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Scrap or repair? Advice please

853 Views 22 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  DieselBound
Looking for advice. I’m in the UK I have a 2004 W211 E320 petrol with 117,000 miles. I’ve owned it 3 years and it’s been generally reliable but in retrospect, I don’t think I bought a well looked after vehicle and it already has a faulty parking sensor which is not a cheap fix with the bumper off. Anyway, in December I spent £1500 on new discs and pads and Michelin tyres and a few other repairs. Then I started getting terrible mpg and error messages. The garage have just read the fault codes and I’ve got the beginnings of a failing ABS pump (causing grazing brake pads, hence poor mpg) and leakage in the suspension air compressor. Each of them expensive fixes more than the value of the car unless I use reconditioned parts. I had been considering changing it anyway for something cheaper to run and in better condition but it’s such a lovely car to drive. I certainly can’t justify the cost of required new parts, but could possibly stretch to used or reconditioned parts. Alternatively, cut my losses sell it for scrap, buy a W211 diesel or a modern hatchback lol! At the moment, it’s still running fine, except for the mpg, any suggestions?
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Thanks guys, my gut feeling is this particular car is not worth saving, i’d stupidly bought a vehicle with very little service history and the mpg is poor at best. Three garages have confirmed that the SPC ABS pump very likely cause. I’m looking around for a replacement and resigned that I won’t find anything as nice to drive.
Taking your advice guys, I drove 2 miles this evening and the back brake discs were redhot. Front discs weren’t even warm. The fact that it’s so localised and it’s the back discs and pads that were replaced when the problem started points to calipers so I’m going to get them checked out this week. Thanks for advice.
Sorry for poor photo but this is the readout from the Star diagnostic at the garage. Are any of these serious? I’m just wondering if I fix up the brake problem weather I have other problems following straight on.


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Did they clear everything, run/drive it and then re-scan?
No they didn’t. And that bit of paper is all I have.
Just to provide an update, I had the car checked by a reputable diagnostic centre and they confirmed it’s the SBC. Can’t find anywhere locally that fixes them for less than £2k so I’m looking around for alternatives but struggling to find anything as nice so I’m half contemplating actually getting the SBC fixed and just risk any future expensive repairs.
Look around for refurbished units. These should have the motor's brushes and such replaced as well as a new vacuum "ball." Nothing tricky or risky here. Deactivate the SBC (diagnostic tool OR just disconnect the wiring) and swap. There's work in bleeding the system afterwards but, from what I understand, it's not as scary as lots make it out to be: I'll for sure find out and I've completely disconnected ALL of my braking components (doing a restore on my car). Maybe try to find a shop that'll be OK with installing such a unit: dealer, for sure, wouldn't be OK with it.
I was told by the first garage that they were coded to the car so you couldn’t use just any parts. Is that incorrect?
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