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Howdy from FOB Warrior, Iraq. I have searched the web and many forums and have several questions about purchasing an E320 CDI. I test drove a 2005 (one owner, 75K miles) before I deployed and was VERY impressed at the performance and ride quality. When I got back to the dealer, I asked him if it was possible to pull the service records, which he did….kinda reluctantly. He basically stated, “hey, this vehicle has only been in the shop 6 times”. I asked him what for? It was engine seal leaking, front suspension bushing replaced, rear suspension bushing replaced, emission service and electrical problems. Call me crazy, but I guess I am used to my Acura TL. 169K on it and literally, one turn signal bulb burned out and replaced….that’s it. Other than that, factory service intervals and fair wear and tear items. He said that all services were covered under warranty. Well, warranties expire sooner or later and then it’s out of pocket. Here’s my questions/concerns to you owners of the E320 CDI. Are these vehicles as maintenance intensive and as problematic as the one I test drove? I love the thought of getting in the 30’s MPG, but not if the vehicle is in the shop every other month. Are there certain years that are more desirable? Is the BLUETEC option better/worse than a regular CDI? I know these are broad questions, but I can’t seem to narrow down the good ones from the bad. I would like to hear pros/cons if possible. I appreciate your time. Thanks
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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Well, I share rides with my ski buddy in his Honda and I can fully understand his satisfaction with the car. For $17 k new his 4-cylinder makes 32-35 mpg.
Than last season he was very impressed how my 97 with 230,000 on odometer well handled and was so quiet and comfortable.
Driving Hondas you don't take them to the shop because they squeak. You just turn the radio volume couple notches higher. Than you can't take Honda for the repairs of the items that it doesn't have and which might exist on Mercedes.
320cdi is definitely on the top of economy and performance so you will find lot of my positive comments about it. And I am not biased at this point, because I sold mine, while keeping its older, cheaper sibling.
Welcome to the forum and good luck on your decision.
 

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Howdy from FOB Warrior, Iraq. I have searched the web and many forums and have several questions about purchasing an E320 CDI. I test drove a 2005 (one owner, 75K miles) before I deployed and was VERY impressed at the performance and ride quality. When I got back to the dealer, I asked him if it was possible to pull the service records, which he did….kinda reluctantly. He basically stated, “hey, this vehicle has only been in the shop 6 times”. I asked him what for? It was engine seal leaking, front suspension bushing replaced, rear suspension bushing replaced, emission service and electrical problems. Call me crazy, but I guess I am used to my Acura TL. 169K on it and literally, one turn signal bulb burned out and replaced….that’s it. Other than that, factory service intervals and fair wear and tear items. He said that all services were covered under warranty. Well, warranties expire sooner or later and then it’s out of pocket. Here’s my questions/concerns to you owners of the E320 CDI. Are these vehicles as maintenance intensive and as problematic as the one I test drove? I love the thought of getting in the 30’s MPG, but not if the vehicle is in the shop every other month. Are there certain years that are more desirable? Is the BLUETEC option better/worse than a regular CDI? I know these are broad questions, but I can’t seem to narrow down the good ones from the bad. I would like to hear pros/cons if possible. I appreciate your time. Thanks

Hi-

I am up in Taji, also looking at a CDI when I get home. I have had several Mercedes in the past, and have an Acura RL right now. This would not be my first diesel, but given that I am like you, and have the long term reliability expectations of Honda, but would like a Mercedes. I can offer you this advice:


Don't by ANY german car and think for ONE second it will be like your Honda, becuase it won't. It will need service and my have a few minor or major problems. If you go into the purchase knowing this, you will feel better when you have to install a timing chain and guide set for $1700. Dont expect it to be a Honda because it will never be that.

Do you service you own cars? I worked at an independant import shop for four years and spent another few at an Audi Saab dealer. I am able to minimize the cost of ownership with repairing cars myself. The new Mercedes are alot more complicated than they once were.

Have you looked at a mid 1990's 300D? almost bullet proof car, and cost to maintain is alot less.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey Weenieman and Kajtek, thanks for the replies. I guess I will probably have to stick with the Acura's if I don't want to go broke maintaining my vehicles. I should have known what you are saying about owning a German vehicle. I owned a 93 VW Corrado, VR6 and that was one expensive sumbeach to maintain. $23 oil cartridge and $50 wiper blades. But man was it a little go-kart. My Acura on the other hand, $700 timing belt change, at 105K miles. Maybe Honda will bring that TSX Diesel to the states that I have read about for 2 years now. Sure do love that diesel TQ. I have a Dodge 2500 Cummins right now and I can move the state of Alabama with it.....at an idle....LOL. I won't give up on the Benz dream yet though. Gonna keep doing my research and gathering more info. I am up in Kirkuk flying in the Iraqi Air Force as a contractor. Retired Army Warrant Officer. Great fun daily I tell ya'. Be safe in Taji. Take Care.
 

