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  #1  
Old 12-28-2004, 08:24 PM
Rebe
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Diesel vs. Gas Mercedes

I have the diesel fever. I want to try one. My question is how much better are they than the gas engines. I ran into a lady going into the grocery store the other day. I asked her how she liked the car. Her fist reply was it has a new engine. I thought diesels were supposed to last several hundred thousand miles!! Do you feel they are more expensive to maintain as a daily driver than the gas models? Any feed back would be appreciated.

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  #2  
Old 12-28-2004, 08:50 PM
VeeDubTDI
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Talking

Diesels rule. I'm at 290,500 miles and still going strong on the original engine. The only problem is that one cylinder seems to be becoming a little bit weaker than the rest. Perhaps a can of diesel purge will remedy this problem.

I get 22 MPGs in the SDL in the summer time... figure ~16 MPG for a gas 3.0.

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  #3  
Old 12-28-2004, 09:10 PM
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In my opinion, ( since you asked...) diesels make a LOT of sense, particularly if you are considering cars that are more than 10 years old with well over 100,000 miles. In my experience thats about when on comparable gas powered vehicles, the compinemt/ computer-related issues begin to be a problem. On an older, mechanical, ( not computer driven) diesel, there is less to go wrong. very little to cause a failure while its running so they usually will bring you home.
On the other hand, some claims, particularly by eBay sellers, are overstated. They will not run a million miles with no maintenance! In fact, maintenance is the key. If the previous, or any previous owners has neglected normal maintenace, it can back to bite you, hard. The price of parts in a diesel engine are more expensive than their gas counterparts--especially so for M-B.
If you can find a clean, rust free, car with exhaustive maintenance records, chances are its a good buy.
The other consideration is you---are you tempermentally suited to drive a diesel? If you have to be first from the stop light, or toll booth, then you may may be be happy with the diesel performance. Does the odor ( we prefer " aroma") bother you, or your significant other?
Change ALL filters regularly, and you can enjoy many hundreds of thousands of miles in a great Mercedes at a reasonable cost
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  #4  
Old 12-28-2004, 09:11 PM
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A simple question are diesels engines better or are gas engines better? My answer to that question would be yes. Since there are so many different kinds of both, I would say you would have to narrow the comparison down a bit. Is a 1991 Honda 2.2 liter 4 cylinder better than a 1982 GMC 350 diesel...I think so. Is a 1974 Vega 4 cylinder better than a 1982 Mercedes 4 cylinder 616 diesel...I don't think so.

If the question is there a gasoline engine out there that will compare to the durability and dependability of a Mercedes 616/617 diesel....maybe but there aren't many, if any at all IMHO.
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  #5  
Old 12-28-2004, 09:20 PM
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Any Diesel needs three things and it will be happy, and in turn keep you happy...

#1) Clean Oil - Some say every 3K on dino 5K on synth

#2) Clean Fuel - Fuel filters need to be changed at regular intervals. You should buy diesel at high volume places like truck stops

#3) clean air - Air filters need to be changed at regular intervals, and if you drive alot of dusty gravel roads then 2x as often.

Follow these 3 simple rules and most diesels are capable of going 2,3,4 and yes, possibly even 500,000 miles. although thats the exception not the rule.
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  #6  
Old 12-28-2004, 10:02 PM
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MB makes such good gas engines they seem to last almost as long as the diesels. I like diesels a lot but they are not perfect, for their day they got great mileage but today low to mid 20's is nothing special. As long as the engine is taken care of gas or diesel it will outlast the car. Unless you drive 40k miles a year most people never rack up that much mileage. 10k a year on a diesel or gas car usually means age kills it before mileage. Look at say a E320 vs E300D. On the highway the E300D gets low 30's say 32, the E320 gets higher 20's say 26. Now as far as maintaince the V6 requires less, filter and fluid changes run about the same. But the difference is glow plug vs spark plug changes. 606 glow plug changes can be very expensive while spark plugs are cheap and simple. Every 4 years or 100k.

But diesel does make sense if you drive a lot and do a lot of highway driving. That is where they shine.

I like diesels a lot they sound great, get good mileage and are fun to drive. But like anything they are not perfect.
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  #7  
Old 12-28-2004, 10:04 PM
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Longevity, less prone to failure because there's less to go wrong, and superior fuel economy multiplied by lower fuel cost (well, historically anyway!) are all the measurable benefits. I like Diesels for additional reasons. There is a characteristic "tug" when you step on it that's a real blast. It's not fast acceleration, but it's strong acceleration. This is hard to explain until you load the car up- put in your whole family and all the luggage, pets, full tank etc. and take to the open road- you will notice the car performs just as well when heavy as it does when empty. This same factor also makes for a more enjoyable city driving experience, especially with a manual transmission- a Diesel seems almost impossible to stall- you can pretty much drop the clutch at idle and the car will pull ahead without protest. Finally, you will find very little difference between your city MPG and highway MPG. Add to this the sound and smell- I like both- some people don't. Also consider the use of Veggie Fuel or Bio-Diesel. The alternative fuels movement is HERE NOW if you're a Diesel owner. For gas engines, it's a lot more ponderous to consider making your own methanol, or converting to run on natural gas, etc.

