Mercedes-Benz E320 Issues

spiritdspiritd Member Posts: 1
Hello! I am looking to buy a new vehicle and was leaning towards the Mercedes E320. I am looking at a 2003-2004 model of the vehicle and I have a couple of questions:

1) If the car has 20-50k miles on it, then will that mean it'll be problem free?
2)Could I put a MB navigation system in it later if wanted? How much would that cost?


  • nedzelnedzel Member Posts: 787
    1) no. There's still plenty to break and MB parts and labor are expensive.

    2) Not likely.
  • bobsgoodlifebobsgoodlife Member Posts: 2
    When a passenger sits in the front seat, the seat bag light goes on on the dash and on the console. The local Mercedes service center gave me a price of $496 to replace the switch for the driver side airbag and also justified this work by telling me that the airbag would not deploy with a passenger sitting there if the light is on. Anyone else have this experience? Am I being taken? Just bought the car and, otherwise, like it a lot.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Member Posts: 1,134
    I can't say positively that the front seat passenger would be in jeopardy of the bag not deploying in the event of a collision, but is it a chance you can afford to take? A non-immediate family member (or his/her next of kin) who is injured or worse in a collision (even if it's not your fault) might make you wish you'd popped the $496.00 it'll take to set the matter right. At least get a second opinion from another Benz dealership.
  • bobsgoodlifebobsgoodlife Member Posts: 2
    Yeh, I have decided to just eat it. I have my doubts about these guys even though they are an "authorized" dealer but I completely agree with you. Thanks for getting back to me.
  • paschapascha Member Posts: 1
  • jstebbinsjstebbins Member Posts: 3
    I own a 1995 E320 sedan with 150,000 miles and have owned it since 95,000 miles. The car has been fantastic! Recently; all power windows, power roof and windshield wipers stopped working all at the same time with no warning signs (just stopped working). Does anyone know if there is a relay or something that may be linked to all three? Any useful information would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks, Justin
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsMember Posts: 508
    Geez, we must have the exact SAME car!! I just had the same experience with the second cat converter 2 months ago at 84K miles. I chose to have my neighborhood mechanic replace it and saved about $100 with him. My dealer gave me the same story, even Starmark wouldn't cover it.. The first one failed at 47K and they paid for that one..

    And I have the same problem with the temp display in the warm weather; some of the segments in the numbers don't light up so some days I can't tell what the temperature is. Seems to be OK in the colder weather though.

    Have you ever had the alarm sound off when you opened the driver door when it was UNLOCKED? It has happened to me 7 or 8 times in the last year. My dealer can't seem to fix that or the right side rear view mirror that won't tilt down when you back up.. I've only asked them to try once on those, and they claim to have replaced switches but that didn't fix them.. :cry:
  • holewholew Member Posts: 71
    I have a 2001 E-320 MB sedan with 60,000 miles. While the car has performed properly for the most part, recently crazy items have failed.

    Both rear power window motors stopped working and had to be replaced. The dealer said the cause was that they were not used often enough and that was the reason for their failure. I have heard some lame excuses in my time, but a part fails because of none use. PLEASE GIVE ME A BRAKE!

    While driving home from the dealer after getting the power window issue fixed at $400 per window, I noticed a loud strange noise as I turned into a parking space. After this noise I could not turn the steering wheel. the car was towed into the dealer where it was discovered that the bolt which connects the steering wheel shaft to the steering gear under the hood had failed. It completely sheared off.

    This is turning out to be one of the most undependable cars I have yet owned. To think that its original new cost was over $55,000 and now have a critical part fail is most disturbing.

    This is the first and last MB I will buy. My Lexus cars have been by far better built and significantly more dependable.
  • holewholew Member Posts: 71
    Unless you must have a MB since it has been a life long dream of yours, all I can say to you is good luck!

    Twenty years ago MBs were the best on the road but in the last 10 years their quality and dependability have gone down hill significantly. The number of miles on it is absolutely no indication that it will be problem free. My experience is, that the more miles on it the better the chances are that there will be more problems in the future. If you want a dependable luxury car buy a 3 year old LS430 Lexus with 20k to 40K miles on it. You will never regret following this advice.

