Last year I purchased a rather fine 2000 MY long wheelbase S320, my first MB after a period of Jaguar ownership. My reasons were pretty simple I needed a car to commute to work every day and my old XJ8 was just not coping with the rigors of the M25. I spent a few weeks debating what to buy. It was either another "proper" car or a 700cc lesbian peace wagon, that runs on margarine. Seeing as I was inevitably going to spend many hours on the M25, the thought of sitting in some sterile flower friendly box was not at all attractive. So I opted to surround myself in the cavernous luxury of the SClass with its opulent trim of dead animal skin and wood. During the first few weeks of proud ownership I set about making a list of things that needed doing on this fine vehicle. Some were pretty serious like a new propshaft coupling and fixing a transmission oil leak, others simple like replacing internal LED's and generally a bit of TLC here and there. During my quest for knowledge I came across a number of Internet forums, this very fine site and the US based Benzworld.Org were the main two I used. During the last few months I have observed some very interesting differences between the two sites that really seem to highlight just how different we in the UK are to our cousins over the pond. Take a moment to look through the posts on some of the forums on benzworld.org. Many of the posters there seem to have problem after problem and end up complaining that a certain feature is "crap" and "not fit for purpose" and MB must be subversive incompetents for such poor design (common examples are airmatic, soft close doors even the humble MAF sensor has come in the firing line). In fact on the SClass-W220 forum itself there was a poll asking members to share there views on what a bad car it is! (Errr clearly the US is well known for being at the forefront of automotive technology). Simple option, sell it and go and buy a 10 liter Dodge NemesisLandGrabber or whatever name they have these days. Now on MBClub.co.uk what has struck me is a genuine understanding by the members that these are highly complex vehicles that require understanding, patience and respect to maintain properly. I must say I laugh at the requests on benzworld for information on fitting 30 inch alloy "spinnaz", tasteful neon lights and various other useless things to my "benz". I think they call it "detailing" we call it best confined to 19 year olds with Citroen Saxos or the pages of MaxPower. Its created a mental image of American SClass drivers that is somewhat different from what one might expect in the UK. It seems that they could all be rather short hispanic gangsta's in white vest tops, wearing unfeasibly large amounts of gold jewelery. And the main reason for buying an W220 is that the large arm rest compartment is big enough to stash a .40 caliber Glock safely away from the prying eyes of the cops. Now my S320 has turned 118,000 miles this week, I still use her daily for a relaxing sedate drive to work. Yes, its had some problems (in fact its on the drive today due a suspected faulty wheel bearing) but I am not about to inform MI5, Scotland Yard, NCAP, The AA, RAC, ROSPA and Jeremy Clarkson that it’s a piece of junk with design flaws, poor build quality and clearly places my very freedom at risk… Not at all I will look at it in a positive light, as a challenge and an opportunity to discuss my problem with the friendly, knowledgeable and supportive members of MBClub….. Thank you all for your help so far, and have a good weekend.