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E-320
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Folks,

I am just begining to wonder if the reliability of Mercedes is going down hill - I bought my 99 model E-320 in OCT, 2002 and since the last 2 years and 3 months that I have owned this vehicle I have had the following problems - CD changer started to skip (replaced under factory warranty) , Fuel gauge didn't read full even when tank was full ( replaced fuel sensor under warranty), O2 sensor - check engine light (replaced under Star Mark warnty), sterring rack & pinion - noise (replaced the complete rack + pinion under start mark warranty) - rear window regulator (left side ) replaced and yesterday the right side rear window regulator. Parking Lamp bulb + side marker bulb have also fused.
I am a little disappointed - I thought being a Mercedes it will have top quality parts - appraently not. What problems am I going to face next - FYI on my Maxima the window regulator broke after 12 years vs 6 years on the Mercedes.
Please advise - I rally love the car and wanted to keep for a long time - it only has 48000 miles - should I be thinking of selling it or what.
 

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1999 E320 Wagon
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367 Posts
The only thing you have missed is the Harmonic ballancer. Get yours replaced, it is being recalled. Also Change the transmission fluid (your 99 probably has a drain on the torque converter as well as the pan). But be happy that you have replaced almost everything, that are common problems, under warranty. Others arn't so lucky.

The 210 is still the most comfortable car I have ever owned or driven and would need extreme reasons to get rid of it.
 

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E-320
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86 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response.
Regarding the transmission fluid drain I haven't been informed of it yet and the car was in for it's scheduled maintenance 4-5 months ago.
What do I need to do regarding the harmonic balancer that you have mentioned - I haven't been notified regarding that either would the dealer know about the recall.
Do the front regulators also go bad.
 

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93 Lexus SC300 TT
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20 Posts
If the harmonic balancer is under a recall, all Mercedes Benz dealers should know about it
 

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2000 E320
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172 Posts
saad12 - 1/26/2005 11:20 AM

Hello Folks,

I am just begining to wonder if the reliability of Mercedes is going down hill - I bought my 99 model E-320 in OCT, 2002 and since the last 2 years and 3 months that I have owned this vehicle I have had the following problems - CD changer started to skip (replaced under factory warranty) , Fuel gauge didn't read full even when tank was full ( replaced fuel sensor under warranty), O2 sensor - check engine light (replaced under Star Mark warnty), sterring rack & pinion - noise (replaced the complete rack + pinion under start mark warranty) - rear window regulator (left side ) replaced and yesterday the right side rear window regulator. Parking Lamp bulb + side marker bulb have also fused.
I am a little disappointed - I thought being a Mercedes it will have top quality parts - appraently not. What problems am I going to face next - FYI on my Maxima the window regulator broke after 12 years vs 6 years on the Mercedes.
Please advise - I rally love the car and wanted to keep for a long time - it only has 48000 miles - should I be thinking of selling it or what.
Hi Saad12, I have a 2000 E320 with only 42,000 miles and everything you mentioned above is exactly what I had to go through, so you are not alone. In addition, my engine mounts and rear differential plates were also replaced due to some leakage. I haven't had the rack & pinions replaced yet, my dealer thinks it's just a dry boot so they just lubricated it, but the steering nosie is still there, i will take it back next week. My Starmark warranty is really paying off. Ever since I bought my car (last year 2004) I've spent more time at the dealer than actually driving it. I was also thinking about selling and buying another car, but I am so attached to the car I just can't. [V]
 

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98 E320
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30 Posts
If MB dealers are recalling cars due to bad harmonic balancers, it would appear to be a dealer by dealer decision only. NHTSA looked into the problem from a safety defect standpoint and ruled that there is no need for a recall. Interesting info I gleaned from the NHTSA website shows that the bad balancers are from one particular supplier and that 100% of the 1998 E320s use the balancer from this supplier. Yeah, mine is a 98. Great, huh?
From NHTSA's website:

THE OFFICE OF DEFECTS INVESTIGATION (ODI) OPENED THIS PRELIMINARY EVALUATION TO INVESTIGATE ALLEGATIONS OF ENGINE CRANKSHAFT PULLEY HARMONIC BALANCER FAILURE THAT COULD RESULT IN LOSS OF POWER-STEERING ASSIST. ODI HAS RECEIVED A TOTAL OF 546 NON-DUPLICATIVE REPORTS THAT ALLEGE ENGINE CRANKSHAFT PULLEY HARMONIC BALANCER FAILURE ON ALL MERCEDES-BENZ VEHICLES USING THE SUBJECT COMPONENT. THE SUBJECT COMPONENT FAILURES ARE PROGRESSIVE IN NATURE AND ONLY A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF THE COMPLAINTS AND WARRANT CLAIMS INVOLVED A FAILURE THAT HAD PROGRESSED FAR ENOUGH TO EFFECT POWER STEERING PERFORMANCE (6 OF 55 ODI COMPLAINTS REFERENCE INCREASED STEERING EFFORT). THERE HAVE BEEN NO CRASHES OR INJURIES RELATED TO THE ALLEGED DEFECT. A SAFETY-RELATED DEFECT HAS NOT BEEN IDENTIFIED AT THIS TIME AND FURTHER USE OF AGENCY RESOURCES DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE WARRANTED. ACCORDINGLY, THIS INVESTIGATION IS CLOSED. THE CLOSING OF THIS INVESTIGATION DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A FINDING BY NHTSA THAT A SAFETY-RELATED DEFECT DOES NOT EXIST. THE AGENCY WILL TAKE FURTHER ACTION IF WARRANTED BY THE CIRCUMSTANCES.
 

