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  #31  
Old 04-06-2004, 01:07 PM
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Here's a good prospect I found in the Pittsburgh paper (www.pittsburghpostgazette.com)....95 e320 wagon,dark gray,black leather,sunroof,cd,1 owner,garaged,exec cond,52,000 mi,nice,$11500,412-607-1369.....might be worth checking out if you're willing to travel! Good luck in your search, Dan
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  #32  
Old 04-06-2004, 02:10 PM
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I have put 15,000 miles on my E320 wagon in 6 months. Needless to say, it is driven a lot. I wouldn't hesitate to drive the car from here to California and back, right here right now without doing anything to it. I have complete faith in the reliability in the car. The car has 52,000 miles on it right now, but I plan to keep it until close to 200k miles, where it will be well-maintained and running better than many newer cars. Does Mercedes have their problems? Definitely. It should not have the headgasket leak nor the wiring harness. The other problems are acceptable as replacement items to me. I just threw in $100 worth of parts last weekend. Now the brakes are excellent, and some trim pieces are new. Recently, the old vacuum analog auto-climate control unit gave me some problems. Many people complain at this system, but $8 cured the problem. My neighbor just purchased a new Volvo S80 T6. The car's climate control system will not blow heat on these cold mornings. Nice! The replacement part will cost him maybe a couple of hundred. I would not discourage anyone from buying this car, so long as they are somewhat mechanically inclined to do work on their own vehicle (This is a very nice car to work on, for the most part) and are willing to maybe have to travel to get parts and pay a little bit of a premium. The car is worth it. The m104 powerplant is strong and smooth. Recently tried out a 1988 420 SEL with 212,000 miles. The car ran flawlessly, no smoking, clean oil, no underhood odd noises, raps, or rattles. The outside body had no rust; the seats really weren't that worn. The dealer was trying to get 5k for it, and they did. The car is 16 years old with high miles and really is still pretty sweet. This is why people buy Mercedes Benz products. People say Mercedes quality goes downhill after 1995, but it is not necessarily true. Cost-cutting measures were implemented so as to compete with Lexus, etc, but you can still expect high longevity out of a new Mercedes. Quality is an integral part of a Mercedes-Benz automobile, even if you cannot see it initially.
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2002 Mercedes-Benz E320 4Matic
1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Wagon
2005 Land Rover LR3 V8 SE
1999 Audi A8 4.2L quattro
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  #33  
Old 04-06-2004, 08:51 PM
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I've owned my 1991 300e (m103) for almost 8 years now.I've had to do the following in the last 90k mi:water pump@60k,head gasket(small oil leak)@115k,eha@132k(very slight leak).These were the only items other than my regular mtc. I also added bilstien heavy duty shocks and eibach front and rear sway bars and 15x7 inch 8 hole replica wheels w/ bridgestone re950 tires to tidy up the handling.The car is a joy to drive and still looks like new dispite covering 135k miles.I dont ever plan on parting with it........unless I find a cherry 400e,e420,500e,e500 124. These cars are built like tanks and with proper care and mtc. will outlast just about any car out there.
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  #34  
Old 04-06-2004, 09:36 PM
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You know, I agree with all of you, but

maybe I am just a little down after the last week, when the head gasket, wiring harness and evaporator all went south on me. I will end up spending $2300 on the head and gasket (head will be machined to remove corrosion), $480 on the wiring harness, (wholesale price), another $500 or so on the water pump that started this whole mess, and will defer the $3000 for the evaporator - maybe I can find someone cheaper to do it, as long as they replace all the vacuum actuators at the same time, or try to do it myself. They are very nice cars. Not great value for money - at least not for me, not today.

