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  #1  
Old 08-19-2002, 11:56 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: S.F Bay Area, CA
Posts: 14
Question Reliability of '90 190E?

I am considering the purchase of a 1990 190E 2.6 with 134K miles on it. I would like any information on the expected reliabilty of this vehicle, any weak points, or any other tips. I have over 18 years of automotive mechanics experience (rebuilding engines, transmissions -A/T and manual, setting up axle gears, etc.), but very little on European vehicles. The current owner is well known to me, and he has always had the vehicle dealer-serviced at regular intervals. I do remember the front brake rotors wearing out rather soon. Somebody told me that M-B rotors are *soft* for better braking. I have also heard the A/T can be weak point on this vehicle. Is this true? Also, are service manuals easily obtained? Thanks for any info.
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  #2  
Old 08-20-2002, 03:13 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: LEMONT-CHICAGO
Posts: 412
Brake and suspension parts are not expensive for this car. The car is very durable. My 1990 190e 2.6 has over 210,000 miles on it. The things that wear out are the front driveshaft flex coupling and the serpentine belt tensioners. The engine may have an oil consumtion problem from the valve stem seals. About $20 and one afternoon will fix the problem. My car is very solid for over 200K. I don't consider getting rid of the car like some American cars that had 140K and felt like they were on theie last leg, and I maintain my cars pretty well regular oil changes, chassis lube etc. I recommend the 190 they are well built.
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1990 190E 2.6
1996 Grand Voyager 3.3
1985 Mustang GT 5.0 5 SPD
1982 Suzuki GS 750T
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  #3  
Old 08-20-2002, 09:49 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 463
I can also recommend the 190E 2.6

I haven't had any major problems to date.

If the car still has the original alternator, replace the voltage regulator at the back of the alternator. This is cheap at around 35 bucks and will save you from a roadside assistance call.

I have also gone through 2 serpentine belt tensioner shocks in 40 000kms. To be fair, I drive very fast on some less than smooth roads.

Upgrading the front end to the european spec lights with clear blinkers takes years off the car.

Also the back window regulators seem weak on these cars. Mine are still original but, I rarely operate the back windows.

Good luck with yours and take care.
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190E 2.6 - 244 000 km
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  #4  
Old 08-20-2002, 12:09 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Saugus, CA USA
Posts: 1,989
Watch out for the ingition switch. If it starts acting funny change it before it dies, or else...
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5 speed '91 190E 2.6 320,000 mi. (new car, fast, smooth as silk six, couldn't find any more Peugeots)
5 speed '85 Peugeot 505 2.5l Turbo Diesel 266,000 mi. (old car, fast for a diesel, had 2 others)
5 speed '01 Jetta V6 (new wifes car, pretty quick)
5 speed '85 Peugeot 505 2.2l Turbo Gas 197,000 mi. (wifes car, faster, sadly gone just short of 200k )
5 speed '83 Yamaha 750 Maxim 14,000 mi. (fastest)
0 speed 4' x 8' 1800 lb Harbor Freight utility trailer (only as fast as what's pulling it)
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  #5  
Old 08-20-2002, 12:26 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: England
Posts: 1,841
If you can be sure of the history/condition, a 190 will last forever.
I remember LJK Setright (famous motoring writer) lists the 190E 2.6 as one of his top 10 best cars ever created. They age better than almost any other car too, so are still awesome cars today.

Just ask the C-class owners who've upgraded from 190Es. Many of them regret it..

Simple enough to work on (but not that basic) too. Mercedes automatics aren't completely last-a-lifetime rock solid, but they're not a 'weak point' either, especially as they drive better than almost any other autoboxes around.

From my experience of 'domestic' US cars, you are in for a good time if this is your first Mercedes!


later

Russ
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190E's:
2.5-16v 1990 90,000m Astral Silver
2.0E 8v 1986 107,000m Black 2nd owner
http://www.maylane.demon.co.uk/190esmall.jpghttp://www.maylane.demon.co.uk/190esmall2.jpg
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  #6  
Old 08-20-2002, 06:40 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Florida
Posts: 128
Talking

I also agree with everyone else. My 190E 2.6 is a great little car. If you can find a 5-spd car, GRAB IT!! I couldn't find one. But mine runs great and is very dependable. The 2.6 car is heavier than the 2.3, but the extra weight makes the car feel way different than the 2.3.
Just make sure you brush up on your electrical circuitry knowledge, and get a schematic of the car. It will come in handy...
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81 300SD
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  #7  
Old 08-20-2002, 10:36 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,508
Check out the following thread I started about Peter Egan's selection of the 190E 2.6 as being one of his ten favorite cars in the first ten years he started writing for Road and Track magazine:


Peter Egan's "Side Glances" and the 190E 2.6
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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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  #8  
Old 08-21-2002, 08:47 PM
mradowic
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Ignition Switch

This is in regards to Jim's post on the ignition switch. Exactly what are the symptoms that tell you an ignition switch is going bad. I'm just curious so I know what to keep my eyes peeled out for.

