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Mercedes-Benz E320 Issues

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

    2) Not likely.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 Posts: 1
  • 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 MassachusettsPosts: 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 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 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.
  • :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.
  • 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?
  • 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

  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • I have the same problem as you had. What did you do to correct it?
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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 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.
  • Thanks for your information. I'll give it a try.
  • rramonrramon 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 Posts: 5
    I have the same problems on my 2001 E320. Where can I find out if the recall includes my model.
  • MB dealers have a list of all recalls.
  • Is it possible for the general public to search MB's list of recalls covering the malfunctioning of the display?
  • 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?

  • Approx cluster cost $1,000. Shop around independent MB repair shops. Some can do repairs on cluster problems. Also do internet search.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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