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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedans

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  • I have also recently purchased a slightly used 98 E320....only 20K miles. I live in Austin and have witnessed the same fluctuations with my water temperature gauge as MB322 over the last few days. According to the owner's manual I should only use MB Anti-Freeze and Anti-Corrosion fluid. I would prefer to avoid a trip to the local dealership to purchase a re-badged gallon of Prestone for 5x the price.

    As owners, what after-market anti-freeze is recommended? Should it be standard Prestone or the orange Dexron/Dexcool "long life" version?

    Any idea of how expensive the rims/wheels are that are included in the "sport" package? MB of Austin (Continental Cars) has an E320 Sport on their lot very similar to my car, but with the sport wheels. TireRack.com lists AMG and other MB-OEM rims for sale, but nothing like the sport version.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    This is one area that I would not skimp on. The reason why MB recommends only their fluid is because of the aluminum alloy engine blocks that they use (and have been using for years). Their antifreeze/coolant is specially formulated for them, and the MB engines only. Aluminum does not cool down/expand the same way that normal steel does.

    If you can afford a MB, surely you can afford to spend a few more $$ on their specialised fluids? It's about being penny wise, pound foolish, I suppose.

    Best of luck....

    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • turbotcturbotc Posts: 163
    I am not sure about who make MB antifreeze but I know the color is blue, as I have looked in the coolant reservoir. A few months back our Lexus was a bit low on coolant so I picked up a gallon of Toyota long life coolant (reddish coolant) for $14 a gallon at Toyota dealer. I wanted to keep it the same.
  • I just purchased a 1995 E320 Wagon. It came without a cd changer so I went ahead and purchased that too. Now where the cd changer goes I have no clue. I have been told that I have to mount the bracket inside the compartment in the back on the right next to the first aid kit, but it seems almost impossible for it to fit in there. For those who have a 1995 E320 Wagon with a cd changer, where is your mounted? Is it actually mounted inside the compartment? or is it mounted outside? Very confused, please help. But may I say the car is exceptional. Great looks, great power, just all around an excellent ride. I recomend the 95 to anyone in the market for a wagon. Excellent!!!!
  • juresjures Posts: 42
    I have an fss appointment scheduled for Monday, I wanted to ensure I would get mobil 1 synthetic installed as per mb's new recommendation. the dealer is waiting to implement this till mb makes a mailing to owners stating this change in policy and who is affected. after being armed with the info I received from this forum, they said they would put mobil 1 in for me, has anyone received the mb letter regarding the use of mobil 1 synthetic or an approved synthetic alernative? thank you roger
  • turbotcturbotc Posts: 163
    my dealer say they will use kendall synthetic and that it is approved by MB. However, when I asked about Mobil 1 they said they will use it if I wanted too but they need a few days to get it in. no costs, of course.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    "Kendall" is not on MB's approved list, to my knowledge.

    Have a look at this:

    "Just today I received official Mercedes Benz information regarding changes to Mercedes Benz maintenance requirements. Again this is OFFICIAL and all owners of '98,'99,'00 and '01 Mercedes Benz vehicles will be receiving letters to this effect.

    Effective immediately (this message was dated Jan 26th, 2001, but I believe dealers were given until yesterday to stock up on synthetic), Mercedes Benz ONLY recommends the use of MB approved synthetic motor oil for all vehicle equipped with the Flexible Service Systems (FSS) as of model year 1998.

    This is the list of Mercedes Benz recommended synthetic motor oils.
    Mobil1 tri-synthetic formula 15w-50
    Mobil1 tri-synthetic formula 0w-40
    Valvoline Synpower full synthetic motor oil 5w-40
    Castrol Syntec 5w-50
    Castrol Syntec 10W-40
    Castrol TXT Softec Plus 5w-30
    Shell Helix ultra 5w-30
    Shell Helix ultra 5w-40
    "


    Drew
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    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • taisontaison Posts: 71
    Check out this link for a little info on the upcoming new design for the E Class.


    http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/bogboo/newnews/newsarticle.php3?id=1973



    image

  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    The above picture is a computer generated/enhanced image. The actual car will only be revealed in the Geneva auto show, so this image could be completely different that what the new E-class looks like. It does look good though, I have to admit.


    Drew
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    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • turbotcturbotc Posts: 163
    Thank you for the post of the MB approved motor oil.
  • taisontaison Posts: 71
    it does give us an idea of what we can expect. I know it was an artist's rendering. Hopefully it will be something along these lines.

    I hope that they maintain the separate headlights and not merge them like the S and C class.
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    if that is really what it looks like. I'd be surprised if they keep the headlights separate though...the C and S have melted lights.
  • bargamonbargamon Posts: 302
    Drew,

    Confused about fact that 10w 40 oil not available in mobil 1. What weight would you recommend for east coast US mid atlantic region. Temp can get in the teens, and of course hotin the summer. Rare extreems I just mentioned. Is it 15w 50 or 0w 40.

