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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Maintenance and Repair



  • Date Posted 05-11-2005

    NEW YORK — The U.S. Mercedes-Benz Classic Centre has relaunched the High Mileage Award to recognize owners' brand loyalty and their cars' durability.

    The automaker offers the award free to owners of Mercedes cars that have traveled at least 155,000 miles. The owner has to complete a form and have the odometer reading verified by a company dealer. Badges and certificates are awarded for cars that reach the 250,000-, 500,000-, 750,000-, 1,000,000-kilometer and 1-million-mile marks.

    The current high-mileage champion is Gregorios Sachinidis, a Greek taxi driver who holds the known record of more than 2.8 million miles in his 1976 Mercedes-Benz 240D. The latest Mercedes to be recognized for surpassing the 1-million-mile mark is a 1970 280SE recently acquired for the automaker's museum from its original owners in California who bought the car new and drove it for 1,019,000 miles.

    For $100, Mercedes owners can also purchase a "Classic Certificate" that verifies a car's build date and original factory specifications. An order for a classic certificate records the owner's name in the Mercedes-Benz archives, integrating the owner with the car's history.

    What this means to you: Funny how the 1970 Mercedes can manage a million miles but the new ones have to be recalled within days.
  • robanonrobanon Posts: 1
    I couldn't agree more with your assessment of the E320 and Mercedes' cavalier attitude with respect to customer service and satisfaction. I have witnessed a good friend take such a hit on his 2004 E320, it is beyond belief. This fellow bought an '04 E320 as a Christmas present for his wife this past Dec. He paid around $54,700. In the past 5 months since taking possession, he has dealt with a rattling exhaust system, the hydraulic brake pump noise commonly referred to in this forum which Mercedes says is consistent with their "wonderful" Sensotronic Brake Control system, two major recalls, three leaks one having to do with faulty transmission seals, not to mention the salesman backed the car into a wall while he was delivering it to my friend's home. The proud recipient of this "present" has gone from being thrilled to the point where she now actually despises this car. She said even the seats are uncomfortable, and every time her husband takes it in for service, the techs get grease from their shoes on the cloth piping which butts up to the rocker panels. I have since learned this car has been named "THE LEAST RELIABLE SEDAN IN NORTH AMERICA" by Consumer Reports Magazine. We took the car with 1700 miles, to two Lexus dealerships in the Dallas area, Both dealerships appraised the car at $39,000. They explained that Mercedes has up to $4500 in incentives on 2005 E-Class models not to mention the launch of the 2006 E350 during the first quarter of 2005, which has further squelched the value of '04 E-Class models. Mercedes is so busy fast-tracking new cars to market, they're forgetting about quality control and what impact it will have on existing model customers To add insult to injury, the negative publicity surrounding this car's problems has served to further diminish it's value. Can you believe that in 5 short months, this automobile has depreciated over $15,000 ? This is a total disgrace.

    Take my advice. Mercedes and their dealers will NOT listen nor will they care about any of these issues. The only way to make yourself heard is to NOT buy their products. They have NOT earned your business and they certainly won't attempt to retain it. Head to the nearest Lexus dealer. Do NOT pass go. I can assure you, you will never look back.

  • robertg1robertg1 Posts: 7
    The fact that J. D. Power and Assoc. just reported that Mercedes has sunk below Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth could have something to do with the attitude of the company. The report also states, "The rate of deterioration on the E-Class is greater than on any other vehicle in the industry." As a very unhappy owner of a E-320 who tried and could not get Mercedes to help solve the very loud brake noise problem, this report is easy to understand. We are watching one of the marque brands self destruct! A change in leadership at the top is badly needed.
  • indyjonesindyjones Posts: 49

    Thanks for the reply.

    Right now the car is garaged, and I will have to get it towed to the dealer. Do you remember how much was the shifter+labor? It seems oddd that a spill like that would cause the shifter to jam into the 2nd gear.

    Thanks again.
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,120
    indyjones -you are most welcome - in our case the car was under warranty so i don't know what the cost was. ours failed with no spill -just a random failure.. so it doesn't surprise me that a spill would take yours out. i think it's an electronic unit, not just mechanical. in our case the car was a year old as was my youngest son - it was outrvery first family outing with the whole family in the car. while we were stranded in the boston museum of science garage i called our salesman and told him that practically every light on the dash was lighting up including the *failure to retain customer* light. sigh. good luck with it sir (or ma'am) !
  • indyjonesindyjones Posts: 49
    Thanks elias. I will report back on what was the issue when I finally get it towed to the dealership.