    As for adding an after market GPS there are many available today. Some merely stick on the dash or windshield and a good one can be had for as low as $300 to $400. The Garmin 4040 is an excellent unit. However if you want one that is built into the dash they are available as part of a new radio and will cost about $1500 and up. The only real advantage of the built-in units is that most have larger screens then those mounted on the dash. Circuit City has both types of units on display. Also do a search on the INTERNET to learn more about what is out there.
  • blackbirdboyblackbirdboy Member Posts: 2
    :confuse: I changed the battery in my E320 and now the alarm will not reset. I can even get it to turn on and start. But the alarm still tries to activate. Is there something I can do. Thanks.
  • mac2002mac2002 Member Posts: 17
    I own a 2001 E55 AMG. I know that Mercedes in North America does not recommend trailer hitches, for whatever reason. Still would like to get one installed so I can tow a small trailer. has one listed here:

    Anyone installed one on theirs?
  • pky6471pky6471 Member Posts: 4
    I have a '96 E320 with key problem. This just happened couple days ago, I replaces the (key) battery and it still does not work to unlock or lock the car. Anyone has this problem? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

  • pky6471pky6471 Member Posts: 4
    Not sure if there is a time delay after changing (car key) battery or not, but it's working as normal now. I did not have to reprogram anything... Thanks All
  • benzdoctorbenzdoctor Member Posts: 1
    You've got to be kidding. A trailer on an E-55? Sure it will work. The lights for the trailer may be a bit tricky to work out without affecting BAS ESP and the Lighting Control Module.
  • sseell2sseell2 Member Posts: 9
    My grandmother is offering to 'sell' me her 1996 Mercedes E320 with only 15,000 miles (she can no longer drive). I am a Toyota Camry/Honda Odyssey owner and have never considered a Mercedes until now. The E320 is rear wheel drive and I live in a winter climate (roads are mostly clear) in the foothills near Salt Lake City. Any comments on the reliability of the E320, winter handling, history of problems from previous owners ... would be appreciated.
  • ssandstromssandstrom Member Posts: 1
    I have the same problem as you had. What did you do to correct it?
    email [email protected]
  • edischyedischy Member Posts: 1
    My 1996 E320 had a similar problem. The radio and windshield wipers stopped working intermittently. It took the dealer 3 days to find out it was caused by a bad ignition switch. I don't remember having trouble with the windows or sunroof but since my problem was intermittent, I may not have been aware that they weren't working.
  • pky6471pky6471 Member Posts: 4
    My '96 E320 has 85K miles on it. When it's cold (<35F outside) the steering wheel seems to have a squeaky noise and a little bit of resistance to turn the wheels. It probably takes 30 seconds after start turning the wheels to feel normal again. Absolutely no problem during summer.

    Any thoughts and suggestion on this issue?. Thanks
  • jrl67mfljrl67mfl Member Posts: 5
    I have a 200l E320W, 3.2 Ltr., V-6, engine model W210 (M112) Sedan. This past winter the digital outside temperature guage on the instrument panel ceased displaying the temperature figures. I reported the problem to the Mercedes dealership repair service and asked for the cost to repair. I was told the entire instrument cluster needed to be replaced to the estimated cost of $1,800. At the time I didn't think it was necessary to view the outside temperature at that price. I have since had a conversation with the Dealership's General Manager who confided that he had a similar problem and all that was necessary was to change a cable. He said he would talk with the Mercedes Representative due in the following week. He did call me and, unfortunately, confirmed that, although earlier models could be repaired by replacing the cable, it would be necessary to replace the entire instrument cluster but was willing to "ease the cost" a bit. I felt the cost was prohibitive and declined his offer. Any insight from those that indicated they had a similar problem? Has Mercedes stepped up to the plate and fixed the problem at no cost? Is the problem the result of Chrysler's influence in the German machine?
  • greasykid1greasykid1 Member Posts: 336
    Have heard that there are some independent shops that can do a repair for your problem and not have to replace complete display. This is all I know. Forget about Chrysler.

    Suggest that you join the Mercedes owners club. You can read their site but cannot post unless you are a member. I have solved several problems with the help of this membership.
  • jrl67mfljrl67mfl Member Posts: 5
    Thanks for your information. I'll give it a try.
  • rramonrramon Member Posts: 5
    I have had same problem in that I have lost pixels from temperature display as well as clock display. Repaired once while under warranty. Present problem will cost in neighborhood of 1K to fix.
  • rramonrramon Member Posts: 5
    I have the same problems on my 2001 E320. Where can I find out if the recall includes my model.
  • greasykid1greasykid1 Member Posts: 336
    MB dealers have a list of all recalls.
  • jrl67mfljrl67mfl Member Posts: 5
    Is it possible for the general public to search MB's list of recalls covering the malfunctioning of the display?
  • valrockvalrock Member Posts: 1
    When my odometer was suppose to change to 70,000, it changed to 170,000. I've been told this is the intrument cluster. Any thoughts? Estimates to repair?

