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Old 02-16-2001, 02:19 PM
Lebenz's Avatar
backwoods member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: In the fog
Posts: 2,862

It’s not so much having a crystal ball, as merely looking at what routinely happens to a lot of w124 vehicles. It is cool that you’ve skirted some of the maintenance issues that have come to many other owners.

The question I have is what do you do differently, if anything, to be so fortunate? Do you not get a lot of rain where you live and drive? Do you do only hiway trips? Do you accelerate sloooowly? Do you brake slooowly? Do you drive under, at or above the speed limit? Do you drive in a large (population of 800K or more)city? Do you spend a lot of time tinkering with your cars? I have an in-law that will routinely disassemble parts of his truck to examine or clean or upgrade something. He hides a lot of maintenance in the name of projects. Do you do this?

BTW, last summer, if I remember correctly, you had a major problem with one or more of your cars. What turned out to be the fault(s) and solution(s)?

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Old 02-17-2001, 09:39 AM
Posts: n/a

Yes, the year 2000 was the year from hell as far as my cars went.

The 240D engine let go in February, I bought a parts car for it and pulled the engine from the parts car and put it in the 240D as an interim engine. My son came home during the summer and I let him start driving it, that had me down to the Vette and the 300E which has always been dirt reliable.

You can't drive the Vette anywhere without something going wrong with it. So many little things happen to it, I can't even remember what problems I was having with it. Oh yeah, the Vehicle Speed Sensor went out on it and that was hard to find. Another sensor problem of some sort, and then the clutch soft line that GM put within about 2" of the front catalytic converter melted, talk about brilliant engineering.

Anyway, I was driving the Vette because the head corroded between water jacket and number six cylinder. At the time I was going to Europe every few weeks for a week or two at a time, so the 300E stayed down for a long time while everything else was breaking.

About this same time, my daughters diesel started giving some horrible vibration problems, which was mostly the motor mounts as it turned out.

Now to get to the "masking" of the problems I've had with my 300E. I don't think I have "masked" anything about this car. I gave the repair history earlier in this thread; rotors, cylinder head, climate control pushbutton unit. This car has just not had any other repairs.

I have changed the oil and filter religiously every 3,333 miles or so, basically three times in 10,000 miles. When I'm driving it, I drive it 180 miles per day. Of that 180 is typically about 20 miles freeway driving, 100 miles wide two lane with a lot of full throttle passing and 40 miles of narrow paved farm to market road, most always that portion of the drive is in the dark.

I don't poke along, but I don't drive at a race pace all the time either. On the wide two lane the cruise control is usually set at a little over 75 unless I am passing which is often, on the farm to market it is set on about 60 when possible and on the freeway I rarely have the cruise control set. There are the occasional stoplight to stoplight trips that are not part of my routine.

The weather is dry a lot of the time, but in the winter and spring we have a lot of rain. The weather element here that is toughest on a car is the 100 degree heat from late June through September.

Actually, other than fuel change religion, I have probably not maintained this car as well as the next guy would. I am ashamed to say that I have yet to change the lubricant in the transmission or rear axle. I have flushed the brakes once. I plan on doing all these when warmer weather hits.

The only other thing that MAY have an effect on my longevity is that I constantly listen and feel a car. Over the years I've dealt with many more repairs on my wifes cars than my own, because I don't drive hers every day, so I don't have a feel for what needs attention.

I'm still a little puzzled that anyone is doubtful or curious why I have so little problems. I'm shocked that one of these cars doesn't prove relatively trouble free if paid just a little bit of attention.

Like I said before, my fear is the air conditioner. Mine is still R12 and has given no problem. I'm sure this will not continue forever.

Then at the very end of last year my daughters car was giving fits. I ended up doing a valve job on it and messing with about everything that has to do with starting a diesel, I think I have found the last of what was giving problems.

The only good car thing that happened in 2000 was that I was afoot when returning from Europe in late September and I bought my C240, it's a great car. I will be glad when the nasty weather and rain stops so I can drive it more. Since I got the 300E running, it is my bad weather or dirty road car. It's almost fun to drive as the C.

Have a great weekend,
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Old 02-17-2001, 02:47 PM
Lebenz's Avatar
backwoods member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: In the fog
Posts: 2,862
The fortunes of the long distance traveler

Larry, thanks for the response.

Now your comments make sense. My folks had a non-MB which they used almost exclusively for commuting between Seattle and Portland (OR). They put over 90K miles on this vehicle and never even had to replace the tires! They sold it, bought another (new) one and did the same thing again! If you get (or have) to commute long distances, on average roads, in my experience, the vehicle goes very long time/distances without even minor headaches. A POS vehicle is another story, of course. Anyway, that’s a reasonable trade for spending 3-5 hours per session in a car… Hope yer back side is holding up as well as yer cars.

Conversely, another relative of mine buys a new Honda car every 2 to 3 years. She drives about 2 miles to work 5 to 6 days per week. Every car she’s had for the last 10 or so years has needed at least one new muffler and battery between new vehicles.

Machines tend to be obnoxiously consistent in their behavior given a set of consistent circumstances. In the examples above longer use periods at hiway speeds tend to yield much lower maintenance needs than shorter and in-town use periods.

My case is a lot different than yours in that I drive in and through Seattle an average of 4 to 5 days a week and, in addition, this time of year (november til may), drive 2 or more 160 mile rt sessions per week to a ski resort, plus several up to 1,200 or so mile round trips to other ski resorts (I log a little under 12K miles per year traveling back and forth to ski, and about that much in town and related). The combination of in-city and blasting up and down mountain roads makes for high maintenance as is demonstrated by the life cycles of my vehicles brakes, tires, tail pipe, suspension and other systems, to say nothing about the effects of about 60-90 miles per week over mountain roads sprinkled with fresh gravel the front, wheel wells, and side panels of the vehicle (btw mud flaps really reduce the hammering the panels take!) I have been doing this routine for about 25 years (some years I didn’t have the money to ski much), and in a lot of vehicles, and none stand up terribly well to it. This time of year I go through about 1 set of wiper blades every 2 months! I can’t say if in-city or mountain roads are worse.

Anyway, what the car is subject to on a regular basis largely determines the frequency and type of services it will need. According to my friends at the local dealer, every model year of every MB vehicle has several predictable maintenance issues. These are called pattern failures. Sooner or later they’ll show up. But you are a fortunate person in that your driving needs probably put more strain on your lumbar region than on your car!


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Old 02-17-2001, 05:12 PM
engatwork's Avatar
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
Posts: 11,232
purchased a future daily driver

today. 1985 300D turbo - it needs work so I got it real cheap but the engine starts up and sounds good. Can anyone tell me if this car is considered a 300D or a 300DT.
'95 E320
'97 CRV
'85 300D
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Old 02-18-2001, 11:02 AM
Posts: n/a

The term 300DT is a colloquialism. It is a 300D. With the turbo, many people call it a 300DT.

HAve a great day,
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