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Old 07-25-2008, 11:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Is a small oil leak a serious problem?

Hi, I could use your advice. I drive a W203 and am looking at a CPO 2006 W211 with 34,000 miles. The car looks good, and has only a few events show up in VMI, some recall/service campaign work etc. However, when I sent it to an independent tech he found a small oil leak near the driver's side cylinder head. I don't exactly know what this means, but I imagine it could be a sign of a bigger problem. Should I be running away from this car? I had a ton of problems with my C class, and don't want to get into a lemon. It's a nice car though, so if this is minor then I'll have the dealer fix it.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 07-26-2008, 12:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If it's a valve cover gasket, I'd say no problem.
I had them replaced (under warranty) on a CL500 and an E500.

I don't hammer the cars and they've never really had too many problems.
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Old 07-26-2008, 05:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Repair the leak, probably a valve cover gasket as previous.

But research the car for reliability before you buy. Granted the 06 is suppose to be better than the 03 E500 we drive,, but I would research reliability before I bought another.
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Old 07-26-2008, 05:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Repair the leak, probably a valve cover gasket as previous.

But research the car for reliability before you buy. Granted the 06 is suppose to be better than the 03 E500 we drive,, but I would research reliability before I bought another.
How has your E500 been? My 2001 C240 was a POS but fun to drive. The E350 I'm looking at had just a few problems according to the VMI. I don't know if they are typical or not.

@ 19,658 miles

Solenoid camshaft adjustment

@ 30,847 miles

Control unit, gasoline engine
Guide pulley noise
V-belt tensioner noise

It's also had some TSB's/campaign work done. I'm waiting until Monday to have the dealership look at the car. They're supposed to find and fix what's wrong with it. I like Mercedes cars, I just hate the cost of add-ons, retrofit, etc. The car doesn't have a phone, so that would be another $1500 or so just to get Bluetooth working... And I need to have my heated seats, that's another $1000.
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Old 07-26-2008, 07:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'd pass and look at an 07. The face lift is worth paying a little bit extra for. Find a car that already has all the options you want and has no existing issues. Sinking $2500 into retrofits on a 2 year old car (that is soon to be replaced with a new body style) doesn't make any sense at all. You will never see a cent of that money back when you go to trade-in or re-sell the car down the road.
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Old 07-27-2008, 05:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by markryanmiller View Post
How has your E500 been? .
SBC total brake failure ( I don't think the 06 has the SBC) car was towed in and not driveable. This should have never happened
Ball joints at 75,000 miles really would not expect this
ignition key module at 68,000 miles
Drivers door lock 70,000
Brake pad replacement 3 times at about 30,000 mile intervals
Memory failure for the seat
cig. lighter failure
a/c hot water control valve
windshield replacement, (broken by dealer during service)

Other issues that have not happened but could are

Failure of the air shock assembly at $1100 each.

The car now has 78,000 miles and is a very solid good driver. But maintenance cost has been what I would consider excessive and the number of trips to the dealer for warranty repairs has also been excessive. I would not expect these issues from a quality built vehicle. But consider the one you are looking at is an 06 and many on these boards claim it has a better record than the 03.


I don't know if I will buy a MB for a replacement given the $$/reliability issues I have experienced, not to mention I have to drive over 200 miles total each time I bring it in for repairs and this takes up 2 days of my time.

Dealer service has been excellent,, best of any car I have ever owned just too far away.
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Old 07-27-2008, 01:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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How much are they selling it for?
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Old 07-27-2008, 02:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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How much are they selling it for?
I negotiated $28750 with 34,000 miles on odometer. I got them to offer me a 2 yr/100,000 mile extension on top of the 12 mo/100,000 warranty from CPO for $1795. I don't usually buy aftermarket warranties but because of my experience with the first year 2001 W203 I thought it might be a good idea.

That seemed like a competitive price, but it will cost me $2 or $3k to add the features I really want, heated/ventilated seats, phone etc. I don't know how folks here can afford to add so many options on their cars. On a Mercedes the cost of add-ons adds up pretty fast!

(There's also a 06 BMW 530i out there with all the features I want, but with 41,000 miles and a smell problem [smoke or A/C mold] with an asking price of $37K).
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Old 07-27-2008, 03:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah that seems about right, where are you from? If it's anywhere like L.A, these Dealers are blowing out E-Classes, so definitely negotiate all you can, or know that at this point, you can find fully loaded E's for the same price as base E's, it all depends on where you find it and how well of a deal you can work out. Dealer prices for these cars are gonna be way more expensive than Private lots, but you get CPO Warranty and piece of mind, which is worth it for an M-B.
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Old 07-27-2008, 04:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah that seems about right, where are you from? If it's anywhere like L.A, these Dealers are blowing out E-Classes, so definitely negotiate all you can, or know that at this point, you can find fully loaded E's for the same price as base E's, it all depends on where you find it and how well of a deal you can work out. Dealer prices for these cars are gonna be way more expensive than Private lots, but you get CPO Warranty and piece of mind, which is worth it for an M-B.
I found mine in San Francisco. The hardest part was finding drive dynamic seats in an E350. I just wish MB hadn't taken out the phone wiring in 06!
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