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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedans



  • After looking for a SUV I just can't get myself to buy and drive one. So I have switched gears and am now searching for a 99-00 low mileage E320 4matic.

    Several questions:

    1. What are the standard services that should have been performed in the first $50K?
    2. What does MB recommend for oil change intervals (5K ? $7.5K)? Given the car will probably be off lease I am sure the intervals would be no more frequent than the minimum required by the owners manual.
    3. Can you give a basic idea of the cost of routine maintenance - just to prepare for the surprise down the road.

    Thanks in advance.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I'll ask around.

    Best Regards,
  • wnielwniel Posts: 97
    What you have is a fuel sending unit corrosion problem. I have both a ML320 and a E430 that is 1.5 years old and have had the fuel sending units replaced in both of them. It is my understanding that the fuel additives that have been added especially in Calif. raise havoc with the contact points of the unit causing them to corrode. Take it to your dealer and they will install a new one that is modified to operate with the fuel that is sold over here.
    Hope that this helps.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi all,

    A reporter is trying to find consumers who've traded up from mass-market brands (e.g. Toyota, Chevy, Ford, etc.) to luxury nameplates. He says, "I'm not looking for lottery winners, just regular folks who wanted more car." If you have a story to share, please send it to me at It is helpful for you to include your e-mail, phone number and city/state of residence when you respond. Deadline for submission to this one is March 6. Thanks as always for your input!

    Very best,

    Jeannine Fallon
    PR Director
  • y2k4my2k4m Posts: 9
    Thanks for the quick response, I thought that I was loosing it when this fuel problem occurred. I assume my E320 (2000 4-matic) fits the same criteria as yours and needs to make an appointment with the dealer. Glad to have such a wealth of knowledge at a moments notice.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    If I were in your shoes, I would directly contact MB Germany to clarify.
  • spfoteyspfotey Posts: 131
    anybody know?

  • cticctic Posts: 291
    One trivial thing where a US car wouldn't pass Canadian specs is the DRL.

    That used to be a big issue in the US but I don't hear about it anymore.
  • mbdrivermbdriver Posts: 426
    jks320 - First, I'd advise you to look for a 2000 or 2001 E320 4matic and forget about the 1999 model. MB did a significant face lift and made a number of changes starting with the 2000 models (which are almost identical to the 2002 models, except for the wheel design). Also, the MB warranty for the 2000 or 2001 is 50,000 miiles/48 months, so you'd have more warranty available, particularly on a low mileage car. If you're really fortunate, you might be able to find one with the optional but transferable additional MB warranty (additional 50,000 miles/ 48 months) that retails for about $2650.

    You can check what standard services are performed during the first 50,000 miles on any specific car you're considering -- it will depend on the car's age and mileage. For example, I bought my 2000 E320 in late April of 2000, and until last month the computer kept saying "Service A in xxxx miles." Then, because I only had 9000+ miles on the car, it suddenly changed to "Service A in 30 days" and kept decreasing each day until the dealer performed the service several weeks ago.

    Regarding oil changes, MB doesn't recommend a specific interval -- since they're paying during the warranty period! It's tied to the service schedule which is determined by the computer, based on driving style, conditions (dust, sand, etc.,) mileage or total time for limited use (like mine). I had my oil changed at 5,000 miles (at my cost) and switched to synthetic, which all MB dealers now use by factory direction.

    Routine maintenance, therefore, is free during the basic warranty period (except for owner directed, i.e., early, oil changes). Bottom line -- you'll obviously pay more for a newer, low mileage E320, but in the long run it may be worth the trouble and extra cost.

    Hope this helps.
  • In response to message 2972, I do think that they are BS'ing. The 5MPH bumper impact Standard is in the US. It applies to cars, not trucks. One difference between the US and Canada is the daytime running lights. There might be other more stringent criteria in Canada, but a 5MPH bumper impact standard is not one of them.
  • valueguyvalueguy Posts: 208
    I got my replacement rim from today. The cost was $300 including shipping charges. The dealer told me $468.00 over the phone but when I went in to purchase a new sport rim their price was actually $700.00! So, I bought a re conditioned wheel from the above mentioned site.

    This wheel was advertised as A-plus condition.
    Well, in my opinion, my other three wheels are in better condition after 2 years of driving than their A+ wheel. The bottom line is that their wheel is B+,A- at best. I am going to send my scraped wheel for reconditioning to them.
    The total cost for the "almost" new rim and reconditioning of my old rim is $500.00

    I get the new Michelin tires installed tomorrow.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    A friend of mine moved up to Canada for a two year stint setting up a new financial services partnership with Bank of Montreal. He took his BMW 540i with him, but was not about to pay the kind of taxes and fees you mentioned to get it registered in Canada. He kept the car registered with his US based company and, as far as I know, did not run into any legal difficulties. He's now back in the states and I've got a call into him to get the full story.

    So much for NAFTA.
  • valueguyvalueguy Posts: 208
    I got my new tires installed today along with the reconditioned rim. The tires are absolutely great and should have been OEM. The car is now quieter and handles better. Dry grip is improved and steering is surprisingly better as well.
    Overall, I am very happy with these tires but the price was $1011 installed compared to $650-675 for the Yoko's.

