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Old 10-31-2000, 11:10 PM
Posts: n/a
Car shopping and may consider a 97'E300D at a local dealer. What are your general impressions with the car?

Larry, I understand you have some experience with this model, can you elaborate on the troubles you experienced?

Also, have not test driven the car yet, is the turbo standard on this year?

Thanks in advance.

Ross Newcomb
96 C280, Greenish Black
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Old 11-01-2000, 06:26 AM
Posts: n/a

I don't think the turbo came until '98.

Yes, I did have trouble with my '96 E300D, mine was the car from hell. In fact some would examine my sanity after having the trouble that I had with it and then return to buy another new Benz.

Had the dealer handled the problems better, it would have eased the pain greatly.

The particular problem that I had was an intermittent surging. Everything would be fine, then while cruising it would just start acting like you were pressing the throttle then backing off repeatedly about once a second.

One of the things that made this so bad was that they would drive the car and it would be fine. They more or less told my I didn't know what I was talking about.

I was going through another city, which I won't name because there's only one dealer there, and it was doing it pretty regular. They drove it for two hours, used my fuel to do it, and charged me over $100 and told me there was nothing wrong with it. I never got that money back. This was within a few thousand miles of the warranty expiring.

I finally raised enough cane with MBUSA and the dealer that they took it and started driving it. They had their diagnostic laptops connected and several people were in the car, the regional MB rep, the Service Manager and a tech, when it started surging. They said they all cheered. When it started doing it for them, it didn't stop, the problem was solid at that point.

They replaced the valves that do the variable length intake runner control, and all was well.

The most frustrating thing was that they had a customer telling them that there was a problem, and they wouldn't believe me.

Other problems that I had with the car were: rear window risers, transmission drain plug must have been welded in at factory, and as it turned out the car had been damaged at the port before I received it.

When I went to try to sell the car it was pointed out that it had been wrecked.

If you can find one of these cars in good condition though, I wouldn't expect you to experience any of the problems that I did. I would check it closely for crash damage. Look at the bolts under the hood along the inner top edge of the fenders. If it looks like the have been repositioned be leary.

Also, if you are buying it from a dealer, they can call up the VIN on their computer system and show complete repair records. INSIST THAT THEY SHOW YOU THESE RECORDS. These records are available regardless of which dealer serviced the car.

The car itself as far as it's driving and handling is excellent. If you could get one with a manual transmission, like you can in Europe, it would be close to the ideal car.

Good luck,

Larry Bible
'01 C Class, Six Speed
'84 Euro 240D, manual, 533K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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Old 11-01-2000, 07:16 AM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
The surging problem with this car is the only drawback. We had some cars that couldn't be fixed. MB factory worked on one 1996 car 5 times & then bought it back. The 1997 model was better due to different fuel system computer, if you live in an area with hills then this surge will show up. Only other problem area is AM radio reception, but all W210 cars had this weakness. Antenna in rear glass!

27 YEARS DEALER M.B. Shopforeman
190E 2.3 16V ITS SCCA racecar
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Old 11-01-2000, 07:25 AM
Posts: n/a
By all rights, and the five try rule, MB should have bought mine back. That's not to mention the crash damage that was kept from me.

When I get wound up about this, people make comments about my being so bitter. As I said before, I probably need a good head examination for going back after such an experience. But, somehow I feel that the odds of me getting two "cars from hell" from MB are pretty thin.

Have a great day,

Larry Bible
'01 C Class, Six Speed
'84 Euro 240D, manual, 533K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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Old 11-01-2000, 01:53 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Holland, MI
Posts: 1,316
We bought my wife's '96 E300D from the local dealer, including StarMark warranty, with 44k on the clock.

We've had the AM/FM splitter replaced, a rear lamp housing (previous owner damage ham-fisting a lamp into place cracked the assembly!) and the usual maintenance.

She loves it. I love it.

We just have to remind our Service Advisor that the car is under warranty; now he knows to read the print-out at the top of the work sheet!

BCing U, Jim

'96 E300D 60k mi (wife's daily ride)
'95 Audi 90 120k mi
'92 GMC Suburban 139k mi
'85 300SD 234k mi (my daily ride)
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Old 11-01-2000, 05:16 PM
Eddie Gilmartin's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 183
Hang on for a '98 E300Turbodiesel. Dynamite compared to the non-turbo. I run a Euro '97 Avantgarde. My 7th daily Merc. Build quality not great compared to W123 and W124. Entire sunroof assembly replaced twice, cd wiring, antenna, front windows squeek.A mysterious pipe even blew off the turbo. I thought the engine had blown. I bought it with 30k up, now at 62k and bedded in. Love it but it has to go soon. Too fast(chipped). I am finding myself hitting early 100's almost every day. Thinking of going for a 70's V8 slug instead.

'97 E300Turbodiesel "Superchip" 200+bhp
'00 A140 Avantgarde Auto
'91 500SEL W126
'66 220SEb Coupe (restoration pending)
'58 180D (restoration underway)
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Old 11-01-2000, 06:29 PM
Southern's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Carol Stream, Il, USA
Posts: 605
I test drove a 96 E300D and thought it was the best handling car I had ever driven. I decided not to purchase it because of the lack of accerlation and the fear that my wife would put unleaded gas in it. I ended up purchasing a 98 E320 which handles nearly the same as the E300D with the feeling of much more power. My $0.02.

1998 Mercedes E320
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Old 11-19-2000, 03:27 AM
Posts: n/a
I have a '97 e300d which is still under StarMark. I have had substantial problems with the glowplug system - believe it or not!

I have been working with 2 dealers in our area for 1 year - 20K miles and it still isn't working right.

The glow plug light will intermittenly come on during my driving. This problem has existing from the New Car Warranty.

I'm going to have to talk to Benz cause this car is going to have to go. I have not seen it in 8 weeks!!!!

Don't know if it's that tricky of a car or the techs just don't know what's going on.

If anyone has any tips on how to deal with Mercedes Benz on this issue, I would love to hear it.

It's gotten to such a point that I don't even want the car in my house... I'm just fine with my '78 Merc 300sd and my '89 Town Car.

Atleast if the Town Car breaks down, I have a reason - it's not a German car...
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