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Old 08-26-2013, 07:03 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: England
Posts: 1,841
Mercedes W221 S320 CDI OM642 experiences

Hello all

Long time no post. I hope all the members are well. I think I must have been a member for over 10 years. It still feels the same around here, which is great as I always loved the feel of the place. Although I am in the UK it's still the best Mercedes forum and I love reading people's experiences and first hand knowledge.

I have changed in that I was in education (university) when I started here, but am now in work putting it all into practice. It's quite a transition! I do IT which sometimes pays well and sometimes doesn't. I still have my 1990 190E 2.5 16v, bought after seeing all the enthusiastic 16v owners on here. However I have been doing 600 miles /week in it so I want something more suited to that mileage. I have borrowed a diesel Renault which was great, very comfortable, but now I want to ask about the W221 2006-2013 S320 CDI. I had a look at those for sale and they look like amazing value, especially if prepared to go over 100,000 miles. The W221 didn't even exist when I used to post frequently on here! I never thought I could own one but I have always wanted an S-class and enjoyed them when I've had a chance to drive them.

So now I wonder, are these cars reliable? I know that they are high-tech - that does not bother me on its own. My folks have a workshop with all the diagnosis computers to plug in for that stuff. I know it will cost more than a Renault. But are they fundamentally well engineered? Are the mechanics, pumps, etc made to last? Or are they like the 2000-2005 Mercedes, with rust, bad ABC systems, leaking seals (SL), wearing out pumps and numerous other flaws that never would have happened on W126/126/201? Have they improved since the early 2000s? I can afford the odd bill - again my folks' workshop helps lower the cost of parts and labour - but would much prefer if the thing just worked reliably in the first place.

What about the OM642 3.0 V6 diesel? I have to go for this engine because the fuel cost is so high here, the other engines are rare. I have heard bad things with DPFs and injectors on modern Diesel engines, is the OM642 better or worse than the standard?

I see mid-2009 build cars here for 16,000 ($25,000) with just over 100,000 miles. Does that sound like good value? A W204 C-class is hardly any cheaper. I feel that high mileage cars, if well maintained, should not be a problem. The money saved can go towards any repairs. I figure that if the car is only 4 years old it cannot be that worn out can it? And the newer model year should be more reliable and have the most of up to date revisions of any parts, shouldn't it? I do want to get away from that 2000-2005 era!

I would appreciate any experiences and thoughts. Like I say, I know it won't be like a 240D to run, but will it at least be dependable for all my mileage without causing me embarrassment?

Thanks for any input, and hi to all the old-timers especially!


2.5-16v 1990 90,000m Astral Silver
2.0E 8v 1986 107,000m Black 2nd owner
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