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W124 E300 12v 1992 and a 2009 Crown Victoria
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

A W124 section member here :wave:

The looks of the facelifted W124 always fascinated me. All E-Classes after that looked ugly to my taste until W212 came out as okay.

What kept me using W124 also was its low running costs where I live, right next to its acceptable reliability for an MB. The police here started using the W212 since around 2014 and they are still going around everywhere I go which made me think of its reliability and running costs which feels to have badly gone downhill around here after 2000's for E-Class.

Having that said, the obvious title question came up accordingly: so, how's W212's reliability and running costs?

I might consider shifting to W212 if W124 keeps losing ground. Trusty recommended spark plugs, for example, are already getting hard to find. Experienced users of both cars could shed more light in this.

:thumbsup:
 

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I’ve been an owner of a 2011 E350 Wagon (S212) with the M272 engine for about 18 months. Bought it from a MB dealer with 60k on the odometer.

I’ve had a lot of experience owning different cars,
8 BMW’s, 2 Porsche’s, couple of Mazda’s for SCCA, and by far, this is the most enjoyable car I’ve ever owned. The immediate predecessor was a 2012 BMW 328xi Wagon.

I’ve done both and A Service and B Service - neither were excessively expensive. I’ve done spark plugs and filters, etc, which is a a fairly easy DIY if you’re so inclined.

Thus far, my experience is that it’s a super reliable car. Long term, this is the first car I don’t already have some gripe about and see myself keeping it.


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W124 E300 12v 1992 and a 2009 Crown Victoria
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the heads up, HF.

How are the break pads living so far and is it true each cylinder uses two spark plugs?
 

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Thanks for the heads up, HF.

How are the break pads living so far and is it true each cylinder uses two spark plugs?


My M272 engine has one spark plug per cylinder. Can’t speak from personal experience about later models.

Pads haven’t been an issue for me, yet. Even so, I had both the dealer and an independent shop quote me using all OEM parts, and it wasn’t too bad.

So much of brake wear forecasting is dependent on driving style and conditions.


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'04 G55 '80 280GE '99 S420 '98 E320 2011 E350 2016 GLA250
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Thanks for the heads up, HF.

How are the break pads living so far and is it true each cylinder uses two spark plugs?
I've been EXTREMELY happy with our W212's.

The *ONLY* thing I've had to Replace?? The 3rd brake lamp LED (which apparently "NEVER Fails").

We're at 100,000 miles, and STILL have yet to replace Any Brake Pad...
 

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2011 S212, 1978 R107
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I just replaced my rotors and pads PROPHYLACTICALLY at 86,000 miles. I could have run them for another 15K, no problem.

Plugs were a ten minute job-- I bought new Bosch plugs and an air filter for $58.

Bottom line. . .if you are RIGOROUS about preventative maintenance and can follow the WIS instructions, you can handle the costs of operating a W212.

If, on the other hand, you rely on the Dealer's service department, you will rapidly find that the costs of maintaining an old German car, which originally sold for $60-75K, rapidly eclipse the market value.
 

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W124 E300 12v 1992 and a 2009 Crown Victoria
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Discussion Starter #7
Good info, guys.

I'm also interested in high mileage W212's in this subject. If any you own a ~+140 mile-on-the-clock W212 I could really use your remarks. Also rough driving is one thing to look at to test reliability. Can the car take rough roads well without hurting many parts? I don't mean taking bumps at ~40mph all day long or something, just rough roads let's say at half that speed and over some badly put pavements from time to time. This is the best I could describe it. Our roads here are awful that even manholes on some new roads worry me.

If I'm to get one, it would be a low trim model with less tech. if there are such trim differences. As long as ABS is at least there, I can live with it. Euro dealers do provide low trim MB's. I've even seen German imported W140's with manually adjusted seats. Police here do put there cars to auction and they use W212's too. I don't those are of high trim.
 

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'04 G55 '80 280GE '99 S420 '98 E320 2011 E350 2016 GLA250
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Good info, guys.

