Running costs of a diesel E class????

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Thank you to all for your responses and thoughts: really helpful.
I spoke to the seller today. He is an ex MB main dealer sales manager (started with them in 1981) and now he specialises in quality, clean MB, sourced mainly through contacts in MB dealerships. This particular car has come from a MB dealers, 2 owners, has 6 MB dealer stamps in the service book plus 2 (the last 2) from a MB indie specialises. There are invoices but no suggestion of work carried out on the SBC system. He says it is really clean and obviously well cared for with no current issues. Before sale it will be serviced by an Indie ex MB trained Master Service Engineer and have 12 months MOT.
£4,995 still sounds a bit steep to me, but if it's as straight as he says it is it's probably worth the premium price tag.

What are your thoughts based on the Service History?
 
I'm looking at E Class Elegance estates as my next long term daily car. It will have to be a diesel because I do 15k miles a year (95% long journeys). I don't know if I should be looking at 220s, 270s or 320s?????? My head hurts.

Your answers to 2 questions would really help me make the right decision:
1. what do you find is the real world mpg on a run (motorway and A roads)?

2. what failure points or common problems should I be aware of before taking the plunge?

I've a budget of £5k so it will be 2003 to 2007 I suppose.

Thanks in advance.

I bought a 2003 C270CDI a few years back , prior to that I had ran a W126 500SEL for five years ; it had been a wonderful car , never missed a beat and the only downside had been the low 20's fuel consumption since I also do a highish mileage .

My thinking at the time was to get a diesel car with good fuel economy - this part the C270CDI lived up to , never dropping below 45mpg , normally returning 47mpg on mainly motorway runs but with a mix of A road and town driving thrown in , and if I tried , I could eke it to mid 50's mpg by being very light footed .

The downside , alas , was that this has been the most unreliable car I ever owned , possibly aside of the new Austin Allegro I bought back in 1976 ( the shame of admitting that ) . The C270, when bought had just passed 100K , like many of my cars . When I viewed it I picked up on the passenger door having a 'bouncing door lock' , and two tyres near the limit , these were fixed by the garage before I collected the car .

Three weeks into ownership , the no 5 injector seal went , new injector needed and a £400 repair ; during my ownership all five went , so there was two grand in repairs . The driver's door lock also went , that was the best part of £100 and a Saturday afternoon DIY repair . Then there was the thermostat which caused the engine to run cool , and use more fuel than it should , one of the high pressure fuel lines , Turbo inlet pipe , after I swapped the car for another , I heard the Turbo failed for the new owner . The electronic keys both failed so that one would only lock/unlock the car , and the other would only start it - so I had to carry both ; the rear wash wipe motor seized , due to the way screenwash passes up the wiper spindle , that was a £200 part but I didn't fix it .

I may have been particularly unlucky , but this was my first foray into newer models , and it turned out to be a complete money pit and more downtime than any other car .

As it turned out , I bought a cheap (£250) 190E to use as a standby , and it is such a lovely car ; it had a CHG leak , as many of the 1.8 engines do , so I embarked on swapping it for a 2.3L rather than fix the small engine , along with brake upgrades and various other works , the car has been off the road 18 months , due to limited spare time and poor Scottish weather for working outside on the drive ; also in no small part because I swapped the C270 for a R129 300SL-24 which also needed a list of jobs addressed , although now on top of them the car runs great and has given me over 50K trouble free miles in my 18 months ownership . The 190 was meant to be my daily driver , but I just love driving the R129 so much , roof down most of the time , that I've kind of ignored the 190 :(

For me , my older cars are much less troublesome , I can DIY maintain them on a shoestring , and they are a pleasure to own and drive , also going UP in value year on year , rather than the other way round .

Both my cars are petrol and return high 20s/low30s mpg , but I don't have the high cost of repairs and maintenance , some of which are beyond me and the newer car had to go into a local Indy for work , which added to the cost . I can do almost everything on my older cars so the only cost is parts .

