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  #1  
Old 06-25-2007, 09:13 PM
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1993 Mercedes-Benz 300E 2.8

I'm shopping for a "new" Mercedes and did find a 1993 Mercedes-Benz 300E 2.8. What do you guys think about this car, what do I have to look for?

Tnx
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  #2  
Old 06-25-2007, 09:34 PM
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That's the 2.8 twin cam engine, and the first year it went into the W124.
I don't know anything about them.

Otherwise, check the car for the usual problem areas, throttle actuator, functioning Airconditioning, wiring harness, look for rust, water leaks, evidence of prior collision damage, try and get the prior service records on it, and have it inspected.

The four door gas powered W124 sedans aren't in real high demand, so it should go for a reasonable price. If I recall, it's the first year they had dual airbags, so with the ABS they are safe and durable cars.

It's wise to get the one in the best condition possible, as repair costs can eat up purchase price savings really quickly.
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  #3  
Old 06-25-2007, 09:35 PM
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My 1995 E320 is running great. I bought it about 3 years ago for $7K and have put about $1,000-$1,500 into it above normal maintenance (window regulator, shocks & struts, other odds & ends). If I was a worthy DIY I'm sure I could have done that stuff for far less. Regular maintenance costs have been about $500/year or a bit more, I guess. I just had a major (routine) tranny maintenance done after which my indie said the tranny would last a billion miles, given the present condition. I use synthetic oil as did the P.O. and I change it about every 5k-6K miles, despite what some knuckleheads may think about the non-necessity of oil changes!

I fear I may have the beginnings of the dreaded awakening of wiring harness ghost. I get a flickering idiot light every now and then or my engine light will fire-up. Then the idiot lights go off after a few days and everything is cool again. Also, my cruise control seems to have retired. 155,000 miles. I bought the car at about 100K.

So say, $10K for purchase, maintenance, and repairs in 55K miles = about 18 cents/mile.

I get about 22 miles/gal on average at say, $3/gal (actually gas has been less than that over the time I've owned it, but who cares?) which is about 14 cents per mile.

So I'm driving a really nice car for under 40 cents/mile. I'm fine with that.

B
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  #4  
Old 06-25-2007, 11:57 PM
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That's the exact car I have. I bought mine from a local dealer for $5800. It had a total valve job at about 125k miles and had 140k on it when I bought it (about 8 months ago). The car has been very reliable. The thing to look for is the valve seals and wiring harness from what I understand. The only problem I'v had is the cruise control first went intermittent then went out. The antenna has a mind of it's own and goes up and down for no reason which is annoying but minor. I would recommend this model.
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  #5  
Old 06-26-2007, 01:18 AM
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Did the 2.8 have less power then previous models?
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  #6  
Old 06-26-2007, 02:06 AM
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It actually has more and also is more efficient due to the dual cams.
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  #7  
Old 06-26-2007, 06:28 AM
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That is exactly the same car I owned for close to 5 years.
I bought it with 100K miles and parted with it at around 300K miles and change.
It was a leased car and the previous owner wasn't big on regular maintenance, however the car came with service records and I always used syntethic oil while I had it. I also changed every conceiveable fluid (coolant, engine oil, transmission oil, differential oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid) when I got it. Piece of mind. Before I took ownership it received (according to the records) new engine mounts, 2 set of front brake pads and a new battery. Under my care it needed a new MAF (Mass Airflow) sensor around 120K. Then for the next 100K I don't recall any issue at all. Between 200K - 300K maintenance issues started to creep up, like belt tensioner, belt, a driver's side window regulator, waterpump, alternator, radiator, balljoints, transmission cooling hose. The airconditioner didn't work from day one, it had the usual leak, when I refilled it, it lasted for about a month.
I never had problem with the wiring harness I belive it only affected the E320s of 94 and 95 vintage.
It had the 104 engine which doesn't have a problem with the valve guides it is a 24 valve engine. I found it incredibly smooth and just powerful enough for the weight of the car at 194 horsepower.
The top speed I pushed it up to was 205 km/h, it had some speed left but I had less than perfect rear tires on it and didn' want to get a blowout at that speed.
It had dual airbags, all the usual amenities, power seats, windows, sunroof, etc. Very comfortable, silent, and reliable in town or on the highway.
I never had any issue with the transmission, mind you I changed the oil and the filter every 40K miles.
Rust wasn't an issue even though I lived in the snowbelt (Toronto, Canada), they use tonns of salt in the winter. Never changed the shocks, engine had never been opened, however the airpump died at around 200K and it is a pricey item. But there is a rebuilder in Oregon, I belive, who will do it for around US $300 - $400 in 3 days.

All in all it was en excellent car, and given the mileage I put on it, it wasn't expensive to own. Had never been towed, it always made it home or to my trusted mechanic, a shout to Charlie McNally in TO, on its own.
If it has service record, looks good, no sign of major trauma, accident, unever tire wear, paint overspray, uneven panels, changed windows glass, etc. it should be good.

If you want the updated look go for the 94' or 95' model, it sits lower, has the rounded hood/headlights, more horsepower (maybe 20 more) and may have slightly more options.
Good luck,

Alex

Last edited by dacia; 06-26-2007 at 10:05 AM.
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  #8  
Old 06-26-2007, 09:44 AM
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Everything said so far is right on the money.

To add...the original paint holds up pretty well. Although mine is garaged, it spends most of the day out in the hot Texas sun.

Beyond wear and tear, the best thing you can do is fastiduous maintenance (fluids, etc.) Parts on this car were designed to last a long time, and it will serve you well if you don't let repairs slide...

