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  #1  
Old 07-03-2003, 02:42 PM
Randy L
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Cool MB's ARE Great Cars!!!

Thousands of people frequent this site trying to get an opinion about Mercedes cars and all the troubles they read about can give a prospective buyer a skewed impression about them. This would be true in any tech forum site where the main topic is fixing problems.
I just wanted to send a word of comfort to prospective buyers that Mercedes Benz cars (even the entry level 1996 C220 I just bought) are absolutley incredible and you can defintely see the attention to deatil and painstaking efforts to build each one perfectly.
My dream car has been a 5-series BMW (535i) for years (I've owned 3 of them while in Germany), and I chanced upon this repo that was immaculately cared for, and priced too low to pass up. Heck, I wasn't even looking for a car but this C220 kept pulling my eyes to it since it looked so darn nice. Now that I have driven it a while, I can truly say that this IS a car that takes the word "refinement" to a new level. I am SERIOUSLY considering Mercedes as my future cars of choice now.
So prospective owners, don't get scared away by all the problems you may read about. Remember, for each poster with a problem, I'm sure there are hundreds that don't have a problem!!
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  #2  
Old 07-03-2003, 03:17 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 104
You are right Randy,

MB cars are great, especially as second hand since they keep the feeling of a new car longer than most other brands.

However, sooner or later all cars meets problems and since MB:s are often company cars or owned by pretty rich people as new, the repairs and parts tend to be higher priced than other cars. It is also harder to find spares from wrecked cars and as second or maybe the tenth enthusiast owner of a MB, we need support of each other to keep the repair costs at an affordable level before we rush to the garage. Simple as that.

A great car deserves a great Forum and this is what we´ve got here.
L.
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  #3  
Old 07-03-2003, 04:31 PM
G-Benz's Avatar
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And you can still get parts over the counter...even for a 25+ year old model!!!
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  #4  
Old 07-03-2003, 06:13 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Irving, Texas
Posts: 80
my biggest problem with MB cars, is that MBUSA continues to stick their heads in the sand and ignore design issues. Examples:

my 92 400e had the disinigrating engine harness... cost for the harness alone was $400. If I was not able to install it myself it could have been easily over $600.

my 95 e320 same problem.

my 98 e430 there is a known issue with the harmonic balancers going out and causing damage to other parts. I have seen repairs @ over $2500. mine hasn't failed yet, and they won't even consider it since it is out warranty, unless I want to pay for the part and the labor. so I will purchase the part and replace it myself. ($160)

My philosophy on this is that I don't buy MB products to get hung out to dry. I consider buying products that have been defective by way of manufacture or design, and not being replaced for free, is hung out to dry. It is a fact, the harness were not designed properly, and we as consumers were forced to pay for the replacements, same for the Harmonic balancers. Granted I have not bought one new, and I told the service manager as well as the sales manager at the local dealership that when I do replace my e430 it probably won't be a MB product. I told them that MB has struck out with me 3 times and there won't be a 4th. each benz purchase has been an upgrade to a newer more expensive model and the next step would have been to purchase a new one. MBUSA if you are listening you are cutting your own sales by your own stupidity.
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  #5  
Old 07-03-2003, 06:31 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Irving, Texas
Posts: 80
my biggest problem with MB cars, is that MBUSA continues to stick their heads in the sand and ignore design issues. Examples:

my 92 400e had the disinigrating engine harness... cost for the harness alone was $400. If I was not able to install it myself it could have been easily over $600.

my 95 e320 same problem.

my 98 e430 there is a known issue with the harmonic balancers going out and causing damage to other parts. I have seen repairs @ over $2500. mine hasn't failed yet, and they won't even consider it since it is out warranty, unless I want to pay for the part and the labor. so I will purchase the part and replace it myself. ($160)

