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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Maintenance and Repair

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  • Any ideas on tire life, more specifically tires that become SO NOISY that they must be replaced! I have a 2004 E320 w/ Appearance Package (17" Sport rims, etc.). No complaints on handling, braking, etc., but the caster/camber (?) are so aggressive that the tires develop horrible cupping patterns and hence become very loud when driving slow through the neighborhood or braking on a smooth road. I know it's time to look for replacements when people look over and give a look like "what is wrong with that car". First set of Michelin's lasted 13K and now have 5K on a new set of Bridgestone's ... 2 dealers say the alignment & balance are OK, but that I need to rotate the tires every 5K (I have done this religiously every 3K).

    Any ideas? Thanks.
  • eliaselias Posts: 1,904
    nickthewabbit, what tire pressure are you running? maybe you need to bump it up a bit. 34 psi cold perhaps? if the outer edges are already cupped, going beyond 34psi cold might reduce the noise, it will cause the center of the tires to carry more load than the edges.
  • My 2004 E320 (one of it's SEVERAL electronic issues) left me stranded at SMF airport. I returned from a five day business trip only to press the key fob and nothing ... it is at this point that you quickly learn why MB built the mechanical key into the fob. I got the MB fixer van out, they replaced the battery w/ an inferior C class unit (color was different) - I was off after that. The mechanic told me that this is common and he responds to several E's and S's per week with dead batteries. Evidently a few rogue electronics will refuse a command to stop working when the ignition key is removed - i.e. auto leveling, power assists, power brakes, etc. The MB fixer returned to my home with a new proper power cell and all has been well ... I have a personal issue with ANY car that leaves me stranded, to me that is the ultimate no-no for a $58K auto. Maybe an Audi next? Can't do it, I really enjoy the Benz when all is well ...
  • Elias - I have been running cold psi per the MB sticker on the fuel door (cannot remember the exact amount). I will try bumping up to 34, that sounds like a good idea, much more affordable than a new set of shoes. Thanks.
  • I leased a 2004 E320 just over two years ago and I only wish I had taken the time to review forums such as this 29 months ago. I see the same aggravated customer complaints that I have experienced and I see the same lousy treatment by Mercedes and the Mercedes dealers reported on, by many unhappy customers.
    I have had numerous electrical issues including a defective stereo, headlights shorting out when I go through a carwash, mirror signal lights shorting out, front signal lights shorting out when the car goes through the carwash. The moonroof sticks open occasionally and just keeps opening up over and over again on its own.
    The rear struts both broke at between 10,000 and 20,000 miles. ( at separate times because they never fix anything even though they know it is defective). The front control arm on the drivers side was the last thing to just "break". Upon inspection they determined that the front coil springs were also defective. Upon tearing it apart further on my insistance they finally determined that the entire passenger side was shot also and they reluctantly replaced that also. The front end of this piece of crap car now clunks every time my wheel drops slightly into a road dip.
    The attitude of my dealer in Massapequa, New York has been one that would shame any legitimate dealer. They told me the problems with the radio was unusual which I since found out was very common for the series of malfunctions. The service manager told me that the electrical issues were unusual but my service advisor pulls a bag of blown bulbs out of his desk drawer showing me what a common problem it is. He also tells me he never saw these type of "minor" problems at a different manufacturing company that he used to work at. (Starts with L). The service manager tried to tell me that the bulbs did not short out but rather were just worn out. Upon my continued screaming in the middle of the dealership that THREE LIGHT BULBS (that is $274 by the way) cannot short out at the same instant as they pass through a car wash they finally sent me home with my three lights replaced under warranty. A couple of months later the service manager then tells me that the shorting problem was my fault because the car had body work (which it never had) and that the seals were not properly done. Once again they sent me home with my free light bulbs replaced because I refused to leave the showroom floor to discuss the issue. Amazing how many customers AND MANAGERS listen when you do this in the showroom!!!!
    The strut problems the same service manager tried to blame on excessive mileage (first at 10k, second at 20k, third and fourth at 70k).
    To my amusement and pleasure this service manager was dumped the last time I went in and I spent a few minutes talking to the new service manager. He confirmed the issues that I referred to and told me that they were not that unusual, unfortunately, for my year and model car.
    The unfortunate thing for Mercedes is that it was obvious that no one cares. I got through to regional managers who just send you back to the local dealer. I got through to a corporate manager who only referred me back to my local service manager. What they do not seem to care about is that customers like me (54 year old married professional) buy two new cars every 2 to 3 years.) I have owned Corvettes, Nissan 340Z, Saab Aero, Audi's, Dodge Stealth, Misubishi Diamante. Mitsubishi 3000GT, Subaru's, Mazda Millenia, etc over just the last few years and I have never had such a miserable experience, IN GRAND TOTAL, from all of those other cars and dealers combined.
    I now go out of my way to be sure that I tell my story to anyone who is interested as to what a lousy car Mercedes has made and most importantly what a LOUSY COMPANY MERCEDES has proven to me to be. Problems can happen, especially in a redesigned car, but the lousy attention to customer needs and problems, have to be deep seated in Mercedes, right from the top.


