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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Maintenance and Repair



  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508

    For what it's worth, I've got a 96 E320, basically the exact same car as the 97 you'r looking at. Mine has 134,000 on it now and until the 115,000 mile mark was nearly trouble free. Only significant repair was replacing all the bushings and sway bar links in the front end around 70-75,000 miles. I think the dealer was trying to get about $1000 for that work but it was covered under Starmark. Oh, I had to replace the front brake rotors and pads (twice) prior to 115K miles also. At 51K miles AND a Starmark warranty you should be fine for the remainder of the time on the warranty. Without that warranty it's a crap shoot and it may cost $$$ for repairs.

    Price sounds pretty good... Good luck..
  • So I just got my 04 e320 back from the dealer today after they replaced the transmission. I also used this time to tell him of all the other electric/computer related problems i've been having and he informed me that there is a recall scheduled around April to update the software. Has anyone else heard this?
  • While it seems apparent that MB definitely has a problem with its electrical problem, I have not heard anyone that had the same problem I have had. On a recent trip I turned the air conditioning on, and all of a sudden the climate control panel stopped working. The red light lit up under the A/C OFF button and from that point on the air conditioning wouldnt work. I brought it to a dealership on the trip after hours of 80 degree weather, where they then had to order a new head unit for the climate control. They did not have one in stock because they never heard of this happening before. While this was upsetting enough, the car has been in to be repaired in excess of 10 times. Not only was the entire rear differential replaced after 1000 miles, but the passenger rear shock absorber was replaced twice. Aside from the mechanical deficiencie, the tweeter on the driver side door, while still attached has fallen loose on 3 different occasions. Also the center arm rest storage area which is connected by a plastic piece completely broke off. And finally to cap things off, the gas cap broke and needed to be replaced. All in all the E-Class is a very nice looking car, which as an E-320 is underpowered. I am not trying to vent, but trying to inform others of the many problems that I have had with this 55k piece of junk.
  • Don't know if anyone has heard of this before, but I figured I would ask here before taking our 2001 E320 in for service.

    The car was recently serviced (45,000 miles) and everything was fine. About a two weeks after the service was done, I started hearing a "beep" while driving the car. It sounds like an old cell phone message indicator, just a single beep that lasts only a few seconds. It does not happen with any regularity...I might hear it twice in an hour, or twice in 10 minutes. Other people have heard it as well, and it never lasts long enough to pinpoint exactly what area of the car it is coming from! No I am not insane, I promise! It's definitely coming from inside the car though, and there are no indications of any malfunctions or problems happening.

    I am prepared to take it back in for service; however, we all know that I could hear the beep 50 times driving to the dealer, and then it won't make a sound once I get there! ha!

    Has anyone else ever had such a problem with their Mercedes?? Or does anyone have a suggestion what would "beep" inside the car? I have wondered if it could be the battery (under the back seat) perhaps. Again, nothing else lights up or shows indication of a problem when the beep occurs.

    Any help would be appreciated!
  • I appreciate your input!
    I'm purchasing the car through a private party, so I don't think I can get a Starmark warranty.
    Thanks so much for your help.
  • sleakesleake Posts: 47
    Exactly the same thing happened to me once. Turned out the mechanic had left his cell phone on the floor behind the driver's seat. Take a good look around the car, under seats, etc. You might be surprised by what you find. ;-)
  • paul_ppaul_p Posts: 271
    I would try to notice what time of the day this sound occurs. Could it be the chime from an electronic watch or PDA?

     - P.
  • rashidirashidi Posts: 18
    When I first purchased my E500 I was able to configure the steering wheel buttons to select my radio presets. eg; FM1, FM2 etc... After being in service, that option no longer exsists. Now when I use the steering wheel radio goes from 101.1fm 101.3fm 101.5fm etc.... The service tech says it was a "software bug" from factory and is NOW correct. This is so annoying


    Anyone have the same experience ?
  • max63max63 Posts: 73
    I just leased my 04 e300 and just noticed the same thing about using the controls on the stweering wheel. That is just so poor for a 50k car. Called the dealer and he told me he would let me know when the software fix is coming out?? Keep me posted.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Drove an E320 for an hour today. Love the looks. Hate the pressure required to push the accelerator. Must be drive by wire, huh? Also, hated the extremely noisy Air conditioner fan. Couldn't hear the radio, which wasn't that stellar anyway.

