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Mercedes 300D Suggestions



  • nrkmannnrkmann Posts: 7
    Pull the light switch out to turn on the fog lights... on Euro models this will also turn on a rear fog light (looks like one brake light is on). The two setting to the left are for very low wattage parking lights on the left and right sides. In Europe the streets are often narrow and poorly lit. You turn these lights on (the street side) so other drivers can see your car... NRK
  • rleitchrleitch Posts: 3
    Ah yes, that makes sense. Thanks for the tip.
  • Dear Mr. Shiftright

    Is it worthy to buy Merc 300d 1995 w/ 200k miles for $5000 US? I kno you have said earlier that its all about maintenance and if you keep it well maintained it might last you even 500k. Every single maintenance done is by the dealer at the exact mileage intervals according to the manual. Also how much would a rebuilt transmission and engine cost for this vehicle? I read some previous post and you mentioned 1400 for transmission some year back, is it still the same? Thanks in advance.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    Ah, you must be confusing me with someone else about mileages and repair costs.

    I think the odds of a 300d making it to 500K miles are pretty miniscule. Most are good and dead at 275K--300K and that is a realistic goal, unless you want to sink a fortune into rebuilding everything.

    A rebuilt engine would not be worth doing on a '95 300D with 200K miles on it. It would cost more than the car, so that's kind of crazy. A rebuilt transmission would probably be about $2,000--$3,000, depending on who did it and what their idea of "rebuilt" is. $1,400 sounds more like the price of installing a scrapyard transmission.

    The price of $5,000 is exactly normal "retail" for a '95 300D with 200K on it. Not a bargain, not a price. Fair enough

    The best thing to do with a car like this is to have it thoroughly checked out, and if it passes the test just drive it until something big goes out and then dispose of it. If you got another 100K out of it with only normal maintenance costs (maybe $800 to $1000 a year) that would have been a good deal for you.

    Sounds like it's worth checking out and spending a little money on for an inspection.

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  • brakeengrbrakeengr Posts: 98
    It was the vacuum pump- needed rebuild. went from 15 inches of vacumm to 22".
    Unfortunately, door locks still have leaks in the doors- so bypassed the door locks vacuum. And didn't fix heat either- maybe the climate control unit or something else.
    But at least my brakes are good now!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    Well that's progress. You can buy little rebuild kits for the vacuum motors in the doors.

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  • goldcargoldcar Posts: 23
    When I visit the local auto parts store, they have racks of engine oil additives. Are any of them helpful for blow by?

    My 1982 300D starts immediately in all weather, but oil is sprayed up onto the air filter and there is a white gas evident when one takes off the oil filler cap right after the engine has been running.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    Nah, nothing in a can rebuilds worn piston rings, various claims notwithstanding. Oh sure, you could gum it up with molasses or something, but soon enough it will smoke again once whatever it is you put in either warms up or burns off.

    Diesels run on very high compression, perhaps 22:1 or so. You aren't going to stop that kind of pressure with GOO!

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  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,094
    A large local newspaper is looking to interview consumers who recently purchased a diesel vehicle and would like to talk about their car. Please send an e-mail to no later than Thursday June 22, 2006 by 2:00 PM PST/5:00 EST containing your daytime contact information and the make and model of your car.

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    Corporate Communications

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  • 92tdiesel92tdiesel Posts: 9
    and 300D oil questionHey everyone, I'm new here. Have had a 1984 300SD for about three years and that finally went out. I picked it up off my father for free with about 420,000 miles on it. Ran it to about 470,000 with no major issues. I finally had to let it go because a front brake caliper went, and my mechanic yelled at me informing me that it just wasn't worth it anymore. I've known this car since it was about 50K old... NO MAJOR ENGINE WORK EVER DONE. We had the heads rebuilt about every 100k. You treat these things well, and they will run forever. Make sure they are warm before you drive and you'll be as fortunate as me... driving a car that was only an engine. It barely had a body, almost no electrical, no climate control whatsoever, the trunk was rotted from leaking gaskets, etc. Unless the car has major issues (checked out by a very reputable mech) it just might be worth it. But like everyone else has pointed out, if it needs ANYTHING when you first look at it, run.

    I do have another question for you experts though...

    My '92 300D (replaced the SD) has been babied by the same mechanic who took care of the SD passed away a few months ago. I don't really trust anyone in my area to deal with this car, so I changed the oil yesterday on it. Delvac 15w40 and a purolator. Everything went according to plan and seems fine; I have 3 bars of pressure when driving, and about 2.25 when idling. My question is: when I open the Oil fill cap, I see no oil flying around. In all other cars I have done an oil change on, I've been hit in the eye when opening this up. Shouldn't I see oil moving??? Like I said, it has full pressure and has oil just between marks on the stick. Is this normal?

