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  #1  
Old 12-02-2003, 03:47 PM
gstigler
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1997 E420 - Buy it or not?

I just drove an E420 at an MB dealer. It has 60k on the clock and the service is up to date but it had some issues. I fell it still might be a decent deal. Here are the problems:

1. Slight idle stumble occurred once while waiting at a stoplight. Lasted 2 seconds, did not occur again.

2. Cruise control stalk broken off.

3. Switch between the driver's side window switches was broken off.

4. Creak from drivers seat in hard right turns

5. Rust spot around trunk lock

6. Front right fender 0.25 inch out of alignment, no evidence of any other damage.

7. Louder idle than the E320s I've driven. Sounds the same when driving at speed.

Without any repairs I can get the car for $17,000. Should I move forward with it? Are the idle issues normal for the 420?

Thanks in advance for your advice,
Geoff
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2003, 04:30 PM
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Lots of late-model MB's have a "idle fall" thing happen when something engages and cause a momentary drain on the charging system. I'm not sure what it is, but that might be what you felt in the E420, and that's normal.

Many of the other things that are wrong will need to be attended to, especially the rust spot (!) on the trunk.

It sounds like this car has lead quite a hard life. I haven't seen many 1997 cars with that many "trim" problems. They usually result from ham-fisted owners and folks that let others drive their cars. I can't comment on the price, as a super clean 1997 E420 (MB dealer lot with extended warranty) sells for about $30K Canadian ($23K-USD) and a private sale out of warranty car sells for $25K (19K-USD) in my parts.


Invest $100 in a Pre-Purchase-Inspection and make sure there is not something terribly wrong with the car. Check out similar cars ofr a price comparision.
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  #3  
Old 12-02-2003, 05:15 PM
dtf dtf is offline
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It's timing chain time on that car too. I think the engine had top oil tube problems but MB might have had that worked out by '97. I agree with John in that it sounds like it has had a hard life so far. If you like the E420, find another that is in better shape with the 'Starmark' package as protection against mechanical failure.
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1994 E320 Wagon (Died @ 308,669 miles)
1995 E300 Diesel (203,000)
1999 E300 Turbodiesel ( died @ 255,000)
2006 Toyota Tundra SR5 AC 4X4 (115,000 miles)
2011 Audi A4 Avant (165,000 miles) Seized engine - donated to Salvation Army
BMW 330 xi 6 speed manual (124,034 miles)
2014 E350 4Matic Wagon 48,000 miles
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  #4  
Old 12-02-2003, 05:16 PM
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What area are you in. If it's the rust belt then you can bet that what rust you can see is just the tip of the iceberg. Cruise stalk broken and switches broken off??? Ask yourself this....would a person who would do that to a car keep the oil changed??? I would walk from that one!!
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  #5  
Old 12-02-2003, 09:14 PM
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RUN from any 1997 Mercedes. I'd rather have a 1998 E320 or E430 any day. The 97's were very troublesome...

In 1998 they became MUCH better on the wallet!
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  #6  
Old 12-02-2003, 10:19 PM
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Donnie, you don't like the M119 equipped W210 car? Or is it other aspects of the 1997MY?

Enlighten us, o' master...
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  #7  
Old 12-02-2003, 11:34 PM
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Timing chain due at 60K miles on a 420???
On all the V8s used in the 107 body, it wasn't due til at least 100k (all right, we won't talk about the single-row 380). Does the 420 really need it tended that early?
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  #8  
Old 12-03-2003, 12:39 AM
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don't buy it!

I bought a mercedes 2 month ago...and I regret everyday of my ownership...

actually to be honest..I regret .....everyday minus the first week.....after that .....one problem after another......

Last week....I arrived to work normally......when it was time to leave....got in the car turned it on...put it in reverse...all of a sudden......all sort of ratteling, squeeking noise started to come out of the engine compartement. I poped the hood open....the tensioner was jumping up and down...futher examination revealed a tensioner shock that totally came loose. Now this part was preventitavely changed at the dealership 6 months ago for 160$. Stoped by the first independent I can see....Left it there and picked it up later....total charge 115$....(oh and it is just to put it back in place...no parts changed)......Friday I took it to the dealership.....U think they will tell you sorry Sir for the inconvenience......we'll do all the necessary.....but NO they made eloquently argue my case ..I felt I was begging them to change change...that should be changed under warranty...no questions asked ....Hey ....I over-excpect things from people....what can I do I have a big heart.