    Interesting picture above. Very evolutionary and I am sure will be a nice car. Looks alot like whats sitting in my garage now. I think I can wait about 4 years from now. I am very much into engines and drivetrain, and would be inclined to wait till new offerings. But thats my thing.

    2 months back when I was negotiating, dealer had a 320 sport, price was about 4k higher that non-sport. for 5k$ one could get the 430, not pay for metalic paint, get the bigger 17' wheels and that sweet motor. Granted the 320 sport looks nice, but its more show than go. I like the stealth v8, in that I prefer to lay low and not draw attention to my vehicle.
  • It's interesting that the computer-enhanced picture has Parktronic and headlamp washers for the Xenons.

    Jack
  • quirkquirk Posts: 5
    i to have recently purchased a 1995 wagon. it came with a dealer installed CD changer and yes it is mounted in the back right in front of the rear cover where the fist-aid kit is. MB also has a carpeted matching cover that slides over the top to help it blend in.
  • Anyone out there have this option. We are looking at it in a 2001 320 Wagon and wondered if it was worth the $2K, press on it seems pretty poor, no dealers have any in stock in 320's. Thanks.
  • I work for Texaco, the company that makes the Dexcool antifreeze. We do not sell to M-B, so I would not mix our product with the factory stuff. I have an older M-B, but my stuff was clear, like water. The Texaco coolant is great at aluminum protection for the M-B but it should be installed only on flush and fill. I'd go get the dealer stuff to top off, or consider a flush and fill. We've got a few dealers in Texas replacing the factory coolant with Texaco just because it is more available and a good performer.
  • Thanks for all the comments to my anti-freeze query. The cost of a "premium" anti-freeze gallon a few times a year certainly outweighs the cost/inconvenience of a new water pump or radiator.

    My only complaints about my E320 is that the cup holder is a joke, the seats could be more supportive and comfortable, and I will likely find myself spending all my free time washing, waxing, polishing, detailing.......

    Now I only need to add some MB sport or AMG monoblock and a 6 CD changer.
  • I use the navigation system quite frequently and find it easy to use. For example, when I obtained my deposit refund from the second dealer, I used the COMAND to get me to the nearest ATM machine so I could quickly deposit the check. While it's still not as good as Lexus, they have simplified the software in response to the critical reviews for the 2000 MY COMAND.

    Jack
  • broonbroon Posts: 7
    The noise is the pump sucking air due to low PSF. I had the same issue and it turned out to be a defective steering rack which was replaced under warranty. Have the dealer top up the PSF and check the system for leaks. My rack leaked only under pressure - i.e., no drips when standing still. So it took them a little while to diagnose it. If the fluid gets low with no visible leaks, this is a likely cause.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    re: your question on the 96 E-class reliability.

    I bought my E320 the day after it came off a 2-year lease. The only significant non-accident related repair (yup, got the rear end crushed in..) has been the rubber bushings in the front end; on the sway bar and tie-rod ends. They started making soft clunking noises at about 65K miles and they were all replaced under the Starmark warranty. Without the warranty, it would have cost nearly $1000 P&L.. And the service manager said it was not unusual at that mileage. Otherwise it has been very reliable; at least until now at 77K miles.. And it still drives and rides like new. Even the leather is holding up much better than on my sister-in-law's 95 BMW... Oh, the dealer put all brand new Goodyears and did a complete brake job before I took delivery. So I have avoided those expenses up until now (2 & 1/2 years).. Although I will have to check the brakes soon and I will need tires within the month also.

    Good luck with yours..
  • Is there room in the back for 3 car seats across? I sat in a '01 320 last night and seemed a little tight. The leg room for an adult was not a problem even with the front seat pushed completely back.

    You may think I'm crazy but I am looking at the E320 or the new full size SUV from Toyota, the Sequoia. It actually drives great for a vehicle that size although it, like most SUVs, lacks the fun to drive factor that the E320 offers. Also would like to hear comments regarding the E320 trunk. That too seemed smallish for a couple of strollers in comparison to the trunk of my Acura Legend. Any opinions?
  • valueguyvalueguy Posts: 208
    I can relate to car seats and the need for room in a vehicle. However, the "E" is no comparison to my Ford Expedition for room when traveling with the wife and kids. I purchased the Ford because I got the SUV for close to invoice and I had $3,000 in Ford Dollars on my credit card.

    My advice is to buy a Sequioa (excellent choice)
    or Honda Minivan. Perhaps, if you get the minivan you can buy that great looking new E in about 18 months.

