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Old 06-30-2010, 09:43 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Council Grove , Kansas
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1996 E300D

I found a 96 E300D on craigslist. If i go look at it what should I be looking for. What are the some of the problems these cars have after years of use.
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Old 06-30-2010, 11:29 AM
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 839
Originally Posted by al b View Post
I found a 96 E300D on craigslist. If i go look at it what should I be looking for. What are the some of the problems these cars have after years of use.
Front spring perches have been know to rust out, so look them over carefully. The other main issue with this year and model are the glow plugs. They have a tendency to get carbon bound, and can break off in the process of extraction. If that occurs, you are talking big buck to have the head pulled and the plug drilled out. I would also suggest that you get any service records you can so you can see what has been done to the car in the past couple of years. My vehicle has 217,000 miles on it, and I am the third owner. The person I purchased it from had sunk in a good deal of money to get it mechanically up to snuff. So far, in three years of operation, I have replaced the front shocks, alternator, delivery valve seals, and glow plugs. The rest was all regular maintenance items i.e. oil changes, and tires. The car is a little slow off the line being a non-turbo, but at highway speeds, it has no problem at all keeping up with traffic. Mileage around town is 26-28, and on the road 34-36. I have found it to be an excellent vehicle all around other than the main issues I mentioned above. Good luck
96 E300d
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:17 PM
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1997 W210 E300TD 243,000
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 983
Rust is the main issue. Rust, rust, and more rust. Check everywhere.
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:40 PM
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Registered Biodiesel User
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Sonoma Wine Country
Posts: 8,394
Thumbs up E300D

Our '96 E300D had 248,000 miles when we bought it and 270,000 miles now. All three POs took good care of it and saved all of the service records. The first owner put 200,000 miles on it and took it to the dealer for everything (it was his "company car"). I would not have bought a car with so many miles without the complete set of service records. In spite of all the miles, it still looks and drives like an almost-new car. Average fuel economy has been 27 MPG, mostly around town and mostly on B20 fuel. On our occasional road trips we get about 30 or maybe a hair better.

The '96 is a little more electronic than I'd like but not bad; the later models are much more complicated and harder for the DIY owner to repair. The '96 still has the 722.438 4-speed mechanical-vacuum transmission, solid and reliable but not as sophisticated as the electronic 722.5 (or was it 722.6?) in the later 210s.

Pay attention to the Parrot, watch for rust! Especially if the car has spent winters in snow country, and especially look to the front spring perches.

Get yourself a code reader or better yet, something like the "ScanGauge," which can read and reset codes and also gives you a whole bunch of digital system readouts via the code reader port.

Let us see some pictures!


"Buster" in the '95

Our all-biodiesel family
1995 E300D (W124) . .239,000 miles My car
1996 E300D (W210) . .313,000 miles Wife's car
Santa Rosa population 170,685 (2012)
Total. . . . . . . . . . . . 722,685
"Oh lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz."
-- Janis Joplin, October 1, 1970
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