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W140 Moderator
"CHRIS" Merc 92 600SEL / Sold > 93 600SE / 93 S500 / 89 560SEL / 413CDI / B180-CDI /A170-CDI
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7,533 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
New W140 Prepurchase owner's may like to read this .Dont Get Scared .

http://australiancar.reviews/reviews.php#!content=review&make=Mercedes-Benz&model=S-Class&gen=1247
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NEW LINK .
https://www.mbca.org/star-article/may-june-2014/buyers-guide-1991-1999-w140-s-class-sedans-and-coupes-and-cl-class-coupes
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W140 S-Class Buyers guide

February 2008

I’ve had several e-mails asking me where to purchase one and what to look for. So having searched the web and spoken to several W140 owners I have a brief outline of what to look for, it is by no means everything but it will point you in the right direction. Firstly and most importantly these are very extremely complex automobiles and the oldest ones are now sixteen years old, time fly’s in the automotive world.
What to pay is a question regularly asked and the answer is buy on condition not price, a high price will not ensure a good car. In fact it may be a desperate owner trying to claw back some cash for the wad of invoices he hasn’t shown you. The W140 is now a third generation old S-Class and with W220 prices taking a pounding anyone expecting to get a good price for a W140 could be waiting a very long time. I have seen them right down at $10,000 for a high mileage 92 model right through to $50,000 for a perfect condition 98 model, there is no W140 out there that is worth more the $50,000.
These car’s were extremely complex by nature and therefore will never be a cheap car to maintain/own. There is no getting past the fact that the car was designed using computers and the ultimate consideration was how the car drove, not how easy it was for a mechanic to swing a spanner around it. As such any repairs can lead to heart stopping bills, especially on the V8 and V12 models, that isn’t saying the six’s are cheap to repair they are simply a little less complex. One particular job that mechanics spend two days doing is replacing the aircon evaporator, the entire dash board has to come out and in a W140 this is no small feat. So not only do you get a bill for a very expensive part, but also a bill for somewhere between 18 to 30 hours labour usually enough for anyone’s heart to flutter.
So moving on to what goes wrong, well the air-conditioning on pre 95 models have had evaporator fail’s, the cause of this was found to be a chemical reaction between dissimilar metals. The plumbing to the evaporator was incompatible and as such corroded the evaporator connections and hence a leak in the system means no gas no aircon. Most earlier models have had the aircon overhauled, make sure it has otherwise a four to five thousand dollar bill is a possibility. In saying this there are early model cars that have never had aircon issues luck of the draw I guess.
The next biggest issue is the fuel injection harnesses, this afflicts all Mercedes models from 95 to 98 and a W140 harness isn’t cheap. In the V12 engines it is quite a laborious job so expect a big bill, most cars now have had the harness replaced with the new improved version, if not seek a discount on the car you are purchasing. These are very heavy cars and as such any car that has passed the 200,000km mark, will need suspension work. The bushes in the suspension sub frames wear out simply because of the sheer mass of the car, the bushes them selves aren’t expensive but it is no mean feat fitting a set.
The non self levelling cars have been known to crack the front road springs, specialist tools are required for their removal so when test driving, drive hard into the comers find a pothole and listen for the dreaded clunk. Another job that is very common is the computer controlled vacuum pump which sits under the rear seat. It is a very versatile pump operating everything from the servos that pull the doors closed to the central locking and the boot handle. If just one door won’t lock or self close it’s a pump replacement and at $1800 they aren’t giving them away. A lot of people pull the fuse to reset the pump; it is only a temporary measure as the pump will actually suffer more damage using this trick.
Another item that worry people are the ECU’s the V12 has a total of seven just for the engine, however they are rarely known to give trouble providing no novices have been playing around. The five speed automatics in latter models have been known to give trouble, most of it lies in the fact that there is no recommended oil change interval, as such many never have their transmission oil changed and the results are failed transmissions. Change the fluid every 60,000km and you should have no troubles. One last thing the electric window motor’s fail with age, the double glazed windows are very heavy and the motors work hard moving them up and down.
So by now your thinking this is all bad, true enough if you get an unloved example, However the engines themselves rarely give trouble the V8’s in particular are ultra reliable providing regular oil changes have taken place. The two sixes the 2.8 and 3.2 shouldn’t be written off as under powered once in the move they cruise effortlessly and are a far cheaper ownership proposition than the V8’s or the V12. The six’s have been known to have head gasket failure this can affect any car at any time, so check there is a history of coolant changes and you should be alright.
Why would you want one well there are many W140’s out Orange way with stella mileages on them. If you want a car to cruise the interstate then they don’t come any better than a W140, infact you often find higher mileage examples drive better than the city cars, a regularly driven W140 is a superb car and providing it is serviced properly it will provide many years of service. Drive one seldom and not maintain it and it is a licence for bankruptcy, sadly due to the cheaper purchase price now days many have become nothing but derelict money pits. There is no car that makes you feel as royal as a W140 and they were between $160,000- $340,000 new, as such your maintenance budget needs to be more than the budget you would have for say a C-Class. Most importantly never by one without a Mercedes Mechanic looking at it, these are fantastic cars but complexity is their nature and it’s only a mechanic that can tell you what that will cost.