Overall I found the newer car more costly to run with all the repairs wiping out the fuel economy savings , plus the darn thing cost more to buy in the first place .

A friend with a facelift C320CDI has also had similar lists of jobs , including Turbo failure , so although unlucky perhaps , I know I am not alone .

I often think I could still do with another estate , but it will be a W123 or W124 when the right one presents itself ; that would then complete my fleet .
 
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Had my 2008 320 cdi serviced yesterday at Indi in Cardiff, £250 for C service, 41 k miles. Only problems identified, need a little welding on exhaust hanger, rear n/s bush wearing cost 3 hrs labour plus £60 parts to fix, oil leaking on to manifold swirl flap motor. Leak has been rectified , oil wiped off but told they would not try cleaning the motor as it would likely causes problems than it might solve , currently it is working as it should. Will have to wait and see if any longer term problems

Oh yes , I forgot about that : I also had the well known swirl flap problem with my C270CDI , it could sometimes be temporarily reset with my OBD diagnostic tool , but I got used to driving around in 'limp mode' - I wasn't looking forward to removing the manifold to remove the flaps as many have done , and ended up swapping the car with the fault still present and fully disclosed to the new owner .
 
A 190E is in a different league but still a bit unlucky I reckon.

I did change a bunch of consumable parts at 130kish on my f/l E220 - water pump, stat, belt tensioner, alternator bearings, idler pulleys, engine mounts. None actually broke but all were a bit tired so I just did the lot in one hit to avoid a breakdown. I would expect that on any car at that mileage though.

Also changed 2 rusty gbox lines and the oil breather/valve thingy. It's not too hard to work on because there's loads of space with the tiny engine and huge bay.
 
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This one does tick all the boxes: I like the colour, interior etc. I dont need the extra seat though and would agree that, for me, they would be a waste of space. Hope easy is it to remove them?
The car is 200 miles and 4 hours away, so not just round the corner though.

Do Es like this often come up with a tow bar already fitted?

Estate cars often come with towbars ; I've had a W123 estate and two W124 estates , plus the S203 estate , all of which came with factory towbars .

If I ever buy a car without one , it is one of the first things I generally fit ; I recently managed to get one for my R129 SL after watching eBay for 18 months ; I ended up getting a S124 factory Oris detachable towbar , which is very similar to the factory one for the R129 ( which is based on the C124 chassis ) so I should be able to fit it with minimal modification . Then I'll be able to tow my trailer or use a cycle carrier on the back !

I also got an Oris detachable bar for my 190E ( again factory fitment ) from eBay Germany :) and have fitted aftermarket towbars to my W126's , W114/5/6 , previous W201's , W123s and W124s ; my Ponton came with the factory one .

To me , a factory towbar is a big plus and a selling point .
 
A 190E is in a different league but still a bit unlucky I reckon.

I did change a bunch of consumable parts at 130kish on my f/l E220 - water pump, stat, belt tensioner, alternator bearings, idler pulleys, engine mounts. None actually broke but all were a bit tired so I just did the lot in one hit to avoid a breakdown. I would expect that on any car at that mileage though.

Also changed 2 rusty gbox lines and the oil breather/valve thingy. It's not too hard to work on because there's loads of space with the tiny engine and huge bay.

Yes , I never mentioned things like brakes , battery , exhaust , drive belts , filters and all the normal service things I've had on cars of various ages .

I've done all of these things on all of my older cars , as well as on that S203 .

Having had three 190E's , the biggest repair on the first one , an early B reg 2 litre auto , was the water pump ; my 2.6 needed a new heater matrix which was a full day , dash out job , but then I got the car cheap because it was leaking . The current one , a late LE model , ran well for six months before emulsion in the coolant signalled head gasket failure ; I could have fixed it , but the 1.8 was underpowered , so when I got the chance of a known good 2.3L engine from a fellow club member who was breaking his W124 , I jumped at the chance - unfortunately , the trip down to Wales with the C270 and my trailer to collect the engine , put paid to the fifth and final diesel injector , when I had already done the deal to swap the unlucky car for the SL , and I had to put it in for a last expensive repair :(

I do feel I was particularly unlucky with that car , but then again , speaking to friends , and others on various fora with similar cars , a lot of these faults are far from unknown .
 
