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  #1  
Old 07-11-2018, 12:47 PM
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Opinions/Info on CDI engine longevity

I’m looking at a 2004 E320 bluetec with 220k miles. I haven’t seen it yet as it is a bit of a drive. Assuming it has been maintained properly - is it a vehicle worth looking at? What kind of mileage are this cars capable of? What are the typical issues on a car that age and mileage?

I’ve had a gas engine model, an E350, which was nice but had 2 issues with electronics that made me sell it after the factory warranty had expired.

Thanks in advance for your posts!

Last edited by Don Andres; 07-11-2018 at 09:19 PM. Reason: typos
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  #2  
Old 07-11-2018, 12:55 PM
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Are you certain as to year and model number? I didn't think Bluetecs came to US until 2007. And it IIRC, there were no MB diesel sedans in US from 2000-2004 (although of course MY2005 came out in 2004). But perhaps I'm mistaken.

In 2005 and 2006, there was the E320 CDI with the OM648 engine. Very, very durable. There's a guy over on Benzworld with 444,000 miles and counting...still going strong. 220k miles on one of those is fine if it's been well maintained. No real issues.
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06 E320 CDI "Benson", Platinum Blue, 172k mi, DD
91 300D "Otis", Smoke Silver, 125k mi, other DD
98 E300 "Murray", Silver, 124k mi, Stage 2 Rocketchip chip tuned, son's DD

Twelve other MB's owned and sold
2002 Honda Odyssey 234k mi (want to name it "Homer," wife won't let me)
1961 Very Tolerant Wife
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  #3  
Old 07-11-2018, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Andres View Post
I’ve had a gas engine model, an E350, which was nice but had 2 issues with electronics that made m sell it after the factory warranty had expired.
The W211 platform is VERY electronics laden. If you own one and don't want to be married to a dealer or independent garage, consider investing a decent sum into a quality scan-tool or a service computer clone.
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  #4  
Old 07-11-2018, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shertex View Post
Are you certain as to year and model number? I didn't think Bluetecs came to US until 2007. And it IIRC, there were no MB diesel sedans in US from 2000-2004 (although of course MY2005 came out in 2004). But perhaps I'm mistaken.

In 2005 and 2006, there was the E320 CDI with the OM648 engine. Very, very durable. There's a guy over on Benzworld with 444,000 miles and counting...still going strong. 220k miles on one of those is fine if it's been well maintained. No real issues.
Thank you, I had it wrong - it is a 2006. As to longevity, that's what I was hoping to hear - I'll check it out.
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  #5  
Old 07-11-2018, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Diseasel300 View Post
The W211 platform is VERY electronics laden. If you own one and don't want to be married to a dealer or independent garage, consider investing a decent sum into a quality scan-tool or a service computer clone.
Thank you, the electronics are making me hesitate. I have decided to sell my '06 R350 and my '08 ML550 because of the numerous and wildly expensive issues with electronics, intake manifolds, air struts, transmission, wiring,..... I have my vehicles serviced regularly but it hasn't prevented catastrophic failures. Am I just a very unlucky guy or are these cars totally unreliable past a certain age?

To my knowledge the E320 does not run on air struts so that eliminates one big issue right there. Do you know if it has an electronic shifter on the automatic transmission?

Edit: looks like air suspension was an option. I better check.

Last edited by Don Andres; 07-11-2018 at 03:21 PM.
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  #6  
Old 07-11-2018, 04:01 PM
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It would be good to familiarize yourself with the SBC braking system. No need for that to scare you off...just be aware of its distinct features.

Markets differ from region to region...in the Northeast I wouldn't expect to pay more than $7000 for one in perfect condition with that mileage.
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06 E320 CDI "Benson", Platinum Blue, 172k mi, DD
91 300D "Otis", Smoke Silver, 125k mi, other DD
98 E300 "Murray", Silver, 124k mi, Stage 2 Rocketchip chip tuned, son's DD

Twelve other MB's owned and sold
2002 Honda Odyssey 234k mi (want to name it "Homer," wife won't let me)
1961 Very Tolerant Wife
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  #7  
Old 07-11-2018, 04:05 PM
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Thank you, I hadn’t heard about an SBC brake system. I’ll look into that.
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diseasel300 View Post
The W211 platform is VERY electronics laden. If you own one and don't want to be married to a dealer or independent garage, consider investing a decent sum into a quality scan-tool or a service computer clone.
This.

Many people on this forum seem to really like their ‘05 and ‘06 W211 CDIs. I have owned an ‘06 E350 gas wagon since it came off lease in early ‘08. I have not found the W211 to be an inexpensive car to own, mostly due to electronics issues. I also do not think the quality is up to par with the older models. Really the only thing I prefer about the E350 versus my ‘85 300D is the air conditioner. I have seen many for sale with high mileage, so the CDI engine seems capable of covering many miles. I wonder, however, whether electronics issues not related to the motor will prevent them from lasting as long (in years) as the older E-class vehicles.
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  #9  
Old 07-11-2018, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Volvo Diesel View Post
This.