I'm also interested in high mileage W212's in this subject. If any you own a ~+140 mile-on-the-clock W212 I could really use your remarks. Also rough driving is one thing to look at to test reliability. Can the car take rough roads well without hurting many parts? QUOTE]


We have horrible..... HORRIBLE roads down here...

And, again, 100k Care-Free miles with *ZERO* Suspension Parts replaced/worn/squeaking, etc Quiet as a church-mouse.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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I bought 2014 E250 BT with 170k miles on it. The price was good, but in 1 year ownership I put about $4000 in it on "wearables" aka MAF, Ox, DPF and still control arm shows bad bushing.
Sure not the reliability of W124 (my father donated his 1987 model last year) but hard to beat 40 mpg and crisp handling.
 

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W124 E300 12v 1992 and a 2009 Crown Victoria
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Discussion Starter #10
Seems less reliable than the heavier Crown Victoria 2009 in the suspension and wearable part.

I think I'll pull back for now. I referred to some locals and two of them complained about some random anomalies because of one hard bump they took. Those were locks and A/C turning on and off on their own afterwards.

But others say it's still reliable for a luxury car so I'd consider it the best pick should there be one.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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If you don't mind some aging, I think the 2004-2006 E class offers the best value.
In gasoline the 320/5G combo proves itself on older models, while 320cdi engines are pretty reliable with decent fuel economy.
W212 offers lot of technological gadgets, what is tempting, but can be reliability issue.
There is thread on other forum about replacing W212 command center with android.
Closing on 400 replies and still going with no firm resolution to all the problems.
 

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W124 E300 12v 1992 and a 2009 Crown Victoria
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Discussion Starter #12
Yes, by all means. But I can't live with a car that makes me shiver and cringe when I look at, and that's what new MB's do to me. W212's looks okay among the new generations. That's about the looks.

As for reliability, I'm so reluctant about all MB's after W124 and W126 really, and maybe W140, and even those are still MB's with their problems compared to other cars of the same or even newer generation.

I guess the police using W212 is a false alert after all. I thought that meant something in terms of reliability. A reliability similar to that of Crown Victorias since they used it too.

Guess I'll see if there is a way to disable all advanced options on W212's if I get to consider one. Wishful thinking since cars' techs are computerized these days.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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Well, even W124 has computerized cruise control, computerized idle control and lot of smaller modules.
Fact is that computers went long way since.
CC on W124 was seldom working, while I never heard about CC on newer models ever fail.
It is the "baby teeth" that makes the fame, like balance shaft on 350 engines, or AddBlue tanks and injection.
Than living in hot climate I really miss remote start on MB. I have one on my Ford truck and that really makes huge difference when you come to car after 1 hr of shopping.
I bet you have the issue in SA ?
 

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W124 E300 12v 1992 and a 2009 Crown Victoria
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Discussion Starter #14
Guess I'm having very simple circuits like those on the pre-facelift W124 I own in mind then. They seem so simple to me I can barely call them computerized. Even the accelerator is a cable that opens the throttle physically. Cruise control is still working with the tons of bumps I took and it's a 1992 factory fit. They are old now to have been tested long enough with many of them going over 250k miles now (~310k on mine now). We'll have to wait for newer MB's to get as old as W124's first before we can judge. I wonder how would a W212 feel after like 26 years from now with at least 10 years of those being in a burning climate and outrageous roads (the case with my W124).

My pre-facelift W124 doesn't even have remote central lock system so I had to install an after market kit, let alone remote start that I think can't be fitted on it. Running errands returning with stuff to fill the car does make me leave the stuff outside before I start the engine and the A/C first. Never once owned or even used a car with remote start, and remote unlock alone made a big difference for me. We did have ~118F weather lately.

But I'm not here to compare the two; it's clear enough that later models of older cars (late 80's and early 90's) with less complicated electronics are more reliable in harsh conditions. My goal was to see how reliable W212 vs other current cars in this time compared to W124 in its time, not directly. The age between them is wide to compare apples with apples.
 
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