Back to the fold E class buying tips please

GeoffNorthWales

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Hi all,#
After a few years of Volvo, I fancy a return to the Mercedes, I love practising bangernomics so tend to go for older cheaper higher mile cars, so whats best got to be another Mercedes, I'm looking for either an 04 Mercedes E Class 320 cdi Estate, or if funds permit the more sorted 07 Version of the same car, prefer the sport version but have heard the avantgarde is kinder to your spine?

The engine choice is not set in stone but it will defo be a Diesel, so when looking at potential new motors is there any known faults to look for?

Any advice or tips greatfully received and thanks for any input
Cheers All
Geoff
 

AMGeed

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As with most cars, check there are no warning lights or messages displayed in the cluster. Check all the electric options work (mirror adjustment, seat heating , parking sensors, ets and use any faults to negotiate if the rest of the car checks out. Electrical faults can be expensive to fix.
Obviously rust should be a nono on a W211 although it can appear on the door edges, wheel arches and around the boot.


If you go for a pre facelift (03/06) it will have SBC braking. Not the expense it used to be but any faults then steer clear. There are plenty of W211's on the market so you can be choosy.
If you opt for an estate it will have air suspension on the rear. Look for an even gap in the rear wheelarches and no sagging on either side.
I'm no diesel expert, but obvious smokers should be avoided and I'd check the service history for work done previously. The ATF should be changed at 37k mile intervals on a 5 speed box so check its been done at least once.

Check tyres, even the inside wall if possible for splits. (My E55 had a split inside I was unaware of) and if it has 18"or bigger alloys, look for cracked rims.
I'm sure there's loads more but thats a start. Happy hunting.
 
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GeoffNorthWales

GeoffNorthWales

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Thanks AMgeed, some good tips there, I did suspect the estate had air suspension but had not heard of the SBC braking, so looks like thats my research sorted for today
 

MikeInWimbledon

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It's impossible to advise on Sport vs Avantgarde without knowing the way you drive and the roads you drive on. Easiest way to describe it is to say that the Sport is closer to the firmer BMW suspension set up. Just drive a few and it'll become clear.

Bear in mind that wheel choices will make a big difference too. 19's look great but are demanding on roads outside of Germany.

Glance on Autotrader at cars that have done more than 200k miles (sic). You'll see that they can be immaculate. Then bear that in mind when you see other, more normal, cars in your price bracket. If they show wear, they've been abused - there are better cars out there for the same money.

As James Rupert would say, there are lots of great cars out there - you just need to get past the cars which have been run on a budget.
 
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GeoffNorthWales

GeoffNorthWales

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Thanks MikeInWimbledon again good advice, just initially I was looking at 2007 to 20008 as UI belive these had none of the electrical problems plus after reading about SBC that has sort of put me off the pre 2007 models but just been told I'm at risk of redundancy so the tight budget just got tighter, but as others have said, lots out there so i can be picky
 

W1ghty

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Thanks MikeInWimbledon again good advice, just initially I was looking at 2007 to 20008 as UI belive these had none of the electrical problems plus after reading about SBC that has sort of put me off the pre 2007 models but just been told I'm at risk of redundancy so the tight budget just got tighter, but as others have said, lots out there so i can be picky
This was my thread on my current E320cdi, may provide a few mins of interest .
Watch for oil cooler seal failure in the engines V , runs down the back of the engine .
A lot of oil around the turbo orange seal inlet .
You could do with an icarsoft code reader for a pre purchase inspection of fault codes .
Some turbo actuator issues crop up , as does blocked inlet manifolds .
Stunning cars though
 

SPX

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Pound for pound the W211 I’d recommend for running costs and drive would be a late as possibly (2009) E220 CDI Avantgarde - it has the bombproof 5 speed box & 4cyl engine, no SBC to worry about, nice 17” alloys that are a good blend of ride and looks, should also be decent spec being a run-out model.

For the looks and the power go for a (again, as late as possible) E320 CDI Sport - 7G early is a bit snappy and the V6 engine had a few issues early on but it’s a great overall package.
 

clk208

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A late 4cyl would be my choice too if on a budget. It’s what the continental taxi drivers use.

That 6cyl diesel is a lovely drive but many cases of mega expensive repairs if they go wrong and plenty on here have had issues.
 

MikeInWimbledon

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Thanks MikeInWimbledon again good advice, just initially I was looking at 2007 to 20008 as UI belive these had none of the electrical problems plus after reading about SBC that has sort of put me off the pre 2007 models but just been told I'm at risk of redundancy so the tight budget just got tighter, but as others have said, lots out there so i can be picky
You were right about facelift cars having had many issues resolved.

It's all about budget in the end.

Fly into the cheaper airports in the world and you'll see plenty of older E class still running as taxis with 300,000+ on the clock.

I'm a big fan of James Rupert too, but I would say that buying cars with faults is more expensive than buying previously loved cars that are well-maintained.

But you need to get out there and see what's there. And do NOT buy the first thing that you see because it looks good.
 
