Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

21 - 40 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
2004 E320 4Matic Wagon
Joined
·
39 Posts
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. :)
 

·
Registered
2004 E320 4Matic Wagon
Joined
·
39 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.
 

·
Registered
E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
Joined
·
36,360 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.
 

·
Registered
2004 E320 4Matic Wagon
Joined
·
39 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). :)
 

·
Registered
1998 e430
Joined
·
375 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...
 

·
Registered
2004 E320 4Matic Wagon
Joined
·
39 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.
 

·
Registered
E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
Joined
·
36,360 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
2004 E320 4Matic Wagon
Joined
·
39 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. :)
 

·
Registered
E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
Joined
·
36,360 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
2004 E320 4Matic Wagon
Joined
·
39 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. :)
 

·
Registered
2004 E320 4Matic Wagon
Joined
·
39 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
2004 E320 4Matic Wagon
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #32
UPDATE: All has been going well, so I've been getting nervous. :) Took Missy into the dealer on 2/10 for a diagnostic check of codes. I've been receiving infrequent white "Brake Visit Workshop" malfunction warnings. They've been few and far between, apparently random, appearances (one each in November/December/January), but brakes are under warranty, so I want to stay on top of that. My friendly neighborhood Mercedes dealership informed me that I had a bunch of codes for low voltage that were most likely the source for the warnings. Turns out my batteries are rather old (2007 for the main, and 2010 for aux); those will need replacing soon, but I chose not to let the dealership do it ($765 to replace two batteries, on top of the $200 diagnostic fee, seemed a bit excessive. :)

I also noticed this week that the driver's side rear is dropping a bit after being parked for a spell, but comes right up when the bag inflates. I'm guessing there's a shock there that's either dead/dying; I can only imagine how old those must be.

So, my updated "to do" list: 1) Replace both batteries (for considerably less than $765)
2) Passenger side rear wheel well liner looks to have lost a clip; needs fixing.
3) Replace driver's rear shock (?).
4) Still need to replace the sender unit in the fuel tank (strong odor of gas when filled above 3/4).

I was planning on doing most of these around June when I'm due for an oil change, anyway, but I don't like the idea of driving around with suspension issues, so I'll probably have to address that sooner rather than later.
 

·
Registered
2000 S430, 2003 S430, 2000 S500, 2003 S600 TT, and 2005 E320 CDI
Joined
·
4,558 Posts
Yeah, these cars really do prefer strong batteries. My E320 CDI had an older battery somewhat past its prime. Amazingly, the car started every time, but putting in the fresh battery did help things. You really know it when, at start time, you get that dashboard message that says, "convenience features temporarily turned off".

That fuel sender unit might be OK; it might actually be the gas tank. Take it to the M-B dealership and have 'em check the fuel tank to see if there's a leak in it. Yes, this is a known issue with some W211's, unfortunately, and your symptoms sound like that problem.

Reading through the thread, it looks like you've got about $18K into this car. Believe me, when everything's sorted out, there's very little you will have to do to this car from that point forward. For the W211, I haven't had to do very much yet, though the front suspension is starting to show signs that it will need some love in a year or two. Every one of my S-class W220's has needed about $5,000 in maintenance, and I'm doing all the work myself, so the labor's free. But...when my wife and I get into any of our cars, we have no concerns. Further, the cars are basically trouble-free at this point.
 

·
Registered
2004 E320 4Matic Wagon
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #35 (Edited)
Yeah, these cars really do prefer strong batteries. My E320 CDI had an older battery somewhat past its prime. Amazingly, the car started every time, but putting in the fresh battery did help things. You really know it when, at start time, you get that dashboard message that says, "convenience features temporarily turned off".

That fuel sender unit might be OK; it might actually be the gas tank. Take it to the M-B dealership and have 'em check the fuel tank to see if there's a leak in it. Yes, this is a known issue with some W211's, unfortunately, and your symptoms sound like that problem.

Reading through the thread, it looks like you've got about $18K into this car. Believe me, when everything's sorted out, there's very little you will have to do to this car from that point forward. For the W211, I haven't had to do very much yet, though the front suspension is starting to show signs that it will need some love in a year or two. Every one of my S-class W220's has needed about $5,000 in maintenance, and I'm doing all the work myself, so the labor's free. But...when my wife and I get into any of our cars, we have no concerns. Further, the cars are basically trouble-free at this point.
I've only had that message a few times, and all of them were occasions where I've had to jump start the car. There were a couple of times back when we lived in the city that she sat too long between starts, and the most recent occurrence was in December (I left the car idling too long with the defrosters on, because I was distracted by a coworker, but that was also the night I discovered the power steering pump was crapping out, so I had other problems to contend with). I'll make a point of changing the batteries this year, but unless I start seeing that warning/other issues, it can wait until I do my winter prep in November/December.

