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  #1  
Old 10-31-2004, 09:23 PM
Hatterasguy's Avatar
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Are W140's as expensive to maintain as everyone makes them out to be?

I just did a search on them and they all seem to have the same problems. For example the wireing harnes, evap core, vacuum problems, and the amp.

Other then that as long as you stay away from an S600 are they really any more money to keep going then the W126 is? I mean the I am a W126 fan but they are no bargin to keep going parts prices seem to be about the same.

It seems to me if you buy a nice say mid 90's S320/420 with a new harness, evap core and a good maintaince history it will probably be a reasonable car to keep on the road. By MB standards anyway.

Also none of the problems seem to be to terrible $$$ wise at least for the diy. The evap core can probably be done in a long weekend or over a vacation. The wireing harness seems to be around $400 and can't take more then a day. The door close and trunk close assit problems are an optional fix. I look at that as a neat little feature that is nice while it lasts! But vac problems tend to be a pita to find but cheap to fix. The amps I'll give them that I don't know what they cost but their probably not cheap. But how often do they break? Every 10 years? Other then that no one seems to have major driveline or suspension problems.

Am I wrong here?

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  #2  
Old 10-31-2004, 09:37 PM
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Location: Evansville, Indiana
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Well, it all depends.....

I've heard of people dumping them as soon as the factory extended warrenty ran out because they were on their third $4000 engine computer and the $2500 climate control unit had just puked again.....

$10,000 a year in electronics to keep it running just isn't reasonable.

MB has admitted that there are electronics problems with these cars (including severe harness problems --DO NOT move the wiring harness, even for troubleshooting, if you don't want to replace the whole blasted thing -- even unplugging the six or so computer connections will cause havoc because the insulation will shatter, crossing all the wires up).

Add to that the "convience relay" package ($2500 or more) so you can open and close windows and sunroof (croaks pretty regular, too!), argon filled windows (I can only guess what they cost!), etc.

NOT an economical car, if truely one of the best quality build machines Benz every made. You do in fact not need to care how much it costs to have one of these, unlike the W126 or W116 -- or the W108, for that matter.

That said, you may get one that runs and runs with no major expenses, but I cannot afford to fix one.

Peter
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  #3  
Old 10-31-2004, 10:32 PM
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W140 parts costs etc.

I suggest you check the parts prices again. Many parts have doubled or more in the last year alone. main engine compartment harness on my car (94 sl-600) went from $900 to $2900 in one year. Electronic throttle actuators went from $3500 a pair to $6400 a set. Gonna sell the ***** if I can get it running. Getting a 'heater hose' was 8-10 working days from Germany--and the part is a 120 model part (from 78?) None in stock in USA.

Do yourself a big favor and go drive a good 1998-2000 Infinity Q45.
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  #4  
Old 10-31-2004, 10:46 PM
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So what's so special about a "1998-2000" Infinity Q45? I'm looking for insider tips - why would a fool buy a 97 or and 01?
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  #5  
Old 10-31-2004, 11:11 PM
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Body wise on my W140 I have replaced the evaporator core and the vacuum pump in the trunk. Also rear window regulators go out often and two of the four door checks have broken. I repaired the rear view mirror using the fix on this forum. Not too bad for 9 1/2 years and 269,000 miles. Drive a 124 or 126 and then drive the 140. Pretty easy decision in my opinion.
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  #6  
Old 10-31-2004, 11:31 PM
"Da Benzito"
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Durham, NC
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YES!! When compared to the cost to maintain a w126. The parts of on the w140 are outrageous!! Common problem is for the ac evaporator to go out. You don't even want to know how much that costs to have fixed. The entire front passenger compartment gets disassebled. All you see is thosands of wires!!! They are great to look at, but I know I wouldn't want to pay the repair bill after taking it to the shop.
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  #7  
Old 11-01-2004, 02:21 AM
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I haven't had to do a heck of a lot to the S420 over 16 months and 8,000 miles. The repairs I've been making have been on pre-existing conditions and I've been able to get by with used parts. I spend more time reading about problems with W140s than dealing with problems with mine.

As I've said before, MB asked me what I'd change about the W126 and came up with the W140. Of course I asked for fabric upholstery and manual AC but they met me part of the way with warm air from the center vents and override blower control

Sixto
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  #8  
Old 11-01-2004, 11:58 AM
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So their seems to be two groups of people that have had them. Either they have been pretty good with only the usual MB problems or they have been sucking down $2k computers. But do all W140's have this "convience package"? What about a base S320? Or S420?

Can't you get those computers used? Electronics either work or they don't so I would think that since the W140 has been around for awhile you could find a smashed up one that is being parted out.