Written By Mathew.Kean.
Thanks to Mr Mathew Kean from the Mercedes-Benz Club New South Wales - Australia
Thanks again More like this but nicer .....:thumbsup:
Within the Link Below you find More about this and some of the Facelift Changes .
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/search.php?searchid=5170748
And More Info about the Great MB W140 Cars
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_W140
 

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W140 Moderator
"CHRIS" Merc 92 600SEL / Sold > 93 600SE / 93 S500 / 89 560SEL / 413CDI / B180-CDI /A170-CDI
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7,533 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
There are many things that can and do go wrong with these cars. Suspension, AC, Wire Harnesses, Throttle Actuators

I found that A/C and Wire Harness are the most popular, but suspension and Throttle Actuators are not as reoccurring. “Masters� please confirm…


The best years for the W140 are 97 - 99. Those years are the last 3 years of the model run and therefore are the most sorted out. The S320 is not an all aluminum V-6. It is the venerable M104, Inline 6, variable cam timing, 228 HP. In the opinion of many, one of the best engines MB has ever produced. I had a '93 E320 with that engine that had 254K on it. Engine ran perfectly. My '92 300E M103 has essentially the same engine, with a different head and valve train, 242K and running strong. The M104 engine in the S320 is very easy to work on due to the size of the engine compartment.

I am considering a S320 for MPG purposes….



The car has the 722.6 Electronic Transmission that is allegedly "Sealed for Life". A '99 will have software upgrades and the latest build specs. This is a good thing. MB now recommends changing tranny fluid and filter every 40,000 miles or so.

I forgot to what specific model(s) this statement refers to. “Masters�, please advice…



What are the issues? Potential A/C Evaporator leak, cost $3,000 as the entire dash must be removed. Head gasket leak, probable replacement required, if not already done. Lower control arm bushings will be due for replacement, say $500.00 installed.


Hopefully, your target car has records. Spend the money for a Pre-Purchase inspection.

THIS IS A MUST!



In reference to the following statement: The best years for the W140 are 97 - 99.
This is what I found very informative…

The most sorted out perhaps but also the most cheapened, and with the most troubled and expensive to rebuild transmission. For 1990s for Mercedes was a mad dash to reduce build costs while trying to minimize degradation of the product. Sometimes they won, sometimes they lost. A mid-90s S320 with HFM and 722.5 transmission is a very nice car, same EPA rating as the later cars, better in many ways for a DIYer, and very much worth considering. Wiring harness issue, yes, but they have virtually all already been updated.

Post '95 present these changes:

1/ New bumpers and new plastic side flanks
(New design to make the car look less bulkier)

2/ New rear lenses (softer edges, and if you buy them at the parts dept.: much, much cheaper compared to pre-95 models)

3/ Deletion of rear parking assist antennas (a great design touch omitted because of high-cost and the introduction of the new "Parktronic" -extra cost feature in most markets, as opposed to the antennas that were standard everywhere-).

4/ New A/C electronic center dash panel controls (much cheaper to manufacture than the previous one).

5/ New interior door panel design. It deletes the very useful storage compartment pre-95 models had, although it addresses a problem that the armrest was too thin and people's elbows would not reach it comfortably (the new armrest is much thicker, although it reduces seat space a little). This change also omitted several internal parts in the doors (including some electric wiring) which also saved them a lot of money.