There doesn't appear to be any leak of fuel, and from what I've read here on the forums the rubber seals around the fuel sender are prone to wear, and that (I hope) seems to be the cause here. From what I've read, the dealerships, however, "repair" it by replacing the whole tank, which must be an astronomical bill; I'll let my indy deal with it. Interestingly enough, Mercedes extended the fuel system warranty to fifteen years from in service date, which is great. However, I didn't uncover this information until after I had developed the issue in February of 2019. A call to Mercedes revealed Missy's in service date was 10/03, so no luck there. A letter I sent to MBUSA requesting that the warranty be extended to cover repairs went unanswered (I wasn't expecting approval, but a response would be nice). Right now, I just live with it by not topping off past 3/4, unless I'm going on a long drive. I wanted to get in there and replace the sender and do a preemptive replacement of the fuel pump (fingers crossed that it's not the tank) last year, but everything else went to hell, so we'll see what happens this year.

I love the car, and I intend to run it for a good long time. Repairs are cheaper than a new ride, and at some point (fingers crossed!), I imagine/hope I'll get ahead of the cycle, and enjoy a year of just routine maintenance. :)

That's insane. My 04 E320 wagon with 178k miles cost me $3000 upfront plus $1000 in parts over the past year and 12k miles.
Yep. 2019 was a VERY bad year. Many expensive things crapped out in a short period of time. I hope you keep reaping the benefits of your good fortune.
 

·
Registered
2004 E320 4Matic Wagon
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #36
One thing I forgot to add to the "to do" list: brake flush. While I was at the dealership being quoted almost a $1000 to replace the batteries, I asked them to search the service history (the previous owner did mostly dealer maintenance), and there is no record of a brake flush ever having been done, although the dealership, oddly enough, didn't seem too keen on doing it, and didn't try to sell me on it. In any event, I'll plan on doing it this year, as well.
 

·
Registered
87 300D 5 speed
Joined
·
5,434 Posts
One thing I forgot to add to the "to do" list: brake flush. While I was at the dealership being quoted almost a $1000 to replace the batteries, I asked them to search the service history (the previous owner did mostly dealer maintenance), and there is no record of a brake flush ever having been done, although the dealership, oddly enough, didn't seem too keen on doing it, and didn't try to sell me on it. In any event, I'll plan on doing it this year, as well.
Stop going to the dealer, you're getting screwed. Changing the batteries isn't rocket science. You can get both under $200 at any auto parts place and it's about 30 minutes of your time with with basic hand tools.
 

·
Registered
2004 E320 4Matic Wagon
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #38
Stop going to the dealer, you're getting screwed. Changing the batteries isn't rocket science. You can get both under $200 at any auto parts place and it's about 30 minutes of your time with with basic have tools.
Yes, I know. That's why they're not doing that work. I was there for a diagnostic on the brake system. I am curious about their math, though. You figure MAYBE an hour, tops, for a skilled mechanic to replace both batteries. Their hourly labor rate is $125, and they quoted me $785 to replace both batteries. That means they're charging $760 for batteries. That's insane. Like I asked the service rep: "Are they made of solid gold?" :)
 

·
Registered
2000 S430, 2003 S430, 2000 S500, 2003 S600 TT, and 2005 E320 CDI
Joined
·
4,558 Posts
By the way, I've done the brake fluid flush on my W211. Same goes for the pads and discs (rotors). That's easy stuff. I can do a brake flush in about 30-40 minutes, including the time to pull the wheels off and put 'em back on, with proper torque on each lug bolt. It's not that hard.

For the brake pads and rotors, you'll want something that can disengage the SBC system, otherwise the calipers won't let go of the rotors.

See about learning to do some of this stuff yourself. That's how I can afford to maintain all the cars in my signature. There are others here who have way more than I do and likewise maintain them most affordably. "Missy" can be one of the most reliable, trouble-free cars you're likely to own if you do it right.
 
21 - 40 of 41 Posts
Top