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Mercedes-Benz S-Class



  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    To read all these negative posts. I've long admired these cars and had had planned on buying one next time I'm in the market. The Lexus LS430 is too glitzy inside...and i-Drive? No way!
    I'm stymied about what to plot for now....
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I was wondering what happened to you and your replacement S500. Really unfortunate. Do you still have the 2003 SL500? I'm scared to ask how it has held up if you still have it??

    You are exactly right about the S-Class, and what you've described isn't all that uncommon with the 2000-2002 models. The 2003+ model was gutted of the things you had problems with, especially that troublesome Comand system. Mercedes got a new supplier for it and the Airmatic suspension parts were overhauled. I'm really curious to see if there are any 2003+ S owners here and how their cars have been?

    The warranty costs for the S, ML and 2001 C-Class have come home to roost.

  • aglaagla Posts: 2
    My dad likes Mercs.Had a 1987 420 sel and a 300td since last fall.he bought /traded these for a 2000 320clk with 10000 miles and it runs perfect.Also bought a 2000 s500 amg options on a 43000 miles.As of today he has had to replace the hydralic pump on the self leveling height adjustment and associated relays.He insists on buying S class but as of today he losing or lost
    complete fate in the car.I don;t know what to say- beatiful car but this is 3 pumps in three months- an insult to any mercedes owner.Anyway to delete/ drive this car without this feature or ???
    My dada wants to sell it and trade it for a e class or a BMW 5/7 series.I would like for him to stay with this car- but the quality is not what it was on his 1987 420sel. ANy more surprizes I need to know on my fathers 2000 S500.Anyway to stop this continual failure?Our mechanis says it was a poorly made oem pump Thanks agla
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    I sold the SL500 over a year ago. It was more my wife's idea.. lol. I should have kept it over this beast of a car ( S500 ) but I have kids in college now so they come first. The SL 500 did give me a few issues. CD player started operating intermittently. Roof would not lock in place a couple of times, they said it was a loose bolt. The black panel on either side of the rear window began to get caught anytime I retracted the roof and would bend and then snap back into place making a loud popping noise. That was fun! They ended up replacing both thos plastic strips or panels or whatever they call them, claiming they weren't installed properly at the factory. The tire pressure monitor had to be recalibrated. It was wayyy too sensitive. Litereally every single morning it was telling me either to add air to one tire or another. You couldnt ignore it because it lit up the dashboard in red until you hit the reset button. I paid over 100 k for that car. I loved it but I' am so over MB quality issues. I was on my way to work this morning and saw the new CLS 500. An older lady was driving it and parked at 7-11. She still had 30 day tags on it and guess why she parked in 7-11 ? She had a warning light on and was on the cell phone with the service department. I was going to tell her how beautiful a car it was and good luck with it, and she looked at me and rolled her eyes and said I'm on my way to service now!!!.. As my grandmother used to say. " Its a shame before God" They make arguably the most exciting cars in the world, but they put them together with duct tape and chewing gum....
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well that is very troubling to hear, but I think they'll sort this out. So dare I ask what you're next car will You still have the 2002 S500 right? Is is "fixed" now or does it still have problems?

    The CLS500 is indeed a gorgeous car with a better build than any other current Benz sedan, and the electronics should have been sorted by now, gee whiz. I wonder what warning light exactly had lit up???

