Need Advice on what I need to do first on my New 2003 E320 Wagon - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Need Advice on what I need to do first on my New 2003 E320 Wagon

Ok, I am the new owner of a 2003 E320 Wagon. I need to know what I need to do first. I am not very handy and will be using local shops for the most part. The car has 123K miles on it and 2 owners.
When I start it I notice I get a message that says "Service B 38000 Overdue"
The second owner acquired the car exactly 38K miles back so I am assuming (hoping) the reason this message is appearing is because he didn't use a ME/BE shop and no one ever cleared the code.

I was going to get an oil change tomorrow and have the brakes inspected (Midas?)
Please give me some advice on what else I should do.

Tires look good.
There are a few rust spots (It looks like surface and not rot) over the rear fenders, pics attached. I would like to find a body shop that can fix or at least arrest that.

Are there any air filters I should order on Amazon or anything like that.

thanks in advance
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 05:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonBoyOhBoy View Post
Ok, I am the new owner of a 2003 E320 Wagon. I need to know what I need to do first. I am not very handy and will be using local shops for the most part. The car has 123K miles on it and 2 owners.
When I start it I notice I get a message that says "Service B 38000 Overdue"
The second owner acquired the car exactly 38K miles back so I am assuming (hoping) the reason this message is appearing is because he didn't use a ME/BE shop and no one ever cleared the code.

I was going to get an oil change tomorrow and have the brakes inspected (Midas?)
Please give me some advice on what else I should do.

Tires look good.
There are a few rust spots (It looks like surface and not rot) over the rear fenders, pics attached. I would like to find a body shop that can fix or at least arrest that.

Are there any air filters I should order on Amazon or anything like that.

thanks in advance
Welcome aboard !

Most of us here would probably not go the Jiffy-Lube/Midas route. If you must then good luck. It's better to find a shop that works on foreign cars exclusively or better yet German cars like Mercedes/BMW/Audi. If you give it time other members from your area might chime in on good local shops.

I would start with a inspection since it doesn't seem that you had one performed prior to purchase.

1. Have fluid levels and filters inspected and adjust/replace as needed. You can get the correct oil and air filters as well as cabin filters on amazon. Just plug in your car's make,model and year to confirm fit. However, that app isn't foolproof so go to a site like autohausaz or parts.com/mercedes for a second opinion. Be aware that the local auto shop makes part of their profit on the parts provided so find one which is okay with a BYO repair.
2. Have the brake pads and rotors inspected and measured (thickness) and replace if needed. I am a firm believer in the old adage that 'a car that won't start is an inconvenience but a car that won't stop is a deathtrap.'
3. Have the brake fluid and coolant replaced with correct replacement.
4. Start keeping a record of gas mileage the old fashioned way by dividing miles driven by gallons put in tank.
5. Read all the stickies at the top of the forum. It's a lot of work I know but being somewhat knowledgeable will make it easier to assess what a shop/mechanic is telling you.

Several items generally fail about 100K+. These include spark plugs, MAF and O2 sensors (pre-cat). However, you can schedule those when your budget permits unless the car isn't running well or getting bad gas mileage.

Finally, just start following this forum and asking questions. The W210 has a fair amount of electronics so not all problems are obvious.
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Good luck.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 06:38 AM
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Not sure just where in NYC you are so this thread should get you started.

Recommended Repair Shops > U.S. - East > NY, Brooklyn

If you back out of the thread to the subforum, you'll see many more threads that will contain member recommendations within 50 to100 miles of you.

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonBoyOhBoy View Post
Ok, I am the new owner of a 2003 E320 Wagon...The car has 123K miles on it and 2 owners...

When I start it I notice I get a message that says "Service B 38000 Overdue"...The second owner acquired the car exactly 38K miles back so I am assuming (hoping) the reason this message is appearing is because he didn't use a ME/BE shop and no one ever cleared the code.

I was going to get an oil change tomorrow and have the brakes inspected (Midas?)
Please give me some advice on what else I should do....
Hopefully that doesn't mean that the oil hasn't been changed in 48K miles! You don't need to go to the dealer to reset the FSS message. The procedure is in the owner's manual. But get the oil changed first thing. I would take it to the dealer. They will use the proper 0W40 synthetic oil and fleece filter. Don't use anything else. Dealers often have oil change specials to get you in the door. Sometimes they call it "basic service". But it usually includes an inspection of other components like brakes, suspension, driveline, etc. I would also have them change the coolant and brake fluid.

