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  #1  
Old 07-05-2000, 11:05 PM
Nukta_Kupaya
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I'm currently looking into purchasing a 1993 400SEL, and I was wondering how reliable the car is. I know it's a Mercedes, and will be stable. But the ones I am looking at are high mileage, and I would like to know if there are any problems when they have high milage. Thanks

-Nukta

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2000 Volkswagen New Beetle GLS 2.0L, Techno Blue, Gray Leather, Luxury Package, Cold Weather Package, Leather Package, 5-speed, Delivered August 3, 1999
Hakuna Matata!

[This message has been edited by Nukta_Kupaya (edited 07-05-2000).]
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  #2  
Old 07-05-2000, 11:46 PM
Benzman500
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ive heard they have computer problems
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  #3  
Old 07-06-2000, 12:08 AM
akry's Avatar
W140 Maniac
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Posts: 960
W140s are VERY well build, and IMO, the most well build S-Class. However, early W140s suffer from shimmy steering wheel, which some may be addressed, but most don't. So, test drive the car is a MUST. Some other common things that may need attentions are Evop Core for A/C, Close-Assist Pump, window lift-regulator(I believe that's what it's called), other then those, there are no problems what-so-ever with the car if it's well taken care of.

BTW, there is a chance that the dash cluster may shorted out. At least mine did, and have it changed to newer type cluster with digital trip/odometer readout...

Find out as much history of the car as possible. Read through ALL service history if you have the access to them.

Good Luck
Andy Kuo

------------------

  • 1992 Mercedes-Benz 400SE
  • Pearl Grey/Black Leather

ICQ#26950002
Mercedes Owners ICQ ActiveList ID#61730549
Mercedes S-Class Page
http://akry.web.com
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  #4  
Old 07-06-2000, 12:54 AM
dfndr
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Nukta,

After about 6 months of research and about 4 months living with a 1992 600 SEL that had 88,000 miles on it when I purchased it, I would have to say that Andy hit on the major common issues that were present with the early models. Interestingly, the man I bought mine from had the dash cluster replaced under warranty so, like Andy, I also have the digital mileage display. My air conditioning evaporator has not been replaced and the climate control works great (I'm also in Florida). But I know this is an issue that runs about $3,000 to repair. According to a knowlegeable source, mites that are on leaves degrade the metal in the system, causing it to fail. My car resided in a garage day and night, and so that may account for why it's still working. Then again, mine may have already had the newer materials that supposedly keep this phenomenon from occurring.

As Andy also indicated, the right rear lift regulator is particularly susceptible to failure and mine has been replaced.

As for on the road performance, there was an issue with the early W140 front suspensions that made them vibrate--later corrected. So if the one(s) you are considering run smoothly at speed, you should be all right.

Oh, one other issue (at least on the 600s) was that the Z-rated tires would wear out prematurely. There was class action litigation over this and owners (I believe) received vouchers for either $5,000 off a new car or $2,500 in cash. Part of the fix for longevity is to "downgrade" to a lower speed rated tire. With regard to tire mileage, my experience at this point is too limited to have any insight.

Good luck and I hope you find a nice car. The car is a wonderful highway car and I feel that my family is very secure when we are traveling in it.

[This message has been edited by dfndr (edited 07-06-2000).]
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  #5  
Old 07-06-2000, 02:43 AM
Aaron's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,935

Sure, the W140 is a nice car, but I would advise you to shy away from '92-'93 models. They were a nightmare (to us techs, maybe not as much to owners). Secondly, the W140 is by far the most expensive S-Class to keep properly maintained (except for, of course the Grand 600 models). I'd shoot for an S320, the six is plenty of engine for the car and a '95 or '96 (or especially a '99) would be the best bet.

------------------
Rgds,
Aaron Greenberg
MB technician
Precision Motorcars, Cincinnati, Ohio
'67 250SE Cabriolet
'77 450SL
'80 300SD
'85 380SE
'86 420SEL
'89 420SEL
'93 300E 2.8
'74 Jensen Interceptor Mk.III
'81 DeLorean DMC12
'84 BMW 745i Turbo
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  #6  
Old 07-06-2000, 02:53 AM
Nukta_Kupaya
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I thank you guys for your helpful comments. I've decided to go for at least the 4.2L powerplant over the 3.2L, mainly because I feel the six is tepid whereas the eight has a larger punch. Unfortunately, I do not have the funds to go with such a new S-Class. The newest I would be able to get would be a 1994, or in a slim case, a 1995.

The main reasons I picked the S-Class was because I like the looks, for one. The room it employs is another great feature, plus all the power amenities. My parents and I like to take frequent trips, utilizing the Interstate. I feel the S-Class a worthy machine for the case. I'll look into the pricing for a 1994 S420, then I'll report back to tell you what I found. Thanks again.

-Nukta

------------------
2000 Volkswagen New Beetle GLS 2.0L, Techno Blue, Gray Leather, Luxury Package, Cold Weather Package, Leather Package, 5-speed, Delivered August 3, 1999
Hakuna Matata!
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  #7  
Old 07-07-2000, 12:44 AM
akry's Avatar
W140 Maniac
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Posts: 960
I highly advice you to go for '96 S420 is you can shave out couple more $$. '96(as well as 1995) has updated interior, and minor updated exterior. '96 has digital cluster, which is also redesigned, and different from those used on 1992-1994 W140s.

'95 and '96 are IMO the BEST build W140s. However, there are some minor difference between '95 and '96. Not a big deal, but just for your info.

1992-1995 W140s have parking guides which extend from rear fender when the car is in reverse, and is dropped in 1996 model year and newer.

1992-1995 has powered INTERIOR mirror(1995+ with auto dim). 1996+ W140s has conventional, manual mirror.

1992-1995 W140s have the same exterior mirrors, which 1996+ has W210-type mirror, which IMO has smaller view-field.

Also, 1995+ W140s have quieter, more reliable door-close assist pumps(2 in each W140).

One thing I am not certain is the A/C controls. 1997+ definitely have newer type of control panels(with one LCD display, with buttons around it) for A/C, and I believe 1996 has it, too. But 1992-1995 has older type A/C controls(which buttons are divided into 3 groups, form 3 rectangular button groups, with seperated LCD read out for left and right).

Try use search function of this forum, and search for "W140 S-Class", there are alot of info, and I have posted a message regarding changes during the life-span of W140.

Good luck
Andy Kuo

------------------

  • 1992 Mercedes-Benz 400SE
  • Pearl Grey/Black Leather

ICQ#26950002
Mercedes Owners ICQ ActiveList ID#61730549
Mercedes S-Class Page
http://akry.web.com

[This message has been edited by akry (edited 07-06-2000).]
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  #8  
Old 07-08-2000, 03:05 PM
Nukta_Kupaya
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Thank you very, very much for the help you've given me, I truly appreciate it. I've decided to take my chances and go into a '93 400SEL, and have it thoroughly inspected by a German auto mechanic before purchase. I figure if something breaks, then it'll break. I could try to find a set of shop manuals and a part from a junk S-Class to fix it if need be. This way, I'd be saving $5000-$8000 dollars, which would be wonderful, not having to spend that much extra. I've found high mileage S-Classes (100,000+ miles) for around $20000. Have the car inspected, then get it.

I thank you very much for your help. And yes, I enjoy my New Beetle quite a lot, it's a fun car.

-Nukta

------------------
2000 Volkswagen New Beetle GLS 2.0L, Techno Blue, Gray Leather, Luxury Package, Cold Weather Package, Leather Package, 5-speed, Delivered August 3, 1999
Hakuna Matata!
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