6/ New headlight lens design (much cheaper to make, although it is said to be 30% brighter, which I would say it is!). Remember that the new Xenon lights (much more expensive) were optional in most markets

7/ Ride height was lowered an average of 1.5 inches, depending on model and extras fitted. This was done mainly to reduce bulk look and to favor airflow (read: more mpg).

8/ Mechanically many systems were changed in the engine compartment and the chassis. Bits and ends mainly to reduce costs.

9/ The infrared remote lock system was changed by a more reliable (and cheaper to manufacture) system.

10/ Some interior materials were cheapen also, the standard leather for example. But, the new more expensive and softer Nappa leather was made available.

98 and 99 models made in several markets more standard equipment (to make the car more appealing in its last two years of life) available.

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 production costs. Hence, some changes were made to side moldings, bumpers, front and rear lamps to address the first issue and many interior and electrical parts received an update to address the second one.

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 richer 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. They were optional across the line 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 heated seats to their 500s.


1997 is a good year, one of the best. 1997+ are all about the same IMO. The body is basically the same as the older W140s but has color matched lower trim, European style clear tail lights and many other small changes on the interior and the rest of the car (different keyless entry/alarm system, side airbags standard, etc).

Worldwide, mid-1996+ production date is a good reference to get a great W140. By then, Parktronic/Xenon/water sensitive wipers were already introduced and the engine wiring harness problem was long gone.

The problem is that most updates made to production Benzes get delayed on US models. Hence, 1996 is a tricky date to recommend an US model. That is why most forums recommend 1997-1999.

The final updates which included the BAS system and the electronic maintenance/service interval computer were available on late production 1996 models worldwide, but did not enter US inventory until mid 1997. That is why SOME people will not recommend 1997 (some early 1997 US models may lack these features).

Remember that some peculiar issues, as the A/C evaporator failure and the self-closing door pump were NEVER fixed.

At facelift time (1994/1995 models) M.B. did over 1,700 changes to the S-class, MOST of them had the original purpose of cheapen the manufacture process (hence: quality!) and to simplify many over complex engineering systems which tended to be unreliable.

But, to begin with, the W140 was the most expensive vehicle ever developed by Mercedes-Benz in terms of design and production economics.

The first four years of production the W140 only produced losses to M.B., until the car was face lifted and production costs were lowered (along with quality and final consumer price, which allowed to raise sales proportionally).

There are two views of the issue of lowering quality for the facelift:

1/ Pre-facelift models were original and masters of quality as intended, BUT they had a lot of over complex issues which made the cars somewhat unreliable.

2/ Post-facelift models were cheaper versions of the original king in many fronts, BUT most of the over complex issues were dealt with making these models more reliable (and please notice that I stress the word "most of" - some annoying issues like the A/C evaporators were never fixed). Also, post-facelift models benefit from a series of newly developed systems such as xenon headlamps, parktronic, electronic transmissions and newer engines.

Some additional differences seldom noted:

1. Pre 95 models use seamless front seat back leather covers for a more 'seamless' look - no pun intended. With the headrests raised, notice the stitching that runs perpendicular to the front and back of the seat backs. My guess: a more cost effective production process. The little differences that matter most - especially to those enjoying the comfort of the expansive rear!

2. Another quality problem seen on many 95+ models is that the rear bench seat bottom becomes deformed and misshaped along the piping (which should be a straight). This of course comes as a result of use. Whereas, pre 95's with comparable wear and tear do not seem to experience this as early, if ever.

3. What has improved on the 95+ models: the longevity of the original floor mats - believe it! The backings of the pre 95's were prone to becoming detached from the rest of the mat. Also, the stitching around the mats would fray.

4. A very ANNOYING lacking of the pre 95's was the fact that you could not fit the leather owners manual case anywhere in the cabin! Where the new, but not pretty, gapping cubby space of the 95+ models enables storage on either the drivers or passenger door.

5. I also believe that 95 and 96 models used a better finishing process / clear coat for the 8-hole wheels, as I have seen MANY pre 95's with a hazy look to them - obvious damage. While NO 95's or 96's with similar haziness / fog. True the 94's are older, but 2 years should not make much of a difference, especially with 12 - 14 having already passed.

6. A nice addition to the post 95's were the tiny Bose badges on the rear speakers behind the rear seat headrests, which are readily visible to one standing outside and looking in through the rear window. BUT this does not in any way make up for the removal of the motorized rear mirror!

