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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Maintenance and Repair



  • I heard that a new brakes-by-wire system is being introduced in the newer models. I presume that brakes will be controlled by a standalone processor. Otherwise is that safe with the number of computer failures described in posts above?

  • can rely on the hydraulic backup system.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Delphi has several brake-by-wire systems developed and in production, including the Galileo system which uses front only hydraulic backup:
  • ray_h71ray_h71 Posts: 212
    I found myself in the position of having to involuntarily replace my previous car. I've followed these E-Class reliability discussions for several months. I could never afford the price of admission to the semi-exclusive club of Mercedes-Benz ownership, but I have been able to duplicate many Mercedes-Benz service issues to some degree by purchasing a Hyundai Sonata. With nearly equal cabin volume (The Sonata's a bit larger inside at 100 cu. ft. vs. 97 cu. ft. for the E-Class), in my new Sonata, random defects popping up like gophers on amphetimines, and the knowledge that DaimlerChrysler owns a 10% equity stake in Hyundai, I can at least enjoy, if only in some small way, the pride inherent in Mercedes-Benz ownership. I've read various reports that when Hyundai designed their own engines and transmissions after Mercedes-Benz' equity acquisition, they appraoched DaimlerChrysler for help in ironing out a few niggling problems. With that accomplished, I can only hope that the company will also request DaimlerChrysler's electrical systems and engine management expertise to draw product reliability closer to the fold. Of course there are other, less tangible benefits all of us share. When a Mercedes-Benz rolls down the boulevard, people often point and gaze in quiet admiration. The situation is somewhat similar, but with the following additional difference for Hyundai owners: substitute "derisive laughter" for "quiet admiration". (Hmmm, the "pride" of Hyundai ownership?..)
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    All this talk about Mercedes-Benz's problems with quality/reliability mirrors those of Volvo, which can, in some aspects, be considered the Swedish Benz. If you look at the Volvos from the '70s and '80s, you'll see that they have the same little pesky problems that Benzes were known for; I'm sure Mr. Shiftright can elaborate further. But just like its German counterpart, the Swedish car has bulletproof engines and drivetrains; however, it has never been tops in reliability, as far as I've seen from Consumer Reports and talking to various Volvo owners. While it has made great strides in quality over the past decade or so, it still can't match that of, say, Lexus or Acura.

    By the way, does anybody own, or owned, a Volvo from the '90s and experienced the same niggling problems found on your Mercedes products? I have (and love) a '93 850, but I am forever chasing these gremlins and defects. These Volvos sure have some soul, though.
  • I finally decided to sell my 95 E320 wagon when premium fuel hit $1.85, but that was not all of it. The other consideration was that one more $1000 repair bill would cover a years worth of diesel fuel in the Jetta I've ordered. And I've seen those repair bills frequently (171,000 miles). And yet, I love the car. I like the fact that I CAN fix all those things that go wrong. That I can buy a seat rebuild kit when the seats un-spring. That the motor is still strong, smooth and powerful on the on-ramps. I get a kick out of the fact that it has line-levels to aim the headlights (German obsessiveness). The car doesn't rattle, has no drafts, tracks fine, and looks great. I could keep it forever if I wanted to. Take a look at a Ford or Subaru (or Lexus?)with 171,000 miles on it. Do you want to drive THAT?

