Hello there! I just thought I'd introduce myself a bit. I recently purchased a 1985 Mercedes Benz 190E 2.3L 4 cylinder with 5-speed manual gearbox on eBay. (I was actually originally looking for a late 1980's or early 1990's Mazda 323/Protege saloon to buy or possibly a Honda Civic or Accord saloon car or something along those lines. I was looking for a reliable daily driver that would be good on gas. My current transportation is a 1996 Chevrolet C1500 pickup truck with a 4.3L V6. Despite the V6, it only gets around 14-17MPG and it is getting up there in miles as it currently has 287,000+ miles on it and needs a bit of work done to it [the power steering is shot for one...] However, the closest 323 I found that was any good was all the way down in Georgia and people want stupid money for high-mileage Honda's simply because they are Honda's! I got a better deal [I thought] on this mid-1980's Mercedes with fewer miles on it than most Honda's I could find on Craigslist or eBay.)
I paid $1,200 for my Mercedes 190E and I had to drive down to Bel Air, Maryland to get it. The car had 151,942 miles on the Odometer when I bought it. I was a bit wary at first of just hopping into a 28 year old car and driving it the 300+ miles back to New York, especially not knowing anything about this car prior to purchasing it. It does seem very low miles for its age, but still, you never know what gremlins may be lurking in the car. Amazingly enough though, it made the entire trek back to New York without any problems and even managed to get close to 34 MPG on the expressway in 5th gear doing around 70MPH!
When I got it home, the first thing I did was an oil change on it. I was VERY pissed off though as whatever shop the previous owner was taking it to must have used a nuclear powered air compressor with a high pressure impact gun to over torque the crap out of every damn bolt on this car as I could not get anything off without destroying it! I stripped the head off of the oil drain plug trying to get it off since it was jacked on there so tight! (I tried both a box-end wrench and a socket wrench to get it off, both to no avail.) I ended up using a set of Irwin bolt extractors in order to get the bolt out and purchased a new oil drain plug from Advance to replace it with. The oil filter was a similar story and I could not get it off with any conventional means. I ended up taking a phillips head screwdriver and hammering it through the side of the oil filter to get enough leverage to partially unscrew it. However, even after loosening it about half a turn, it was STILL on there too tight to remove it by hand and I had to hammer the screwdriver through the oil filter again at a 180 degree angle to the last entry point and rotate it around again until it had completed one full turn around. It was then loose enough that I could finally spin it off. It certainly made quite a mess of the filter and of my engine compartment! But, once all the oil was out and the new filter and drain plug were installed to proper torque specifications (ahem...) I topped it off with Valvoline SynPower 5W40 full synthetic oil.
I have driven the car almost 1,000 miles already since I bought it and it has been a good running car so far. I do smell some oil burning occasionally while driving, but whenever I check the dipstick it is full of oil. The transmission isn't bad, but I occasionally seem to have problems shifting it into 3rd or 5th gear like it is hanging up in the dead spot between the gears (1st and 3rd or 3rd and 5th). I also have a hard time getting it into reverse sometimes. I know you have to push down on the shifter in order to get it to pull back into reverse, but even when I do that, it still doesn't always engage reverse. It is like it pulls back some of the way but not all the way to fully engage the teeth on the gears so they mesh. Is this common on Mercedes Benz manuals or is there something wrong with my shift mechanism? Are there any adjustments to be made or linkages to lubricate so it will shift smoother? Should the transmission fluid be changed in it given its age and mileage?
In any event, I'm sure what you're here after are the PICS anyways, so without further ado, here are the pics of my car as I got it:
I'll also be posting to the W201 specific forums questions I have about my car and how to fix up all the little (and not so little) problems I've found with this car already. Mechanically it seems to be very sound, but it has a slew of electrical problems and other issues that need to be addressed.
Thanks for looking! I appreciate any comments or helpful tips about my car.