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1995 Mercede-Benz S500
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Around March as i was driving to Oklahoma City for the weeknd and i notice an oil burning smell coming from my car. After smelling it i drove tot he nearest gas station to check out my car. i popped my hood and checked my oil dipstick and the oil was fine. I checked underneath to look for oil drips and there was no spot. I then continued on to my destination and then after that weekend for another 2 weeks i kept smelling that oil burn so i went to my shop and checked the oil dipstick and oil was low and i mean 6 QUARTS LOWS! I was like WTF!? I got lucky that the engine didnt lock up on me so the next day i lifted it up and to find out it was the oil pan gasket. I got that replaced and there was no more oil drip. I got very lucky the motor didnt lock up or else i would have been sad. =\
 

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2004 S500
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115 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
Ok thanks for the info. Buying a 1997 S500 tomorrow! Flying there and driving it 1,000 miles home! Hope all goes well. Had ASE mechanic check it out (for $85).
 

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2004 S500
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115 Posts
Discussion Starter #23
UPDATE: Car drive 1k miles just fine. Best $85 I ever spent. Anyone else have stories of how their W140 has had little or no problems?? Or maybe drive for hours in 100 degree weather? or started right up everytime in very cold temperatures?
 

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1997 Mercedes Benz S320 SWB
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274 Posts
UPDATE: Car drive 1k miles just fine. Best $85 I ever spent. Anyone else have stories of how their W140 has had little or no problems?? Or maybe drive for hours in 100 degree weather? or started right up everytime in very cold temperatures?
Update: glad you got your car, S600Guy.

Again, mine's had little or no problems. Have driven at temps near 100 F for 4-5 hours, and started right up in sub-zero temps (-4 F) last week!

Best advice:

Keep up on all scheduled maintenance.
Get good tires.
There should be NO dash warning lights on! Fix them.

(The amber "exterior lamp light" comes on, I'm reaching for a bulb!)

Clean the paint.

Have pride of ownership with your new car. By keeping up its appearance, you will likely follow with the upkeep on the rest of your car, as money/finances are present. Better set some money aside for the catastrophic-type repairs.

No leaks, no abnormal vibrations, etc.


All the best,


James Combs,
Salt Lake City, Utah USA
1997 S320, 88,300, "Did you hear a funny noise? What's that electrical smell? Oh, damn....":eek:
 

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1997 S666-The Beast
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870 Posts
Ive driven mine over 20,000kms since I bought it in May 2008 so I drive it a fair amount, considering work was 1 minute drive from home. 20,000kms of pleasure driving mostly.

In all that time, even though ive taken numerous highway roadtrips to Mt Fuji, and many a 200km round trip to visit Hakus place, the only work I needed done was a single coil replacement last month - which isnt unusual for a car thats 14 years old in my opinion. The paintwork is original and looks less than a year old, thanks to the original owner paying to coat the car with some special 700 dollar polymer every year.

Never had a flat tyre, never had a problem (aside from the coil). Ive changed the plugs and have changed the oil a couple of times.

I too am one of those people who has had car problems my whole life. My first car was a Ford transit van, which no one except me could drive because the steering was so loose, it would swing left and right at random.... next was a ford falcon - a truck swiped and completely removed the drivers door as i was closing it. Next car was a toyota hilux 4WD - entire engine seized and needed to be replaced - turns out the Japanese guy I got it off had NEVER put oil in it!

Then I switched to a C Class W202 and the thing was an electrical fault nightmare - wipers failed on the hiway during a typhoon and I had to put my head out the window just to stay alive - couldnt see anything in the driving rain..... the horn sounded at random times - even when the car was off! etc etc...

Then I got my W140 and she has never let me down, never stalled, never failed to start, never done anything untoward. I try to maintain her and keep an eye on her so she doesnt start sliding downhill....
 

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1999 S420; 2007 S600
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416 Posts
I am green with envy. (What I'm NOT saying is: YOU PEOPLE MAKE ME SICK!!!)

haha, all in good fun.

My trouble-free S420:
- Cascade electrical meltdown destroyed much of port side stereo wiring harness, body wiring harness, and vacuum lines.
- PSE pump fails to retract rear headrests, not yet replaced
- Soft-close pump failed
- Stereo external amplifier failed
- PCV breather hose rotted out and fell apart
- Leaky valve cover gaskets, both sides
- Currently tracing mystery coolant leak that may be headgasket
- rear brakes squeal horribly in reverse, even though there's plenty of pad

...on top of routine maintenance. We bought the car with 71k and have put about 3k on it over the last 15 months.