    NEVER EVER AGAIN. Buy any other car but don't get sucked and treated as if you are the problem. The repeated stories about Mercedes quality dropping fast are not exagerated.
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    So sorry to hear about your problems. Your understandable frustration would come through clearly even if you didn't use bold typeface.

    I suggest you come over to the cross-manufacturer forums such as "Luxury Performance Sedans" or "High End Luxury Marques" and share your experiences there. You'll probably get more response than on this particular board.
  • See my comments and experience at #534.
    If you haven't decided yet you should run the other way... as fast and as far away from Mercedes as you can get.
    Worse than the car performance is the prevailing company attitude that seems to say "all customers suck and nothing is wrong with the German engineering".
    Just read all of the other experiences and look for the common threads. Unfortunately I didn't look and I certainly didn't heed the quality warnings over the last few years for Mercedes.
  • I "SHOUT"as loud as possible so that people don't have to go through the same lousy experience as I have had to with a Mercedes.
    I have run companies as large as $45,000,000 and have worked as an executive in the 8th largest corporation in the world and I have never seen such poor customer concern and service as these clowns display.
    It is no wonder that the ratings for Mercedes continue to drop.
    Where do I find those sites you mentioned?
    I actually just stumbled across this site trying to do some proper research for the purchases of my next toy.
    Thanks
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    As a MB owner (and coincidentally a 54 yr old professional) who recently bought a Lexus LS largely due to reliability concerns, I really do understand your pain.

    Check out High End Luxury Marques and Luxury Performance Sedans

    I think you'll find them entertaining to say the least!

    If those links don't work for you, just go put those forum titles into the Search Forums "Enter Keyword(s)" box in left hand column.
  • mbzlvrmbzlvr Posts: 14
    To Post #534, I've had a MB since 1994 and can't say I had lots of problems. Therefore, "too bad, so sad". What do you expect, it's only a car.
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    "What do you expect, it's only a car."

    He expects the car to start. I don't think that's asking too much.

    It's only a car? If you consider the mechanical breakdowns of other late model MB owners to be so trivial, why are you posting to this message board? You're not having any mechanical problems, are you?
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    Is the 2006 navigation system fairly well made and intuitive, and trouble free? Or will this be another high tech system that will likely malfunction routinely or croak right after the warranty ends? Anybody with a 2004 or 2005 Navi system have some input in this regard?

    How about the new COMAND system in general? Same questions apply.

    Thanks in advance.
  • rrcrrc Posts: 30
    We purchased a starmarked 99 e320 back in August and have loved the car. I just took it in for the $800 oil change and mentioned it was not running silk smooth as before - was told the engine mounts had gone flat and needed replaced, along with a leaking pinion seal. Car has 58K. When I pointed out the warranty they cheerfully ordered the parts and said make an appointment - we'll fix it. Mounts and seal make the 3rd thing we've had fixed under warranty - but bad engine mounts after only 58K miles?? Dealer has been superb - no BS, they take care of business, but for the warranty I'd be shouting in bold caps I guess. Meanwhile, my Hyundai Sonata has turned over 60K smooth quiet miles with out so much as a hiccup thus far.
  • billmannbillmann Posts: 4
    Hey were they able to fix the problem? My still has the problem...
  • billmannbillmann Posts: 4
    2004 E 500 Wagon with the following problems that the dealer can’t seem to fix.