    Now, I have followed this discussion on the annoying issues that seem to plague the newer Benz's. That will be something I'll have to look at 2 or 5 years down the road when the price of gas stabilizes again and I buy another 5-year old Mercedes.
  • ray_h71ray_h71 Posts: 212
    maurcedes, have you ever owned a diesel engined automobile? Here in southern California the price of diesel is within pennies of unleaded premium gasoline currently. I had several diesels including two Peugeots, two Oldsmobiles, and a Datsun. They all gave good service, though I had some fuel injection pump issues with one of the Oldsmobiles. (The Datsun diesel had a Nippon-Denso pump that looked amazingly similar to the Bosch pump on the Mercedes. It turned out the the Japanese pump was built under license from Bosch...) They were also all slow (although the VW turbo-diesel is probably better), stinky, and noisy. You'll have to drive a
    L-O-N-G way to recoup the depreciation loss on your Benz and the expense of the VW purchase. The one overwhelming bright spot in diesel ownership is that if we find ourselves in another fuel shortage situation (not unlikely given the current and anticipated world political climate), diesel fuel WILL be available. Virtually all heavy commercial transportation and most agricultural implements are diesel-powered, and home heating oil is for all intents and purposes good ol' #2 diesel. Jet aviation fuel isn't too far removed either. It'll be pricey, but it will be there at truck stops. I do recall being smugly self-satisfied at passing blocks-long lined cars waiting to get gas on their odd-even days while I cruised right into a T/A truckstop off the 10 and started pumping my fill any time and any day of the week. One major potential fly in the ointment is that if the hostilities with Iraq result in a protracted, messy war, and the Venezuela situation goes to full civil war, diesel deliveries may be diverted to military needs. Commercial transportation and agricultural interests might then take precedence over civilian descretionary driving for remaining stocks. Buying the VW turbo-diesel may well make sense in your situation, but I'm not convinced actually selling off your apparently well-maintained Benz is really in your best interest. Having the flexibility of a gasoline powered car garaged with at least half a tank of fuel, in addition to your turbo-diesel VW, could be more than convenient.
  • My 2003 E500 has a slight shudder when sitting in drive or park. The computer shows no malfunction. It's most noticeable when driving around town and not so much when sitting in the dealers garage.
    When I took it into the dealer, they told me that these engines didn't run that smooth in park. Said something about being due to the liquid filled motor mounts. Are there any other owners experiencing this? I'm wondering if I have bad motor mounts.
  • My husband has a Dodge Ram 2500 truck with the diesel. It gets about 18 mpg around town and over 20 on the highway. The motor is noisy and smelly. But I understand that the newer Cummins diesels are solving this problem. I also have experience with those pseudo-diesels that GM foisted on the unsuspecting public in the 70s - broke down on the way to and from Florida in a friend's ride. Yes, I am having some second thoughts about selling the Maurcedes. It is such a blast to channel the ghost of Dale Earnhardt on I-85 through downtown Atlanta at night. And I know the Jetta won't be up to it. And I do have a motorcycle and a bicycle that can both get me to work on nicer days. We'll see what happens......
  • This chronology may be helpful to someone considering purchasing an older model E-320. Mine is a 1995, date of manufacture August 1994. It started life in Rhode Island as a dealer's service wagon, then was sold to a woman in Mass. who, I deduce from the service records, drove a lot and was probably on-the-road sales. It also apparently made the Florida run often in its early years. I bought the car in July of 2000 with 120,000 miles on it for about $16,200. Current mileage is 173,000.

    Here's the scoop:

    120,311 miles: Front brake pads, rotors, struts.

    120,567: Drivers side window stuck.

    125,708: Replaced rear load-leveling shocks. Power steering system serviced.

    128,265: Transmission repair to fix reverse.

    152,530: Replaced engine wiring harness and battery.

    168,000: Replaced air conditioning evaporator.

    Misc. repairs included a tail-light lens (probably done in by a shopping cart); an exhaust pipe hole; and the sunroof stuck open. The car's current repair needs are the transmission O-rings and rear pinion seal.

    I also had complete services done at 120,311 and 150,951 and tires at 128,061 (Michelins, w/alignment) and 155,406 (Toyos, holding up fine). Oil changes all done on schedule.

    ONE MORE THING: The "check engine" light was an intermittent annoyance beginning the day we bought the car. The EGR valve is bad, but I'm going to wait till the engine needs more major work before replacing it. The car runs fine and starts good. We don't have emissions testing where I live. When the A/C evaporator was replaced, they dismantled the entire dashboard, and I thus had the opportunity to "fix" the check engine light. I'm sure this is pretty common. I wish I had thought to ask them to replace the front stereo speakers also! They are worn out.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
  • Well, I'm not entirely happy either. The dollar figures are more impressive than the number of repairs.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    don't think I was being smart -

    When you buy a 120,000 mile "anything", even a Mercedes, there will certainly be maintenance and repair costs you wouldn't see at 30,000 miles, even without a warranty.
  • The Maurcedes is a great car, and I've owned a lot of cars. I could put up with the repair costs if premium fuel were not so high.

