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1992 300CE, Engine M104, (2002 E320 4matic Wagon—Retired)
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329 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I am considering buying a 2002 w210 4matic wagon. Its on sale for 18.5k from second owner. It has around 61k miles and seemingly no mechanical problems. I would appreciate any advice on buying this model. I am basically interested in this because of the 3rd seat. I can probably get a used Volvo with warranty or this. Any suggestions?
 

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2002 E320 Wagon, 2002 ML320
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We have a 2002 4matic wagon and love it. The later years of the w210 are good ones because they ironed out some of the earlier issues. 3rd seat is nice, really but is strictly for kids, or for adults on very short trips. Car is large, and is like having a lowered SUV that handles great and gets decent gas mileage. Here is a list I keep on hand for these type of questions:

Items to look for in a 2002 e320 (can search forum for these):

1. Rust just under the top door seams. There was a recall about this and a special protectant should be applied. There should be a sticky white protectant around seams.
2. Not really an issue, but good idea to check area around and under car battery for corrosion. It's under rear seat. They are put on a plate to block actual body from corrosion, so probably not be a big problem, but it can get ugly down there.
3. Missing pixels in Instrument Cluster display. Mainly in temp readout and gear indicators. Dealer will replace for $1k plus. Somebody on line will have you send it in and fix it for $250. Possible to also fix yourself.
4. Pop-up cup holders in front not functioning, or won't close.
5. At 60k miles, the car really should have a transmission fluid change. Now the dealers will swear they are good for lifetime of car, but many have been burned by this (check forum) and odds are the fluid is pretty brown.
6. Ask dealer to pop off wiper cover and make sure mechanism is properly lubricated.
7. Check front and rear window regulators to make sure they are running ok and not straining. Common for rears to go out. Easy DIY fix. Fronts are built tougher and rarely go out, but they do. Mine did and was a DIY fix, although harder then rear.

These are problems mainly associated with earlier w210's (pre-2001), I think, but good to be aware of:

1. Ask about Motor Mounts. Many go out around 45k miles and motor will vibrate a lot. However, it's inexpensive to fix (less than $500).
2. Corrosion/rust on front spring perches. Major, major issue with e320, but should have been corrected by year 2000. Doesn't affect 4matics.
3. Harmonic Balancers are notorius earlier w210 problem. A recall was issued for these I believe for pre 2000 e320s. They would get cracks around 40-60k. Easy and inexpensive fix if caught early.
 

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My Two Left Feet
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3. Missing pixels in Instrument Cluster display. Mainly in temp readout and gear indicators. Dealer will replace for $1k plus. Somebody on line will have you send it in and fix it for $250. Possible to also fix yourself.

I am ready willing and able. When driving my 98 E320 at temps over 85 I get that issue, how do I DIMS.....?
 

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2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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17,193 Posts
Temperature

slybydesignw210 said:
3. Missing pixels in Instrument Cluster display. Mainly in temp readout and gear indicators. Dealer will replace for $1k plus. Somebody on line will have you send it in and fix it for $250. Possible to also fix yourself.

I am ready willing and able. When driving my 98 E320 at temps over 85 I get that issue, how do I DIMS.....?
Very interesting, I have never read that this problem was temperature related. Are you guys talking about the same thing?

SBD, do you mean 85 F outside temp or over 85 C oil temp?
 

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1992 300CE, Engine M104, (2002 E320 4matic Wagon—Retired)
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329 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the great info. I will definitely look into these points. The more I ask around, the more people tell me things like: do not do it. Or, do it if you have money for repairs. Sure, any 5 year old car is going to require some repair. Also, does 18.5k sound like a median price for an 02?
 
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