In all, if you put a 94 and a 95 S500 side by side, there are obvious differences in the quality of plastics used throughout the car: inside, outside, and under the hood. Besides more simplified electrical components, this, I believe is where most of the $8k difference ($95k - $87k) is realized - the plastic! Yet, the 92 - 94 500's did have the motorized rear seat back as standard - something I feel they should have kept on the face lifted models to better distinguish the 420's from the 500's.

Note that the 95's retain the pre 95 HVAC control unit, radio head (rounded button edges), 4-speed non-electronically adjusted 722.3 transmission, parking aid antenna, and other elements I am overlooking. Then in 96, these and additional electrical components were further streamlined.

So, to my knowledge the parking aid antenna were standard on 95's - not an option. You mention that you’ve seen some 95's WITHOUT the system. If so, these 95 must have been produced on the heels of the 96 run - some of the last 95's made? As to a specific manufacturing date where the change takes place - I do not know.

The post face lift is 1-2" shorter and 1-1.5" difference in height, that’s why they look much smaller

the frame is exactly the same, but the bumpers, lower plastic trim, and springs were changed throughout the years.

No doubt that the early models were built using better materials and a better overall build quality, but I will always prefer the 97-99 models due to three basic reasons.

1-Improved aesthetics:
I prefer the design of the second generation wheels, the revised tail light design, and the monotone look. It just looks SO much more modern IMO.

2- Improved electronics:
I like the revised design of the 1996+ HVAC controller, simpler to use, easier to look at, more intuitive. Plus, the later models just had more standard features.

3- Improved reliability:
Most of the major kinks were worked out. No more problems with wiring harnesses, but we still have the A/C Evaporator problem, and the 3.2L HG failure.

Power rear seats became an option for the S500 in 1995, and the heated front and rear seats continued as standard until 1999. Another feature removed I had issue with was the switch enabling the driver (and front passenger) to raise the power rear headrests from the front dash.



1992 is the most trouble-some year....

Any additional comments on this statement would be appreciated



THE FOLLOWING IS IMPORTANT!

As to the test drive question, I would do the following:

1. Ask to see the service records and take some time reviewing them.

2. Before you start the car, engine cold, take the top off the expansion tank and eyeball the coolant. Is it Green? If yes then that's a problem, as correct coolant should be sort of light orangish to amber colored.

3. Look at the brake fluid reservoir. Is the fluid dark colored? Dark could equal never changed.

4. Pop off the air cleaner top and eyeball the filter.

5. Take the oil filler cap off and eyeball what you can see. Should be clean.

6. Reach down and run your hand along the serpentine belt. Feel any cracks?

7. Look for white spots around the coolant system. Indicates past leak.

8. Look down the head on passenger side toward the back. See any evidence of oil leak?

9. Start car and test every function from A/C to Heat to Turn Signals. Try every seat control. Including the control that changes the length of the seat bottom. Check seat heaters on both sides.

10. Check the mirrors. Ask the salesman how you fold the mirrors back with the little control stalk.

11. On the drive check to wheel vibration.

12. Listen for wind noise. You should hear very little noise.

This is the reason for a Pre-Purchase Inspection. You may not know or be willing to do all of this inspection. Some of it can't be done without a floor jack or a lift. I always want to know if the center and rear mufflers are intact and not rusted through.

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Conslusion:

PROS (PRE-95, 1992-1994)
- Better quality materials (no cheapened plastics like in 1996+)
- Better aesthetics, more bulky look (which I like)
- Rear Seats are powered (Post 95 seems like they are no longer powered)
- Rear Seats Heating (Some have it, some don't)--I believe it was called a comfort package as my wife sold MBZ's. It was not standard on Post 95's.
- Parking Antenna (gone after post 95's)
- Taller Height (MB's got shorter after the 95 facelift)
- Cars went over budget which means quality of materials where at their pinnacle. POst-95 almost feels like you're getting a stripped version of an MB, since they cheapened the car to recoup all the moneys they lost pre 1995. In 1992-1995, you are getting all the fancy stuff, but with fancy repair costs to fix.