    Looking back on the original post about the SD: 470,000 miles on my 300SD transmission and NO WORK AT ALL. Fluid and filter on a regular basis and shifts normally. Also, don't even worry about the oil leaks; park it over cardboard and you'll be fine. I once met a guy who dubbed his car "Mercedes Valdez" (they all leak like rusty oil tankers). The 300D transmission was replaced at 220,000 miles, however. I doubt it actually needed to be replaced, as I soon realized I have a MAJOR leak up on the coolant lines and this is what probably caused the slipping and the slipping was what provoked the previous owner to go for a rebuild.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    Hard to say what you're seeing, but one thing I would recommend is ALWAYS get your oil filters from the Benz dealer. They fit, they work, and they are designed for the car.

    Funny you don't think rebuilding the cylinder head is "major engine work"--that's not exactly a tune up! But it's what I would expect on an old 300D. Cylinder heads on old diesels are very vulnerable to cracking and warping, especially if you drive them too fast. The newer diesels seem more tolerant of higher speeds than the old 300Ds. Fortunately, only a few people have the guts to drive a 300d over 85 mph. They sound like they are going to blow up (and maybe they will).

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  • 92tdiesel92tdiesel Posts: 9
    Yeah, we saw a $350-450 job every 100K as sort of preventitive maintenance in the same time frame most of our neighbors would be requiring new cars. It was our mechanic's suggestion (he used to write the factory manuals back in the 60s and 70s before he came to the US) and we would never question the man. I quarantee you that he would never take us for a ride either, he was an amazing individual. With 235K on my 92, the top end has never been worked on (to my knowledge). My mechanic was very uncomfortable with the vacuum lifters, and told us it was an incredibly involved job on the new 300Ds. I've had that car around 90MPH before (very rarely), and it's like it's own little sports car at those speeds. The newer diesels are amazing, however, good luck finding someone who wants to work on it!

    Thanks for the advice, I'll swing over to my dealership and pick one up to replace the Purolator. (I was a little uneasy when the guy at Advanced told me it was just 6 bucks)
  • loafboatloafboat Posts: 1
    Ive found a 1982 300cd for 3000 dollars for sale. The seller said that a mechanic owns or owned it, and the car comes with 2 part cars worth of parts needed. He said that there was also an engine swap done also. I did not ask about the miles. Should I call back and ask about the miles and for the VIN number? Is the coupe version any diffrent in terms of speed and safety? Does the 1982 model have airbags? What would I expect in terms of maintainence for a year or so on an old diesel? Help would be much appreciated, thanks!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,913
    I can't help much, but I am pretty sure no 1982 US-model W123 had an airbag. I know that year they became optional, but I am pretty sure it was Europe only. I don't think the airbag ever made it to US-spec W123s...I think in NA only the W126 had airbags until the W124 came out in 1986 - as far as I know all US spec W124 have airbags (I think the whole MB line got standard drivers airbags in 86). I don't know if they were offered on the W201 before then either.

    If the coupe is genuinely nice, and comes with 2 parts cars, $3000 is a good deal.
  • brightbusbrightbus Posts: 19
    ok i have a question. i have a 76 mercedes 300d. it does not have a radio, but i would like to get a cd unit for it. i have been looking around, and i have seen harness kits used to connect newer units to the cars original wiring harness. problem is the wires dont have the actual in car wiring harness, just the wires. (front, back speaker, power, ext) ok finally to my question, can these wires (and if so could i get it done somewhere) be directly wired to a new unit or can i get the connectors somewhere, or am i just doomed to ride around with no tunes. help would be greatly appreciated
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    No problem, this is easy. If your new unit only comes with half the plug, let's say the male end, and is awaiting the female end from the car's harness, you should be able to buy a female end at Radio Shack, etc. which will have the proper wires comes from it...and then you connect those to your car's wiring, preferably by soldering them (once you've got them right I mean). I'm not a big fan of crimp-ons, but shops use them all the time, so maybe I'm being fussy. If your new unit has both male and female, then you just splice those into your existing wires for hot lead, ground, speakers, light source and power antenna.

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  • 300d300d Posts: 6
    Hey mr shiftright,

    I have a 1985 300D my heater works only full force, nothing in between. then after a while it shuts off completely, then for whatever reason it turns back on. Any ideas
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    Sounds like the dreaded climate control module to me.

    You might browse around this site for ideas:

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  • ecodieselecodiesel Posts: 1
    before you walk away from your 300 think about this i have a 300d 1980 and a 300sd 1983 they both run very smoothly on 5 gallons of used cooking oil 1qt of atf and 1 qt of reg gas .no conversion , no mods , no nothing just be particular about the oil your getting then strain thru a tube sock then let her rip . runs better than it ever did on reg diesel .you can get atf at the dollar store for a buck and theres other stuff you could use instead of gas but gas is easy. it spent the night in freezer no change and throw it on the ground with a lighted match it won`t burn , lite it with a torch it will catch fire but goes out very quickly . lets see now 5 gals for 1.50 . you do the math but an over haul is 1500 and yes you can get another car for about that but not if i see it first and it wont have a rebuilt motor whatcha think ??? ecodiesel
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    Sounds great if you have the time to haul cooking oil around and strain it....and you don't live where it's severely cold in winter and you don't drive too much. That seems like a lot of work to go 100 miles.

