My (new to me) E280 CDI Estate Experience

Page may contain affiliate links. Please see terms for details.


Oct 16, 2023
E280 CDi
Thought I'd write up what problems I've had with my gorgeous dark blue 2006 E280 CDi Estate.
I bought the car from a small dealer in Surrey , I live in Scotland so flew down to Gatwick and train to the town where the car was. car was in amazing condition , 86k miles , lots of service history , everything working as it should. I drove it to a mates house in Oxfordshire and stopped there the night, next day set off up North by joining the M40 at Bicester , this is where I noticed a slight puff of smoke in the rear. It got progressively worse and was really belching out badly under the slightest throttle. It was quite embarrassing really , it was in limp mode but no CEL, got better by the time I reached The Lakes and but still produced a big puff of black smoke under hard acceleration exiting Tebay services. Reached home no problem.
So diagnosis of the problem began the next day , The air intake was broken where it fits onto the turbo and the orange seal was falling to bits. Found a very good OEM used one and fitted that, fitted new PCV valve..My scanner said "low fuel pressure" and "Oxygen sensor fault" so replaced Lambda cleared the codes , old one was covered in thick soot , still in limp mode so ordered a new fuel rail pressure sensor , ordered the wrong one sent it back , ordered and fitted correct one . cleared the codes and is now running lovely, no smoke and lots of power , gear changes are silky smooth. Just back from a 300mile round trip and all good. So pleased to have fixed it idea what it'd cost had a taken it to a garage but all in I've spent about £500 , hopefully getting half back from the dealer.
Love the car, next job is the boot lid struts, boot keeps falling down eventually.
Not really 100% about what caused the black smoke in the first place, I initially thought the PCV valve must have gone bad and was throwing oil into the turbo as there was oil around the turbo inlet but the old PCV looked fine after I tore it apart. Maybe the fuel pressure sensor caused over fuelling , black smoke which then knocked out the 02 sensor!
Maybe the broken/damaged air inlet batwing thing was throwing the ECU some weird readings from the MAf sensors which then produced over fuelling.
I don't really know but it's running perfect just now.
I can't believe how solid it feels , what a car.

So I spent £500 on the car but mostly on stuff that needed replaced or is now replaced anyway , PCV valve was most likely the original
Last edited:
Maybe both issues combined, black smoke means it's over fueling in most cases. If pressure sensor was showing low value. It would probably try to add higher amount. Also, damaged Turbo intake seal would allow air to enter it after air flow sensors which would also confuse ECU. Glad you managed to sort it yourself. And hope you won't have any more issues.
Well done on the repairs - really satisfying when you can sort it yourself.

I have a similar car albeit 2009 with more miles. Done 10k since last year and rebuilt all the suspension but still have a slight knock which I think will be the Febi parts - not had good experience recently. One for the new year!

I saw your other post about broken batwing - common problem, i replaced broken bit with silicone tee on mine.

Am tempted to replace o2 sensor as matter of course with it being the original.
I've run a 2009 E280 cdi Sports Estate for about 9 years and done around 85,000 miles in that time.
It's been my work-horse and I've loved it.
An awesome engine and well-equipped vehicle.
Plenty of power and comfort.
I've recently had to replace the tailgate struts ..... Something of a pain - But not too difficult when you've found your way round the job.
I bought it from Mercland with 111k on the clock.
It now has 195k on the clock and it runs as sweet today as when I bought it.
Enjoy !!
I did the tailgate struts too , one of those jobs like so many , you could do in a fraction of the time if you had to do it again.
It’s weird , we’ve had some good cars over the years , some new through our business and I have a 911 Turbo but I can honestly say I get quite excited about going out in the Merc, even my wife prefers it to her car (Tiguan) for long journeys which we’ve done a few now. Dogs like it too.
Even though it’s nearly 17yrs old , it drives perfect and I like the fact when something needs fixing, which it will , I can do it here in my workshop without the time and cost of taking it elsewhere.
I drove from Leeds to Cobham in Surrey and back again over the past three days in the E280cdi Sports Estate.
Partner and self with several bags of belongings.
Averaged just over 41 miles per gallon .... and I drove to the speed limit all the way ... M1 and M25 going south .... M25, M40, A43 and M1 going north.
Traffic was light.
The days of joyful motoring are not over !

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom