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Mercedes-Benz S-Class



  • jss1951jss1951 Posts: 3
    How much ride difference is there between the 18" AMG rims and the standard rims on the S-Class. Mercedes literature mentions increased noise and a harder ride. I am wondering if this is a significant difference in either category. Thank you for your responses.
  • I want to have the windows tinted on my S500 and I've read here about the precautions that must be taken to prevent water from running into the power window and seat control modules during installation of the tinting.

    But one thing more I'm concerned about is gradual scratching of the tint material itself. My M-B dealer says that the tolerances on the S Class window seals are so tight that there's no point in tinting the windows. The tinting film will quickly end up scratched from the mere act of raising and lowering the windows.

    But it seems to me that there is no shortage of S Class owners whose cars have tinted windows here in Manhattan, let alone in warmer climates. So, does the dealer know something they don't?

    Anyone with any first hand experience in this matter?

  • jss1951,

    I have the AMG sports package with the 18 inch rims on my car.

    The difference in ride quality and harshness is significant if you live in a typical big city with rough road surfaces like New York. But if you drive mostly on better maintained suburban roads and highways, then the harshness added by the 18 inch wheels and low profile tires (it's the tires that are really the culprit) is minor and well, well worth the trade off.

    A partial solution if your driving consists of lots of pock-marked inner city thoroughfares, is to take down the low profile rear tire pressures by 4 to 6 pounds. This will significantly improve ride quality at the expenses of a bit more tire wear, and a little less precision in the handling -- though I doubt the average driver would ever notice. No need to reduce the fronts as it's the rears that contribute most to our perceptions of the car's ride quality.

    The factory recommendations are simply a good compromise and I've read more than one article suggesting that taking down the pressures in the rears is a good option. You'll save wear and tear on the suspension components, too.

    BUT please note that if you intend to go for a top speed run somewhere, or you often attain speeds exceeding 100 MPH on your daily commute, stick to the factory recomendatons, or go even a bit higher. And whatever you do, keep a watchful eye on those pressures (or get the usefull optional dashboard tire pressure monitoring system, as I did). You obviously have less margin for error with reduced pressures. You probably won't roll the thing (it's not an SUV, after all). But you may be in for quite a surprise when you agressively hit that on ramp if for some reason the pressure in one of the rear tires has dropped. The tail of the car may step out on you quite forcefully and you'll have to be quick to catch it (or hopefully the ESP will do the work for you).
  • v12powerv12power Posts: 174
    I have Brabus 20" rims and 35 series tires on my S. The tires (Dunlop SP9000) do make more noise, typical of most performance tires. The ride as suggested above is just fine. I would not run such low profile tires in a place like NYC though.

    The window tinting should be just fine, unless you are in the habit of openeing and closing windows all of the time. My 7 series BMW has had tinted windows for over a year with no scratches, haven't done the MB yet. One concern is that, if you choose a tint that is metallic, you may disrupt the AM radio reception. The SoCal dealer I bought the S from told me many customers have tinted the windows with no adverse effects.
  • tiger40tiger40 Posts: 10
    Am I the only one that has experience squeaky noisy brakes on the new S Class. I have a 01 S430 and the brakes started making noise at 10K miles and I bought it in and they said that the pads were made out of a metal alloy and do that. That's funny...the Hyundia or Kia does not do that until it needs new pads. Why do we settle for such things on a $80k vehicle!!!

    I have now bought it to the dealer 5 times for the same thing....noisy brakes...each time they spray something on them and even put a Band-Aid (brake silencer) on them....but after about 4K miles...they are making noise again....the final straw was the navigation was not working so I bought it in and they had to replace the entire unit $6400 (thank goodness for the 4yr/50K). Then they tried to charge me $300 to again make the brakes stop making noise. I have over half the pad left!! Sorry just time....I will strongly consider BMW or Lexus
  • acco20acco20 Posts: 211
    Tiger40... You could probably trade for a Lexus LS430, leave the showroom with what could be the best 4 door sedan in the world, and a check left over of about 10 or 15 thousand dollars.WOW.
  • v12powerv12power Posts: 174
    Noisy brakes can often be cured by the driver changing braking habits. What you are experiencing is a glaze building up on the rotors causing the noise. You need to go out and make a HARD stop from about 70 mph when the noise starts to return. Heat them up real good, that should help.