4 days later.......on my way back from work........on a red light.....my Idle starts fluctuating..and then car dies....I snap it back on and continue my drive...(saying to myself...Hey it happens...right??? well NO).......3 blocks later.....while having the gas pedal pressed....I would experience sudden short loss of power and then back on ..not lasting 1 second ...but you can feel it ....because the car...feel like its starved or bumpy.....this soon became worse....
Got home......checked eveything I could ...and since then ...I myslef have changed....plugs, wires, fuel filter...checked fuel pressure......OVP and fuel relay voltage......Mass Sensor seems working fine.....Running out of options I took it today to a friend of mine who has a Star Diagnostic system.....and ran it......well he tells me you have some hard codes....we look'em up and depending on the futher tests...this problem can be 3 things...A bad throttle housing (700$w/labor), ECU (1800$), or wiring (ruled out)......so I said ...what the f***!!!!!

At 74k......for a car...serviced since day one at the dealer with tabs for tune[ups at 800-900-1000 $, at every recommended interval......with an original price tag of 38K$........why is this happening?!!! CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN to me why would this happen..........I do not rough the car....I take really good care of it......

my only reasoning is that this car was not designed to drive this long.

what use to be a utility and reliability car...is now looks and gadgets...or commodity car.....

U have ECU failing left and right (unheard of in other makes)....u have MAS sensors doing the same......throttle housings......head gasket defected.....balancer shafts.......just take a look a this website and search it.....

I have owned 2 hondas in the past that were 8-10 year old, dorve for 3 years.....All I changed is plugs, oil, and brakes.

Cars should be made to be driven ....let us not fool ourselves....I am not here to defend Honda's.......but when we pay big bucks for a car, we should expect to have the mechanical/electrical top of the line.......hard to break and fail.

Mercedes might look like a solid car.......but when u see all these things fail on it..it makes me think twice about what our "chrysler's " real value...vs quality.

Another beef I have is with the mechanics....they also seem to think they can steal people.....just because they drive a Benz....It's ridiculous.....walk in a place that fixes japanese cars and they will charge you 45-55-60 $ an hour....another place next door that is specialized BENZ....wow....would not settle for less than 90-95-105..you name it.

Come on people....what is this world coming to......


Anyways.....I guess now it's a good time to annouce to everyone that my Daimler-Chrysler experience should and will soon end ...as I have decided to sell my car......

So if anyone is interested it's a 1996 C220, with 74k, immacculate outside/inside, clear corners, Lip spoiler w/ matching paint, CD changer, the color is Emerald/tan leather, OH and yeah this is a California car........Price to be discussed on the phone (818)681-9605 ask for Geo you will not be disappointed with the priced.
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  #9  
Old 12-03-2003, 03:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dtf
It's timing chain time on that car too.
Nah, M119 timing chains last alot longer than 60,000 miles. Even an M116 chain seldom needs any attention before 100K-miles.
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  #10  
Old 12-03-2003, 04:03 AM
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NO NO NO

DO NOT BUY IT

Last edited by zero4588; 12-03-2003 at 04:29 AM.
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  #11  
Old 12-03-2003, 10:09 AM
gstigler
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Thanks for all the advice. After looking at the car again yesterday afternoon I decided to take a pass. It would've been a $2k outlay at the start and then who knows?

The deciding factor was the elevated noise level at idle in the cabin. It didn't sound like anything was seriously wrong, just louder than most MB's I've driven in the past.

Thanks!
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  #12  
Old 12-03-2003, 01:23 PM
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If you really want to get into a Merc, get models before 86'.
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  #13  
Old 12-03-2003, 10:06 PM
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The 97 was a weird deal. Mercedes had to get rid of the remaining engines (119 and 104) and they coupled them to the 722.6....Then, they had no idea what maintenance schedule to run them on. Long story short, the timing chains aren't failing as often in the 119 equiped 210 chassis. But, the trannys won't last behind that Torque MONSTER!!
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  #14  
Old 12-03-2003, 10:52 PM
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Ah, the first full year for the 722.6 and all it's foibles. Excellent point. Oh well, another year or two and the 99-00 E430 cars will be cheap...
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