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Old 02-24-2001, 11:18 PM
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I am finishing an oil change in my '86 300E, which I have owned for about a year. Based on driving the car and looking inside the valve cover I would describe the vehicle as simply "in use". Not new or worn out, just in use. Maintenance so far is , not much more expensive than the average vehicle and easy to perform.

Older MBs are known for durability and comfort. How do the new models(mid 80s and newer) fare relative to other cars of the same vintange?.

'86 300E 228K miles
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Old 02-25-2001, 07:11 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 1,193
I had a mid 80S Caddy that needed a new engine at 12 years old and only 60,000 miles. That's pretty crappy and expensive. I have an 86 420SEL that is one year older and has close to 200,000 miles now and has never had a valve job. The original suspension is starting to feel like it is on its last legs. I will probably have to replace major components and bushings over the next year. I expect the new parts will last another 12-15 years. I expect to get a valve job and replace the timing chain next year. Other than that there are no problems. I expect this car to last at least as long as it has already, maybe more. These cars are easy to maintain (can get a little pricey sometimes). You have a great car, its longevity will only be limited by lack or proper care.
Jason Priest
1999 E430
1995 E420 - retired
1986 420SEL - retired
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Old 02-25-2001, 10:17 AM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
Posts: 4,712
I have seen quite a few in the upper 200k mile range. I think that any of the Mercedes products will hold up well AS LONG AS THEY ARE SERVICED. My worst pet pieve is for someone to say what a junker their car is, and upon looking at the service history, you find only oil changes.

Oil changes alone will not keep a car running forever.
Donnie Drummonds
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Old 02-25-2001, 10:29 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Vernon, CT
Posts: 1,846
My father has, in addition to his '85 300D, a 1984 Buick Regal. This car had to have it's tranmission replaced at about 90K. Apparently in '84 GM offered 2 different size engines for that car, but the tranny was designed for the smaller of the 2. So naturally with my father's car having the bigger of the 2 engines, it killed the tranny. The car has a overdrive tranny which was pretty expensive to replace in the late 80's. Then at about 150K the original engine gave up. So his Buick is basicly the same age as his Benz but it's on it's second engine and tranny and the car still doesn't run right. The plastic bits and pieces in the interior have all broken. Of course the Buick didn't cost as much new as did his Benz when it was new. My father bought his Benz in '95. Your car has a inline six which is inherently a more durable engine then say a V-6. Also of course it's a MB straight six. Look at any other cars on the road that are 15+ years old. If it's a domestic it's probably in very sad shape. If it's a Japanese car it's probably smoking like crazy and the interiors are shot. Most cars running around that are that old are European.
1999 MB SL500 (101,000 mi)
1983 Porsche 911SC (149,000 mi)
2004 Volvo V70 2.5T (205,000 mi)
2014 Tesla Model S 85 (75,000 mi)
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Old 02-25-2001, 11:30 AM
Dave Quint
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86 300 210,000

I have a 86 300E with 210,000 miles no valve job done and no major problems.
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Old 02-25-2001, 11:34 AM
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Even though this probably belongs in the Open Discussion Forum instead of cluttering up Tech Help, I can't keep myself from offering my $0.02.

Listen to Benzmac. It's all in how you take care of it.

I believe that the new MB's have even more potential longevity. The only down side to the newer ones is that IF you have some sort of freak electronics failure after warranty it will be expensive. But when you look at the overall equation, you will probably go more miles in an MB than anything else IF IT'S TAKEN CARE OF. This means that most likely you will get back your larger investment because you get more miles from the car.

Good luck,
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Old 02-25-2001, 11:58 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: charlotte hall md.
Posts: 248
to rick jorden.I get tired of seeing Japenese cars bashed Some of them Are as near bullett proof as a car can get.As far as you comment about if you want a durable car get a european one.In most cases the european cars,especially if you factor in the english one.Where some of the sorriest cars sold here.Remember the Yougo.How about the renault.The Citroen The fiat.The alfa,on and on and on.They could not cut it over here and they are gone.My favorite car was and is the Citroen.It was an upkeep nightmare.And it rusted away right before ones eyes.I suggest we love our mercedes,without demeaning other cars.Michael
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Old 02-25-2001, 06:53 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 79
Benzmac and Larry,

Both of you give excellent advice that if you want your car to last it must be maintained beyond regular oil changes. Could you please outline the ideal maintenance routine? Should the one recommended by MB in the owner's manual be followed religiously, or is an alternate schedule recommended?
2004 E320 Wagon
1989 300SE
1998 Range Rover 4.0 SE
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Old 02-26-2001, 07:43 AM
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I personnaly feel that for the most part the maintenance schedule is in your manual.

There is one caveat to that, however. There has been much debate on this forum about engine oil and filter changes. I personally believe that this is one area, where surpassing the frequency indicated in your owners manual is necessary if you wish to achieve ultra high mileage. For the typical owner who drives the car five years or 100,000 miles, the factory oil and filter frequency is more than adequate.

Have a great day,
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