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Mercedes-Benz S-Class



  • Thanks for the feedback.

    Do you happen to recall what kinds of problems they had with their S600s?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Oh yeah..... Air Conditioning, and various items relating to the power windows, and the multipass system, that controls everything on one screen. Sure dig that keyless entry/ignition system though. That's way cool!
  • smrmersmrmer Posts: 2
    I have a 1999 S320 which requires premium unleaded fuel. Seeing how the gas prices are becoming out-of-control, I was wondering if regular Unleaded or ever super would damage the fuel system?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    No damage to fuel system per say, but your car will run slower and only ultimately use more gas if you drive in a way to compensate the loss of power. Modern cars are readily able to deal with crummy fuel, but like any other car a Benz will run slower on less than the required octane.

  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    And, I always have to wonder, when I see this question, what it is about a Mercedes owner, who is into Premium cars, but is too cheap to buy the gas they were engineered to burn? You will also not "improve your performance" in a Camry if you buy Premium for it either. Engines are tuned for a specific octane for optimum performance and economy. Any voluntary monkeying with the recipe of the food will only cost you, now or later.

    You may have reasons we aren't aware of, so I'm not trying to be judgemental, but every auto engineer who is worth a gallon of unleaded will tell you it's best all the way around to buy the fuel the car was designed to run on. If you can't handle that, you should get a cheaper car, generally.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    >> what it is about a Mercedes owner

    This is not limited to owners of any one vehicle by any means. This question comes up in nearly all of the vehicle-specific discussions here in the Town Hall (and I'm sure it's a common topic in the fuel related discussions as well). :)
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I wasn't trying to be rude, or isolate Mercedes drivers per se, it's just that this is the forum we're in, and what they drove.
  • smrmersmrmer Posts: 2
    Yes, I own a MB. Unfortunately when one states that they own certain makes/models of autos people (in general) tend to act differently towards the owners. That's why I distinguish my cars by the size, not the name. I keep my cars for 10-15 years so I wanted something which would stand the test of time. My prior car was a Nissan Pulsar (13 yrs. old at the time it was donated to charity). I Know have a family consisting of very tall people so our transportation and comfort needs are limited. By the way, our MB was purchased used so I paid a lot but not the "ungodly" amount a new one goes for. So, please understand that not all luxury car owners have more money than they know what to do with.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I understand, and if your luxury ride is 10 years old, it may not matter so much the fuel you use in it, but my engineer friends still maintain, that if the engine in your 10 year old Benz is tuned correctly, and for Premium 91 octane fuel, it will run best and most efficiently on 91 Octane, and you save nothing over time by feeding it 89. I'm sure there are lots of folks out there who do, and the consequences aren't horrible in most cases. But they tell me, and I believe them, they went to school for years to understand the molecular physics of the functions of fuel and energy, that you don't actually save money by skimping on the fuel, nor do you help an engine by giving it a "treat" of 91 octane when it is designed for 89.

    That's all I'm saying. I didn't to insult anybody, nor am I a John Kerry elitist either. If the car is on its last legs, who cares?
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    I'm not sure that you can guarentee getting better mileage from using premium. The reasoning is while the premium would allow you to exploit the max power from the engine, in the cases where you were cruising I doubt it would make much difference. I doubt that the ignition is managed such that it drives right to the point of knock during cruising. There really isn't any additional energy released by the premium short of pushing the knock envelope. Around town where the engine would be more heavily loaded would be a different story.
  • I'm considering buying a '97 S320 with 76000 miles on it. Currently the agreed purchase price is $20,500. Is this a good price to pay for this car with this many miles? All the services are up to date. The car has had 2 owners and it was originally a lease car.
  • Hello. Turning in my wife's 1999 S320 in July after its lease expires.

    Are there any significant differences between 2001 and 2002 S430? Also we don't need the power, as she is satisfied with the current S320, so are there any other differences other than power between the S430 and S500 for those two years? Thanks in advance. Larry Dunn
  • Larry,

    I don't believe that there were any marked differences between the 2001 and 2002 S430. However, the was a slight refresh of the some exterior lines and accents and possible some slight interior modifications in 2003.

