Looks Like the 2003 E320 Wagon I bought on Ebay is a LEMON - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Looks Like the 2003 E320 Wagon I bought on Ebay is a LEMON

So after doing much research on these boards I take my newly acquired E320 to a MB repair shop in Woodside NY (Queens).
The issue I was having was the rear hydraulic being low.
I paid 2800 for the car on Ebay and immediately broke down and spent about 2K for the CPS Sensor, front and rear axels, old change, brake fluid flush etc.
So I am 5K into the car. It only has 125K mile son it and looks good except for a few rust spots over the rear fenders.
The mechanic puts it on the lift and gives it a good inspection. He says "this car is from New England". Yes indeed, a Cape Cod car. He said theres a serious rust problem. He points to the frame. In the rear of the car near each wheel where the frame has a large bolt to the body it looks badly rusted. He said thats serious. Then he continues; there is rust on the gas tank near the top of the seam. He says he surprised its not leaking yet, but it will. then he finds an oil leak in the front of the car on the right side. He said its probably the valve cover. Then he says the reason its low in the back is because of the hydraulics. He needs time to diagnose it, but he says IF it is the pump thats big money. then he says most of the car has original parts. which means they are going to start to go. - Bottom line is, he says with the rust on the frame it may not be worth doing repairs. His advise is "sell the car"
I believe the old Romanian guy to be honest.
I would like to hear others opinions on here regarding the issues I just described.
Should I get another opinion?
If I sell the car now most I would probably get is 2500. Its an immediate 2500 loss. And I would still have to buy something else.
Oh and I asked him how much time before that frame rust becomes a real problem, and he said thats like asking me to tell you when am I going to die

Last edited by JonBoyOhBoy; 01-10-2016 at 04:13 PM.
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 05:59 PM
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The pumps on the SLS are not a common failure item and more than likely not the issue with the suspension. The oil leak on the valve cover gasket should not be hard to DIY n a Saturday afternoon. Your biggest concern is the rust. If it is structural, then you have a problem. Did he look at the front upper spring perches as well?

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1983 BMW 733i Fixed up and traded for above 420SEL
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1990 Silver 300TE -Sold Loved the wagon, hated the M103
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 07:45 PM
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From the description it is more of "rust bucket" not the lemon.
But anyway, as dude said the mechanical repairs if DIY are cheap, but there is no return way from advanced corrosion.
So sort the corrosion out and then worry about other things.
How about some pictures?
My crystal ball is dim lately.
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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I wish I took pics when it was up on the lift. Tomorrow I will try to crawl under it and snap some pics with my phone
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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If I knew i could get at least a year out of the car without sinking any big money into it for repairs then I would be fine with that. It would help negate the 5K I already got into it. If I sell it now its an immediate loss which is a hard pill to swallow. I already put 1000 on it. My fear is something major may go before the year is up. Get that crystal ball out please!
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 10:30 PM
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Garage
Hate to bring you the bad news but '03 is the first year of the W211 and not the one you want even if it does not have rust issues.
You are well advised to take your losses and sell it for whatever you can. Wait patiently for a car worth owning that has been maintained and have it looked over before you make the deal. Even then the W211 will be an expensive car to own over time. I would avoid that chassis entirely.
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 10:32 PM
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I'm sorry to hear that, Jon.

I'm originally from Austria, where rust was a big problem on cars. I had a VW bus that was basically kept together by paint and bubble gum.

Do a good inspection. If there's a lot of rust, cut your losses. It's just a pity you didn't discover the rust before you did the expensive repair.

Even returning it through buyer's protection would have only made sense before the repair.


For the future: spend a bit more on a well-maintained car. This saves you huge repair bills, as poorly maintained cars constantly have something failing.

Get the reports (forgot which site that was, where you can take a look into a car's maintenance history and see if it has had major accidents)


And above all:

When I bought mine I was looking where the car was first registered, and if it was in the north (I'm in California) I would immediately disregard the car without even looking at it.

There were enough cars who spent their whole lives in California.


So, you are in New York, California cars will be rare. But you could still try to get one from the south or go down south an buy a car that has never seen salt.

Just be aware that you can buy a rust bucket in the south as well - if you buy a car that has been kept at the ocean. Salt winds can create amazing sculptures out of cars. I have seen rust holes in unbelievable locations.


But the key tip is: don't go for the bargain, go for well-maintained.
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-11-2016, 12:49 AM
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How can anybody give an opinion on your car without seeing at least a picture of the rust you talk about.

Also, how is a car that has done 125,000 miles a lemon?

You're $5000 in...there's another thread on here about a guy who has just paid $14000 for one of these. You have a lot in hand to make your car perfect.

Sell it quick...
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-11-2016, 06:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mauipaul View Post
Hate to bring you the bad news but '03 is the first year of the W211 and not the one you want even if it does not have rust issues.
You are well advised to take your losses and sell it for whatever you can. Wait patiently for a car worth owning that has been maintained and have it looked over before you make the deal. Even then the W211 will be an expensive car to own over time. I would avoid that chassis entirely.
MY2003 was LAST year for W210 wagon. Sedan ended in 2002.

Good luck.
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-11-2016, 06:22 AM
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Another cautionary tale ...

Unless you are buying a car with 'pocket change' get a PPI. It's only natural for sellers to put the best face possible on something they want to sell.

Good luck.
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