240D vs 300d - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 09-18-2012, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Sep 2012
Vehicle: 1998 Mercede E300 Turbo Diesel with 58,400 miles
Location: Boston, MA
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240D vs 300d

I've been looking to purchase an 87 300D but am a bit concerned about Winter start ups so I looked at some You Tube clips of people starting their Benzs in cold. One guy had a hard time starting his 300D but finally got it started. At the end of the clip, he said "my 240 was better. I'm looking at a 78 240 with low mileage and wondering if even it doesn't have a turbo, would it be a better car? Any thoughts would be much appreciated.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 09-18-2012, 09:03 PM
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Date registered: Feb 2011
Vehicle: 1973 220D, 1988 300SEL, 1991 300TE
Location: California
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My family has owned a '73 - 220D, a '78 240D and an '85 300D.

There were all fine cars. The 240 had a manual transmission and heater knobs (as opposed to climate control - a thermostat). I prefer the manual and the climate control was very nice when new but got kind of wonky later in life. It lost subtlety switch from full blast AC to heat and back - this could have been fixed no doubt for a few hundred $$ - but the 240 has a fan switch and a know that turns on the heat - nothing to break there.

The automatic transmission on the 300 also went wonky (after 250k miles) where it would shift very abruptly between 1st and 2nd. It still ran fine but you could build up strong neck mussels from fighting the whiplash. This also could have been fixed for a thousand or so $$.

(NOTE: the 220D also had to have a new manual transmission but this was at 380kmi)

So my point so far is the 300 had more gadgets and those broke or became less functional over time. They were also pricer to fix.

But you asked about starting - none of the cars had much of a problem with starting but I live in California where it can get below freezing but not very far below and not very often. I do think proper service by someone who knows these cars (particularly valve adjustment and gold plugs) is vital. But I never noticed much difference between 240 and 300. The 220 had the pull starter and was different but not difficult to start here near sea level but was much harder than either of the other two up in the mountains.

You say "Low Milage" and to me that makes more difference.

Good Luck.
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