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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Maintenance and Repair



  • chaim3chaim3 Posts: 4
    Has anyone had any experience with the EC (economy mode) button stuck on the activate position? In this mode the compressor does not operate, so I get no cooling. Since repeatedly pushing the button does not deactivate it, as it should, is it a bad switch or perhaps a malfunctioning compressor. The car is a 2000 E Class, bought new and just out of warranty (of course).
  • nashpittnashpitt Posts: 2
    I have a '99 E430 Sport with radio/phone/cd changer/tape player.

    I need to replace the rubberized radio knob. Mercedes says they don't make part. That I can only purchase the whole radio!

    Does anyone know where I can find just the knob?

    Thanks in advance
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I own an 83 300 SD turbodiesel which I drive to work. I ran across similar oddities as your knob. When I lost the clock reset button, I was told that it is not available separately and that I need to buy the whole instrument cluster!
    Also, they do not sell the hold down nut for the air cleaner. They will, however, gladly sell you the whole air cleaner assembly for $400 (with the 8 cent nut on it). The taillights on my car have plastic inner bulb holders with plastic retainers. These plastic bulb holders easily break if you are not careful. Of course, they are not available separately. You must buy the whole taillight assembly for hundreds of dollars. Fortunately, in my case, there are a lot of these vehicles in junkyards so I can get little parts like that cheap. Another abomination on my car is the dash wood trim. It has started to delaminate, and nobody sells aftermarket trim for this car (not even after 20 years). The replacement kit is available from MB dealers only for about $ 1,000!!!! For three pieces!!!! As these cars get older the part prices do not necessarily go down.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    You are so right about today's cars being over gadgetized. Electronic components have certain failure rates and because many applications are not exactly considered critical, the manufacturer will accept lower reliability on these components. You should not have all these problems in a $ 60K car.

    My $ 26K '98 Nissan Maxima SE, which I bought new has never been back to a dealer for anything, the car has 60K miles, still has original brake pads and I just bought the first set of new tires at 58K miles. Could not ask for a better or more reliable car. Not even a bulb has burned out in 5 years, nothing fell off, no rattles or squeaks, flawless Bose casette/CD system, great performance with consistent 27MPG in combined driving with A/C on.

    I also own an '83 300 SD turbodiesel MB and love the simplicity of the car. No engine computers, no catalytic converters, no fancy gismos, no throttle by wire, and it will run as long as it gets clean fuel and air. Heck, the car even has a manual engine shut off lever in the engine compartment in case your vacuum operated engine shutoff valve fails.
  • dcman2dcman2 Posts: 24
    I own a 2001 E320 with 14k miles on it. Never had any problems with it. However, the other day while pumping gas, I noticed a message flashing on the display window that read "ABS/ESP malfunction, Go to workshop". The wording may not be exactly right. But you get the idea. The message stopped popping out for a couple days and resurfaced again. One day my wife took it for a drive. There was a light drizzle that day. While making a left turn at the traffic light, she lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle spun and took a 180-degree turn and went into a ditch. Fortunately, no vehicles were around at that time- so no damage done. I am guessing this may have to do with malfunctioning of ABS/ESP which could not keep the vehicle under control. Took the vehicle to the dealer. The dealer fixed the problem, says that the malfunctioning is prompted by a stop light module. I did not quite understand how a stop light malfunction causes a brake malfunction. Anyway, after service, the mechanic tried to start the car. The ignition does not recognize the key and the car refuses to start. The dealer is ordering a new key. Any of you ever had a problem like this? I am real frustrated that the reliability of MB is not up to the mark.
  • Talk about putting the cart before the horse, I just bought a 2002 E320 4-matic demo with @10,000 miles. I have owned three maximas which were nearly repair free. What repair / maintenance items should I keep a look out for? Thanks for the advice.
  • penpowerpenpower Posts: 4
    MB is no better than other auto makers. My 93 Camry began to show up this brake disk problem at 90,000 and the 97 Volvo-850 has 67,000 on it, but still no problem. Suggest not to run your car through a pond of water when the brake disk is hot (e.g. just coming down the hill).
  • brenda30brenda30 Posts: 1
    Can anyone offer advice on what these are and estimated cost to repair the following messages:

    Lamp Defective Message?

    Check Engine?

    Just bought the car!

    Thanks for any feedback.
  • cduongcduong Posts: 70
    134 of 134 99 E320 4-Matic Repairs by brenda30 May 06, 2003 (3:58 pm)
    Can anyone offer advice on what these are and estimated cost to repair the following messages:

    Lamp Defective Message?