    Much appreciated.

  • I just returned from the dealership. The steering problem with our 2000 E320 4-matic is heavy steering that fails to "self center" on the highway. I went through the technician, his supervisor and then the service manager. After a test ride in a similar car which demonstrated the same problem, the service manager concluded that "they all are that way" and nothing coould be done. I asked to speak the the factory rep. That is next week. These cars should at least try to go straight down the road. All my other MB did! I, however, have no rubbing or any other noise. Guess I'm lucky!
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    I strongly agree with pottsie on the dealer quality statement. My dealer must be one of the few good ones. I have no complaints with their work or attitude. And no complaints with either the 96 E320 I sold at 140K miles or my current 2001 E320 with 60K miles. I've never been able to justify keeping a car beyond 100K miles until I bought the 96 E320; nothing seemed willing to go beyond that mark. And most had already just cost too much time and money for repairs. My 96 didn't cost me anything until it hit 120K miles. BUT, I bought both as Starmarked cars. With extended coverage on both also to make sure I got 100K miles of coverage. I only needed one repair on the 96 at 80K miles; all the rubber bushings in the front steering and suspension needed to be replaced. But without Starmark, it would have cost me approx. $1100...
    So maybe the trick is to buy them slightly broken in ??

    I also agree with rrc when he says that this is a small universe. In this forum you are listening to pretty much only those who have recurring or unresolved problems and not the entire population of MB owners.

    Also, in today's Boston Globe, there was an article on the JD Powers survey on new cars and the MB wasn't 32nd as someone else inferred, it was one of the top 10 just below the Cadillac and ahead of Toyota.. However, I can't trust their survey until the reveal the questions asked. In the past they have asked some questions that have nothing to do with the quality of a car; such as "did it have more than one ashtray"? I guess their interpretation of quality has more to do with available features rather than how it was built . A big factor in the customer's perception of the car has to do with the dealer prep.. Geez, there we are again, back to the dealer....!
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    I strongly agree with pottsie on the dealer quality statement. My dealer must be one of the few good ones. I have no complaints with their work or attitude. And no complaints with either the 96 E320 I sold at 140K miles or my current 2001 E320 with 60K miles

    I think that we're comparing apples to oranges here. The 1996 E class was an entirely different car, built by an entirely 'different' company in 2003 and 2004. Mercedes hadn't bought Chrysler back then, nor had they gone on their insane effort to make a car for virtually every price point short of a Yugo.

    For me the question is, has Mercedes turned a corner -- made real efforts to restore quality and reliability? I would be curious to hear more from 2006 buyers.

    I drove a 2006 E350 today (second test drive) and must say that as far as the interior goes, this car was made on the cheap, IMO. From the odd "leather wrapped" steering wheel to the thin, mint wafer size heat/air conditioning controls, "flimsy" is what spoke to me. The COMAND system and the radio looks like something that belongs in Boeing 767 cockpit, but certainly not in a car. Being over age 45, my eyes can't even make out the tiny numbers and symbols on the dash. Not a strong selling point for this demographic.

    I think that the car drives and handles well, but the interior forced a no-sale for me. The fact that the tires whined something fierce didn't help either.
  • I went to the dealership and they were going to charge 100 bucks to run diagnostic and they wanted the car for a couple days.

    I went to one of the quicky oil change places and they charged me 19bucks printed out the copy and reset the light in a matter of 2 minutes.

    Code P0410 Sec. Air System Malfunction.

    drove for a couple hours no light on yet, but does anyone know what the usually issue is with that code?

  • gatogato Posts: 5
    Actually MB rose to top 5 in that survey. And just to provide counterpoint to all the complaints in this forum, I repeat that both my 2000 E320 4matic wagon and especially my 2005 E500 4matic wagon have been great cars to own and trouble-free.
  • r1_97r1_97 Posts: 181
    It usually means the gas filler cap isn't on tightly. I have same engine light issue after I had new air filter installed by independent service. Gas cap is secured though. I'll take it to the dealer Mon. Car is still under warranty.
  • hjtw888hjtw888 Posts: 5
    #174 ABS/ESP malfunction by dcman2 Apr 30, 2003
    I own a 2001 E320 with 14k miles on it.
    I did not quite understand how a stop light malfunction causes a brake malfunction. Anyway, after service, the mechanic tried to start the car. The ignition does not recognize the key and the car refuses to start. The dealer is ordering a new key. Any of you ever had a problem like this?