I have a '93 190e 2.6 with 76k on it. I think it's the best car I have owned. It's great on fuel and is a comfortable ride. I'm thinking of taking it on its first BIG road trip to visit mom & dad in FL in November. It's a great little car.
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  #9  
Old 08-21-2002, 09:14 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: England
Posts: 1,841
If you start finding it tricky to turn the key in the lock (check the steering lock first! ) or to remove it, your ignition lock may be going bad.
I don't think it's actually at all common, but some members have had night mare scenarios of keys stuck in locks, not being able to go anywhere, etc. etc. which could have been avoided if they'd noticed the problem earlier.
Also, as the Mercedes locks are made of some outrageous strength metal (you'd expect nothing less) most people can't even make a scratch if they have to try and drill them out.

Same deal with Mercedes locking wheel nuts... won't drill off for the world

later
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190E's:
2.5-16v 1990 90,000m Astral Silver
2.0E 8v 1986 107,000m Black 2nd owner
http://www.maylane.demon.co.uk/190esmall.jpghttp://www.maylane.demon.co.uk/190esmall2.jpg
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  #10  
Old 08-22-2002, 01:12 AM
TANK
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Wow, these 190 e's sound like real winners. I did not know this. Keep on trucking!
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  #11  
Old 08-23-2002, 03:40 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: S.F Bay Area, CA
Posts: 14
Thumbs up Thanks for info

Well, I think we'll sell the 2001 Toyota and buy the '90 190E. We can get about $15K+ for the Toy, so there will be some money left over to buy some things (like a new hood blanket) and get the hood repainted. Sap undermined the clearcoat, so some areas blistered and flaked off. Looks like I'll also have to get the service manual CD, too.
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  #12  
Old 08-26-2002, 04:28 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 171
Erik,

I own a '85 190E 2.3 5 speed. Though it is a 4 cyclinder, it is still an awesome car. I have over 280k miles on it, enjoying every mile that I put in it. It's a small car, great for commuting. So far, the problems I have had with it are pretty standard wear and tear: dirty injectors, broken tumbler, water pump, and alternator. All of the above has been changed only once, except for the water pump.

It's an easy car to work on, and the prices are not that bad. So if you can find your self any 190E with a clean record, then I'd recommend you to go for it!

-Regards,
vu
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  #13  
Old 08-26-2002, 07:08 AM
Joe-1
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I have an 86 190e 2.3-16 with about 120k on the odo. ALthough my mileage isnt as high as the other people here, I love the car as it sits. It is bone stock except the a Bekkers throttle body and a removed center resonater. Still runs to redline like a champ, I will never sell it hehe.
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  #14  
Old 08-26-2002, 12:20 PM
public enemy
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Erik VanR I also agree with what the other people are telling you about the 190 being a wonderful car. However, keep in mind that if you sell the 2001 Toyota, you are going to buy a car that is 12 years old and has 134, 000 miles. Anything can happen to a twelve year old car with this mileage, so if I were you, I would not buy it instead of the Toyota. If you can afford it as a second vehicle, that would be great. But I would not sell out a new car for it.
Just my $.02
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  #15  
Old 08-28-2002, 11:25 PM
Dan Rotigel
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My 100k mile 2.3-16v has been damn good to be over the past 15k (good lord that sounds like alot!) and 12 months. But heed public enemy, these are older vehicles, and things happen. I was only stranded once, it was a freak occurance where the ignition switch broke in a manner so it just didn't make electrical connection to the starter. The point is, things just won't work as smoothly as on your toyota. Some people call it 'character', others just call a mechanic. I would sugest that part of owning one is working on it yourself. Best of luck, and check out the 16v's, they are many times in better condition, generally have a 5 spd, but are more expensive.

Dan

"D.I.Y=> Destroy what destroys you!"
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