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Old 04-20-2001, 11:06 AM
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I'm beginning to think that my car is a complete money-pit. I started out 8 months ago thinking I had a jewel in the rough, but as I fix one problem, there is always another. I think I'm going to end up with a complete overhaul on the engine and there are still electrical and fuel delivery problems to be dealt with. The only thing I've seen of this car that is overly impressive is the sound isolation of the cabin. That has served to mask feedback from the many problems the car is having. Last night, I rolled down the window to talk with a friend and the sound of my car at idle made me ill. The sound was punctuated by the rolling smoke coming from the exhaust. I don't expect any response as my first three posts to this board have been completely ignored.
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Old 04-20-2001, 12:05 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 378
I think that many of us have the same feelings about the cost
of MB ownership. I like to think that I have a much better
car now than when I bought it. I've done steering, timing
chain rails, clock, transmission cooler lines so far. I still
have steering issues, climate control and a new ticking sound
to deal with. Still, I have read of $8-10K repairs for owners
of 350SDL and 4Matic cars.
In your case, have you looked for another engine? There
were a million 190's made, so you should see them in lots
of auto wreckers. A used engine for my 560 would run about
$2700 with a guarantee; yours (rebuilt) is $3000 from Adsitco
and used should be much less.

To change the subject a bit, how is your rear seat legroom?
I have heard that MB changed the 190 a bit to improve on space.
Do you know if 1987 was the old, low-space design?
1967 250SL
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Old 04-20-2001, 12:06 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 223
Sorry to hear about the many problems with the car..your description of the symtoms and general information about the car are so vague that it is hard to determine what could be the problem with it. How many miles? how long have you had it? is it a 4 cyl? Does it have compression? You need to collect information first before you can diagnose the problem
1996 E320
2000 C230 Kompressor
1988 190e 2.3 - 225K miles, owned for 7 years. I cannot say enough good things about this car. Very well built, even at 225 it ran like new.
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Old 04-20-2001, 02:41 PM
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This car is a 140,000 mile 2.3 gas. The rear seat leg room is minimal. I wouldn't want to spend much time back there, but my primary passengers are two small children. I will say that the cabin design creates a pretty compfortable seating postion considering the lack of space. I don't know if I have the new or old design.

I bought this car for next to nothing, so I won't feel cheated by the experience either way, but the laundry list of repairs is frustrating. There is NO WAY I will spend 3k on engine repairs to this car because it seems to be severely worn in so many other ways. I fear that this particular machine has had a very rough life.

The car burns (probably a combination of burning and leaking) about a quart of oil every 1000 miles or so. There is ample smoke from the exhaust. I'm not sure if that is oil or coolant. I can't tell. The oil tends to smell a bit like gasoline. It starts great when cold, but it will not start after warm-up unless the accelerator is fully depressed.

Other than surging at idle, the car runs fairly well after start-up.
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Old 04-25-2001, 09:48 PM
190 beast
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I sure know what you mean. I have been working on my 1987 190 2.3 for a while now. I just got it fixed perfectly though. The only real reason that I can think of for the problems, is a combination of wear and tear and (this is just a thought so dont get mad at me for this) the fact that in 87 the 190's went through a lot of changes, and maybe some problems werent anticipated or thought of ahead of time. Just a thought. I goota say i love my MB. Wouldnt trade it for the world(well maybe an xj6)
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Old 04-26-2001, 04:28 AM
Posts: n/a
Compared to new car prices $3000 is cheap to get an additional 5+ years on your car. It is a better financial
decision to put money in a car to replace engine than
buy new. By doing this you know what exactly you got.

My average costs are about $350 in parts to maintain my
1988 per year. I do most of the work myself out of necessity.

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Old 04-26-2001, 09:21 AM
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You come off as a pretty grumpy sort. It's no wonder you got no response to your previous posts although I certainly didn't spend any time to look for them. Based on your perspective, if I were you I'd unload your junker and go buy something where you can get a warranty as it appears you have no patience for any problems. Good luck in your future efforts!
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Old 04-27-2001, 01:32 AM
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I bought this car because it was cheap and it doesn't look like a jalopy. I was curious enough about these cars to gamble the price of this one just to check it out. My problem is that I get affection for my cars and I want them to be perfect. This car would likely be fine, as is, for most people, and will probably run forever. The smoke from the exhaust is usually not even visible, but there is a lot of noise from the engine compartment. I'm going to fix it. I got a bit frustrated with this car. My prior posts were at a point when I was trying to determine the extent of repairs and whether to do them myself, if at all. I read all this tremendous knowledge being shared, but my issues got no interest.

I read posts here every day. Some of the regulars here are amazing. It is clear that you are all very enthusiastic about your cars. When I found this site, I had just bought my 190, and I expected that true MB enthusiasts would turn up their noses at anyone driving an old car like mine. Seeing that there are so many here who also drive high mile Mercedes is a bit inspirational.

I would like to confess that my car is a money pit largely because of my illogical drive to repair everything.
Incedentally, two repairs that I have made recently actually cost about 10% of what I was told to expect to pay.

Thanks for your letting me get that off my chest.

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Old 04-27-2001, 09:11 AM
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If you take your time to investigate and learn about the car and systems along with reading and searching here I believe that you can solve many of the problems yourself. Your costs will be similiar to those recent experiences and much more satisfying. This Mercedes is an amazing car, I bought mine on a lark and intended to sell it promptly. However, the more I drive it, the more I really enjoy it. It is very well engineered and solid.
Tackle your problems one at a time and do a search to fine tune questions for the forum.
I believe everyone really is here to help.
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Old 04-27-2001, 10:42 AM
Posts: n/a
My experience has been somewhat similar. Now that a couple of big money fixes have turned out to be easy and cheap, I'm back on the same side of the fence that you are on. I have about a year before I have to buy a car for my wife, and if the next year with the 190E goes well, I may be brave enought to try a more modern model.
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