  • greasykid1greasykid1 Member Posts: 336
    Approx cluster cost $1,000. Shop around independent MB repair shops. Some can do repairs on cluster problems. Also do internet search.
  • gsdesignergsdesigner Member Posts: 3
    Hello. My name is Greg and I purchased a 2001 E320 with 68000 miles in September. I have always wanted an MB and finally got one. Since purchasing it, I have released a brake light switch to get the BAS/ESP light to stop coming on and a slip ring in the steering column that was supposed to stop the noise coming from the steering column. I bought an extended warranty with the car, but I wondered if anyone has experienced the noisewhine in the steering column. It only happens after the car has warmed up and is only on the interior. Could it be a matter of something needing lubricant?? I have taken it to a local mechanic that was highly recommended, but I think I will be looking for someone else to service my MB.
  • greasykid1greasykid1 Member Posts: 336
    DO NOT go to a regular mechanic to service your MB. You need someone who specializes in MB's.A good local MB specialty shop should be OK. If not start with MB dealer. Repair screwups on MB call be VERY expensive to correct.
    Strongly recommend that you join the MBCA--Mercedes Benz Owners Club. Only $45/yr. Good tech support available.
  • gsdesignergsdesigner Member Posts: 3
    Thanks. I will check out the MBCA. I did go to a MB specialty shop, but I'm not satisfied. My next stop will be the local dealer.
  • wAlly_IN_kOREawAlly_IN_kOREa Member Posts: 1
    I do have same problem as you say we don't need it""""
  • tom626tom626 Member Posts: 2
    My 1994 E320 runs well except for the cold idle issue. The car starts immediately anytime. However, when it's first in the morning, the engine would halt as you shift to drive and press the gas pedal. The idle speed is about 500 rpm and you need to press the pedal for a fast idle (over 1500 rmp) of one minute or so before shifting to drive. The car has a check engine light on. It has been like this for several months. I am not sure what is the problem and how to resolve it.
  • tom626tom626 Member Posts: 2
    My 1994 E320 runs well except for the cold idle issue. The car starts immediately anytime. However, when it's first in the morning, the engine would halt as you shift to drive and press the gas pedal. The idle speed is about 500 rpm and you need to press the pedal for a fast idle (over 1500 rmp) of one minute or so before shifting to drive. The car has a check engine light on. It has been like this for several months. I am not sure what is the problem and how to resolve it.
  • CGaritoCGarito Member Posts: 1
    Ok this is my first E-320 with 30k on second day with the car. shows a "Malfunction of electrical consumers" What could cause this issue.
  • rmb2rmb2 Member Posts: 2
    I would recommend you think long and hard since you're a Toyota/Honda guy. The Germans live in a different universe from the Japanese as far as cars go. I've had BMWs, VWs, Nissans and Toyotas and have a 2001 E320 Wagon 4matic; I would say that by a very long shot the Japanese cars have it on reliability over the German cars with the exception of VW - had only one water cooled model - Scirocco which as great and a pile of aircooled versions over the years. If you're getting it right, with right meaning under $4,000 or $5,000, you might be o.k. Expect 100-200 month average shop fees minimum. Every time mine goes in it's a grand which really sucks. The engineering on MBs is amazing but that doesn't pay the rent.
  • rmb2rmb2 Member Posts: 2
    Could you please elaborate on this part of your message of 11/20/08? "Since purchasing it, I have released a brake light switch to get the BAS/ESP light to stop coming on. . . ". Did you replace a brake light switch? My issue is I have "2 malfunctions" on my dash readout which are the ABS and BAS systems with "visit workshop" as advices. ABS seems to be working with a couple of hard braking tries. The "2 malfunctions" came on after replacing battery with I think sits right next to ABS system under passenger side rear seat. Car is 2001 MB E320 Wagon 4matic. 100K miles. Ideas anyone?
  • pky6471pky6471 Member Posts: 4
    If it's a squeaky noise when cold (< 30F) then it could require more power steering fluid, it happened to my E 320
  • davida2davida2 Member Posts: 16
    Ok. So I have a 99 A4 Audi and am looking for a good used E320. What years had the least problems? and what else should I be looking for? Any other tips and tricks into buying? Dealer or Private seller? thanks in advance for your help.

  • cvnr28acvnr28a Member Posts: 1
    I notice that my daughter's mercedes transmission speed range select lever does not travel through the full range of settings. It will not go lower than the D - 4 settng.

    I could not move it to the 1, 2, or 3 settings. Has this happened to anyone else?

    I think that there are times in bad weather or in mountainous regions when the
    slower settings are useful.

    Maybe one of my grandchildren has dropped something into the center console that has become an obstruction.

