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Old 06-09-2001, 12:17 AM
Posts: n/a
Hello all, I've been looking at 190E's, hoping to find a nice one with 2.6 engine, under 100K miles, for $5K to $7.5 K or so. I've found a couple promising cars and I may pull the trigger on one within a week or so. Any advice or specific problem areas to look out for? The two best finalists are 1990 and a 1992.

Thanks to one and all for valuable input!


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Old 06-09-2001, 07:37 AM
ymsin's Avatar
Driver, Mercedes-Benz
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 1,645
Watch out for RUST too - especially beneath doors and frame; bonnet trims, and beneath the floor mats.
... Kerry

126 tailed by a 203, 129 leading the pack.
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Old 06-09-2001, 10:25 AM
Johnson Chan
Posts: n/a
1st- the 190's are pretty small, so if you have children or often rear passangers, very tall person, etc. you might want to think twice, but if this is not applicable, read to #2.

2nd- another place to look out for rust is where the battery compartment is, and along the firewall, when wet leaves get into there and cause dampness, it can rust there.

3rd- I would go for the 1992. The later models seem to be better to me. You didnt go into detail about each one of them, so its hard to say. The later models seemed to be more trouble free than the earlier ones.

4th- are the AC systems converted to R134A? I have had a lot of AC problems and auxillary fan problems with the 190 i had. If it works, then this isnt applicable, but if its not converted, you might get some negotiating power.

I cant think of anything else right now, too early in the morning, lol.
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Old 06-11-2001, 10:21 AM
Posts: n/a
Thanks to everyone for their advice! I looked at a few more cars over the weekend and still have the same two as the best finalists. Here's a little more about the two cars: (forgive me in advance for excessive run-on sentances)

1) a 1990 190e 2.6, 89,000 miles, the car lived in Texas until 1995 (I'm in Minnesota so a salt-free car is nice to find), one owner, a couple that is now retired and the car isn't driven very much particularly in winter, very nice people that I seem to be able to trust, complete service records, everything works except the power antenna and the rear left window that has been disconnected because it would lower but not raise (window regulator bad), car drives great except it seems to have warped front brake rotors (vibrates upon light braking), body is immaculate and in very appealing colors (smoke silver with creme beige tex), has an aftermarket CD changer that plays thru the stock radio. Asking $7,900.

2) a 1992 190e 2.6 with only 60,000 miles, has recently had its head gasket and motor mounts replaced, two owner car with complete records, current owner was kind of arrogant. The car has ASD, the car drives perfectly (strong brakes) and everything works, body has a few scratches and dings (nothing major, just little pimples here and there), comes with second set of winter tires, green with parchment tex, asking $7,500.

Here's the quandry:

Either car would serve well. The 92 has less miles AND is two years newer AND has a lower price, but I find myself preferring the 90. I have more comfort with the owners, and frankly I like the color combination a lot more. But likely the brakes need attention and I'd like to have the rear window fixed.


On the 90, how much would you guess to have the rear window fixed? The brake rotors turned (or replaced)? The pads were new last summer so they should be fine.

I've seen the advice to watch out for the head gasket. On the 90, it doesn't show evidence of leakage or anything obvious, how would I check for any imminent failure? Once it's replaced (as it has been on the 92) is it a problem that recurs every XX miles?

Both cars have a very poorly-fitting glove box door along its left side, is this common and can I adjust it or tweek something to make it fit better?

Any significant changes that occurred between 90 and 92? The only things obvious are the addition of ASD and the deletion of the vaccum gauge. How worthwhile is the ASD?

Further advice or opinions from the group? Thanks again, in advance!!

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Old 06-11-2001, 12:02 PM
G-Benz's Avatar
Razorback Soccer Dad
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
Window regulators run about $140. It's a DIY if you feel like it...about 1-2 job.
2009 ML350 (106K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (80K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (138K) - My daily driver
2016 Mustang (32K) - Daughter's car
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Old 06-11-2001, 10:11 PM
Posts: n/a
I just had my brakes done, and the rotors cannot be turned.
All four cost me $600.00
The window regulators vary, but run between $100 to $200. It
is not a terrible job but not a fun one either. The door
panels anchors will tear out unless you are VERY careful. If
the tex at the top of the doors is loose, I've had good luck
using 3M interior adhesive and the neat little spring steel
document clips to hold them until the glue drys. I've also
fixed inumerable electricle problems by disconnecting as
many connectors as I could find, cleaning them, spraying
them with contact cleaner and reconnecting them. The dash
can be intimdating to pull apart until you read the posts
here and find out how, but it is made so well that it is
actually easy to work on once you get the hang of it. The
climate control was designed by 47 blind/deaf/mute/insane
genius engineers working independantly of each other, so
be patient and read the posts here if it breaks. I have an
88 2.3 that I love, but it does have it's quirks. Elderly
one-legged women on bicycles will pass you with the 2.3 8
valve or the 6 cylinder either one, but the 16V engine is
fairly hot. Short of replacing the engine with a 5.0, there
is not much you can do about the performance. Enjoy...
88 190E 2.3 160k miles and getting better everyday.
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Old 06-12-2001, 12:16 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Los Angeles CA
Posts: 154
Based on your description I like the sound of the '90 deal better, but no matter what, get a PPI done by someone good, particularly someone you can go back to for service. One of my cars was purchased from the original owner and came with years and years of records that documented lots of expensive work and a high level of maintenance, but getting the car up in the air showed a number of things that were going to need to be done right away. The PPI is the best insurance you can have.

Good luck!

Richard Detoy
'84 300SD
'76 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans
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Old 06-12-2001, 09:08 AM
Posts: n/a
Thanks to everyone! I'm leaning towards the 1990. I'll be seeing if I can get it into a Mercedes garage this week for an inspection, and also will call the owner's independent mechanic to chat about the car's history. Anyone with more thoughts, please feel free to still chime in.

Thanks again. This forum is valuable and I'll intend to continue to participate when I have my car.

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Old 06-12-2001, 09:44 AM
Jim's500E's Avatar
Large Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Manchester, Connecticut
Posts: 1,325
I just sold my 1992 Smoke silber/parchment 190E much to my displeasure; although a 500E replaced it. I was fortunate enough to sell it for $9900 with some 17'' AMG rims on it.I had 140K on it and all that the virgin motor needed was the valve guides and seals replaced; it was strarting to consume oil. That straight six is a great for the front crank seals leaking and replace the radiator if its not been done. The 1992's had the better stereo system from Alpine and replacing the rotors would cost only about $80 a rotor and one could do the change over in the driveway. Put redline oils in the tranny and rear dif to get rid of the howl if it has one. As for size...I'm 6'1'' and even the back seat was OK for an hour or two. Forget the sythetic oil on an older'll be seeing the oil coming out of the seals. Other than that a solid entry level MB. I wish the 500E got the good gas mileage...soooo what. Good luck with whatever year you would be the '92-93 Sportline 2.6 models if you can find one around.

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