    1. Noise from the brake pump that also vibrates the whole car
    2. Radio cuts out when I get a display malfunction or SOS tela aid malfunction
    3. Brake light out warning comes on all the time and they have replaced the lights
    4. The dynamic seat don’t always work and when you get the malfunction message the seats go nuts on there own…

    Dealer responces:

    Brakes, can not duplicate the problem/or this is normal for this car

    The electrical problems they just keep replacing the cluster but no change, than they said it was the DVD player we had installed so we disconected it and still have all the same problems…

    How do you get them to fix it?
  • pearlpearl Posts: 336
    Have been in the market for a new car to replace my 97 528 (which other than replacing two worn out front struts at 110K miles has had only routine maintenance). Have looked at the usual suspects (RL, M, GS, A6, STS and E350), minus the 5 series which I just can't stand (interior and exterior style and I-drive), and decided that I liked the E350; however, have been aware of reliability complaints so came here to read this board. This is terrifying! I think if all prospective E buyers read this from one end to the other, Mercedes would barely sell another car. Certainly scared me off - I may just keep my 528.
  • rrcrrc Posts: 30
    Yeah, but this is a pretty small universe - all the fat and happy Benzers have better things to do than gush about their ride. Judging from the number of these cars I see on the road, they must be making a few than run. It all goes back to how the dealer handles it - and maybe how you handle the dealer. Still, if you fork over $60K, I guess you expect the radio to work. Get the 350 - they're nice when they're happy
  • pottsiepottsie Posts: 3
    The dealer will make or break the car. If you live in a major met area (seattle, portland, Chicago Etc) where there are several dealerships (read: competition for your MB business) then find the best dealer, buy the car you want ... get an extended warranty and enjoy the car.

    That being said ... if you live in a smaller market, especially one where the MB dealership is owned by the same folks selling Lexus, Audi or any other competitor car ... I would strongly advise avoiding the brand. If the dealership is not hungry for your continued business, the car COULD be a nightmare if you do have quality control issues.

    I'm from spokane, wa, and I would have to say our dealership is below avg on their long term customer care attitude. I have had ongoing minor electrical issues, and several times I have been essentially blown off when complaining about yet another light that is burnt out on my vehicle (several at 20K, another @ 30K and now another at 48K). How many lights will I have burn out prematurely on this car before they admit there is a problem??

    Anyway, hope this helps.
  • pottsiepottsie Posts: 3
    Can anyone help with a couple specifics:

    1: Continue to replace burnt out lights on 2001 E320 4-matic - headlights (2) several tail and parking lights. Seemingly random, but have occurred as early as 20K and now again at 50K. A lot of bad bulbs for a 4 y.o. car.

    2: AC/heat seems to put a lot of cold air out when heat selected (70F) and outside temps are moderate (45-60). Yes, the car is warmed up, and no, the dealer cant seem to duplicate the problem. I have tried running the selected temp as high as 80F ... the car seems to recognize the demand after several minutes, and then puts out warm air at both 80 and 70 ??

    3: 4-matic trans feels like it has a "slip" at times when decelerating at speeds around 15-5 mph. Usually feels the anomally when driving in heavy city traffic. No other problems with transmission that are showing at this time. Has happened since the test drive. I have assumed this was just part of the 4-matic functions ... but could this be a sign of a future transmission problem ??

    Thanks for any responses
  • greasykid1greasykid1 Posts: 336
    Have new 350SLK w/ Nav . At 3500 mi so far no problem----except reading and understanding the 200 pg inst amnual. Worst inst I have ever read.
  • gatogato Posts: 5
    Just buy the car you want. I have had a 2000 E320 4matic wagon and a 2005 E500 4matic wagon and have been very happy with them, particularly the latter which has been entirely problem-free so far (7,000 miles).
  • indyjonesindyjones Posts: 49
    My son was playing in the car and he spilled some soda near the transmission shifter. When I tried starting the car, it started, but I wasnt able to shift it out of the park. It had locked itself. Called up the 800-for-merc, and they told me to stick a pen in a trap door ( near the shifter) and shift it into the gear. That worked, but I was only able to drive it in the 1st gear. The car went into "limp home" mode. Is there a way to reset the computer, or should I take it to the dealer. Has anyone else had similar issue? and how was it solved? It has been 5 days now, and I still havent been able out shift the gear with the pen in the trap door. Please HELP! Should I try to dry out the soda using a hair dryer?
  • dakorldakorl Posts: 2
    I couldn't agree more about the lousy service at Mercedes. The problem exists at both the dealership and corporate levels.