    I did take the car to a reputable transmission repair shop and a specialist drove the car for a few miles. He said the car engine and transmission are working fine and that the problem is probably in the center console. Maybe a mechanical blockage.
  • mlipkinmlipkin Member Posts: 1
    Had this experience on my '99 about two years ago. Had to replace the switch in the seat belt, or seat--I don't recall which. I use an independent MZB shop. I think it cost me about $275.
  • sunlandsunland Member Posts: 1
    I had a Mercedes 2004 E320S wagon with 100000 miles on it that caught on fire and burned.The car was maintained by the dealer from day one. The insurance adjuster said it was either a fuel injector or fuel line fire. Is this a problem with this model?
  • captacapta Member Posts: 1
    My '00 MB won't start!! 3wks ago, the ignition key would not turn...after moving the steering wheel, directional/light levers, etc. it 'clicked', the key turned, engine started...No malfunction lights came on...everything had morning, same problem...I waited til that evening to try again...boosted the battery, called Road Assistance, luck...waited til my husband came home...started all over & finally after a few hours, they key turned, engine started.
    Bought a new battery for the car and for the key. Had a MB mechanic check the car w/ the malfunction codes appeared.
    Last week, same problem. But now, nothing seems to work. And the new battery when checked, shows there are defective positive plates. Will exchange the battery,but...what could this be?? Any thoughts. Can't get to a MB mechanic/dealership any time soon...thanks, ama
  • cleporeclepore Member Posts: 1
    i cant get my trunk open on my 94 mb e320. when i bought it all i had to do is unlock the passengers side door and it would unlock the whole car including the trunk, but not anymore.what do i do. can someone please help me out?

    also the key doesnt open the trunk from the key slot on the actual trunk is this normal.? does the key usualy open the trunk ?
  • rydinflyrydinfly Member Posts: 1
    i own a 97 benz e320 and the brake lights aren't working. the light bulbs are good. the fuse is good. i replaced the brake switch and still the lights won't work. does anyone have any suggestions?????????? :confuse:
  • james27james27 Member Posts: 433
    Two things, you need a test light or a multimeter to verify 12vdc is getting to the bulb when you press the brake. If it is, keep in mind that the ground must also be intact to complete the circuit. So, could be a broken wire in either the ground or hot, a bad switch, or a corroded connector.
  • jannisjannis Member Posts: 1
    My daughter is moving to LA to finish school and needs something safe to drive.
    We were considering a 2006 Cadillac CTS when we saw a 2001 E230 on the dealers website.
    Is it practical to buy such an old car? The price is affordable.
    Is this a car that is difficult to maintain?
    Is there much reliability difference between a 4 year old Cadillac and a 9 year old Mercedes?

  • jrl67mfljrl67mfl Member Posts: 5
    Based on my experience I would NOT buy the Mercedes. "Routine" maintance ends up anything but routine. The minute you drive into the service center you can expect them to hit the $200.00 key. What should be a simple $25.00 repair to the instrument panel is estimated to cost $1,100.00. Mercedes must have used defective or inferior parts or poor enginering decisions when they built the 2001. I've tried "working" with Mercedes' national and local reps but there is no effort to resolve the issues. The '06 Caddy CTS would be a better investment. Good luck.
  • carthamecarthame Member Posts: 1
    Finally replacing a much loved 98 Toyota 4Runner, 5 speed, with 292K miles. ( Still running great but will have first rust work ever this month.) Checked out a 2004 E320 4 X 4 wagon certified, 32K easy miles, bells and whistles! 25K. Rides like a dream. Any comments, suggestions, pitfalls etc? Warranty to 100K, option to buy two more years warranty to 100K miles
  • jrl67mfljrl67mfl Member Posts: 5
    Good luck with your Mercedes Benz. There is a reason ConsummerReports gives the ratings they do the vehicles they review. Warranty or not, there is nothing inexpensive about a Mercedes Benz. You may be wishing you had another Toyota when the maintance bills arrive. Sounds like a good price for the unit. Will you be happy with a wagon after having a 4Runner?
  • gsdesignergsdesigner Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2001 E320. I absolutely love it. I have had it for a year and a half. Am I ever glad that I purchased a warranty with this car. If I had not, I would not have been able to afford to keep it. My warranty runs out in September. I doubt I will keep it much longer than that. To date I have replaced the steering rack, brake light switch, ABS/BAS/ESP module, slip ring in steering column, brake booster sensor, vacuum kit for rear headrests, and had a repair done to the A/C. I hope this will be all for a while. I purchased the car with 68K and currently it has 83K. I would have never dreamed I would have this many repairs on a car of that status under 100K. Make certain you get the warranty.
Sign In or Register to comment.