Noob W220 owner - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: May 2019
Vehicle: 2001 S500
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Red face Noob W220 owner

Hi all!

I will preface this thread by saying that the only other german car I have owned prior to my newly purchased 2001 S500 is a 1997 VW Jetta, therefore I am out of my element when it comes to any german automobiles.

I wanted to say thanks for all the info on this site, I am hoping it comes in handy when I inevitably will need to wrench on this fantastic automobile.

A little about the car:

2001 S500 one owner 58k miles. Religiously serviced at the same dealer all its life, which is confirmed by the VSI report. It appears to be rather well kept aside from the front two doors having rust on the bottoms and the rear bumper being chipped due to what appears to be a light rear end collision. The car has had some new Air struts/compressor in the past few years so I guess that is a plus. Also(knocking on wood here) everything in the car seems to work perfectly sans the following:

- Driver Headlight washer nozzle sprays fluid but doesn't pop out of its door.
- Rear fog lamp error on the dashboard.

I plan on fixing the above and repairing the body issues. The 033 Moccha Black paint scheme is too nice not to keep in pristine condition.

Some terrible photos of the car for you guys are attached.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 08:44 AM
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Date registered: Jul 2018
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Looks like a great buy. You can improve it by doing 2 things:

1. change your transmission fluid and filter because it's probably never been changed (has so-called life long fluid). electrical plug too because it can leak and damage your tcu.

2. plastic tab inside the shifter can break and leave you stuck in park, metal upgrade is available

3. this one is controversial but these cars are known for airmatic faults. if you drive long distances from home and dont carry too many people in the back or tow stuff then converting to regular shocks and struts is not a bad idea
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 10:42 AM
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Date registered: May 2016
Vehicle: 2000 S430, 2003 S430, 2003 S600 TT, and 2005 E320 CDI
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Oooh, Designo interior package, eh? Nice!

With ABC, I would agree with coil springs. However, with AIRmatic, my view is different; it's fine and even desirable to leave the car stock. As long as your AIRmatic system is in good shape, i. e. behaving itself, you're good to go. Unlike ABC, AIRmatic gives you some warning before there's a "can't drive the car" problem, so you have time to order the parts and do your replacements.

Check out the brand of those air struts. If they're any of the following three--Arnott, Bilstein, or Genuine-MB (Bilstein is the OEM), then you've got good struts for sure. The pump should be a WABCO unit, which is the OEM for M-B and others. Those are the parts that tend to last a good, long while--I'm talking 135,000+ miles and such.

The rust at the bottom of those doors is, unfortunately, typical of pre-2003 W220's. The project 2000 S500 also has it. Also check inside your wheelwells, especially where the outer edge of the plastic splash shield rubs up against the wheelwell. That's a common rust point that can be arrested with proper treatment.

At about the 130,000 to 140,000 mile mark, you will be looking at a front suspension rebuild. But that's at 130K to 140K, and it applies to all cars, not just M-B's. I have done several of these, and it really isn't that hard; takes a day. Looks like you're still a good ways away from that.

"Improvements"? Well, an Android head unit to replace the factory COMAND unit is a nice touch. @Dave2302 and I have done this to our cars, both pre-facelift S500's like yours. Gives you the post-facelift look and, more importantly, the modern features of the Android head units, such as dash and backup cams, 4G wireless, modern GPS (including Waze), USB connectivity to devices (my "CD changer" is now a 16GB USB thumb drive), all that good stuff.

Another improvement would be new headlight assemblies. Yours are probably in good shape. My Dad's 2000 S430, always garaged and likewise pampered, came with HID reflectors. The newer HID projectors are a great improvement. The project 2000 S500 has those, and it's a huge difference on the road at night.

Other than that...I don't really see much in "improvement" that the cars need. The W220 S-class is the first of what I'd call the "modern" S-classes, and they are aging quite gracefully. I love 'em.
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2000 S430 (Dad's car, used for special occasions)
2003 S430 (one of two current DD's--second W220 project car, just for fun--decided to keep it after all)
2003 S600 (third w220 project car, the sports car)
2005 E320 CDI (the other current DD--first W211 project car)

Formerly--AND ONCE AGAIN! (I just married the girl):
2000 S500 (best friend's--now WIFE's--DD: my first W220 project car, once gone to, AND NOW RETURNED FROM, an excellent home--welcome back home, baby!)
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 06:22 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: May 2019
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Thanks for the warm welcome guys!

I highly appreciate the input.

I did some reading and seems like the designo paint/wood/seat trim package is pretty neat indeed. I highly doubt I'll be doing a radio upgrade on this thing since its quite pristine on the inside, and quite frankly I don't feel like messing with it, so much so that I am afraid of touching the storage bins under the front seats in fear of them breaking haha.
Regarding the air struts I would imagine that they are OEM(Bilstein) since this car was serviced at the dealer from day one. A couple of struts(front) + compressor + other parts were done in 2014. I haven't gone under it to look at the compressor + distribution block but I imagine it would be OEM as well. According to the VMI the trans oil was changed along with filter and the trans connector in 2011 at 44k miles. I plan on buying a dipstick and giving it a checkover either way.

A few questions right off the bat, I realize a Star diag would probably be best at this point but with these little niggles I thought it might be worth it to take a stab in the dark and simply replace.

- Headlamp washer doesnt come up. Would it be wise simply to buy a new pump/motor assembly and throw it in or is there any other way to diag?
- Bent DS Windshield wiper. I have another one from eBay on order. Sounds like a simple changeout procedure? I have been reading about angle of incidence adjustments + etc as well.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 07:33 AM
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I don't have headlamp washers. Therefore, not being hampered by facts, I can discuss the subject freely...

My impression is that when the headlamp washers are activated, the fluid pressure lifts the nozzle, which pushes the door open, and the lamps get sprayed. My guess is that the nozzle is stuck, and my first approach would be to try freeing it.

What is bent, the wiper arm, or the wiper blade? If the arm, just put it back where the old one was and try it (on a wet windshield).Not too much trouble to take it loose and move it just a bit if you don't like where it sits. Incidentally, there is a tiny clear line in the black area near the passenger end of the windshield that shows the park position for the passenger wiper blade.

Wally
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 07:55 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry I wasn't more clear, the wiper arm itself is bent. I did read about the park position markings on the windshield so I'll follow your advice on that as well.

I'll try removing the headlamp washer nozzle and cleaning it as well. Might be gunked up due to lack of use or something.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 11:44 AM
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Yeah the headlamp washers are not powered, they pop out with the fluid pressure
Just buy a new or used and swap it out if yours isn’t popping out . It might also not be getting any fluid so check the hose
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 06:26 PM
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Date registered: May 2016
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Had to replace both headlamp washers on the project 2000 S500. You've got to pull the bumper off, but that isn't too hard, and once you do, replacing these is pretty easy and straightforward. They're also not expensive at MBOemParts.com, where I got mine. Personally, I wouldn't bother going used, given the affordability of new ones.
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2000 S430 (Dad's car, used for special occasions)
2003 S430 (one of two current DD's--second W220 project car, just for fun--decided to keep it after all)
2003 S600 (third w220 project car, the sports car)
2005 E320 CDI (the other current DD--first W211 project car)

Formerly--AND ONCE AGAIN! (I just married the girl):
2000 S500 (best friend's--now WIFE's--DD: my first W220 project car, once gone to, AND NOW RETURNED FROM, an excellent home--welcome back home, baby!)
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