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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Maintenance and Repair



  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    When I got my first E-class ( a used 96) I couldn't believe how bad the AC was and complained to the service dept. at my dealership. The simple fix was to make sure that the center vent outlets on the dashboard were NOT aimed upwards, but aimed horizontal or downward. When the vents are sending air UP, the air is aimed directly at the cabin temperature sensor mounted above the rear view mirror and totally fools the system's computer..! Once I aimed the center vents horizontally, the AC worked great!!!

    This might be a big part of your problem..
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    I had the same rattle on my 2001 E320 a few weeks back and drove to the dealer as soon as I could get there. I was afraid something was about to fall off or otherwise self destruct. As soon as the service manager walked up the car, he smiled and said it was a converter. They checked it out with some fancy gizmo a few days later and said the other converter was alright but the right hand one had gone bad and would not pass inspection unless replaced. They quoted $970 and I screamed in pain.. I too thought that all emissions parts were covered under federal law to 100K miles. So I went to my local mechanic who replaced it for about $830 even though he had to pay the MB price for the converter itself.

    I had searched the internet for cheaper converters and asked my mechanic about them. His advice is to stay away from them because the 3rd party ones don't have the full load of precious metals needed to last for a reasonable time. He did a cheap one for a customer last year and in 3 months it had gone bad and then the customer had to pay for the OEM part anyway.

    I had forgotten that the left side converter was replaced by the dealer under warranty at around 65K miles. My 96 had never needed a converter when I finally sold it at 140K miles. Converters are just one more item that MB has chosen to cheapen up...!
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 396
    How many miles do you have on your 01 E320? After looking at the catalytic converter assembly..I call it assembly since there are two converters one undeneath and one by firewall, I would only use OEM part. I don't care how much they charge. Aftermarket is good for oil filters, bulbs, but not this item.

    The service manager said that just because one was bad that does not mean the other one will go bad....Oh well, both of yours went bad. I am glad they replaced mine under warranty.

    I need to start saving my money for the time when the other one goes bad!! I doubt MB cheapened the part. The part supplier could have had raw material/processing issues.

  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    Yes, the converter is an assy of two converters and connecting pipes. My 01 E320 had approx. 84K miles when the second assy had to be replaced.

    You mention aftermarket bulbs; I just discovered yesterday that NAPA dealers carry a lot of the weird bulbs for MB's. You can save enough for 2 cups of coffee on each bulb..
  • Thanks Ray h1... I checked and saw no oil floating on surface of coolant, oil level seems unchanged for months, I also checked trans oil dip stick and observed no change... So where is oil leak coming from... Any suggestion? Maybe I should take it to my indy master mechanic to check it out. Thanks
  • Micro, you've mentioned in the past the good luck you've had with your Boston-area MB dealer. I'd appreciate it if you would let us know who it is. What town is your indy master mechanic in?
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    )) "So where is oil leak coming from" ((

    Having a trusted mechanic check it out for you is likely your best bet. My own guess is that you've got a relatively minor gasket leak somewhere. Nuisance stuff - maybe even somewhat involved* to get to and fix, but nothing catastrophic.

    *Hey, it's a Benz - if there's a more complicated way to do something simple, Daimler-Benz will eventually discover and implement it... ;)
  • I have now sold my 2002 E320. So relieved. It has been nothing but trouble that car. I kept taking it back to the dealer for repairs and replacement of parts. Luckily I hadn't needed to pay a cent as repairs were covered under warranty. But the inconvenience of taking it there so often, on average once or more every 2 months, the receptionist learnt my first name for seeing me too often. I will never ever buy a Mercedes :sick: .
  • latest on smoking E-350. since software update was installed on oil pressure monitor, no sign of smoke. admittedly haven't driven the car that much lately, but looks promising. again the software folks bite; seems to be the story of my life. :)
  • Confirmed by my mechanic that's a head gasket problem (normal for '96 E320 at around 80-120K miles)... Mine is only 77K. Two dealers want $2000-2200... My MB mechanic quoted $1500-$1800 , but he does not know the final $$$ until he opens the engine. Have my car scheduled for next Tuesday with my MB indy, he told me that it probably takes 3 days... and this guy is very good, he also has a machine shop just in case that he needs to planarize the head... Will let you guys know when it's done
  • yanolayanola Posts: 1

  • I almost had a wreck this past weekend. I was trying to turn around on an incline. I put the car in reverse and when I took my foot off the break to give it gas, the car started rolling forward. Has anyone else had this problem?

