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  #1  
Old 07-11-2002, 05:56 PM
keefus
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Question 97 E320....should I buy?

Test drove a 97 E320 today. It has 49K miles, and has the Starmark certification. I also drove a 98, but the V6 doesn't seem as smooth as the I6 in the 97. Besides the head gasket issue (which should be covered by SM warranty), are there any other things I should be aware of in the 97 (or 98-99 for that matter)? I really like the car, and want to buy it.
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  #2  
Old 07-11-2002, 06:37 PM
engatwork's Avatar
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Look down in the coolant reservoir and see if you can see any brown/black droplets. If you can it already needs a headgasket. I seem to recall that by '97 the engine wiring harness issues had already been worked out. If the car is in good shape and the price is right I would not let the headgasket issues keep me from purchasing it. Read the StarMark paperwork in detail and make sure the headgasket is covered.
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  #3  
Old 07-11-2002, 06:43 PM
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The engine wiring harness was only bad from '93-95.

The head gasket issue wouldn't stop me from buying this car.

Heck, this 3.2 liter M104 engine was used up until 1999 in the S320.

It must be a pretty good engine if MB used it until recently in the big W140 sedan...
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2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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Old 07-11-2002, 06:59 PM
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I think that the reason the S320 continued on with the 104 engine is that they knew when the V6 and new V8 were introduced that the 140 chassis had only a year left, so rather than go through all the certification that would be required to have the V6 or new V8 sold in the old chassis, they just carried on a little longer with the old engine line-up.
Gilly
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  #5  
Old 07-12-2002, 04:25 AM
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Beware when buying a used car

I just bought my 99' E320 here southern California thousand oaks MB and had a bad experience. I got the price lower than the sticker price but my mistake was I did not really inspect the car more thorough and thinking that 130+ starmark certification was enough. At the time I was there and while waitng for the car to be ready, the salesman offered me to teach me all the features and took me to one of their cars in the lot which now i realized it was wrong, so from that car I learned all the features like the panic alarm and so. when i got home I learned that my panic alarm horn is not working so i called them 3 days after and told me to go back to the dealer. Went there 5 days after,finding out that starmark nor the dealer won't cover my alarmhorn and they are charging me 200+ to fix it. Finance manager said I bought
it AS-IS so He won't cover it. to make the story short I called his gen. maner and won't talk to me and called MBUSA and I believe they made some investigation MBUSA called me back saying that it is between myself and the dealer and they won't intervene anymore. It was stated by MBUSA to me that the dealer told them that the alarm was disclosed to me upon purchasing the car and I know that is B---S--t. So my advice to you is to be very careful when purchasing a used car and let them repair it before you sign documents. And carefully read the starmark warranty coverage coz' i found out that there a lot of parts/equip not covered.
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  #6  
Old 07-12-2002, 10:42 AM
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There is a difference between buying a car "as-is" and buying one with a warranty, StarMark or not. My guess is that they had the car StarMarked certified (inspected) but then didn't include the price of the StarMark warranty in the sale. This type of fault certainly would be covered in the StarMark warranty, if you had one.
If the sales manager said it was bought "as-is" that implies there is no StarMark warranty on the car.
How many miles does the car have on it. The original factory warranty is 4 years/50,000 miles, on a 99 there may possibly be warranty left on it.
Gilly
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  #7  
Old 07-12-2002, 11:17 AM
DTF
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Keefus, Do a search on the transmission on this car. I believe there were issues with the transmission that were resolved by '98. I could be, and probably am wrong but I think MB changed the transmission in '96 from what was in the '94 and '95 and there were problems in the '96 and '97 models.
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  #8  
Old 07-12-2002, 02:11 PM
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I own a 97 E320. 1st I'll list the positive points:

1. smooth I6 compared to ticking v6 (98+).
2. Quiet and fast 0-60 6.7
3. If you have ETS it disengages after 25 mph, thus you can still play around.

Negative points
1. 1st year of the 5 speed gearbox in the E320. No failure problems, but I have heard some faulty computers. No problem w/ mine
2. Infrared key no radio signals
3. Head Gasket and Oil seal leaks-no leaks on V6.