    The Russians used to add gas to their diesel tanks to get them to start in winter, so maybe your formula would work after all. But I think the proportions were greater than 1 quart to five gallons diesel.

    Maybe if I owned a restaurant I'd be more keen on messing with cooking oil every time I wanted to go somewhere.

    And of course, there's the dreaded supply and demand problem. Too many people in your neighborhood all scouring for cooking oil, and it's going to either dry up or become more expensive.

    Still, I like your basic idea. ATF is extremely high detergent, though, so I trust you will change your filters often.

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  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,687
    Any automotive adventure that starts out with straining crud out of my fuel through a tube sock isn't for me.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    Oh I dunno....there's some of the "pioneer spirit" in that, don't you think?

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  • brightbusbrightbus Posts: 19
    ok thank u mister shiftright, i did get a radio installed and working
    i have a couple questions for you

    when driving you can "feel" when the car changes gear. nothing hard, just a slight shift. is this normal, or is it something that needs to be fixed

    also my ac doesnt work (no ac belt) i plan on getting one put in, but is that expensive, and what other problems could i come in to with the ac?

    my glow plug indicator does not come on. car has started fine since i got it, so do you think it would be the bulb that is out, or do i need to get the glow plugs changed?

    and one more thing, i always put my parking brake on as a precaution, ive had it slip out of park a coupla times and hear a "clicking noise" from the car. what do i need to do here?

    one more, haha, the front seats are wearing out, and springs are basically dead. could i do anything to "spring" back the life in my front seats?

    how expensive would it be to get these various items fixed. and suggestions? thanks in advance, all is appreciated

    oh and btw the model is a 76 300d w 107,106 miles
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    Before you touch the AC you have to make sure the AC compressor isn't seized. If it is, then you have a big problem and you may not want to get into it---but you could also get lucky. The problem is that when an AC compressor seizes, it sometimes...SOMETIMES....throws metal debris into the entire AC system, guessed it...replacement of various components and a thorough cleaning of the remainder. So seizure is not a good sign. If the compressor spins free, have a professional shop evacuate the system, put on a belt, charge the system, check for leaks and then crank 'er up and cross your fingers.

    SEATS: common problem, the springs are broken. An upholstery shop can rewire the broken springs, put in some foam and slip the old covers back on...maybe $250 per seat.

    TRANSMISSION: Normal---the transmission is a neck-breaker by nature

    SLIPPING OUT OF PARK: probably a worn parking detent. A clever transmission shop might be able to drop the trans pan and diagnose further. Might not be too expensive if it's just bent---finding new parts might not be so easy though.

    GLOW PLUGS: Not sure....if it starts, then the glow plugs are working...could very well be the can pop the instrument panel out very easily and replace this, as long as you are careful and don't mind some tedious work. It just pries out.

    So really your only big problem is the AC, but that's everybody's big problem who owns a 300D.

    And once you fix it, plan on fixing it once a year.

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  • rangnerrangner Posts: 336
    I'm considering buying an 87 190D 2.5 N/A with 195,000 miles on it. It has a fresh auto tranny in it. Supposedly all maintenance records from new. Brought over from europe. Supposedly great condition, southern car. Asking price $5000. What sort of maintenance records should I look for and at what intervals? Good deal? TIA, Eric
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    You might wish to check if the Benz dealer has any parts whatsoever for this car's engine. Most repair shops really REALLY hate gray market cars. Also sounds a tad pricey for the high mileage. I'm sort of wishy-washy on the whole idea.

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  • brightbusbrightbus Posts: 19
    ok mr shiftright, thank u for all of your help, i plan on taking the car to a mechanic next week, i have another question

    about 3 weeks after i got the car (had it about 2 1/2 months now) my car wouldnt start at all. i figured it was battery, but then again I don't know that much about cars. we have state farm insurance, and they came and jumped it for us, and he said it was the battery. however i went to oreilleys auto parts, and auto zone (dunno if u have those shops near u) and had a battery and alternator test and was told it was my battery, of course this had me scared, so I took it to a local altenator shop, that specializes in american and foreign alternators (repair, replace etc) they told me that it was the battery and to get it replaced. i did and the car has been running fine since then,(about month and a half) but do i need to be watchful? i trust the alternator shop over the auto parts store, as i had been refered to by many people, but i just want to be careful

    thanks for all your help and putting up with my simple questions
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    I think the result pretty much proves the battery failure.

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  • brightbusbrightbus Posts: 19
    whoops i made a mistake in the post, the autoparts place told me it was the alternator, all the rest is right though
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,913
    Was there a diesel W201 for Europe? Is it grey market or European delivery?
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