Now our S500 (not as bad):
- Squealing water pump bearing, water pump replaced
- ABS & BAS/ASR light came on, turned out to be faulty brake light switch at the top of the brake pedal.
- Low rumble under the car is likely failing torque converter
- All of the fuel economy "straws" - vacuum lines - crumbled and literally fell apart when barely touched when I replaced the water pump. S420 will have the same.
- Coolant T-joint along firewall failed while my wife was driving the car, sprayed coolant all over the engine bay
- rear brakes ALSO squeal horribly when in reverse, even though there's plenty of pad left

This one we bought with 58k and it has 63k now. Just about 1 year.

Both cars have numerous squeaks and rattles that have been completely impossible to track and correct, despite a significant amount of disassembly and effort.

For all those who put a lot of highway miles, highway mileage is about as hard on a car as a drive to then end of the block. (OK, maybe a SLIGHT exaggeration). But, 100 miles of cruising along a smooth highway puts as much strain on your car as 2 miles of stop-and-go driving to the store - maybe less.

Our cars' mileage is 90% stop-and-go city driving and the last 10% is a handful of medium-length highway trips per year. Still, we've had an incredible share of problems on cars with fairly low mileage, most of which cannot be attributed to any particularly bad driving habits or lack of maintenance; most of it is simple failure of the material and/or engineering quality of the car's components.
 

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1997 S666-The Beast
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870 Posts
I am green with envy. (What I'm NOT saying is: YOU PEOPLE MAKE ME SICK!!!)
Yeah, well even im surprised - Second car i havent had endless headaches with, and shes a W140. The other was a W126 (Swapped out Nissan 2.8 Diesel engine I might add...)

 

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CLS350 C219 2006
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582 Posts
Hi,

No problems whatsoever, but a few opportunities to shine as a mechanic or to enable the local indy to save up for his own car. Haha.

Well bought it at 230,000k, now 249,000 (champagne is on ice).
Spend about A$8000k here on various items (auto rebuild, new duo valves, lots of smaller bits), as you can see they are expensive here to buy and own.

Never regretted a single cent, she drives like a dream (mostly).
When i pick up friends, they do not believe she is almost 18 years old.
Engine is smooth when accelerating, breaks a great, aircon (now again) is great.

Yes 2nd hand still cost more than a new 010, but than again, doesnt loose a lot more in value and spins a few more heads.

Cheers
 

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1997 Mercedes Benz S320 SWB
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274 Posts
I am green with envy. (What I'm NOT saying is: YOU PEOPLE MAKE ME SICK!!!)

haha, all in good fun.

My trouble-free S420:
- Cascade electrical meltdown destroyed much of port side stereo wiring harness, body wiring harness, and vacuum lines.
- PSE pump fails to retract rear headrests, not yet replaced
- Soft-close pump failed
- Stereo external amplifier failed
- PCV breather hose rotted out and fell apart
- Leaky valve cover gaskets, both sides
- Currently tracing mystery coolant leak that may be headgasket
- rear brakes squeal horribly in reverse, even though there's plenty of pad

...on top of routine maintenance. We bought the car with 71k and have put about 3k on it over the last 15 months.

Now our S500 (not as bad):
- Squealing water pump bearing, water pump replaced
- ABS & BAS/ASR light came on, turned out to be faulty brake light switch at the top of the brake pedal.
- Low rumble under the car is likely failing torque converter
- All of the fuel economy "straws" - vacuum lines - crumbled and literally fell apart when barely touched when I replaced the water pump. S420 will have the same.
- Coolant T-joint along firewall failed while my wife was driving the car, sprayed coolant all over the engine bay
- rear brakes ALSO squeal horribly when in reverse, even though there's plenty of pad left

This one we bought with 58k and it has 63k now. Just about 1 year.

Both cars have numerous squeaks and rattles that have been completely impossible to track and correct, despite a significant amount of disassembly and effort.

For all those who put a lot of highway miles, highway mileage is about as hard on a car as a drive to then end of the block. (OK, maybe a SLIGHT exaggeration). But, 100 miles of cruising along a smooth highway puts as much strain on your car as 2 miles of stop-and-go driving to the store - maybe less.

Our cars' mileage is 90% stop-and-go city driving and the last 10% is a handful of medium-length highway trips per year. Still, we've had an incredible share of problems on cars with fairly low mileage, most of which cannot be attributed to any particularly bad driving habits or lack of maintenance; most of it is simple failure of the material and/or engineering quality of the car's components.
Hey, andyman32, as the young people say, "It's all good"!....

