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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedans



  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    Tmorales, Marsha7.... Mercedes changed the placement of the letters starting in the 1994 model year. The leters appear before the number on all classes (1994+).

    2010 Land Rover LR4, 2013 Honda CR-V, 2009 Bentley GTC, 1990 MB 500SL, 2001 MB S500, 2007 Lincoln TC, 1964 RR Silver Cloud III, 1995 MB E320 Cab., 2015 Prevost Liberty Coach
  • Appreciate your response. The information you provided may help me when I take it into the dealer once again on Monday so they can install sound proofing. If it is operating as designed but is making noise, maybe this will fix it. If not, this will be the third time they have had a shot at it and one was for four days. If this attempt does not make it quiet, then my next step is to apply to the State of Florida under the lemon law. Still looking out here for another 2003 E320 owner who has been faced with this same problem.
  • Hello all...
    I'm currently on the market for a 1995 (prior to the heinous '96 redesign!) E320. I am looking for one with 70-90K miles on it for a weekend car. I understand the 3.2L 6 is a highly reliable engine. I'm amazed at the deals out there (>$15K). I'd love some input from '95 E320 sedan owners about your experiences, issues, and suggestions. Thanks in advance!
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    I saw a 1994 E320 on eBay 80K miles Reserve price $8250

    This appears to be a Florida car in very good condition. Check ebay motors item #2443589508. 9 hours to go as of 10 am Eastern time on Sunday.

    There is also a 95 about the same mileage in Richmond. Buy it now price $9800 for sale for two more days.

    There's an E300 Diesel too.

    Good shopping!
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I happen to think that my 96 has classic beauty. It caused many other manufacturers to copy parts of it's looks, from the 4-eye front to the sloped edge rear light assemblies. Also, the 96-up model has a couple inches more room in many interior dimensons.

    Re: the 3.2L engine (the 96 & 97 have the same engine), it is not as durable as others would have you believe. It has a generic problem with the head gasket and many of them need a new gasket between 100k & 150K. Mine needed it at 116K and I was able to get it done for "only" $1350.. That was at my dealer and others quoted from $1600-$2000. Also, the grounding of the coils on the head is problematic. It just cost me $130 to have a mechanic tell me that one coil was not grounding correctly causing the Check Engine message as well as running kinda rough at times. He put some conductive gel under the coils so they wouldn't do that again.

    Good luck in your search...
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    It is one of the more beautiful sedans ever made. Period.
  • Anyone considering Keyless Go on a Mercedes should think twice. If you have it, everytime you open the door (to enter or leave) a very annoying alarm will go off reminding you to take your key. The ability to open your car without taking out your key is not worth the continuous annoyance everytime you enter or leave the car. Mercedes refuses to do anything about it.
  • bobk15:

    I tried a demo car E500/2004 last week with the Keyless go. I don't hear the annoying alarm you mentioned. Maybe there is some thing wrong with your car ?
  • I agree w/ bobk15 regarding the annoyance of the beeping sound alarm. The only way to stop (that I am aware of) is by pushing the RESET button on the dash. I wish it's programmable.

    With that said, the Keyless Go is pretty cool feature I find.
  • Everyone agrees that there are some problems with the E Series. Three Questions: Are the electrical problems mainly in the interface between the NAV and everything else? Or are the electrical problems more fundamental (such as an alternator) and such that the car can't be driven.

    Secondly, are there problems specific to certain years within say the last three years.

    Finally, about the "head gasket" problem, when I read posts (e.g., Microrepair) about dealers quoting $1600 to replace the head gasket, does that also includes rebuilding the cylinder head because "as long as it is off and needs to be resurfaced we'll do the head too."? If it doesn't include what used to be called a valve job and more correctly should be called rebuilding the head and they are charging the poor fish who buy MB because "they scream success" (to use an earlier poster's description) $1600 to remove the head, resurface it so it will hold a gasket and then put on a new gasket, wow! Someone should email Elliot Spitzer to look into this after he gets finished with mutual funds.
  • How much discount can you get for '04 E500 4matic? What state?
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    Hey, whaddya want for a measly $1600 ??? I feel pretty good that I only had to pay $1350 to my own dealer.. I RAN away from the independent mechanic who started at $2000 (including a valve grind) and was hinting at $2400 if the valve bushings and seals needed to be done. I've never heard of anyone having any valve problems on any MB so I felt safe doing without the valve job. So far it is running great with almost 8K miles since the head gasket job.
  • Microrepair, I would love to see what the flat rate time is to remove your MB head, dissassemble it, clean it, check it for straightness, scuff it up some so it will hold a head gasket, and then throw it back on.

    Lets run some numbers. Lets assume that the MB flat rate time is 11 hours which works out to $1000. The rest of your bill ($350) we will say was for new gaskets, new fluids (although in truth the old antifreeze was just poured back in) , the head resurfacing done down the street (no Virginia, car dealers don't have cylinder head resurfacing machines), an "environmental charge" their CPA thinks is a cute way to run up an invoice, and maybe a valve or valve spring they had to replace.

