new s600 '91 owner :-) - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-01-2009, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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Location: france
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new s600 '91 owner :-)

hi guys,

i have been driving the star branded cars for about 20 years now.
the first car was an old w123, six cylinder 250. bought from the first owner.
that car did consume quite a lot and wasn't a stellar performer.

then came the w123 230E. a very nice car. very reliable and quite reasonable
consumption. after that, i had a w123 four cylinder 200. i did buy this before a
substantial gas price hike and lost quite some money reselling it a couple of years later.

all in all i was very pleased with the rugged quality and reliability of those cars
which never let me down.

then, back in 2000, i bought a '91 S600, because that engine really fascinated me.
that is really a very different car. very good built quality, too, but much more complex
than those good ole w123. the car had only 67 000 km on it when i bought it.

but as soon as 2004, some electrical problems started to appear which at first we didn't
identify as such. the car went 4 times to MB dealers because the transmission would
always start in first and then go directly in third and rarely in fourth. in order for it to shift
in fourth, i had to pass on N and than back to D.

i took that car to an automatic transmission specialist who did a total overhaul of the
automatic gear shift. he changed all rings etc etc. but the problem remained!!!!
it turned out that the electronic control of the transmission was in permanent "kick-down"
mode... which is what probably broke the transmission. and nobody had seen the
problem. bravo MB technical staff!! i now drive the car with the transmission
disconnected and in mechanical only mode. so, it starts in second and then goes to third
and fourth. no kick-down is possible like this. fortunately, with that engine, you rarely
need it!!

i now have very serious electrical problems subsequent to the change of the water pump
by my local dealer (2300 euros) apparently, they broke the engine wiring harness during
the operation and when i got the car back, the ventilators would turn permanently. i drove
the car for a couple of weeks and turned it back to them so that they could "regulate" the
ventilators for i then thought it was just a calibration issue. they then told me that they
would have to change the engine wiring for the modest amount of 2900,- euros.

i preferred to take the car back and postpone the reparation but surprise!!! after they
established that estimate, the engine would run on one cylinder bank only. what a bunch
of amateurs, or they did that on purpose to oblige me to have the car repaired and to
accept that very high quote? i actually believe so. which is why i still took the car back
to have a look at those wires.

what i discovered was horrible: the wires which connect to the water pump were stripped
of virtually all isolation on at least 5 inches and some wires where visibly creating shorts.
one connector had fallen off and the wire was connected with the small metal contacts
only. i couldn't believe that mercedes staff would dare returning a car in that condition
without even mentioning to me what was going on. they were letting me drive a car with
electrical shorts without telling me. unbelievable. shocking.

plus, i am really astonished that a brand like mercedes wouldn't change those harnesses for free
as its the faulty isolation material that causes those problems. but having the client support the
consequences of the manufacturers errors PLUS letting me drive like that in a dangerous car really
is unacceptable.

i took the car back on saturday but needed it on the following monday. so, i decided to
change all the wires in the engine harness myself. that took me about 25 hours. maybe i
once will post a detailed story with the photos i took while performing that laborious

i was ready by sunday evening but unfortunately, the engine still only runs on one bank
and i broke one spark plug connector while checking that they are well seated.... :-( so i
need the address of a retailer where i can buy one.

i have some other questions on the connection of the harness and this engine problem
but its probably better to ask them elsewhere?... any message on this subject is going to
be warmly welcomed...

thank you for this great forum and for reading this humble introduction... :-)


Last edited by FS600; 10-01-2009 at 01:08 AM.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-02-2009, 08:27 AM
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Welcome aboard. Sorry about your experience. I had a 97' S420 and it was the biggest headache of a car I've ever had... I've made a few threads about that nightmare.

Anyway I would scroll down to the W140 section and copy/paste your intro there. I'm sure others with the 600SEL would be able to guide you on what to do next.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-02-2009, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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thanks saleen...

i have done that and there is one thread about it.

all i have learned so far is that it could be many things
but today, i have done some additional investigation
as to where some very characteristic noises come from.

that might help ppl who know that problem to identify the source.
effectively, i have simultaneous click noises from three
different spots. hopefully the guys who managed to get
around that problem will give some hints in the thread.

best wishes

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-02-2009, 05:29 PM
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Vehicle: 1998 SLK230 199,xxx Miles
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