PROS (Let's say to be safe- 1998-1999)
- No more wiring harness (which is a real pain to fix, since you're care has to essentially be operated on, they have to take your car apart to get to this box, which is not strategically located for easy access. Fort Knox may be easier to access than the wiring harness in 1992-1995 W140's.
- Better reliability because of evolution. The last 2 years seem to be the best bet, for easy ownership & minimal headaches.
- Aesthetics: This is a pro or con depending on your taste. I loved the pre 1995 look. To me, you cannot beat it. Seems like 1998 & 1999, the cars got less bulkier, and more streamlined, evolving towards the eventual roundness that is seen in 2000 models.
- Some goodies: BAS (brake assist systems) in 1998 & 1999, parktronic aid, rain sensors for windhsield wipors, zenon lights. Better keyless alarm system than previous, electrical sun shade on rear windshield which I believe came on some of the models.
 

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1994 Benz S320 SWB / 1986 Porsche 911 Targa / 1998 Benz CL 500
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1,290 Posts
LooooooL, i knew you Pick on that V12 , i did that just to see if i was right and to see how you spot it , LoL .
Yeah , i decided to Support the Forum a bit ,in my Point off View it trully deserves it ,we should have more like it .
TasDevil,W220's, in what my Knowledge base is about them ,i only would buy the 05/06 Model ,none before that and since i got to know that Chrysler was involved in the Building off it , i try to stay away from it all together .
Ciao:thumbsup:
Before i board the W140 i was on the Market to buy an S600 W220 , Lucky ,thats all i can say ,Lucky i didnt go for it , as i didnt know the Problems they had .
:) As I had said, I dont even know what I want to do, a week passes and I say what the heck and later I decide to stick with the W140.

All I know is this summer I will have to buy new tires, a new exhaust set ( rear muffler, resonator, cats and pipes ), and last but not least have the tranny rebuilt if I can find a decent specialist that is.

I think I ll make my decision only after all of the changes mentioned above, some common sense eh, I say its complete nonsense to spend all that dough but I still cant resist even planning to spend it for my W140.

Oh I dont know, I guess I am a bit lost these days:confused:

Cheers.
 

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SEC 600 V12 2dr COUPE (RHD) One of the chosen few.
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2,233 Posts
As with most things in life ..You get what you pay for...some of the benefits are hidden, some you will never use, some you will only see on reflection...others only by accident.. but you will be glad they are there... it is the W140.
 

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W140 Moderator
"CHRIS" Merc 92 600SEL / Sold > 93 600SE / 93 S500 / 89 560SEL / 413CDI / B180-CDI /A170-CDI
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7,533 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
What you may could do if you like the Idee off it , Why dont you trade in the S320 for a good Condition S500 , at least you be up there with the Porsches Performance Level .Dosnt it Bug you when you drive the Porsche and then Drive the S320 that there is the Luck off Power missing ?
In my View ,the W140 should have only come out with 2 Engines available a V8 and V12 ,it's simply to Heavy for the 6 Cylinder Engine to carry around.
Ok, i know its bad for MB's sales but Hey ,they designed it after all ,acept there Losses ,Eeh.
Ciao :thumbsup:
With the Money you Probably end up Spending on this S320 for the Repairs ,Save that Plus the Car itself as Trade in and a bit on Top maybe ,and you should get a good Example of the S500 or maybe even an S600. ( Oh Oh )

Keeping in Mind ,that i dont know the Condition off your S320's Overall Shape etc ...,is it worst Fixing ( ? ) .
 

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1996 Mercedes-Benz S 600 L (W140)
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1,272 Posts
As with most things in life ..You get what you pay for...some of the benefits are hidden, some you will never use, some you will only see on reflection...others only by accident.. but you will be glad they are there... it is the W140.
loool, atlast i found the correct words to answer people thinking i am wasting my money on my Baby:D (Thanks Merc600sec)
 

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1996 Mercedes-Benz S 600 L (W140)
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1,272 Posts
What you may could do if you like the Idee off it , Why dont you trade in the S320 for a good Condition S500 , at least you be up there with the Porsches Performance Level .Dosnt it Bug you when you drive the Porsche and then Drive the S320 that there is the Luck off Power missing ?
In my View ,the W140 should have only come out with 2 Engines available a V8 and V12 ,it's simply to Heavy for the 6 Cylinder Engine to carry around.
Ok, i know its bad for MB's sales but Hey ,they designed it after all ,acept there Losses ,Eeh.
Ciao :thumbsup:
With the Money you Probably end up Spending on this S320 for the Repairs ,Save that Plus the Car itself as Trade in and a bit on Top maybe ,and you should get a good Example of the S500 or maybe even an S600. ( Oh Oh )

Keeping in Mind ,that i dont know the Condition off your S320's Overall Shape etc ...,is it worst Fixing ( ? ) .

