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floatinghat 01-08-2001 12:13 AM


I'm new to this forum and have been lurking every once and a while. I hoping I can get a little direction and advice here. I'm looking at a 95' e320. "88,000" mile. car appears to be in good condition but has an oil leak, the SRS light is on (owner says it came on at 18K I wondered why it wasn't fixed under warr) I think it needs front rotors as there is quite a lip pads are new. tires ok, tex is in good shape although appears to be used. I took the oil filler off with the engine running (very smooth) and could not see signs of blow by.

Are the oil leak and the SSRS light common issues?

I'm pretty sure I can pick it up for $16-17K any thoughts.

jgl1 01-08-2001 02:46 AM

This was the last year of production for the W124 and most (but not all) problems had been been worked out. Ask to see the vehicle's service records. Obtain the vehicle's VIN and have an M-B dealer run a VMI (Vehicle Master Inquiry) for you; the VMI doesn't detail regular maintenance hx but will show any service MBNA covered under warranty and may help highlight trouble areas. VMI repair groups are numerically coded so you will need the dealer's help in interpreting the printout.

Pay particular attention to the climate control system - any prior repairs (in or out of warranty), esp. repetitive freon loss? Evaporator integrity is a known trouble area and renewal is not cheap.

MBenzNL 01-08-2001 04:29 AM

I do not know much about the engine of a 320 other than it came after the 300-24 valve and that is an engine which is very well known for its oil-leaking problems. I've got two cars with a 300-24 engine with about 110k km's and oil-leaking problems. They do not leak much and are quiet simple to repair, but since I rarely use these cars I did not find it necessary to do something about it.

The SRS light can be put out by the dealer. You need to plug the car to a computer to have a look at the detected problem (can be a disconnected dash-cluster for bulb changing whilst the ignition key was turned) and to reset the system.
This can hardly be a big problem and can be reset by any dealer within 10 minutes.

greetingz & good luck,

Ed Richardson 01-08-2001 02:56 PM

It does not sound like this car had competent service, either by a dealer or an independent. The SRS light should have been addressed, it may not even be in the car. The oil leak is probably from the timing cover on the front of the engine, a very common problem with this engine. There is a new sealer that MB uses that now works. The dealer or good independent should have no problem with this.
Check that the trans. has been serviced on schedule. If not, then it should be checked and serviced.
Also check the engine wiring harness for deterioration. Use the search function of this site for the complete description of this problem.
Inspite of the "gloomy" comments, they are great cars. I purchased a '94 wagon last year and love it. Ed

G-Man 01-08-2001 03:20 PM

Well I'm pleased to hear that the SRS light is not the sole province of the G wagen. Both my '90 and now my '95 have had this problem. Most likely the light was set off by "increased resistance". This means the bag may need to be pulled and the brushes that allow the wheel to turn and keep contact with the bag need cleaning or replacement. There is a very good chance the bag will still operate, but have it checked. I had the light reset twice on my '90 and will have the '95 done next time it is near the dealer. The oil leak could also be the head gasket, common on these engines and about $1000 to repair. Look on the exhaust side for leaks. My 320 has a leak from the oil filter housing area. Another on this site just replaced the rear main seal, that is on par with the HG for cost. They are great cars though, the power of the 320 over the 300 is a welcome addition.

engatwork 01-08-2001 03:25 PM

I purchased my E320
from the dealer last May with 82k miles on it. I would do it again. I have had to replace the alternator and the rear main seal. Have on the "to do" list the air pump pulley (available from for around $300) and the fan pulley (around $150). I plan on doing these in the springtime and maybe change all the hoses on it at that time. It turned over 100k this weekend past.
'95 E320
'97 Honda CRV

floatinghat 01-09-2001 12:34 AM

Well this is what I found out today the car has been smacked. Both air bags deployed and have been replaced however the "control sencor" has not. The dealer has recommeded this to the owner how ever he has declined.

thanks for the replies and anything more would be helpful

G-Man 01-09-2001 09:05 AM

There are a few things that would drive me away from this particular car. First it was in a substantial front end collision. Second, the owner did not have it fixed completely. Third he neglected to tell you why the light was actually on. It also has an oil leak. The price is nothing special either. I looked on Auto Trader and found lots of 94-95 E320s with similar miles at similar and sometimes lower prices. Personally on a car like this I would take a few more miles over a car that was in a big accident. Like blackmercedes said these are not rare cars, and I don't think the price is in line with its history. On any car the pratices of the previous owner are very important. Not fixing the air bag system and not repairing an oil leak tell me there is a good chance he/she cut corners elsewhere as well. Move on, find a nice one. Brent

lipscomb 01-11-2001 12:35 PM

95 320E
I have a 95 320 with approx. 73,000 mi. You didn't say where your leak was, however that block which is almost identical to the 103 design which was installed in the 88 300SELs commonly leaks at the front crank seal after about 70K mi. The part is cheap. The labor is not. I changed out the 88's seal. The 95 is leaking there to but is not a major problem yet. If you are concerned aboout compression, I would use a compression gauge. The SRS proble is scary. That could be expensive. Or it could be something as simple as a disconnected air bag (it's in the steering wheel).

Overall, we like the 95 320 very much. It is much more responsive than the 88 and has given us good service so far.

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