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'95 5spd SC300
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I recently purchased a 1998 E320 with 144k from my parents back in November. They bought a new CLK so they gave me a good deal. I've done tons of maintenance on the vehicle in this short period of time. One of the very first things my indie did was replace the Serpentine belt back in December. It was completely broken in half and was being held on by only 1/2"!!! We didn't think anything of it at the time other than the car has 144k so it might have just started to break over time. Well I had a slight overheating issue on Saturday so I brought it back to the shop. Turns out I needed a new fan clutch. No big deal, repaired that and thought we where all good. But then we noticed the new serpentine belt that we had just replaced was already started to crack in the center :confused: The engine at times can be pretty cranky and have vibrations, but it's not throwing a cell or any bad codes. I thought it might be misfiring but we replaced all of the plugs, took a look at the connections, etc. I thought maybe my engine mounts where shot but they look fine. We replaced the belt again over the weekend. After a little research I finally realized it's probably the Harmonic Balancer. I thought since my family got this car serviced a few times with MB that this recall would probably have been done by now....that's a big NO. I called MBUSA today and gave them my VIN...no such luck. The work has not been done yet. The car is 11 years old...and the campaign started in 2003? or something like that. I'm stopping by their service department to see if or what they will do for me. I'm hoping this will fix the final issues. So far I've probably sunk a few thousand dollars of the common issues like rear window regulators, AC, Bushings, drive shaft flex joints, fan clutch, proper MB Spec fluid flushes and changes, Radio, Brakes, rotors, etc. So what do you guys think, any such luck that MB will still honor the recall after this amount of time? Was it a free recall when they first launched the campaign?
 

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2001 E320; 2002 ML500
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1,982 Posts
I think the harmonic balancer recall was issued for a certain VIN # range only but I'm not sure.
Either way, you better replace it soon or it can cause severe $$ damage.
 

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'95 5spd SC300
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215 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I'm planning on stopping by the dealer today during my lunch break. Hope they give me some positive answers and a negotiated price. I just spent $390 over the weekend and $400 two weeks ago. I'd say each month I spend around $500-1000.
 

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1999 E320 4matic (owned previously); 1996 SL500
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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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36,177 Posts
Sounds like you already spend on the car more than its value, but knowing the records is a positive thing in the situation.
Harmonic balancer grinding the belt would be very visible issue, so howcome nobody noticed it? The HB on my 99 E320 passed the inspection without replacement, so the recall doesn't guarantee replacement. Good luck at the dealer.
 

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'95 5spd SC300
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215 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I stopped by the MB of Alexandria, VA dealer at lunch. I told them about my issue they scheduled my appointment on Monday morning. They told me it was 100% free.

But then five minutes after I left MB my BAS/ASR light came on lol...jeez I can't win. I found out what that is. This seems to be an easy fix so I'm going back to the dealer after work and pick up part # 001-545-01-09 "Brake Switch" and replace that. Then apparently I have to turn the wheels lock to lock and the indicator light will go away? Well in theory this should happen lol.

So if you are one of the ones who hasn't had the harmonic balancer replaced, MB is still very aware of it and will replace the part and install for free.
 

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2001 E320; 2002 ML500
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I'd say each month I spend around $500-1000.
Trade your car for a new one. The monthly payment will be less (depending on the car) and you won't have to worry about repair issues. Used MBs, in my opinion, are only for those who can do the repairs/maintenance themselves. Otherwise they are cost prohibitive.
 

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'04 G55 '80 280GE '99 S420 '98 E320 2011 E350 2016 GLA250
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Like the saying goes, "The most EXPENSIVE car you will ever own is a 'CHEAP' Mercedes"..
 

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'95 5spd SC300
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215 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
no kidding G-AMG. I might sell the car for "cheap" soon myself. It's too old & cranky for a reliable daily driver. I got another indicator today "ACC Skid..." something or another. I guess I'll find out how to fix that too.
 

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1997 Mercedes-Benz E420
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139 Posts
that acc.skid used to come on my car when the 3rd brake light obliterated the contacts due to inspection guy putting a higher voltage bulb than what was supposed to be in one of my brake lamps, i had to replace the 3rd brake light
 

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'95 5spd SC300
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Discussion Starter #13
"ACC Skid..." ?
Would that be acceleration skidding?
Go easy on gas pedal.
Believe me, my engine doesn't run well enough to do any "acceleration skidding" lol. First the BAS indicator came on, then it shows a second "page" that also reads ACC Skid. I replaced my Brake Switch today with an OEM MB one. I did the proper lock to lock on my wheels then drove about 30 minutes. The BAS / ASR light is completely gone now :)

Next step is to fix the Harmonic Balancer on Monday at the dealer. I'll keep everyone posted. I might get MB to do a proper alignment while I'm there :thumbsup:
 

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Current: 2006 E500 4 Matic Past: 99 ML430, 99 E430
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180 Posts
when doing harmonic balancer recall, also let them check and do harness recall, both are free, and they give you nice loaner car for free
I did it last year for my 99 E-class
 

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'92 MB W201 2.3, '10 MB X164 GL550 4Matic, '14 MB W218 CLS550 4Matic
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when doing harmonic balancer recall, also let them check and do harness recall, both are free, and they give you nice loaner car for free
I did it last year for my 99 E-class
Which Harness?
 

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'95 5spd SC300
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215 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
^ same question....which harness? I already dropped off the vehicle this morning. They didn't give me a loaner but a shuttle to and from my office. I work about 2 miles from the dealer so I didn't mind.

Let me know more specifics about this harness recall. Thanks.
 

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'95 5spd SC300
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215 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
My harmonic balancer recall was fixed yesterday and the invoice was $0.00 just as expected. I don't feel a whole lot of difference so far. I still get minor shakes here and there from the engine. I'm going to keep a close eye on my serpentine belt over the next few months.

MB washed and vacuumed for my car for free. I thought it was a nice touch.

I replaced my brake switch on Saturday & I no longer have a BAS / ASR code. My ACC Skid code is gone as well.

I'm not sure what else I can do at this point for regular maintenance. I hope I can get a good month or two out of the vehicle. I'll keep everyone posted.
 

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W210.265/2001, W220/S500/2000, Porsche 997 C2S/2006, GMC K1500/1992
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You may need a new set of plug wires since you have 144K miles aging on the original set. That may help you to get rid of the shaking.
 

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Current: 2006 E500 4 Matic Past: 99 ML430, 99 E430
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sorry, the harness I mentioned is a recall for "wire harness"
that's what the dealer told me when I did the harmonic balancer recall last year, he said it's just some reorginization of wires under the hood
they also gave me a free loaner car and free car wash when I picked up the next day
but obviously the service rate is too high there, since the recall
I never went back there for service
 

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'95 5spd SC300
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Discussion Starter #20
You may need a new set of plug wires since you have 144K miles aging on the original set. That may help you to get rid of the shaking.
I'll give it a shot. I replaced the plugs at the same time I replaced the 1st serpentine belt about 600 miles ago. At the same time I replaced the intake valve gaskets because I had a minor leak. I'll pick up a set from Autuhaus unless someone else has a better recommendation.
 
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