The very nature of this site is such that it is a resource by which those of us non technical or inexperienced enough with Mercedes Benz automobiles can learn from the experiences of others. Don't you agree? Nothing has been cheapened by Bradfordro's comments. In fact, he has opened the door to what could have been a positive discourse on the strengths and weaknesses (yes, weaknesses) of Mercedes Benz automobiles.
Michael, as for your remark, all I can say is that you do not speak for me. I do not care to belong to the 'elite' group of Mercedes Benz owners. Comments of this nature only serve to put distance between people, and will eventually label this website as a bunch of intolerant 'good ol' boys'.
On Bradfordro's comment as to the 'cheap' nature of Mercedes Benz automobiles, I don't think that's quite the word I would have used, but nevertheless, let's just review a couple of things I think those of us who have been reading this site for any length of time have come across and see if maybe we can see the issue from Bradfordro's side:
1. Why do the fasteners holding the windage tray in the 603 engine (300SDL) come loose, work their way into the pickup of the oil pump, erode a hole through the screen, become lodged inside, cause the pump to fail thereby causing, at the very least, the turbo to fail and possibly further engine damage? Where is the fine engineering QC here? Did that poor assembly tech maybe have a little to much Hefeweizen the night before?
2. The air conditioner on my 1989 Toyota Camry works far better in stop and go city driving than does that in my 300SDL. How can that be if astute Mercedes Benz engineers did their homework and decided that the amount of air they were exchanging past the condenser to be sufficient city driving conditions? Maybe the weather doesn't get that hot in Germany. I think not. Pretty basic stuff. Refrigeration thermal transfer balance equations have been around for a long time.
3. Why use plastic fuel tanks that rupture? Why not design that critical component with robustness and longevity and take the weight savings from some other place?
4. Why do so many Mercedes Benz engines have leaky seals/gaskets?
5. Why do so many 80's 300E engines require new valve stems and seals at such low mileage? It is hard to imagine that this aspect of engine design is so difficult since you rarely hear of faulty valve guides as a common mode of engine failure in other manufacturers' engines.
Now please don't misunderstand, I am simply trying to bring to light the fact that Mercedes Benz automobiles, fine as they are and enjoyable to drive as they are, do come with their limitations: unexpected, and even, by some standards, inexcusable ones at that. My point is that Mercedes Benz automobiles are *not* above criticism or reproach, and neither are the people that own them.