  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    Now thats something I have had trouble thinking about. I mean honestly I love the MB styling and I'm used to all the controls and everything else. But I can't sacrifice time and money running back and forth to service. I'm afraid to drive the car out of town now. I will be getting rid of the S 500 in August. I still don't like the body style of the Lexus LS430. If they did something with the body I'd buy it in a heartbeat. Im 41 and still young and not ready to resign myself to the LS430/Cadillac/Lincoln Town Car/ Buick crowd. lol. I still get carded when I go out sometimes.. I am thinking about the new INfinity SUV the Q56 or whatever it's called. Went to the showroom , got the brochure and yada yada yada. The new CLS500 is gorgeous. Even moreso up close, and the price is right, high 60's low 70's. I repeat, I will never buy another 6 figure car as long as I live. MB isn't the only company with quality issues when it comes to cars priced in air so thin people get light headed when they look at the sticker. A client of mine who has more money than Prince Charles has had his share of issues with Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini , Bentley and others. He finally just bought a bus and hired a driver and called it a day... lol. It seems that what has happened ( according to Wall Street Journal ) is MB changed its focus from quality and started focusing on market share. The philosophy being we'll give them a full warranty that will cover minor issues the car may have. Problem is the issues weren't minor at all. Almost everyone I know has had problems with the airmatic suspension. The SL's has issues with the automatic top. Everytime I go to service I see scores of new acrs in teh service department. While I don't have evidence that they are all having quality issues, I don't see as many new cars in the Chevy service department when I go to get my conversion van serviced before a family trip. Funny thing happened. Chrysler was considered the problem child of Daimler Chrysler, so they focused their resources there thinking MB would stand on its own. Then Chrysler became the cash cow with the advent of the new 300 and MB is crashing and burning. The CEO of Daimler CHrysler is slated to retire sometime in the near future ( They don't fire incompetent CEO's the give them a gazillion dollars and send the out to pasture ) and they are supposed to be replacing him with an engineer that has a reputation for quality. It will probably be at least 3 to five years before the market starts responding to quality proclamations from MB again. I for one am not buying it. I've had this car for 3 years and it's been in service for non scheduled items at least 9 times now. The 2001 that I made them buy back had been in at least 8 times in 15 months. The Sl had been in at least 3 times in less than 18 months. The SL had less that 15,000 miles on it when I sold it. I'm done.. those of you who are die hard fans or are just enamored by the styling etc... good luck.. I'm done until I see that the have returned to their roots of building quality automobiles that can last for decades.....
  • aglaagla Posts: 2
    First of all my appologies to my spelling. It was 3 am when I wrote that message the other night.I did not reread my errors! Following up on the hydralic pump failure on my dad's 2000 S500.It was the airmatic that failed 3 times in 3 months.My dad called Merecedes's main number and got a number to speak to a top warranty tech, he then acted as if these issues are odd and passed the info to the local South Florida rep about the airmatic problem.I read now this is a constant issues from various posts.I believe we are getting the run around now from MB .The post above sums up issues with Daimler/ chrysler these days.Now personally I have 2 Bmw , one with 300000
    miles since 1989 running perfectly as a work horse
    and a newer 1998 M3 that runs without any one issue for years.But the new BMW designs I can not recommend since they are so but ugly!So I do not know where to have my dad go trade in his S500.
    And frankly my dad and I do not see any japanese car as safe in a crash like a big german sedan.
    Is there an aftermarket fit to the airmatic becasue the oem stuff is horrid,Thanks AGLA
  • dornocdornoc Posts: 1
    did you end up buying this car?
    I am looking at a 1994 w/ 74,000
    curious if you had any feedback?
    i have been hearing horror stories about a/c evaporator core.
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    I drove an S430 last week, and was very impressed with the smooth, quiet ride and the handling. One thing that I did not like, though, was the transmission. Driving around town, it seemed like it did a lot more hunting between gears than I'm used too. Slight changes in the accelerator position would produce upshifts or downshifts that were extremely annoying. Is this normal?

    I hear all these stories about terrible reliability of MB cars, but my brother has more than 20,000 miles on his CL600 and has never had it to the dealer for repairs. It's just one data point, but it seems significant to me. The CL600 has every bell and whistle available. I've driven it a couple of times and didn't notice any transmission problems, but it has the old 5 speed.

    One other impression: I ran a test on the S430's NAV system to see how well it would calculate a route, and I was extremely impressed with how well it did. I have not at all been impressed with the Lexus nav in my LX470. Yes, it has touch screen inputs, which is nice, but what good is that if it can't calculate good routes?
  • Hi, I've been reading alot of these messages and finally decided to register and say something myself about Mercedes.

    Mercedes Benz is probably the best car ever made in my opinion. It was the first car I ever sat in the driver's seat of when I was little and I drive one to school. (yeah I drive the car to my highschool) Yeah my dad bought me a 1986 M-Benz 420 SEL with about 120 k miles. and I'm only 17 years old! This car is in mint condition, the former owners were senior citizens and obviously kept good care of the car seeing that there's absolutely no rust or any signs of damage to the engine. I will probably trade this car in for a year 2000 or up S500 or S600 as soon as I finish going through Air Force basic training, complete four years of active Air Force duty then save up for a down payment for one.