    Otherwise, seems like a great car. I think I need the S though.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    You might find the E500 to be a better choice! I've driven it and would purchase before the lowest price S430. Too many electrical gremlins at this price point and especially for this marque. There is a push to improve quality rankings at MB to #1 by 2006-7. Sure hope they succeed!
  • My cigarette lighter does not work anymore, checked fuse and see no sign of problem.. Any hints? How do I know which is the right fuse? Thanks
  • knasongkknasongk Posts: 1
    Sometimes at a very slow speed (5 to 10 mph and no foot on the gas peddle or the brake peddle) My 2004 E320 would automatically pumps the brake. It is the same feeling as if I were to use my own foot to pump the brake peddle once every second (a very jerky feeling). One time I was on my way to Las Vegas and cruising at 75 mph then suddenly there was a bumper to bumper traffic. I slowed the car to a crawling pace and then again I experienced the automatically brake pump! The car only has 3200 miles so I am waiting for my first dealer checkup. Has anyone experienced this problem before? If this is a highly irregular symptom then I will go to the dealer sooner. Thanks.
  • beauprebeaupre Posts: 4
    I have a 98 E-320, 4Matic that makes rattle noise. The rattle is intermittent and comes from the PCV valve (located next to ABS/TCS Hydraulic unit)during idle. Does anyone know if this is normal? The noise is pretty audible with the hood open. The valve is installed on rubber isolators so I suppose this is a known design issue. But is the noise supposed to be this loud or do I have a valve that is going bad. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • gsesmartgsesmart Posts: 6
    I have a C-320 - I imagine the headlight assembly is exactly the same as the E-320.

    I am glad that others have had similar problems, since we all know MB dealers like to convince owners that the problems they are having are imaginary and only by reading sites like this do we find out that the problems are real and are experienced by others.

    Anyhow, apparently the xenon lights can be set to point in three positions off the horizontal plane - low, medium and high - the factory default is medium. For some reason, my lights were reset to low upon taking the car in for repairs on an unrelated matter - hence, I was only able to see 15 ft of pavement, then black! It took 3 tries, but finally the lights were reset to medium by MB and seem to work fine.

    That was my experience, now my questions:

    (1) is it true that the passenger headlight should be set slightly higher than the driver side? In my case, the passenger headlight is set slightly higher (verified using the "wall" test)

    (2) For those that experienced the low setting, what were the circumstances under which this happened?
  • ramza39ramza39 Posts: 23
    The passenger side headlight should set a little bit higher than the driver side because the right side is further away from the oncoming traffic, so it can light up the road a little further away without blinding the oncoming cars. I found this setting is only on German cars (both halogen and xenon) and it seems American and Japanese cars do not have this setting (not 100% sure though).
  • bobbio56bobbio56 Posts: 37
    I am interested in an e500 4matic....i travel from philly to ny and dc alot...i want the speed and comfort of a benz and the 4matic is good for the snow...have you all found these cars to be reliable and how are they in snow....any input here would be greatly apprecited..thanks to all!
  • Bobbio56, the MB value proposition just isn't there anymore. Sales are off, people frustrated, and this board full of raging posts. IMHO the only people still buying them either haven't gotten the word yet or wannabes that "have to" buy a MB out of a personal insecurity that they deal with by sitting behind the three pointed star. In a different day, a merchant would say that only "fish" would buy this product. Are you a "fish"?

    Save yourself time, money and headaches and buy a FWD Volvo S60. Come winter install four Michelin Artic Alpins on their own dedicated rims. If when you travel to NY you get off I95 and go upstate, pick up an S60 AWD. Come winter ditto with the Artic Alpins. Throw the savings into an equity fund specializing in gold and rent a condo in Florida every January for as long as you own the Volvo with the savings.

    As a side note, I'm told that MBUSA employees get a significant discount when they buy or lease a new MB. So, why did one of the NJ based warranty administrators just buy a new VW to commute in?
  • bobbio56bobbio56 Posts: 37
    Three of my neighbors said the same thing this weekend. All have bad experiences in their families with MB's. I had 2 in the 80's and they were great! never a problem. apparently now they are pretty bad. Back to asia I go.......
  • Bobbio, why Asia? You work hard, have a few bucks, and do some winter driving. Why not a S60 AWD? Why not an AWD X Type Jag (this year THEIR value proposition is more content for less $$)? We're not here for a long time, just a good time.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    I'm looking to trade/sell my 1996 E320 and at first was thinking of a 2001 or 2002 E class, but am having second thoughts after spending nearly $4K last year on repairs/maintenance. Of course the money was spent when the mileage was from 115K to 135K, but that isn't like the good old days of bulletproof MB's.. A friend of mine has a 1989 MB and he has well over 250K on it and has had minimal repairs although it is now showing serious rusting. Even my salesman admitted that they are cheapening the content; only the S comes now in 2004 with a full sized spare! You are right, the value isn't there any more.