My philosophy on this is that I don't buy MB products to get hung out to dry. I consider buying products that have been defective by way of manufacture or design, and not being replaced for free, is hung out to dry. It is a fact, the harness were not designed properly, and we as consumers were forced to pay for the replacements, same for the Harmonic balancers. Granted I have not bought one new, and I told the service manager as well as the sales manager at the local dealership that when I do replace my e430 it probably won't be a MB product. I told them that MB has struck out with me 3 times and there won't be a 4th. each benz purchase has been an upgrade to a newer more expensive model and the next step would have been to purchase a new one. MBUSA if you are listening you are cutting your own sales by your own stupidity.
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  #6  
Old 07-03-2003, 10:14 PM
klaus kallas's Avatar
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Location: Clayton, NC
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I don't totally agree..... on the M103 engines original thermostat housing was crummy plastic, replacement part is a metal alloy. Original radiator outlets would snap like fresh saltine crackers, replacement has metal sleeves.

Just a few examples of improvement, but I agree that it is a bummer to have to pay for those parts when it was a design flaw to begin with.

Klaus
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  #7  
Old 07-03-2003, 11:44 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Kingston, Ont.
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With forums like this one, one can search and perform a number of preventative replacement repairs to many parts. The overvolt relay switch on w124s is an example. Im sure many have simply replaced outright rather than waiting for it to fail.

the mb and boards like this one make the mb a great diy 2nd hand car
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  #8  
Old 07-03-2003, 11:51 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 700
they are great aren't they

My 18 year old 190E still drives like a new car, took some work to get it back into that shape, but after 19 other owners, I don't think any other car would drive this well if at all.

yes, 19, some were car rental places, can you name a single person that respected a rental car? I can't.

xp
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  #9  
Old 07-04-2003, 02:07 PM
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Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 376
I partially agree.

In some aspects, I find M.B. ownership to be very rewarding. I applaud them for the build quality and safety designed into their cars.

But for the majority of members on this board, DIYers or original owners of cars have more than 60k miles, ownership can be challanging. Just reading the posts on any given day reveals a list of areas where Benz could have done a better job.

The reality is the Benz of yesterday is not the same Benz today. Maybe the purity or heart of the original company has been diluted through the expansions/acquisitions. I believe that the perception of M.B.`s position within the market has changed due to this and challenges/improvements from other car makers.

I guess the decisive question for all of us is, would I buy another?

Personally I don`t know.

Tinker
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  #10  
Old 07-05-2003, 02:04 AM
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: ajax, ontario, canada
Posts: 773
i personally do not like the taillamps of most of the new cars, as they lack distinctiveness. This is particularly true of the new E-class. That of the CLK coupe looks particularly cheap. Maybe MB went overboard in trying to appeal to a broader audience.

on the other hand, all its designs are still timeless (though I feel that the new SL's styling is over-wrought).

the new cars are undoubtedly safer, more efficient, and handle better. But I miss the bank-vault sound of closing doors and the paint quality that seemed to go downhill after the 95 E-class. And I prefer the traditional Bruno Sacco 124 look.

one new model that i really like though, is the new E-Class wagon (they did a very good job with the rear look). I'll take one with a 320CDI or 400CDI engine and 4Matic.

i hope the new models will sell well, if only for me to afford a 94-95 E320 or E420 ...
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  #11  
Old 07-05-2003, 03:10 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 699
Dear friends:

I believe Randy L was just too excited with his first Mercedes car, just like I did more than 1/2 year ago when I got my first MB car, which is a 1994 c220 at 120 Kmiles. Since then, problems such as fan clutch, water pump, fuel pump, wiring harness, transmission, burned light bulbs in the intrument cluster etc.. have pretty much robbed me of such excitement considering the fact that I had owned a Honda and a Toyota which had more than 200 Kmiles without a single problem except replacing the alternator brushes for $2 (Hey maybe I was just lucky. I did not even have to replace the timing belts on those Japanese cars).

My future MB cars will only be old diesel ones. Cheap and more space to work on.

Eric
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  #12  
Old 07-05-2003, 11:57 AM
edge's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: CT
Posts: 1,390
I think the W124 class 94-95 is the perfect used car, drives quick and strong, built like a tank and feels new, and has diagnostics. Best of all, you can get then in 4-digit territory.
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