    After 2 years with my E430 I still like the way the car looks and drives. I hope the '03 E500 maintains this level of quality and consumer satisfaction.
  • I also have an E430, with Pirelli P7000's. I am curious to know what tires originally came with your E-430, and how you rate them.
  • I've had 2 fuel sending units replaced on my '99 E320. The last one has been holding up well so far. Maybe it's the new "improved" version :-).

    I just wanted to add that you shouldn't top-up or overfill the tank on your E. If you continue to do so, one of these times, the gas will come spurting out back at you under pretty high pressure. The tank must be plastic and under the right conditions (angle of the car or whatever) can expand when overfilled and then rebound (vomit) the fuel right back out. Pretty scary! Don't ask me how I know. I've seen this happen to another E-class owner, too (oops! did I just admit I once did something stupid). This can also cause the "Check Engine" light to come on.

    Anyway, the dealer will be happen to replace your sending unit under warranty.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    If you happen to need the DRL module for importing your E430 into Canada, let me know. I have a spare one (I took mine off and replaced it with a US non-DRL module as I hate to be told when to turn on my lights).
  • valueguyvalueguy Posts: 208
    My OEM tires were Continental Conti Sports.
    These tires were adequate but a bit noisy. I wanted a replacement tire that lasted at least 20,000 miles and provided outstanding wet traction
    along with a comfortable ride. My OEM tires lasted 14,500 miles.

    Based upon my research from and some input from MB Driver on this site I decided the only two tires which met all my needs were the YOKO AVSdb and Michelin Pilot Sport AS.
    The wear rating was the eliminating factor as most 17" sport tires simply do not last more than 15,000 miles. The Michelin has a wear rating of 400 and the Yoko has a 320.

    I printed out the cost of 4 tires delivered to my home and made my local tire store match it. They charged me $100.00 more than tirerack's price for tax, installation and lifetime rotation with balance. I took the deal and had the Michelin tires installed yesterday.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I think the Michelin Pilot Sport AS tires are as good a choice as can be made for a car with fairly wide/low profile 17" tires.

    As a point of reference for you, I have Michelin MXV4 Plus tires on my current car, which have the same 400 tread wear rating as the Pilot Sport AS tires. With 36,000 miles on my car, my rear tires still have 3mm of tread depth and the fronts have 5mm (new is about 8mm). Assuming that I drive the tires until bald (I won't), I calculate that the rears are good to go for another 21,000 miles and the fronts for another 60,000 miles.

    Given that BMW does not recommend tire rotation, it is not too surprising that one set has different wear than the other. I guess I like leaning on the go pedal more than the steering wheel, which is not too surprising given that most of my mileage has been in and around the NYC metro area.

    Best Regards,
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    You can have my DRL lightswitch for US$50, it comes straight out of a Canadian 2001 E55. Don't buy the the switch at the dealership, they charge hundreds of dollars for it.

    Email me at if you're interested in the future.

    I have a feeling MB Canada are just trying to be difficult with the bumper issue, try to get to the bottom of things and I bet they'll finally admit that the bumpers are the same.
  • cticctic Posts: 291
    OK, here are some crazy ideas.

    1) In the US, cars are registered by the state, not the Federal government. If this is the same in Canada, maybe a smaller province may not be as hard nosed as a bigger one? e.g. maybe you can get your car accepted by the Inuit government first?

    2) In the same vein, what are the requirement for Mexican registered cars? If Mexican specs are the same as Canadian ones, maybe a trip down to Mexico......?
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    dkatlanta mentioned that his local tire shop recommended that he stay away from the Yoko db tires because they start out quiet and end up noisy.. I can validate that as FACT ! I now have about 13000 miles on them on a 96 E320 and they are as noisy as any snow tire I've ever had on my cars. The first 4-5000 miles they were very quiet. They are so noisy now I wish I had never bought them. I will admit they are superb in rain and they also ride and handle well. But when cornering at slow speeds, 15-20 mph, they FEEL like snow tires too; notchy as hell.! I won't buy these tires again for sure..

    The Goodyear Eagles that were on the car before were MUCH quieter and mostly adequate in all other functions. I'm going to have to start researching all over again. I thought I had bought the ultimate value tires..!! Hah !!
  • vs4vs4 Posts: 70
    Actually the cars have to go through the Transport Canada and Customs Canada, I even checked with couple of car Importers and they even gave me the same answer. The only hope I have is that if I can convience the Mercedes Canada(when the Manager comes back from Germany on 20th) otherwise the only option I have is to sell the car.

