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Mercedes E320 CDI S211, Shite or Shiteable?


Snake Charmer

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I have been offered by a good friend, a 2004 E320 estate circa 170k miles with a few faults namely slow leak rear air suspenders and some alleged corrosion on the chassis pointed out by a garage not the Mot tester. Mot is due mid June and I have been asked to Mot it with a view to buying or returning to him. It would have to replace our Vectra CDTi 150 and become my daily releasing the Golf MkIV 1.6 to my missus that is returning around 35mpg on my commute, the Vectra averages up to 50mpg.

I have two questions, will the W211 straight six realistically give me mpg between the Golf and Vectra and are they a horrendous money pit to keep on the road?

Cheers, Mike

 

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11 minutes ago, colino said:

I'm sure you can coax golf fuel economy out of it, but rust is real on w211s.  Bigger issue will be the shit SBC system. 

These are the sort of problems I don't need in my life at the moment, he currently wants £1k for it and I could keep our Vectra going another couple of years for that and plough some money into my V40 resurrection.

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The W211 was a radical change for the E-class, and represents an entirely new vehicle:  The 210 has a lot of development from the 124, it having a lot of development from the 123.  The 211 has very little carried over from the 210.  Like all jumps in technology, there is a fair bit of risk involved.  Repair costs are generally higher than the 210, although they were (in their day) a little more reliable.

With what you've described, I wouldn't do it. 

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Thanks Gentlemen.  He has had the car a while, it was his son's beforehand. Unusual colour I seem to remember from last I saw and the interior is an expensive designer option. I know he had problems with an SBC pump on one of his cars, may have been the '07 E220 that seems to have had more than its fair share of big bills. The straight six appeals over the later V6 and I always liked the E55 Wagon to look at. The truth is I would not be looking for one unless it came my way cheap. I will get some photos and more info, it may not be as bad as he says, he did say the rust meant removing the steering rack and dash and that has now changed to the rear chassis! 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, NorfolkNWeigh said:

Removing the steering rack and dash?!.!  That sounds like it needs to be shipped off for export, which is the Mercedes equivalent of getting weighed in.

Oh, and it wouldn’t be an 07 e220 with SBC issues because they didn’t have it after 06.

Knowing his luck it's a late registered 06! I will speak to him over the weekend and see what I can glean from him. I have to get his Classic sorted and I expect to have the Merc left here for an Mot failure sheet. 

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36 minutes ago, HMC said:

I do like seeing the “designo” paint and trim options on mercs. They are fairly rare and can look either fantastic or dreadful, I like most of them as they are a nice break from silver/ black leather.

Designo,  that was it. Don't tell me it's a rare beast as my rose tinted specs have been locked away deliberately for practical reasons.  

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I had a text after he went out for a drive to charge the battery and air suspension with a dash photo,  Mpg seems to be what I was expecting, closer to my Golf though. Local roads up to 60mph so probably similar to my commute. I may have it here a while for an Mot and a good coat of looking at.   🙈

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I mean it all depends how cheap it is before worrying about what might go wrong. There’s so many big ticket items that can fuck up at a moments notice that something like this unless it’s had some serious wedge chucked at it by the previous owner and serviced that best option with cars like this is to run them into the ground. Get one with longest test as possible, accept that a few things won’t work and live off the benefit of the previous owners expense. Once it’s chucking up a big problem just cut the cat off and fuck it off. 

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2 hours ago, sierraman said:

I mean it all depends how cheap it is before worrying about what might go wrong. There’s so many big ticket items that can fuck up at a moments notice that something like this unless it’s had some serious wedge chucked at it by the previous owner and serviced that best option with cars like this is to run them into the ground. Get one with longest test as possible, accept that a few things won’t work and live off the benefit of the previous owners expense. Once it’s chucking up a big problem just cut the cat off and fuck it off. 

It would have to be cheap to replace our Vectra as my daily for work and has been looked after relatively well, due to his circumstances he doesn't really need two daily cars to look after on top of his Classic and does not want to see it go for scrap the age old fondness quandary!

What will probably happen is he will drop it off with me and take his Jensen home as he has another car to use and I will take it in for an Mot and a good butchers underneath then run it for a while and see how it fairs. I would like something better than the Vectra, I just don't really need something that big and expensive to run for commuting. 

