Do Recent M-B Electrics and Plastics Last 10+ Years Yet? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Mar 2010
Vehicle: 1996 E320
Location: Desert SW
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Do Recent M-B Electrics and Plastics Last 10+ Years Yet?

I'm in my second 10+ year old M-B and am AGAIN fighting brittle plastics and possessed electrics.

Seriously, the fixes posted here and elsewhere for misbehaving seat adjustment switches/boards, sun roofs, and other things with sophisticated controls are quite disappointing. I could understand newfangled things in the 1970s having short lives and persistent gremlins, but by 1996 we had been to the moon multiple times and the only electronics that malfunction regularly were things like cassette players with expendable rubber drive belts and such.**

By 1996, plastics everywhere else seemed to have been getting better and more durable too.

So, those of us with M-Bs from model years 2000-2005, are your plastics falling apart too? Are your electronics getting possessed?

I always figured that any Mercedes should be good for 200,000 miles of great performance, if not a full 300,000 with maybe bearings and suspension bushings, tie rods and ball joints replaced as needed. But yesterday's trip to the wrecking yard had me seeing all sorts of clues that M-B plastics were better in the 1980s and still aren't back to the past durability as recently as the 2003 I looked at. And no, I'm not looking at collision damaged parts--low-stressed items like switch knobs and those high mount center brake lights.

I see little point in driving a sturdy drivetrain and chassis if pulling the hood release with ordinary effort breaks the plastic where the cable end is mounted in the lever. I see stuff everywhere in these cars which begs for a nice metal insert molded into the structure.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 11:03 PM
Date registered: Jul 2005
Vehicle: 90 300E, 99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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So far so so good on three MBs ranging from 99-05.

I see dozens of cars roll through a shop I am a silent partner in and plastics are still an issue on every brand that I see.
They are better and the cars that are garaged have very little UV damage. As far as sunroofs the ones I see failing were never cleaned and lubed yearly.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-19-2015, 10:39 AM
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Date registered: Dec 2005
Vehicle: W211 E320 Bluetec R129 SL500 - $1300 car ........ Ford F350 6l
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1996 is still good year and W210 proves themselves as real workhorses.
The only thing I had on them was window regulators and crack single wire in passenger seat occupancy sensor.
Than on 2004 E model the seat fans harness deteriorated to the point of braking in half and dropping on the floor. Got replacement seat skin from 2006 model and half of wire harness was at the bottom of the package.
With global economy MB seems to be taking part supplies without too much checking.
Take harmonic shaft balancers from late 1990's or grommets from early 2000's
When the same parts coming from 30 years old MB are still in serviceable condition, those 10-15 yo are deteriorating.

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