    A relative of mine brought his E320 into the Mercedes of South Orlando and had a similar miserable experience. The relative had to bring his car in on three different occasions for the same issue. The "expert technicians" at Mercedes came up with different excuses (and charges) for the problem but never fixed the problem. My relative sent an email and a written letter to Service Manager but never received a single response. The relative sent a copy of the letter to the corporate headquarters in Montvale, NJ and also never received a response. After calling the headquarters, their response was that "unfortunately each dealership is independently owned and operated." The representative at Mercedes' headquarters said said that they would input the issue in their records and refer the matter back to the dealerships management.

    Bottom line: Mercedes is company that no longer values its reputation or its customers' satisfaction. I too, will go out of my way to discourage anyone I know from buying a Mercedes.
  • curtisscurtiss Posts: 2
    Is it possible to repair these without sending the whole instrument panel/cluster to MB to be replaced?
    I have a 2000 E320 that I don't know which gear I'm in, I don't know what time it is and I'm not sure if it's hot or cold outside.
    My A/C display is also going on the blink? What's up with this?
  • eliaselias Posts: 1,904
    indyjones, this happened to our 2000 E320 too, but without anything spilling into the trans shift lever. you can use that pen/ratchet deal to get into either reverse or a forward gear - it's second gear actually isn't it? anyway, yes we had a similar issue , and the trans shift lever thing had to be replaced. in our E320 the service tech did the pen-shift trick - but not with a pen - with the ratchet/allenwrench thing that came with the car - in the glove compartment.
  • bigrobnhbigrobnh Posts: 114
    Appears as though this is fairly wide spread. This is the exact level of service that I receive at the dealership I visit in NH. However, my e-mails to the MBUSA web site eventually resulted in a call back where, interestingly enough, I received the "unfortunately each dealership is independently owned and operated." It must be up on their cube walls like the NO in those credit card commercials.

    How hard would it be for MB as a corporation to train their dealerships in customer service and car maintenance and do some form of follow up testing/monitoring. A service rep claiming they've never seen that before when you see from forums like these that it happens all the time is not service. Telling a customer that it's supposed to work like that or thats' normal when it is clearly wrong is not service. Blindly swapping out parts in an attempt to fix a problem rather than taking the time to do real problem determination is not proper car maintenance.

    I don't care if you can eat off the floor of the service bay or that there's fresh cut flowers in the waiting room. Iwant to be treated intelligently and with respect by an intelligent individual that knows at least as much about my car as I do. I want my car fixed the first time when something goes wrong.

    Cars are mechanical things and there will be problems. Your MB ownership experience hinges entirely on the dealership you have access to.

    Regards,
    BigRob.
  • You should be scared based not only on this board which has burned and now biased owners such as me but also as you research the quality issues in print showing the steep decline in customer satisfaction for Mercedes.
    Saw an article sitting in my dentists office Tuesday that had Mecedes rated number 1 of 35 based on "Perceived Prestige" of ownership versus being 32nd out of 35 for "customer satisfaction". Those charts had it behind Daewoos and Isuzus and Chevys etc.

    #32nd worst out of 35 for Mercedes. Three more spots to plummet and you can "grab the magic ring".
    The article should be posted on the desk of every person in that company to see if maybe they could get anybody to care and to treat a customer right.
  • So glad to hear your 11 year old car is still doing well!!!!!
  • I think even mine did good for 7000 miles!!!!
    It was around 15k to 20k that everything started to happen.
  • Date Posted 05-11-2005

    NEW YORK — The U.S. Mercedes-Benz Classic Centre has relaunched the High Mileage Award to recognize owners' brand loyalty and their cars' durability.

    The automaker offers the award free to owners of Mercedes cars that have traveled at least 155,000 miles. The owner has to complete a form and have the odometer reading verified by a company dealer. Badges and certificates are awarded for cars that reach the 250,000-, 500,000-, 750,000-, 1,000,000-kilometer and 1-million-mile marks.

    The current high-mileage champion is Gregorios Sachinidis, a Greek taxi driver who holds the known record of more than 2.8 million miles in his 1976 Mercedes-Benz 240D. The latest Mercedes to be recognized for surpassing the 1-million-mile mark is a 1970 280SE recently acquired for the automaker's museum from its original owners in California who bought the car new and drove it for 1,019,000 miles.

    For $100, Mercedes owners can also purchase a "Classic Certificate" that verifies a car's build date and original factory specifications. An order for a classic certificate records the owner's name in the Mercedes-Benz archives, integrating the owner with the car's history.

    What this means to you: Funny how the 1970 Mercedes can manage a million miles but the new ones have to be recalled within days.

    ******************************************************************************************- ****
    ........The bad press doesn't just come from me!!!!!!!!
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