    I looked at the Volvos as a possibility but no thanks; their repair record is even worse than the MB and just as expensive to fix. Audi was another but their repair record is very spotty; although Consumer Reports says that the 2001 A6 is pretty good. But... what if that's just a statistical anomaly and I get stuck with lots of repairs in a couple years? Jaguar used to be horrendous repairwise, but I think they have improved thanks to Ford/Mazda input. But I just barely can squeeze into the S Type; not comfortable for long trips. BMW 5-series is a little better than the MB for repairs, but the trunk is way too small for my long trip luggage. I thought the Accura TL might make the cut but not enough headroom for me with the mandatory sunroof. As of now, the Avalon (boring and a redesigned model coming in 4 months), Accord (slightly small for my needs), and Chrysler 300 (reliability?) are on my short list for further investigation. It is tough to find a sedan that fills all my physical and mental needs but I refuse to buy a gas hoggin' SUV... This may be a long search...

    One option is to buy a 2-3 year old MB E-class, Volvo S80, or Audi A6 and make sure that I have the manufacturer's certified warranty and then be certain to sell/trade it before the 100K mark. At least I'll only spend time in the shop, not money!
  • Microrepair, your strategy has got to be the only sensible one. Lower initial cost, lower sales tax, lower excise tax (here in MA), lower depreciation going forward, and a net overall longer warranty. (Check out the MB E Class Board for a guy with a 2000 E Class with 60K miles on it that can't dump his 54K when new E Class for 18K!)

    I have heard however that the "Certified" warranty varies from manufacturer to manufacturer with Lexus' certified warranty being the most identical to the new car warranty. In other words, just because one purchases a certified car, the warranty is not necessarily identical to the warranty on a brand new car. I do like though that if the shrewd buyer zips in at the two year interval he may wind up with LONGER warranty than if he had bought the car new.

    After all the brickbats the new style BMW 7 Series has taken, I'm waiting for a certified used one to hit 40K. AND, in an effort to prop up the lousy resale on a 7 Series, wouldn't it be nice if BMW took the warranty out to 7 years or 120K miles? Now that would be a nice way to go to Tanglewood or Camden, ME for the next 5 years.
  • pvh3pvh3 Posts: 15
    I hadn't visited this chat in a while....since I thought the electrical problems in my 2003 E500 had finally been corrected. (Problems included tele-aid malfunction warning and stereo system going in and out, in and out. The car was in the shop 9 times having these problems corrected.) Well, I guess the car got nostalgic for the shop because Monday, as I was leaving work I got 4 malfunction indicators one of which was a big red battery icon. The lights wouldn't work (they came on but would not shut off). Most of the other "electrical consumers" didn't work at all. Since it was pouring rain and I had no wipers nor climate control fan and I got a big BRAKE malfunction warning, I had the car towed back to the dealer. Today is Wednesday and the dealer still has no idea what the problem is. At any rate, as soon as I get it back I'm getting rid of it. I had a brand new '98 SL500 before this and I had many, many problems with it as well, although not electrical. My days as a MB owner have come to an end. Good luck to the rest of you.
  • merrelmerrel Posts: 45
    At the hour the WTC was collapsing on 9/11/01, I was signing paperwork for my 'supposedly new' 2001 E430 from a NC Benz dealer, and watching televsion at the same time. When the AM radio band didn't bring in a single station ever-- I investigated and discovered the rear end had been re-built after being wrecked and whomever rebuilt the car did NOT re-install new radio antennas. MB/North America didn't want to hear about my complaint. I dumped this iron and bought a new 2003 E320 from another dealer and had my share of problems too. Instead of crying about it, I traded the new E for a 2003 Jaguar, got a cash check back from the dealer for trading down. I paid $52k for the Benz and did NOT get rear bumper radar, leather/wood steering wheel,a 6 CD player in trunk, premium, up-graded radio and more! I think the magazine writers that continously rave about MB vehicles get their test vehicles from a special Mercedes factory in Japan.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    blockislandguy: Enjoy your trips to NE in your "7" but make sure it isn't raining so you don't have to take your eyes off the road to turn the wipers on or off via I-drive !!!

    pvh3: I can sympathize. But I haven't ruled out another MB. I just won't ever buy a new one. Just a low mileage Starmarked one and trade before warranty runs out.