ChipJ
1994 E320 Wagon, 87,000 miles
aka "moneypit"
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  #35  
Old 04-06-2004, 10:01 PM
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What happens to the evaporator on these cars?
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  #36  
Old 04-06-2004, 11:05 PM
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How about a 1995 AWD Subaru Legacy Wagon vs. a 1992 MB 300TE 4Matic Wagon? I have both, though the Subie has only 118,000 vs. 139,000 miles on the W124. So which is more maintenance free? Three guesses and the first two don't count. But which would I rather load the family into for a long trip? or drive home in a blinding snow storm? or on the highway with trucks? the W124 hands down!
While the MB is more labor intensive, and I have a love/hate relationship with it: love it when it works, hate it when it breaks, it is all well worth it. And contrary to someone's post, I have found the repair CD quite good and very helpful, not only in finding the correct part numbers, but also the schematics for doing the job. If you are moderately adept at auto repair, and willing to try new repairs that appear challenging, you will save lots of $$. This forum is also an idespensible source for information as you know.
We got our W124 used and have since paid a professional to replace the timing belt and transfer case. In a non-4matic you won't have to do the latter. I have replaced the water pump, the serpentine belt tensioner, all brakes and rotors, all radiator hoses, the radio, (rebuilt by Becker), rebuilt the power antenna myself, and added Hella Euro lights, not to mention the routine preventative maintenance. Have we put money into the car? without a doubt. But the way we look at it, for about $20k including the initial cost of the car, we have a spacious seven seat vehicle which is better built and styled than any comparably valued vehicle, and certainly much less than a new MB or other make would be. Plus, the insurance and yearly taxes are much lower than that of a late model car, and even a new car is not without repair costs.
I think you are smart to look for this model vehicle. You can't go wrong with a used W124, but be sure it comes with a complete service history. If you don't get a used W124, get a Subaru - it'll cost you only for gas and an occassional oil change - but you could do that yourself. Enjoy. And remember, the hunt is half the fun.

1962 MB 220SEb "Fintail" Sedan
1963 Vespa VNB Motor Scooter
1992 MB 300TE4Matic Wagon
1995 Subaru AWD Legacy Wagon
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  #37  
Old 04-06-2004, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BJ300SDL
What happens to the evaporator on these cars?
They leak, causing the loss of freon (r134a).

The evaporator is much more accesible on W126s, but on W124's, book time is about 16 hours.

The evaporator's themselves are not terrible expensive, but 16 hours of shop labor is not pretty.

If you are a competent DIY'er, you can do it in a weekend, as many on this site have. It's just a matter of disassembling the dash to access the evaporator.

BTW 1992 400E / 500Es and all 1993 and newer MB's come from the factory with the new R134a refrigerant.
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2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #38  
Old 04-07-2004, 03:46 PM
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You weren't nearly such a fan back in 2002

!On 04-01-2002 you posted this:
It seems that I'm experiencing nearly all of the shortcomings that these W124's have.

When Benzmac says he has replaced hundreds of mass air sensors on MB's (including these on new cars), you can put my car on that list.

When Benzmac says he has found that throttle actuators are a weak point on W124's, where the insulation on the wires disintegrates, you can put my car on that list.

You may also include on this list but certainly not limit yourself to: engine wiring harness, fuel pumps, brake rotors that warp prematurely and can't be turned, virtually every sensor in the car going bad, leaky head gasket, leaking power steering pump, spark plug wires w/ bad 'ends', plugged 'inlet pipes to the intake manifold', O2 sensors, catalytic converter, leaking axle seals, collapsed motor mounts, a/c blower fan failing, central door lock vacum pump failure, egr valves, random check engine light illumination with 'no codes' to speak of...

If I didn't tell you this was a Mercedes, and asked you to guess what car I am describing, what would your guess be?

Jaguar? Or for that matter anything from Great Britain?
Peugot?
Any car make that comes out of Italy?
Yugo? (a fully-loaded model).

Come on, be honest.

Anyway, that's pretty much how I have been feeling lately. I hope to be a big fan again someday.
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  #39  
Old 04-07-2004, 04:22 PM
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Hey, what can I say, I was having a bad day.

The performance of my car from a reliability standpoint was perfect from new until about 127,000 miles. The only item that was replaced that wouldn't be considered a normal "wear" item would by the OVP.

From approximately 127,000 miles to about 135,000 miles, a huge number of items broke that you see on the list.

I was depressed and demoralized. I was considering selling the car and buying a newer w210 E320, but the car looked so good that it was hard to let go. After every repair, I kept telling myself that I was over the hump.

