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Old 01-20-2003, 08:07 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 48
maintenance costs on an older diesel - need help convincing my wife

I need everyone's help here. We need a third car - something reliable that doesn't cost an arm and a leg to repair - like our C280.

What are the average costs / yearly for an older diesel - like a 300D or 240D ?

Would I be better off buying a honda?

I want an old benz!! Thanks in advance.

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Old 01-20-2003, 11:31 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 459
My advice has always been that if you are not capable or willing to do your own repairs, then no old car is really an economical option. Through the years most owners have neglected so much that you have a lot of repairs and maintainence before a used-car purchase is in "reliable" condition. The other issue is that you apparently are looking for a car that needs no frequent service and you can just drive and depend on it when you need it - that sounds like Toyota territory! My opinion is that Mercedes are pedigrees and need/should be treated as such. Such care in an old car is costly if you are paying someone else to do the work.

I sunk about $2,000-$2,500 in my car in the past 1.5 years to get it in really good shape. How the finances work out over the next few year I don't know, but as it stands I think all I'll need now is oil and fuel for quite a while.

Good luck,

'84 300D
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Old 01-21-2003, 12:51 AM
CJ CJ is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Earth
Posts: 1,318
Help is on the way!

Here is some food for thought!
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Old 01-21-2003, 10:16 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 48
how hard is it to work on the 240D and 300D ?

I am somewhat mechanically inclined - oil/brakes - the simpler things. How difficult is it to work on these old mercedes?
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Old 01-21-2003, 11:55 AM
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It's an iffy subject, and you'd either get a good one or a bad one. I spent 2 grand for a rebuilt transmission 2 years ago, and since then it's been an endless string of fixes: new starter motor, solenoid replacements (two faulty ones in a row), and so forth. I only have diesels but I hear that they are easier to work with than gasoline, as long as you have a mechanic who knows how. I'd check that out in your area before you make the purchase.

But: you would have an old mercedes, which might make it worth it. It is for me, but that's not going to convince your wife. If you get one in good shape, and it's your third "emergency" car, it will probably be fine. They are also pretty hardy. My brother's school parking lot flooded and water came through the floorboards and the engine was about two inches deep in water. They towed it out and it fired up just fine. It's got about 300,000 on the odometer, too.
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Old 01-21-2003, 12:27 PM
Jim B+
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If you do a real "due diligence" inspection before you buy the car, (engine compression, all major systems, etc) you could be really pleased at how economical these cars are. I have gone for a year with only the 3,000 mile oil service (a MUST if you are going to keep the diesel healthy). In the eight years I've owned my 240D, rarely have costs gone over $1,000 per annum.

These cars were well thought out, simple, overbuilt, and overengineered. They represent "mature" technology, and IMHO, are the last "true" MBs built. You should be able to find a mechanically sound "driver" for maybe $2k that will continue giving yeoman service for at least another 10 years. Parts are plentiful and cheap, and sites like Mercedesshop are super valuable because they contain info on any possible problem or remedy that's been chronicled in the 20+ years these models have been on the road. They are perhaps the last autos built not to be "disposable." Style (for the W123) is wearing better than most newer models! Can't recommend them highly enough. I like the 240D, but the 300D is a fine product also.

Recommend you get a copy of Frank Barrett's "Mercedes-Benz Buyers Guide," entertaining and with a wealth of info on all MB models.
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Old 01-21-2003, 01:06 PM
haasman's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 3,097
" ...... need help convincing my wife"

I found that helping spouses understand what it is about Benzes makes all the difference. Safety, longevity, etc are convincing arguements.

Sometimes just pointing out particular cars. Stopping and taking one for a test drive at a dealer can be fun.

I am lucky because my wife grew up with a diesel Benz. Her family still talks about it.

It was a natural transition for our family.
'03 E320 Wagon-Sold
'95 E320 Wagon-Went to Ex
'93 190E 2.6-Wrecked
'91 300E-Went to Ex
'65 911 Coupe (#302580)
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Old 01-21-2003, 01:45 PM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Northern Va.
Posts: 3,386
My wife works at a preschool and helps unload the kids in the morning drive lane. She commented to me on just how tinny most car/truck/SUV doors are. Feel engineering also comes into play here as some cars have insulation to make them sound solid but really aren't.

We have two Volvos right now, 965 and V70, but I want to move to MB's within a few years.

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