Looks tidy but check the MOT history, particularly the last 2 you may want to ask why.

MOT 31/7/15 98966 miles
MOT 05/08/16 99997 miles

missing wheel bolts - what happened there.

3.2 is the straight 6

Will have SBS brakes - ask if there's any evidence the SBS control unit has been replaced.

Gear box service history?

As ever with older cars you will spend more on maintenance and get the odd shock but you'll save on depreciation.

Check all the electrics work and A/C blows cold.

£5k might be a touch high but if its very nice with some history may well be justifiable. its got some nice options Panny roof, rear seats...

Let us know how you get on.
 
Yes , I never mentioned things like brakes , battery , exhaust , drive belts , filters and all the normal service things I've had on cars of various ages .

I've done all of these things on all of my older cars , as well as on that S203 .

Having had three 190E's , the biggest repair on the first one , an early B reg 2 litre auto , was the water pump ; my 2.6 needed a new heater matrix which was a full day , dash out job , but then I got the car cheap because it was leaking . The current one , a late LE model , ran well for six months before emulsion in the coolant signalled head gasket failure ; I could have fixed it , but the 1.8 was underpowered , so when I got the chance of a known good 2.3L engine from a fellow club member who was breaking his W124 , I jumped at the chance - unfortunately , the trip down to Wales with the C270 and my trailer to collect the engine , put paid to the fifth and final diesel injector , when I had already done the deal to swap the unlucky car for the SL , and I had to put it in for a last expensive repair :(

I do feel I was particularly unlucky with that car , but then again , speaking to friends , and others on various fora with similar cars , a lot of these faults are far from unknown .
Modern cars/diesels for you. How about changing a turbo on a Range Rover or Discovery! :eek:
 

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I bought a 2003 C270CDI a few years back , prior to that I had ran a W126 500SEL for five years ; it had been a wonderful car , never missed a beat and the only downside had been the low 20's fuel consumption since I also do a highish mileage .

My thinking at the time was to get a diesel car with good fuel economy - this part the C270CDI lived up to , never dropping below 45mpg , normally returning 47mpg on mainly motorway runs but with a mix of A road and town driving thrown in , and if I tried , I could eke it to mid 50's mpg by being very light footed .

The downside , alas , was that this has been the most unreliable car I ever owned , possibly aside of the new Austin Allegro I bought back in 1976 ( the shame of admitting that ) . The C270, when bought had just passed 100K , like many of my cars . When I viewed it I picked up on the passenger door having a 'bouncing door lock' , and two tyres near the limit , these were fixed by the garage before I collected the car .

Three weeks into ownership , the no 5 injector seal went , new injector needed and a £400 repair ; during my ownership all five went , so there was two grand in repairs . The driver's door lock also went , that was the best part of £100 and a Saturday afternoon DIY repair . Then there was the thermostat which caused the engine to run cool , and use more fuel than it should , one of the high pressure fuel lines , Turbo inlet pipe , after I swapped the car for another , I heard the Turbo failed for the new owner . The electronic keys both failed so that one would only lock/unlock the car , and the other would only start it - so I had to carry both ; the rear wash wipe motor seized , due to the way screenwash passes up the wiper spindle , that was a £200 part but I didn't fix it .

I may have been particularly unlucky , but this was my first foray into newer models , and it turned out to be a complete money pit and more downtime than any other car .

