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2004 E320 4Matic Wagon
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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
Got my new winter tires just before the weather went to shit, and I was thoroughly enjoying how wonderful they were making my treacherous/deadly/not good commute, and then something else happened; as it must.

I'm sensing a theme: seems like everything connected to the belt has decided that this is the year to crap out. July was the alternator and idler pulley. October was the water pump. December, specifically Sunday, 12/1, was the turn of the power steering pump. I was digging Missy out of the snow, so that I could drive home from work, when I heard the telltale sound of something not right. Took a look under the hood when I got home, and saw the pulley wobbling over the power steering pump. Drove the wife to her job less than a mile across town on Monday morning, and by the time I got home, there were some very unhealthy sounds coming from under the hood and the power steering was crapping out. I had Missy towed to Utica Lincoln Garage, and I lived with a Hyundai Elantra for a couple of days.

Picked up Missy on Wednesday afternoon, and Chris, my mechanic, was pretty chagrined; said he'd never seen one of these pumps completely crap out before, and showed me the old power steering fluid, which came out all shimmery and shiny with bits of metal. Cool. In any event, Missy received a new power steering pump, filter, reservoir, flush of old fluid, and replacement with new fluid. Also, in an attempt to get ahead of future problems, Missy had already been scheduled to have the suspension compressor replaced, so that was done while she was there. Just as I had expected, the old filter was clogged to hell, and the hoses were cracked and split; throw another compressor, filter, and relay onto the bill.

Returning on Monday for an oil change, and state inspection. Stay tuned. :)
 

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2004 E320 4Matic Wagon
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
Missy Service History

"Missy". 2004, Mercedes E320 4Matic Wagon. In service: 10/2003. Purchased by me on 10/20/17. 137,888 miles. $4500.00.

Initial service dated 11/15/17. Autobahn, 1767 Park Ave, NY, NY.
  • Two bench handles.
  • Driver's side mirror motor
  • One air filter set
  • One drive belt
  • Two front brake rotors
  • Two front brake pad sensors
  • One front brake pad set
  • Four 225 55 16 Continental tires
  • One OE drive shaft
12/7/17. 138,186 miles. Autobahn.
- NYS Inspection

9/4/18. 141,002 miles. Pierce Auto, Bouckville, NY.
- Driver's front CV joint. Listed on invoice as "Front Left Axle Assembly OE"

12/27/18. 142,262 miles. Mercedes-Benz of Syracuse.
  • NYS Inspection.
  • Oil and Filter change
  • Tire rotation
  • Alignment
  • Driver's front tie rod replaced
  • Headlight Restoration
02/21/19. 142,918 miles. Mercedes-Benz of Syracuse.
  • Replaced left and right rear tone rings and wheel speed sensors.
  • Alignment
06 to 07/19. 145K. Hillbilly Bob.
  • Replaced front passenger side suspension spring
  • Replaced alternator
07/09/19. 145,393. Utica Lincoln Garage, Utica, NY.
  • Replaced idler pulley
  • Replaced serpentine belt
  • Test battery charging system
  • Clear error codes
07/12/19. 145k miles. Utica Lincoln Garage.
  • Change transmission fluid and filter.
  • Brake clean.
08/09/19. 146,356 miles. Mercedes-Benz of Syracuse.
  • Replace left front spring
  • Tire balance and alignment.

10/10/19: 148.551 miles. Utica Lincoln Garage.
  • Replace water pump
  • Replace Thermostat
  • Replace coolant
  • Replace serpentine belt
  • Replace tube from coolant reservoir to engine (had electrical tape on it; change it just in case that was someone's cheap way of plugging a leak).
11/25/2019: 150,380 miles. Dunn Tire, East Syracuse, NY.
  • Four Michelin Xi3 Winter tires
  • Alignment
  • Storage of all season tire.
12/05/2019: @151,000 miles. Utica Lincoln Garage.
  • Rebuilt Bosch power steering pump
  • Reservoir
  • Power Steering filter
  • Power Steering fluid
  • Flush system
  • Replace Suspension Compressor, relay, and filter.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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36,218 Posts
I reread the whole adventure and found it quite entertaining. Congratulations on good writing skills.
Coming to car issues, you will find wealth of info how to deal with repairs here and on competition site, where lot of members make mirror topics.
When you had to have bad luck to PS pump, who usually last lifetime on MB, you might want to know that Airmatic compressors do have rebuild kits for about $20 on ebay.
From my understanding you don't DIY, so it might not apply to you as no shop will do $20 rebuild, when they can make nice markup on $500 compressor for few minutes spend on replacement, but others might benefit from this knowledge.
What you can still do is get a scanner who will monitor Airmatic. The usual problem with the system is that small leak is not reported to the owner by car computer till it become big leak and compressor wear out trying to compensate.
I had Airmatic in years when affordable scanners were not available ans simply put a Tee on air tubing- adding mechanical pressure gauge.
This way when I could see >100 psi in the system in the morning, I knew I am good. When pressure would drop in minutes - that was good time to get hands dirty.
Also for cold climates it is good idea to regenerate compressor drier. We have some topics how to DIY it using house toaster, but for few bucks you can buy new granules. Don't overlook air filter maintenance.
Enjoy the drive.
 