I have driven both, the I6 sounds really good while the V6 will roar but not quite as spectacularly. The 3V V6 is my reccomedation for you if you live in the east. Supposedly the cats heat up faster w/ v6; thus faster cold immediate performance. Also it has a far superior ignition spark system, two coils and two sparks per cylinder. But if you are like me and live in So. Cal., I would reccomend the I6. The 5 speed is telepathic. If you wanna drive fast, it'll shift crisply correspondinggly. If you wanna go slow, shift unnoticeabley. It can go fast when pushed.
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Old 07-12-2002, 02:18 PM
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As good as the 3 valve V6 may be, I read in one of the many magazines I get that Mercedes in 2005? 2006? is going to go back to the DOHC design for their V8's.
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2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #10  
Old 07-12-2002, 07:02 PM
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gillybenztech,

Thanks for your reply and my apology on posting twice I just want to make sure that everybody see my experience from that dealer, you can just delete my other post.

I got 56000 miles when i got the car and it is also stated by the dealer that my car is covered until sept. 2003. I still have the paper of the starmark warranty and all my paperworks including the starmark certification sticker that is posted on the car. What I don't understand is that when I called the MBUSA telling them my problem they said they will follow up with the regional manager which they did but it ended up nothing, they said they won't intervened with my case anymore because of believing that the alarm was disclosed to me upon purchasing the car. I have look on my paper works but I could not find anything I signed that it was disclosed to me regarding alarm not working. I just don't know who can help me now since MBUSA did nothing. Do you have any suggestion? please let me know, thanks....
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  #11  
Old 07-12-2002, 09:09 PM
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Since the car had 56,000 mi on it, the factory warranty had expired, so the Sept 2003 date is a moot point, it's 50,000 or 4 yrs whichever occurs first, the 50,000 occured first.
The base starmark warranty is 1 yr. All Starmark warranty expires at 100,000, so you should only need to worry about the 1 yr after time of delivery, assuming you wouldn't go over 100,000 on the odometer in a year.
The car is supposed to be brought up to Starmark standards, if they can't bring it to Starmark standards it is NOT to be given Starmark certification. Notifying the prospective owner of the deficiency doesn't cut it, EVERYTHING should look and work as new. Were you informed of any problems as has been suggested, I don't believe you have said one way or the other.
The Starmark warranty is in effect a continuation of the factory warranty. This is warranty work for the dealership and they know it. As I have said, in my opinion, the car probably in effect has no Starmark warranty and that is the real problem, either they forgot to get it registered with MB for Starmark or something to that effect. I don't care about stickers on the car or the certification sheet that was filled out, bottom line is the dealer has to PAY Mercedes a certain amount for the coverage, and if they failed to do this, and you were under the impression that the car has the Starmark coverage, someone is in trouble, but I don't know who. You're going to have to look over your paperwork closely for something with your name on it, the vehicle ID, and that states that you have the 1 year Starmark warranty on it. I can't do much else for you right now, Friday evening and all, but maybe on Monday I can ask exactly what you should have that proves Starmark coverage.
There should be no kind of clause that would state "this and that don't work, sorry, even though it's under warranty, don't expect us to fix this and that". The car is supposed to be completely operable, everything should work or it can't be a Starmark.
Talk at ya later
Gilly
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  #12  
Old 07-13-2002, 02:57 AM
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gillybenztech,


They did not mention anything wrong about the car and I agree with you that even it is used, it should be atleast in good working condition including its components. I have the (pink) starmark pre owned form that I signed on the bottom which has another 2 pages(white) that explains parts that are covered and not. I have check the pink form that I signed and It has my name, address and info of the car(i.e. vin #) BUT there is no check mark on the section saying "starmark limited warranty expires: 12 mos from the STARMARK pre owned purchase date". do I have to worry about this too?. I remember 5 days after I bought the car and went to the dealer the service dept. checked in his computer that I still have until sept 2003 but he said the problem in the alarm is not covered by the warranty. The finance manager even told me that they will not cover it or pay for the repair because I got a good deal with the car. I know that I got a good deal with the car but my point is they are still responsible in fixing the problem. thanks again for your response..


japuli
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  #13  
Old 07-13-2002, 03:14 AM
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I also want everybody to know that this is my first mercedes benz and love driving it infact my wife and I are planning in buying a brand new one after 3-4 years but I am just dissappointed and frustrated with MBUSA and the dealer. I had a 96 mitsubishi montero and bought it used on 98 and had a problem with my a/c, sent it to the dealer and fixed it with no questions asked, same thing with honda oddyssey 2001 which i bought it brand new and currently having problem with the mismatch color of the bumper and the body, I sent it to the dealer and they inspected it and said they will repaint the bumper. My point is I did not expect that mercedes benz customer support would be like this. Please don't get me wrong but MBUSA s--ks in handling my case. There is no question that the Mercedes benz is one of the best car in its class but they should improve their customer support. just my .2 cents.
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