You are right mercs500, upgrading his S320 to a S600 or a S500 will satisfy him, and make him forget the Nightmare (W220) (In my Opinion), Beside if he likes the (W220), so he has to pick a 2004 or 2005, which is not cheap, so does its manitenance.

Good luck Tasmanian Devil :thumbsup:
 

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140 600 1991
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221 Posts
regarding the 400k+ units manufactured: it is ahuge number obviously, however you can also concentrate on specific engine models; eg 600 SWB was only ca 3400. not a lot. it is a way to stay on the positive side :p
 

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1991 300E, 1995 S420
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177 Posts
great read, very informative.

i justified buying my 95 420 with 65k miles for 8k knowing that it was dealer maintained all its life by the single previous owner, and that even with all the repairs that it would potentially need, my baby would still be cheaper than a new car I would have purchased. Also, you cant buy that bank vault feeling of safety anywhere with a comparable pricetag.

This car has saved me twice so far (both rear ended, both times no damage to my bumper but their Hondas were practically totaled), and that feeling of safety i cannot put a price tag on.
 

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78 280S, 81 300SD, 82 300D, 92 300E 2.6, 90 260SE, 94 S280, 10 E300,
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900 Posts
Nice read:thumbsup:

Very informative for someone like me who is currently on the lookout for a 95-98 S280 or S320.
 

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mercedes s320 lwb 18k kms
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447 Posts
hey ronw, i see your from the philippines. you part of the mbclub here. also from the phil. if your part of the club maybe you can invite me to one of the gatherings you have and i can show you my s320. its not for sale but maybe i can help you by showing what i think could be a very good example of the w140..it only had 18k km when i got it a few months back but now is at 27k kms. yes you saw it right...27k kms. no complaints.
 

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Premium Member
1999 S600 Sedan, 1999 S600 w/ 4-pl seating, 1995 S600 Coupe, 2-1992 600SEL's, 2002 ML55, 1998 SL600
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2,384 Posts
I used to own a 1995 S600. When the warranty ended, I traded it in on a W220 S55. My bad...

What a mistake. Now, I think I know why:

The next step for the W140 body was to the Maybach, where the 'best built at all costs' philosophy was carried over from the W40 to the Maybach line.

The 220/221 bodies are far cheaper, both in result and money. The 220 especially is a far lesser car. The S55 I had worked well for about the first 5,000 miles, then the wheels fell off the wagon. Not literally, of course, but the electronics in the newer car were so complicated, we contemplated filing a Lemon Law complaint. Turns out, a lot of other folks complained, too, and MB's JD Powers results plummeted.

Today, I have an associate who owns a 220-body S600 that's now sitting as a lawn ornament because no dealer can fix it to last from one oil change to the next. And he's just fed up with it. He may have to part the car out to get anything for it.

The 220-body is a smaller car, a far lesser car, ginned up with hocus-pocus electronics that give you the dreaded dead car syndrome, if they don't work.

No, when MB decided to cut costs, it couldn't abdicate making the very best automobiles to another car company. That's why they created the Maybach line, to keep that title. If you want the next generation W140, don't look at the W220, look at the Maybach. That's comparing apples to apples.

Otherwise, you're comparing apples to goulash.
 

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78 280S, 81 300SD, 82 300D, 92 300E 2.6, 90 260SE, 94 S280, 10 E300,
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900 Posts
hey ronw, i see your from the philippines. you part of the mbclub here. also from the phil. if your part of the club maybe you can invite me to one of the gatherings you have and i can show you my s320. its not for sale but maybe i can help you by showing what i think could be a very good example of the w140..it only had 18k km when i got it a few months back but now is at 27k kms. yes you saw it right...27k kms. no complaints.
Yup, I'm a member of MBCP, I'll let you know if there are upcoming EB's in the future. I'm eager to see you and your S320.
 

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W140 Moderator
"CHRIS" Merc 92 600SEL / Sold > 93 600SE / 93 S500 / 89 560SEL / 413CDI / B180-CDI /A170-CDI
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7,533 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I used to own a 1995 S600. When the warranty ended, I traded it in on a W220 S55. My bad...

What a mistake. Now, I think I know why:

The next step for the W140 body was to the Maybach, where the 'best built at all costs' philosophy was carried over from the W40 to the Maybach line.