    Taison, thanks for the photo of the new E and I
    am looking forward to the 400HP AMG version.
  • I'm presently running the Artic Alpins on my 00 E320 RWD. Granted, this is the first RWD car I've had in 10 years, but it seems to me that I don't have decent cornering ability.
    During snow storms the car seems to snow plow (goes straight instead of turning) when taking a left or right turn. Even at slow speeds.
    Are the Blizzak's better in snow than the Alpins?
    Has anybody ever tried both?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Great looking car! Is this the model year 2002 car or coming out in 2002 (as a 2003 model year)?

    I'm moving up on the wait list for an M5 (now #2 with expected April/May delivery), so I've started to review my alternatives before spending $75k. If the new E came with an E55 equivalent engine, BMW quality handling and - for god's sake - a 6-speed manual, I'd almost have to wait!
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Have been busy. Will finally be able to post more in this topic tonight and this weekend. The Friday's Freeways is starting in under an hour's time. Hope to see you there (5-6pm Pacific)!

    http://www.edmunds.com/chat/freewaychat.html


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • valueguyvalueguy Posts: 208
    MB Driver, I placed a deposit on a 2002 330 Ci Convertible. I chose the "standard" suspension and "standard" seats. I test drove a few BMW's while at the dealership and although I was impressed with the cars I prefer my '00 E430 Sport.

    The BMW "sport" suspension is too tight and results in a less than luxurious ride. The cars handle like nothing else on the road and have ample power. But, M-B blends the German art of handling and power with a degree of luxury.

    The E-55 will never be as hard-core as the M5 because Mercedes' buyers prefer it that way.
    I like the feel of my E430 and prefer my seats.
    My multicontour seats are comparable to the "standard" BMW seats. The "sport" seats are just not as comfortable.

    In a nutshell, the BMW and M-B products may compete with each other but they are very different products. I prefer the sports car feel of the 330 Convertible to the 320 CLK convertible; however, my luxury sedan preference is for the E430 over the 540IA. Again, the products are comparable yet quite distinct.
  • habitat1,

    FWIW, I was in the same position you were several months ago. I read all the magazine tests and everything I could download from the Internet. From an objective perspective, here is what I concluded:

    1. Engines: virtually the same vis-a-vis performance characteristics. The M5 is less than 2/10ths of a second quicker from 0-60mph (M5=4.7; E55=4.8) which was attributed to the manual transmission. In real world driving conditions, it's a wash.

    2. Brakes: virtually the same again. Most reported that E55 brakes are stronger and bring the car down from 60-0mph in a shorter distance, while one other said the M5 had better brakes.

    3. Handling: The M5 always seemed to get the nod here...primarily because of the driver's interaction with the car due to the manual trans...and was said to be more "sporty" even though the E55 was said to have a slightly "firmer" suspension.

    4. Fit and Finish: both virtually the same in the short term, but BMW seems to have a lot more quality control problems throughout it's production line...and the M5 is not excluded from these complaints. There are lots of documented reports of M5s using an exorbitant amount of oil...even after break-in.

    5. My Conclusion: The M5 does NOT have a spare tire and I plan on driving my car much longer than the period of time covered in the manufacturers road side assistance package. Also, in day-to-day, real world driving for me, an automatic trans is less taxing than a 6-speed. Exclusivity goes to the E55...there are just less of these truly hand-built AMG around. Dealer support, and while this varies from region to region, the WDC area has to have the absolute worse BMW dealers in the area. Conversely, the MB dealers are much more customer service oriented (it kills me to admit this since I sell BMW motorcycles and customer service is the hallmark of our business). The E55 obviously won, and I haven't had a second thought since buying my car at MSRP btw (I didn't have to order it either).

    YMMV. I hope this helps. Regards, Bill Shaw
  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    I,too,would opt for an E55 over a M5,but actually,my first choice would be a S430.The motoring press everywhere seems to describe the M5 as an utterly astounding sedan with Corvette-like performance. But I question the value of this on a daily basis in America. So in the sense that the E55 is a bit more civilized,and therefore more practical,it is a bit more sensible. Of course,the wealthier one is,the less sensible one has to be. Still,except for those rare times that one dares drive aggressively for any length of time. It would seem that so much of what you are paying for would go unused. I seriously would suggest that for real,albeit,slower fun,an E320 and a new Miata would be a much more satisfying combination. Of course any car lover can understand the attraction of an E55
  • hjbornhjborn Posts: 20
    After a couple of weeks of arguing with myself about whether or not to get the 4-yr. extended warranty on my 00 E320AWD, I finally decided it was worth it for the peace of mind. When I called the dealership where I bought the car, they wanted the full brochure price ($2550). I then called a Mercedes dealer in a neighboring town, and they quoted me $2167.50 (that's l5% off).So it's worth the trouble to make a phone call or two. BTW, when I called the original dealership back to tell them I was getting it elsewhere, they said they could match the price. I stuck with the guy that offered me the reduced price first.
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