Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog How To Articles Tech Forums
Call Pelican Parts at 888-280-7799
Shopping Cart Cart | Project List | Order Status | Help

Go Back   PeachParts Mercedes-Benz Forum > Mercedes-Benz Tech Information and Support > Tech Help

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-22-2006, 09:44 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Monrovia, CA
Posts: 496
300E buyer's checklist?

I'd like some ideas of what specifically to look for when shopping for a 90 to 92 300E. What are some of the problem areas and how best to evaluate them? Any known problems, weak points, wear points, recalls, tech bulletins etc. would also be appreciated.


Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2006, 10:11 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Baton Rouge La
Posts: 2,632
pretty much the same car...

pretty much the same weak points

a/c evaporator is usually numero uno

it seems power steering might leak a drop here or there

I would always keep an OVP relay, a/c relay, and fuel pump relay in the trunk

Really can't say much bad... I have heard some say that a 92 300e was the best car mercedes ever built...but that will bring lots of catcalls and debate.

I would make sure you get the 3.0 engine
1989 300ce 129k
( facelifted front,updated tail lights, lowered suspension,bilstein sports, lorinser front spoiler, MOMO steering wheel, remus exhaust,stainless steel brake lines). (Gone)

1997 s320 154k (what a ride). Sold with 179k miles. Replaced with Hyundai Equus

1994 e320 Cabriolet 108k

1972 280se 4.5 153k Owned for 12 yrs, sorry I sold it

Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2006, 11:33 PM
dkveuro's Avatar
Sword of Damocles
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Here an' there.
Posts: 2,548
Windshield wiper siezes....the cogs inside strip too.
A/C condenser leaks.
Heater blend doors stick/fail.
Head gaskets .....leak oil into coolant...a 150,00 mile job usually.
Rear sway bar links wear.
Rotor in dizzy burns out.
Coils fail...rare.
Trunk leaks rain of trunk seal goes flat.
Occasionally cam lobes go flat....wipes out lifter follower too.
Transmission...late 1-2 shift....warm up valve need mod'.
Bump up change at part throttle...hard internal rubber seals.
Center drive shaft support bearing make clunk thump on acc'.
Crappy front spoilers crack.
Headlite doors fade/crack/discolor.

One of the toughest cars Mercedes ever built.

[ ]

"A liberal is someone who feels they owe a great debt to their fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money."
Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2006, 01:33 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Southeastern PA
Posts: 3,053
Phalcon51, why not look for a '94 or '95 E320? They are the most refined of the 124 cars ... brighter headlights and lower revving engine than the '90 to '92 variety.
Fred Hoelzle
Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2006, 01:53 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Monrovia, CA
Posts: 496
Well, partly because I like the simplicity of the M103 engine and also I have a Sportline kit that I bought for my totalled 86 that I want to install on the next car. I don't think the pieces are the same on the 93 and newer cars. Lastly, price is a factor. If I can find a low mileage 90 to 92 I think I can get it a bit cheaper than a later model.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2006, 06:26 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 34

Check oil leak around upper front cover.

Check reverse. If the car doesn't go into reverse as soon as you drop it in, you will be needing a tranny replacement soon. I didn't pay attention when I bought mine, after the fluid got good and hot, reverse would not pull. I was told by a Master Mercedes Tech this was a common problem.

Also make sure you don't have problems with the A/C vents switching. Punch your defrost and vent buttons to make sure they switch back and forth without problems.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2006, 02:57 AM
Bob G's Avatar
Bob G
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Long Beach ,California
Posts: 276
I luv our 1992 300-E

My wife and I decided to buy my clients 1992 300-E Sportline a two years ago. My only complaint was the cow catcher- air dam on the early sportline models and the fact that you don't get a rear bench seat to streach out on . We purchased our 300-E with 36,000 orginal miles with all documents . I purchased tires , and did the major servicing for the 37,500 service but I sure like the car. My only regret is my wife drives it. I just keep it serviced and clean.
P.S. Buy the mercedes-Benz W124 service CD .I belong to this forum.

Bob Geco
Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2006, 09:52 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Johnson City, TN
Posts: 985
First question should always be "Show me the service records."

Then I would say look for one with about 100K miles that has records for some of the predicable biggies. Those would include headgasket, A/C compressor, radiator, etc. etc. There are a bunch of 100K to 120K predictables and it's better to have those already done.

Also look at the coolant. If it's green instead of light orange, then I would not buy. Incorrect coolant equals internal corrosion.

I had a '90 300E bought at 100K sold at 175K. I have a '92 Factory Sportline that I bought at 113K and currently it's at 244K. Engine still running strong with no valve job yet. A long list of repairs. Some necessary, some upgrade, some just pure anal.

I would pay a whole lot of attention to paint. This is very expensive to remedy. Also find the number stickers for the fenders, doors etc. They should all match. Look closely for signs of a wreck or body work.

When you find the one you want, and have done your best analysis, then take the car to a independent MB shop and pay them to do a PPI (Pre-Purchase Inspection).

'97 S320 114K
'92 300E Sportline 244K
Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2006, 10:12 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 3,726
Originally Posted by Phalcon51 View Post
Lastly, price is a factor. If I can find a low mileage 90 to 92 I think I can get it a bit cheaper than a later model.
I think the prices have crossed on these cars - the earlier ones, for a good example, have become more valuable than the later ones. A lot of people are thinking as you are. The used car market values practicality and the earlier cars are more practical - because they lack several major problems of the later cars and they are easier to work on for the DIYer. I agree with the earlier post - two things stand out - head gasket oil leak and transmission. It's difficult but good to hear an older car on cold start up. Funny valve train noises are a significant problem. The color of the coolant should be very low on your list, or not on your list. If non-MB coolant is more likely to cause corrosion (and this is a very tenuous proposition) it is still an insignificant issue in the larger picture. I've driven a dozen used Mercedes several hundred thousand miles, have never used MB coolant and have never had any sort of a coolant problem.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2006, 11:22 AM
david s poole
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: dallas
Posts: 1,822
i agree with above post.serviced hundreds of mb's never used mb coolant too expensive no ill effects someone is perpetuating some kind of holy aura around that your money.

David S Poole
European Performance
Dallas, TX

"Fortune favors the prepared mind"
1987 Mercedes Benz 420SEL
1988 Mercedes Benz 300TE (With new evaporator)
2000 Mercedes Benz C280
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:59 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2018 Pelican Parts, LLC - Posts may be archived for display on the Peach Parts or Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page