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I fly out of Taji as well, I also had a 2001 ram 2500.

Just a heads up, I read on edmunds the other day that the Acura Diesel has been ccxl'd
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well.....crap. I was reading a few months back that it was just delayed indefinitely. That sucks. We have a retired WO up here flying with us who was the airfield manager at Taji a couple years back. Good dude. Fly Safe.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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The "high cost of repairs" is hit or miss on Mercedes and that generate lot of myths.
For example our 11-years old ML320 for the record have generated $129 in total repairs. No timing belt to worry about and even 12 plugs are expensive -they have been replaced once only and the not so costly oil changes have been done only 7 or 8 times.
Still original batteries. I bet finding Honda with such low operating cost would be extremely difficult.
Than my personal prediction is, that with predicted fuel price going back to $5 range -the 40 mpg diesels will get very high demand. Even I sold one of my diesels and got gas wagon, I am keeping my eyes on the market and as soon as I get better cash flow I will INVEST in one of the cdi. Even putting less than 5000 miles a year it still brings huge fuel savings comparing to diluted California premium.
BTW there are news in US that more and more states are forcing gasoline dilution with alcohol. That drops the mpg by as much as 10%.
So think like 20mpg gasser v/s 40 mpg diesel.
 

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95SS(165k) 06CDI(SOLD) 2014 GLK250
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you could still pick up a 2005 or 2006 still in warranty from a dealer with the exteneded coverage of a certified preowned for SCREAMIN DEALS anywhere in the country

I did this recently and still have a warrranty till 2011 and 70k more miles to go

low ball them badly they are looking to take whatever business they can get!!!
 

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I agree

I am from MN and the fuel formulation is changed starting sept 1st through I believe April to a higher alcohol content fuel for winter. Yes, it is about a 10% reduction in fuel economy as it contains less energy per ounce. ULSD has had the same effect on diesels as well.

Although, I would like to add this. the way prices are TODAY, according to my math ,and using ONLY numbers available on fueleconomy.gov the diesel will only save you a few hundred dollars per year at 15,000 miles per year. In order to make up the extra capital cost of the diesel you would have to keep your car an aweful long time or put alot of miles on!

I agree that Mercedes maint is a crap shoot. I just feel like its harder to buy a civic that will cost you an arm and a leg to maintain VS an S500. Alot more people end up over there heads in S500's than civics. I realize those are two VERY different vehicles, I was only using them to make a point, that speaking in generalities a Honda will be cheap for many years vs a benz. I didnt mean to scare anyone away from buying one. I too am looking at a CDI.

Kyle
 

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GL320 CDI - 2008, '04 Touareg V10 TDI, '85 Unimog U1700, '83 Mitsubishi 4WD turbodiesel PU
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For the most current and up-to-date data available on Mercedes (and other car) reliability / repair frequency go to http://www.truedelta.com.
Many of us participate in his data acquisition efforts and at that site you will be able to get data that is a least 10 months better than anywhere else.:)
 

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E 320 CDI

I have a 2006 CDI with about 18,000mi on the Odo. Neary a problem. Tranny had a minor leak that I spotted in the garage. Was fixed at no cost. Mine came with an extended, transferable warrany that takes me thru 2012. Hopefully it will not be needed. Engine seals, etc generally go with poor maintenance - overfilling of motor oil, for one. This is my third MB in 40 years. Quality-wise all three were pretty consistent. The 2006 requires regular service every 13kmi. I would presume the same to be true for the 2005. That, in itself would account for the mutiple shop visits. And that is a good sign. Other problems you mentioned seem unusual. Ofcourse, no owner is perfect. Cited problems may have been caused by previous owners; having it seviced by a non-MB technician. If I were you I'd keep looking. One other thing: I do not believe is picking up the first MY since creases are ironed out in subsequent production - based on first year experience. Example: The 300 SDL was produced in 1986 and in 1987. You'd be surporised at the mods introduced in 1987 to answer shortcomings discovered on the 1986. So it goes......(My SDL has 267Kmi!)

Good luck. Very few cars match the CDI's 0-60 in 6.4 secs!!