    Brenda30: Please check where the lamp defective is, If it's the front side (yellow cover) then you can replace it for $1 in 1 minute.
    Good luck
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Like most newer vehicles today, when the "check engine" light is on, you need to take it to the dealer to download the code from the engine computer to find out what the problem is. There are dozens of possibilities here. The light merely alerts you that something has failed. It could be one of many sensors in the engine, it could be anomaly in some subsystem. Anyway, hope it is nothing major. Good luck.
  • loungerlounger Posts: 32
    We also have a 2003 E320. The tele-aid warning light was on. They replaced the tele-aid control unit.

    After that, the lamp did not turn on for a while, but then intermittently began turning on. I complained again, and they told me they could not duplicate the problem.

    They did "flash" the computer that has to do with FSS. The warning light has not turned on since then, which has been a couple of weeks.

    Generally the car has been great. However, I am not as happy with the brakes, as the SBC makes the brakes feel touchy on first applying them, making them feel not as smooth and linear to me as the brakes on a car without this electronic system.

    I wonder what the market response would be to a Mercedes with a lot less of the electronic gee-whiz stuff.
  • jeffk9jeffk9 Posts: 22
    I agree with you on the brakes, I also do not like the "noises" the braking system makes. They tell me its normal. How is your stereo working ? Ours keep going out even after the audio gateway was replaced.
  • I just purchased a 1999 E430 and it's perfect except for the disintigrated radio knob. I guess I should have called first. I didn't think for a minute that I'd have to purchase the whole radio for the 50 cent knob! Did you ever find one? Perhaps at the junk yards.
  • loungerlounger Posts: 32
    I have not had problems with the radio, jeffk9. I like the single CD in the dash, as opposed to the trunk mounted CD changer in the prior body style. This car does not have the in-dash CD changer. The design of the changer is not the best since you cannot load CD's into the changer if the car is in Park.
    When I open the door of the car, there is loud pump sound (an ugly groan sound) which I think is related to the SBC (electronic brake system). We also have a VW Beetle which makes a much quieter pump sound on opening the door, which in that case is the fuel pump.
    I hope you get the radio problems worked out. Have you contacted someone above the dealership at MBUSA to see if they have a zone representative to help you?
  • haspelbeinhaspelbein Posts: 227
    I have a '96 W210 E-Class with only minor problems. (Can you say "lamp defective" ?) However, I just recently had my rear window smashed by somebody who obviously thought that it was too nice of a car to sit out on the street. (I normally have a Ford truck for the not-so-good parts of town.)

    Cleaning the fine glass dust out of the interior is a royal pain. Not that it is Mercedes' fault, but does anybody else have any problems with vandalism against your E, more so than with your other cars ?
  • jeffk9jeffk9 Posts: 22
    I could swear that I have loaded cd's into the indash changer when the car is in park ? The car is filled with noises like the one you described when the door is opened. I really think there are a lot of things that they could have done better with this car. My guess is that within two or three model years they will eliminate some or most of these noise and make the car faster. I have not yet been in contact with the MBZ area rep. They do not want to give me his name !! I am still deciding if I just want to live with the car or give a full court press to return it.
  • loungerlounger Posts: 32
    My mistake jeffk9 if you are able to load CD's into the changer while you are in park. Keep us posted on what happens.

    hi haspelbein. We have a 2003 E320. Someone took something sharp and put a long scratch in the door, which looks like a pretty deliberate action.

    I am in Miami, FL.
  • benzownerbenzowner Posts: 20
    I had someone Steel the star off my hod once. So when I went to get it replaced ,I got one that I could remove and put in the glove compartment.
  • haspelbeinhaspelbein Posts: 227
    My wife once saw somebody try to pull it out. But that guy left when my wife approached the car. How much is a replacement hood ornament by the way ? (Seems like a silly thing to replace, doesn't it ?)
  • msantmsant Posts: 3
  • jeffk9jeffk9 Posts: 22
    msant, I have been making the same complaints to Steigler. They tell me it is the way the car is. Glad to know I'm not alone in the valley.
  • hgphgp Posts: 11
    Folks, I had my steering rack replaced on my 2001 E430 and after i got the car back, the steering wheel is off center (about 1.5 cm) and it seems "lighter" than before - with more play. Do you have any suggestions? The car doesnt seem to be out of alignment. Thx!
  • msantmsant Posts: 3
    to: jeffk9...this noise and power loss wasn't evident in the demo. ride or mentioned by the sales people. a true flaw in the veh.. back to lexus next time.
  • I agree that the new ones suffer from too much technology. I recently bought a 1995 wagon, and it's just on the edge of being too complex. Many, many years ago, I had a 1968 230. I miss that car.