    Is there anyone out there that's tried running theirs on medium-grade fuel? I hate to switch with so many miles on the car. But I'd like to hear from any folks who have.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    will prevent pinging (detonation). You can do it, and you'll lose about 2% of the performance. Not a problem, from what I hear.
  • greenie7greenie7 Posts: 12
    Im moving from a completely faultless Acura RL into an E320. I have not made the change yet and after reading about mechanical failures of MB maybe I shouldnt. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    and can assure you that the new prospect will not be "completely faultless".
  • retnavretnav Posts: 25
    Join the club. I traded a 2000 RL on 28 Jan for a Pewter/Charcoal E-320. My RL was a fine car and I debated over a month about selling. So far I am very well pleased; had to go out in snow and ice this week and the car did just fine. I have only 300 miles on this car so what do I really know. Nevertheless, in March 2002 I bought my wife a 2002 Subaru Outback. Reading the Subaru boards gave me real concern, and I debated for a couple of months. Finally bought that one and it has been a magnificent car, my wife is a convert though at first she was very skeptical. So my feeling is these boards are very useful in giving you things to look out for, discuss with the sales and service people at Mercedes, but in the end these are cars and things do go wrong with them. I really do like the drive of my mercedes ( but rear wheel drive is different from FWD), the fit and finish, and the styling. Who knows if I will be sorry--- my Acuras were very reliable cars. But, I am 71 and just wanted to try MB. As my salesman said,"look around, there are a lot of older Mercedes driving out here. They must be pretty good cars". Good Luck !
  • carnaughtcarnaught 'zonaPosts: 2,327
    The CD changer "died" on my 2003 E-class today following a brief muffled sound. It is totally unresponsive even though the Harmon-Kardon radio still works perfectly. Anyone else have this problem; if so was the CD &/or radio replaced?
  • carnaughtcarnaught 'zonaPosts: 2,327
    Got the car back today. It was in for two days waiting for a "part". CD changer is back to working flawlessly (hope it lasts). Dealer was exceptional at providing loaner and with general customer service. BTW the ML320 (the loaner)leaves much to be desired and did not enhance my opinion of MB.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    guys with Toyotas gripe because they get a Chevrolet rental car......
  • hgphgp Posts: 11

    I have a 2001 E430 Sport and the steering wheel is making a rubber to rubber sqeuaking/grinding noise and it is pretty annoying. It is intermittent and it sometimes gets louder. Has anyone seen this?

  • cduongcduong Posts: 70
    #115 of 118 CD player by carnaught Mar 01, 2003 (9:56 pm)
    The CD changer "died" on my 2003 E-class today following a brief muffled sound. It is totally unresponsive even though the Harmon-Kardon radio still works perfectly. Anyone else have this problem; if so was the CD &/or radio replaced?

    My CD player in my '96 E320 went dead a month ago, and the radio still works... After a quick inspection, I found out that the connection of my CD in the trunk came loose and got disconnected... Now it's woorking again. You may want to check the connection. Good luck
  • carnaughtcarnaught 'zonaPosts: 2,327
    My car has a different set-up than in your '96 and the CD was fixed after a part was ordered.
  • Brought my 2001 E430 into the shop the other day because of a braking problem. Dealer is telling me that front rotors are warped and the rear ones need replacing. What a crock! 27,000 for rotors. How about 50,000 for rotors. Anyway, after a discussion with the service manager, he is having MB pick up the bill on it.
    Also had to have the driver seat frame replaced too, seems to be a common problem in E class.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    that's pretty much an average mileage for rotor warpage, if not even earlier.

    On the bright side, the GM, Ford and DCC owners are having to replace theirs at 15K!
  • jeffk9jeffk9 Posts: 22
  • r1_97r1_97 Posts: 181
    You're facing typical 1st model year bugs. MB also has let quality control slip badly since Chrysler merger. Check you state's lemon laws. Maybe you can get your money back or a new car. Document all the problems.

    Let go of your cap lock key. Save your shouting for Mercedes not us.
  • Zueslewis, if you told me my Kia needed rotors at 27,000 miles I would chalk it up to it being a cheap car, but this is crazy! My family and I have owned MB cars since 1984 and I can tell you than it has been a downhill road we have travelled. 50,000 should be more like it. Chevy cars last longer. Not good in my eyes.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    I understand completely, but EVERY manufacturer has switched over to much thinner brake rotors for ease in meeting CAFE standards. Once again, the beancounters have removed common sense from another car maintenance equation.
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