    I personally would focus on the fact that MS was having some problems with the electronics and centralized navigation system in the S-Class in that period and they might have gotten things ironed out better by 2002. Also, initially my memory seem to recall that they had a CD-based navigation system and later went to a DVD-based system but I do not recall which year it was. A gentlemen who goes by merc1 and posts regularly here should know more exactly when electronics and other S-Class changes were made.

    Other then that I would just focus on the mileage, price and your color preferences, etc.

  • jaymjaym Posts: 1
    Hello all:
    I'm currently on the market for a 97-99 S420...(a W140 body if I'm not mistaken?) I've found one locally priced at about $22K with 66K miles (a 1997 model). I've driven the model before, but I'm interested in hearing from current/previous owners about the reliability of the sedan and any trouble spots I should look for in a used model (97-99). I have several friends and family members (none of who've owned MBZ mind you) warn of heinous maintenance issues and costs. I understand parts and service costs are rather high, but nowadays even taking a Ford to a dealership can be expensive! Thanks to all in advance, I appreciate hearing from you.
    R/ Jay
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    The later the better. They had an expensive air conditioning problem (the evaporator leaked). Required disassembly of dash. By '99 I'm pretty sure it was cured.
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    I have had the great displeasure of leasing three MB vehicles over the past 4 years. The first was a 2001 S500 with AMG sports package. It was a demo and a good deal so I decided to do the deal. The car had 1800 miles on it and was nothing but a nightmare. First the COMAND system went totally blank and had to be replaced. The phone handset went blank next and had to be replaced, the tail lamps kept burning out for no apparent reason. The fuel guage would not register full and had to be replaced. The suspension system went out, twice. Then the catalytic converter had to be replaced. I then took the car back and to avoid a lawsuit they gave me a great trade in value and I leased a 2002 S500V with the exact same features. Last week lo and behold the suspension goes out. The car has 38000 miles on it. I took it to the dealership and they repaired it and I got it back Monday. Thursday of the same week as I'm picking up my wife from the airport, I get the warning message " Stop, car is too low" the suspension system again. In between these two vehicles my company leased a 2003 SL 500. Beautiful car, but the cd player worked intermittently. I was driving on the expressway on a beautiful day and was stuck in a traffic jam. I go to let the retractable roof down and walla.. the trunk mechanism wont lock into place, so I had to drive to an important meeting with my trunk half up. Needless to say I have hired a law firm to have a friendly discussion with MB. " Mercedes Benz, Unlike any other!" Yeah. All the other manufacturers build quality vehicles or announce recalls to correct known deficiencies. My wife has had 2 Lexus GS's and we had 1 problem, a defective oxygen sensor that they replaced. Other than scheduled maintenance the Lexus vehicles have never given us any other problems. I've been at the MB dealership so often I feel like I work there. A word to the wise that are shopping for vehicles. IF you purchase a used MB make sure you buy the extended warranty. It will save you a ton of money if you plan to keep the car. IF you really want to be wise, don't buy a MB at all. The reputation for reliability they once were known for is a thing of the distant past. It's as though they have swapped identities with Jaguar.
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    Thanks for the heads up. Can you tell me exactly what failed on the suspensions? Was it the compressor or the struts themselves?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    or any number of hoses, pipes, joints, elbows, and fittings in between?
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    To answer your question about the suspension, according to the tech notes on my copy of the service receipt, the relays had gone bad and had to be replaced. Apparently these relays are computer chips that constantly monitor the weight distribution of the vehicle and adjust the ride height accordingly. Like I said before, my first MB was a 2001 S500 and it had the same problem. The warning sign was a very loud noise coming from the wheel wells as the compressor was struggling to adjust to a certain height and apparently couldn't make up it's mind about which height was correct, and then walla, a low rider S Class that high school and college kids think is really cool when you drive by.. lol... by the way, my wife and I decided against suing. No offense to the lawyers in here but it will just be an added expense with a long drawn out case. If there is a class action suit started we will definitely participate. I recommend to all of you if you purchase one of these vehicles get that extended warranty for about 2k or so. The car is a wonderful machine when it isn't malfunctioning, but the next vehicle will definitely be the Lexus LS430. 25k less, all the bells and whistles and no service issues. No offense to loyal owners of MB but I've owned both and Lexus wins in the quality build department hands down. If only Lexus would create a new body style that doesn't look like something my dad would drive......
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    Thanks for the details.

