't have any manual transmissions that have the ability to handle the prodigious amounts of torque that that engine puts out.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • kevinc5kevinc5 Posts: 204
    Turn in the car when the lease expires and don't consider this dealer when you shop for a replacement. Let them know why you won't be coming back. I've had my 2000 E320 dealer serviced for 150,000 miles and was NEVER charged for resetting the light. Same with a prior MBZ and BMW. I consider it part of the service, much the same as closing the hood when the job is done.
    Which dealer was it?
  • eliaselias Posts: 1,923
    tnx for the 335d transmission info, shipo. the Porsche/Audi dealer is conveniently 2 miles closer and knee-deep in manual transmissions and I'm pretty sure there is a bald-guy discount on 911s and S5s, in case I go in that direction.
    Back to the E-class, I'm still pining for a recent year Benz diesel to go with my set of 4 1999 16" E wheels and one scratched Y2k wheel. I've got 2 vehicles now, thinking of trading 2 for 1. E class diesel is on the short-list..
  • rockypaulrockypaul Posts: 104
    Dealer's choice. Mine does not.

    I have had several M-B's and resetting the FSS is usually a simple thing.

    It is some variation of having the key in position 2 with the FSS on the dashboard display. Then hold the reset button down for 30 seconds. Again, the routine varies by model. Some you hold down twice and some you move ignition key back and forth.

    Oil changes require 9 quarts of Mobil 1 at $6.50 per quart, a $20 fleece oil filter and several o rings and gaskets plus labor. The $100 charge is not out of line but the $35 charge is.

    Hope this may help. Shop for a friendlier dealer with a better service manager.
    That is the key to happy M-B ownership.

    I once complained to M-B when they called to follow up on a service visit that their service manager was not very Lexus like. He was fired the following week.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    Forget the dealer, go to your nearest trustworthy independent garage and get the same oil change done for well UNDER $100.. I"ve been bringing my 2001 E320 to a mechanic I've used for 15 years for all my cars once they are out of warranty and he charges me $70 for the oil and filter and resets the FSS at no charge. He charges just $70 because many of the E class cars won't actually have the room for the amount of oil specified in the manual. My 2001 (and also the 1996 E320 I sold) takes about one quart less than the manual states. It is not uncommon...! So don't pay the dealer for 9 quarts when he maybe is only putting in 7 or 8...

    Oil changes done by others while under warranty are OK so long as the garage uses the Mobil 1 oil.. I've only used my dealer for oil changes maybe twice in 10 years of owning a Mercedes and have never had them refuse any warranty work.

    :)
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,593
    I was going to do just that but the independent refused to touch any service reset buttons.

    The other point I wanted to make of my resentment toward the dealer was that there was no mention of a charge for this service light reset. It was only noted when I picked up the car. With all my (high end) cars, this was a first for me.
  • kevinc5kevinc5 Posts: 204
    Which dealer is charging for the service light reset?
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,593
    Which dealer is charging for the service light reset?

    You can email me to my carnaught@carspace.com mailbox for the answer.
  • And, for that $30 "savings" you would have missed the service bulliten changing out the dip sticks on the E class since they had been showing a too high read on oil level, that is, a quart low was in the OK zone.

    Another recent bulletin installed a UV shield on the brake fluid resivoir.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    When did that service bulletin show up? I did have my 2001 (purchased in 2004) serviced by the dealer once (maybe twice) before the free oil changes ran out and if the bulletin was issued prior to mid-2005, then they should have taken care of it by then. Or at one of the many times I've had to go back for warranty (and non-warranty) repairs since then...!!! :cry:

    If they didn't replace the dipstick, then filling the crankcase with one quart less hasn't even triggered the FSS any earlier nor has it indicated a low oil level at any time in the last 75K miles... My 1996 E320 did signal low oil a couple of times, but that was run with fossil oil and was also showing full on the dipstick at one quart less (at oil changes) for the life of the car (140K + whatever the next owner did)... I guess the synthetic oil is better than I thought !!
    :D
  • This was on my 2007 E-350 4-Matic wagon.
    They mentioned "it had been going on for sometime".

    Oddly, my 2003 S-430 4-Matic does not have a dip stick; all electronic.
    They have gone back to a dip stick.

    You mentioned the FSS sensor. I had a "99 ML 320 that showed "oil low."
    There was a bullitin on faulty oil pan sensors back then. It was corrected and a free oil change ensued.

    Hope this is of some help.

    Paul.
This discussion has been closed.