    I was also wondering how I could add more horsepower to this car...I was thinking about adding another air intake system but then I'd have to re do the muffler system as well to get all that air out efficiently.
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    Has anyone seen an S-class with an antenna installation other than the ugly black blob in the middle of the trunk lid?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Mercedes has re-introduced the S350 to the U.S. market for the final S-Class run:

  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    I don't know why Merc didn't do this sooner. My sister has had two of these SWBs over the years-an '83 and a '92.
    Sometimes the S-class back seat seems a little TOO big....
    I've been hoping for this smaller sedan for a while;shame that right now there seems to be so many disgruntled S owners-at least here. I've been plotting for an S-class for a while now...

    I've looked at the picture again,and I'm not sure it is in fact on a shorter wheelbase...I hope it's at least decontented a little...
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    I wonder why they didn't put the new 24 valve engine in it. As far as the SWB, the LWB car has far more rear seat leg room than needed, imo.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yes the new S350 is a short wheelbase model. This car is just a place holder for the next generation S350 which will have the new generation V6 rated at 268hp. Sometime during 2007 Mercedes is going to add direct injection to all of their "petrol" engines, and that should push the V6's hp closer to 280. This was a rare move to introduce a new model of an outgoing range so close to the end of production.

  • 2000 S430 - put a lot of miles on a trip recently, and now i have these problems, all at once:

    Power steering falters and weakens
    Abs light comes on
    transmission doesn't shift smoothly and slips out of gear, dropping to neutral. sometimes i have to pull over, shut off car, restart the engine, then pull away slowly to have it go back into gear.
    When the abs light comes on, the car doesn’t want to shift, RPMs rise to 3-4000 RPMs and won't drop until the transmission slips into neutral and coasts.
    Check engine light will come on and then later shut off for a period of time.
    The SRS light will also come on every once in a while.
    none of these problems are consistent, however they all seem to be related. it even seems that the cars is more likely to malfunction when it has less than half a tank of gas???
    any thoughts or experience with this combination of problems would be greatly appreciated. thanks.
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    I don't know what is going on with your S430, but I did have the airbag light come on several times. They replaced the entire air bag in the steering wheel after trying twice to make the light stay off. After finally getting a tech from Germany to come over for my car and several others they found that the wire that triggers the ABS warning light was frayed because of the way it was installed from the factory. I've had several gremlins with the S class' I've owned. They all can be traced to some elsectrical malfunction or relay. The engine is still a good old solid MB, but the rest of the car is as sappy as they come. I hear the young man that has the MB that drives it to high school. I 'd like to remind people that most of the complaints they are hearing are from people who own a 2000 or newer model year. 2000 was the year MB began introducing it's newer product lines. The main reason they are discontinuing the free maintenance is because they have been bleeding money repairing non scheduled items with all the cars. MB is seeing red and is trying to stop the red ink from flowing. ALthough they have experienced great sales advances it is because of the image they have built for themselves that echos their history and thier past. Unless this new CEO does something to restore product quality soon, MB will go the way of the dinosaur. I left the lexus dealership yesterday and I'm waiting for the 2007 LS430..They are introducing a long wheelbase LS that will compete head on with the S500-600 series. ... more horsepower, more car, and light years ahead of MB on reliability, and more of my money stays in my accounts. I bought these cars thinking I would be out of the market for at least 10 years.. but thanks to MB.. I'm 350k poorer and I still have to buy 2 new cars over the next 18 months.. a word to the wise.. if you're looking for a long term ownership experience that won't become like a bad marriage to a gorgeous gold digger, stay away from MB...
  • I'm wondering why absolutely nothing, I mean nothing was said before hand. It just seems like MBUSA put it up there. Edmunds shows nothing about it. Not even a press release has shown up. What's the deal?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Not sure, and nobody I mean nobody saw it coming. I guess it was a last minute decision to test the market for a 6-cylinder S-Class again. Its just a placeholder car imo.

