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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Maintenance and Repair



  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    I happened to read most of the Avalon discussion within the last few weeks. I had considered the Avalon as a potential replacement for my aging E class. I was not exactly impressed with the purity of the Avalon after reading numerous complaints about the shocks, brakes, body noises and rattles, and tires in the first 20-30K miles on many of the recent Avalons. Given that it is a modified Camry, which has an exemplary record, what explains the numerous problems with the Avalon?

    I currently also own another Toyota product, the Matrix, and in the 18 months we have owned it, it has been near perfect; two tires wore out in 16K miles, which is abominable in this day and age, especailly when the exact replacement is $92 each from Tire Rack.

    I actually test drove an Avalon 5 years ago but ended up buying the 2 year old MB E class instead. The Avalon was one of the most sluggish cars I had ever driven. They claimed it had 200 HP, but a few years earlier I had owned a Mazda with 122 HP that would have run circles around the Avalon; it was a much stronger drive system.

    As for the current Avalon, given that it is about to undergo a major upgrade in late winter to a new 2005/2006 model, I just don't want to jump into buying a near obselete model with infant failure problems. My E class had no significant problems until it had 115K miles on it.. Which is the longest I've ever been able to keep a car.. I'm about to buy another used E class, because of the superior ride/handling/driving feel as well as the great warranty out to 100K miles. And it is relatively economical too; my current E class gives better gas mileage than our Matrix that has 40% less power...!!
  • greasykid1greasykid1 Posts: 336
    Recently purchased w/ 14,000 mi plus Starmark 4 yr 100,000 mi.warranty. So far no problems. Dealer included new Michelin XGT-4 tires. How do these tires compare with similar tires. Size is 235/45/17.

    Any comments on "sport" suspension. Ride is very acceptable--not hard. Anything else that I should be aware of---good or bad?

    Previous owner ran it thru car washes so I have little scatches in the black paint. Looking for suggestions on how to remove scratches or minimize them. Responses appreciated
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    Yup, I pick up my 2001 E320 tomorrow with 37K miles and heated seats, Bose, and CD changer. I also have Starmark and extended the time period to closely match the expected 100K mile mark. Mine has new Michelin MXV4 tires and when checking them on Tire Rack's website, they and the XGT4 model are listed as "standard" level of quality, so to speak. I was hoping for new tires at least in the performance rating category, not necesarily ultra-performance, but better than "standard".. Oh well, next set will get upgraded..

    Re: swirl marks in the paint. My 96 E320 (to be loaded on a truck for Florida within the hour) was dark blue and I had good luck with the Zaino brand of polishes and compounds. One of their steps is a n aultrafine rubbing compound that will reduce the visibility of the swirl marks. There is a discussion group in Edmund's on it; check it out..
  • greasykid1greasykid1 Posts: 336
    Thanks for the info
  • My E320 had a flat tire last sunday at 1pm in good weather on a main street in queens, ny. I called for mercedes roadside service to simply replace the flat with my spare. The telephone representatives were most polite but couldn't have a roadside service attendant show up for 5 hours. Even worse than waiting for the 5 hours was the repeated telephone calls I made to the telephone service representatives every 30 to 45 minutes, where they repeatedly promised me that the roadside service technician would telephone me within 15 minutes to notify me of their estimated time of arrival which would certainly be within one hour. I hate to think how long I would have to wait if I was in an out of the way location or on a cold winter morning needing a jump start.Was I reading the service agreement wrong because it states that mercedes has "24-hour roadside service." Like a one hour photo place takes one hour to deliver your pictures, does this mean mercedes 24-hour roadside service takes 24 hours to show up???? Question: Should I pick-up AAA or another roadside service to supplement mercedes lack of customer service? Any other experiences with their service?
  • boiler1boiler1 Posts: 56
    A couple of years ago I ran out of gas just outside of Indianapolis. When I called MB and told them about my situation they said they would send a truck out right away. I was a little surprised at how easy it was to get things handled so I quipped, "so, you take care of your customers even if they're just stupid?". To which she replied, "yup, even if they're just stupid..." The truck arrived and put a couple of gallons of gas in my tank. Off I went. Turns out, though, I had a faulty gas gauge. Maybe I wasn't so stupid after all!
  • detroiterdetroiter Posts: 1
    I have a 03 E320 and 99 SLK. Both have been in the shop more than they should. As the inconvenience of bringing my E320 became a joke around my office, I decided to write Paul Halata (MBUSA CEO) to explain my situation (attached were 20 pages of E320/SLK service writeup). A MBUSA customer service agent called and told me "their only obligation was to keep fixing problems" (no remorse) and sent me back to the dealer. Dealer put me in contact with service rep, again no remorse and no offer to do anything more than keep fixing things when they break.

    Has anyone had any luck with buybacks, extended TeleAid (so when things break while traveling you can push a button for assistance), Loyalty Certificate rebate on future purchase, extended warranty etc... or have a person and phone number for someone at MBUSA who gives a darn?
  • I've been randomly getting this message from my 2003 E but had not been able to get the dealer t fix it because it'd never come on for me to show him. My lamps were always working fine.