Dave

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  #8  
Old 12-28-2004, 10:47 PM
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Bottom line is that an MB diesel of similar performace to a gasser will get about 30% better milage -- my 300D gets close to 30 mpg in normal driving, the TE gets about 20. My 280 SE, very similar in performace (but bigger) gets about 14 most of the time. My brother's SDL, heavier yet, gets about 26.

Properly maintained, the diesels WILL run forever, but no MB is anything like a maintenace free car! Quite the opposite, in fact -- they become money pits will negelected, usually in short order. Most gasoline MB engines should last at least as long as the gasoline ones if you do the valves as needed (on the older cast iron V8s, this is every 250,000 or so). The body is very likely to be shot long before the engine craps. Newer silicon/aluminum blocks should last at least 5 times as long....

Peter
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  #9  
Old 12-28-2004, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franklyspeaking
A simple question are diesels engines better or are gas engines better? My answer to that question would be yes. Since there are so many different kinds of both, I would say you would have to narrow the comparison down a bit. Is a 1991 Honda 2.2 liter 4 cylinder better than a 1982 GMC 350 diesel...I think so. Is a 1974 Vega 4 cylinder better than a 1982 Mercedes 4 cylinder 616 diesel...I don't think so.

If the question is there a gasoline engine out there that will compare to the durability and dependability of a Mercedes 616/617 diesel....maybe but there aren't many, if any at all IMHO.
One of my fathers friends owns a floral delivery service and gets 500,000 out of his stock chevy inline 6's. He does swap out transmissions on a regular basis though.
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  #10  
Old 12-28-2004, 11:12 PM
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I don't think anyone could but put enough miles on an M119 V8 to wear it out. I would expect 500k with good oil changes.
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  #11  
Old 12-28-2004, 11:30 PM
Benster Tom
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MB Diesels are a favorite. I love the sound and the great milege. Gasoline engines are fine as well, but under perform in fuel milege. Diesels are a great engine and I when maintained they're the best of all engines.
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  #12  
Old 12-29-2004, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatterasguy
for their day they got great mileage but today low to mid 20's is nothing special. As long as the engine is taken care of gas or diesel it will outlast the car. Unless you drive 40k miles a year most people never rack up that much mileage.

I do drive 40+k a year, and my 617 is in a lot better shape then the rest of the reasonably maintained vehicle it's installed in. (and I'm SICK of adjusting valves!!)

It's funny, I often find myself looking at engines at work and wondering what it'd take to install in a w123(small v8's or v6's usually), but then I remember what I like most about the car is the engine. I then wonder what to install IT in, but nothing really comes to mind, big car's too big, small car's too small.
Oh well..
(I still wonder how an 80's 3 Series BMW would be with a 617 and a stick.. )
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  #13  
Old 12-29-2004, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wodnek
Any Diesel needs three things and it will be happy, and in turn keep you happy...

#1) Clean Oil - Some say every 3K on dino 5K on synth

#2) Clean Fuel - Fuel filters need to be changed at regular intervals. You should buy diesel at high volume places like truck stops

#3) clean air - Air filters need to be changed at regular intervals, and if you drive alot of dusty gravel roads then 2x as often.

Follow these 3 simple rules and most diesels are capable of going 2,3,4 and yes, possibly even 500,000 miles. although thats the exception not the rule.
Those are some of the main maintenance items, but they're not enough to keep the car going as long as possible. Valve adjustment is critical, as are coolant and transmission oil changes. It's a good practice to change the PS fluid & filter and differential oil as well.
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  #14  
Old 12-29-2004, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebe
I have the diesel fever. I want to try one. My question is how much better are they than the gas engines. I ran into a lady going into the grocery store the other day. I asked her how she liked the car. Her fist reply was it has a new engine. I thought diesels were supposed to last several hundred thousand miles!! Do you feel they are more expensive to maintain as a daily driver than the gas models? Any feed back would be appreciated.
You asked this question on a diesel board? I hope you don't expect unbiased answers!

Scott
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  #15  
Old 12-29-2004, 03:48 PM
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Wodnek,

"Fuel filters need to be changed at regular intervals"

Ridiculous. Fuel filters need to be changed when they cannot pass enough fuel for full engine power. This might be only a few hundred miles if you get contaminated fuel or Tens of thousands of miles if you always get clean fuel

Some people seem to think that a clean filter will stop contaminates from getting to the IP better. Just the opposite is true. As a filter gets loaded with dirt, The holes thru the filter medium get smaller and smaller, thus trapping smaller particles. So the filter is doing a better job of traping contaminates up until the point that it can no longer pass enough fuel for the engine to develope full power.

That's when I change mine, when it is required.

Note, this does not apply to Engine oil lubricating filters because it is more difficult to determine when lub oil filters are not passing enough oil.

P E H

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