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2004 E320 4Matic Wagon
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #24
I reread the whole adventure and found it quite entertaining. Congratulations on good writing skills.
Coming to car issues, you will find wealth of info how to deal with repairs here and on competition site, where lot of members make mirror topics.
When you had to have bad luck to PS pump, who usually last lifetime on MB, you might want to know that Airmatic compressors do have rebuild kits for about $20 on ebay.
From my understanding you don't DIY, so it might not apply to you as no shop will do $20 rebuild, when they can make nice markup on $500 compressor for few minutes spend on replacement, but others might benefit from this knowledge.
What you can still do is get a scanner who will monitor Airmatic. The usual problem with the system is that small leak is not reported to the owner by car computer till it become big leak and compressor wear out trying to compensate.
I had Airmatic in years when affordable scanners were not available ans simply put a Tee on air tubing- adding mechanical pressure gauge.
This way when I could see >100 psi in the system in the morning, I knew I am good. When pressure would drop in minutes - that was good time to get hands dirty.
Also for cold climates it is good idea to regenerate compressor drier. We have some topics how to DIY it using house toaster, but for few bucks you can buy new granules. Don't overlook air filter maintenance.
Enjoy the drive.
Thanks for the kind words, and welcome advice. Actually, these forums have been a font of information, and one of the reasons why I thought it would be best to maintain my service history here, as opposed to an old notepad in the glovebox. It was from reading these forums over the last year that I surmised that the issue I had with the air suspension last Winter was with the compressor dryer and relay. (Interestingly, when I asked the Dealership about the dryer in the compressor they told me it didn't have any. I then showed the service tech the rebuild kit on Pelican that included dryer.) I made the decision to just replace the whole compressor, relay, and filter, instead of rebuilding it, because, as you correctly guessed, I'm not handy, and it'd cost me more in labor to do a rebuild than to have my mechanic just drop in a new one (which is most likely what the dealership does, which is why they don't know that it contains a dryer). :)
 

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1998 e430
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369 Posts
an enjoyable read, thanks for sharing! for those of us already familiar, it's re-affirming to hear what people think after driving these cars for the 1st time.

missy is a very lucky benz. many would have given up on her and consigned her to pick-n-pull...

a cautionary note (reminder) here, is that if you don't want to d.i.y., you're going to become a good customer / friend to a mechanic...

if i had to pay for all the service i've done myself on my w210 (with plenty of help here!) the past several years, i'd probably be driving a japanese econobox...
 

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2004 E320 4Matic Wagon
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #26
an enjoyable read, thanks for sharing! for those of us already familiar, it's re-affirming to hear what people think after driving these cars for the 1st time.

missy is a very lucky benz. many would have given up on her and consigned her to pick-n-pull...

a cautionary note (reminder) here, is that if you don't want to d.i.y., you're going to become a good customer / friend to a mechanic...

if i had to pay for all the service i've done myself on my w210 (with plenty of help here!) the past several years, i'd probably be driving a japanese econobox...
Thanks for reading. :)

Missy has had a very expensive year, but I love the car, and every repair so far has been less than what it would cost me to buy a new ride. When that stops being the case, well, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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Being Polish-born I couldn't help to notice that Stefan is not German name, but that's just for kicks.
When I admire your devotion to Missy, even without seeing numbers I can tell you spend more on upkeep, than the purchase price was?
So even when you don't DIY, you can ask for old compressor and try to become hobbyist -rebuilding it in your spare time (I am retired as well and know how spare time is hard to get) to have it for next time you need it.
Also save links to Internet MB part sellers. Quite often shop will charge you $250 for a sensor, who can be bought for $60 on the net.
Keep up the beat.
 

