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  #1  
Old 07-25-2004, 05:33 PM
BBC BBC is offline
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Reliability: 85 300SD v 95 C220

Time to upgrade my wife's 95 C220, which is now in the shop for the head gasket/wiring harness/etc. I'm looking at a 99 or 00 E320 for her.

The question involves the car that I "inherit" for my use, usually for no more than 6000 miles per year. Short work commutes and occasional long trips.

The 95 C220 has 135K miles, and doesn't have have a single dent. scratch, or tear. After the current work, the mechanicals will be excellent. I really enjoy driving this car.

My existing car, an 85 300 SD, has 185K miles but is still in good mechanical shape. In terms of cosmetics, it needs the leather seats repaired, grill replaced, and a new dash pad - probably $2K to make it presentable. It has minor issues such as temperature regulation and cruise control.

I expect to drive one of these two MBs for the next four or five years. On average, which would be expected to have fewer problems and expenses - the newer gas 95 C220 or the older diesel 85 300SD?

Not looking for crystal ball answers - just best guesses based upon experience.

Thanks,

BBC

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  #2  
Old 07-25-2004, 08:31 PM
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for the C220 what happened that you need the head gasket and wiring harness,
relates to an earlier post
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  #3  
Old 07-27-2004, 11:09 AM
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Yes, I asked in an earlier post about the cost of head gasket replacement. Slow leakage of oil into coolent. I'm expecting to have to replace the wiring harness due to the biodegradable plastic issue I've heard about.
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  #4  
Old 07-27-2004, 01:01 PM
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what color was the radiator coolant - when it had the slow gasket leak?

were there just a few drops of motor oil floating in the overflow tank?


had your car been having any electrical problems? did you see any visual deterioration of the wiring harness?
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  #5  
Old 07-27-2004, 02:41 PM
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The coolent was oily looking - more than a few drops.

The harness issue was brought up at the Mercedes dealership where I first took the car. That was a mistake, since I had been warned more than once that this particular dealership might not "live up to the usual high standards of customer satisfaction" as the other Mercedes dealers I have had the pleasure to work with. In other words, legal issues constrain telling what I really think because this is a public forum.

I've since taken the car to my regular mechanic of 17 years, who I trust 100% to fix only what needs to be fixed. We haven't yet discussed the harness, and it may turn out that my original is OK.

Thanks,

BBC
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  #6  
Old 07-28-2004, 07:13 PM
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No best guesses?

How about a wild azz guess then?
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  #7  
Old 07-29-2004, 10:07 AM
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No WAGs?

I'll settle for an unverified supposition. Maybe even speculation or conjecture!
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  #8  
Old 07-29-2004, 03:23 PM
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That's a tough comparison. The cars are so different that it's almost entirely a matter of personal preference. The SD is among the most reliable cars of all time but time will take its toll. You mention that the SD needs upholstery and ACC work. That's expensive work to farm out and not particularly easy or quick work to do yourself. I'll bet the suspension and steering aren't what they once were. If these things matter to you and further investment in the SD doesn't make sense, the C might be the keeper. On the other hand, consider from a financial standpoint that it might get more value in return for selling one car over the other. I expect the C with recent documented work will be easier to turn into a reasonable amount cash. An SD that runs but needs work will fetch a pittance relative to its remaining service life.

Sixto
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  #9  
Old 07-29-2004, 04:22 PM
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sixto

Could'nt have said it better myself.
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  #10  
Old 07-29-2004, 05:07 PM
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Sixto's evaluation/analysis is right on target.
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  #11  
Old 07-29-2004, 07:39 PM
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Thank you for the advice! It will be a tough choice.

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