As it turned out , I bought a cheap (£250) 190E to use as a standby , and it is such a lovely car ; it had a CHG leak , as many of the 1.8 engines do , so I embarked on swapping it for a 2.3L rather than fix the small engine , along with brake upgrades and various other works , the car has been off the road 18 months , due to limited spare time and poor Scottish weather for working outside on the drive ; also in no small part because I swapped the C270 for a R129 300SL-24 which also needed a list of jobs addressed , although now on top of them the car runs great and has given me over 50K trouble free miles in my 18 months ownership . The 190 was meant to be my daily driver , but I just love driving the R129 so much , roof down most of the time , that I've kind of ignored the 190 :(

For me , my older cars are much less troublesome , I can DIY maintain them on a shoestring , and they are a pleasure to own and drive , also going UP in value year on year , rather than the other way round .

Both my cars are petrol and return high 20s/low30s mpg , but I don't have the high cost of repairs and maintenance , some of which are beyond me and the newer car had to go into a local Indy for work , which added to the cost . I can do almost everything on my older cars so the only cost is parts .

Overall I found the newer car more costly to run with all the repairs wiping out the fuel economy savings , plus the darn thing cost more to buy in the first place .

A friend with a facelift C320CDI has also had similar lists of jobs , including Turbo failure , so although unlucky perhaps , I know I am not alone .

I often think I could still do with another estate , but it will be a W123 or W124 when the right one presents itself ; that would then complete my fleet .

Thanks for that. That is the sort of absolute nightmare I am afraid of. Please tell me that all this happened to a neglected car without a service history. I know it can happen with any car, but is it more likely with a 2004 E Class?

On the one hand I hear that they are the absolute ultimate quality car: on the other that they are prone to all sorts of costly complications.

Which is it????:wallbash:
 
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Thanks for that. That is the sort of absolute nightmare I am afraid of. I know it can happen with any car, but is it more likely with a 2004 E Class?

On the one hand I hear that they are the absolute ultimate quality car: on the other that they are prone to all sorts of costly complications.

Which is it????:wallbash:

I had a e320 cdi, I6 Absolute dream, And id have another easy, Here was my build thread.

http://www.mbclub.co.uk/forums/mbclub-projects/173951-detailed-oil-burner-e320-cdi.html
 
Mr Mirrorman,
Stick £50.00 fuel in your car and physically go and see the 2004 Estate.
See if you like it, sit in it, drive it, ask the right questions, kick the tyres, make notes and see what the bottom line price on it is. Enjoy your day out and report back here with good news of it is what you like.

Steve
 
Mr Mirrorman,
Stick £50.00 fuel in your car and physically go and see the 2004 Estate.
See if you like it, sit in it, drive it, ask the right questions, kick the tyres, make notes and see what the bottom line price on it is. Enjoy your day out and report back here with good news of it is what you like.

Steve

Thanks for that Steve. There is no question of me not liking it. It's beautiful, has bags of power and will be a dream to drive. I'm just trying to gauge the likelihood of big bills in the future. Going to look at it won't tell me that. Only the experience of E Class users like yourself can gauge me on that.
 
If you're looking at buying a 13 yr old Mercedes E Class then chances are big bills could be around the corner. Always budget for this as they are expensive cars to run.

If you're worried about potential big bills then I wouldn't buy one.
 
Is the C class less likely to cause problems? I don't like them as much as the E but still like them.
 
All Mercedes cars unless new with a warranty have the potential to throw up eye watering big bills. If you haven't got a couple of grand in the bank spare, I would consider other options.

Not wanting to sound arrogant but don't put yourself in a position which may cause you financial heartbreak.
 
All Mercedes cars unless new with a warranty have the potential to throw up eye watering big bills. If you haven't got a couple of grand in the bank spare, I would consider other options.

Not wanting to sound arrogant but don't put yourself in a position which may cause you financial heartbreak.


This exactly right. You'll need a few quid aside as a "just in case" fund really. Just for your own piece of mind.

Don't get me wrong my E320 hasn't cost me any more than a new battery and a service in the year I've had it and overall it's been a joy to own. But in the back of my mind I know there's some expensive bits and pieces that may (or may not hopefully) go wrong.

Don't be put off as they don't have to be expensive to run but be mindful of that.

