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  #1  
Old 12-10-2002, 08:33 AM
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Question 230E or 300E???

I have examined both these cars and test driven several to get a feel of them. Please tell me which is the better car to buy pre-owned from the 1986 to 1993 model. Just leave out the mileage for the moment or the visible condition, but concentrate on what problems I should be looking out for, potential future problems, repair costs and normal maintenance costs to keep running as a daily runner. As an example, these cars would mostly have travelled in excess of 150,000kms.
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  #2  
Old 12-10-2002, 05:39 PM
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yal yal is offline
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Both cars have more or less the same problems. The problems are wide ranging and they don't all happen in one car. You have some people who have experienced certain issues and others who haven't.
Headgaskette failure usually precipitated by a pronounced oil leak at the rear of the engine head.
Timing chain cover gaskette failure.
Hot start problems (numerous causes).
Cold start problems (numerous causes).
EHA gas leak.
Fuel pump(s) failure.
Fuel pump relay failure.
OVP (overload voltage protection) relay failure.
Transmission rubber coupling wear.
Rear "Thrust" link suspension wear precipitated by rear skip when hitting a bump during cornering.
Rear subframe mounts (wear) sometimes precipitated by floaty ride and crosswind instability.
Blower motor failure for climate control.
Heater valve failure.
Ignition tumbler failure.
Engine Mount failure precipitated by persistant frame vibration sometimes mistaken for rough idle.
230E has a fan switch that can fail to turn on the fan at the correct temperature.
Water pump failure precipitated by coolant leak around water pump seal which promptly evaporates and sends owner on wild goose chase.
Idle valve failure.
Throttle actuator failure.

I refuse to think of anymore because its making me depressed but needless to say there is no substitute for having all the cars records at your disposal and having a trusted tech who really KNOWS these cars take a look at the car away from the prying eyes of the seller
Hope some of this helps.....
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  #3  
Old 12-11-2002, 05:55 AM
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Unhappy 230E or 300E

Many thanks for your input YAL, I am already feeling depressed even before I've bought the car. Sounds to me like these cars are similar to a minefield. Beware of hidden dangers! I really can't understand why so many things can go wrong in a car which is normally renowned for their long life, never breaks down, solid piece of German engineering and prestige. Obviously it must be very difficult to maintain strict quality control on the thousands of different parts required to put a Benz together since many of the parts are contracted out to other manufacturers. However, this is also true for all other car manufacturers and some of them seem to be able to do a good job.

I am driving a C180 and its forced me to spend quite a bit of $$$ to simply get things right. Some of the problems you mentioned for the bigger cars I have already experienced in mine. I am just thinking of going one up in the power and speed available, but preferably without so many unknowns hidden away which may pop up when you least expect it.

What is your sincere advice, YAL???
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  #4  
Old 12-11-2002, 07:50 AM
LarryBible
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There AREN'T that many things to go wrong.

The reason it SEEMS that way is that people who frequent this site here about problems and how to correct them. That's why we post here. So, this makes it seem as if every MB that's ever been on the road has a rash of problems.

As an example, a problem that is considered common, such as the infamous a/c evaporator on the 124 cars only occurs on about 15 to 20 percent of the cars. It is considered to be common here, but you have a four in five chance that it will not give trouble on YOUR car.

If you were a veterinarian and saw dogs come into your clinic several times a day that are sick, it could start to appear that ALL DOGS ARE SICK. But, that's just not true, it's just that the veterinarian only sees the dogs that are sick. There are zillions of them that are at home, healthy, chasing sticks for their master. The veterinarian isn't seeing those dogs.

Enjoy your new (to you) car,
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  #5  
Old 12-11-2002, 10:28 AM
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yal - stop scaring the poor guy!

Yes.. these are pretty much most of the only problems ever experienced by our pool of many hundreds of owners of 300E/230E's. I suspect many have never suffered more than one of them.

But, go ask any mechanic with lots of experience of many different cars, and you will see that these are some of the (and to many, THE) most bulletproof cars around. Think very hard before considering another car of similar age.

later
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  #6  
Old 12-11-2002, 01:25 PM
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yal yal is offline
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Oh boy! I wasn't trying to turn you off the W124. Your question asked what could possibly go wrong and NOBODY was answering your question so I just listed a few problems I heard about frequently. I know from pass experience on this forum that in order to get a thread going someone has to post a pointed reply. Seems to have worked

Just to reiterate, you are NOT going to get all these issues on one car, no way! If you did it would be a junk car. These are just things you should be aware off so that when you test drive the car or bring it to a mechanic you can say "Oh yeah I heard about that one".

Just to put what I said into perspective the mercedes ML's and W210's I think have lists just as long and those things are newer!!

We get people who buy a W124 who come on this forum and then start bashing the car for the problems it has and then you realise that the car they are complaining about has close to 200k miles on it and is 15 years old hahahaha...come on!

Approach any old car with caution....its just common sense thats all.

Last edited by yal; 12-11-2002 at 01:31 PM.
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  #7  
Old 12-11-2002, 01:33 PM
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300E!

If I had to choose between the two, it would be the 300E.

I had a 280E (also a W123) and while it was a great cruiser, it didn't have the same nimble feel of the 300E nor the pickup when passing.

