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What to watch out for in an S600

2506 Views 11 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  khaddam
I am considering buying a 1993/94 model S600 and was wondering if there were any reliability issues with the the V12 engine (MB's first ever?) and the car in general. I know a couple of people who own W126 V8s and they don't seem to have major problems.<br> <br> Thanx in advance for any advice.<br> <br> <br>
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I'm looking at one too. From my search of the maintenance records it seems that that the drivetrain (on this particular example anyway) is sound, 150k miles, but it has had problems with window switches, antenna motors, door closures, needes a new battery every two years...like that. No really big bills yet. In Alberta, Canada, we don't have problems with air conditioners, but in a hot climate the a/c bills can be truly ghastly. I understand that the latter electronic gearbox is a bit more trouble prone than the earlier mechanical one.<br> <br> That said I would also appreciate comment from owners of S600's as to what one could expect in yearly maintenance. Are these only cars for the very rich?<br> <br> Regards, Lawrence.
 

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Larry, I'm in Toronto and have a CL600 with 56k km. without any major problems since the car was purchased at 36k km about 2 yrs. ago. It is a daily driver putting on about 25-30km/day. It's still under signature class warranty so we're not too worried about major repairs. So far all that's needed was a new fuel level sensor and a bushing in the front suspension. Apparently, even the anti-sway bars have ball joints! Otherwise...fill 'em and drive. I don't think they're any more or less prone to repairs than other vehicles (considering more parts)....it's just be prepared to fix when required...
 

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Thanks for the replies. <br> <br> Well, I took the 600 SEL out for a long drive, and jeez, I never thought something so big could go so fast. Yikes, I spent most of the time on the brakes... I'm quite amazed by the handling of the car, a huge advance over my W126.<br> <br> It was tight and solid and if you looked at the car you wouldn't think it had half the 220,000 km that it does. Some things that I noticed though:<br> <br> 1) there was quite a bit of pedal travel. Not like my foot would get close to the floor, but more movement than I am used to with a W140, or other MB's. Is a new master cylinder in the cards?<br> <br> 2) the oil pressure was between 1 and 2 at idle, and when underway it would get close to 3 under load, but only 'peg' with more vigorous throttle. My W126 560 pegs with only the slightest load. What is normal for these cars? What kind of mileage can one expect out of a well maintained, hwy driven V12 before a rebuild is necessary?<br> <br> 3) the transmission is slightly clunky going into drive or reverse from park. <br> <br> 4) there is more engine noise under load/high rpm's than I was expecting-which I don't mind actually. Do these engines have an appetite for exhaust or intake manifold gaskets? Is it normal for a 600 to be quite vocal?<br> <br> I think that this is normal wear and tear, but I'm wondering if anybody has any comments.<br> <br> Regards, Lawrence Romanosky<br> Calgary, Canada<br> <br> 1988 560 SEL<br> 1997 Integra Type R<br> 1951 Land Rover Series One
 

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Lawrence! The 140's transmisions start to have a clunky feel to them when they get in the 100,000 mile range. Generally you have to have a transmission service performed on the car so your tranny can last. This is normal and pretty expensive service but its worth the hassel and the driving pleasure. (This especially applies to the V12s, S500, and 400se)
 

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Stay away from 92 & 93 model years. I have a 92 500 SEL with 114,000 and all sorts of problems. I have had the timing chain + rails, oil sending unit, transmission, and rear window track replace and power steering resealed. Almost $12K worth of repairs in 2-1/2 years. The 600 repairs are even more expensive. Do not get any W140 without extended warr.
 

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Re: What to watch out for in any Mercedes-Benz

All Mercedes-Benz vehicles prior to the mid ninetys had similar problems. Of course each model has its unique items to watch out for. For all their 'Engineered Like no Other Car in World' some of their electrical designs leave generous room for improvement. <br> <br> As MBZ continues to change technology and add gizmos at a dizzing rate new bugs are surfacing. Most frusterating is that the 'mechanics' are now module replacers. When you take the car in for service the dealer will replace things that may or may not need replaceing based on the factories specs. The window switches, wiring, lites, alarm system, AC, climate control and the like are super bitchin' in design but a cluster frick to repair.<br> <br> As for the W140s the Climate control, door closing system, power trunk handles, and the like are problematic. <br> <br> The problem comes from the German philosophy of doing things a certain way. They would argue that their systems are nearly faultless we just don't understand the care and maintainance that is needed for them to function correctly. Of course this goes back to dealer service...The last time my W124 was in for service it recieved a new gas cap, radiator cap, and valve cover oil fill cap. The previous ones were a scant 11 months old, but the 'book' says replace em' so that's what they do. Ridiculous. <br> <br> Also their plastic either lasts forever or brakes like an eggshell. I haven't seen a 1980s sedan that you change the turn signal lites without breaking the plastic clip that holds them in. Sometime in the 90s Mercedes switched from brittle white and grey plastic to ABS. You can see the difference in their new parts as they have the ABS insignia on the castings. This goes for door handles, lenses and misc. parts. <br> <br> They do also manufacture parts of exeptional quality including the bumper covers, spoilers, and wheel, door and exterior trim. My W124 has been been hit with all sorts of crud and has never suffered any exterior plastic cracking. <br> <br> Best of luck with your W140.<br> <br> <br>
 

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Re: What to watch out for in any Mercedes-Benz

Well put, Gavin. After having a 380SE and 560SEL I purchased a '95 S600 Sedan a few weeks ago. In my past experience, the engines are nearly bulletproof with regular maintenance, but the systems (especially electrical) can have problems. At 87000 miles, my car will be needing some maintenance and repairs, but I've figured that into the pleasure of owning the car. Parts on a V-12 model can vary in price range enormously. Example: Two catalytic converters are $3000 for both, while my rear door window mechanism is only $69! If you do your own work, you can save some, but figure on a few thousand a year for general maintenance, and the car will last forever.
 

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I OWN 3 S600 1993, 1995, 1998 BUT MY 1998 IS NO LONGER WITH ME DUE TO A MAJOR ACCIDENT.
HONESLY 1993 ,1995 ARE MUCH BETTER BECAUSE THEY ARE LESS ELECTRONIC .I HAD NO PROBLEMS WITH THE AC ONLY GAS FILL. I LIVE IN A VERY HOT CLIMATE.
IT IS LOVELY MONSTER.1993 IS MORE POWERFULL THAN 1995 409 HP - 390 HP.ALWAYS CHECK THE ENGINE WIRING AND THE CO2 EMISSION.
I OLSO OWN AN E55 2005 MODEL ,BUT MY HEART IS ALWAYS WITH MY 1993 S600.IT IS THE BEST
 
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