Again, I use the dealer for these types of service as I don't really trust indie shops. When I first got my car a neighbor recommended an indie shop so I went there for my first service and they put 20w50 dino oil in the car! (I didn't know any better until I joined this forum.)

Next, I would get the transmission serviced - at least a pan drop and filter change. Don't have it pressure flushed!!! And, while you're at it change the 13 pin connector from the trans to the wiring harness. (Only use genuine MB/Mopar) These leak and trans fluid wicks up into the trans module, causing shifting problems.

Spark plugs should be high on your list.

Also, replace the idler pulley on the front of the engine. They are failure prone and it's a cheap and easy job. While you're there inspect the serpentine belt and replace if needed.

I wouldn't worry too much about the brakes. There are wear sensors that will let you know when the pads are gone and, if you don't get vibration when you step on the pedal, the rotors are probably still ok.

I know that sounds like a lot but, with some prudent preventative maintenance, you can enjoy that car for the next ten years.

Good luck and welcome to the forum.

Fred
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 07:07 AM
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The rust you can see is literally the tip of the iceberg. You will have much rust behind the rear bumper at each side and likely in the spare wheel well.

When you take the sill trims off you will find more.

The front wings (fenders) will probably need replacing too.

Otherwise a sound car.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 08:30 AM
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I'll try to sum up. Without a service history, then replace all fluids and filters:
Engine oil & filter
Engine air filter
Differential oil
Steering fluid (turkey baster)
Transmission fluid & filter (Yumling)
Engine coolant (drain and refill)
Brake fluid bleed and refill
Fuel filter
Cabin air filters. Carbon filter optional
Battery electrolyte and voltage

Check:
Codes - bluetooth code readers are very cheap
Brake pads and rotors (before bleeding)
Engine poly-v belt and attached stuff (tensioner, idler, water pump, alternator, etc.)
Spark plugs - replace if not obviously new
Engine and transmission mounts (vibration), flex disks
Climate control data (see stickies)
Battery electrolyte and voltage
Wheel alignment, balance, if uneven tire wear
Any leaks

If you do all these you can be fairly confident that you are starting from a good position. Report back to us any problems and we can give more advice.

Longer term:
Suspension and steering condition
O2 sensors (only if poor mileage or other symptoms, failed smog)
Cosmetic and body issues

As others have said, this is daunting in the beginning. But once it is done, you can sit back and relax for a long time.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-21-2015, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renault12ts View Post
The rust you can see is literally the tip of the iceberg. You will have much rust behind the rear bumper at each side and likely in the spare wheel well.

When you take the sill trims off you will find more.

The front wings (fenders) will probably need replacing too.

Otherwise a sound car.

The rust repairs sound very expensive (I'm worried now)
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-21-2015, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the sound advice.
Well here is an update:
Yesterday I get the thing registered and I start the car and keep it running while I am putting on the plates and registration stickers.
So about 10 min into it sitting idling it stalls.
Im thinking no big deal.
I try to start it and it won't start, it just cranks and cranks but won't start.
Now I am in a panic. I did some fast online research and found a garage in Port Chester NY (not too far from me) who has excellent reviews called SEMACA AUTO REPAIR. I call the guy up. He tells me to give it an hour and try again, sure thing in an hour it does start. I immediately drive it to him where it sits now.
He will do the inspection and check the car and report back. Keeping my fingers crossed this doesn't needs thousands in repairs (especially in light of that rust)
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-21-2015, 10:01 AM
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Buy yourself at least cheap scanner so you don't have to drive to a shop with each trouble.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-21-2015, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonBoyOhBoy View Post
...about 10 min into it sitting idling it stalls.
Im thinking no big deal. I try to start it and it won't start, it just cranks and cranks but won't start.
...give it an hour and try again, sure thing in an hour it does start. I immediately drive it to him where it sits now.
...
Sound like exact symptoms of a bad CPS (Crankshaft Position Sensor). When they go, they fail when hot and the car will just crank but not start. Then it will start working again after cooling off.

Not an expensive part nor a difficult repair. Make sure you get the correct part for your car. They changed it mid production and the two versions are not interchangeable. Check the Stickies for a DIY.

Fred
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