Many people on this forum seem to really like their ‘05 and ‘06 W211 CDIs. I have owned an ‘06 E350 gas wagon since it came off lease in early ‘08. I have not found the W211 to be an inexpensive car to own, mostly due to electronics issues. I also do not think the quality is up to par with the older models. Really the only thing I prefer about the E350 versus my ‘85 300D is the air conditioner. I have seen many for sale with high mileage, so the CDI engine seems capable of covering many miles. I wonder, however, whether electronics issues not related to the motor will prevent them from lasting as long (in years) as the older E-class vehicles.
Thank you for your comment. I think you're right about the lesser quality. The current 2 Mercedes have been very disappointing in terms of reliability compared to my previous 17. The ac system is great in both cars though. Quite important around here.

I'll check out the car on Friday. Until then I'll do some more research.
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  #10  
Old 07-11-2018, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by shertex View Post
It would be good to familiarize yourself with the SBC braking system. No need for that to scare you off...just be aware of its distinct features.

Markets differ from region to region...in the Northeast I wouldn't expect to pay more than $7000 for one in perfect condition with that mileage.
Sounds problematic to me. I wonder if the recall on SBC brakes was done on this car and if not, if the dealerships would still do it.
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  #11  
Old 07-11-2018, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Don Andres View Post
Sounds problematic to me. I wonder if the recall on SBC brakes was done on this car and if not, if the dealerships would still do it.
I'm not aware of any "recall." They extended the warranty on the SBC pump to ten years. And, on later models, they bumped up the actuation threshold to about 600k. FWIW on mine I have roughly three actuations per mile on average.

There's nothing really problematic about it. You just need to be aware of the fact that, if the SBC pump has not already been replaced, it's probably close to needing to be replaced. Not horrendously expensive. And you can use this as a bargaining chip with the seller.

It's a fabulous braking system....just need to be aware of its unique maintenance needs.
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06 E320 CDI "Benson", Platinum Blue, 172k mi, DD
91 300D "Otis", Smoke Silver, 125k mi, other DD
98 E300 "Murray", Silver, 124k mi, Stage 2 Rocketchip chip tuned, son's DD

Twelve other MB's owned and sold
2002 Honda Odyssey 234k mi (want to name it "Homer," wife won't let me)
1961 Very Tolerant Wife
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  #12  
Old 07-11-2018, 10:26 PM
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The 648 engine is one of only two reasons I'd ever own a 211 car.
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  #13  
Old 07-11-2018, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shertex View Post
I'm not aware of any "recall." They extended the warranty on the SBC pump to ten years. And, on later models, they bumped up the actuation threshold to about 600k. FWIW on mine I have roughly three actuations per mile on average.

There's nothing really problematic about it. You just need to be aware of the fact that, if the SBC pump has not already been replaced, it's probably close to needing to be replaced. Not horrendously expensive. And you can use this as a bargaining chip with the seller.

It's a fabulous braking system....just need to be aware of its unique maintenance needs.
Thank you for the clarification. I read up on it after you pointed out SBC brakes to me the first time. Among the information I found was a statement on 1.3 million vehicles recalled on Wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensotronic_Brake_Control

That article also mentions that Daimler Benz returned to fitting conventional brakes to the W211 in 2006. Wouldn't be the first time that an article on Wikipedia is not correct.

Unless of course it is the truth because it was on the internet!
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  #14  
Old 07-11-2018, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Don Andres View Post
Thank you for the clarification. I read up on it after you pointed out SBC brakes to me the first time. Among the information I found was a statement on 1.3 million vehicles recalled on Wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensotronic_Brake_Control

That article also mentions that Daimler Benz returned to fitting conventional brakes to the W211 in 2006. Wouldn't be the first time that an article on Wikipedia is not correct.

Unless of course it is the truth because it was on the internet!
Yes, I just saw that as well. That may be referring to their bumping up the actuation count (which was originally set too low). Perhaps someone else can chime in to clarify.

If it's a 2006 CDI you're looking at, then it definitely has SBC. But, yes, they did change back to a hydraulic system in 2006 for the 2007 E class.

I researched the issue to death when I bought mine...ended up being very happy to have it.

Right now I'm at about 510k actuations....figure I've got about 30k miles to go.
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06 E320 CDI "Benson", Platinum Blue, 172k mi, DD
91 300D "Otis", Smoke Silver, 125k mi, other DD
98 E300 "Murray", Silver, 124k mi, Stage 2 Rocketchip chip tuned, son's DD

Twelve other MB's owned and sold
2002 Honda Odyssey 234k mi (want to name it "Homer," wife won't let me)
1961 Very Tolerant Wife
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  #15  
Old 07-12-2018, 01:01 AM
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Look up "black death" issue also. Not personally familiar with the issue but it pops up on 05 and 06s from what I have read here. Looking at one also. All may look good in the engine bay until plastic covers are removed.
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