    #452 Re: ABS/ESP malfunction [dcman2] by brig Mar 14, 2005
    hi- having the same problem currently with my 2001 E320. last summer i had the same ABS/ESP malfunction happen to me while i was driving the car. i called the dealership and they suggested for me to turn of the car and re start and see if it happened again. it never did. then in november the car would not start one evening and i ended up towing it. i called tele aid and they had never heard of it. i went and got my other key and it started. then yesterday that key stopped working and had to have the car towed again. now i have two keys that will not operate the vehicle. the tow truck driver had seen this before.

    Had key malfunctioning problem on my 99E320 at 40K miles.
    When key is in ignition and turned, cannot fire up the engine. The starter keeps cranking without you holding the key.
    My friend experienced similar problem with his ML and said there is a malfunctioning chip inside the key and not recognized by the engine resulting in sending an engine kill signal to disable the car, an anti theft design. He ordered new key from the dealer with programing at total $120.
    Drove to wife office to get 2nd key and it worked and fired up the engine. After that, the first key also worked.
    A week later, it happened again. Now both keys don't work. Stranded at night, called MBZ 24 hours service. Operator instructed to use manual key to lock and unlock the door, then use the original key to start again. Won't work and MBZ operator now says it is the fuel injector/engine not getting gasoline and the car must be towed to MBZ dealership for repair.
    As there is no dealership service open at Saturday night, return to car after dinner, 3 hours later. Using original key, the car started, and the second key also worked.

    What seems to be the problem? The keys, or the engine will start only when cold or 2-3 hours after the engine cools down?

    Someone also suggested in case of car computer problem showing malfunctioning display, disconnect the battery and reconnect after 5-10 minutes. The computer will reset itself. Would that solve some of the problem?
  • bigrobnhbigrobnh Posts: 114
    I've seen someplace that the transmitter window on the key (look at the front of your "key" and you can see a little round window) can get dirty and cause the car to not start. If you clean that, it'll work again. Is it possible that the receiving side of the connection (what you are plugging your key into) is grimy or something? You may want to try cleaning that with a q-tip or something.

    This is just a guess...

  • scottphillipscottphillip Posts: 249
    I have had pretty good luck with my 05 MB. :) :) I have two, and they have only been in service for minor problems. I really like the controls on the E-class, and the way you can customize your display--I prefer to have the digital speed in the center of the instruments. The advantage of the nav system in the MB is that you can enter data without stopping. Lexus makes you stop the car to enter an address.
  • mezecamezeca Posts: 66
    Point number one: There is a fix to significantly reduce this noise, it has been mentioned in this forum more than once.
    Point number two: Did any of you who are complaining about this noise being excessive not notice it during the test drive?
    Point number three: I have 12000 + trouble free miles on my Benz. Has only been to the dealer for an A-service, and two tire repairs from nails that the dealer took care of for free.
    I am very happy with my purchase and would do so again in a heart beat, the new E55 wagon that I just saw in the showroom is going to be the next one in the garage.
  • robertg1robertg1 Posts: 7
    Point 1. The car has been taken to the dealer several times. I showed the copies of e-mails. I was told there is nothing that can be done.
    Point 2. My wife drove the car and did not notice the noise. Buyer beware!
    Point 3 I am glad you are happy with your car. I was happy with my three previous MB. This one is so noisy it is embarassing to have anyone riding with us. The question is ; what is that groaning noise.
  • Robert - I experienced a similar issue with noisy brakes on my 04 E320. My dealer "fixed" the problem with a felt pad - installed between the pump motor and mounting connection. I am not sure if this was an MB fix or local, but I rarely hear the pump and sometimes feel a gentle pulsation lasting about 4 seconds ... My MB dealer is Fletcher Jones in Newport Beach, CA - they have been great and would suggest having your service manager contact FJ directly to discuss this "fix" ... I have had most, if not all, of the issues discussed here - the dealer has not let me down on discussing the problems, suggesting a fix and follow-through. I cannot imagine enjoying another car more, but the problems can be very frustrating. My next purchase will be based on any future issues going forward, if a clean record I will be back, if not then I will look at something else. Good luck.
  • robertg1robertg1 Posts: 7
    Thank you for the specifics. I will again copy your e-mail and ask that my dealer contact yours. My dealer is Benzel Busch in NJ. I would really love to have this noise brought to the level you mention. Thanks again.
  • willswills Posts: 2
    I had a small amount of water spill onto my center console... Same thing happened to me - - shifter locked. I read the owner's manual, and used a pen to unlock it - - driving home in 2nd gear. Why does this happen?