    Now, if the technician had the right impact wrenches (you don't think that they work on these things with gentle hand tools, do you?) laid out, how long could it have really taken him to rip off the head, bring it to a bench, strip it, send it out for resurfacing, then reassemble it and reinstall it? Maybe 4 hours? If the warranty labor rate was $85 per hour and the mechanic received a third of this (including all benefits, health, workman's comp etc.) then the guy with the air wrench picked up maybe $350 for a morning's work.

    This reminds me of the conversation between a physician and the plumber: "Gee, $125 to fix someething in 5 minutes? I'm a doctor and even I don't make that kind of money!"; "I know", says the mechanic, "neither did I when I was a doctor."
  • Have had my E320 a month and a half have 2500 miles already. Weekend driving ... Car does it all well.... get the sport package! Find a road and just go the car will cruise to 110 in a heartbeat....
  • r1_97r1_97 Posts: 181
    and cruise along @ 110 mph?
  • R1_07, a lot of people associate New York state with urban areas. But in fact it gets real lonely in lots of places including the Soutern Tier, Upstate, the Finger Lakes, etc. To do a burst up to a buck ten first pick your weather and then try the New York State Thruway between Albany and Utica or I87 from Albany to an hour above Binghampton.
  • ray_h71ray_h71 Posts: 212
    "The canister's don't burn off the gas as I understand, they purge the gas vapors collected in the canister charcoal to the atmosphere."

    Well, you're half right, footie - the fuel vapor recovery canister doesn't burn off the fuel vapors. But, the vapors are NOT vented to the atmosphere, either. The vapors are stored in the canister's activated charcoal.* Depending on ambient temperature, these vapors may condense back to liquid in a liquid/vapor seperator. The recovered liquid gasoline is directed back to the fuel tank through a dedicated line. However if it's too warm for the vapors to condense, they're periodically directed into the intake manifold by the purge control valve as pressure rises, to be burned normally by the engine. At NO time are fuel vapors intentionally vented to the atmosphere. (The EPA would just love THAT!) That's the whole idea of the fuel vapor recovery system in the first place.

    *This is why you never want to top off the tank until the filler neck is full. The excess liquid fuel will be forced by normal evaporation pressure build-up through the return line to the charcoal canister where it will be absorbed by and foul the activated charcoal. (Think of it as the automotive equivalent of acid reflux we've all experienced after unthinkingly indulging in a wedge or two of pepperoni/anchovi/pineapple pizza just before hittin' the sack. Oh, my bad - this is a Mercedes forum; none of you people do anything like that...) In some cases it won't be able to clear itself, the engine won't run right, and the owner'll be looking at pricey fuel vapor recovery system components replacement. On a final thought, this system is dependant on proper sealing - including the fuel cap. These caps have a ratcheting one-way clutch. When replacing the cap, ALWAYS turn it tightly enough that the ratchet makes several loud clicks - that's the only way you know it's sufficiently tightened. Don't worry about the clicking noise - it's intentionally designed that way so it can be heard above the din of traffic going past the service station. Nothing's broken.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    You are right. Purging to the atmosphere would be an EPA baddy.

    I read it wrong. The quoted part of my post it says that the top of the cannister is connected back to the engine so that the manifold vacuum can bring air through to purge it.

    I like that explanation better than relying on some drip system to drain the gas back into the tank.

    I am not trying to be argumentative, but the issue here is why is this guy's E is making an awful sound and I don't think that has anything to do with the gas cap. That sounds like something a sales guy at a dealership would say.

    My money is still on the purge valve. I think it's cycling too often and at the wrong time.

    A look at the OBD II profile might show the blips if it were accurate enough.

    Too much guess work for me and a problem that shouldn't be occuring in the first place.
  • kevinc5kevinc5 Posts: 204
    Any recommendations for independent service shops for my 75,000 mile 2000 E320?
  • r1_97r1_97 Posts: 181
    San Diego is a big city. I live in North County (Encinitas). I've used Charlie's Foreign Car Service - 2d Street- Encinitas. 760-753-4969. We've had them service our '98 and 01 E-320s. Only used for oil change, brakes etc. No major work. About 15-20% less than dealer. Never had a car for 75k miles.
  • In 2001 both my friend and I leased new vehicles. His was a Ford SUV and mine an MB E-320. His lease is up in April and he is getting all kinds of offers to turn in his vehicle early and get a new lease for which they will forgive up to SEVEN (7) monthly payments!

    My MB lease is not up until September. Should I expect any similar treatment or will Santa Claus together with the Tooth Fairy arrive at my house first?
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    of mine about the possibility of buying a used E320/430, or even an older mid-90s model, and the first words he blurted out were: "you want to spend all your time hurting your back sitting in a wooden church pew, you go right ahead and do it."...while I realize that a 15-30 minute test drive can be deceiving, are these MB seats like wooden church pews after 3,4,5 hours driving??? ...even before possibly owning one, I thought that a Benz would have fully supportive seats, with a multi-dimension lumbar support (absolutely necessary for my lower spine), similar to a Deville or Seville...what's the verdict from owners???...comfy support with lumbar support after 5 hours, or wooden church pews to cripple and materially harm one's weak lower back???...thanks...
  • jfz219jfz219 Posts: 63
    The opinions about the seats are all over the map. I have driven 950 miles in one sitting and was very impressed with the support of the seats. I have to admit that careful adjustment of the seat cushion and back is very important. I also admit that I change the position periodically.