    I have 07 E350. Now my wife is affraid to drive the car.

    Any comments would be appreciated.


  • Took my car back after 3 days with my MB master mechanic.. It's $1711 total (head gasket, head bolts, 6 new spark plugs, new coolant fluid, new oil and filter...$1300 for labor). He has regular oil in now, and he asks me to bring the car back after 300 miles to flush out the regular oil and replace with Mobil 1. Hopefully this head gasket issue will not happen again after another 200K miles.

    Anybody has any experience with reoccurence after head gasket replacement? Thanks
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    I'm assuming it's OK to mention the name of the "good" guys in this forum, so I'll say that I've bought two slightly used E-class cars from Wagner Motors in Boylston, MA, a suburb of Worcester. They have treated me very well over the last 8 years.. They will probably be known from here on as Boylston Mercedes, due to corporate's dictate on using the town/city name.

    The independent mechanic I use is located in Marlboro, MA, where I live. He operates as Quality Auto Repair and Rick is a very good, honest, and reasonable guy. He is experienced and works on most all brand of cars.
  • exbenzexbenz Posts: 1
    Since 1990 I have owned or leased a procession of E class Mercedes. I started with a 300E followed by E320 (2), E430 and most recently a 2003 E500. These vehicles have been a joy to drive and, until this last one, of reasonable quality.

    As I read back through all the original postings to the beginnings of the 2003 series E class I can relate to most of the problems. Electronics are obviously very weak. Complete systems have been changed more than once. I won't bore everybody by listing all of the failures. They are well documented by others. I've also had the usual failure of suspension pump, voltage regulator on the alternator ( that renders the brakes inoperable) etc. etc.. The vehicle long ago reached the point where my wife didn't feel safe in driving it lest she be stranded.

    Next week I will be delighted to get rid of the car.Of course to give it back to the lease company it has to be tested by the state and, of course, with 78,000 miles on the clock the ball joints had failed. Another expensive repair!

    As I said in a letter to Dieter Zetsche, I will never again buy another Mercedes. Though I realize that every manufacturer has a bad year of quality now and again, the difference between companies worthy of my business and the rest is the manner in which they handle a bad situation. Since this vehicle came out of warranty I have been forced to pay repair costs that are disproportionately high in comparison with other luxury car manufacturers ( Lexus, or even BMW). That means both Daimler Chrysler and my local distributor have profited from their own poor quality. That is simply unethical.
  • Eventually, customers will decide which car is best for them... Thanks in part to internet where we all could share our car experience. If you go into Lexus website, you can tell how much they enjoy their cars, when you are in MB website, you hear a lot of quality problems. I am not surprised that in 5 yrs Toyota will take over GM as no.1 in US. I own both MB and Toyota/ Nissan products , so I think I am qualified to speak based on my own experience. I think people don't put up with poor quality anymore... Remember Yugo ??? ... that's why Toyota and Honda shares are increasing why GM and Ford shares are dropping. ten yrs ago when I traveled a lot to Germany, my German friend told me that People in Germany love Japanese cars, but the government/system makes [non-permissible content removed]. cars depreciated very fast, that's why it was not popular then (to me that's a cheap shot from Government).

    Don't get me wrong, MB is a nice car to drive, but I would rather drive a boring, high quality Lexus than to drive a MB with a question mark in my head as whether my MB would start in the morning. when the head gasket will leak, when the spring towers be rusted etc...

    This is a free world, please feel free to express your opinions.. In the end, informed customers will win in this battle
  • Ball joint or sway bar link bushings.
  • 10-11hrs labor @? per hour? $125? Job should take no more than 1 day if engine is cold when starting repair. Parts about $200. Don't machine the head.
  • The service manager is full of the well-known article. There are problems with the lifters/camshafts/piston slap/cam oiler tubes etc. On the other hand carbon build-up can cause a tapping/knocking-type noise. One remedy is to perform and engine induction service - running the engine on a special cleaning fluid instead of gasoline. This also has a feature to clean the intake system. It has helped before. It may have helped your engine.
  • 8yr/80K mi on catalytic converters - save that receipt for reimbursement if your car has less than that.
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