That being said, my 300E has proven to be the most reliable, bullet-proof car I've ever owned. 280,000 Km and going strong on the original engine. Hasn't even had a valve job yet. No oil consumption. Incredible for a car its age.
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2007 E550 4Matic - 61,000 Km - Iridium Silver, black leather, Sport package, Premium 2 package
2007 GL450 4Matic - 62,000 Km - Obsidian Black Metallic, black leather, all options
1998 E430 - sold
1989 300E - 333,000 Km - sold
1977 280E - sold
1971 250 - retired


"And a frign hat. They gave me a hat at the annual benefits meeting. I said. how does this benefit me. I dont have anything from the company.. So they gave me a hat." - TheDon
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  #8  
Old 12-11-2002, 03:03 PM
slowlane
 
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The 300E would be my choice, but any of the 124 body is an excellent automobile, maybe one best cars ever mfg. Before buying, spend a few dollars and take the car to a good Mercedes technician, if records are not available, think twice before buying.
enjoy the drive, timreid
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  #9  
Old 12-11-2002, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by LarryBible
There AREN'T that many things to go wrong.



Oh yes there are!!! I could even ADD things to Yal's list!! The fact is that any 10 to 15 year old car has seen it's better days and is subject to heavy repair AT SOME POINT IN TIME ! If all you people who think the W124 is a unbreakable tank, I have one I'll sell you. Cheap!
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  #10  
Old 12-11-2002, 03:46 PM
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The M103 177hp 3.0L six in the W124 is preferable to the 2.3L 130hp M102 four cylinder. Not that the M102 is a bad engine, but the 300E is a very well balanced car with excellent performance and terrific durability. The fuel economy penalty is minimal between the two, as the M102 has you mashing the loud pedal with more force.

One nice thing about the four is the extra room in the engine bay for DIY guys.

Also, in your nation do you have taxes based on engine size? Could be a factor...
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  #11  
Old 12-11-2002, 03:51 PM
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Stephen -

lol...I'll take it for parts! Does it have a good evaporator? Oops, I believe that was rhetoric...

True enough, and I'm sad to hear about the problems you're having with your 300E, but the fact that most 300Es make it to the 15 year mark in good shape is a testament in itself, no?

All the P.O.S. Fords and GMCs my family has owned barely limped past the 150K mark. My Dad's Ford Taurus wagon (1992, 3.8L) has had TWO engine rebuilds (one Ford paid for), a new tranny and new AC. The mileage? 142,000 Km. Regular dealer serviced. If I won one in a contest I'd sell it at a loss just to get it off my driveway...

Tell you what - we'll take your Merc, you take the Taurus...deal?
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2007 E550 4Matic - 61,000 Km - Iridium Silver, black leather, Sport package, Premium 2 package
2007 GL450 4Matic - 62,000 Km - Obsidian Black Metallic, black leather, all options
1998 E430 - sold
1989 300E - 333,000 Km - sold
1977 280E - sold
1971 250 - retired


"And a frign hat. They gave me a hat at the annual benefits meeting. I said. how does this benefit me. I dont have anything from the company.. So they gave me a hat." - TheDon
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  #12  
Old 12-11-2002, 05:37 PM
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Re: Stephen -

Quote:
Originally posted by Zeus
lol...I'll take it for parts! Does it have a good evaporator? Oops, I believe that was rhetoric...

True enough, and I'm sad to hear about the problems you're having with your 300E, but the fact that most 300Es make it to the 15 year mark in good shape is a testament in itself, no?

All the P.O.S. Fords and GMCs my family has owned barely limped past the 150K mark. My Dad's Ford Taurus wagon (1992, 3.8L) has had TWO engine rebuilds (one Ford paid for), a new tranny and new AC. The mileage? 142,000 Km. Regular dealer serviced. If I won one in a contest I'd sell it at a loss just to get it off my driveway...

Tell you what - we'll take your Merc, you take the Taurus...deal?
I share your opinion of the Taurus, but I'm not comparing the two. All I've heard for years about MBs was that they last forever! At those prices they should. Mine just won't stay on the road. It's always something. 145K is nothing compared to what I'm used to. All my Jap cars have gone way beyond that! But in defense of Fords, I have one that's 38 years old and still has a lot of the original moving parts. Mileage in excess of 300,000 and when I do have to replace the 26 year old water pump, it will cost $23.00. Maybe my next MB will be a good one. God I hope so!!
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  #13  
Old 12-12-2002, 04:31 AM
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Unhappy To buy or not to buy?

Thanks to all you guys for your replies. I will probably go ahead when this car is available as its still being used by a relative and my verdict is its in pretty good condition. Best part of it is the inside and outside are impeccable, garaged every night and not heavily used. I am very worried though about the fuel pump(s), fuel filter(s), water pump, aircon, radiator, tranny, suspension, engine and other major breakdowns which may already be due and cost me too much of money which I am pretty sure I don't have. Buying the car used is not so bad as you know the total you have to pay, but if you bought a lemon or one which has not been repaired due to somebody's lack of money, boy ! This would be a nightmare! Like hitting an iceberg....most of the total repair cost unknown!!! LOL.
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  #14  
Old 12-12-2002, 01:19 PM
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So you're going to go ahead and buy "this car" when it is available...


Which one? The 230E or the 300E?
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