    MB wants to control the process after these ridiculous mishaps. They want us all to dutifully tow our cars into them for expensive repairs.

    Does anyone out there have a solution to this particular problem? Does the electronic transmission control module have to be replaced? Can this be fixed at home?

    Why in the world would MB leave the central nervous system of the car so exposed - - directly under the sunroof - - and drinkholder ?
  • david21david21 Posts: 3
    I had the same problem with my 2000 E320 at about 40,000 miles. The local dealership fixed it underwaranty but the service manager said if it were to happen again they would have to bill me. Having talked to other e class drivers, I know of at least two other similar situations locally.

    It is a foolish design. I don't know if it changed with the remodel in 2003. I don't think it to be something you can fix yourself (unless you are a way better man than I) Maybe someone else can add some insight. Best to just be extremely careful with the starbucks.

  • willswills Posts: 2
    Thanks for the response, david21... I understand that your repair was under warranty - - do you happen to know what they did to fix it (ie: did they give you a mock invoice to itemize the parts replaced)?

    I want to de-mystify the process, and hold the dealership to the necessary solution... I can't afford an expensive M/B wild goose chase that involves 47 sensors, modules, and widgets...

    The dealership says I need a whole new shifter assembly, which includes the "Electronic Transmission Control (ETC) module... Pricetag around $600 + labor... My concern (beyond THAT) is that they'll fabricate another 6 issues while they're in service surgery...

    All this for an ounce of water on the center console... The car only has 65k on it...
  • E500 2005
    several times a day the radio screen flickers between normal color and black screen and simultaneously the climate control screen changes from gray to white or from white to gray unpredictably. It is quirky and irritating but does not seem to effect the function of either the music system, the navigator system or the climate control. The dealership thus far has been unable to find the cause
    Please help!
  • mezecamezeca Posts: 66
    It sounds like it is going back and forth between the daytime lighting mode and the evening lighting mode. Is your headlight control switch set to "auto"? Probably a stretch but it might be related to the ambient light sensor.
  • sreinersreiner Posts: 1
    How did you end up fixing this. This happened to me this past weekend, second time. The first time what little liquid there was, dried up , I replace nothing and the car worked fine. This time after I had it towed to the dealer they are telling me I need a new shifter.

    I have a friend that this has also happened to and she has never had anything replaced. I am curious what any of you had done.
  • fisheadfishead Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 E320. Out of the blue the car starts vibrating and making a clicking noise. MB said the bearing are bad and also you have to replace the entire hub assembly because it is compressed into one piece. And you can not purchase the tool to take the hub off to replace the hub yourself. Is this true or false?
  • dmico2dmico2 Posts: 1
    I'm thinking of purchasing a 2000 E-320. The car has 66k miles on it and is spotless both inside and out. I would like to get some thoughts on this based on everyone's experience. Thanks.
  • greasykid1greasykid1 Posts: 336
    Have a 2001 E320. Bought it 2/04. Almost no problems. It is a Starmark car from MB. Assume yours is from a private party. Check all service records. Also MB has recommended from 98 that ONLY Mobile 1 oil be used. 0-40 is the correct wgt. Sounds like a very good price. Good luck.
    PS If at MB dealer tell them you want it "Starmarked"
  • rayjet2rayjet2 Posts: 1
    I have a '04 E500 4matic with 28k miles and I keep getting excessive wear on one tire before the others. The tire starts to cup and the car starts to chatter. This has happened on the original tires, my winter tires and now this new set with 6kmiles. The car has been back to the dealer many times for aliments and balancing but they can't seem to stop it from happening. The dealer is trying to tell me its the New England roads, I don't buy it. I had the same problem with the '03 E500 sport MB had to replace because of many other issues. That car spent it's entire life in Florida.

    Is anybody else have similar tire problems?


  • acemaxacemax Posts: 3
    About once every month or so when I go to start my car and put it into Drive, it goes into D1 or D2 instead of Drive. As soon as I realize there is a drag on the car, I have to pull over, turn the motor off, and then restart the engine & then it goes into Drive. This happens seldom, but it concerns me. Any suggestions or other people having this problem? This is my only problem with this pre-owned car. Thanks.
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