I am having a little difficulty figuring out why my '82 240D, now being used by my daughter at college, is so hard to start. I have checked the glow plugs and they work fine, as a matter of fact the problem is worse when the car is warm (just ran for minutes or hours). It seemed like the car was suffering from air getting into the fuel line, as after a minute or so of cranking it would start, if the battery was up to it. So I taught my daughter, over the phone, how to manually prime the fuel pump. This seemed to work, but not 100%. When I next saw the car, I checked the in-line fuel filter, which was clear when new but looked black. I have changed these every year in each Diesel I have owned and never had anything collect in them. This time it was full of crap. I broke the thing open and checked it out with my fingers and it was soft black stuff, almost seemed like tiny rubber particles. It was soft whatever it was. While the car started somewhat better right after the changed both filters and primed the pump by hand, I can not tell if it was really fixed. Now, two weeks later, the new filter looks ok, but MB changed to translucent or more opaque white plastic and you cannot really see inside.
Regardless, the car has 273,000 miles and runs phenomenally well. I bought it with 105,000 on it and have tried to take good care of it. Generally it seems to have paid off, and the machine runs without much smoke, uses a quart of oil every 1500 to 2000 miles, gets 30 mpg, steers with MB accuracy and has excellent brakes. No real overheating or other problems, although the A/C died when the vacuum system began to spring leaks. I would like to see this car last another year or so, while I look for a replacement.
At the moment, a manual transmission 190D, 190E, or 260E/300E/300D with under 110,000 miles is what I am looking for, but have been unable to locate much to choose from. Any tips on where to find a manual transmission equipped unit would also be appreciated. Thanks, Jim
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)