On the S420: the wiring issue: get some help with this (money, harnesses, etc.) This will be your most difficult repair.

The PSE, and door pump, under passenger rear side and driver's side trunk area, are repairable. Look up Brett San Diego's excellent write-ups. Or, take in to the dealer or independant MB-specialist for repair, etc.

Damn, the head gasket.... Again, a machine shop to check for head warpage, new gasket, labor, etc. Or, indie/dealer. This isn't a convenience "feature". The wiring and probable head gasket are primary!

Overall, it's nothing that time, research, "sweat equity", or money with indies and MB-dealership can't solve!

If your car's bodies and interiors are in good shape, try to affect these repairs ASAP. Pull from savings or borrow (low-interest rate) money. You'll feel better with a fully or nearly fully-operational car.

Happy New Year to All,


James Combs,
Salt Lake City, Utah USA
1997 S320, 88,300 miles
 

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1999 S420; 2007 S600
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416 Posts
Haha, thanks James. I didn't mean to hijack the thread. The original poster wasn't fetching SOB stories. It was just in good fun - trouble-free, these cars are not. My Jags (3 of them) have all had dramatically fewer problems - admittedly, these are "sleeper" Jags, delightful and with excellent durability and reliability and quite in contrast to the reputation of Jags of yore. But when you stand up the two marques side by side, you DEFINITELY expect the Mercedes to stand up to time and mileage far, far better than a Jaguar. That, it has not. In fact, I've never had so many problems on a car as I've had on EITHER Benz. Maybe it's just my luck.


On the S420: the wiring issue: get some help with this (money, harnesses, etc.) This will be your most difficult repair.
The dealer quoted me $6k-$8k to repair and I decided "BS", so I ripped out the interior and spliced in wires myself. Now everything works perfectly. I also had to replace some melted vacuum lines with generic hose from the car parts store.

The PSE, and door pump, under passenger rear side and driver's side trunk area, are repairable. Look up Brett San Diego's excellent write-ups. Or, take in to the dealer or independant MB-specialist for repair, etc.
I already replaced the soft-close pump. The PSE pump will be forthcoming but it's pretty far down the list. I need to replace the torque converter in our "new" Lexus first.

Damn, the head gasket....
Well, yes. Quite my reaction as well. But I haven't traced the leak yet, so I haven't confirmed it's a head gasket. The head will not have warped as it never overheated so I'd likely do the head gasket myself. The dealership is pretty much out of the picture; they'll have a master tech repair anything if you can cough up half the price of the car. If I were to spend that much on repairs I'd just put that money together with the purchase price of the car and buy myself something newer. The way I keep the cost to own & operate low is doing almost everything myself... then I get to play around with more cars at any given point in time. Only having one car (or, two, counting the spouse's) would be boring... I wouldn't have much to do on the weekends, nor an excuse to keep cracking open cheap beers throughout the afternoon! :)

Cheers! :beerchugr:
 

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1997 Mercedes Benz S320 SWB
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274 Posts
Haha, thanks James. I didn't mean to hijack the thread. The original poster wasn't fetching SOB stories. It was just in good fun - trouble-free, these cars are not. My Jags (3 of them) have all had dramatically fewer problems - admittedly, these are "sleeper" Jags, delightful and with excellent durability and reliability and quite in contrast to the reputation of Jags of yore. But when you stand up the two marques side by side, you DEFINITELY expect the Mercedes to stand up to time and mileage far, far better than a Jaguar. That, it has not. In fact, I've never had so many problems on a car as I've had on EITHER Benz. Maybe it's just my luck.




The dealer quoted me $6k-$8k to repair and I decided "BS", so I ripped out the interior and spliced in wires myself. Now everything works perfectly. I also had to replace some melted vacuum lines with generic hose from the car parts store.


I already replaced the soft-close pump. The PSE pump will be forthcoming but it's pretty far down the list. I need to replace the torque converter in our "new" Lexus first.



