(LONG) Super frustrated. Need some encouragement.
So, Iím pretty down on my new-to-me í95 e320, and was hoping for some encouragement, words of wisdom, whatever. Hereís my story to this point:
My wife and I wanted to be out from under the payment on our 2012 Volvo S60, and have always been wagon fans. After a bit of discussion, we decided to look for a clean W124 wagon. Iíve owned and maintained a steady succession of VW, Volvos, and BMWs, with two W123 Benzes in the mix years ago, so I felt like I was up for the challenge, assuming I made the proper selection.
Fast-forward to a remarkably clean example showing up out of the blue on Dallas CL in November. A smoke silver í94 in immaculate condition, two-owner with records from new, priced at $5k (near the top of my budget). I talked to the owner, who was a bit of an oddball. He assured me the car was 100% and ready to go. I hooked up a trailer and headed south on I35.
A few hours later, I arrived at the sellerís house. He proved to be every bit as odd in person as heíd seemed on the phone, and seemed genuinely surprised that I wanted to drive the car and look it over thoroughly before I handed him the cash. But he showed me to the garage, opened the door, and there was, indeed, a beautiful e320 wagon that looked very nice. He fetched the folder of maintenance records spanning the previous 17 years (more on that later), showed me the tag for the updated wiring harness, etc. etc. On closer inspection, it wasnít quite as immaculate as the owner had described, but it was still well above average. Took it for spin, and ascertained that it started, ran, and idled as it should. Climate control functions as it should, cruise control works, everything is pretty ship-shape. Popped the hood after we returned, noted a clean and tidy engine bay, and didnít see any drips under the car.
A brief perusal of the records showed a good deal of major maintenance had been performed on the car within the last 12k miles or so. New front-end parts, new struts, rear accumulators, cooling system update, fuel pressure regulator, HVAC service, and much, much more. The car and the records looked good, Iíd driven four hours to get there, so I paid the man his money and loaded it up.
Iíve already rambled on too much, so Iíll try to keep the rest brief. The car was dripping oil on the garage floor by day two, and the CEL was illuminated by day three. The blinky-light codes were 4 (air pump), 5 (EGR), and 26 (2nd-gear shift delay), and the oil leak was (of course) the head gasket. I flirted with the idea of driving back down to Dallas, dragging the PO out of his house and throwing him a severe beating, but in the end I have nobody to blame but myself.
Since there were no corresponding running problems, we continued to use the car pretty much daily through the end of December, until my year-end bonus provided me with funds to take the car to our local MB specialist for the needed repairs. They replaced the head gasket, cleaned the EGR tube, and serviced the trans, along with a few other small maintenance items, to the tune of just over $2k. We got the car back last Wednesday.
Two days later, the EGR code was back, and I noted this morning that weíve still got an oil leak. Which takes me back to the whole point of this post. I have a beautiful car that I love driving, but I feel like Iím floundering about with a litany of small issues that are keeping me up nights. Again, the car car itself runs and drives beautifully, save for the accusatory ďcheck engineĒ light that refuses to stay unlit for more than a day or two at a time.
I realize that Iím dealing with a 20yo German car, and that thereís always going to be something that needs attention. I guess Iím just not sure what I should worry about first. At this point, Iím into the car for $7500, and I know that thereís no way to bail at this point without losing a good chunk of that. I really donít *want* to bail, but Iím just not sure what to do next. How do you guys deal with triaging this stuff? What would you do in my situation?
If you made it this far, sorry for the long post, and thanks for letting me vent.