    I finally caught on with it the other night. Turns out when the headlights are on and you honk the horn, the message comes on. Must be a short or some software glitch. I took the car in, switched the headlights on, gave a couple of toots, and voila! "lamp defective" came on.

    I'll let you know how he fixed it when I get the car back.. after he finds out what causes the rubbery squeak from the brakes when I step on the pedal.
  • dolphindolphin Posts: 71
    Watch out for the S-80 T6's....dealerships in the Tampa Bay area cannot repair their cars, and they are the only ones with the computers so you have to go to them...see my review on the S-80 'Run Away!'
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    Dolphin: (and others)

    I took the leap... Bought a 2001 E320... About the only other cars which fit me, have a decent trunk, have a terrific suspension and handling, are reasonably economical, and are reasonably powerful, would be the Chrysler 300 Limited, Toyota Avalon, and the Nissan Maxima. The Chrysler is a brand new model and there is a significant wait to get one, the Avalon is in the last 6 months of its current design (and is a pretty boring car), and the Maxima style just doesn't do it for me.

    The cruncher was seeing my 2001 advertised on the internet at 6K less than the showroom sticker price at my dealer. Two months ago they offered to take off 2K.. So I put my 1996 E on the internet and sold it in 1 week for 2K more than my dealer had ofered me in trade 2 months ago. So with the new 4K reduction on the new one and the increased sale of my old one for 2K more, I got the car I wanted for almost 6K less than if I had bought it 2 months ago. That savings alowed me to buy 2 additional years of Starmark coverage. I plan to trade it just before the coverage runs out in about 4 1/2 years.. Hopefully, I won't spend much on repairs or maintenance other than tires and brakes for the next four years and then I'll look to repeat the deal..

    So far the 2001 is a superior car in every way than the 1996; there are so many little improvements I can't count them.. After almost two weeks of driving, it appears to be getting 1 or 2 more mpg too.. And it has the Bose stereo; awesome..
    For now, I'm a happy camper...
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    I've had my **new** 2001 E320 for over a week now and in a little light rain the other day, I tried the rain sensor. Geez, with just a light mist it cycled the wiper with just a one second break between strokes. It was very annoying. Is it possible to have a dealer alter the sensitivity of the rain sensor so it actually waits for some real moisture to show up before it cycles the wiper?
  • glfrglfr Posts: 2
    Sorry to see this occur with yours as well but I also went through "electronics hell" with my '03 E500. In the 6 months that I owned it the car was in the shop 5 times for various electronics problems, such as the radio and CD changer not operating, various lights coming on, etc. I'm happy to say that MB Corporate agreed to swap out the car for a 2004 with a few extras, such as the comfort package. So far the car has been flawless but unfortunately I get in the car everyday and wait for something to go wrong. They've got me back as a customer but if this car doesn't operate perfectly I'm gone for good.
  • beemergirlbeemergirl Posts: 10
    I am new to this site, so I apologize in advance if this topic has been covered. I took my 04 E500 on its first road trip from SEA to San Fran, CA. I stopped to get gas and turned off the car. When I started the car again and pushed the power button for Nav and stereo, all I got was a black screen with MB logo on screen. No radio, no nav, no tel aid. Throughout the trip the system was hit and miss. I called my service rep and he told me it may be software issue or fiber optics problem. Any feedback? TIA.
  • pvh3pvh3 Posts: 15
    The kicker for me was when my '03 E500, after being in the shop 10 times for electronic problems, had to be towed from my job because after starting up, nothing else worked, i.e, no wipers, no climate control, no cig lighter, no radio, no nothing except engine and lights. MB corporate did pay 2 of my car notes when I first started having problems but was reluctant to switch the car.

    So, I am now the proud owner of a brand new 2004 BMW 645ci coupe, one of the first in my area to have one. I love this car more than my SL or my E. Best of luck with the '04.
  • glfrglfr Posts: 2
    This is apparently a major problem for MB and according to the dealership, they have absolutely no clue at all what to do to correct these issues once the car goes bad. You either get a good one or a bad one. They didn't hesitate at all once corporate saw the maintenance history of the car - they swapped it out without even arguing.

    Best of luck to you with the 645, I'm sure it's a sweet car - I'm going to take a look at it on the website right now!
  • pvellozopvellozo Posts: 19
    I have a 2002 e 320 with 20k miles and a starmark
    warranty.i have 2 questions and would appreciate any advice.
    1. when the time comes to replace the front brake pads, is this covered under warranty? if it is not covered, is it a good idea to get them replaced by a non mercedes brake shop(to save money).
    2. the front fog lamp lens cracked. is this repair coveed by the warranty?
  • boiler1boiler1 Posts: 56
    1)You are actually covered under the car's original Limited Warranty up to 50k miles. Either way, though, the warranty does not cover brake pads or rotors unless defective. As for who should replace the pads when the time comes, don't waste your money at the dealer. Just go to a competent mechanic or tire store.