Kebowers well it is a V12 I like the engine a lot but I would not own one!
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  #9  
Old 11-01-2004, 04:00 PM
"Da Benzito"
 
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Hatterasguy, I believe that the answer to your question about the convience(sp?) package is YES. I remember we were looking at a 1993 400sel, which definently had the convenience package, and amg chrome 18s as well, but it needed too many things to make it worth while. We were also looking at a 1992 300sd, which had the convience package as well, but it needed new seat belt retractors (which are another common problem on these cars), an ac evaporator and a vacuum pump controlling the vacuum assisted doors and trunk lid. So If a 300sd has the convience package I would assume the higher models had it as well. When you say "convience package" you are referring to if you turn and hold the key in the driver door one direction all the windows go down and the sunroof opens, and the opposite direction all the windows go up and the sunroof closes, correct???
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  #10  
Old 11-01-2004, 10:21 PM
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i have a number of benzes.

until i acquired my c140, my fave was my c126.

and i still like the 126, but the 140 is a better bit of engineering.

its suspension is better. it goes through the twisty-bits at a higher speed.

its engine is better. it has the hp and torque that the us version 126's were denied.

it's quieter.

on the other hand, it is too wide for narrow roads. this makes it more than a handful. additionally, the front end disappears from the view of the driver, this makes it more of a driving mystery than the c126.

braking is superb.

odd tire size is not a virtue. but i must tell you that the avid v4s are great. so superior to the michelin shoes that michelin thought would own the owners of these benzes. thank you yokohama.

coefficient of drag is so refined. in the c126, opening the driver side window at any speed would beat you to death. in this c140, one can run 60+ with the driver side window open and do it without your ear being beaten to death.

on the other hand, the sunroof deflector in the c126 is far superior to the deflector in the c140.

closing with this, the c126 has 238 bhp. the c140 has 315bhp. the c126 has a difficult time giving me 13mpg. the c140 routinely gives me 16+mpg.

you do the math.

i like the c140. it is the best for running at 100+ on the houston rent-a-bahn.

buy one while you can. one of the most expensive production autos ever manufactured. you will not find anything like it in the future.

but, make sure that you have reservoirs of cash. benz is going to find a way to get back the beaucoup of dough that they spent on this model. what do you figure the 140 series cost benz? i figure several billions of dollars. they are going to be intent on getting that back.

if you own a 140, prepare to bend over.
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  #11  
Old 11-01-2004, 10:55 PM
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closing with this, the c126 has 238 bhp. the c140 has 315bhp. the c126 has a difficult time giving me 13mpg. the c140 routinely gives me 16+mpg.

Hmm...my 560SEL give me 15-18mpg local, and 22-24 highway.
while my S500 (M119) only give me 12-15 local, over 20 highway
And i guess you should use S600 to compare with 560SEL, both are flagship of Benz

I love both W126/140, 140 is quieter but I like the seat of the 126 more.

I have a weird thought that you drive the car more, the car will be happy and give you less trouble. I put 30000miles into my 560SEL last year, the car start at the first crank, burn 1qt motor oil every 3000miles, still drive excellent!
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  #12  
Old 11-02-2004, 01:44 AM
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well j, my 1987 c126 has 90k.

the 1997 c140, 35k

the 1986 s126, 265k

oddly enough, the 560sel has routinely delivered 15mpg. the 560sec, routinely 13 mpg. the s500c, routinely 16+mpg.

my 1995 e320cab, 13k, routinely delivers 20mpg.

my 6.9, 9pmg.

all are driven the same way. fast.

care to explain it?
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  #13  
Old 11-02-2004, 07:12 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Scotland
Posts: 11
From my experience the cost of parts for the W140 are at least double that for a W126 / W210. Apart from the engine the W140 seems to share very little common parts with other Mercedes models which probably pushes the cost up.

Recently the seat height adjustment of my S320 broke and on investigation one of the plastic drive gears had stripped. The individual parts could not be bought from the dealer and they wanted 900 for a whole new seat assembly!! Luckily I was able to track down a similar looking plastic gear and adapt it to fit.

If you look at it in purely financial terms the W140 is completely illogical. But if you treat it partly as a hobby and get great satisfaction from driving one of the best cars in the world then it starts to make sense but don't be fooled into thinking a cheap purchase price means a cheap car to run.
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  #14  
Old 11-02-2004, 09:46 AM
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Last year I helped a friend looking for a W140 sedan, and I'll tell you I was shocked. We looked at quite a few cars, but only ones with complete records. Lot-hags without any paperwork were ignored. The list of repairs on every car made me faint. The warranty repairs and then the non-warranty repairs on various cars was long, and the totals were more like the price of a condo, not a car's service history. There was a nice S320LWB that drove very nicely and had almost no driveline related problems but the list of other repairs could have wallpapered my house.

Now, if you know that going in, the 140 is awesome. Nothing compares, absolutely nothing.
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  #15  
Old 11-02-2004, 10:52 AM
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I have a 92 500SEL and I'm not sure I should type this but ...I guess I don't believe you can hex something just by praising it

Had some warranty issues when new, it was towed in 3 times for a stall and no restart. Turned out to be dist caps so no problem with that since. They did something with the front bushings but actually don't remember what it was now. And that was it for warranty visits.

The car has 82K miles on it and I have replaced all the rotors once, pads twice in the front once in the rear. On the third set of tires, came with p600's the next set was Goodyear LS and now avid 4's.

Rear view mirror broke loose, took it apart and repaired it. Speedo needle started to bounce and then ASR light came on, replaced speed sensor left front wheel. Bose Amp needed to be rebuilt.

So far less then $800.00 bucks spent on parts other then Maint. The car also has a noise over bumps that I have chased down to the lower shock bushings in the rear. If anyone has come up with a fix for this other then replacing the hydro struts I'd love to hear about it.

Damn reliable car if you ask me

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