  • paldipaldi Posts: 210
    Is the S part of the recall? What are the details? What brand, size alternator is being replaced and with what?
  • im confused...who would buy the S350 over the E350 when it is equally fast, same amount of room, and has all of the same features and cost over $10K more? Is it ONLY for people who want the S name? :confuse:
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    I recently went to my nearby MB dealer to see the new E350. Just sitting in the car I could see that it wasn't nearly as nice as an S class. There are a lot of differences, the kind you can see and the kind you can't see (like the air suspension of the S class). I would guess that the S class rides smoother and quieter, in addition to other differences. It is too bad, though, that they didn't put the new 24v engine in the S350. I presume it will get it eventually.
  • aren't all of the materials and electronics the same? I do know what you mean, after sitting in them both though.. however imo its not worth $10K..they should have made a short wheelbase S430
  • wbreaux1wbreaux1 Posts: 55
    I echo the prior comments about what the S has that the E doesn't, but I am intrigued about the dimensions. The swb S is almost 9 inches longer than E, with more than 4 inches more wheelbase. Yet the legroom is about the same as E, and cargo room is actually a bit less. The S does have significantly more shoulder room and better rear headroom. The space must just be used less efficiently with the shape of the S.
  • tsawyertsawyer Posts: 1
    My wife is suing MBUSA under Maine's Lemon Law for her 2003 S-430 4-matic with AMG package. She purchased this particular car for monthly commutes between our home in Maine and Savannah, GA ... in all weather.
    Her Command System fails to "wake up" regularly, but intermittently. In fact, it's been "repaired" now 10 times in 24 months. When it failed the 11th time, we asked for help on a replacement and got the Cold Shoulder from MBUSA. Now, we believe Arbitration will award her $90,000 for her car (original purchase price less minimal depreciation over the past 47,000 miles in two years).
    I'm searching the 'net for as much informaiton as I can find to present to our Arbitrator regarding similar failures (oh, her transmission leak needed major repair within 180 miles and her front strut failed late one night outside Winston-Salem while driving back to Maine!)
    Any insights you can provide would be truly appreciated.
    BTW: We've owned 14 MB's over 30 years and still have a 2003 CLK Sport and 2002 E55 in the garage next to her S-430 ... never again!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    There is absolutely no excuse for this. Ten times for the same repair. Mercedes should have at least steered you to another dealer. This dealership is ridiculous imo. There is no way I would even want to see a person back that many times for the same repair if I were the service department manager. This car should have been bought back by MB many repairs ago. Somebody still doesn't get it.

    Dare I ask how the CLK and E55 have been?

  • park3park3 Posts: 1
    What do you think about getting extending warranty on 2002 s430 with about 25000
    miles. Is it worth the money.
  • lmallardlmallard Posts: 2
    My 2001 S430 is suddenly CORRODING in many spots(door panels, wheel wells and trunk). At 57000 miles, Mcecedes Rep said "too bad" -beyond warranty.
    A 50K warranty of corrosion is way under the 100K of a KIA !! Do they really want me driving this rust bucket around town?
    Ideas, anyone?
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    did you purchase the vehicle new from an authorized dealer? If so, they should be willing to go to bat for you with their local reps, since you're their customer! If you are the 2nd or more owner of the car, and purchased it privately or non-CPO, then their rationale is that anything could have happened to that car while under other ownership, and it's "too bad."
  • gleunggleung Posts: 7
    I just purchased an used 2001 S class with 36k miles. It's a great car. However, after only about 50 miles on it, I notice that when it gets to about 60/65 mph on the freeway, a constant bumpy vibration starts to occur. I initially thought it was just the rough pavement. But then after a while, I realize that even on newly paved highways, the vibration continues. My question is: is this a common problem with our S-Class owners? Will an rotation/balance of tires solve this problem or is it a more underlaying "design" problem that we all face? Your opinion/experience/suggestion is greatly greatly appreciated. Should I bring the car into the local tire store for a rotation/balance or should I bring this into the dealer and pay them thru my nose... or shall I consider selling the car??? :-(
This discussion has been closed.