Potential diesel owner question - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-20-2015, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Question Potential diesel owner question

Hello - I am a new member of the forum. I'm 64 years old and hoping to be able to retire sometime in the next few years. Most of my driving is city driving now, but I hope if and when I can retire, I would be able to take driving trips to see my kids and grandchildren, all of whom are out of state. So my highway driving miles would go way up. I have always been somewhat of a car nut and haven't kept many of my cars more than 3 years. I've leased my last two cars, 2010 ML hybrid and 2013 ML350 and am going off the lease and want to buy a car that I will keep for 5+ years and not continue to lose money getting new cars (famous last words). I am very interested in getting a diesel car even though I live in Illinois and we have biodiesel issues. I've never had a diesel, but have been interested for some time. Just recently, it seems diesel manufacturers are becoming a bit more flexible in Illinois on the acceptable biodiesel levels. I haven't decided which car I'd get yet, but know how dependable and long lasting Diesel engines are, and the better highway mpg. I'm looking at the E250 and ML250 and trying to make a decision in the next few days. A couple of questions.

1. My question is how do the service costs and repair bills for diesel compare to gas?

2. Do you have problems in finding gas stations while driving cross country getting acceptable diesel fuel (I know there is a B5 restriction for the most part without blowing the warranty).

I appreciate any input. Thanks.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-21-2015, 05:46 AM
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Date registered: Aug 2008
Vehicle: 2008 E320 Bluetec, 1988 560SL totalled unto death). 1997 Dodge Ram 1500, 1983 300CD
Location: Greater Metropolitan Beaverdam, Virginia
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We have two

a 2008 E320 bought new and a 1983 300CD with 312000 miles on it.

The 1983 is my daily driver and I do all maintenance on it myself that doesn't require a lift. Dead nuts dependable still.

More relevant to your interest is the 2008. To answer your two questions specifically:

1. Other than oil changes, that car is definitely not a DIY. Maintenance at the original dealer has been very reasonable. Thus far we have had NO repairs required, only preventive maintenance by the book. We are blessed with an excellent dealership (McGeorge in Richmond Virginia) who never loads the bill with un-necessary items, always gives us a loaner and alerts us to future needs. Depending on your dealer, your results may vary. Some of them have terrible reputations.

2. Fuel is never a problem. We have taken many long distance trips in both cars and have found lots of fuel wherever we go. I suggest using large volume fuel dealers such as truck stops when on a long trip so you don't run the risk of sediment or water in a location that sells little diesel. The extended range in your fuel tank because diesel (the 2008 gets about 36mpg on a trip) helps also.

You will love a diesel. The seat-of-the-pants power is huge compared to a gasser. This is a function of the torque of course. Sound and smell in the 2008 is non-existent. It is very close to a gasser.

All that said, I still prefer my 1983. I like it's simplicity and the sound of good German machinery still doing it's job after all these years.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-21-2015, 07:45 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Rocky - very helpful and I appreciate it. I'm still sitting on the fence on diesel v. gas v. another Mercedes at all, but that is likely just my usual, but temporary MO, because in my car buying history "I think, I do" for better or worse and end up doing it quickly! Actually, bigger issues for me are (1) if I buy or lease a new one, Mercedes is willing to buy out my remaining lease payments and termination fee which saves me around $3,000 which is obviously a plus, (2) any Mercedes gas model I'd get doesn't have impressive mpg and uses premium gas, and (3) for the last 6 years in my leased ML's, I've said my next car will have to take regular gas and now I'm looking at more expensive fuel than premium (albeit better mpg). Will probably decide within the week.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-21-2015, 11:41 AM
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Vehicle: W211 E320 Bluetec R129 SL500 - $1300 car ........ Ford F350 6l
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I drive diesel partly because the mentality I grew up with in Europe, partly because California gas is diluted so badly, that some say you can safely trow lighted match in it.
But have to say, that even diesel, especially MB makes sense economically in US, if you drive a lot, it is not for everybody.
Generally diesel is much cheaper to drive/maintain, but when something breaks on it, the bills can go very high.
That said, right now we have 2 MB diesels with 260k + miles that cost us less than $10 a year in repairs.
Sold Ford Diesel truck with 320k miles, still driving perfectly.
You have tough choice with bio in your state.
I would seek 1998-99 E300DT that can take that fuel with no problem and the engine proves itself to be one of the most reliable in MB history. Anything newer not only will bring more risk, but also any repairs will come with multiplied cost.

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