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  #1  
Old 12-26-2016, 12:59 AM
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Angry 1998 E320 one of the worst decisions of my life, good lesson though

These cars are not for people who can't fix most things- otherwise they will bleed you dry. Been problem after problem, few months back had a ton of work done on it. Wouldn't start 6 weeks ago, had AAA replace the battery when they came out and did their diagnostics. On the way home tonight "battery charge" red warning comes on while driving on the interstate, lights start fading, radio goes off, ABS warning, no turn signals, car goes into limp mode. Luckily only a couple miles from home, made it off the highway after nearly being killed by a guy going 80 who didn't see me because the lights weren't working- and there was nowhere to pull off (I was in the far right lane, no shoulder there, got off at first exit obviously).

Looks like either AAA put the battery in wrong (seems unlikely since it worked fine for 6 weeks) or the alternator is bad, but anyway this is the end. After putting $1300 in it 3 months ago and told it was in great shape, 2500 miles later it goes to the junkyard tomorrow.

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  #2  
Old 12-26-2016, 01:09 AM
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If I were close I'd take it off your hands.
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  #3  
Old 12-26-2016, 02:17 AM
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Junking it is a foolish decision. Get the problem fixed. You can then probably sell it for what you paid for it. It is hard to sell a car that doesn't start unless you want to take a big loss. However, selling it as is is likely to get you more than junking it.
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Old 12-26-2016, 04:19 AM
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Any 5+ year old used car is not for people who can't fix most things - seriously.
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  #5  
Old 12-26-2016, 06:37 AM
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To bad you are in the opposite Coast. I would take it off your hands.
Don't buy out off warranty in the future. Will save you a lot of disappointment and headache.

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  #6  
Old 12-26-2016, 07:40 AM
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And if you had a similar year VW Jetta you would scrap the car? How about any other random brand?

The charging system on this car isn't any different than most any other Euro cars ( many use a Bosch of Valeo alternator ) and in concept no different than any other car world wide.

There is no way a shop could predict a charging system failure ( or any other system for that matter ) without taking the entire car apart so don't blame them.

The the only bad decision being made here is to dump the car over a standard run of the mill repair.
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  #7  
Old 12-26-2016, 08:03 AM
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iuecon99, how many miles are on this 1998 E320? It's likely the voltage regulator needs to be replaced ... a simple and inexpensive DIY repair. No reason to junk the car until diagnosing the problem.

You may have heard the adage "there is nothing more expensive than a cheap MB automobile". Before buying any MB automobile, it is prudent to have a MB-trained tech perform a PPI (pre-purchase inspection). That will provide you with an evaluation of the car's existing condition and what major repairs are pending. It's an expensive proposition to buy any vehicle whose owner failed to perform any preventive maintenance. MB automobiles are relatively inexpensive to maintain if one has basic DIY ability for brake pad replacement, rotor replacement, oil changes, air filter changes, transmission fluid changes, spark plug changes, etc.
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Old 12-26-2016, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iuecon99 View Post
After putting $1300 in it 3 months ago and told it was in great shape, 2500 miles later it goes to the junkyard tomorrow.
You're driving an 18 year old car. Things can and do wear out, often at inconvenient times. Just because everything was "fine" 2500 miles ago doesn't mean they are now. From your description, you have a voltage regulator or an alternator that has failed. If it's original to the car, you got good life out of it and it doesn't owe you a d@mn thing. Fix the problem and keep driving the car, or if you're sick of it, sell it.

Over-reacting from a very common failure to ANY brand of car is a little dramatic...
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  #9  
Old 12-26-2016, 12:06 PM
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I would bet the brushes are worn out. They are on an easily replaced part that includes the regulator, for less than $50, however the stealer would charge $500, or replace the alternator for a thousand. I just replaced mine in about a half hour.
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  #10  
Old 12-26-2016, 12:48 PM
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I owned a 99 e320 from new. They were crappy cars out of the box. The problem rate over time doesnt seem to have changed much, but the used car crowd has a much higher tolerance.
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  #11  
Old 12-26-2016, 01:03 PM
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None of you guys ever owned a 211? Makes the 210 look like a shining gem

Seriously, every car with a combustion engine has an alternator. Every single one of them is in line for the exact same failure experienced by the frustrated owner. Considering that the alternator has likely turned at least 6 times as many revolutions as the engine at 6X engine speed, its pretty impressive they live as long as they do.
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  #12  
Old 12-26-2016, 01:48 PM
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Later w210's were better, but the problems the OP has listed doesn't sound anything serious...More than likely the alternator or VR is weak, so it prematurely failed the battery...New battery, now the alternator is the weakest link. Just a string of items.
It would be a different story if you were listing off big ticket items, but these are all minor, common wear items for a 18-yr old car.

Goodluck buying ANY 18 year old car with 150k+ that will drive 50k without you spending a penny, including a Honda.

Don't buy early 211's either! In fact...as a rule, just don't buy ANY model from ANY manufacturer for the first few years. Buy the last year or two of that body style/engine/chassis generation and they almost always will be very reliable.
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  #13  
Old 12-26-2016, 02:45 PM
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Do yourself a favor - buy something with a warranty.

or buy a mechanics tool set from Sears and start doing research. The W210 is literally one of the EASIEST Mercs to do anything on.
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  #14  
Old 12-26-2016, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mxfrank View Post
I owned a 99 e320 from new. They were crappy cars out of the box. The problem rate over time doesnt seem to have changed much, but the used car crowd has a much higher tolerance.
This ^^^

My opinion of the model coincides, mxfrank.

The fact that the car is aged, doesn't help with it's dependability factor. It kind of should be expected that these cars will have breakdowns occur routinely. Should expect up to thousands a year in repair expense. Not to mention the inconvenience factor.
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  #15  
Old 12-26-2016, 05:34 PM
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Not sure if you expect us to feel bad for you or something. It's given 18 years of great service and things wear and break just like any car. Don't buy a used car if you can't afford to fix it, or don't have the mechanical aptitude to work on it yourself. Just buy a warrantied camry and trade it in every couple years. These cars to me are way nicer and cooler than a honda or toyota, so I'd rather use my own time to fix it.

My advice to you is replace the alternator or regulator and sell it. If I lived closer I'd give you $400 for it and drive it for another 150K miles.

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