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2004 E320 4Matic Wagon
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #28
Being Polish-born I couldn't help to notice that Stefan is not German name, but that's just for kicks.
When I admire your devotion to Missy, even without seeing numbers I can tell you spend more on upkeep, than the purchase price was?
So even when you don't DIY, you can ask for old compressor and try to become hobbyist -rebuilding it in your spare time (I am retired as well and know how spare time is hard to get) to have it for next time you need it.
Also save links to Internet MB part sellers. Quite often shop will charge you $250 for a sensor, who can be bought for $60 on the net.
Keep up the beat.
I’m guessing Missy has cost me approximately $18K, so far, for everything (including purchase price) over the last 25 months. I’m hoping these are all upfront costs, and things settle down to where running her for the next five to ten years becomes more economically viable. In the meantime, I’m like Johnny Cash (“One piece at a time...”), except a lot of dimes. :)
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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MB has good base and once you fix the wear parts from other owners use, you can expect it to perform.
I had 1998 E300DT, who I bought cheap with 170 k miles. Had to replace radiator due PO running over a curb. MM and glow plugs, but that was the longest owned car for me and for last 3 years nothing broke on it, so I felt kind of guilty not doing anything and replaced flex disk, what with fellow forum members seeing- was judge 50k miles premature. Sold the car to forum member with 280k miles and you can see a topic how Deplore is restoring it after lending it to his sister ;)
Still whenever you go to a shop -they will give you long list of "recommendation".
I took my 4 years old W212 to a dealer for sensor coding and without asking, they perform "safety inspection" giving me $5000 list. I double check it and the only thing that really needed attention was sway bar boot, what I was able to find on the net for $3.
So if you don't educate yourself, the bill can accumulate very high very fast.
 

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2004 E320 4Matic Wagon
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #30
Minor update to the maintenance log, as I forgot to make an entry for my vehicle inspection a couple of weeks ago. Oh, and for those following along at home, I'm so happy I replaced the suspension pump and relays. We've been mired in bitter cold her in Central NY, but Missy's been soldiering on like a champ; after a night out in the freeze, her tail comes right up every time. :)
 

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Registered
2004 E320 4Matic Wagon
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Discussion Starter #31
Missy Service History

"Missy". 2004, Mercedes E320 4Matic Wagon. In service: 10/2003. Purchased by me on 10/20/17. 137,888 miles. $4500.00.

Initial service dated 11/15/17. Autobahn, 1767 Park Ave, NY, NY.
  • Two bench handles.
  • Driver's side mirror motor
  • One air filter set
  • One drive belt
  • Two front brake rotors
  • Two front brake pad sensors
  • One front brake pad set
  • Four 225 55 16 Continental tires
  • One OE drive shaft
12/7/17. 138,186 miles. Autobahn.
- NYS Inspection

9/4/18. 141,002 miles. Pierce Auto, Bouckville, NY.
- Driver's front CV joint. Listed on invoice as "Front Left Axle Assembly OE"

12/27/18. 142,262 miles. Mercedes-Benz of Syracuse.
  • NYS Inspection.
  • Oil and Filter change
  • Tire rotation
  • Alignment
  • Driver's front tie rod replaced
  • Headlight Restoration
02/21/19. 142,918 miles. Mercedes-Benz of Syracuse.
  • Replaced left and right rear tone rings and wheel speed sensors.
  • Alignment
06 to 07/19. 145K. Hillbilly Bob.
  • Replaced front passenger side suspension spring
  • Replaced alternator
07/09/19. 145,393. Utica Lincoln Garage, Utica, NY.
  • Replaced idler pulley
  • Replaced serpentine belt
  • Test battery charging system
  • Clear error codes
07/12/19. 145k miles. Utica Lincoln Garage.
  • Change transmission fluid and filter.
  • Brake clean.
08/09/19. 146,356 miles. Mercedes-Benz of Syracuse.
  • Replace left front spring
  • Tire balance and alignment.
Bestbrian said:
10/10/19: 148.551 miles. Utica Lincoln Garage.
  • Replace water pump
  • Replace Thermostat
  • Replace coolant
  • Replace serpentine belt
  • Replace tube from coolant reservoir to engine (had electrical tape on it; change it just in case that was someone's cheap way of plugging a leak).
11/25/2019: 150,380 miles. Dunn Tire, East Syracuse, NY.
  • Four Michelin Xi3 Winter tires
  • Alignment
  • Storage of all season tire.
12/05/2019: @151,000 miles. Utica Lincoln Garage.
  • Rebuilt Bosch power steering pump
  • Reservoir
  • Power Steering filter
  • Power Steering fluid
  • Flush system
  • Replace Suspension Compressor, relay, and filter.
12/09/2019: @151,000 miles. Utica Lincoln Garage.
  • NYS Inspection
  • Oil and filter change
  • Cabin filter change
 
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