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Old 11-27-2000, 03:12 AM
Posts: n/a
Hello All,

New member here. I found this site quite a few months back and have been reading with great interest.

This is actually a question for my brother who has owned quite a number of MBs but is not too web comfortable yet.

There are two of interest that he is looking at, the E420 and E300 Diesel (non-turbo), both 95's.

Assuming complete service history and dealer maintained (E420 is, not sure of Diesel) which is the better car (performance not the issue unless the Diesel is very slow)?

I've read about the cooling issues of the V8 and the complaints about the M603 engine. Is the 95 Diesel the same? Are there any reliability concerns for the Diesel?

As for the cooling issues for the V8, is it a problem only if the car overheats and non-maintenance or is it an issue that causes problems regardless of maintenance? I will tell him to put the Redline Water Wetter.

I think the V8 has approx 80k miles and the Diesel 120k miles. We live up in Canada (Toronto area) so will the Diesel have cold starting problems or do these newer ones solve the problem.

Would like feedback of owners or techs as to the overall reliability of these cars and maintenance costs.

Thanks in advance. (I will post this both in the Tech section as well as Featured Cars)

By the way, very informative site, glad to see a site for MB enthusisasts!

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Old 11-27-2000, 03:44 PM
DuckMuck's Avatar
Feathered Member
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Chandler, Arizona, USA
Posts: 804

I have a 1995 Mercede-Benz E420 in Vancouver, BC. I'm not very technical, so I can't really tell you about mechanical issues, but I can tell you about my general experience with the vehicle.

My car has around 30,000km on it, since your Canadian too, I'm leave it as metric instead of converting to miles. The car was bought new from the dealership and I've pretty much stayed with the maintenance schedule as indicated by Mercedes, although my mileage isn't very much, so I've been basing the maintenance on the recommended months.

I think the warranty expired on the vehicle (3 or 4 years???) and I remember general maintenance was around $300CAN, and more recently, I had a more major maintenance where I had my brake pads replaced, and that racked up to a wopping $900CAN. Between the maintenance periods, the only problem I've ever experienced was my engine light coming on. This happened twice actually. When I brought it into the dealership, they said it was a faulty O2 sensor and replaced it on both occasions without cost, because they said it shouldn't have happened since the car was brought in for regular maintenance, which I found to be a nice gesture. From looking at the bill, I think replacement of the O2 sensor would have cost me $330CAN (I had a peak at it the second time before one of the Mercedes mechanics tore it up sayin' that it wasn't right to charge me for the fix).

In terms of overheating, I've never experienced it. The weather stays mild mostly year round in Vancouver, so it hasn't been an issue. I did notice that the engine is quite hot, even after it has been sitting in the garage overnight. I guess this is the overheating issue people have been talking about, but it has never given me any problems, and I've monitored the temp gauge while driving.

Anyways, Whatever car you choose, I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Best of luck!

1995 Mercedes-Benz E420
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Old 11-27-2000, 03:57 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 530
Unless you like diesels a lot go with the E420. It hauls ass. It would take the E300 Diesel multiple trips to haul ass. Grin. Also, FYI, the E320 is also an extremely capable car. It is fast. The M104 motor it has pulls like a train.

1988 Mercedes-Benz 260E (W124)
Arctic White/Grey
Euro Headlights
Clear Turn Signals and 1994/1995 Taillights
16" x 7J 8-hole
Michelin Pilot HX MXM 205/55WR16

1997 Mercedes-Benz E420 (W210)
Pearl Black/Ash
Michelin Pilot XGT Z4 P225/55ZR16

1997 Mercedes-Benz C280 (W202)
Polar White/Parchment
Michelin Pilot SX-GT 205/60VR15
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Old 11-27-2000, 05:41 PM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
That would be HP vs FUEL mileage. Stay away from the early E300D's (before May 1994 production) as they were prone to problems.
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Old 11-27-2000, 08:28 PM
Posts: n/a
Thanks for the feedback so far!

Another note. My brother currently has a 94 LS 400 with approx 120k miles. The decision is whether to fix up the Lexus, ball joints, power steering pump, or go with the lower mileage E420.

What would be the most 'unbiased' opinion? My brother likes the drive and the seats of the MB, but my sister-in-law is happy with the Lexus.

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Old 11-27-2000, 09:18 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
Posts: 4,712
Just a joke, but I would much rather fly in a F-16 than a Cessna 150.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 11-28-2000, 01:35 AM
joegolden's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Dalton, Georgia
Posts: 818
EJV, my mother has a 93' Lexus LS400 with almost 150k. Other than the very expensive 60k mile services, the LS is bullet proof. She has only taken the car to a Lexus dealer one time. That was only because she was out of town when the power steering pump failed and they charged $1000 to have it replaced! You can get the car serviced at a Toyota dealer for much less. They charge here about half what the Lexus dealer does for major service and oil changes. This car has been the cheapest foreign car to maintain than any other she has owned!

Now if you want a car that feels like a tank and has a drive that you can get involved with tell your brother to go with the MB! These cars have a feel about them one cannot explain! Thay may cost more to maintain but they carry more clout and they never go out of style! I have an 84' 300d that more people compliment than any of my other cars. That car does not rattle and it is as fresh and solid as new. My wife has to really push to close the doors! My mothers Lexus is an effortless cloud. It will outrun an E320 but that body style is 4 yrs older than the original LS and feels more solid and connected to the road than an LS has ever dreamed of!

Sure your bro can fix up the LS,but he will continue to blend with the Town Car folks!

Joe Golden
98's70 24k
98'Explorer Limited 43k
83'Wagoneer 213k
84'300d 198k (my daily driver)
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Old 12-03-2000, 09:41 PM
Posts: n/a
Thanks for all of your feedback!!!

Actually, looks like they can keep the Lexus.

My brother found a 93 300D 2.5 Turbo for himself. Since he loves diesel, looks like a good compromise. He drives the MB and she can drive the Lexus.

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