The 220/221 bodies are far cheaper, both in result and money. The 220 especially is a far lesser car. The S55 I had worked well for about the first 5,000 miles, then the wheels fell off the wagon. Not literally, of course, but the electronics in the newer car were so complicated, we contemplated filing a Lemon Law complaint. Turns out, a lot of other folks complained, too, and MB's JD Powers results plummeted.

Today, I have an associate who owns a 220-body S600 that's now sitting as a lawn ornament because no dealer can fix it to last from one oil change to the next. And he's just fed up with it. He may have to part the car out to get anything for it.

The 220-body is a smaller car, a far lesser car, ginned up with hocus-pocus electronics that give you the dreaded dead car syndrome, if they don't work.

No, when MB decided to cut costs, it couldn't abdicate making the very best automobiles to another car company. That's why they created the Maybach line, to keep that title. If you want the next generation W140, don't look at the W220, look at the Maybach. That's comparing apples to apples.

Otherwise, you're comparing apples to goulash.
I'am truly schocked and have No Words to add to this .....Thanks for Posting .
 

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1994 Benz S320 SWB / 1986 Porsche 911 Targa / 1998 Benz CL 500
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I used to own a 1995 S600. When the warranty ended, I traded it in on a W220 S55. My bad...

What a mistake. Now, I think I know why:

The next step for the W140 body was to the Maybach, where the 'best built at all costs' philosophy was carried over from the W40 to the Maybach line.

The 220/221 bodies are far cheaper, both in result and money. The 220 especially is a far lesser car. The S55 I had worked well for about the first 5,000 miles, then the wheels fell off the wagon. Not literally, of course, but the electronics in the newer car were so complicated, we contemplated filing a Lemon Law complaint. Turns out, a lot of other folks complained, too, and MB's JD Powers results plummeted.

Today, I have an associate who owns a 220-body S600 that's now sitting as a lawn ornament because no dealer can fix it to last from one oil change to the next. And he's just fed up with it. He may have to part the car out to get anything for it.

The 220-body is a smaller car, a far lesser car, ginned up with hocus-pocus electronics that give you the dreaded dead car syndrome, if they don't work.

No, when MB decided to cut costs, it couldn't abdicate making the very best automobiles to another car company. That's why they created the Maybach line, to keep that title. If you want the next generation W140, don't look at the W220, look at the Maybach. That's comparing apples to apples.

Otherwise, you're comparing apples to goulash.
Exceptional, enough to change my mind:D I am keeping my 94 W140 and found an additional C140, its a 96 S500, 67.000 Km and seems to be in pretty good shape. After a detailed check I might be adding another 140 to the garage but this will be a 2 door:)
 

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01 SLK 230 Sport K1 K2A K4 Sp1
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definitly thanks for this been looking around for the last few days for some backround on the W140 I am a MB fan to the fullest just to be honst been torn between one of these and a E38 7 es yes I know bmw but im not used to full size sedans and the E38 have a sportier drive.
that being said i had a question in regards to the W140
a 95 with 70k 1 owner with some maintinance records should be something to consider no? also can you averge 20 even 23 24 on the higway with a S500 properly maintained and of course on good premo gas?

thanks for any help id love to stay in the family so to speak
 

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1997 S600 (sold)
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Not a bad read, but some mis-information on the vacuum pumps (There are two separate pumps, the PSE pump and the closing assist pump.) and on the years of the degrading wiring harnesses. Everything I have read puts the degrading harnesses at 1995 and earlier, although there are some spotty reports on later than 1995 cars.

Tas, I hear your laments about maintenance costs, but it is a logical inconsistency to compare the cost of maintenance to the market value of the car. If you want to make a decision whether to buy a newer car based on cost of ownership, you've got to compare depreciation + maintenance on the W140 versus depreciation + maintenance on the newer car. You can take a pretty good stab at depreciation on both cars based on market trends. You have had the W140 for a good stint and are familiar with its maintenance history and current issues. Basically, you know the car, but the big unknown in this equation is the maintenance cost of the newer car. Will it really be less than the W140? Maybe not, and you'll have bigger depreciation, too. Or maybe it will be, and you will experience lower cost of ownership overall. But, one can certainly expect that the older, higher mileage car will need major overhauling sooner than the newer car. Somewhere in there is a sweet spot where you dump the old car just before major expenses and pick up a good used newer one... But, there is a problem with selling a car that needs major work, extra depreciation cost. And, the analysis continues on and on until your head starts to hurt and you just decide to keep the W140. LOL

I feel absolutely the same as you on maintaining the classic cars, which is why I've bought cars that are interesting to me and worth maintaining in my silly little mind: a 1978 911 (extremely unique color combination), 1964 356C coupe, a 1997 W140 S600 (1 of ~350 in the US), and a Range Rover 30th Anniversay Edition (1 of 400 worldwide). I feel better keeping these cars going than I would if they were Toyota Corollas.