    Regarding Hyundai and Kia, do they offer a braking system capable of stopping a 4500 lb sedan from 70 mph in under 170 feet? Your car was designed with tons of reserve braking power. The dealer should be able to address this better. Threaten to contact MBUSA if they can not satisfy your needs. Buying BMW will not alleviate this, they are engineered in a similar fashion. The Lexus will be quiet, but ugly.
  • benzamsbenzams Posts: 10
    Hi. I'm new here. But listen; I just bought a 2002 S430 yesterday (at 10:12 AM) at Laguna Niguel Mercedes Benz, and when I drove my black outside on charcoal beauty into the driveway, i wanted to lock the doors from the key. It wouldn't lock! So i tried from the inside. Would not lock. This is the worst part: I tried to pop open my trunk. and it wouldn't open! So, I was stuck for an hour at 1 800 FOR MERCEDES, and they couldn't find the problem at first. they sent a technician over and told me that the pump for the locking system was broken. That meant no opening trunk, locking doors, and power door closers. THEY HAVE TO CUT OPEN THE TRUNK, AND if that doesn;t work, they have to take apart the ENTIRE CAR because some wires may have been disconnected. ALL THIS WITHIN 3 HOURS OF PICKING UP MY NEW S430 AT THE DEALERSHIP. I hope other S-class owners had a better experience that I did, although i heard that 2000 model year was bad too.
  • tiger40tiger40 Posts: 10
    I truly want to believe that the above message is an April Fools Joke....but based on my experience with the S430.....I don't think it is a joke.

    My advice is that this is an omen of things to come....ask the dealer that you would like to try to change cars (not sure if they will go for this)...but if they that the wait will be worth it!!
  • benzamsbenzams Posts: 10
    Well, that is very nice to know that I am not the only one to experience this. I really think that the Mercedes COMMAND system/ Navigaiton system itself is really complicated. Even the lower-priced LS430 has a touch screen display that is way much easier to operate than the S-class'. They need to redesign that completely. By the way, has anyone seen the 2003 S-class with the "facelift"?
  • acuraguyacuraguy Posts: 1

    I was wondering if any of you veterans would be kind enough to offer advice on my planned MBZ purchase. It's a '99 S500 with 63k miles for $38,500. I have a chance to buy it from a guy before he trades it in to the dealer.

    My concerns are:
    -How reliable is this car? Any common problems to watch out for?
    -What do you think of 63k mi? I drive about 30K/ when I sell it in 2-3 years, it will be even more high mileage. Will this thing be hard to resell?

    I love this car, but I'm concerned repairs and maintenance will eat me up. What is your opinion?

  • tiger40tiger40 Posts: 10
    Hi Acuraguy......I am happy that your looking at the MBZ! However, the factory warranty is up on this vehicle and I think the maintenance and repair will be problematic.....just a felling based on my experience with S430. If possible...I would consider stretching your budget and opting for the new '03 E320. you will get free maintenance and repairs for 4yrs/50K miles. If you look at it this way...the difference between what you will pay for the '98 S500 and a new e320 will be about $17K. Over the course of 50k miles or 4 years....the S will eat that up and more. Of course the other option is to pay about $2K for an extended warranty from someone like Warranty Gold. Again, you are taking chances as i have heard horry stories about getting repairs paid by some warranty companies. Tough call....good luck with whatever decision you make.
  • benzamsbenzams Posts: 10
    I believe that those pictures can also be seen at: It says that it is not the new s-class, though. i don't think that those pictures are reliable, though. its too soon to completely redesign.
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    Hey, I thought I'd drop a line about an interesting new item. is reporting MB will introduce a limited edition CL55 AMG CONVERTIBLE! Yes, it will have a canvas top like the current CLK and be built this fall. Around 55K more than the current CL55. If you SL/S guys want a very exclusive car this is the one.

