Is This The DIRTIEST Air Filter In The World? E-Class 2009 E 320 CDi V6 W211

BillySmart

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E-Class 2009 E 320 CDi W211
We bought this car last year it's a E-Class 2009 E 320 CDi V6 W211 estate. My wife had just past her driving test and gained an automatic licence, the Mercedes seemed a good choice as it was solid, big, reasonably priced. We settled for a one owner car with full MB service history. 7 services in total. The last dealer service was carried out at the end of 2017 with 98K on the clock and the next being due at 114K (that's where we're at).
We bought the car from a second hand dealer and paid a premium due to it being one owner, with relatively low mileage and a full main dealer service history. We also received a free 3 month RAC warranty.
First off, the air conditioning didn't work, so we were sent away to get it re-gassed at a garage of the car dealers choice. The garage gassed it up. but the unit wouldn't run, so, warranty claim number 1, coming in at just under the £500 limit.
Next, it wasn't pulling away very well, it was stuttering and then it would start racing and high revving, sticking in the gears. I took it to my local garage and they reckoned it was the maf air sensor and something else that needed replacing, so, warranty claim 2, a week after the first and again almost touching the £500 limit.
To be honest, the car ran a little bit better. I was also throwing quite a few bottles of various Wynns cleaners into the petrol tank, as the car had been lying about a forecourt for over a year, so I reckoned it was probably a bit clogged up.
Oh, how my newly driving wife chuckled as the serpentine belt shredded, as she tried to steer something akin to a tank, due to the sudden loss of power steering. Fortunately, the clutch had chucked it on the alternator, so we were covered for warranty claim 3, (all 3 claims within a month) again shading in at just under the £500 limit. Hats off to the RAC, many people say these warranties aren't worth the paper they're written upon, but in our case, we really can't fault them.
We have also had a lot of other problems, nothing major though, just the sort of stuff you would expect with an older motor. Anyway, the time came for the next service and I service my vehicles myself. I have seen a many things over the years, but I have never ever seen an air filter as dirty as this. Looking at the service documents, the last time they were replaced was in 2013, 50K miles ago, which seems excessive. I have my doubts though, I wouldn't be surprised if it's the same filter that was fitted in the factory! The other filter is filthy, but is clean in comparison, it does actually look like it has been changed at some point.
I have a new respect for this car, despite having a full Mercedes Benz service history, this poor old car has never been looked after properly, it's owner did its best for it, but the filter doesn't lie. MB full service history? What a crock of .......I am surprised the car went at all. No wonder it was having all sorts of problems!
Needless to say, all the filters, oil etc have now been replaced and it's a different car. IMG_20201025_201901_1CS.jpg IMG_20201025_201932_1CS.jpg
 

andy27168

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Hi
That filter's condition is truly awful, were the filters an exact pair, eg same make marking the same on each filter?
Don't doubt the full history, doubt the reluctance of the previous owner to spend money as Air filter replacement is classed as an extra, therefore increases the flat rate of the service.
 

TeddyRuxpin

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MB service is yearly or by mileage, whichever comes first. So it should have had 11 services?
 
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BillySmart

BillySmart

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E-Class 2009 E 320 CDi W211
Hi
That filter's condition is truly awful, were the filters an exact pair, eg same make marking the same on each filter?
Don't doubt the full history, doubt the reluctance of the previous owner to spend money as Air filter replacement is classed as an extra, therefore increases the flat rate of the service.
Hello Andy,
The filters were the same make, whether they were put in together I don't know. You would think so though, wouldn't you? I am guessing, but one is so much worse than the other, I think it could well be the original filter. I can honestly say that I have never seen anything remotely as bad as that before and I have had some pretty dubious vehicles. I was shocked both by its condition and the fact that I wasn't expecting it. I didn't know that you could pick and choose what you had done in a service, that car would have been expensive in its day, why spend luxury money like that and then penny pinch on essential maintenance?
 
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BillySmart

BillySmart

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E-Class 2009 E 320 CDi W211
MB service is yearly or by mileage, whichever comes first. So it should have had 11 services?
Yes. It was serviced by MB up until December 2017 (7 services) 98K on the clock - it then lay in a forecourt for a year til May 2019, we bought it, ran it up to 114K and have now serviced it.
 
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Bobby Dazzler

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Yes. It was serviced by MB up until December 2017 (7 services) 98K on the clock - it then lay in a forecourt for a year til May 2019, we bought it, ran it up to 114K and have now serviced it.
If the air filter has not been changed for more than 7 years and 50,000 miles then it would be fairly dirty.

Are you sure the service history is legitimate?
 

KennyN

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What MB dealership carried out the servicing ?