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GeoffNorthWales

GeoffNorthWales

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This was my thread on my current E320cdi, may provide a few mins of interest .
Watch for oil cooler seal failure in the engines V , runs down the back of the engine .
A lot of oil around the turbo orange seal inlet .
You could do with an icarsoft code reader for a pre purchase inspection of fault codes .
Some turbo actuator issues crop up , as does blocked inlet manifolds .
Stunning cars though
Thanks for your link W1ghty will check it out, for some reason I stopped getting notifications for this post so just reading through and catching up
 
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GeoffNorthWales

GeoffNorthWales

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Pound for pound the W211 I’d recommend for running costs and drive would be a late as possibly (2009) E220 CDI Avantgarde - it has the bombproof 5 speed box & 4cyl engine, no SBC to worry about, nice 17” alloys that are a good blend of ride and looks, should also be decent spec being a run-out model.

For the looks and the power go for a (again, as late as possible) E320 CDI Sport - 7G early is a bit snappy and the V6 engine had a few issues early on but it’s a great overall package.
Thanks SPX, its amazin g what info you glean from just doing an MOT history search, found 1 definite 07 E320 but thye supposed car dealer never returns calls or answers the phone so not the kind of people you need to deal with, then found another E320 2005 model but it wasa saloon but the guy told me a pack of lies and it was a 6 hour round trip so swerved that one, think as Im skint and just been told I'm at risk of redundancy, I w need an estate so if my quick tresearch is correct the C class never had the dodgy braking system fitted to the early E class?, so may be a better bet for my crap budget :)
 
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GeoffNorthWales

GeoffNorthWales

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You were right about facelift cars having had many issues resolved.

It's all about budget in the end.

Fly into the cheaper airports in the world and you'll see plenty of older E class still running as taxis with 300,000+ on the clock.

I'm a big fan of James Rupert too, but I would say that buying cars with faults is more expensive than buying previously loved cars that are well-maintained.

But you need to get out there and see what's there. And do NOT buy the first thing that you see because it looks good.
Agree MikeInWimbledon, I'm handy with the spanners but not as sprightly as I was lol, ideally I would be looking at at least a sorted 2008 onwards but see my post below about possible redundancy and reality bites, when I lived in North Wales we had a better population with the bigger city of Manchester and Liverpool an hours drive away so buying and selling was far easier than up in rural Aberdeenshire, but if I do get the can would move back top Wales, so suppose another option would be just a cheap diesel motor until I can save more cash if/when I find a new job, time will tell, great input from everyone and no keyboard warriors, so thats a nice change from some of the forums
 

MikeInWimbledon

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If budget is tight, the C class will always be cheaper than an E class.

And the smaller engine will always be cheaper.

Doesn't have the same presence, and to my mind, the same long-term durability, but you "cut your coat according to your cloth."

Sadly, Estates are always a problem to track down, compared to saloons. The used market loves them, but new (company) car buyers not so much.
 

SarahAnn200

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Have you looked at the Mercland site? He is a trader on here and every time someone has bought from him, it always looks a very nice car
 
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GeoffNorthWales

GeoffNorthWales

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If budget is tight, the C class will always be cheaper than an E class.

And the smaller engine will always be cheaper.

Doesn't have the same presence, and to my mind, the same long-term durability, but you "cut your coat according to your cloth."

Sadly, Estates are always a problem to track down, compared to saloons. The used market loves them, but new (company) car buyers not so much.
I have always wanted an E class but think may have to save some more, but had 2 brand new ones as company cars, went like stink and great on the fuel but first one broke down with 400 miles on the clock 2nd one faired a lot better but had 2 trips in the nice recovery truck.
I used to Road Race Motorcycles so always had vans to lug the bikes all over so have got used to just trasporting all kinds so think thats my want for an estate and my V70 now is so handy for that after my S60, ideal for the fishing tackle and food for our geese, chickens and ducks so will try and hold out ofr an E class estate but fully understand I will be buying in the trouble years.

I see they can suffer from Oil Cooler seal failure, is this a DIY job and what are the costs ?
 

Smart320

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I have also bought a ML from Mercland in the past , highly recommend them,
 

SarahAnn200

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Not heard of Mercland so Google will get troubled from me yet again, thanks for the tip SarahAnn200
I haven't bought from them but have seen cars on here that people have bought and the cars always look in very good condition and they always comment to say what a nice chap he is. Good luck in your search
 

OneForTheRoad

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My 04 e320 elegance came with sports suspension, I purchased 2nd hand front struts from an avant-garde and the car sat even lower. If you want total comfort id look for something with standard suspension on 16 or 17 inch wheels.
 

MikeInWimbledon

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I used to Road Race Motorcycles so always had vans to lug the bikes all over so have got used to just trasporting all kinds so think thats my want for an estate and my V70 now is so handy for that after my S60, ideal for the fishing tackle and food for our geese, chickens and ducks so will try and hold out ofr an E class estate but fully understand I will be buying in the trouble years.

I see they can suffer from Oil Cooler seal failure, is this a DIY job and what are the costs ?
It looks like you've been a target of Internet terrorism. ....

Nasty that stuff - are you expecting to die of Covid19 any minute too ? They talk about that on the Interweb too.

Have you had lots of issues with the Volvo? An endless stream ? Because if you research them on the Web you can find out what goes wrong with them.

If you haven't, well, that illustrates my point.... that cars, if well bought, are generally reliable. Don't get too scared of what goes wrong. Just don't buy a car for Thruppence.

I'll let someone else talk about Oil Cooler seal failure from their experience.
 

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