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       The car landed here today, I only had a quick look around. Scruffy appearance outside as it is very dirty, some lacquer peel from a rear quarter repair, scabby alloys and budget tyres, some rust showing in the arches and doors. Everything seems to work and the interior is a very nice place to be. 7 seater with an electric boot and load cover, parking sensors etc.,  Nokia phone ready to use in the console too!

I will give it a wash over the weekend, have a fiddle then run it in for an Mot and a mooch underneath on the ramp. I quite like it compared to the Vectra, then again, who wouldn't? 

 

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On 6/1/2021 at 1:38 PM, Snake Charmer said:

It would have to be cheap to replace our Vectra as my daily for work and has been looked after relatively well, due to his circumstances he doesn't really need two daily cars to look after on top of his Classic and does not want to see it go for scrap the age old fondness quandary!

What will probably happen is he will drop it off with me and take his Jensen home as he has another car to use and I will take it in for an Mot and a good butchers underneath then run it for a while and see how it fairs. I would like something better than the Vectra, I just don't really need something that big and expensive to run for commuting. 

Better than the Vectra, hmm let me see... Stagecoach’s fares are very reasonable these days 😂

In terms of it going wrong, on cars these days anything on any car could go wrong uneconomically so. On a diesel Vectra the DMF could go, that’s a £6-700 touch, the water pump could start having delusions of Arthur Scargill and chuck the belt off. If the Merc looks ok just go for it. On cars at this price/age level I wouldn’t go worrying about what might happen in the future, so often on these pages you’ll get a question about an £800 car and someone will be whittling about what happens in 25k when the belts due or if this or that goes. Take it at face value, then run it till it stops and repeat. 

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19 hours ago, sierraman said:

Better than the Vectra, hmm let me see... Stagecoach’s fares are very reasonable these days 😂

In terms of it going wrong, on cars these days anything on any car could go wrong uneconomically so. On a diesel Vectra the DMF could go, that’s a £6-700 touch, the water pump could start having delusions of Arthur Scargill and chuck the belt off. If the Merc looks ok just go for it. On cars at this price/age level I wouldn’t go worrying about what might happen in the future, so often on these pages you’ll get a question about an £800 car and someone will be whittling about what happens in 25k when the belts due or if this or that goes. Take it at face value, then run it till it stops and repeat. 

I'm not overly worried about what might go wrong, I just don't want another car in my life at the moment that needs major repairs before I can use it. All joking aside, the Vectra still drives well for all its faults and continues to amaze me with its mpg especially on the motorway. I'm 90% sure I will be driving this to work next week but want it up on the ramp and Mot'd first.

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Looks a bit better for having a wash. 

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2 hours ago, HMC said:

Lovely! Plenty of options by the looks of it. Are they heated AND cooled front seats? 😎

Just heated I think, I keep finding all sorts of toys on it, there's a 6 CD cassette hidden under the CD slot I found out today. 😄

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1 hour ago, Snake Charmer said:

No cooling on the seats just heat, although I have found an extra set of buttons for the lumbar support etc. 

Have a check on the button- it’s hard to see in your pic but on the heated seat button the seat base has a little fan on it if it’s also cooled

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1 hour ago, HMC said:

Have a check on the button- it’s hard to see in your pic but on the heated seat button the seat base has a little fan on it if it’s also cooled

No fan on the switch, I noticed that in the tomb of a handbook last night now I have found where it resides in the rear armrest of course!

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I know its doom blue and shaggy, but I'd tell you to buy it if it wasn't for the SBC.  There are very cheap units on ebay to fool the counter into thinking its had no brake pedal pushes, but who else has been in there before you?

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On 6/16/2021 at 4:41 PM, colino said:

I know its doom blue and shaggy, but I'd tell you to buy it if it wasn't for the SBC.  There are very cheap units on ebay to fool the counter into thinking its had no brake pedal pushes, but who else has been in there before you?

His son bought the car at 3 years old, stack of paperwork and nothing mentions the SBC. The likelihood of me having the car went up this evening as the missus broke the Vectra tonight! Driveshaft popped out I think. 

Edit: I had a conversation with someone about a counter and I was sure it was him, but he says no, I do trust him but he has told me about rust in two places that are fresh as a daisy!

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17 hours ago, sierraman said:

You’d go mad with any car I’ve been working on! I always write the mileage and date of the belt or whatever somewhere. 

I write the date & mileage on paper filters in sharpie, Dymo labels for belts and brake fluid. 👍

 

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