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  #9  
Old 06-26-2007, 11:56 AM
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It's a great car. I own one. Here are the major areas of concern. You want service records to determine that some/all of these areas have been addressed.
- Head gasket: Causes external oil leaks. Can be ignored for a while, but gets very, very messy. Does not cause any running problems.
- Wiring harness: It does go bad on the '93 as well. The harness is expensive, but easy to install. Causes running/misfiring problems. Federal '93 cars (as opposed to California emissions) do not have a check engine light, so the symptoms may be subtle.
- A/C: Plenty of opportunity for it to not work on a 15 year old car. If it doesn't, you want to know why. The 124 chassis cars sometimes need the evaporator replaced, which is labor intensive and hence expensive.
- Radiator: The neck broke on the original radiators. Replacements are reinforced. Most likely already done at this age.
- Throttle Actuator: This car has a drive-by-wire throttle. The actuator sometimes fails due to the same wiring degradation issue that plagues the wiring harness. Make certain the cruise control works well, issues are a sign of problems with the throttle actuator.

There are a few other common issues, but they are minor and not expensive to address if they crop up.

My car had the head gasket, engine wiring harness, and radiator work done when purchased four years ago. The A/C required it's first ever repair last year, but it was just a small leak. Throttle actuator and a/c evaporator are original and show no problems. Thus far the car has been completely reliable, relatively inexpensive to own, and very nice to drive. Biggest problem I have right now is the headliner is starting to droop a bit. Other than that it almost looks showroom new. Just amazing.

- JimY
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  #10  
Old 06-26-2007, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcyuhn View Post
It's a great car. I own one. Here are the major areas of concern. You want service records to determine that some/all of these areas have been addressed.
- Head gasket: Causes external oil leaks. Can be ignored for a while, but gets very, very messy. Does not cause any running problems.
- Wiring harness: It does go bad on the '93 as well. The harness is expensive, but easy to install. Causes running/misfiring problems. Federal '93 cars (as opposed to California emissions) do not have a check engine light, so the symptoms may be subtle.
- A/C: Plenty of opportunity for it to not work on a 15 year old car. If it doesn't, you want to know why. The 124 chassis cars sometimes need the evaporator replaced, which is labor intensive and hence expensive.
- Radiator: The neck broke on the original radiators. Replacements are reinforced. Most likely already done at this age.
- Throttle Actuator: This car has a drive-by-wire throttle. The actuator sometimes fails due to the same wiring degradation issue that plagues the wiring harness. Make certain the cruise control works well, issues are a sign of problems with the throttle actuator.

There are a few other common issues, but they are minor and not expensive to address if they crop up.

My car had the head gasket, engine wiring harness, and radiator work done when purchased four years ago. The A/C required it's first ever repair last year, but it was just a small leak. Throttle actuator and a/c evaporator are original and show no problems. Thus far the car has been completely reliable, relatively inexpensive to own, and very nice to drive. Biggest problem I have right now is the headliner is starting to droop a bit. Other than that it almost looks showroom new. Just amazing.

- JimY
I've got the same car and my cruise control has failed; is this an expensive fix and is it something I can do myself (I have moderate wrench turning skills). Also, if I leave it alone will the throttle actuator eventually fail and leave me stranded?
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  #11  
Old 06-26-2007, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcyuhn View Post
...Biggest problem I have right now is the headliner is starting to droop a bit...
As does mine! Must be the heat...deteriorates the adhesives...even the W163 had to go back to the dealer to have the sound deadening panels reglued!
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  #12  
Old 06-26-2007, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwood View Post
I've got the same car and my cruise control has failed; is this an expensive fix and is it something I can do myself (I have moderate wrench turning skills). Also, if I leave it alone will the throttle actuator eventually fail and leave me stranded?
Well, I hate to convict the throttle actuator based on such a simple test. There are several other components to the cruise control, any one of which could fail. And all of which are less expensive. But the throttle actuator seems to be the most common issue on this model. You certainly want to pull any error codes from the engine electronics before spending money. You can find out how to build and use a code reader by searching the tech forum.

The actuator is quite expensive. New it's more than $1000. You can find references here in the forum for rebuilt units; I recall pricing in the vicinity of $400 could be had.

It won't leave you stranded if it fails. Mercedes has included a regular cable to the throttle as a backup. What will happen is the car will go into limp home mode. It will have very much reduced power and not much acceleration, but will run.

- JimY
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  #13  
Old 06-27-2007, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcyuhn View Post
Well, I hate to convict the throttle actuator based on such a simple test. There are several other components to the cruise control, any one of which could fail. And all of which are less expensive. But the throttle actuator seems to be the most common issue on this model. You certainly want to pull any error codes from the engine electronics before spending money. You can find out how to build and use a code reader by searching the tech forum.

The actuator is quite expensive. New it's more than $1000. You can find references here in the forum for rebuilt units; I recall pricing in the vicinity of $400 could be had.

It won't leave you stranded if it fails. Mercedes has included a regular cable to the throttle as a backup. What will happen is the car will go into limp home mode. It will have very much reduced power and not much acceleration, but will run.

- JimY
Thank you, I'll check into those codes.
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  #14  
Old 06-27-2007, 02:14 AM
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The cruise control's control module sits behind and under the glove compartment if memory serves me right, it is a do-it-yourselfer item. But do the diagnostics before getting a rebuilt one. I found a rebuilder in the US, sorry I can't recall the website, Google it you can find it.

Alex
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