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· Registered
W212 M276 DELA 30 ; W211 OM642 ; R107 M117, W163 M112 E32
494 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Forgive me while I complain for a bit....

Growing up among several W126s (Diesel and Gas) and even having a tank of a 300SD in college, I decided to purchase my OM642 Diesel W211 in May of 2010 as she was just turning 3 and had 27K on the clock.

I had my reasons for wanting a diesel, mainly due to the interesting driving characteristics, the fuel economy and the quirky nature of a being one of the few people to own a modern diesel powered car in the states.

I also knew that Mercedes had suffered a lot in the early 2000's, particularly with the 220, 203 & 211 which had damaged their reputation. Still, my desire to have that modern diesel in a familiar wrapper coerced me to take the plunge.

I decided to go with the facelift model because I was suspicious of the 5-Speed that was originally marketed as a "lifetime fill/never change" transmission and had been known to fail around 100K unless people proactively went against MB's recommendations and vacuumed out the old fluid.

I also mistakenly assumed that MB had gotten their act together and corrected many of the 211 problems given that they had just released the much lauded W204 & W221 which were viewed as giant steps up in design and quality over the outgoing model.

I've put over 65K on her in the last five years, which is actually pretty lightweight usage. She's lived in garages either at work or at home, and for the last 3 years she's only seen about 6K a year due to a travel intensive schedule split with taking the DC metro.

Unfortunately, despite my care, things. just. break.

Here's a list of my failures over the last 5 years:

- Failed keyless go door handles on two doors right when I purchased it. Both replaced under warranty. The driver's door (the only one that gets used consistently) has since failed again. Common, known issue

-Panoramic roof that simply gets worse and worse with regards to flexing and rattles. Dealer pretended they could not reproduce. Independent shop has lubricated and checked for loose bolts/attachment points but everything is as snug as when it left the factory. It's just simply a design flaw that makes me want to drive the car off a cliff unless I'm on recently paved interstates. Common, known issue

-Transmission problems: Surprise! turns out the early iterations of the 7G were garbage too thanks to a poorly designed valve body with incorporated speed sensors. One of those little crappy speed sensors goes and you need a new Valve Body. I do believe this was changed in later iterations. Common, known issue on early versions of the 7G

-Wiring harness.... yes, seriously. My wiring harness developed a short somewhere that would have required pulling the entire engine to diagnose and replace. Workaround was to bypass rewire a connection to bypass the short. Haven't heard of anyone else with this

-Powered trunk closer: This fails in the most infuriating way possible. It's still mechanically perfect and can close the lid without issue, but there's a sensor problem somewhere. If there's any sort of slight incline/breeze or resistance, it will get about 80% closed (where gravity should take over) and then raise back up fully. If I press it again, it may or may not complete closing. Common, known issue

-MB-Tex: There's 5 W126s and 2 W210s in my family that are split between MB-Tex and real leather. I chose MB-Tex because it still looks perfect on otherwise beat-to-**** old mercedes, like showroom perfect. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I noticed what appeared to be a tear in my seat cushion a few days ago. I posted on this forum and provided a picture because I assumed me or someone driving the car had gouged it out with a key, and several people responded and linked me to other threads showing the exact same damage to their MB-Tex seats that happens to just be normal wear and tear. Nice one Mercedes, you managed to cheap out on my vinyl seats. Common, known issue

-Failed running lights on the bumper because they become filled with water.... OK, whatever. Common, known issue

-The ductwork that feeds boost to my turbo split apart but would only do so when under stress and hot in a non-visible area. That was a fun one to diagnose. Common, known issue

-Navigation - little by little it's getting worse and worse, as in it won't be able to read the disc. New discs have not solved the matter. Common, known issue

-Satellite radio - did it rain recently? Did you get your car washed recently? Prepare for satellite radio to get really spotty. Common, known issue

So here I am, trying to limp this ******* along for another year or so before I can convince myself to pull the trigger on another car. I had almost convinced myself for a W212 Diesel because everything I read tells me that "Mercedes is finally building reliable cars again!", but I don't want to fall for that same old crap again.

Of course my dilemma on a replacement is that I've basically been driving these things all my life and still think they're great cars (when functioning). I might end up biting the bullet and giving the 2014 535D a chance, but I doubt BMW is much better in regards to reliability, but at least it'll be a modern car.

Bonus: Pics from a couple of years ago(Yes, I got rid of those stupid wheels):

· Registered
Current ? (Thinking GLC SUV) Previous 1998 E320, 2007 E320 Bluetec, 2008 320ML CDI
2,544 Posts
A fine looking vehicle.
What is the device in the former ashtray?
Having just purchased a 2007 Bluetec with 83k, I'm walking down the same path. Mine has been good.

· Registered
102 Posts
Have you seen Scotty Kilmer on youtube talking about Mercedes? Just search on youtube for Scotty Kilmer Mercedes or click on this link for a laugh (hopefully)

I have an 03 E320 with the gasoline M112 engine and 182k miles with a lot fewer options than your car. It really has been a pretty good car. That said, quite a few things broke, wore out, or I have had issues that I have just learned to live with since I like the car and the car is pretty much fully depreciated. If you don't drive the car a lot, then I think you should take Scotty's advice and only keep these complicated cars for the warranty period or for the extended warranty period when bought certified pre-owned.

Unlike what Scotty said, all cars are getting more complicated because of emissions and fuel economy regulations. Lets see how all the car manufacturer's do over the next decade with these direct injection systems with the turbochargers and high pressure fuel pumps, and more complicated emissions control systems. I am not too optimistic.

Have you seen what has happened to some of the BMW and VW/Audi engines with carbon build up on the intake valves? High pressure fuel pump failures on some gasoline BMW engines or very expensive failures in VW/Audi diesel engines? Oil burning on some of the 2.4L Toyota engines? Weak automatic transmissions on some of the Honda minivans? Nissan timing chain failures? How about the Takata air bag problems. GM ingnition switch failures. I am sure we can add more.

You have what I consider to be a safe car which is also very attractive. It is pretty likely going to be an expensive car to maintain.

· Registered
1922 Ford T no OBD, no ECU, no SCN
37,921 Posts
Just couple months ago I had 3 family MB lined up for weekend fixing.
On all of them I had to work with wire harness.
- 1987 model -removed whole door harness (can't believe how much electricity goes to stupid door) >>> all wires perfectly healthy.
-1998 model- passenger seat sensor trigger the light The harness look good from the outside, but one of the wires inside broke at the cushion level
-2004 model- driver seat fans did not work The 6-wire harness broke off and found it on the floor Bought replacement skin from 2005 model. The same harness come in identical broken pieces in the package
Sad that 28 years old MB Tex is still holding, while 8 years old leather needs to be replaced.
Than think about it.
30 years ago MB cost about what median California house.
In case you wonder how much median price on house dropped lately in CA, follow the link. California Home Prices and Home Values | Zillow
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