Admittedly any used car can throw up bills just keep in mind that a W211 E320 is a tenth of its new price, sadly repairs aren't going to be a tenth haha
 
Alex225 is absolutely right, have a 2008 E320cdi , cost nothing except servicing and tyres for last 3 years, but recently cost £600 to fix broken front Spring ( 2 replaced ) and oil leak. Now needs new battery and welding on exhaust, new rear discs and pads all round at next service. But cars cost, whatever you run and I love mine especially the performance. Just keeping fingers crossed have no big engine and gearbox problems as only 41 k mileage from new
 
Thanks for that. That is the sort of absolute nightmare I am afraid of. Please tell me that all this happened to a neglected car without a service history. I know it can happen with any car, but is it more likely with a 2004 E Class?

On the one hand I hear that they are the absolute ultimate quality car: on the other that they are prone to all sorts of costly complications.

Which is it????:wallbash:

It was the fifth or sixth C Class I had looked at , all 270's having done the research and this seemed the best engine .

The car was on the forecourt of a used car dealer about 50 miles away , who seemed to specialise in prestige cars , this being one of the cheaper ones there .

The car looked very tidy , inside and out , had MB history to , from memory , about 60K and then stamps and receipts for servicing by a local garage ; the car had two owners and I think the change of servicing was when the second owner took over ; the first owner had done a high mileage over the first three years , then the second owner just a few thousand each year over his six or seven years with it .

The car drove very nicely on my test drive , with only the lock and the tyres picked up on ; the tyres they fitted were a budget brand , but I expected that , and I put five new Bridgestones on not long after ( having bought a full size steel wheel to replace the space saver ) .

In short , there was nothing to ring any alarm bells , and I thought I'd looked over the car carefully enough , as well as checking paperwork before buying .

The car was up for £3499 and I haggled him down to £3150 with the tyres and lock repair done , I could've had it for £3K as it was .

Unfortunately , the garage I bought from might as well have been Arfur Daley as they just weren't interested once they had my money and I'd driven off ; I then found many accounts on the Internet of similar complaints and experiences - I should've checked the dealer out as well as the car !

I must admit to feeling inwardly pleased when I drove past their premises in Dunfermline recently to find it boarded up and then looked them up to see they'd gone out of business .

I do think I was particularly unlucky with the car ; my previous W124 300TE , had been bought at three years old many years earlier from a similar sort of place and went on to last me 11 years and over 200K miles without any trouble until the diff packed in , by which time it owed me nothing .

Prior to that , I'd bought a W123 280TE from Western Mercedes trade outlet at Newbridge - this was a cheap car with high mileage , but I really landed on my feet with that one - it had been the car of the company director's wife , then passed onto their son , so just one owner on the book , and had complete MB history right up until it went for sale . There were little bits of rust here and there , it was 10 years old , and the son had been using it to transport his band equipment , but it drove faultlessly , for the three years until I traded it for the first W124 .

I also bought a W124 300TE-24 from a breakers yard , for spares or repairs , it was showing something like 160K , but only one owner on the V5 . When I contacted him I found it had full MB history , had wanted for nothing , but had done 430K ! It was just a great car and drove faultlessly , until an uninsured driver crashed through my garden wall and wrote it off on my driveway !

In short , there are good cars out there , and I still think the car matters more than the dealer , but it can be quite hard to pick everything up on a viewing .
 
Is the C class less likely to cause problems? I don't like them as much as the E but still like them.

I don't think they're any more or less likely to cause problems : same components and technology , same build quality .

The main difference is size - much less room for rear seat passengers , and surprisingly less load space in the back - I do photography and video production and was shocked how much less room there is for kit . I ended up buying a 470L roof box for mine , as well as my trailer .

All E classes have self levelling suspension , with the W124's you could put 2 tonnes in the back and it would stay level , great towcars too , but SLS is an option few C Classes have .

C is comfortable enough on a long journey for those in the front , but back seats just for kids really IMHO .
 

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