    The same article states the 2003 CL will only have bumper changes and the S will have an all new interior. Also a british auto mag said the 2003 S class will have new wheel designs and slightly new bumpers but the major change is the interior. Both look like available supercharged engines are coming as well.
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    Take a look. A very discreet upgrade.

  • benzamsbenzams Posts: 10
    i can hardly notice the difference! i wish they showed us the pictures of the interior. I noticed though that they removed the chrome on the front bumper; i thought it looked more classy with them.
  • benzamsbenzams Posts: 10
    does every s-class make a noise after you turn off the car? mine makes noises around the air-vents and near the display. they are different ones too. also, outside, under the hood, i hear a constant buzzing sound, and the wheel area makes a hissing noise. are these noises supposed to happen? also, i don't understand how can you adjust your seat-belt? i see it can go up or down, but can you adjust it manually? i can't find any instructions in the manual.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Any word on just a regular CL cabriolet? Like maybe a CL500 cabio? I have always wanted (been asking since I first saw the CL body in 1999) Mercedes to do this with the CL. I really hope they do it!!!!!

  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    This is the design study for the GST mercedes (going into production). One thing we can take from this is the direction of future MB models. I am thinking the totally redesigned S-class model year 2006. I think the BMW for all it's bad reviews will be looked on as the first for a future in autos that looks more along the 745i.

  • rexualrexual Posts: 17
    I have a S55 with less than 2000 miles on it. I noticed a slight squeak when the brake pedal is depress, took it in and had it checked. The dealer said they couldn't find anything wrong, the squeak is still there and there is also a tap sound now when the brake is released. I never noticed that before, the dealer said it's the brake light release. I also noticed now the steering wheel is tighter than before and the car drifts to the right. Anyone have an idea on why all these things seem to tie together? Thanks.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I don't see any influence BMW is having on MB design. They've traditionally been their own companies, though the new 7-Series looks like it may have some W140 S-Class styling traits.

  • v12powerv12power Posts: 174
    You bought a $100,000 Mercedes. It should not squeak, tap or pull to one side. INSIST the dealer fix these items.

    The pull to one side MAY be related to the high performance tires on 18" wheels. Have you tried it on different roads? Does it pull right in the right lane and left in the left lane? That would just be the crown in the road acting on the hp tires. Though my '01 S600 on 20" 35 series tires tracks very straight.
  • benznutbenznut Posts: 104
    AutoCar announced that MB executives are planning to put a detuned version of the Maybach "type 12" on the facelifted S Class, with just under 500 hp. The artice also said that some insiders were worried that it might outperform the new S55AMG with 476 hp supercharged.
    Now an S600 twin turbo is what I call the ultimate four door rocket.
    Also there are talks of the first 6 speed MB transmission making it into this car.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I can't stand this waiting. I trying to figure out what MB has in mind for the 2003 S-Class. I don't see any engine changes for the S430 and S500, but the S55 should get the 469hp 5.5L SC V8 in the SL55 and the S600 should get a normally aspirated 408hp true 6.0L V12. I don't see where a 500hp V12 S600 is going to fit in the range. They'll have the same thing that they have now, a S55 and a S600 that are too close in hp and performance. Unless they're going to offer a regular S600 with 408hp and a S60 AMG with the twin turbo V12, that would make more sense than having the regular S600 with that kind of hp. Let's see that would be: S430 (275hp), S500 (302hp), S600 (408hp), S55 AMG (469hp) and S60 AMG (500hp). A 500hp S-Class with a V12 is surely going to be within spitting distance of 150K in price.

    Then a brand new generation normally aspirated V8 for 2004-2005 in 4.5 and 5.3 displacements, with 330hp and 375hp respectively?? Man are they guys working overtime or what? Is new 2003 S supposed to debut at Paris this fall? I would have better though for the new generation engines to appear in the new E, S and CLK all at the same time.

