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Potential new Mercedes shite - advice greatly appreciated.

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Tayne and I are off to peruse a 170k E320cdi estate on Sunday, 06 facelift model, MOT History pretty clean.

 

I know a few fellow shiters have owned these before and would be most grateful for any pitfalls to look out for.

 

Many thanks in advance.

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Going for the facelift your already swerving earlier biggies (airmatic and brake by wire SBC avoided as no longer options IIRC) assuming a decent service history you can’t really go far wrong, depending on the price.

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Apparently they need a stop/start 850A battery even though they don't have it. £186, guess how I know? Limp home cause by oll getting on the swirl flap motor is common, a 30p resistor bodge  modification cures this for at least 800 miles that i know of. 7 speed boxes have a problem I think with a conductor plate ( dunno without getting history out) about £400 at dealers.

I think engine oil leaks are common but my only leak is a minor fuel one somewhere near the alternator.

Mine does 31 mpg local, 35 mpg on a run but don't buy a 1900 kg 150 mph car if fuel is a consideration. Previous keeper said 26 mpg.

I bought mine 5 weeks ago from AS

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Rust.

Thanks - that is one of the obvious things that will be keenly looked for. The 2006 on models don't seem to be as  bad for this. The 04 plate A209 that I sold last May only had one tiny bleb, to be fair.

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We've just bought a 2003 E320 petrol in superb condition as the replacement estate for my dad.

 

It's in the era for the brake-by-sensor-wire thing and has air suspension (easy to convert to springs M9), but it was bought on condition and service history which is both amazing and plentiful.

 

Not a spec of rust; these models had serious rust protection after the previous generation essentially rotted from the inside out. And you'll have avoided the braking thing by going for a post 2006 model.

 

The petrol E320 is a bit of a dinosaur engine and does worse MPGs than the LS400, but otherwise it's a great car with a stupid amount of interior space with the seats down.

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We've just bought a 2003 E320 petrol in superb condition as the replacement estate for my dad.

 

It's in the era for the brake-by-sensor-wire thing and has air suspension (easy to convert to springs M9), but it was bought on condition and service history which is both amazing and plentiful.

 

Not a spec of rust; these models had serious rust protection after the previous generation essentially rotted from the inside out. And you'll have avoided the braking thing by going for a post 2006 model.

 

The petrol E320 is a bit of a dinosaur engine and does worse MPGs than the LS400, but otherwise it's a great car with a stupid amount of interior space with the seats down.

 Yeah, I saw your thread re SeniorYoof's new steed. Looked a nice steer. We'll have a look and poke around, if anything is 'off' then it'll be see you later to the seller.

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Apparently they need a stop/start 850A battery even though they don't have it. £186, guess how I know? Limp home cause by oll getting on the swirl flap motor is common, a 30p resistor bodge  modification cures this for at least 800 miles that i know of. 7 speed boxes have a problem I think with a conductor plate ( dunno without getting history out) about £400 at dealers.

I think engine oil leaks are common but my only leak is a minor fuel one somewhere near the alternator.

Mine does 31 mpg local, 35 mpg on a run but don't buy a 1900 kg 150 mph car if fuel is a consideration. Previous keeper said 26 mpg.

I bought mine 5 weeks ago from AS

That resistor mod will last forever, I did about 80,000 miles on it in my Chrysler 300. When the motor packed up on Mrs N's ML last year , she insisted I get it repaired properly- £550. Plus an alternator and starter motor that somehow failed when it was in pieces, incidentally the ML also has a Start-Stop starter motor even though it doesn't have Start-Stop! Although it was about half the price of your battery.

 

The box in my e280 didn't show any signs of any problems at 240k, the Chrysler which only had a 5 speed lost 3rd at about 200k- I just ignored it . It lasted another 25k before it was written off when rear ended.

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The resistor mod should only be required where the inlet seal has failed and leaked oil onto swirl flap motor - £280 for a new crossover pipe and £20 for the two revised seals means I’d be really pissed if it was leaking again.

 

Gearbox failure from memory was closer to £1k to be sorted at the main dealer.

 

Circa 28 mpg in mixed driving (wished the replacement Touareg was getting close to this!), but much better attainable on longer runs.

 

Battery is an AGM formation to cope with the higher charging rates from the alternator. Normal batteries can be used but will fail in circa 6 months.

 

Will have another when the wife has got Caravaning out of her system. Brief buying guide: buy the latest model (06 onwards), condition is paramount over mileage. Rust issues supposed to be cured by the 06 variants - take that with a pinch of salt I have seen many with the usual front wing problems - check thoroughly.

 

As others have said, might be available to buy cheaply, but you will need to budget for keeping it On the road!

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The estates still have rear self levelling but in a change of tech compared to s124/ s211 it’s not hydropneumatic and hence has way less to fuck up and corrode underneath. An air strut on each rear corner. Quick rule of thumb is if the rear is low when you view the car at rest prior to starting it, all is not well. If it sags down overnight there’s a leak somewhere. Better that that rotten pipe work galore IMO

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We went, we saw, we walked away!

 

The fact that the seller had only owned it two minutes (bought for less 40 miles away at the start of Feb)  and the lack of a working instrument cluster and it was a no no.

 

Nicely specced car  which I would have had were it not for the above.

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I've had a 2008 E class estate for 7 years but 220 with 5 speed auto so completely different engine and box.

Rear arches are starting to show surface rust at front edges on both sides - the arch liners have foam material attached to the back for sound deadening but these hold water which I think is the cause, I've also had to have some brake pipes replaced for MOT a couple of years ago that run just below these liners and consequently get water running down them for most of the year.  Can't see any rust anywhere else...

 

Other issues, a leaky injector, a snapped front coil spring (fortunately when parked), the odd suspension ball joint for MOT, etc.  Outboard rear parking sensors (behind back wheels so get all the crap thrown at them) I have replaced myself, easy £22 ebay DIY job as they can be reached underneath.

 

Electrics otherwise have never missed a beat, still on original battery (looks like one from a truck) and I can't remember ever replacing a bulb...

 

Very quiet car at 80mph with minimal wind noise - something I really notice on later cars, do they have thinner glass?

 

And with a spare set of alloys with winter tyres has been surprisingly good in the snow, got up the hill to our house when neighbours X5 couldn't keep traction...

 

Good workhorse, hope the above might be of some help if you see another one..

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