    Friends of mine who also have the E-class have not been happy with the seats. The most consistent praise of seat design comes from Volvo and Lexus LS drivers.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I think yours is a classic example of needing to experience the cars for yourself, instead of listening to everyone else.

    If you like Cadillacs seats, chances are you won't like a Mercedes' seats. They, especially back during the years of the models you're looking at, were as different in design and theory as possible.

  • I have a 2001 BMW 530i that is coming off lease. As with many others, I am really put-off by the appearance of the new BMW 5 series. I am giving very serious consideration to the 2004 E320. I have spent only a few minutes behind the wheel of a 2004 RWD E320 -- not enough yet. I should have an opportunity for a more extensive test ride in the near future.

    I'd like to ask a few questions -- especially for those of you who have experience with both cars.

    First, tell me your views on the sport suspension which is only available as part of the appearance package. I've never found it necessary to get the sport package on my BMW sedans. One issue that I have with these packages (both the BMW and Mercedes) is that they include high performance tires that are most certainly not intended for winter driving. If I go with the Mercedes sport package in order to improve the handling to something that gets closer to what I am used to, have I just assured myself of the need to change my tires to handle the winter in Chicago?

    The BMW has a near 50-50 weight distribution and it has been easy for me to handle in all but the worst winter weather in Chicago. I've never bothered with snow tires. My neighbor, with a 1999 or 2000 E320 complains about how his car handles in the snow. Maybe this difference is attributable to different expectations or driving style and not the cars. How is the RWD E320 in the snow? What is the weight distribution? Can you compare the snow handling of the E320 to the 530i?

    I am intrigued by the availability of 4Matic on the E320. Years ago, when I lived in the northeast, I had an Audi 4000 Quattro. The all wheel drive was great and the car handled like a champ year-round. What effect should I expect the 4Matic to have on acceleration, braking and fair weather handling. I have no doubt that it will make the car much easier to handle in foul weather. Because the 4Matic is in limited supply, I may not have an opportunity to drive one in the near future. If the RWD and 4Matic versions of the car have a similar feel but for the ability of the 4Matic to handle foul weather better, I might consider ordering it without driving first (although I'd really need to be confident).

    The timing of my lease is really complicating matters for me!


    -- Rich
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    Marsha7-- After four years of ownership and 23,000 miles, my seats are great. I've driven the car 1,800 miles on a 3 day trip once and I found that the "multi-contour" seats with the airbag system were wonderful.

    Rich-- My E430 has the sport suspension and I wouldn't buy it again. The car has a tight/rough ride. Of course, you can probably go a around a corner at 60 MPH and not lose control because the car hugs the ground. I like the look of the trim work around the car but the ride is rough.

    2010 Land Rover LR4, 2013 Honda CR-V, 2009 Bentley GTC, 1990 MB 500SL, 2001 MB S500, 2007 Lincoln TC, 1964 RR Silver Cloud III, 1995 MB E320 Cab., 2015 Prevost Liberty Coach
  • Traded an S430 for an 03' E500. Seats were a problem but after 3 wks found the correct setting for me. Interestingly, my wife's E320 wagon was just fine(seats) but her new Volvo xc90 is superior in comfort. Bottom line is that you really do need to sit in the car for at least the amount of time you commute to work.
    Hey rerobbins, was in your boat if you have been reading posts. E320 with sport really gets you the air matic suspension which is why I went E500(standard). It's really nice.Comfort setting is Lexus plush and tight setting is close to BMW. $ for $ you may get more MB now. By the way 4 matic feels the same.
  • What do you mean by 4Matic feels the same? Are you saying that it doesn't really detract from the handling characteristics you described?

    I'm a bit concerned that in order to get the airmatic suspension in the E320 I will need to order the appearance package, which includes some sort of high performance tire that is designed primarily for dry pavement. My fear is that I'll end up with a car that's not as reliable on wet or snowy pavement and that I'd need to invest in another set of tires for the winter -- even if I go with the 4Matic. What do you think?

    -- Rich

    -- Rich
  • Can't tell 4matic is on car I test drove but I don't have it.If you are concerned with weather as I was, sport package is a pain. Did you consider an E500 2003. I got mine $6k under sticker . Sounds close to a built up E320. I have no issues in snow so far here in Cleveland. Slip diff works great.
  • I'm confused.

    I thought that the E320 sport package included the airmatic suspension and high performance tires and that both of these are standard on the E500.

    Are you saying that the E500 includes the airmatic suspension but tires more suitable for all season driving?

    -- Rich
This discussion has been closed.