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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone, I have been looking at this 2002 E320 for quite some time now and finally took it to a mechanic. The mechanic said the car look amazing, no problems besides the brakes needing to be changed.

One thing I have noticed was that the digital screens on the dash ( the one under the gas gauge and the one under the RPM's) seem to be faded. Is that an expensive fix?

Also, the head rest for the drivers side doesn't move. I have looked at the stickes so I'm going to check the electrical when I see the car again.

One of my questions is, when do the water pumps on this car need to be changed? It has 116k miles on it. What's the scheduled maintenance like on these cars?

Any other advice would be helpful. I stickes sure were.

Thanks guys :)
 

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2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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Good job on the pre-purchase inspection; probably THE most important thing to do.

1) For the dash screen, that is a common problem. Use the search feature or check the stickies for pixel or missing pixels.

2) Driver's headrest might be a connection to the motor or the motor itself. Could also be the switch, I'd clean that first to see.

3) If memory serves, water pumps are not a common problem on these.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Is the headrest a DIY fix or would I need to shell out some cash?

Thanks for the response. Since this is a used car lot, they don't know much. Just for curiosity, how much would a new pump cost? Not that this cars pump looks bad.
 

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Just for curiosity, how much would a new pump cost? Not that this cars pump looks bad.
Six billion dollars.

Obviously I'm kidding, but you're looking for a problem that doesn't exist. And really, there are enough other things that can go wrong I'm puzzled why you are so fixated on the water pump? Perhaps you had one that failed and left you stranded or something?

At any rate: in the stickies you'll find a "common issues" thread. Nowhere in it is a water pump, though you'll find plenty of other things.

The key with buying a used benz is to have it properly inspected by someone who is familiar with the particular model you are considering. Otherwise you're simply gambling.

You said you took this to a mechanic, then you mention a used car lot. Did the mechanic you took it to work for this car lot? Was he a benz specialist? If so rely on his judgment if you want the car.

Re: your dash, if it simply seems dim on part of it, it's most likely that a bulb is simply out; if pixels are going flaky that is more problematic. There are several bulbs in there, so pull it and replace them all, that's the easiest thing to do and then you're not pulling it every three weeks to replace another one.

Good luck.
 

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2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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Yes, the headrest should be a DIY. The key is in the diagnosis. See if the other switches work on that module to give you a clue. Or listen for the motor running when you are activating the switch.

New OEM water pumps look like around $200.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've had a lot of problems with cars water pumps lol. It's weird, I know.

The dealership wanted me to take it to their mechanic (YEAH RIGHT!) Went to this place that had great reviews and the guy said he knew Benz well. He sounded like he did too.

The pixels are the problem, not the lights. However, I think I will pull the dash just to change the bulbs. Any link on how to pull apart the dash?
 

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I've had a lot of problems with cars water pumps lol. It's weird, I know.

The dealership wanted me to take it to their mechanic (YEAH RIGHT!) Went to this place that had great reviews and the guy said he knew Benz well. He sounded like he did too.

The pixels are the problem, not the lights. However, I think I will pull the dash just to change the bulbs. Any link on how to pull apart the dash?
Before you get too excited about it all, take a while to read through the sticky topics in each of the help/diy threads atop this forum. They cover 90%+ of the stuff you're likely to experience with your car.

You don't have to take the dash apart, it's just the cluster and it pops out, little hooks pull it loose. It's a slick design, particularly for those of us that remember having to pull sixteen screws of five different lengths, as well as trying to reach up in there and disconnect the speedo cable. ;)

I found this EXCELLENT vid on removing the cluster. Different model but EXACTLY the same process.

 

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2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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BTW I have had several water pump failures on 2 other cars so I follow you. But as CC just wrote, not a common issue on W210s.

You can buy a pair of hooks to pull the instrument cluster out. Try eBay or even the dealer will not be that much money.
 

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1999 E55, 2001 E320, 1990 560 SEC, 2004 ML350, 2001 ML55, 1995 S500, 1998 SL500, 2010 E550 Sport zoo
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Please understand if the pixels on the display look "faded" then frankly that is a bulb issue - bulb replacement can be easy DIY and some owners find affordable source for bulbs and replace all at one time.

The other 2nd/different issue with clusters from this period are "dead" or "missing" pixels - which is a different issue - most commonly a faulty connection on the ribbon connector for the display. Frankly, if you are not the type of guy who repirs your own cell phone or your kid's PSP, this repair is best left to mail-in services for around $200-$300.

A "good" PPI - by a experienced MB indie - will give you both the good and the not-so-good - it's the best $250 investment you can make.

Water pumps - please understand that the cheap India/China knockoff pumps use pot-metal/alloy impellors - the OE brand water pump uses steel. Water pump "about" $125 right pump aftermarket.

However, key issue for water pumps and other engine internals is correct coolant and correct coolant mix. Use of MB coolant or Zerex G05, and distilled water for the mix only (not tap or hose water).
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thanks for all the quick replies! You guys know your stuff.

I meant to clarify, the pixels are definitely the problem, not the lights.

So far the car seems to have just those two little problems that aren't factoring in whether I buy the car or not.

Does this price sound about right?

2002 e320 4matic
116,000 miles
$7,365 when it's all said and done.

Thh car is is amazing condition, only problem outside is that the paint seemed to bubble or something. It looks like there are a couple of little spots on the hood.


Edit:

This guy nails it
E-class intrument cluster damaged pixel repair - YouTube
 

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2000 Black E320 4Matic
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Check if the paint bubbling is not rust, our cars are very prone to rusting especially if you live in an area where they use salt on the roads during winter.

But 2002 with 116k miles is not too bad and for 7k that seems pretty reasonable as long as everything else checks out.
 

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2002 E320 Wagon, 06 Porsche Boxster S, 08 MINI Cooper S
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If it really is nice and clean and has basically been properly cared for I would say go for it at that price. That sounds like a decent deal to me.

Personally I know I would not sell my wagon for that little and it has over 150K on it.
 

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93 SL500, 95 SL320, 96 S320, 98 S500, 2002 E320 4Matic Wagon & A little 91 5.0 FORD Mustang
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Mr 159,

I bought mine for $6000 with 100k miles on it, and mine was a 9 out of 10. It too had the cluster problem. I fixed mine several months ago, and I had to replace the ribbon cables. The ribbons were 20 bucks from China, but the DIY is an intense one if you are not a DIY'er. Consequently, you'll pay around $1000 bucks to have the cluster repaired by the dealer as they will replace it.

The two things that can cost you :

1)The transfer case can cost you if the oil is not changed. I'm not sure on the this, but I believe their is NO serviceable parts in it, so the whole transfer case will need to be replaced if it fails on you. Change that oil when you get your 4matic!!

2)check the rear shocks for oil leakage along the shock.

I get 28mpg on mine. I have change ALL the fluids and filters. I would not worry about the water pump as the Mercedes ones are bullet-proof. For me, a piece-of-mind is the thermostat. I like my 4matic and I haul everything in it. Mine spends time on paved and dirt roads.

Best of luck,

Martin
 
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