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2001 E430 4M
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I own a 2001 E430 4M bought in 2003 and me too had similar replacements much more than my lexus or other GM cars. List goes like this: radiator, rear joints, throttle valve, tail light bulbs, day light bulbs, seat belts, few more valves – I don’t remember what are they, few axle seals, well, some the dealer tells me as recalls; but overall these replacements makes me think in various directions- could be a deliberate amount to make money out of parts or labour through the warranty scheme, could be inferior parts, their inspection is stringent, or simply they are rotten. What I wonder is: What the MB research and marketing guys are doing to reduce these premature failures? Are the customers being informed on the developments? Quite frankly, I’m unable to identify any reliable component in my E430 – I’m surethe number of replacement would be far less had I bought an equally old Sunfire or Neon. Then where is that so called superior quality and reliability? Can anyone tell me about BMW or Jag – do they have similar issues? For sure, Lexus don’t have as my other old car 1998 ES300 is still running fine with very less maintenance. OK Power is there with those V8 and 4 matic but at what cost and trustworthy? In short, I’m scared to take this one for long drive. I’m eagerly looking for positive comments on MB at this forum......
 

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2000 E320
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172 Posts
I haven't been driving my E320 because I'm afraid something else might go bad. I don't want to sell it I love this car. It just sits in my garage and the wife is already complaining, she said either I start using it or it goes bye bye[V].
 

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E220T cdi
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28 Posts
You are probably going to experience rust on the doors under the rubber sealing on the upper part between the doors and roof.
It's also very common with rust at the licens plate lights on wagon cars.

Do a search for rust, this is a serious problem!

Morgan
 

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W210 Moderator
99 E320
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5,388 Posts
Don't freak out too much reading the following. But you may be able to get an idea what other MB owners have gone through...

http://www.mercedes-benz-usa.com/index.php

p.s. I have a 99 E320 rwd and have had no problems to-date, during the past year of ownership. 52,700 miles and ticking.
 

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I have an 01 E320 and haven't had any of these problems. It has 57K miles on it. I can respond to the person who asked about the Jaguar in comparison and say that my experience with the Jag is negative. One that I know of which is the same year and miles as my car has has presented far more problems.
 

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E-320
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86 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I called up my dealer and asked about the any recalls on the harmonic balancers and he told me that he wasn't aware of any - I was also told that the harmonic balancers are only covered under the original basic warranty.
Although I don't have any issues with harmonic balancers as of date I was wondering as to what are the symptoms of a bad harmonic balancer.
Please advise.
 

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1999 E320 Wagon
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367 Posts
My local dealer told me that MB was preparing a recall on the harmonic ballancer. I thought that by now the recall would have been issued.

I have not had any problems (including rust) other than the window regulator breaking three days after I had bought it (DIY fix). The Har Bal was replaced, along with the oil pan, by the previous owner. The other problems that occured with the car were related to driver error. First one partly mine and the other totally not mine.

In regards to the front window regulator I have not heard of any problems.
BTW: a neighbor of mine has gone through two rear window regulators on their 2000(or later) BMW 3 series wagon.

Harmonic ballancers are cheap. If you don't catch one in time then you will spend thousands in repairs.

As for the dealer recomendations on tranny fluid change: Chances are they will tell you you never need to change it. That is BS. They would rather sell you a new tranmission than a fluid change.
 

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2001 E320 4Matic 180,000 miles
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HMM, I have an 01 4matic and have only had 2 items replaced under warranty. I had to have the Rack replaced twice and the cd changer. That is it. All I have done is normal maintance. The car has 77,000 miles on it. I'm sorry to hear that so many have had multiple problems.
 

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RE: Problems with 1999 E-320 - only 27,000 mi.

its a cold winter and i left the lights on 1 night and the battery was dead the next day. had the road service out and the guy said the battery looked new and said all i needed was a jump and to run the car for 2 hours and then trickle charge it overnight. since that night the windows only go up an inch at a time or at all. i thought it might be the switch but its all the windows that do it. ths SRS indicator light is on now also. the wife says she has had problems with the key fob opening the doors but since the battery charge she's not having it. 1999 320 e just bought off a little old lady with only 27,000 miles on it. i'm starting to wonder why she sold it??? need help, do i need a new battery ??? i just got done reading about the harmonic balancer. how cheap is it to have installed or is it that easy to DIY??? i'm afraid i bought a lemon just this past summer.
 

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1999 E320 Wagon
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367 Posts
Harmonic ballancers are cheap compared to the damage they may cause. They're less than 50 usd.

To me, it seams, for every "lemon story" there is someone who has experienced very little trouble with their 210. I am currently of the opinion that these cars need a little extra TLC. I have had plenty of friends with Ford Dodge and Chevy lemons that cost them more than what they paid for the vehicle when they bought it used. I'm not saying MB has quality issues. They do. And it is sad.

Cars are infinantly more complex than they were a few years ago. The more complex a system the easier it is to break down.
 

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W210 Moderator
99 E320
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5,388 Posts
No, not installed. I wish it were though. It's inboard of one of the lower pullies so some labor is involved. I dont have a flat rate manual next to be, but am guessing an hour or so. M-B dealer will probably charge you several hundred - my WAG.
 

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1999 E320 62,000 miles & counting
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71 Posts
I had my Catalytic Converters replaced at appox. 22,000 miles.

My dealder also said there are a new version of H.B. avilable for $250 installed + tax. I will have it replaced at next service.
 
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