    Anybody interested, this car(2001 E430) has all the options available: Command System, Voice Activation, Heated Seats, Ventilated Seats, Multi Contour seats, Rain Sensing Wiper, XENON HeadLights, PHONE, 6 Disc CD Changer, 17 inch wheels, low profile tires, Tele-Aid Navigation CD's for Western Canada, Western United States CD's, Alarm, Power Sunroof, Power Rear Sunshade, Chrome HeadLamp Rings, Illuminated Door Sills, etc... It has only 5600 miles mostly Highway driven. Always parked in the garage when not driving. 1-owner. This is a FULLY LOADED car bought in June 2001. I will sell this for $52,800. If interested please email me at

  • EdsotoEdsoto Posts: 42
    Looking to buy a late model E320 - Basic Silver&Charcoal, E2, Heated Seats. I don't really want any other options (I'll buy and install my own CD player):

    DEALER 1: I go to one dealer in Queens, NYC: 2002, with 6500 miles or so, CD player, phone option: $47,250.
    Went back a week later: New Car with E2/Seats: 47,158. Of course, the floor model has a deposit on it. (2nd one since I've been there).

    DEALER 2:
    I take a trip another dealer in Manhattan: New car price (E2 and Seats): 48,750. I look in the paper and the same dealer has an early 2002 with 9900 miles or so, CD player, phone option: 47,800.

    DEALER 3:
    A dealer 100 miles away: A new 2001, with the E2, but not in Silver/Black: $46,000
    Same dealer: the 2002 Special Editions: $47,750.

    DEALER 4(?):
    The price via United Buying Service: 2002 with E2/Heated seats: 47,125. (Not grey market).

    DEALER 5:
    A dealer in upstate NY: 2001 with 5134 miles with E2 package: $46,500. Great deal except that the car was sold over 3 weeks ago and they still haven't updated their web-site. Ugh....

    While I know I'm kind of late to jump on the E320 band wagon, purchasing this car seems more difficult than it should be.


  • Are the Multi-Contour seats the same as the Ortho seats? I have ones that inflate in 4 different places, but I've never heard of "Ortho" seats before (as these were described by the dealer).

  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    I've noticed that the doors of the new Mercedes don't "thunk" as solidly as the older ones.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    My 96E320 refused to fire up this AM.. The starter turns the engine over, a little faster than normal. There is no hint of a cylinder trying to fire. Apparently the ignition system went south. For the last few days, I did notice a whirring noise when started from cold that lasted for about 10 seconds and dropped off in speed like a pulley that was spinning down. Any ideas before I have it towed to the nearest money hole?
  • bmms8bmms8 Posts: 86
    yay,i have the 3000th message
  • mbdrivermbdriver Posts: 426
    microrepair -- You got my attention with your horror story about the loudness of your Yokos with 13,000 miles and the "snow tire" and bumpy ride. However, you didn't mention in your post whether the Yokos were the AVS dBs, how long you've had them, what size they are (if size matters), what type of driving you do (local or highway) and whether your driving habits are "pedal to the metal" or "Gentle Jim."

    I have less than 5,000 miles on my Yoko 235/45ZR-17 AVS dBs. They are still very quiet, handle well, and the ride is superb. But now I'm concerned.

    If your tires actually are AVS dBs, I recommend that you immediately contact the Yokohama honcho in your area, or even in the U.S. if necessary Supposedly, the AVS dBs were designed specifically to run quietly. If yours are as bad as you say, maybe you got a bad "lot." I'm fairly certain that Yokohama executives will be more than willing to listen and perhaps make some sort of adjustment. It seems to me that they just can't afford those kinds of bad reports.

    I'm anxious to hear from you!
  • valueguyvalueguy Posts: 208
    Check out all the other tires first then research the Michelin. Michelin like Mercedes-Benz is the premier brand which all others must compare themselves. Why not spend the extra money and buy the "best" tire available for your vehicle?
    After all, you could save more money by purchasing a different sports sedan, right?
    While I applaud M-B Driver's fiscal sense I could not bring myself to purchase the "lesser" tire (Japanese no less) for my German made Mercedes-Benz. Once the money is spent you will be glad you bought the Michelin Pilot Sport AS tires.

    The Pilot's are great. My highway stability is improved (100MPH) and traction is fantastic. The tire is very quiet and smooth. Also, they look great on the car as well. I will buy them again especially if I get 25,000 or more miles out of them. Of course, the above statements are purely my opinion and not meant to offend anyone on this board.
  • mbdrivermbdriver Posts: 426
    I have to agree that you did what you thought best when you "spent the extra money" and bought what you considered the best tires available for your German luxury sedan. I guess personal opinions and preferences is why some people drive Benzes and others drive BMWs or Audis, and why some people buy Michelins and others buy different brands.

    My "fiscal sense" wasn't a factor when I bought the Yokos. I bought the tires that I thought best suited my car and my driving habits. Having spent well over $50,000 for an E320 with all the bells and whistles including COMAND, Xenons, heated seats, etc, I easily could have afforded Michelins or any other tire I wanted. To date, I couldn't be more pleased with the Yoko AVS dBs, and the reputation of that specific tire seems to be superb -- or should I say "Michelin-like." I just hope microrepair's experience and horror story about his own Yokos was either an abberation if it involved Yoko AVS dBs, or he bought other Yoko tires.

    Keep us posted on your experience with the Michelins and I'll do the same with my Yokos. I hope neither of has any regrets.
This discussion has been closed.