    2)Sounds like you recently purchased the car. Was the fog light cracked when you bought it? If so, maybe you can get the dealer to fix it. If not, I'll bet your warantee won't cover it since they'll assume you broke it somehow.

    Good luck
  • pvh3pvh3 Posts: 15
    Unfortunately I had an intimate relationship with my MB dealership since I had so many problems with both my SL and E class. I actually cracked the fog lamp lens on both of those cars. I asked the dealer to fix it while the car was in the shop for something else. They were only too happy to do it just to keep me satisfied since I was having so many problems. They often repaired stuff that I damaged if I asked them nicely. So develop a relationship w/the service folks and they may do the same for you.
  • Got my 03 E240 back from the shop. Turns out the vibration caused by the horn, which is located right behind the right headlamp, triggers the message. They tightened the socket in which the parking lightbulb is inserted and the problem has gone away... at least for now.
  • My E320 4-matic makes a noise on the way down after going over bumps. It's like a screetching sound that is very distinct. So far dealership changed shocks, sway bar links and front struts. Noise still occurs. Is this a normal sound in a 4-matic? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  • jwrattsjwratts Posts: 2
    I have a 1998 E430 with 65K on it. When first started after sitting overnight is belches a huge cloud of blue smoke. car does not burn oil. any suspects besides the usual (leaky valve seals).
  • jwrattsjwratts Posts: 2
    I finally gave up on trying to find anyone at MB that gives a dam. They sent the letter I wrote back to the very srvice manager who had taunted me about writing to MB. No more MBs for me.
  • emama500emama500 Posts: 2
  • billmcbillmc Posts: 4
    I just took delivery of a new E320 two days ago and now notice a very slight pull to the right. I haven't checked tire pressure yet to see if that might be the culprit. If not, will bring it in, have them look at it, and report back.
  • rysrys Posts: 2
    This is my first post to Edmunds although I have read many messages here prior to my purchase of my one year old model 2000 E320.
    Today my right-rear window got stuck. I can pull it up almost all the up but it drops down on its own when I let it go. I can hear noises and clicks when I activate the window switch.
    I am 120 miles away from my MB dealer and I would like to see if I could fix the problem by myself. Here are my questions:
    1. What might be the problem with the window and how much would it cost to have it fixed by the dealer?
    2. How do I take off the door lining to get access to the window motor and all the window mechanism?
    3. Can I purchase the window parts on internet?

    I would greatly appreciate any help in solving this problem.

    Thanks, Andrew.
  • rysrys Posts: 2
    Just wanted to inform everybody that I did manage to take off the door panel (lining) and removed the window motor. I got the window motor ($140) and the window regulator ($90) ordered through a local Import Auto Parts shop. I will have them do the installation for me.
    If anyone encounters a similar problem and would like to know how to take the door panel off, please email me or I can simply reply to their post on this disscusion board.
  • shukyshuky Posts: 1
    I'm the original owner of a 1989 300E. We've used dealer service/repairs throughout its 150,000 mile history. We're now hearing a tapping or rattling when we accelerate heavily from 30 to 40 or 50 to 60--not when we gradually advance the speed. Is this the chain or valves or ? We've heard that if it's either we should get both done since the head is already opened up. Recommendations? No, selling it isn't a player because the car is in like-new condition otherwise.
  • I have an 1999 e320 4matic obtained from a mb dealer as a starmark certified vehicle. The vehicle is still covered under starmark. I am getting an intermittant high-pitched squeak whenever even the most minute bump is hit, it makes the squeak for a hour or two of driving and then goes away for an hour or two, only to return for no apparant reason. I have localized the noise to the passenger side rear pillar (right where the seat belt exits the pillar. When I manually pull on the interior pillar covering, the exact noise is recreated. Any ideas on how I can remove the interior pillar covering to see if something is loose (a bracket or clasp or such, improperly padded (I can see some black padding beneath the pillar through the seat belt slit) or if the interior panel was attached improperly. P.S. The seat belt does not squeak on use of the seat belt pulley and noone sits in the back seats. Thanx in advance.
  • I have a E320 which is loaded. I only have 22,000 Miles on it and everything seems fine. Since the car was new the only major problem was the top part of dash had to be replaced ( Sun damage - Arizona Summers. I just had the right rear window regulator replaced.
    My question is this, Someone told me that if the Nav System goes out on this vehicle, the cost to replace it could be as high as $10,000. Can this be true. It was only a $2,000 option.
  • Please check my message of July 3 in the EClass Wagon section- I have had similar experiences - they now claim I have to rotate my tires every 3000 miles! I have had three flats (incl two blow-outs) in five years of owning my car, and I am on my fourth set of tires. The tire wear is VERY uneven; the alignment seems to go out often. I am looking for answers about this- is this typical? Or was this a lemon?
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