Mercedes-Benz Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking at a 2004 E320 4Matic Wagon with 21000 miles. Have only seen photos but car looks perfect and well cared-for. Price is high for its age but will wait to see and drive before making a counter-offer to dealer. Has some service records on Carfax but I would love to see VMI for this car. It's getting a multi-point inspection by the MB dealer now. Will be my first MB and I was wondering what should be checked or specifically inspected if not mentioned in the report.
 

· Registered
1922 Ford T no OBD, no ECU, no SCN
Joined
·
37,921 Posts
At that mileage the car might have only 1 service and end of the story.
MB are not easy car to maintain and lot of owners taking them to the shops get rid of them because they leave too much money there.
That makes those cars excellent deals for people like us, who can fix them for pennies.
You are not saying what your DIY skills are, but starting with 12 years old car, that does not have the best quality records might not be to your advantage.
I own exact model with higher mileage and just rebuild driver seat, where wiring simply fall down from deterioration.
Do you think low mileage will make big difference on aging wiring or air bags?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good point - age vs. mileage

Thanks for the observation that things on a car may simply "age" without it being driven. I imagine where and how the car was stored would be a factor with heat and humidity. I'll be sure to look at obvious things that could age like visible rubber seals and body fittings around glass and doors. I know there could be hidden problems.
 

· Registered
2004 W211 (E320)
Joined
·
119 Posts
We own a 2004 E320 non-4Matic with 55,000 miles. I'd say the car you are considering could be a smokin' deal depending on a few things: Garage kept? If not 11 years is a long time to be outside. Service records? Regardless of mileage the oil should be changed about every year.

These cars can be expensive to repair unless you can do some of the small things yourself. If you can, they are very good cars. I think the only caution is the SBC. This is an electro-hydraulic actuator in place of the traditional vacuum operated brake booster unique to this vintage of MB. It has a history of failing and can be expensive to repair or replace. I don't know how time (vs mileage) dependent this is. The SBC on our car is original and still operating just fine.

As I said above, this could be a great deal if you know what to look for.

Good luck.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good advise about SBC

Thanks to Colorado for mentioning the SBC.
I found a great "Mercedessource" you tube in which Kent explains the importance of the 2nd battery under the hood and cabin air filter, that is dedicated to the SBC.
He also has several other excellent videos on MB maintenance and trouble-shooting which I've bookmarked for future use.
 

· Registered
2004 W211 (E320)
Joined
·
119 Posts
I've replaced the little "motorcycle" battery under the hood. You should be able to find one for $50 - $80. Once you locate it, it is pretty easy to change. On a car this old with this few miles, that battery could very likely be ready for a new one.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Made discovery at dealers shop

Went to see the 04 E320 4-matic wagon at dealer's location for the first time. They had done their inspection and after looking the car over, I took it for a gentle test drive. Wagon drove well and looked new inside and out.

Afterward, I requested they lift the car for an undercarriage inspection….and this is what I found...

1. Left rear self-leveling air spring (this is not an air-matic model) had two 1" splits in the rear side of dust cover along the "pleated" folds of the rubber.

Mechanic said this should not be a problem…..(for now?). When one (or both) fail, I may replace with Arnott Air Springs. I've seen Strutmasters offerings to replace with coils but not convinced that's best.

2. Right rear shock had most of the (rubber?) dust cover missing so chrome shaft was exposed. Should be ok but I'll probably replace rear shocks soon.

3. Front left inner CV boot was completely split and grease had escaped !!!

This got their attention and they were embarrassed to have this pointed out to them by me. I'm now waiting to hear from them as to how this will be resolved. They may replace only the boot if CV joint is good. We'll see.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Aging rubber at low mileage

I also wonder what they've missed or simply aren't telling me.

I haven't bought the wagon yet and they're probably wondering right now, what they'll do to fix this. The underside of wagon appeared clean and all metal was in excellent condition but….beauty is skin deep. There's so much more that can't be seen but that's true with every vehicle, new or used. Even though I don't own a MB, I had researched enough that I was way ahead of the salesperson as far as many technical and various functions of this vehicle. I wish the mechanics were older and instilled more confidence.

Thanks for your replies.
 

· Registered
1922 Ford T no OBD, no ECU, no SCN
Joined
·
37,921 Posts
Thinking about it again, it is pretty strange that those things broke so soon.
CV boots usually last 10 years and 100k miles.
Other parts should not be that bad.
So I suspect something funny happened to the car and don't let good looks deceive you.
Mercedes can look new even with high mileage. Years ago I bought E320cdi with 150k on it. The corporate, single owner took really good care about it and selling dealer put new carpets in it. I went via the car with magnify glass and the only tiny sign of wear was on ... sunglasses compartment.
Computers on those cars keep records of mileage at service. Even dealers don't know how to access that information, I would be tempted finding indy who knows those things and check it before sinking good amount of money in old car.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top