  • benznutbenznut Posts: 104
    I know that it may not make a lot of sense putting the twin turbo V12 under the S600's hood. They just came up with S63, and they have also mentioned an upgraded 408 hp version of the normally aspirated v12.
    I can only explain this with the fact that they are trying to stay ahead of the game that has started in the automotive industry, where automakers are coming up with more and more horsepower. I bet MB does not feel safe with BMW coming up with a 500+ hp V10 or with an M7. Plus they probably want to get their money worth with the newly developed Maybach V12.
    Anyway, I can see this twinturbo V12 making its way into the S, CL, and maybe even the new SL, as it was once discussed but dropped because it would hurt sales for the SLR.
    One thing for sure is that MB engineers are working way overtime, and God bless them for that. Have you seen the new E500? Even the new CLK appears to be a real looker, despite my scepticism at the first official photos. Now I can see the current CLK as aged a little, after seeing the new car. And hey, they are keeping two versions of the 5,5l AMG engine, the 476hp supercharged and the normally aspirated 367hp in the CLK (I thought they would utilize the blown 3.2L V6 on that). Why would they not think of keeping two different V12s, the normal and the turbo? A 500hp S class would make a heck of a flagship car. Make mine a Mocha designo with four-place seating, and chrome AMG wheels.:-)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yes indeed, I have fallen in love with the new E-Class already. Especially the "E500" model. Don't we know that is a special model designation!!!! Oh I agree with more power for the S-Class models, all those different engines surely make the whole line more prestigious and desirable. I would like to see the S430 get more competitive with the LS430 and 745i under the hood for the same price. I see that most (not sure about SLK, ML) 2003 Mercedes-Benzes are getting standard in-dash CD players and some will have a in-dash 6-disc changer optional. It's about time. A new version of Comand is also due right after the 2003 models are introduced, and it's DVD based. Ah the winds of change at Mercedes-Benz.

    The only new MB model I'm a little leary of is the new CLK, to me the current car looks better, especially the 430 and 55 models with their body add-ons. For me the jury is still out on the new CLK, but the E and the oh-my-gawd SL are are off the chart. Now I guess new SLK and facelifted S-Class will be shown at Paris. Then for 2004 a new ML and then for 2005 the GST comes along, then it'll be time for a C-Class facelift...and so on. The GST should be a runaway hit even outdoing the ML's initial success back in 1998. I personally have been biased towards the S55 every since a MB event I attended last summer. I can't image what a 469hp S55 will be like.

  • jngizzijngizzi Posts: 1
    I have a chance to purchase a clean 99 S420 with 33,000 miles on for about 42K. Looking at Edmunds this sounds like a very good price. I checked the CarFax report and all appears to be clean (only a few service records show up but I'm not sure what that is ?).

    My questions are;

    What is your opinion on this car ?
    Will it hold it value better than most American cars ?
    I drove the car a number of times, the engine is quit but I can feel the trans shifting a bit a low speeds ? Is this normal for a German Automobile ?

    I really like this car so please help ! Otherwise, my wife would rather see me get a Ford Exccursion !!

    Please email comments to

    The car is black on black ....

    Thanks for your help !!

  • rexualrexual Posts: 17
    Actually, this is for everyone. I had the S55 in to the dealer to look at the squeaky break pedal when it's depressed (hard or light). I then discovered that the car pulled to the right on the way back to the office and then back home on different highways, one is newly paved. The squeak on the brake pedal was still there now accompanied by a light tap sound (explained to me as the brake light releasing?) when it's released. And the steer wheel felt tighter than before and the hand/foot brake didn't snap back as it did before when released. Here is what the service advisor said. "We didn't touch the brakes or steering wheel at all. We've always adjusted the alignment about .5 DEGREES TO THE RIGHT just in case the driver falls asleep or something at the wheel so the car won't hit oncoming traffic. Now I am no expert at this but I asked around all the MB owners in the company and no one has ever heard of such a practice. If they had done this as a regular practice, I would have noticed it when I first picked up the car but the alignment was just fine until now. I don't know what kind of logic this is but has anyone out there heard of this practice? Any and all suggestions welcome.
This discussion has been closed.