    The ultimate gizmo that MB should make is a automatic-retracting hood ornament so that the hooligans can't steal it. Or with all those electronic whizbang doo-dads sitting idle whent the car is off, run a couple dozen volts through the star, so they'll think really hard about swiping more than one.
  • netranger4netranger4 Posts: 149
    Am considering purchase of the following two vehicles and need some advice from M-B owners and possibly Jaguar owners if possible. Have been advised that the 88/89/90 300 Series M-B are virtually indestructible. T/F? Have heard same input on the 91/92/93 XJ-6 Jaguars. Both cars are within my budget. The M-B has 115K (1989) and the Jaguar has 85K (1992). Any input is most appreciated.
  • carnaughtcarnaught 'zonaPosts: 2,404
    I'd pass on both unless you have a mechanic on retainer. These are both very high maintenance high expense cars.
  • q45manq45man Posts: 416
    Assume both brands will need $3,000-$4,000 in repairs to get them back close to functioning somewhat like new. Then around $200 per month to keep them that way......if you were thinking V8 add $50 per month.

    The period 100k-140k is when things like transmissions, AC, radiators, fans break and all the rubber isolated suspension arms are worn and sloppy.

    Think of the purchase price as just the ticket to spend the same amount soon on maintenance and repairs.
    Plus usually owners defer shock replacement prior to sale.

    Why does a car depreciate to 10% of its new MSRP.cause its 90% worn out.
    The problem with old cars with low mileage is the rubber components and hoses break down from age and exposure to oxygen in air- heat just accelerates the process.
    If you gotta buy a 10 year old car get an LS400 [92-93] at least it will cost you a little less to get and keep right.
  • Used to drive an Audi 2000 2.7t. Nice Car and Audi will make good on mistakes.
    Was persuaded by friends to try an MB E320 2003.
    While it's a pretty face, looks are deceiving.
    Never again.

    MB CANNOT retrofit this car with the Nav system as initially claimed, AND WILL NOT READILY DO ANYTHING ABOUT THIS ENGINEERING AND MARKETING FIASCO UNLESS ONE WAS FOOLISH ENOUGH TO PREPAY for nav( i.e. loan MB $2000) for a product with an unannounced delivery date. (Called paying for vaporware in my field.)
    Mislead about the availability of a Nav system on the E320,2003 even tho' my car is "pre-wired" for Command system. Dealer blames MB, "who has essentially told us new product adapters to jump in the lake.
     World class service?-No way! It's the is the worst I've seen and reminds me of the old Chrysler. And the service center is "not required" to tell me who the "PROPER PEOPLE" to whom they are forwarding my complaint are.
    Dealer David Michael (NJ)is unwilling to do anything about this. It's the "not my problem" phenomenon. ""IT'S MB'S fault"
     By the way MB 2003 is SLOOOW from 0-30mph.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,488
    I bet somebody will, though.

    Haspelbein-- I think the point is not that digging into the rear seat is "easy"--the point is that the battery is not with the rest of the engine, so it would require a special "trip" just to check the battery.

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  • pvh3pvh3 Posts: 15
    Thanks for setting this chat up. If you look at the other chat regarding the NAV/COMMAND problems you will see that you are not alone.

    I too have a 2003 E500. The only options are the sport package and premium sound system. I also subscribed to the teleaid. The car wasn't even 2 weeks old when the "teleaid defective visit workshop" warning came on.

    Well, the salesman told me that was a known problem, i.e., a fauly teleaid modulation unit. Long story short, got that repaired but the malfunction still comes on even though the teleaid is working. The regional rep told me just 2 days ago that the fix that my dealer applied recently was not the right one and as of right now there IS NO FIX FOR THIS PROBLEM!!! Sheesh.

    In addition, my sound system goes out periodically. The first time it happened I took it to the dealer and since they were able to duplicate the problem, they just replaced the entire stereo system. However, now that the problem is intermittent, they refuse to do anything since they can't duplicate in the shop.

    I am going to try the lemon law approach but I just want my money back. I absolutely, positively do NOT WANT ANOTHER BENZ. I was leasing a brand new SL500 before this and it had a ton of problems as well. The only difference was that all of the problems got fixed. As the woman from the other chat says, "very disoncerting."
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