Howdy from FOB Warrior, Iraq. I have searched the web and many forums and have several questions about purchasing an E320 CDI. I test drove a 2005 (one owner, 75K miles) before I deployed and was VERY impressed at the performance and ride quality. When I got back to the dealer, I asked him if it was possible to pull the service records, which he did….kinda reluctantly. He basically stated, “hey, this vehicle has only been in the shop 6 times”. I asked him what for? It was engine seal leaking, front suspension bushing replaced, rear suspension bushing replaced, emission service and electrical problems. Call me crazy, but I guess I am used to my Acura TL. 169K on it and literally, one turn signal bulb burned out and replaced….that’s it. Other than that, factory service intervals and fair wear and tear items. He said that all services were covered under warranty. Well, warranties expire sooner or later and then it’s out of pocket. Here’s my questions/concerns to you owners of the E320 CDI. Are these vehicles as maintenance intensive and as problematic as the one I test drove? I love the thought of getting in the 30’s MPG, but not if the vehicle is in the shop every other month. Are there certain years that are more desirable? Is the BLUETEC option better/worse than a regular CDI? I know these are broad questions, but I can’t seem to narrow down the good ones from the bad. I would like to hear pros/cons if possible. I appreciate your time. Thanks
 

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For the most current and up-to-date data available on Mercedes (and other car) reliability / repair frequency go to TrueDelta Car Reliability and Gas Mileage Information.
Many of us participate in his data acquisition efforts and at that site you will be able to get data that is a least 10 months better than anywhere else.:)
Wow-

Very neat site, if we all could post our data on there, we could almost eliminate threads like this with REAL data, giving people with questions a way to quantify a cars long term reliability against others.
 

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BTW-

I read from a different source that the 320CDI does not have a dipstick for engine oil, and you must use the electronic tool to verify engine oil level. But the transmission has a dipstick tube but no dipstick, it must be purchased as an SST. I have seen this on other european cars, but I thought that the CDI at least had an engine oil dipstick? Can someone verify this?

The dipstick for the transmission looks as if it might be available from AST.
 

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BTW-

I read from a different source that the 320CDI does not have a dipstick for engine oil, and you must use the electronic tool to verify engine oil level. But the transmission has a dipstick tube but no dipstick, it must be purchased as an SST. I have seen this on other european cars, but I thought that the CDI at least had an engine oil dipstick? Can someone verify this?

The dipstick for the transmission looks as if it might be available from AST.
Engine oil tube is under the engine shroud. No dipstick just a cap on it and you have to check the oil from inside the car. Transmission dipstick is visible within the engine bay but not checkable like engine oil is (or at least as far as I can tell). I too am mystified about the transmission and the fluid levels, as the maintenance says it's a sealed unit after going through the initial service at 30k miles..
 

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We do have engine oil dipstick on our ML320 and in 7 years before we gave it to our son I used the dipstick like 3 times out of curiosity.
Nothing beats checking the oil level from driver seat, especially when you have brush guard on front. Why worry about transmission when manufacturer says it is sealed? I am considering making the service on our 187,000 miles car, but I am not in big hurry.
The customer data needs always be a subject to interpretation. I drive well faster than average US driver. Even the famous Volkswagen tdi that reportable makes 50 mpg for others, was averaging only 32 at mine 80-90 mph driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
OK. Found a 2006 CDI that is 70 miles away. These cars seem fairly difficult to locate. Does anyone know if I can purchase an extended warranty from MB if I purchase this vehicle from a private seller? Is there a way to add performance upgrades w/o voiding the factory warranty? Does anybody know if there are aftermarket products like air cleaners or air boxes? Is it possible to put on an AMG dual type exhaust? Do the performance upgrades increase fuel mileage? Is it even worth doing any performance upgrades? I have done simple bolt-on upgrades to my Dodge Cummins and....WOW....what an improvement. Thanks for your time.
 

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You can pump much more than 200 HP from 900 lb Cummins, but you might exceed the limits on the same HP from 250 lb Mercedes diesel.
So besides the exhaust tips, the answers are "NO"
I frankly think extended warranty on those cars is waste of money, but if you are a guy who holds $3 mil liability insurance, go for it. Some guys will give you more advice.
What you mean cars hard to locate? I am keeping an eye on couple of them for $17k and there is about 30 of them below $20k available.
Hundreds of those above $30k.
still siting.
 

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owner experience

I've owned my 2005 E320 CDI for a year now. it is hands down the best car I've ever owned. I bought mine second hand from a man who was a mechanic. This was his wife's car.

I'll usually get between 30-32 mpg driving to work in the DC area with 50/50 freeway/traffic driving. Just got back from a romp to cinci. 36mpg there, 39.7mpg back! Mine has 70k on it now and she's tighter than a drum.

My boss has a slightly older car with just about 300k on it. I take my car to his mechanic. There are some times you'll need a real MB service center. (computer systems upgrades etc) But for most things that don't require that level of detail other shops can help defray the costs. MY point...owning an MB doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg to maintain. I put 3 oil changes and gas in mine so far as my only expense.

My advice is to find one with records or from a mechanic like I did. But that is basic advice for any used car purchase isn't it?
 

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Does anyone know if I can purchase an extended warranty from MB if I purchase this vehicle from a private seller?
Yes if the original purchase date was less than 4 years ago. A CPO (Certified Pre-Owned) car will have 1 year and 100k from time of purchase and that also can be extended through MB during that year.
 
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