Well, yes. Quite my reaction as well. But I haven't traced the leak yet, so I haven't confirmed it's a head gasket. The head will not have warped as it never overheated so I'd likely do the head gasket myself. The dealership is pretty much out of the picture; they'll have a master tech repair anything if you can cough up half the price of the car. If I were to spend that much on repairs I'd just put that money together with the purchase price of the car and buy myself something newer. The way I keep the cost to own & operate low is doing almost everything myself... then I get to play around with more cars at any given point in time. Only having one car (or, two, counting the spouse's) would be boring... I wouldn't have much to do on the weekends, nor an excuse to keep cracking open cheap beers throughout the afternoon! :)

Cheers! :beerchugr:
(off-topic): The Lexus LS400 is a nice car, andyman32. Too bad about the TC. The Jags are.....jags!

The newer Jags come with a Ford oval in the grille; the older Jags came equipped with two under-seat fire extinguishers. Lucas electricals, etc.


Liquor-Time At Jim's Bar,

James Combs,
Salt Lake City, Utah USA
1997 S320, 88,300 miles
 

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Mercedes-Benz S420 '95
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124 Posts
HI

Last summer went on a trip with my family Moldova-Romania-Bulgaria-Turkey-Grece-Romania-Moldova. Drove over 6000km on hot summer days. My car is an S420 1995 and when we start the trip, odometer was on 286.000km now almost 300.000km(aprox. 187k miles) All the trip without any problem. Outside hot, inside my car was cool, A/C helped a lot. OH the only problem was when I have too fill the tank in Turkey...fuel there 3times more expensive than in my country)))
 

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nothing broken. finally!
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2,619 Posts
(off-topic): The Lexus LS400 is a nice car, andyman32. Too bad about the TC. The Jags are.....jags!

The newer Jags come with a Ford oval in the grille; the older Jags came equipped with two under-seat fire extinguishers. Lucas electricals, etc.


Liquor-Time At Jim's Bar,

James Combs,
Salt Lake City, Utah USA
1997 S320, 88,300 miles
More hijack follows. What about the latest jag models (tata owned)? They look nice in the commercials and photos but when i saw them in person i was just revolved. It was like looking at an altima. The body lines just lack that stance that you expect.. Very hard to describe

The ford jags looked and felt better imo
 

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1994 W124 E320 1997W140 S320(RIP),1993W140300SE(RIP),2000W208CLK320(RIP) , 1993 W201 190E 2.6 (RIP),
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1,822 Posts
Funny, seems the car only breaks when it's not having long trips lol, my car has been fairly reliable - seems to be all the extra or comfort features which fail, not so much the drive train (touch wood).
QUOTE]

Agreed. W140's LOVE to be actually driven, hate to be sittin'. Never be stranded, except once, on my '93 300SE - Tranny crapped out.
 

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Jaguar STR-sold,mercedes s500L-sold,c36 amg-sold,s500 coupe-sold,cl420-sold,s320-sold,s280-sold
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541 Posts
Driven my CL 420 from UK to Poland and back-1000 miles trip around 20 hours one way.
No problems apart from bad tyres I had on - was making my traction control getting crazy.
Now Pirelli Pzero's on - sorted.
Will go for that trip again in couple of months.Looking forward to those German Autobahn's - awsome!!!!!
 

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1997 Mercedes Benz S320 SWB
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274 Posts
More hijack follows. What about the latest jag models (tata owned)? They look nice in the commercials and photos but when i saw them in person i was just revolved. It was like looking at an altima. The body lines just lack that stance that you expect.. Very hard to describe

The ford jags looked and felt better imo
***

The conclusion of "Hijack":

Haven't seen the Tata Motors Jags yet. The real (English) Jags were nice. Connolly leather, quiet ride, beautiful styling.

Ford helped with the reliability problems in its tenure with the brand.

Sniffing The Connolly Leather "Hide Care" From A Jar,

James Combs,
Salt Lake City, Utah USA
1997 S320, 88,300 miles (Lexoled leather, no fire extinguishers needed...)
 

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Jaguar STR-sold,mercedes s500L-sold,c36 amg-sold,s500 coupe-sold,cl420-sold,s320-sold,s280-sold
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541 Posts
I treat my car as a cruiser not a race car.Pzero's are just fine
 

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w220 S400 CDI (2000), w210 E270 CDI (2002), w211 E270 CDI (2002), r170 SLK 200 Kompressor (1998)
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17 Posts
In the summer of 2009 I did a 5000 km's trip around Europe in my ex 1994 S350 TD (with 350000 km's) during 7 days.
The car didn't have any problem. I only added 1 or 2 liters of engine oil in the middle of the trip more or less.;)

In fact I had the car during 3 years (I bought it in 2007 with 328000 km's and sold it recently with 360000 km's) and never had any big problem with it.:)
 
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