I had an issue (dirty filters) with MB Giffnock not carrying out work during the service (through their service plan) , i had it out with the service manager and was promised the earth at the next service but all i was left with was a nagging doubt that my car had only had a wipe down with a dirty rag for the £2k over the four years that the plan had cost me.

K
 

HB

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What MB dealership carried out the servicing ?

I had an issue (dirty filters) with MB Giffnock not carrying out work during the service (through their service plan) , i had it out with the service manager and was promised the earth at the next service but all i was left with was a nagging doubt that my car had only had a wipe down with a dirty rag for the £2k over the four years that the plan had cost me.

K
Kenny the idiot techs in there were caught not replacing air,fuel and oil filters and doing homer’s with them. Also failing perfect cars with mots then again keeping the parts .......
 

Skd884

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What MB dealership carried out the servicing ?

I had an issue (dirty filters) with MB Giffnock not carrying out work during the service (through their service plan) , i had it out with the service manager and was promised the earth at the next service but all i was left with was a nagging doubt that my car had only had a wipe down with a dirty rag for the £2k over the four years that the plan had cost me.

K
I ask for all old filters to be left in my cars...........
 

whitenemesis

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I ask for all old filters to be left in my cars...........
Which they can get out of the scraps bin..
If you want to certain parts are replaced mark them before service with indelible ink, UV visible is best...
 

W1ghty

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They all look like that at 50k miles , I change mine every 18-24 months , at £25-30 it’s a cheap easy diy job .
 
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BillySmart

BillySmart

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E-Class 2009 E 320 CDi W211
If the air filter has not been changed for more than 7 years and 50,000 miles then it would be fairly dirty.

Are you sure the service history is legitimate?
I think you're right Bobby, 7K and 7 years they're going to be fairly dirty. However, one's dirty and the other is absolutely filthy, this is what I can't get my head around!

Am I sure the service history is "legitimate"? Not 100%, I would have to check it myself through MB.
IMG-32601 copy.jpg
 
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BillySmart

BillySmart

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E-Class 2009 E 320 CDi W211
What MB dealership carried out the servicing ?

I had an issue (dirty filters) with MB Giffnock not carrying out work during the service (through their service plan) , i had it out with the service manager and was promised the earth at the next service but all i was left with was a nagging doubt that my car had only had a wipe down with a dirty rag for the £2k over the four years that the plan had cost me.

K
It wasn't Giffnock Kenny, the car came over from the east, so the services were carried out in Grangemouth and Edinburgh. On the records the only time the air and fuel filters have been replaced is in 2013 - 61K miles. As said, I suspect one of the filters has never been changed.
 
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BillySmart

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They all look like that at 50k miles , I change mine every 18-24 months , at £25-30 it’s a cheap easy diy job .
It's the difference in them, that's what I don't get. Why is one so much dirtier than the other?

It's definitely a cheap enough job, that's well worth doing. The way our car runs now is night and day, all for the sake of some paper filters!
 
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W1ghty

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It's the difference in them, that's what I don't get. Why is one so much dirtier than the other?

It's definitely a cheap enough job, that's well worth doing. The way our car runs now is night and day, all for the sake of some paper filters!
Maybe one was changed more recently than the other ?
Any blockage in one of the inlet tubes ? (On the cleaner air filter )
 
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BillySmart

BillySmart

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E-Class 2009 E 320 CDi W211
Maybe one was changed more recently than the other ?
Any blockage in one of the inlet tubes ? (On the cleaner air filter )
That's a good point. I had a look at them and what I did notice was that the air duct on the left hand facing was pretty much open at the grill and the right hand one was blanked off at that point and must have been taking in its air elsewhere. This would certainly explain the difference in debris in each filter. There's so much large debris in the left hand one, leaves twigs etc, that I wonder if it's missing a filter mesh insert at the opening behind the grill?
 
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W1ghty

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That's a good point. I had a look at them and what I did notice was that the air duct on the left hand facing was pretty much open at the grill and the right hand one was blanked off at that point and must have been taking its air at another point. This would certainly explain the difference in debris in each filter. There's so much large debris in the left hand one, leaves twigs etc, that I wonder if it's missing a filter mesh insert at the opening behind the grill?
The front openings should look the same . If you get stuck remind me tomorrow and I’ll take a pic of them for you on my 2009 E320cdi
 
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BillySmart

BillySmart

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The front openings should look the same . If you get stuck remind me tomorrow and I’ll take a pic of them for you on my 2009 E320cdi
Thanks W1ghty. I will take a picture of mine, the left hand air duct is open at the grill. I am no expert, but I've never ever seen an air filter looking remotely as bad as that one, it's in one hell of a state!
 

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