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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there all- I am a newbie here, and getting ready to purchase a W140.

Couple of questions:

1) I had heard previous to 1995 (1992-1994), the electrical sys was unreliable. It was either a Bosch or AC Delco. In 1995, it could revised, and greatly improved. I was advised by my MB friend to stay away from 1992-1994 W140's becuase of this electrical issue.

Is this true ?

2) In looking at the leather interiors, it seems that there was a change at some point. in the 1997 W140's, the leather appears much softer, and nicer. It is clearly different than the leather in 1992-1995.

Does anyone know what year in the W140's, the leather iinterior changed ?

3) It seems that after 1995, the heated seats feature becomes optional. Many models I have looked at POst 1995, doesn't have front & rear heated seats.

Anyone know what year MB brought back the Heated Front & Rear seats as standard in all S500's ? I have found them back again in 1997. But it seems they were gone in 1996.

And in 1999, they seem gone again. I was shocked by this.

Starting in what year does the W 140 have the following:

1) Reliable Electrical
2) Higher quality leather (softer)--I think it's 1996 or 1997 & after)
3) Heated front & rear seats standard (this feature seems to come & go)

Thank for your help.
 

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Read the thread, "older and newer 140s" that's about 5 lines down from this one. That will answer most of your questions. Also, read the sticky thread entitled "*Mercedes Benz S class W140 Series*:UPDATED 31st May 2006!! " You will find some useful info there too. If neither of those answer your questions, use the "search this forum" button on the right side of the page. It works wonders!:D
 

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Well that told you Bob! A man tries to help... ;)

Engine loom breaks down and fails on all w140 pre-97, but otherwise minor electrical faults are known as per any 10+ year old car. All w140's regardless of age are reliable so long as they are properly maintained.

Leather - no idea. All looks comfy to me...

Heated seats - always an option on all cars other than 600 as far as know - certainly in UK. My '92 500SE does not have hot seats, nor does my father-in-laws '94 S280, but I guess specs vary in different countries...
 

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500SE!!! Must be one powerful and quick beast, rather rare too!!! Always felt MB and Porsche shouldve teamed up for an upgraded version of this one, a la the 500E, though probably before its time (AMG wasn't slapped on everything from C, to S, to R and ML classes back then).
 

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1/- The engine wiring harness problem was fixed worldwide at production on late 1995. Some early 1996 US models might have the problematic setup. After that, you are safe.

2/- The leather story is quite peculiar. The change basically came around mid 1994 (1995 for US) for the facelift. The facelift tried to fix two issues: optically to reduce the size appearance of the car and to cheapen (at ALL costs) production costs. Hence, some changes were made to side mouldings, bumpers, front and rear lamps to address the first issue and many interior and electrical parts received an update to addrees the second one.

The leather was included and what they did was very simple: they cheapen the standard leather and added a more expensive leather option (either one or two tone).

So, pre 1995 models have a better standard (i.e. softer) leather as standard compared to post 1996 models, UNLESS the post 1996 is fitted with the extra cost leather in which case it would be softer and richier than the pre 1995 standard upholstery.

3/ The heated seats has always been standard on S 600s. In the US it varied according to market. For example, they were optional accross the line (except for the 600) but most dealers on the northern East Coast will order their 500s with them (customers expected to have such an option on a 500). Most dealers on the West coast did NOT added the heateds seats to their 500s.

Hope this post helps to clarify your questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes it does. I will say this though. If you look at any post-1995 W140, the leather interior appears to be nicer & softer. I have found this to be the case without exception. I had assumed that the Standard interior was upgraded. The pre-1995 leather almost looks like there are 2 materials. A sort of poc-mark material for the heated seats on 1 portion of the seat, and on the other portion another type of material. My wife worked for MB, and always explained to me that the poc-marks in the older cars were for the heated seats.

If you look at post-1995, there are no more poc marks. It's all the same material, consistent, and soft. The post-1995 leather ages differently. Perhaps it's because it's generally not real leather, or MB Faux leather.

I guess the technology is no available to deliver heated seats without the 'pores' or 'pocs', that was seen in the older cars.
 

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Major misconception throughout this thread: High grade leather can (<-- key word here) be soft, but just because leather is soft does not qualify it as a higher quality than the next swatch. Anyway I much prefer 'hard' leather in autos rather than 'soft' which can deteriorate substantially from its original form. Best leather that I've come across, the last and current generation Land Rover Range Rovers (not the Sport models).
 

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Yes it does. I will say this though. If you look at any post-1995 W140, the leather interior appears to be nicer & softer. I have found this to be the case without exception. I had assumed that the Standard interior was upgraded. The pre-1995 leather almost looks like there are 2 materials. A sort of poc-mark material for the heated seats on 1 portion of the seat, and on the other portion another type of material. My wife worked for MB, and always explained to me that the poc-marks in the older cars were for the heated seats.

If you look at post-1995, there are no more poc marks. It's all the same material, consistent, and soft. The post-1995 leather ages differently. Perhaps it's because it's generally not real leather, or MB Faux leather.

I guess the technology is no available to deliver heated seats without the 'pores' or 'pocs', that was seen in the older cars.
Hapsburgking,

In the UK certainly from `97 onwards and maybe earlier we had the option of four types of leather seats. There was the standard leather or nappa leather or duotone nappa leather or exclusive duotone nappa leather.

I am not a leather expert but Mercedes claimed that the nappa leather was softer than the standard leather.

As regards the " pock marks" my own `97 500L has very small pinprick like holes in the main body of the seats but the seats are all of the same leather material and it has heated seats.
 

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What are 'poc' or 'pock' marks? Scars from a bad case of Chicken Pox? The holes that everyone is referring to are a characteristic of 'perforated leather.'
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My wife calls them 'poc marks' like chicken pox. Yes, perforiated leather is the correct term.

It seems in the Nappa Leather, there are no more perforated leather, or pores. This is a welcomed advancement for MB, and much more desirable.

The new leather, I believe the nappa, doesn't have the perforations of the older models.

Take a look at any MB before 1995. You will see what I mean. This is of course a matter of personal preference. Many people swear by the old leather MB used, and believe it's of a higher quality. We just had a 2006 E350, and there are no longer perforations to have heated seats. It's a smooth leather that is consistent. The odler models almost seem like there are 2 textures of leather. Perforated, and non-perforated on each seat. Look closely to see what I am referring to....
 

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Referring to heated seats as standard in 600's:

I have a very early European 600 SEL and it is in a very basic (low) config I think. And it does not have heated seats.
 

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My two-cents,

After 1996-the cars have ODBII, much simpler to trouble-shoot. You do not state what country you are from? Here in the USA-few states do this. The cars require a emissions test every other year, and for some 1996 Mercedes' has this flea of failing the test. If the testing facility does not know how to perform it, the "Check Engine" light will come on. In the "Union" of California that is a automatic fail of the test-I'm part of the lucky few that has that problem every other year.

http://www.smogcheck.ca.gov/ftp/pdfdocs/APPENDIX_J.pdf

The document was found here:

CA Dep. Consumer Affairs- Bur. Automotive Repair - OBD II Information

Martin
 
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