    If Lexus would only create a car that drove like a Mercedes, better yet if only Mercedes would make a car as reliable as a Lexus....
  • acco20acco20 Posts: 211
    With no disrespect intended, " if only Mercedes would make a car as reliable as Mercedes once was"........
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    See the June Motor Trend for the next gen Lexus LS. I think you will like it. I just took a 2004 LS lease to set me up for the 2007 LS redesign. But the next LS may arrive as early as 2006 with a lot of variants, including a long wheel base version and poweful hybrid engines as well as a $100K super LS equal to a 12 cylinder.

    MB has to get their quality and reliability back at least partially. The bulletproof cars of the past are what MB is all about. I think it'll only happen if they cut back to a nore manageable production level. I've leased nothing but Lexus since 95 and yes they've all been letter perfect. But I'd like to put a CL or SL in my garage alongside an LS and GX. It'd make for a great garage and it would be nice to experience the greatness of both manufacturers at the same time. But its posts like your earlier ones that scare the heck out of me.

    Good Luck.
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    " if only Mercedes would make a car as reliable as Mercedes once was"........

    True indeed. How quickly we forget....

    And to think my dad bought his first Mercedes because he was so tired of poor American car quality. Like piston rings that wore out in less than 50K miles
  • washington2washington2 Posts: 10
    I have just purchased a 2000 S430 51,000 miles on it. I traded in a 98 Lexus LS400 with Nav. Excellent reliable car. I Bought the Mercedes from Carmax with the 36 mos/36,000 Maxcare Extended Warranty. Is there any specific problems to look out for in this year car? I also looked for a Lexus LS430 with Nav. But got a better deal on the Benz surprisingly.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Good luck with your new ride. There is a reason why the 2001 LS w/Nav was higher priced. For one, it is a year newer than the MB, and it has a higher *perceived* quality than the 2000 MB. You gotta pay for quality.

    Just for reference, my good buddy just bought a 2004 E320 Black/black, to add to his 2000 E320 white/tan, bringing to 4 the number of cars in his garage. His 2000 E has been stellar in reliability. Of course, he's only put on about 30K miles in 4 years, with no problems to date. That gave him more confidence purchasing another MB. On the flip side, I know of a wife of a colleague who purchased an '03 E320 last Sept., which had been nothing but trouble. The car has spent more time in the shop than on the road. Major trouble: electrical. BUT, she still swears by her MB. So I asked her why ? Her response: That was her 50th birthday gift from her hubby ! Another buddy of mine continues to drive his 1997 S500 to date, with 120K miles on the ody. Loves it like a second wife !!
  • I have a chance to pick up a spotless 2002 S600 with all the options. Sport package, distronic, radar, etc. The mileage is what has me hesitating to buy, but on the other hand, is also the reason I can afford it. It has 69,500 miles, but is Starmarked to 100K. I put on about 24K a year, so might only get about 16 months before the warranty runs out. I can get this beauty for around $58,000. What would the value be in 2 years with approx 120K miles? Does this sound too good to be true? Thanks in advance for any opinions.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Auroraborer, also try asking Terry in Real-World Trade-In Values - take a look at some of the other posts so you'll see what info he needs in order to give you his opinion.

    Good luck - let us know what happens!
  • bryan3bryan3 Posts: 2
    Hi: Try This is an excellent source for s class. You will be very pleased.Good Luck.

  • Hello all,
     I looked at a 95 S320, I noticed that the doors and trunk are not pneumatically closed as my 93 S320. Did Mercedes stop this feature in 95? I didn't see the headlamps wipers. Please let me know if something is wrong with this car or it's just the way it's built.

This discussion has been closed.