    merrel: Ouch! I can't believe you didn't seek reparations from the first dealer; like a big fat lawsuit for fraud.!! Re: the writers; when an E class is running fine, it IS one of the finest rides in the world and worth raving about. Unfortunately the fine rides are getting shorter and less frequent since the E's built in the 80's... Does give one doubts about another one.. Unfortunately for me, I don't fit into any Jaguar after they stopped building the saloons in the 70's.. Are all the British folk so small ??
  • louie23louie23 Posts: 2
    I have one of those late 03 replacement cars that have the factory installed nav systems. It seemed to be working when I first got the car, but now no matter how many times I try to save my home position, when I turn on the system Aaronsberg, Pennsylvania appears. I live in California, and have to manually key in my position every time! When I access "region" on the screen, it defaults to "Canada" and I then enter "United States", but it reverts back to saying the region is Canada! I had it in service, and they are saying they are waiting for some "fix" from Germany, but have no idea when that will happen. Anyone out there with similar problems? I wonder if this is a problem only with the 03 e class replacement cars? Any help would be appreciated.
  • khicekhice Posts: 13
    I have 3 questions at the end of this post. I'm often told I'm wordy but I feel it necessary to fully explain the situation in anticipation of possible questions. SO, HANG WITH ME, and READ ON!

    I bought a Starmarked 99 E320 Wagon (E2, K2, E1, Euro Delivery) in immaculate condition with 52K miles from Concours Motors in Milwaukee in Feb of 2003. At the same time I purchased a 24 month Starmark Component Extended Warranty".

    A review of the service records before purchase revealed 6 minor repairs. 5 of these were seemingly ordinary, minor, electrical repairs in 51,000 miles. The battery was replaced at 22 miles, a headlamp unit (Xenon's--I assume only one)& 3 bulbs.

    Starmark Certification required only brake rotor & pad replacement plus, the front axle ball joints.

    In the first 14 months, the vehicle has required 3 exterior bulb replacements: brake lamp & 2 FR fog lamps. The dealer has never charged for the parts or service.

    HERE'S THE PROBLEM: After replacing the fog lamp twice, the service tech discovered that the wiring harness was "...heavily corroded...and found broken wire..." Repairs to the harness required $14 of parts & $90 of labor (the wagon has to be racked to get at the fog light assembly).

    Paragraph 13 (Electrical) of the Starmark Component Extended Warranty states "...,wiring harnesses and connectors,...". I realize that the warranty excludes "All items not specifically covered...". Also, the phrase about the wiring harnesses does not begin with the word "ALL". However, paragraph 14 (Suspension) does not include the word "All" in the phrase "...,wheel bearings,..." and both the L & R front pair were replaced at N/C.

    QUESTION 1: When are "wiring harnesses" NOT "wiring harnesses"? Note that the phrase is in the plural.

    My Excellent Service Advisor, in response to my query on the charges, e-mailed me this statement (NOTE THE PARENTHETICAL COMMENT) "With Starmark coverages we look up the failed part (in this case they did not have a specific wiring harness for fog lamp so we used fog lamp) & get a numeric code. We go on MB Warranty online & submit that numeric code...After trying about 3 different ones we gave up & determined it was not a covered component."

    He suggested I discuss the charges with the Service Manager if I wish to pursue the matter.

    QUESTION 2: Have any of you had a similar experience?

    QUESTION 3: What advice do you have?

    As this is the most active MB E-class board, I'll post here and cross post to a couple of others where this is more on topic. I really want some opinions on this.
  • greasykid1greasykid1 Posts: 336
    Have Bose system that works fine except that AM reception is very poor. Does anyone have a "fix"?

    Dealer has tried 2 different radios but they were no better. Problem must be in antenna system. Any help is appreciated.

    Has anyone made any improvements to the factory system? If so what?

    Am considering a satillite radio system converter. Any comments or recommendations?
  • merrelmerrel Posts: 45
    Read my msg # 307 about AM radio reception! Bought my 'NEW' 2001 MB 430 from MB dealer and car did NOT have right or left side antennas in the rear posts. Let your local dealer pull the interior moulding and see if you have antennas. Curious tohear from you.
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    When you all get sick and tired of all these problems, especially those of you who drive from one city to another city, come join us on the Toyota Avalon forum. While all cars have problems, I was reading this forum and really cannot believe some of the MB problems and lack of service for the price you pay.

    You gotta really love the customer loyalty thing.

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