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Old 03-24-2000, 04:35 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Southampton, NJ
Posts: 126
I recently purchased an '85 300D turbo and truly enjoy it and am now beginning the process of bringing it to my maintenance standard. My question is what should I watch for or need to address. The car has 153K miles and is very clean. The trans does shift quite hard, but I hear that is common for the model. Other than that, I just need info on which oil to use, when to do maintenance, etc. Also, what is the best maintenance manual for these vehicles? Thank you for your replies.
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Old 03-24-2000, 04:57 PM
Posts: n/a

These are very sturdy cars. The specified oil change interval for these cars is 3,000 miles, don't stretch it. Change oil and filter, draining it hot and for a long time, helps get the sooty grunge out. Use what is called Universal grade oil. This is the oil the truckers used. Examples are Shell Rotella and Chevron Delo.

Change both fuel filters and the air filter every 25,000 miles. Get a Haynes manual or the CD sold by mercedesshop for the fuel filter change and bleed procedure.

Keep an eye on the soft tubing that daisy chains along from injector to injector, and especially don't overlook the plug at the back of the rear injector, these will ocassionally blow out and wet down the engine compartment with fuel.

When it gets hard to start one cold morning, replace all five glow plugs.

Also, when it starts blowing hot air instead of cold or visa versa, replace the mono valve on the firewall next to the battery.

I can't think of anything else that is not just things you would watch for on any automobile.

Good luck and enjoy it,

Larry Bible
'84 Euro 240D, 516K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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Old 03-24-2000, 09:23 PM
Posts: n/a
A few things to build on Larry's comments. Concerning the fuel manifold tubing - replace it and either buy some extra tubing and a plug or save the old as an emergency spare and put it in your glove box.

Check your radiator hoses and replace if they appear aged at all - this is good insurance.

Check the battery tray and keep this area clean and rust free if you plan on owning the car a long time.

Concerning the fuel system, the only thing I would add is that you ought to runb some diesle doctor through the system to make sure youdon't have any fungus growing in the fuel. After you have run a few tanks through, I would then pukk the main tank strainer and replace it. This is cheap insurance too.

Lastly, I am told the hydrulic suspension tends to get ignored alot, so replace the fluid and the screen.

Have fun!

87 300TDT
150,000 miles

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Old 03-24-2000, 09:56 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
Posts: 4,712
You can get a good tech to make the transmission shift better if it is too hard. I have adjusted many...The key is to get the vacuum that goes to the modulator right and THEN do the adjustment.

1981 280GE SWB
1987 16V

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Old 03-25-2000, 06:24 PM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Los Angeles, Calif, USA
Posts: 521
3000 miles oil/filter change is recommanded but I always forget. So for the low usage cars, I change oil at the end of March, June, Sept, and Dec. For others, I change oil/filter when the last four digits of my speedometer hit 0000, 2500, 5000, and 7500.

Rear-end oil change every 30,000 miles.

Tranny fluid/filter change every 15,000 miles ; change the fuild in the convertor too. If it is too much trouble changing the fuild in the convertor, just drain the tranny fuild from the oil pan drain hole every 5000 miles and change filter every 15000 miles. If the existing tranny fuild is brown in color, it is not a good sign. It is better to drain as much fuild as possible, including the convertor.

Power Steering filter/fluid change, possibly every 15,000 miles.

Change Coolent every two years.

Change brake fluid every year.

Valve adjustment every 15,000 miles. At the same time, check the timing chain.

For the air filter, check it very 10000 miles by putting a trouble light behine the element to see how much light is coming thru. Compare the light to a new air filter, you will know the different. In my area (where I can see the air I breathe) I change it about 12000 miles. To clean an old air filter, tap it against a concrete floor to loose up the dirt. Blowing it with an air gun may damage the element.

For the fuel filters, it is an easy call. I look at the small clear plastic filter. If it starts getting dark, I change both fuel filters. For my daily used 300SD, it's about every 10,000 miles. If, in your area, the fuel is clean and your tank is clean, you do not need to change fuel filers like I do. Before you change the fuel filters, be sure the fuel hand pump is in good order first and you have two new rubber o-rings for the spin-on filter. If you still have the old style hand pump, you may want to change it to the new style hand pump at the time you change the fuel filters. The new style is smaller and has less chance of failure (you do not want it leak when you are driving). If you visit the web site,, the author recommends fuel filter changes very 5000 miles. It is your judgement call. Shopping around the internet, you will find that the fuel filters are very cheap, OEM spin-on, <$7; in-line plastic, ~$1.20.

Check your tranny flex hoses (attached to the radiator). If they are still original (no coil spring around the hose), change them.

Check the oil cooler flex hoses (attached to the radiator) too.

Clean the engine possibly every year. Clean and lube the fuel linkage joints with tranny fluid too.

Your car may have a clear plastic in-line filter which is for the vacuum system to breathe (near the left side under hood). It looks like a fuel filter and has a paper element inside. I never change mine but I think the book calls for inspection and replacement if necessary.

Please fill in or correct the information if you can think of anything else.


[This message has been edited by be459 (edited 03-25-2000).]
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