However, after finally replacing all of those items, and finally biting the bullet and replacing the head gasket, the car has been perfect and as good as new.

From approximately the 135,000 mark to the current mileage of 153,000, it has been flawless.

Many of the items I mentioned are wear and tear items.

There are two, though, that I still feel are unforgivable, especially for a Mercedes: the faulty wiring harness and the poorly engineered head gaskets.
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2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #40  
Old 04-07-2004, 05:42 PM
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I own a 95 E320 wagon and I guess that I am just starting to learn about these problems now. I purchased my car used in 1998 (just shy of 3 years & 8,000 miles). It had just been turned back from a MB lease. I noticed the oil leak and they replaced the head gasket then under warranty. It now has just under 80,000 miles and I noticed a oil leak and I assume it is the head gasket. What are the symptoms of the wire harness problem that is mentioned? My check engine light has just come on for the first time this week also. I have not experienced any prior problems with the car like those mentioned in this thread, and being new here, I have not had time to read old postings to come up to speed. Thanks for the help.
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  #41  
Old 04-07-2004, 06:49 PM
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Paul, same here, the headgasket and wiring harness fault is unforgivable aggravated further by MB's arrogance in handling the matter.

Dusty, It seems that we will have the same car history. My 1995 wagon headgasket was replaced by the dealer at 40K then at 80K and then recently at an indy 130K. The funny thing is that when I tried to trade my car at the dealership that performed 2 head repairs, they would only offer me 6 thousand because according to them....leak problems with the model we've got that they are having difficulty selling and maintaining them @#&^$%#*!.
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GTO means Grocery Transport Only
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  #42  
Old 04-07-2004, 07:06 PM
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I noticed in one of the above responses that a poster claimed that the head gasket had been redesigned. Is that a fact or is it an assumption. Are head gaskets that have been recently replaced holding up any better? Is this a failure that is determined by mileage or is it time related or both? Is the wiring harness been redesigned to eliminate the problem? Is there a way to repair the wire harness or do you have to replace it? Can a person with average mechanical abilities do the wire harness job or is it involved and require special tools? I have/had a problem with the directional lights not working and found the problem in the fuse box, but was never able to locate the exact source of the loose wire. I found that if I put tension under the fuse box with a piece of cardboard that they would work properly. It has had that "solution" in place for 3 years now since I found it easier than tearing half the car apart to locate whatever was loose. I call this my quick and easy fix to a difficult problem.
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  #43  
Old 04-07-2004, 08:29 PM
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The head gaskets were redesigned numerous times, maybe over a dozen times.

I don't know when the last design was completed, but I do know that it hasn't been redesigned for several years.

The last revision has metal inserts in the gasket itself, that lock it in in the block, which prevents it from moving.

Every technician I have talked to, including mine, has told me that they have never seen a leak from the latest gasket.
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2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #44  
Old 04-07-2004, 09:04 PM
dtf dtf is offline
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I'll chime in here. I had my head gasket replaced at 67,000 miles, 1,000 miles after I bought it and it has been solid up to 217,000 miles right now on the odometer. Sure, bad design, but realize that with the design flaws come the cars that have multiple problems in addition to the design flaws. Lexus, BMW and other high end car companies all have them just like inferior companies like Kia and such may have bullet proof cars. All said and done - I would buy my car(s) again and again knowing what I had to repair/replace so far. Maybe we need another forum for MB disgruntled owners and MB bashers?
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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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  #45  
Old 04-07-2004, 09:05 PM
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Paul, you are so lucky being close to a good shop. I just hope that my latest head job will be different, but who knows. I guess our situation is reversed. Now I am having major problems with my car that I do not want to use it except for going groceries. We have spent so much money on these MB that is not part of the normal wear and tear. No wonder the consumer report is thumbs down for our babies.

Dusty my wiring harness was replaced by the dealer free of charge after a lot complaining, threatening lawsuits, etc...
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2004 BMW 325 xiT Wagon 40miles
1999 BMW 528i
1995 e320GTO Wagon 137K
GTO means Grocery Transport Only
I LOVE MERCEDES BUT I PREFER HAVING SEX WITH BMW.
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