Brett
 

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W140 Moderator
"CHRIS" Merc 92 600SEL / Sold > 93 600SE / 93 S500 / 89 560SEL / 413CDI / B180-CDI /A170-CDI
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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Well done Brettsandiego
You own a Beautifull collection of Cars there , Congrats .
A Car for every Ocasion .
And thanks for the Inputs / Remarks .
 

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1994 Benz S320 SWB / 1986 Porsche 911 Targa / 1998 Benz CL 500
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1,290 Posts
Not a bad read, but some mis-information on the vacuum pumps (There are two separate pumps, the PSE pump and the closing assist pump.) and on the years of the degrading wiring harnesses. Everything I have read puts the degrading harnesses at 1995 and earlier, although there are some spotty reports on later than 1995 cars.

Tas, I hear your laments about maintenance costs, but it is a logical inconsistency to compare the cost of maintenance to the market value of the car. If you want to make a decision whether to buy a newer car based on cost of ownership, you've got to compare depreciation + maintenance on the W140 versus depreciation + maintenance on the newer car. You can take a pretty good stab at depreciation on both cars based on market trends. You have had the W140 for a good stint and are familiar with its maintenance history and current issues. Basically, you know the car, but the big unknown in this equation is the maintenance cost of the newer car. Will it really be less than the W140? Maybe not, and you'll have bigger depreciation, too. Or maybe it will be, and you will experience lower cost of ownership overall. But, one can certainly expect that the older, higher mileage car will need major overhauling sooner than the newer car. Somewhere in there is a sweet spot where you dump the old car just before major expenses and pick up a good used newer one... But, there is a problem with selling a car that needs major work, extra depreciation cost. And, the analysis continues on and on until your head starts to hurt and you just decide to keep the W140. LOL

I feel absolutely the same as you on maintaining the classic cars, which is why I've bought cars that are interesting to me and worth maintaining in my silly little mind: a 1978 911 (extremely unique color combination), 1964 356C coupe, a 1997 W140 S600 (1 of ~350 in the US), and a Range Rover 30th Anniversay Edition (1 of 400 worldwide). I feel better keeping these cars going than I would if they were Toyota Corollas.

Brett
I guess sometimes mind does wonder off and doesnt consider every aspect about everything.

Yesterday I had a talk with another car maniac friend of mine and he almost quoted the same issues you had pointed out; depreciation rates this and that and especially underlined the fact that "you allready know what you own, you know pretty much how they work and break down, why seeking an adventure, if you want to throw money down the drain go invest in something instead of itching for a new car" :D This pretty much hit me like a baseball bat to come back to my senses and I decided to stick with what I allready have; an almost official classic sports car and a bank vault on wheels LOL

Previously I had a 1999 Range Rover too, it was nearly in mint condition but I sold it 2 years ago and now from time to time I miss the English Gremlins that drove me nuts cause it was an SUV comfortable as hell.

Here is a showdown on the last 3 cars I had;

- BMW 530

It wasnt a race horse or a mule, it was something in between, had some nice years together but decided it wasnt worth to keep it and sold it.

- BMW M5

It was an awsome thrill, but thanks to it got my licence revoked for a while and got too scared of driving it cause if I kept it I knew I was going to be involved in some accident sold it with tearfull eyes. I cant even find pictures of it beside the engine photo I took tried to erase it from my memory I guess.

- Range Rover 4.6HSE

It was lovely, mint condition like all of my cars but gas prices and weird BECM problems drove me nuts, I dont have nerves of steel so I sold it too, the point of no return was where I had to change a complete BECM for a non functional rear window wiper.

The current condition is 2 cars left;

- 1986 Porsche 911

- 1994 S320 SWB

Now the wheels will keep on turning as long as I live; Long Live Porsche and Uberalles W140:)

Cheers.
 

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