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77 240D
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993 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
i'm new to diesels and checking out this 300cd that lives in the desert. the seller wrote this: "The engine usually starts first time". can you more experienced folks help me divine what kind of problem is this likely to be?
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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31,633 Posts
Oh, thank you, I needed a good laugh.

What it could be is a lot of things, But the likely translation is, "I've spent more money trying to change 'usually' to 'always' than this car is worth and the frustration factor caused my wife to leave and none of my so-called 'friends' will come over or even call any longer. Please save me from myself."

Seriously, it could be something rather simple, like a leaky injector, or something complex and very expensive. It's been oft-repeated (and for good reason) that the worst Mercedes is a cheap Mercedes.

That said, if the car is otherwise perfect, ask him to let you take it for a PPI. While you're at the indy shop, repeat your question so as he's doing the PPI he can pay special attention to that.

But if you pull into the shop and the guy sees it and comes running out shaking his head saying, "I said I can't fix it, please go away!!" then you also have an answer. :D

Good luck.
 

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1982 300D Turbodiesel 212K or so, it doesn't work anymore :-)
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216 Posts
It sounds like he's saying it starts with one cycle of the glow plugs, normally. There very well may not be an issue; there may be a huge issue.

You'll never know until you get an inspection, or at least go look at, crank, and drive the car yourself.
 

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2013 MINI Copper S Clubman, '84 300CD-weekend car
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10,152 Posts
Agreed, could be numerous items, a visual inspection is in order.
 

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1985 300CD Turbo coupe, 2006 E320 CDI sedan
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573 Posts
Yeah, my interpretation would be "usually starts after only one application of the glow plugs". So does mine.

//greg//
 

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1984 Mercedes Benz 300CD European Delivery
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11 Posts
Haha, when I was trying to buy a 1983 300cd, the seller said the same thing. When I tried to start it, it was one of those times it didn't start.
 

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'83 300D
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638 Posts
Using the inspection can help get the price down if it won't take much to fix (valve adjustment, clogged filters, bad glow plugs).
Beyond that I'd walk away unless the seller is willing to let it go cheap, and you're willing to get elbow-deep in work.
 

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77 240D
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993 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
and thank you gregs210, your reply made me laugh too. the concerns you guys all mentioned are the right ones. i have never seriously looked into buying a car so far away before (it would at best take me one extremely long day to fly there, inspect the car, make the deal, and drive home). the reason i would bother is that it has a black interior. anyway, thanks all for your comments. "cheap mercedes" is notorious but i'm not sure at what price you guys would draw the line. list on this is $4500 - not a collectible but at that price i would expect it to be running well. i am handy enough but i am not yet too familiar with these machines and i would probably pay for some amount of work rather than trying to do it at home - so i guess i'm looking to take a trip to the best shop in majestically huge san bernadino county. i need to be able to commute sooner rather than later, unfortunately because i hate commuting, and a C123 is the only way i can see about making it tolerable.
 
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